Friday, 13 January 2017

My healthy hair journey 2016 update!

Happy 2017!!!!

I had taken a break from blogging and now I am back with a detailed update of my healthy hair journey in 2016.

A hair journey can be a challenging task but just like any other journey in life, there is a fulfilment when goals are reached. However, most of us in healthy hair journeys focus so much on length retention that we actually forget to have fun with our hair and just enjoy it. So in 2016 I decided that I was still going to chase length but at the same time I was gong to have fun while at it. This was a good decision because in the process of trying out new things I ended up learning more about what my hair actually needs, what works for it and what doesn’t. Below are some of the hairstyles I tried out in 2016

My hair care routine for 2016 was also very simple and entailed:

  1. Pre shampoo treatment (tropical coconut oil brand Alison)  
  2. Shampoo once a week (herbal essences hello hydration shampoo I recently incorporated African black soap to my routine).
  3. Condition with a moisturizing conditioner once a week and a protein based (has hydrolyzed proteins) conditioner once a months (I am yet to settle on any particular brands). I do not use any deep conditioners.
  4. Stretch hair using twists and bantu knots(Check tutorial on my YouTube channel)
  5. Moisturize and seal with an oil or butter every other day.
  6. Wear one hairstyle per week to reduce manipulation.
  7. Always wear a scarf to bed.

    When it comes to retaining length and maintaining the ends of my hair, protective styling comes in handy. If you are reading this and you have always thought that hair had to be braided or in a weave to be protected I hope to convince you otherwise. A protective hairstyle is any hairstyle that keeps your ends off your clothes and ideally hidden to avoid damage. Buns are a great way to protect your hair and still have access to it at all times. To protect my hairline I create a loose pompadour or loose mini buns at the front to reduce the pressure applied on my hairline.

    braid out pompadour

     braids are the most common protective hairstyle in Kenya and in Africa as a whole. They are also one of the main causes for hair damage and more so hairline damage. The last time I had braids done was about a year ago and I loved the braids. But unfortunately I suffered so much damage that I promised myself that I wont ever braid my hair again.

    Mini twists are a life saver for those weeks when the last thing on my mind is my hair, they are not only versatile but also easy to wash and care for.

    All buns and no afro makes me a dull girl so 2016 was also full of afros and some variation of the afro, remember my goal was to have fun but not damage my hair at the same time. to achieve this I made sure that these kinds of hairstyles would only last upto three days to avoid knots and tangles. 

    I like to stretch my hair out because my curls are so tight which makes tangling and knotting very easy and my go to ways of stretching is either blow drying on cool to medium air using the tension method or using bantu knots. Please check for the link below for a tutorial on this method.

 Thank you for reading,

YouTube tutorials I shared in 2016

Hair care routine:
Stretching hair without heat:
How to wash and care for braids:
How to undo braids without breakage:

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

How to Remove Braids easily and without breakage! natural hair.

This post is long overdue since I actually have had my braids undone for about three weeks now. Thank you so much for your patience. Please click on the video to watch how I undo my braids.
After unravelling the braids I rocked a wash and go for a week and then I decided to go back to stretching my hair so as to avoid knots and tangles.

wash and go on natural type 4 hair
Undoing braids correctly is a very important step if you are trying to grow your hair out because this is when the most damage occurs. In my latest YouTube video I share with you how I undo mine without causing unnecessary breakage.

Bun on stretched natural hair
Stretching my hair brought to my attention that I had actually suffered breakage from the braids. I am not exactly sure what caused the breakage but I can bet on two things. The first one is that the stylist detangled and blow dried my hair with a lot of heat, I probably lost a lot of hair during the blow drying and detangling session than I noticed. 

The second thing that might have caused the breakage is the fact that braid extensions are too heavy for the hair. I literally weighed myself before taking down the braids and after and there was a difference of about 700g. That is a lot of weight on the hair strands and since the braids were in for 7 weeks it might have caused some breakage too. 

I am not going to be braiding my hair anytime soon because my aim is to retain as much length as possible. My protecttive style of choice will be buns and two strand twists. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

How to reduce Knots in type 4 natural hair

I ended my long-term transition to natural at 17 months post relaxer; this was back in June 2014. I would be lying if I said that it was a challenge to deal with my natural hair immediately because it was not. My biggest challenge was Knots and tangles! I had these bad guys literally everywhere! There were hundreds of them all over my hair and it was just frustrating. Seeing that this was an issue for me I shared a post explaining my ordeal with knots and you ladies were so awesome in giving me tips which really helped me to reduce those knots. With the tips I got as well as my own research and experiences I managed to reduce the knots by 90%. 

1. Wash and go´s
Before going natural I always dreamt of wearing a wash and go and of course after going natural this was the first hairstyle I tried out and truly loved, however I came to realise that with this hairstyle my hair also developed countless knots. Due to the serious shrinkage that occurs as the hair dries up, kinky hair tends to curl up in itself and loop around itself causing knots.
 I decided to avoid this hairstyle until recently when I discovered that a wash and go could be kept knot and tangle free by doing conditioner washes every other day and properly detangling the hair. The only problem with this is that the process is time consuming and because of this I will continue to avoid wash and go´s.

2. Split ends.
Stubborn knots should be cut with a pair of scissors and not pulled out or snapped at simply because this will lead to split ends. I had to learn this the hard way.

3. Detangling, moisturizing and sealing
Moisturized hair keeps the hair soft and manageable which makes it easier to detangle. Detangled hair is less like to knot.

4. Stretching natural hair.
Keeping natural hair stretched will keep knots away and will definitely help with length retention because you will not need to trim your hair often. There are several ways to get stretched hair which include, twisting, African threading, braid outs, all sorts of rod sets and blow drying. My technique of choice is twisting. After washing and conditioning my hair I keep my hair in twists and eventually moisturize, seal in the moisture with an oil then I proceed to finger detangle my hair carefully smoothing it out and stretching out the curls with my finger. If you would like a video tutorial on this technique please leave a comment below.

5. Sectioning hair.
I don’t always section my hair but I know that working in smaller sections make detangling much easier than working with a huge section at once.

6. Combing
Combing or finger detangling your hair from the roots towards the ends is a sure way of creating tangles and knots. Avoid this at all costs.

7. Protective styling and low manipulation
Protective styles that keep your hair stretched are a great way to avoid knots and tangles. Braids and cornrows are great for this but you need to make sure that they are done correctly and not too tight. 


Sunday, 24 January 2016

My Salon experience: Umoja market Nairobi

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen that my hair is in a protective hairstyle. I got box braids done at the Umoja market in Nairobi about a week and a half ago. 

Umoja market is a market that mainly deals with hair. There are lots of stalls which only do hair and they are known for working very fast. If you have not been to this market or to Kenyatta market then you need one major pointer! Find a number of a stylist from someone who has been there before. This will spare you a lot of trouble because the ladies who do hair walk as far as the bus stop to try and convince potential customers to have their hair done at their stalls. It can be really annoying because those ladies don't leave one alone easily.
Before getting my braids I conditioned my hair with the Zoe white conditioner and applied coconut oil afterwards. A review on the Zoe white conditioner coming soon on the blog). I went to the salon to stretch out my hair and to me it looked stretched enough to braid. But when I got to the Salon the lady said it had to be straightened otherwise it would be too painful for me. I agreed to have it straightened. The lady who was assigned to blow out my hair picked up the blow dryer and was about to start blow drying my hair without even detangling it first! I was shocked! So I spoke up and told her that if she did that she would just break my hair.(I know we hair journey people are very sensitive when it comes to our hair.) she seemed like she really had no idea what to do with my hair . She went on ahead and got her boss who took her time to detangle my hair in sections and then blow out my hair. Her boss complimented my hair a lot and asked me to go back sometime for a straw set. She also wanted to know how I managed my natural hair without plaiting or braiding. Up to that point my hair has not been braided in more than one year.

I talked hair with the stylist until she was done blow drying to distract myself from all that heat going into my hair! I honestly even prayed against heat damage I believe that I can ask God for everything 
After that torture it was time to get braided up. I am quite conservative and never really want to experiment with colours but when the stylist suggested I try the hair colour 1B/30 I was a bit sceptical but gave in. For me it was also important to get the lightest braids they had and in this case it was the xpression braids. I don't regret that decision because they are very light. Abuja hair which I used a year ago felt noticeably heavier on my head. Remember that synthetic hair is much heavier than our own hair, getting light synthetic hair will reduce unnecessary breakage.
I mentioned earlier on that the braiders at Umoja one market are very fast, this is because the braids are fixed by about three people at the same time and you might have about two people finish up the fixed braids. This is very fast but for someone who has their hair braided once a year it is painful because the scalp is more sensitive to stress.
The ladies did a great job though. I asked for medium sized braids and got exactly that. The hair they parted to do the braids was also proportional to the size of the braid which means that it can't be too heavy for my hair and end up pulling out my hair. It is so annoying when the braid weighs much more than the parted hair because it causes breakage.

I also realized that it was a good idea to have the hair straight prior to braiding because my hair blended in perfectly with the braiding hair. There were and still aren't any hairs sticking out. My only question is what it will look like after my first wash. If you have experience with braids and natural hair please comment below.
Within two hours the braids were done! One of the ladies took some thread and tied all the hair into a ponytail. This was so painful! As if that was not enough she had to put the hair into hot water which made it a thousand times heavier than normal and this made the pain unbearable. I tried to control myself but I couldn't so I undid the thread and let the hair loose. I decided to let the hair fall in the same direction they were braided and this really eased the pain. Making the braids fall into the opposite direction as the one they were done in to start with can cause too much stress on the hair follicles and pull them out prematurely causing bald spots in extreme cases. 
As long as there is discomfort while lifting up braids while styling, leave the braids alone let them fall in their natural direction until the hair grows out a little bit and the braids become looser. 
It is now almost two weeks with these braids and I still have them in their natural direction but as soon as they become looser I will experiment more with braid hairstyles (looking forward to this J
I know this post is long but I hope it has been informative to you. If you have any tips for braids please share below. 

Thanks for reading & stay blessed!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

How to highlight African Hair with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide.

It has been a few weeks now since I decided to experiment with my poor hair (once again) and add some colour/highlights to my dust brown short hair.

  This time, I decided to do it the backdoor style and went for the good old Baking soda and Hydrogen peroxide. (I know, poor hair)

   The first time I made this attempt didn't work as much as I’d expected but the second time was obviously more satisfying.
Neither the less, if you are up for risks and adventures to partake on your hair then I hope this video helps and feel free to share your results with us should you decide to highlight too.

Needless to say, all good and crazy deeds have consequences and though the colour of my hair has improved to my preference there are some things I would like you to be aware of first.

Pro: If you want a lighter permanent colour, then this could work for you. First application might not work as well if your hair is very dark so multiple applications are advised.

Con: You cannot control exactly what colour your hair will become. I got an Orange/reddish kind of colour and this was definitely not what I was going for. But I learned to live with it and like it.

Pro. It involves no harsh chemicals that might be harmful to your scalp or health, in fact, both of these ingredients are used as home remedies for multiple reasons, yes even for consumption.

Con: They both dry your hair and may cause damages and split ends if not used correctly. Actually, it is quite impossible to use them for hair and have absolutely no repercussions.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Day 1 Spending time with God challenge!

I know some of you have been really waiting for my posts on my 21 day spending time with God challenge. I am sorry that I haven’t been able to share until now.
I have to say that the challenge was not easy at the beginning but now I am really glad that I decided to do this. Day 1 was actually a turning point for me because after doing some praise and worship I asked God to show me His heart I took my Bible and I opened it with my eyes closed and I landed on Matthew 16:24
Matthew 16:24New Living Translation (NLT) 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
I was so convinced that that was not what God wanted me to read so once again I took my Bible and landed on  
Matthew 7: 21-23 New Living Translation (NLT) 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Those two Scriptures together were definitely God teaching me what true salvation is. Many of us have been to churches where were told to just pray the prayer of repentance and we would be saved. I personally believe that that is the first step but real salvation really comes when we really deny ourselves and let Jesus be the lord over our lives. This means that we let Jesus renew our minds and in doing so we become more like Him. This reminds me of the story of Jesus and the young rich man in Mark 10 this man had kept all Ten Commandments but still Jesus told him that he had to give up his entire possessions take up his cross and follow him; this man was not willing to do so and was not able to follow Jesus.
I learnt that I have to give God all of me at all times because He wants to be lord over my life and everything that concerns me. 

 Thanks for reading and God bless you

Thursday, 5 November 2015

God and me moments: Spending time with God!

This post is long overdue! thank you for being patient with me.
Spending time with God is very important for Christians who want to know God’s heart for them, their families, their friends and those around them. God loves us and He yearns for us to spend time with Him. 
In Genesis we learn that God created us in His own image so it shouldn’t come as a surprise why we need relationships with others. When we meet people we like to spend time getting to know them by actually talking to them and with time a relationship is built. We become sensitized to our friends’ likes and dislikes, we know when they are sad and happy, and we trust them with our innermost secrets and so on. In the same way God wants us to have a relationship with Him. James 4:8 says that if you draw near to God He will draw near to you and the best way to draw near to God is by spending time with Him. God wants to reveal Himself to you and He canonly do that if you become intimate with Him.
If you are reading this and you would like to start spending time with your father in heaven but you feel like you are so far away from Him then I encourage you to take this opportunity to run into the arms of love. God is love and He is your father. There is nothing that could ever separate you from the love of God and this is why he sacrificed His best, Jesus Christ to die for you and me on the cross. No matter what your life looks like God loves you and He is always there for you.
For the next 21 days I will challenge myself to spend at least one hour in the presence of God by praising and worshipping Him, praying and reading God’s word and you are more than welcome to join me.

Scripture Reference
James 4:8 (NKJV)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Thanks for reading & stay blessed!
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