Tuesday, 12 May 2015

My Natural hair update! my first setback!!!








I have wanted to blog for such a Long time but unfortunately I just could not find time to do so.
In February I straightened my hair and was surprised at the length I had retained since starting my long term transition to natural hair. My hair shrinks up so much that my hair always looks very short but I love it all the same. I also love the versatility of natural hair. I have so many styling options and almost all of them look great. look at the hairstyles below the first one was just twists which I later decided to do bantu knots on. at first I thought it was a fail but I actually liked it a lot! The second one is a twist out which was done one wet hair.

twist bantu knot out

 
Twist out!
Twist Out!

I have a setback!!! My best go to hairstyle since I became fully natural has been the high puff. It is a great protective style for the ends but if overdone or done too tightly then the hair around the hairline begin to suffer because of the constant pulling. I had to learn this from experience. I would not say that my hairline is damaged but most of the hair especially on the sides is only a quarter of the length it used to be. So I am trying my best to do hairstyles that will not pull and damage my hairline. If you ladies have any suggestions I am all ears :)

Thanks for reading and God bless you
Joanne.


 

Monday, 6 April 2015

God and me Monday: Who is on your speed dial?


Happy Easter ladies!!! and the few gentlemen who check out our blog ;)
Easter is a time when we remember that Jesus the son of God, who had no sin whatsoever became sin and took our place on that cross. He gave His life on that cross to make up for what went wrong in the garden of Eden and because of this great sacrifice we have been saved! the greatest gift ever for everyone who believes in Jesus as the son of God who was crucified, died and rose again on the third day and sits on the right hand of the Father. He gave us the right to become children of God! As if that was not enough He sent us His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and He lives in us! he is with us all the time! That is just amazing.


Over the last couple of months I have been learning to depend on God and most of the time I have had to learn the hard way. I have been in situations where I urgently needed a shoulder to cry on or rather complain on, so naturally the first people I would run to would be my friends. But I have heard to learn that friends are only human you can put them on your speed dial but they are not always available. They have their own lives to live and their own issues and sometimes they just are not available! not because they don´t want to but because sometimes they just cannot be there for me. In moments like these I realized that I have another friend who is always there and only longs for me to bring everything to Him. A friend who has the perfect solutions to all issues I may have. Slowly but surely I have put God on my speed dial. I call upon Him anytime I feel like and that is just amazing because I find comfort in Him. He has become my best friend and I am looking forward to getting to know Him better everyday.  
Take a moment to review your on speed dial, who do you run to first?
God wants to be number one in every area of your life (Matt 6:33)

Scripture Reference.
John 16


Thanks for reading and stay blessed.

Joanne


Friday, 27 March 2015

Gahl Inspiration corner with Christine!!

October 2012


 Hi ladies, I am so excited about Gahl´s first Inspiration of 2015! I actually know Christine since we met in form one at St George´s girls secondary school in Nairobi :) I have been stalking her hair on facebook and I just loved her progress! Her hair is so healthy! I would like you to note that she has type 4C hair. Most ladies I have met with 4C hair literally have a phobia of wearing their hair natural. I hope this feature helps you to realise that whatever your hairtype it is BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you Christine for being an inspiration for us today!

1.       First of all I love your hair!! How long have you been natural?

Thank you J. It took a while to understand and appreciate it. I have been natural since December 2011.

December 2011



February 2013


2.       Were you relaxed at some point? If yes when and for how long?

Yes I was relaxed for as long as I can remember, primary school maybe? I don’t remember the year but clearly too long haha.


3.       What made you go natural? How did you go about it?

It was a barrage of things but let me give you some background. When I moved to the States back in 2007 the change in climate, food, everything wreaked havoc on my body! I broke out like crazy, skin was perpetually dry, my hair was thinning and shedding like mad. I believe my body was rebelling against me. I figured if this went on without making some changes I would end up looking like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. So I started eating healthier, changed my hair products to natural ones where I could and even changed my hair practices like incorporating moisturizing and sealing. Oh! I also went for long periods without relaxing. My hair thrived! It got close to bra strap length and then…I decided to relax it…myself. I did NOT want to spend $120 for someone to do my hair. I had done it before but I think that day I was lazy with no energy and I did a sloppy job. A LOT of hair at the back of head and some other odd points fell out I kid you not from over processing. I couldn’t believe what I had done! It was at that point that I decided once I grew out my hair a bit more I would never relax my hair ever again. I was traumatized haha! I started doing research on natural hair and was so amazed by it all. I wanted big ass hair, and besides, it looked really unique.

I initially tried to transition but after three months I could not handle the two textures so I made the appointment to cut all my hair off. I went with my best friend and up until that point I was super excited…until it was all chopped off, and it shrunk, and I panicked HAHA. I thought I had made the biggest mistake ever! After a couple of weeks it grew on me but honestly I tried to mask the slightly low esteem with makeup, jewellery, you know, to draw attention away from my hair. Thing is SO many people loved it, except me. I guess I thought my hair would look one way but it turned out another.

5.       Is your natural hair much easier to deal with than when it was relaxed? What differences have you noted.

In terms of time my natural hair takes SO much more than when it was relaxed. The detangling, sectioning into twists before shampooing, removing and redoing each twist for conditioning, air drying then moisturizing and styling wololos. At least as the years have gone by I have gone from an all-day hair day (since I didn’t know what I was doing) to about 3 hours. That may seem like a lot of time but it is not continuous. Some of that time involves me resting and watching TV.


6.       Do you have a regular hair care routine? Please tell us more about that.

I wash my hair every weekend and that involves shampooing, conditioning (I rarely deep condition anymore) and then moisturizing/styling. During the week I will moisturize my hair once more. Also I like to steam my hair in the mornings as I shower for about a minute to add some moisture.


7.       How do you style your hair?

After cleaning hair that initial styling involves braiding hair for braid outs or hanging bantu knots. After those have worn out I will wear my hair in a super loose puff until the next time I moisturize or even next wash day. I have tried intricate styles before but my hair is so fine I felt like they were doing more harm than good. For instance, I tried pin and tuck styles and the matting of my ends when taking the style down??!?!?! Nope. 
Add caption


8.       Where do you get your hair products? Which one is your favorite and why?

I have tried sooo many products so I can just tell you what I have been using lately. I use the shampoo and conditioner from the Thank God I’m Natural online store and they soften the hair so well.
I dampen hair with rose water (plain water wasn’t cutting it for me and I gave up on leave ins) and then use a shea butter mix that I concocted and love. The mix has shea butter, safflower oil and aloe vera gelly (not the gel) and also softens the hair well J.


9.       Do you have any hair goals for this year?

I don’t want it to break off haha. I have been getting lazy and my ends are starting to suffer. You know when you separate your hair and the ends stick together? Yeah..shame on me.

10.   Does your natural hair fit well with your professional life?

Yes it does. Sometimes it feels like my coworkers are more vested in my hair than I am. Oh the stories I can tell of people coming and touching my hair without asking, even in the bathrooms by people who work in other offices. *cringe*


11.   Do you get regular trims? Yes/No and why?

I TRY to trim my own hair with the change in seasons. I do it myself because I am not about to pay $100+ just to trim.



12.   Have you faced any negativity towards your natural hair at any point of your hair journey?

In the beginning, yes, from some family members. Making fun of how I “looked like a crazy person” because it was “unkempt”. I will admit that sometimes it did but in my defense I really did not know what I was doing, and with super short hair there are limited styling options. But now? As my hair has grown those same peeps just love it. *side eye*


13.   Do you know your hair type? (How would you describe your curls? Are they uniform or would you say you had different textures all over your head?)and how does that affect how you style your hair?

I am a 4c and the front of my head is a bit looser but I still consider it 4c. I do need to make sure it’s properly moisturized because the coils are so tight that sebum can barely reach the ends of the strands. 
November 2013



14.   Do you think the curl pattern determines how fast hair grows or what kind of styles can be done on the hair? What hairstyles do not work with your curl pattern?

Growth is a genetic thing, has nothing to do with curl pattern. Ofcourse looser curls will “seem” like they are growing longer in comparison to tighter coils but that’s in the same manner as your hair looking longer when you straighten hair. Make sense? Lol.

November 2014 wash and Go! I find the shrinkage amazing!
I definitely do not do wash and go’s, I have tried and my hair shrunk up so much that trying to stretch it out was a disaster.


15.   What advice would you give the newbie naturals about being natural and going
natural?

Despite the taking more time and the learning curve, I LOVE my natural hair, and I wish I had gone natural eons ago. It feels like me. There is A LOT of information out there about natural hair care and you may have to try out a lot of it to find what works.
December 2014

 6.   What do you think makes up a perfect healthy hair care journey?

I don’t think there is a perfect one, it can always change. As long as you properly moisturize your hair and take care of it without it consuming your life you are good!







 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

How to retain length and maintain healthy african hair.

How do you retain length? I get this question a lot but sometimes I realize that some ladies get disappointment at my answers because they expect some miracle working product. For me there is no miracle product, no miracle oils, pills or anything of the sort. Healthy hair is possible for everyone and with the right hair practices everyone can achieve healthy hair and healthy hair looks good no matter what length it is. If you are just starting your hair journey, then i encourage you to focus on health first and when you are happy with the health of the hair then start focusing on length retention. below are a few tips that have really helped me to keep my hair healthy and to retain length.
Protective style- high bun on flat ironed hair :)
  1. Water your hair- Contrary to what we have grown up hearing and believing, water does not damage your hair it is actually very good for it because your hair needs moisture to thrive. Our hair is naturally dry and hair that is dry will break. You add water to your hair by either washing it or moisturizing it using a water based moisturizer. To add moisture to my hair I wash it once a week add a moisturizer(water) then seal in the moisture with an oil(Coconut oil) and then a butter(Raw Shea butter)
  2. Be Gentle- Your hair is not as tough as you think. it just looks tough but african hair is actually the most fragile of all hair types. It helps to do your hair only when you have time. never start doing your hair when you have a commitment a few hours later. take your time to do your hair in small sections. The less breakage you have the more length you retain.
  3. Low Manipulation- Did you know that you do not have to comb your hair everyday even if it is open? yes you can. This is one of my most important tips when it comes to retaining length and getting healthy hair altogether but it takes practice. Find ways to leave your hair alone. Like i said earlier I wash my hair once a week and on these wash days i already decide what hairstyle i will wear for the whole week. I then don´t mess around with my hair for the whole time, I just make sure that my edges look good and that is it. Depending on how you like to style your hair protective styling may be a better solution to low manipulation.
  4. Protective styles- These are hairstyles that keep your hair hidden, these include braids, weaves, wigs, cornrows e.t.c you just need to be careful that these are not done too tight. and most importantly never forget to moisturize your hair even when they are in a protective style. I usually moisten (Not wet) my braids twice a week with water and then I apply oil onto them to keep them moisturised. Remember dry hair breaks.
  5. Patience- It takes time to grow hair, take your time to find out what your hair likes this will really help you to know what it needs. I for instance had to learn that wash and goes look great on my hair but the tangles I get from rocking a wash and go are something else. So i hardly do wash and go´s. a hair journey is a learning process. please do not give up or give excuses. I have heard so many women say "well you know you have that good hair" for me there is no such thing. all hair is beautiful it is just different.
  6. Avoid Comparisons-  Just like you are unique, your hair is also very unique to you. I have been looking all over you tube to find someone who has hair like mine or a hair twin as the hair bloggers call them, but most of the time there are similarities but i haven´t found an identical twin. What i am trying to say is accept your own hair as it is, love it, nurture it and you will be surprised.
  7. A Hair care routine does not need to be too complicated- I know how overwhelming it can be at first. don´t be carried away to buy a million products just because you saw someone else use them and get great results.There are so many good products in the market you just need to know how to pick them out. 
  8. Lastly pray to God to give you the kind of hair you want and guide you in your hair decisions. I pray about everything in my life, so why not my hair ;)
Relaxed ladies: While I was still relaxed my hair needed both moisture and protein. so I mixed a moisture and protein conditioner every week for my washes. Relaxed hair has been chemically altered and it needs more conditioning than natural hair.
If you would like a post on a sample hair care routine for relaxed/ texlaxed hair please comment below.
Natural Ladies: Unless your natural hair has been damaged by heat or color you will need less protein and a lot more moisture. A post on my current natural hair regimen is coming soon :)
Transitioning Ladies: I have already shared my tips on transitioning here My tips on transitioning to natural
I gathered all those tips from experience all through my transition.

There is still more to share but I don´t want this post to be too long. So the rest is carried forward. If you have any questions or if there is an issue you are having with your own hair please comment below and I will address it.

Thanks for reading and God bless you!
Joanne. 


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Natural hair update! 2 years post relaxer

On the 31st of January was 2 years since my last relaxer. In hair blogger language I am 24 months post relaxer!!! hurrah!!! it seems like only yesterday that I announced to you that I was transitioning to natural hair. If you missed on that you can read about it here My transition announcement 
Two years down the line I am fully natural and loving it. I love my relaxed hair and I love my natural hair too. Contrary to many women who feel that going natural brought them a feeling of liberation, mine did not I am the exact same person I was when I was relaxed. To me Afro hair is beautiful no matter how you choose to wear it as long as you keep it healthy. Your hair your choice!
My hair before washing and conditioning
My hair blown out/ blow dried
Hair blown out. I was so tired already but the hair looked good!!!

 
I decided to straighten my hair just to see what it looked like straight and in the process I learned yet another lesson. While my hair was still relaxed it was much easier to get  straight. Natural hair needs a lot more time!! It took me a total of 5 hours to wash, condition, blow out/dry, flat iron and trim my hair I was so exhausted afterwards that I could not even take pictures. Too bad because my hair reverted a little bit during the night. My hair desperately needs a good trim but all in all I am very happy with it´s overall condition. I love the thickness and  have enough hair to play around with. I love having hair to play around with and that is why I settled for a long term transition instead of a big chop. I ended up chopping off the rest of my relaxed/ texlaxed ends at 17 Months post relaxer you can read about that here just in case you missed out on that Long term transition update!
Flat ironed hair at 2 years post relaxer
 
flat ironed hair at 2 years post relaxer
The journey has had it´s ups and downs and I am really grateful to God for giving me the strength and patience to get to know my hair and learn to care for it. I am still learning though because this hair is just full of surprises. I have three different curl patterns on my head and I am still learning how to care for each because they behave very differently.
I have finally found a hair care routine that works well for my hair. If you would like a blog post on my latest hair care routine, please comment below.   
My goal for this year is to get to mid back length when my hair is stretched/ straight. This means that I will be on a very strict hair routine until I achieve my goal :)
What is your goal length for this year? 

Thanks for reading and God bless you!
Joanne

God and me Monday: A heart of gratitude

This week as I sat in the waiting room of a doctor´s office, I needed to kill time as I waited for my turn to come. So I opened my handbag and found my notebook and a pen. I decided to start writing down all the things I was grateful to God for. I was just writing down the seventh sentence when I got called in to see the doctor.
Later on at night as I was having my quiet time with God, I suddenly heard a voice within me saying that I needed to appreciate the people in my life by showing them gratitude just as I had shown gratitude to the Lord in that Doctor´s office. It was suddenly clear to me that my relationship with others depended on my relationship with God. The more I Loved God the more I would love others, the more I was thankful to God the more I would be thankful to others.
Take some time to say thank you to the people who have been a blessing to you. My pastor always tells us not to wait until people die in order to start eulogizing how grateful we are for them. And this makes sense to me now more than ever. Do it NOW! Tell somebody THANK YOU!
On that note I would like to thank you for supporting our blog, being our facebook fans and website members. Thank you for all your input. we really appreciate you and pray that God will continue to bless you abundantly.

God bless you and thanks for reading,
Joanne

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Natural hair update!

For the past two weeks my hair has literally survived on water. I have been so busy that the last thing on my mind was washing my hair. I have come up with an emergency routine for such days when I really don't have the time and patience to deal with my hair.
my hair loves water and it does a great job defining my curls so moisturising my hair by spraying water or a leave in on it is my number one rule.
Rule number two is applying oil or butter to the hair without parting the hair into sections. I mainly focus on the ends. Since it is very cold where I live thick butters such as Shea butter do a great job keeping my hair moisturised.
Rule number three is keeping in one hairstyle for at least a week to avoid to much manipulation.

And now for my biggest life saver! Alcohol free hair gel. I use gel to keep my edges down and further define my curls without having to comb my hair. This keeps manipulation at a minimum.

I have been wearing my hair in a side puff most of the time.

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