Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Hair Saga Continues

This post took some time to write because I needed to process all that's been happening in the media with the Pretoria Girls High protests. My initial reaction was anger and outrage against the school policies. But then as I cooled down and started listening to different points of views, I began to ask other questions. 

Many people are saying that all children should be allowed to have any hairstyle as long was their hair is neat. But what is meant by 'neat' hair, particularly in relation to natural hair? When Afro's are added to the list of hairstyles, should there be rules about how the afro can be worn?

Earlier this year I had a chat with some black women who concluded that there was no such thing as neat dreadlocks, I was of course shocked by this statement and went online to show some examples of beautiful so-called 'neat' dreads. But again, I left this conversation wondering who decides what is neat and what isn't? It's a personal choice.

I for instance think these bantu knots above look very beautiful, and neat.
I suppose I also sometimes fall into the 'neat' hair trap with my daughter because when she decides she wants to have an afro for school I usually tie it up into an Afro-puff (like pic above) to keep it intact since she's a very active little girl.

Or we do two Afro-puffs (above)

Or we pull-back the front and let out a rather big part at the back, creating one very big Afro-puff (pic above)

And if your hair is shorter..


Depending on the length and texture of your hair I feel that these TWA (teeny weeny afros) also look good and are neat.


I also love these dreadlock styles and I feel that they too are neat.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are on the above styles, do you feel they are neat? 
Or perhaps you have other suggestions:-)

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Holiday look

It's been about 2 and a half years since I last had braids, and the memories of getting braids still slightly haunt me. The thought of going to a hair salon really doesn't sit well with me as I remember all the heating, tugging and pulling that came with every hair style. The end result was really beautiful as my stylist at the time was extremely talented, but the reality is that most times I'd be gripping the sides of the chair under the black barber cloth while I got combed/styled. Some days were not so bad and over time I'd speak up if there was pain but often times the attitude was well 'you must suffer for beauty' or 'it will all be worth it in the end'.

So I want braids but I don't want to get them at a salon...I start to consider doing them myself since I've braided Khethiwe's hair twice in the last two years, so I should be able to braid my own hair right? But the thought of the hours it will take and how will I get to the back of my head and, and...

I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I decide to go out and buy the things I'll need anyway. I want X-pression hair colors 1 & 2, I like that combination because my hair is the color in between. I start at my 'go-to' hair place called New Looks Cosmetics in Maynard Mall but they are out of stock. Perhaps this is a sign? I leave it for a few days but find myself walking the streets of Mowbray later that week, searching again. This time I find the hair but they don't have color 2 so the lady in the shop persuades me to try color 4, it's also a brown but not as dark as color 2. 

I use X-Pressions colors 1 & 4

The lady in the store asks me if I have someone to braid my hair because she says she can braid my hair for me, she shows me her salon next door and it's very quiet so she says she can braid me then and there and be done within 3 hours. I'm really tempted, until I see her facial expression when I tell her my hair is natural; Her face drops and there is a look of doubt.
It's settled, I'll braid my own hair!

It took me 2 nights (10 hours) in total. After putting the kids to bed I'd put on a series on TV and watch while braiding and before I know it this was all I had left (above)

Final look with a middle part

or to the side

What I loved the most was that there was NO PAIN on the first night when I went to bed because I did not make them tight. We were away for a couple of weeks so I enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to worry about my hair, it was all worth it!!
I just made sure to spray my hair and scalp often. I was very proud of my new look:-) 

My next project was creating a look for khethiwe and since I had already spent so much time doing my hair I wanted something quick yet cute. 

I decided to try the outward 3 strand braid which I mentioned in my last post
but this time I added hair fibre to add a bit of length to the look.

I still need some more practice with this look but Khethiwe loved it:-)

I continue to learn, and love our hair.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

40 and fabulous!!

I'm back!!! Last month was my 40th birthday so I took some much needed time of to do some things that I love; I got a lot of love from family and friends, did a bit of shopping and 'serviced' my body with a treatment or two. What I loved the most was just making time to get back to reading, watching theatre and live music, movies and using my hands to create (I love working with my hands). I've been in a wonderful creative space and I feel like I'm 'me' again. People say that in your 40s you just get more in tune with who you really are, so perhaps that's what's going on. What ever it is, it's unintentional and I'm loving it!

You'll remember the pic below from one of my previous posts and I've added it today to show you what I've learnt. This is an inward cornrow braid and in the last few weeks I learnt how to do an outward cornrow braid. It's such a simple yet fun protective style that can last about 3 to 4 days.

Inward cornrow braid

Below is a picture of the outward cornrow braids I recently did on my daughter.


It's nice and quick to do and is great way to keep the hair tied up and neat for school. She loves it!

I also recently started using the Hairtural Kids range on my daughters hair and just as it works wonders on my hair so too has been great for Khethiwe's hair.  For more info you can check them out here

This spray by Dark and Lovely (Beautiful Beginnings range) has been really awesome for Khethiwe's hair. It gives it the necessary lift it needs every morning while also keeping it soft. It's really great for providing that daily moisture and it really is 'ouchless' :-)

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Natural Hair in 'An African City'

Last month I talked about needing some inspiration to keep me going with my natural hair, well I found some more inspiration...
I Don't how I missed this show all along, but I recently found out about a series called An African City. It's a series that first came out in 2014 and was created by a woman named Nicole Amarteifio. She based the series on her experience of returning home to Ghana after living abroad for many years. It's a television and web series following the lives of five single young women who like Nicole, resettle in Accra after living overseas for most of their lives. 

When I read what the series was about, I could immediately relate with being 'home' but sometimes not feeling like a full part of this home and feeling a bit lost after living in another country for many years. The show gets compared to 'Sex in the City' regularly in the media, but other than the beautiful African fashion and single girlfriends dating and looking for love, I actually think it can stand on it's own, as a uniquely African story. 

Natural hair is a recurring theme in the series as some of women talk about their experiences...comments about when they will finally relax and 'neaten' their hair or, walking into a hair salon and being told they can't work with 'that' kind of hair. Of course I loved that they touched on these issues and again, I could relate.

The cast
Marie Humbert (back left), Maame Adjei (front left), MaameYaa Boafo (middle), Nana Mensah (back right) , Esosa E (front right)

Below are  simple looks I enjoy from some of the cast members of 
An African City:

Maame Yaa Boafo

Afro twist out

simple and cute tucked in 3 strand plaits

the head wrap

wash n' go afro

Maame Adjei

twist out up do with bangs

another version of the head wrap

Afro twist out

Esosa E

If I had locs I would totally rock this top bun

or just let it down

or play around and create this look

You can catch season 1 on YouTube and season 2 is currently showing on channel 165 (SA).

Who are some of the women in the media who inspire your look?

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hang in there...

I'm seeing more and more natural sisters walking the streets everyday, it makes me happy and I always wonder what their hair journeys have been like. What I love most is the inspiring looks they all rock.
We've come a long way as black women. It's been a long journey of discovery, understanding, patience, pain (literally) and love.

I've had many conversations with friends trying the natural hair thing and wanting to 'throw in the towel' when it gets tough...because it REALLY does get tough, especially in the beginning. 

What I came to realise as I went along is that just like with any new challenge, like a new job, a new routine or any new task, it can feel crazy in the beginning and sometimes you wonder if it was the right choice, but as you push along things start to come together and you get into a rhythm.

That's what happened with me and my hair, I now know what works for me and what doesn't. As I get the hang of things I get more daring and thus more creative. 
Here are some looks you may have seen on my FB and Instagram page:-)

I saw this style on a TV show and tried my own version

I had previously tried it as a 2 strand flat twist but I now prefer the 3 strand plait above (first pic)

I can never do without my 'Afro'

Then I played around a bit with an old style and ended up with this interesting look  

and on some days I just keep it very simple with a single french plait

and then I play around a bit more...

sometimes I need a break (normally on wash-day) and I just wrap my hair

or I get a bit 'playful'

or I just go back to my comfortable classic look...this is my 'when-in-doubt' look.

I continue to see many inspiring looks everyday and try them out in my own way, but when I started I could hardly do any of them. 
Hang in there!!! 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Products in 2016

I used to be a hair product 'junkie' who tried pretty much anything that came out which I felt would work for my hair texture. I had already been natural for a number of years when more and more products specifically geared toward 'natural' hair began to come out. I tried everything from dark n lovely, Soft n free to Jabu Stone products.

 But over the years I've gotten a bit more fussy as to what I put in my hair, as I've gotten older I've become a lot more conscious of the things I put on and in my body. I started reading labels more and ditched products with too many long and complicated ingredients and went for the more simpler products with mainly 'Aqua' and more natural ingredients.

                      Hask Argan Oil Hair Range

I recently decided to try the Hask Argan Oil hair range after hearing good things about it and I just love this shampoo and conditioner duo. My hair felt well washed but not dry after I used the shampoo. The conditioner helped keep it soft. I was also attracted to the name because Argan Oil (which is also referred to as 'Liquid gold') is rich in nutrients, provides hair strength and aids growth. 

And this little (looks big in this pic but it really is tiny) bottle of oil works wonders in reducing hair frizz, plus it gives a great shine while adding some nourishment to the hair. I just loved how my hair felt after using this maybe buy it in bulk, oh and it smells wonderful. 
I bought the Hask Argan Oil range from clicks so it was easy to find and very affordable.

Hairtural Natural Hair Products

This Hairtural Conditioner is still my favourite conditioner. I still love the fact that it's fragrant free and light and yet very effective in leaving my hair feeling soft and nourished. 

My 'product of the moment' is still the Hairtural Sealer (seen below)

I am still really enjoying this product, like I mentioned last time in my post (which you can view here)
it's a really 'yummy' product and gives my twist-out curls great definition.
To purchase the Hairtural range visit here:

 Hair and Body Oils

some of the oils used in my oil mixture

Nothing has changed with the use of my hair and body oil mixture, it's still a very big feature in my overall hair routine. My oil mix consists of the following oils: Argan Oil, Glycerin, Castor Oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil and I recently added some Grapefruit essential Oil for a bit of a light fragrance. As you can see from the pic, I got most oils from Dis-chem, some from wellness warehouse and finally you can get the jojoba oil from any Rain Africa shop.

once the oils are mixed I keep them in the above bottle  

Coconut Oil

I still use my coconut oil very regularly (about 3 to 4 times a week) to keep my scalp feed and moisturised, and I still feel that this oils gives my hair the best shine & glow.

water and oil mix

I spritz my hair every night with water (which I boil and pour into the above bottle once cool) mixed with a few drops of my oil mixture. After the light spritz I cover my head with a satin or silk scarf just before bed.

new products to try out

I bought these products to try out so I'll let you know how they are once I've tried them. Let me know if you've used them and how they were for your hair...and also please share any other hair products you enjoy:-)

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