Friday, 26 June 2015

My first weeks as Newly Natural!!!


It has been about three  months post my Big chop (on 14th March) at about 16months post relaxer.

I have been so silent trying to take it all in,trying to understand my new mane.


First thing first! I am definitely in love with my tresses. Some hair journey processes have been simplified big time! Detangling for instance, has become such a breeze! As long as its wet and saturated with conditioner or shampoo my Wide toothed comb just glides through. It literally takes less than 20 minutes to detangle my entire head in about 6 sections.
Detangling my hair was a real struggle while i was transitioning.


I have gone through emotions though and I have to admit that it has not been all rosy. Patience is one thing i have had to learn.

At times my Dear. Hubby goes like "your hair..are you going to straighten it for church tomorrow or something? "It takes a while for them to understand the whole reason behind it!

There are times I have  felt like going back to the relaxing but at such times Joanne has always been my voice of reason. Reminding me why I went natural in the first place! I think new naturals all need such a person to hold their hand!Thanks Sis..


Initially I was trying to make my hair as sleek as possible for the office and that was where I went wrong. I was getting so frustrated. I was meant to understand Natural hair acts nothing like relaxed hair therefore they should never be treated alike. So, I embraced the fact that my natural hair does not lie flat neither will I try to do my hair each morning before leaving the house. It is  just how it is.

I have learnt that less manipulation will always make life easier for anyone with natural hair and its exactly where I am at right now. I am wearing a high puff right now and chunky twists have become my signature style for the past several weeks. I wash, condition and style on Sunday evenings and wear the same hairstyle for 1-2weeks before re-doing/re-thinking.


There's so much to say...postpartum shedding,losing my hairline while breastfeeding,trying out regimens that will work for my life style and just going through all this new HHJ!(Healthy Hair Journey!)

I am very excited to share this journey with you and hope that you will drop by for the upcoming posts.

Have you just started your natural hair journey? what challenges are you facing with your hair? I would really love to hear from you.

Stay blessed!
Evelyn

No Excuses! Grow your hair healthy!



You might be wondering why I chose to name this challenge No Excuses! I am growing my hair healthy. Well I did this with a very good reason. Many African women I have had a chance to talk to always have a list of reasons why they cannot grow their hair healthy. The most common reason I get is this "You know you have that good hair mine is the steel wool  type" Steel wool here is the term used for 4C hair in Kenya/ Africa. We give up before we even try.


I started my hair journey in February 2010 with relaxed hair. My hair had always been shoulder length for as long as I can remember. I actually thought that shoulder length was the longest my hair could ever grow! After starting to take better care of my hair I noticed that it became healthier, thicker and longer. Did my genes suddenly change? NO! they were still the same but my hair care practices changed and this is what made the difference. If I had not changed the way I was doing things I probably would still have dry, damaged shoulder length hair.
I believe that all hair is beautiful! whether it has defined curls or coils or whether the curls are non-existent. There are so many women who have managed to grow their healthy and long regardless of their hair type and so can you if you get rid of those negative thoughts in your mind. God created all hair beautiful embrace yours just as it is and work towards making it reach it´s full potential. You will never know what your hair is capable of if you don´t sincerely give it a try
This challenge is geared to help you learn the basics of hair care regardless of whether your hair is relaxed or natural. learning the right techniques will ensure that you get the healthy hair that you have always wanted. To join please Click Here and be a part of this great movement.

Stay blessed!
Gahl Team



Tuesday, 9 June 2015

God and Me Monday: Lord where are you?


Lord where are You? There are just those times in life where we ask ourselves where God is because situations seem too unbearable for us.
I am talking about those moments when everything you have worked hard for just falls apart and you don't know what to do and where to start. Those moments when you have lost a loved one and your heart is broken and full of pain. Those moments when you check your bank account balance and there is nothing in there to pay your bills. Those moments when you fail an important exam that was actually supposed to determine your future. 
Those moments when the person you had planned to spend the rest of your life with suddenly decides you were not meant for each other and you have to nurse your broken heart. 
Those moments  when you just want to give up because you feel worthless and nobody cares. 
Those moments when you are depressed and you feel that life is just not worth living and no one seems to understand.

So where is God when all these things happen? The truth is that He is right there with you and He understands. 

He says in His word that when you draw near to Him He will draw near to you. And our God is so full of love and mercy and His will is not to see us suffer. But we have to let Him take the front seat in our lives and accept His grace. Seek Him with your whole heart and you will find Him.
Lord here I am now, I want to know your heart therefore I give my life to you and I ask you to take the wheel of my life. Lord re establish your original plan and purpose for my life in Jesus Name I pray AMEN!

Scripture Reference 
James 4:8
Jer 29: 11-13

Stay blessed
Joanne.

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. 


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