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!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Short Afro Hair Challenges.

  If you watched enough YouTube videos about natural hair journeys, you probably know how psyched you get right after seeing the natural hair beautys looking good with curly hair and perfect twist outs.
     That being said, I have to admit that I have been having some issues with my hair ever since I  reached the "in between, in between stage".​ The what?? - Yes, the in between in between.
    This is a stage where your hair is not short enough to be a TWA* anymore , not medium enough to be in the real "in between ​stage" and  far from being "hairbandable"*
   The thing with stage is that, a lot of times, it costs  patience and nerves, so if you aren't there yet, let me alert you on some of the problems I have been having recently and probably some solutions too.
  1. Minimal style alternatives: Because with this kind of length there is just not much that can be done. Wash an Go's are perfect if you live in areas with the kind of humidity that favors you hair. Solution,Twist outs are also great if you have the time for it. If you don't have the above mentioned time and climate like I, protective styles like cornrows and braids can come in handy.
  2.  Desperate moments: I'm learning the hard way that it is actually wise to always have a nice quality wig somewhere nicely stored because now that it's obvious that this stage needs time and commitment, which maybe most people like me don't really have, there will be moments where desperation will then kick in. This will be pushed up a notch if braids and cornrows are your saviors but then you hair stylists cancels on you and you only have one day of the week off! (True story). Solution, Hair accessories could come in handy here  in the absence of a wig.
  3. Regrets: Remember how I mentioned that excitement and psyche you get after watching natural hair inspiration videos and pictures, so then you get all motivated and do the BC. Yeah, chances are, you just might actually have some moments of regrets here and there, especially if you have pictures of your previous hair around or cannot do that style you loved so much. Solution, Just remember the main reason why you BC, it might have been symbolic for something important in your life, new beginnings, fresh start e.t.c Take yourself back to that place and remember that it's hair and it will grow.
  4. Impatience: Hair has it's natural way of growth and in this stage, that might be too slow for you. Remember, it will grow at it's own pace. Solution, do is your part, eat right, get some sleep, work out, drink plenty of water because the inner body regime is just as important for hair growth.
  5. Revelation: After all is said done, it is at this stage that I feel most people really get to know just how ready they are to commit to a hair journey. As much as it is annoying, it can be a learning process to experiment on what works for you and what fits your personal lifestyle and character. Whatever decision made at this stage should be sorely personal because now you have had the revelation that everyones hair is different even if the texture matches. What you watch, read and see on social medias and blogs are mere ideas and guidelines but every journey is different and you should make yours one that works for just you and only you.

                                                               It's always a Pleasure,

*TWA= teeny weeny Afro
*Hairbandable= a word Joanne and I came up with for hair long enough to be tied with a hairband.​​

Monday, 7 September 2015

Kenyan hair blogger: Simple natural hair hairstyle for bad hair days.

Hi Gahl readers,

We all have those so called bad hair days where our hair just does not seem to behave. For those days it is important to have one hairstyle that always works in case of bad hair days. I decided to share my emergency hairstyle with you and actually did a hair tutorial to show you how I achieve it too.
The hairstyle is very easy and needs about five minutes to do and looks great! Here are the products you will need to achieve this look.

  1. An afro comb (optional)
  2. A styling cream or Gel check out my review on the enliven Gel.
  3. A hair tie
  4. Bobby pins (optional)
  5. A soft hair brush.

Watch the video for details. And do not forget to comment, like and please subscribe. 

Thanks for watching and stay blessed!


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cornrows hair care

Until a few weeks ago, the closest I came to plaiting my hair was eight simple cornrows that would either have a weave or wig on them. I watched a lot of YouTube channels and blogs about hair and even though I always thought I was keen and knew what I was doing, I dare say I was among those kind of people who thought "healthy hair journeys were overrated". Growing up in Kenya with black women all around, it was certainly paramount that we all shared information about how good or not good our hair were and of-course with the tangible difference in length and texture, there were a lot of hair tips and stories told and these I may say, were found to be very sacred for both the young and old.
     Being an absolute newbie to the whole natural hair journey situation, I am mesmerised at just how much difference  untampered natural hair can make and how most of the things we heard were true and some,well..just sadly false.
     For the second time, I've gotten Ghana/Abuja cornrows done. While the first ones lasted just 2 weeks, it certainly was an interesting time that gave yours truly some really tiny but eventful revelations about cornrows on short Afro hair that might be helpful to some NHJ beginners. Low and behold,5-things they told you can't do that you might actually want to and maybe should do with your TWA in cornrows.

  • No.1: You mustn't wash you hair while cornrowed.
Truth...You should and you must, not only is washing your cornrowed hair hygienic, it's actually healthy for your hair and scalp, also water works as moisturiser to your hair. Though you should reduce the use of harsh shampoos, you should always trust what your hair/scalp is communicating to you, so if you have an urging need to wash your cornrow then you probably should, no one likes smelly hair.
  •  No 2:Tightly done cornrows look and better and last longer:
Truth...If you have a sensitive hairline and stubborn "baby hairs" it is OK to leave them out of the hair to be braided equation. Not only does it cause you pain, it can cause hair loss and that will not look good.(I will need to note this next time)
  •  No.3: Braiding hair makes it grow faster. is actually proved that a person grows a certain length of hair per month. Although it is a protective style and protects your hair from harsh situations, braiding hair also stretches the Afro from its natural shrinkage making it look longer every time you take it out and comb your hair.
  • No.4: You should grease your hair and scalp.
Truth...Don't. Hair food, Vaseline, Milking Fat e.t.c does not look good on your scalp and it prevents your skin from breathing and could cause build up, especially if you do lie Number 1 and 4. Use light oils and wash your hair.

  • No.5:It is normal if it hurts.  
Truth...while your hair is being cornrowed there is obvious stress on the skin as it is being pulled and stretched but this should ease up with time. There is a difference between discomfort and pain and if it hurts,especially for days,you have the option to take them off or try a few pointers that helped my skin adjust to the the hairstyle which I will share on my next post.
Can't wait.

At the end of the day,coming from different African cultures and believes,there are thousands of myths and fact that have been hanging in our heads since forever and I have to admit that most of them are hilarious. All well and good, I would love to hear some of your cultures myths on Afro hair. #Cornrowedhaircares
Thanks for reading.

xoxo Zipporah

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