Tag Archives: Hairstyle

Happy New Year

17 Jan

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I know it’s late but happy new year to you!  I’ve had a great break and managed to spend quality time with family as well as with the new baby.  Thank you all for the well wishes.  He is fine and growing fast.

It’s now the 3rd anniversary of the blog.  I am amazed at how fast time has flown by.  Thank you for reading the blog.  I have many exciting posts (and things) lined up for this year.  I am looking forward to it and I hope you will keep reading the blog.

As for my hair, I had my last relaxer more than a year ago.  I choose not to relax my hair while pregnant.  I’ve managed to go so long between relaxers by doing protective styles (braids and cornrows).  When my hair is not in a protective style I do something really simple e.g. a bun.  I’ve been wary of post partum shedding.  I’ve been looking out for it.  It hasn’t started yet (thank goodness).  I do plan on relaxing my hair again, I’m just not sure when I will do it.

At the beginning of the year my hair goals for 2013 were to grow my hair to MBL (mid back length) as well as to practice more protective styling.  I really do not think my hair is mid back length yet.  I will know for sure when I relax again. I’m pretty sure it is full BSL (bra strap length) though.  As for protective styling, I definitely managed that with all the cornrows and braids I got last year.

I’m now back to regular blogging.  Please keep reading 🙂


Hair update – 28 weeks post relaxer

4 Jun


I’m now back in cornrows again.  I kept the last ones for two weeks and then took a two week break before getting cornrows again.  I had planned to go just one week in between but ended up going two.

I did a pre shampoo treatment with a mix of coconut and Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) the night before I got the cornrows.  In the morning I washed my hair and deep conditioned it.  I then tied a scarf over the plastic cap and went to the salon with the conditioner in my hair so all they had to do was rinse and blow dry.  There was a bit of drama when I had the cornrows done.  I initially went to a salon close to home.  After asking the girl who was doing my hair to start over twice because she hadn’t understood the style I wanted, I eventually gave up when I realised that the lines weren’t straight and the cornrows were just plain ugly!  After about eight lines I asked her to stop and undo my hair and I left.  I went back to the salon and the stylist who did my last cornrows.  I’ve learnt my lesson!

I’m now 28 weeks post relaxer.  I have lots of growth and I’m dealing with all sorts of textures on my head.  I’m being extra careful with my hair because I know that if I’m not vigilant my hair can begin to break, especially where the new growth meets the relaxed hair.

My plan is to have these cornrows for two weeks, go for one week with my hair out and then get braids or twists to see me through winter.

I will spray the hair with braid spray and apply my coconut / castor oil mix lightly to the scalp daily.


Hairstyle vs hair care

24 May

a gorgeous hairstyle

One of the most important things to understand when it comes to hair is the difference between a hair style and hair care.  Our hair needs a certain level of care for it to be healthy, a great hairstyle is a bonus.  A hairstyle is all about the way that hair is cut or ‘arranged’.  This arrangement can also be achieved with additions like braids and weaves.  Hair care on the other hand refers to the actual care of the hair in a bid to keep or make it healthy.

Many women think that by going to a salon once a month and changing their hair style they are taking care of their hair.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  A monthly salon visit alone is not enough.  Hair needs to be taken care of between those visits.  Hair needs regular moisturising for it to be healthy – unfortunately occasional visits to the salon will not give it this.  In my opinion, hair care ranks higher than hair styling!  If a style interferes with your ability to take care of your hair properly then rather don’t do it.  Hair that is in great condition not only looks great but is also able to hold a style for longer.

It is best to rely on salons for hair styling but to rely on yourself for the hair care.  Make sure you wash and deep condition as well as moisturise your hair regularly at home.  Use salons mainly for getting hairstyles that you cannot do yourself at home.  For a salon to adequately take care of your hair care needs, you would need to visit it almost every day.

My parting shot to you is this – next time you walk out of a salon with your style looking fantastic, ask yourself if your hair care is also up to scratch!


Style tutorial – perm rod set on braids

10 May

Thought I would share pics of my daughter’s braids when they have been set with perm rods.  I do this not only because it looks great, but also to shorten the length of her braids since they are always long because her hair is long.  I just feel braids that are too long do not look appropriate on a young girl.DSC_0101

All you need to do this are some perm rods, a small bucket / container and hot water.  Perm rods come in several sized.  I bought average sized ones for mid-size curls.  You can use any type of roller really, anything round will do.  If you use ordinary rollers you can hold them in place with bobby pins.  You can even use drinking straws to create tiny spirals.  Large rollers will create waves, these look great on thinner braids.

perm rod set

I always begin with clean, freshly washed hair.  I place the perm rods just on the ends of the braids.  The higher you place the perm rods, the more curls you have and the fuller they style.  You can also create a fuller style by using more rollers.  Once I have placed the rollers on all the braids I dip each roller in hot water.  You need to make sure you do not skip any braids.  Let the braids cool before removing the perms rods.


These curls will last quite a long time.  They become looser with time and with washing.  You can simply renew them again by repeating the process if they are beginning to look ‘tired’.



Hair update – 24 weeks post relaxer

6 May


It’s now 24 weeks (6 months) since my last relaxer.  Surprisingly, it’s actually going quite well! I have learnt that the best way to deal with plenty of growth when you are relaxed is to keep it soft and moisturised.  It then becomes easier to manage.  I have been using Revlon Special Feeling Super Soft Activator to achieve this (review coming soon).  Since I took the braids out, I have kept the hair almost exclusively in a bun.


I now have my hair in cornrows (I haven’t had this style in years!).  I had them done 3 days ago.  I went to a salon and had them done there.  The night before I got the cornrows, I did a pre-shampoo treatment with a mix of coconut oil and Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO).  This was then washed out at the salon using my own shampoo (which I took with me).  My hair was blow dried before the cornrows were done.


To look after the hair in cornrows I am applying my JBCO / coconut oil mix to the scalp in between the lines.  The reason I mix the two oils is because I find JBCO very thick, coconut oil helps to thin it.  The only downside is that because of the cold, the coconut oil makes the mixture solidify.  I have to heat the bottle in warm water each time before I use it.  I then spray braid spray on the hair, paying special attention to the plaited bit at the back of my head.  I spray the hair until its damp then tie a scarf over my head.  I do this at night just before bedtime.  In the morning I just remove the scarf and carry on as usual.  I’m doing the moisturising at night so that the scarf will make all the frizzy bits of hair lie flat by morning.  I make sure not to touch the hair in the morning so as not to disturb it.  I plan to keep the cornrows for two weeks.

Winter is fast approaching.  It’s already very cold in the mornings and evenings.  I have been wondering when I should get my next relaxer.  I plan to get braids done through winter so I may just forgo the relaxer and just get my hair braided.  I’ll keep you posted!

When was the last time you had cornrows done??

Thinning hairlines

27 Feb

Naomi Campbell

I have written several posts addressing hair breakage and hair loss but none that specifically addresses the hairline.  I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long given that thinning hairlines is arguably the number one hair complaint among African women.

Hair loss on the hairline can be caused by several factors like hormones (pregnancy, post pregnancy, menopause, presence of ovarian cysts, birth control pills etc.), it can be hereditary or it can be self-inflicted through hairstyles.

In this post I will address thinning hairlines caused by our hairstyles.  This is also called traction alopecia which is hair loss caused by tight hairstyles like braids, weaves, cornrows and ponytails etc.

Here are some tips for thinning hairlines:

  • If you notice your hairstyle is making your hairline thinner, change the hairstyle.  If you have braids or a weaves, remove them at the first signs that it is destroying your hairline.  There is no point in keeping a hairstyle if it is wrecking your hairline.
  • Do not ignore the first signs of thinning hairlines.  We tend to see it happening and just ignore it until the problem is compounded.  We then continue with the destructive hairstyles to hide the problem – simply making things even worse.
  • Do not get weaves or braids back to back without a break in between.  Take a break of two weeks or more and in this time make sure to deep condition the hair as well as moisturise it.
  • Make sure hairstyles are not too tight.  Braids, weaves cornrows etc. when done too tight will ruin your hairline.  Speak up when getting these hairstyles done.  Let your hairstylist know that she (or he!) must be gentle with your hairstyle.  You would rather the style not last long than that it damages your hairline.
  • If you relax your hair, know that you do not have to relax the hairline every time.  You can leave out the fine ‘baby’ hair on the edges.  Don’t worry, your hair will blend in and it won’t show.  I have been doing this with my own hairline – I haven’t relaxed my hairline since February 2012.
  • If your hairline is already damaged, make sure to stop the hairstyles that damaged it in the first place.  If you have to have the hairstyle, make sure to leave the hairline out.  You could do this by adding bangs / a fringe to a weave so as to conceal the hairline.
  • There are many ‘temple and nape’ balms on the market that are marketed for thinning hairlines and napes.  I have seen one from Organic Root Stimulator in Clicks.  I recommend castor oil.  It is natural and many women (including myself) have had great results with it.  Massage castor oil to your hairline at least once a week (you can do this daily if your hairline is extremely damaged).

 Has your hairline recovered from damage?  How did you do it?

My curlformers debut

10 Jan

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I tried culformers for the first time about a week ago and I must say I was impressed!  The curls came out looking really good – they actually looked like they had been achieved using heat.  It took me 45 minutes (I timed myself) to put the curlformers on my hair.  I washed and deep conditioned as usual and then applied Organic Root Stimulator Moisturising Hair Lotion and a bit of coconut oil.  I then put the hair in curlformers.

The curlformers are actually very easy to use. In my opinion they are easier than traditional rollers which require that the hair be straight and taut on the rollers.  With curlformers you just pull the hair through with the hook and that’s it.  I’m sure with practice I will soon have it down to 30 minutes.  I also had a spray bottle with water at hand to make sure the hair was damp when I put it in the curlformers.

I put the curlformers on my hair in the evening and slept with them overnight, removing them the next morning.  They were not too difficult to sleep in.  I just tied them up using 3 scrunchies, then tied a scarf over them to make it easier to lay my head down.  I saw this tip on a youtube video.  Once removed, I separated the curls and applied a bit of coconut oil.

I really love the curls and this is a style I will do often.  I used a combination of ‘long and wide’ and ‘extra long and wide’.  If I get an opportunity I will buy some ‘extra wide’ ones just for even bigger curls.