Wash day tips for natural hair

IMG_4108

So another week has gone by and wash day is looming. You are probably dealing with dry hair at this point but dread the time you will have to put into reviving your coils. Here are a few tips which can have you sailing through your next wash. I know we don’t really spend the entire day washing our natural hair right?

Pre-poo overnight

In order to to prep my hair for cleansing I will section my hair the night before and saturate it with an oil and put it in medium size twists. I then put a shower cap on my head, tie a scarf around it and go to bed. The moisture generated from having the shower cap on and the oil softens the hair making it more manageable, preventing breakage and which in turn cuts down on your detangling time the next morning.

Detangling

There are two ways to go about your detangling session. You can either detangle your hair with a wide both comb before shampooing whilst your hair is still saturated with the pre-poo. The comb or your fingers will be able to go through your hair with ease as you will also have slip from the oil. Another option is to detangle with a conditioner in your hair under running water. Just make sure you are using a conditioner with lots of slip and the comb will be able to go through your hair much easier saving you time and from having a tender scalp.

Shampoo in twists

 I recently started doing this a few months ago as my hair has gotten long enough to wash without unraveling. By washing in twists you can prevent the possibility of getting your hair tangled causing breakage. You have easier access to your scalp and you can concentrate on doing just that, cleansing your scalp. Don’t worry you will still be able to get your hair strands clean as the shampoo runs down your twists. I squeeze the shampoo into my twists as it runs off from my scalp.

Steaming

You no longer have to sit with conditioner in your hair for an hour, using a steamer opens the cuticle allowing the conditioner or oils you are using to penetrate the hair. Leaving you with moisturised hair which is prone to less breakage in the space of 20 to 30 minutes. Steaming your hair increases blood flow to the scalp aiding in hair growth and a healthy scalp by unclogging pores in the scalp. There are more benefits to using a steamer which I’ll discuss in more detail in another post.

 Planning your wash day

 It may seem strange that I put this one here but trust me if you are indecisive like me then you’ve probably wasted a lot of time trying to decide on wether you would like to do a bentonite mask that day or which products to use. I used to stare at my stash and only much later realise that I could have washed my hair already and had wasted so much time. So I started planning my wash days, I take out the products I plan on using the night before and place them in the bathroom so that I just wake up the next morning and get to washing.

How do you make your wash days more manageable? I would love to know, do share in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

 

Natural hair salon experience in Ghana

Hey loves

So I recently took a trip to Accra, Ghana for my brothers wedding and my sister recommended the Afrocomb Natural Hair Salon to me whilst I was there. I had planned to go to my usual place but then I figured why not, my sister does her own hair which is absolute hair goals so if she goes there I should definitely check it out too. I needed to do something short term with my hair so I decided to do a kinky crochet style which would blend in with my natural hair.

The first thing that caught my eye when I walked in was how the stylists were natural themselves, I think it gives one a sense a comfort that they would probably treat my hair as they would their own. Most of the naturals I noticed coming in came in for washes, detangling and two strand twist styles which I must admit I envied.

IMG_E1997

So after being sat down and deciding on my chosen style the stylist started by spraying my hair with water and applied a cream to my hair. She then detangled my hair from root to tip with an afro comb section by section, which she then twisted up. I was very happy at this point because that’s how I handle my own hair as I have a very sensitive scalp and I did not experience a lot of pulling so that was a major thumbs up for me. The front part of my hair was stretched using African threading. Once that was done she cornrowed my hair whilst my hair was still damp and proceeded to crochet the kinky hair onto my hair.

Being a creature of habit I usually rock the same hairdo the crochet was a bit overwhelming to me but I soon managed my way around it. As big as it was it surprisingly felt very light.

KEGG4348

Overall I had a good experience for my first time at a natural hair salon. I did not experience the blow drying saga and the ‘is that the comb you are planning on combing my hair with?’  Which are some of the reasons I stopped going to the salon from the time I was transitioning. The stylist took her time with my hair and had gentle hands.

Thank you, Afrocomb.

The Moisture Factory Product Review

 

Saying this review is long overdue would be an understatement so I’ll get right into it. The Moisture Factory is a black female owned locally made South African hair care line catered to natural hair whoop whoop. I purchased the The Moisture Factory products after seeing them constantly on my Instagram feed. So I dm’d them and this is what happened.

Service

I have to sing praises with regards to the service I received. Although I could have just ordered directly from their website I had a few questions so I went ahead and sent a dm through Instagram. I spoke with a lady who answered my questions and I proceeded to place my order. I ordered on June 12 and they were delivered the following afternoon.

Packaging

The moisture factory went with clean simple packaging. Instructions on how to use each product are clearly labelled on the back. The co-wash and curl custard are 250ml which is a good standard size. The deep conditioners come in 500ml sizes.

201711031166124402Co-wash Anti-Breakage Formula R90

The co-wash has a thick consistency similar to a conditioner and the scent is a combination of peppermint and tea tree.  The scent is not over powering which I like. The instructions on the bottle say to apply to damp hair and to leave  it on for 30 minutes. I was tempted to ignore that as it felt too long but I followed the instructions and once the tingling began I understood why. A few minutes after application the peppermint and tea tree oil gives a nice tingling sensation on the scalp, the essential oils are known for increasing blood circulation, as well as anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. Now don’t expect any lather from the product as it’s not a shampoo but it did a good job of cleaning my scalp. My hair and scalp felt clean without feeling dry.

Facetune-20171103845211896-01Curl Custard Anti-Breakage Formula R90

Just like the name the curl custard has a custard like consistency. For me it seems to have a more subtle peppermint and tea tree scent compared to the co-wash. Now it says to use on damp hair so I would spray my hair with water, apply coconut oil and then apply the custard. I’ve used this for my two strand twists on a number of occasions  and the result has been consistent. Defined, moisturised hair. No white residue, no stickiness. This is actually my favourite from the range.  

Facetune-2017110388005879-01Borage Hibiscus Deep Penetrating Conditioner Anti-Breakage Formula R120, Borage Hibiscus Protein Treatment Anti-Breakage Formula R120

These two conditioners have exactly the same ingredients with the exception of the proteins added to the protein conditioner. The consistency is thick like that of a hair mask. It has the peppermint and tea tree scent as the rest of the range. I applied the mask after washing with the co-wash and left it on for the required 10 minutes. I was a bit disappointed with the deep conditioner, my hair wasn’t as soft as I would have liked after a deep conditioning session. It just felt okay really. However the protein conditioner I liked. My hair felt stronger after the treatment and there was less hair in the comb when I was styling my hair.

Pricing

In comparison to other local hair care ranges I believe their products are fairly and competitively priced. The amount of product you get for the price is fair.  I purchased my products individually but they also offer a Curl Range combo which I think is good value for your money.  

Final thoughts

My favourites are the curl custard and co-wash. They live up to expectations of infusing hair with moisture. If I had to choose between the deep conditioners I’d go with the Protein deep conditioner but that’s just me.

You can find The Moisture Factory products at www.themoisturefactory.co.za and on Instagram @the_moisture_factory

How to Wear your Natural Hair with Confidence

20171019-74598537

A friend recently asked me where I get the confidence to wear my natural hair out? She is natural as well but doesn’t feel confident enough to wear her hair out most of the time. This got me thinking back to the beginning of my own journey, I remember not feeling confident because half the time I didn’t know what I was doing. Many attempts at styling my hair at the time always felt like a failed attempt to me and I would instinctively want to hide my hair away under a protective style, which I did. So whether you recently went natural or have been on your journey for some time, but are still feeling insecure about wearing your afro out. I’ve got a few tips to help you build your confidence and enjoy growing out your hair.

201710192017480839

Start by doing your research into your hair type

  • If you have type 4 hair you don’t want to be looking at hair with much looser textures hoping your hair is one day going to behave in that way because it’s not.
  • Understanding how your own hair behaves in different kinds of environments (hot, cold, humid weather), knowing your porosity and how your coils react to certain products.
  • Learning healthy hair practices will help to boost your confidence throughout your journey because you know your story.

Once you’ve gone through the nitty-gritty of figuring out what works for your hair, it’s time fun with your ‘fro, look for hair styles which work for you and suit your lifestyle and rock the heck out of them. If you feel somewhat style challenged it’s completely cool because you don’t always have to follow the latest hair trends. Wether you have a signature Grecian flat twist or a high puff , do you girl. Because if your hair looks great you feel great right?

20171024-503123990

Ignore the negativity

In the beginning various comments came my way, I never got any nasty ones but constant snide remarks or incessant questions as to why you are no longer relaxing your hair can be discouraging at the beginning but you will learn to just block out the negativity. Remember it’s your hair and if you take everyone’s opinions to heart you won’t wear your hair out. And you know those same individuals will be asking you for hair advice when your hair is flourishing right?

Acceptance

So you may not like certain things about your hair. A genetically thin hairline or fine hair can make you feel self-conscious. Take a look at the men, yes men and women in your family, if you find it does run in the family then there isn’t much you can do about it. (I am referring to a completely healthy person, whose hair state is not related to any type of illness). Instead work with what you have, wear your hair in certain styles that don’t emphasize what makes you uncomfortable. Keep in mind most people don’t even notice what we consider as flaws in ourselves.

So go ahead, embrace your texture and rock your ‘fro with confidence. No one can tell you otherwise.

Moisturising type 4 natural hair

Hey loves

If there is one topic which remains constant throughout your natural hair journey it will be that of moisture retention. More so during the winter months where you might be tempted to tuck your hair away under a wig or braids and not deal with it but we know that would only lead to dry brittle hair.  When I was newly natural I soon discovered that using one product to moisturise my hair was simply not enough, until I came across the LOC method, where you layer and smooth in products into your hair strands to ‘loc’ in that moisture. There are variations of the LOC method, there is also the LCO.

L – liquid                L – liquid

O – oil                    C – cream

C -cream               O – oil

After trying out both methods I settled on the LOC method as that was what worked best for my hair. I also have high porosity hair, meaning that my hair strands are quick to take in moisture but they also loose moisture very quickly. That is how I realised that in order for me to keep from losing moisture I needed to ‘loc’ in all that moisture with a cream as my last step. I could then maintain moisture for two to three days before re moisturising my hair. So do try both methods and find one which works best on your hair.

Here is a breakdown of the LOC method.

LIQUID

Liquid can be plain water, aloe vera juice or water mixed with leave in conditioner in a spray bottle. I alternate between these two leave ins which I mix with water. The first step is to spray your water or water mix onto your hair and smooth it in.

Facetune-20170612-904397832-01Giovanni Direct leave-in weightless moisture conditioner, Design Essentials Natural Almond and Avocado Detangling leave in conditioner.

OIL

Your oil of choice depends on which oil works best for your hair. I love using coconut oil or Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Olive oil, Avocado oil, Grape seed oil, Almond oil are other oils you could use. So after dampening your hair with water you then smooth your choice of oil into your hair.

Facetune-201706121569668388-01Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Vatika Coconut Oil

CREAM

Last but not least my hair loves butters and because I love me some DIY I always have some whipped shea butter mix ready. I also try out different butters, which is the last step in the LOC method. Smooth your butter or cream into your hair to loc in all that moisture and your hair will thank you for it.

Facetune-201706121593379763-01Whipped Shea Butter mix, Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter, Suki Suki Naturals Shea Creme, Elasta QP Olive Oil Mango Butter Moisturizer

So which method do you prefer LOC or LCO? Comment below.

 

Hibiscus and Bentonite Conditioning Clay Mask

b1Hey loves

I have been reading up on herbs and flowers lately and have been looking for ways to include them into my regimen. So I decided to change up my usual bentonite clay mask by adding a Hibiscus tea instead and the results were amazing. There are many varieties of this subtropical and tropical flower, its colours range from white to pink, yellow, orange, purple, red and peach. It is rich in amino acids, vitamin a, vitamin c and other nutrients.

Benefits of Hibiscus: Strengthens hair roots by fortifying hair follicles, promotes hair growth, soothes dry, itchy scalp, conditions and nourishes hair.

tea_hibiscus

To make the tea I used two tablespoons of dried Hibiscus flowers and poured one cup of boiled water. I let it steep until the tea had cooled before I started to mix my clay mask.

Here’s some brief information on the Bentonite Clay and its benefits.

Bentonite clay is a clay formed after volcanic ash has weathered and aged in the presence of water. It has a strong negative electromagnetic charge which when activated by water pulls toxins and metals from our bodies. Which is why it works so well on cleansing our hair.

Benefits: It has the ability to attract and bind with dirt, all that product build up in our hair. Leaving the hair clean without that dry feeling. Your hair is left feeling soft and conditioned. It also clumps curls and leaves curls and coils defined without frizz.

img_2531-2To make the mask: Always use plastic utensils as the bentonite will react with the metals and it will become less effective. I mixed five tablespoons of bentonite clay with a cupful of the hibiscus tea. I mixed this until I achieved a yoghurt consistency. If you have small lumps in your mixture there’s no need to panic they will melt away once you start applying it to your hair.

b2img_2537

To apply to hair: Dampen your hair with water and apply the mask from root to tip. Massage the mask into the scalp as well. Put a shower cap or plastic bag on and keep on for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not let the mask go dry, that’s why the shower cap is important in order to keep the moisture in. Once your time is up rinse with warm water.

FYI: I have a video on the diy coming up, I also made a video on how I applied the mask and to my horror that part wasn’t recorded, so I will have to do that again soon.

Let me know how the mask turns out for you

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cowashing my natural hair

20161025-2117698406

Hey Ladies

I sometimes get a quizzical look when I talk about cowashing my hair, like why would you use conditioner instead of shampoo?  Why Cowash, Washing your hair with a rinse out conditioner allows you to gently clean your hair without stripping it of all of its oils. Whereas shampoos have harsh detergents, which strip your hair and scalp of all of its oils leaving it dry with that squeaky clean feeling, hence the need to always condition your hair after shampooing. I am personally not a fan of that squeaky clean feeling, my hair doesn’t feel right after using certain shampoos because they are way too drying. Rinse out conditioners also contain small amounts of cleaning agents which allow it to remove dirt from your hair.

When do I cowash, I cowash my hair if I used a cleansing soap or cleansing clay on my hair on the previous wash day so my scalp or hair wouldn’t have too much product buildup which would make a cowash effective enough to lightly clean and condition.

Which conditioner to use, . If it says to leave on for 2-3 minutes then its a rinse out conditioner and it would have a runny or thinner consistency compared to that of a deep conditioner. A silicon free conditioner which would not coat your hair afterwards. There are also actual cleansing conditioners which clean and condition hair at the same time.

Can cowashing be bad, as with all things cowashing is not for everyone. It is mostly suitable for curly, thick and dry hair. If your hair is thin and oily then it may not be for you, it could lead to more oily and flat looking hair. Maintaining a healthy scalp is vital for hair growth so constantly cowashing could lead to an itchy scalp and dandruff. Over cowashing can lead to over moisturised, mushy hair, that happened to me when I was transitioning because I got carried away and I cowashed my hair too much. Now that I only cowash twice a month my scalp and hair is happy.

I was able to achieve a clean scalp and clean hair from the cowash. As with all things whenever you introduce something new to hair regimen, don’t over do it. Take your time and see if it works for you or not.

Happy hair journey 🙂

DIY Moisturising Avocado and Honey Hair Mask

createherstock-floral-avocados-isha-gaines-1

Hey Ladies

Throughout my journey I have tried to use mostly natural products on my hair, I have found myself standing in the hair isle going through the list of ingredients looking for baddies like mineral oil and chemicals which I can’t even pronounce and yet I never thought to actually put avocado, bananas or eggs in my hair, I always found it a bit weird I mean I’d rather eat the avocado, banana and what not than have it stuck in my hair right? Well this had been my thinking until I actually tried this DIY avocado hair mask, so until you’ve tried something you just won’t know, it may just work for you and save you some money in the process.

So I am finally trying out the avocado mask and I always enjoy mixing up something in my kitchen that will benefit my hair. The wonderful thing about diy is that there are so many resources online to help you find something that will work for you and you can always change up the ingredients to suit your own hair. Not to mention that a hair mask can serve as a face mask too. Isn’t that great! As some ingredients might not agree with your face you might just have to drop an ingredient or two and you have a face mask. But enough of that back to the hair.

Avocados are rich in vitamins and healthy fats. They add moisture to hair strands and also soothe the scalp. The healing and moisturising oils add shine to hair.

Olive oil can reduce dandruff and add moisture to the scalp and hair, making hair shinier, soft and vibrant. It also serves to strengthen the hair strands.

Eggs are high in protein, fatty acids and vitamins to strengthen the hair, they can renew the hair roots and follicles. They can improve the lustre and texture of the hair leaving you with smoother hair.

Honey is a natural humectant which draws moisture from the air into the hair strands. It can leave hair strands smoother and also adds lustre to hair

FYI do look for avocados without many fibres inside, I’ve read that some natural ladies had problems with the avocado fibres in their hair.

What you will need

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

20161018_101122

Take the avocado, cut it in half and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

Add the egg yolk, honey and olive oil

Mix ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture

You can use a whisk or hand held electric mixture as well. Which ever one is easier for you.

A QUICK TIP: You can put the mixture through a strainer/sift to remove the avocado fibres. I only learn’t that after I had done mine.

Now apply the mask on freshly washed hair. Simply part your hair into sections and apply from root to ends until your entire head is covered with the avocado mask. Put a shower cap on and leave on for 30 minutes or for even an hour if you would like to. Once your time is up rinse your hair with warm water and voila, hello to super soft, moisturised and manageable hair.

Let me know how it turned out for you.

Cheers

Marley faux bun

IMG_1762

I started playing around with Marley hair for my bun a few months ago and I really enjoyed the look. I actually wondered why I hadn’t done a Marley bun before. So one afternoon I gelled my hair up and tried a few styles that one can easily do. There are a variety of buns one can achieve from an elegant high bun to a playful double bun. I love buns for their simplicity and with the hot weather upon us it’s the perfect style for keeping your hair away from your ears and face depending on the length of your hair.  Enjoy the pictures below for inspiration.

What you need:

  • a leave in moisturiser of your choice, I used aloe vera juice
  • hair butter of your choice, I used my Sheacoco butter
  • spray bottle with water
  • gel
  • bristle brush
  • bobby pins, hair bands
  • Marley hair

I started on stretched hair from an old twist out. I simply combed my hair out, sprayed some aloe vera juice and sealed with my Sheacoco butter. I then lightly spritzed some water around the perimeter of my hair and added gel. I brushed my hair into a pony with a soft bristle brush. I tied a silk scarf around my head to lay everything down for about 15 to 20 minutes whilst I did my makeup. You can even go straight to bed to set it overnight as well. To attach the marley hair to my own bun I made a loop around it using the hair band and then proceeded to tie it around my own bun if that makes sense. After that I wrapped it around to make my  bun.

IMG_1744
Hair brushed into a bun with gel

At night I remove the hair extension and wrap my hair with my doek and reattach it in the morning. This is perfect for me as it lasts me a whole week and saves me loads of time getting ready in the mornings.

The important thing to remember is to avoid tying the bun on the same spot as this could lead to continuous tension on the same spot if you pull your hair too tight which you shouldn’t. You should interchange between a high, low and middle bun. Always be gentle on the hairline, making sure not to pull on those delicate hairs.

You can play around with the hair and do a double bun as well.

Thanks for stopping by

Cheers for now

Is protective styling for you?

IMG_1758

People often ask me why I wear wigs, don’t you like your hair?  I generally like to keep my hair in a protective style for most of the time due to the fact that I suffer from hand in hair syndrome and pure laziness. Most people are under the impression that if you are natural and still choose to wear weaves, wigs and braids you don’t like your natural hair but that’s hardly the case. I find that when I keep my hair out for a long period of time I over manipulate it. My hands are constantly in my hair, those who know me know how much I love washing my hair, I just love the way my hair feels all springy when it’s wet. The constant styling and daily combing ends up becoming a problem because I soon become very lazy and impatient with styling and sticking with my regimen. I would end up not twisting my hair for bed, throwing on my ‘doek’ (silk scarf) and leaving it all for the next day which leads to tangled hair for me. When you don’t stick to your regimen, in terms of moisturising and conditioning your hair, hair can become dry and lead to breakage over time. So instead of not treating my hair as I should I either wig it, bun it or have it braided. Continue reading “Is protective styling for you?”