simply because of its tight thick wiry curl pattern. Each strand grows in a
tiny tight curled state which gives the appearance of much thicker, denser hair
when compared to other hair types. Research has shown that all human hair has
the same basic chemical composition in terms of keratin protein content,however due to afro hair’s wiry kinky pattern it is more difficult for the oil
secreted from the scalp to reach the ends of the hair therefore leaving hair
dry and easily prone to breakage when brushed or combed. Due to the high degree
of kinky curls in natural afro hair, it is impossible for many to draw a comb
through the hair; this leaves hair maintenance, time consuming and painful for
many people of African descent. While it’s common for Caucasians to comb their
hair when dry, it is recommended that those with afro hair comb their hair when
wet in order to minimise hair shaft fracture.
Depending on the tightness of the curl, shrinkage can be up to 75% of its true length.
This is most evident when hair is wet or has been recently washed. In order to combat
shrinkage it’s common for many to turn to chemicals and heat to straighten afro hair’s
naturally tight curl pattern however this leaves the hair more susceptible to damage.
more natural means to straighten your hair. A common technique is to plait the hair
in sections when wet and leave over night. When plaits are taken out, hair is relatively
stretched out. Hair will continue to stretch itself over time as
long as the hair remains in plaits or you plait it every night before going to bed.
products to use when stretching afro hair naturally. For sophisticated
styles that call for stretched hair I resort to a more extreme method with my eldest daughter.
She has really thick ,tight ,kinky hair I use the African hair threading technique. I will probaby post a video of me doing that in the near future.
straight hair was beautiful hair. As a young girl in the Caribbean, I suffered both physical
pain from my mom and aunts raking combs through my dense, tight curls and kinks,
and emotional pain, from having my hair called all sorts
of names, like “coarse lek steel wool, “nappy”, “hard.”
My hair was the main cause of pain, agony,
and many tears.
our mum used to wash our hair with harsh shampoos that used to sting our eyes.
She used to comb( rather rake) our hair with a “princess” comb.
If we broke the comb or protested too much she would smack us.
She always gave us these horrible sticking out Celie plaits.
I remember begging my aunt and cousins to canerow our hair which they
did until they became teenagers and interested in boys and other
Saturday activities. They had never taught us the skill of
how to do canerow styles on our own .
When I started secondary school I found a friend in the village a year older
than myself ,Cannis who willingly canerowed both our hair.
It was like a rite of passage of sorts. Natural hair was
percieved as something primary school kids had.
I remember a classmate Sandrea was the first to have a geri curl and I wanted
one desperately. She had short nappy hair and overnight her hair was transformed .
I marveled at the vision of beauty before my eyes. Her hair was longer,she had big
loose curls that bounced. I thought it was the answer to my hair problems .
When I left Richard Mckenzie’s Hair Studio with my hair done I felt grown up.
It seemed like a miracle to me.
Scalp burns? Heat burns? Now I had to be careful not to scratch my
scalp before I had the chemical done, or else I would get a terrible burn.
And I had to stay away from water, or else my gericurl would semi-revert
into a stringy, coarse mess. All the precautions, all the pain,
all the time, and why did I go through it all?
Lets not even talk of the hours spent in salons
my hair was both aesthetically unappealing and bewilderingly
I wasn’t brave enough to do a big chop . I had forgotten what my real hair looked like.
So my hair journey began, In 2008/2009 I started looking into
why the natural hair that I had before my first geri curl at age 12
was so unmanageable; it was not being managed correctly.
The next piece of the puzzle came In 2009
I had a good telling off by Merlene and Dawn
about how I was keeping my 3 daughters hair.
They told me I was lazy and needed to stop saying I cant canerow. My girls and I were looking unkempt
I should just learn how to care for their hair. I was very embarassed and a
little angry but when I heard it again from Inclaire. It all just clicked .
I thank GOD for these three women in my life. It pushed me to learn more.
given her for a covering. “
1 Corinthians 11:15
as it began to sprout under my relaxer was one of the most exciting times of my life.
All of the stereotypes about Black hair – It can’t grow long, it’s unmanageable,
it’s ugly – those hurtful and meaningless
stereotypes began to disappear I no longer believed that relaxing or
straightening the hair thermally was the solution to
managing naturally kinky-curly hair like mine.
The real solution was to become
knowledgeable about it – its tendencies,
its needs, and how to care for it
I now know that I needed to wet my hair and to comb with a wide-tooth comb,
starting from the ends, and working my way up. I now know that
I needed to wash weekly in order to have a clean, healthy scalp.
I now know the importance of moisturizing the hair. I now know the importance
of avoiding products with
it from absorbing moisture, leaving it hard and dry.
I now know that shampoos with
I now know that it is easier to live with, learn from,
and love natural hair than wage a war against it.
Fighting against my hair was what caused me physical pain from the harsh
combing and burns,and emotional pain.
and so much of a pleasure.
I do not care that my hair doesn’t fit the “straight” standard of beauty.
God made my hair, and that’s what give it its natural, unalienable beauty.
I have become proud of my precious curls and their tendencies.
I am now teaching my daughters to love their curls and appreciate their versatility.
I hope you join me over this quarter of 2012 reading about what I’ve been learning
they poof, they fluff, they curl, they spring,
they’re natural, they’re beautiful and they’re mine! I realllllllllllly loooooooooooove my hair
To combat this problem, It is advised that you stay away from the heat tools for a while. Conditioners afterward making detangling so much easier for yourself and your little girls.
using braids and weaves so my hair was straight on the ends with relaxer and my roots were that
fuzzy kinky mess. So I flat ironed and blow dried it to try and match the texture of my ends.
I now know through my research that the Over use of heat on the hair. i.e. blow dryers, hair
straightners, , curlers can also contribute to the problem .
For some people It could be because of over colouring and highlights.
We should also be aware that it could be from chemicals used in relaxers
What was shocking for me was to realise that even some of the products
that stated on the bottle it was for dry hair
(i.e. those that contain mineral oil, sulfates, petroleum etc.
Were in actual fact responsible for dry hair.
Start seeing thermally straightend hair as a treat or for a special occasion.
Not because you are ashamed of your natural hair in its natural state.
If you don’t know how to style your hair or your childrens hair There are things you can do.
Ie get natural hair style magazines to get a few ideas or check out you tube videos
to get some style ideas.. I will be doing a few styling videos real soon to show you
what I have learnt this past summer. I am no expert but I am practicing.
Add flaxseed oil and sunflower seeds to the menue. Eat lots of food high in
omega -3 fatty acids. Eat foods high in b vitamins iron and zinc
like beans pulses and grains ie quinoa,lentils,baked beans,
of your bathroom contain all if not most of these ingredients and they
are responsible for all sorts of ailments like cancer,eczema,
and acne even miscarriage and infertility. The ingredients are cheap and readily available to manufacturers.
They are counting on consumers remaining in their ignorance.
Look for a natural conditioner that does NOT contain any Parabens,
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Alcohol, petroleum or mineral oil as this tends
to dry the hair. Deep conditioning products used under a blow dryer with a plastic
cap are far more effective than instant conditioners as they penetrate the
hair shaft more effectively sealing in the moisture.
Natural ingredients that work well for the hair include extra virgin olive oil (aka evoo)pure
coconut oil, jojoba, rosemary and natural pure butters. Upon using these natural ingredients
you will find that your Hair will feel much healthier and softer
in order to prevent dryness that can lead to breakage.
In order for hair products off the shelf to be moisturising the numero uno
ingredient must be water. The problem with just applying water
to highly textured curly hair is that the hair is very porous; therefore it is
application of butters to the hair without water will just sit on the
surface of your hair and not penetrate the hair shaft. This is why you THEY both go hand in hand.
Point two You must also do this after your wash routine as well as when styling.
As I said last week our hair is different in that it has
thick tight curls which mean it takes the longest time for the
natural oils to reach them. The ends of our hair tends to get dry quicker which
can lead to split ends . Split ends cannot be repaired, When moisturising
and conditioning be sure that you put on enough on the ends of your hair and
ingredients: Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Alcohol as this tends to dry the hair.
My mother used to wash my hair once a week or every two weeks and I grew up doing that.
Since I came to the realisation that water was my friend
I found that washing my hair once or twice a week helped keep my hair
more moisturised as well as minimising the breakage. Individually you will need
to find out which works best for you and how you are able to fit it in to your schedule.
For Instance my lifestyle means I work outside the home 3 nights a week part time so
I might be wearing a protective style that I want to preserve and maintain.
Now I am on maternity leave for the next 9 months my regimen has changed
shower and once a week I shampoo on wash day with all my daughters.
We try to make it fun by watching films and eating popcorn and other
personal grooming ie nail clipping etc
using ingredients from my kitchen cupboard. The great thing about it ,It is edible and you can
To combat this problem, It is advised that you stay away from the heat tools for a while.
afterward making detangling so much easier for yourself and your little girls.
early 1990’s. It resonates so much with me now. Our hair and the way in which we so
choose to wear it can be pretty loaded with so much. When I first saw this film
as a pre-teen I had no understanding of Racism nor had I the life experience.
I just took it at face value as it was just part of the
entertainment value of this film.
Racism and now I understand how our hair can be part of
an individuals evolution and growth process.
I understand how for some it can be a tool to express their cultural
identity and their religio-political world views.
and forums within our communities. We should not alow the media
to use it as a way to dictate to us another’s standard of beauty.
We should demand more positive depictions of our hair in all its forms.
It should not be however something to segregate and divide us after all its just hair.
Let us strike up a conversation with our daughters and sisters and open up
dialogue and perhaps we will find it a time to build close
strong bonds for life and on into eternity. Let us tighten the chords of Love that bind us together and focus on How much our CREATOR is a lover of beauty,variety and uniqueness. The evangelistic possibilties of spreading the gospel here(hair)are endless.
Now this week I thought I’d give you a visual feast of sorts
to understand what I have been talking about
so far this quarter about our hair.Here is a video done beautifully
by a fellow youtuber based in the US. She has gained popularity
and her channel has grown to nearly 90,000 subscribers
She has shared openly about her hair journey and has allowed
viewers to follow her journey from having done the big chop
to as of 2012 her hair has grown almost past mid-back length .
In some circles she is hailed as a natural hair guru.
From this fame She has launched her company.
Definitely subscribe if you are on youtube.
My friend Victoria complained about winter hair so I figured why not discuss it this week.
I spritz my hair 3 times a day with either an infusion of nettle or at the moment I use ¼ c aloevera juice and fill the spray bottle to the top with water. Then I coat my hair and scalp with olive oil and I put shea butter on the ends. I believe the key to length retention and dry hair in winter is moisture. I sleep at night with a plastic cap then I cover with a satin bonnet and sleep on a satin pillow case. In the morning I remove the plastic cap. If left all day on the head, your head will sweat and your body heat will cause
bacteria to multiply on your scalp giving your head a bad odour.
Winter time Is a great opportunity to do weekly deep conditioning treatments and sit under your dryer/heat cap . All the rest of the year I do it fortnightly/monthly.( Note to self I should be doing that but IVE BEEN HAVING RECURRING FLU) When going out doors it’s important to keep your hair covered as hair exposed to these frosty temperatures is extremely damaging and leaves your hair open to breakage and split ends.
I use a satin bonnet and then wrap my hair in a pashmina shawl turban style or I put on wooly hats. The satin bonnet retains moisture do not place hats or scarves made of wool or cotton directly on your hair.
I would also recommend getting a wig or put your hair in extensions.
Hair should be manipulated at a minimum during winter time I believe. My middle daughter has been wearing Yarn braids I installed 4 weeks ago and my little girl I have been doing finger coils 3 days at a time due to her hair type. The oldest has been having cane rows done every 2-3 week by my friend Olivia; Myself I have mini twist which I installed 2 weeks ago. I hope this helps someone out there somewhere. If you have any tips I would so dearly love to hear about it.
Do wrap up warm everyone and enjoy the snow predicted for this weekend. On Sunday or Tuesday I’ll share one of my videos and more info.
All my love
Tuesday 7th February 2012
One of my absolute favourites, provides many benefits for hair as well as the skin . For this reason it’s common in many hair care products. Jojoba protects and improves damaged hair. jojoba is chemically very similar to human sebum.It works by preventing moisture loss and balancing the production of the scalp’s natural oil, sebum, to a healthy level. It means basically it aids the scalp in the production of the right amount of sebum to prevent dry or oily hair.
Extra Virgin Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a go to staple in my hair care regimen. fatty acids, studies show coconut oil actually
penetrates the hair shaft and reduces protein loss as its packed full of fatty acids. These fatty acids have been shown to enhance and strengthen the hair shaft and therby reducing knots and tangles. This oil is great for controlling dry scalp and dandruff a tip that has been handed down for generations in my family. No wonder as in my research I found it contains antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. But that’s not all I found,It also kills the yeasts that cause seborrheic dermatitis and ringworm (tinea capitis), two main sources of itchy scalp. Heck I even cook with it lol(.mmm rice and peas)
Almond oil I get it sometimes from Indian shops or even in Asda . It comes highly recommended by many hair experts due to it’s high composition of fats and fatty acid properties. This composition makes it beneficial for almost all types of hair as it proves to be very nourishing, and softens and strengthens the hair. Almond oil can be effectively used as an emollient and tends to soothe your skin. It is wonderful as an emollient and very rarely turns rancid. Which is great if you want to make your own hair concoctions
Is very expensive and has a shelf life of 12-18 months . It comes from Morocco and there people have been using it as a treatment in hair and skin care products for centuries. The oil is high in unsaturated fatty acids and rich in Omega 9 – shown to be helpful at improving hair strength and health. Its’ primary benefit seems to come from its ability to naturally hydrate and stop frizziness, fly-away and hard to control, unmanageable hair. Argan oil has been shown to penetrate the hair shaft and almost instantly improve follicle elasticity and increase nourishment. Argans’ anti-ageing properties, due to high levels of Vitamin E and saponins (which soften the skin) are well documented. It supposed to be great for wrinkles . It works by reinstating the skin’s water lipid layer it also cools and soothes inflammation. Its ant-oxidant properties contribute to the neutralization of free radicals, particularly useful in the polluted Western hemisphere. It helps cool skin that has been exposed to wind and the sun and also protects it in cold weather. Argan is not greasy, only a few drops warmed on the fingertips are needed to moisturise and protect the complexion including the delicate skin under the eyes
I don’t need to tell you if you are west Indian about this oil. It coat the hair shaft and smooth the cuticle layer, sealing in moisture and leaving the hair feeling soft and silky. It is more easily absorbed by the hair, allowing for deeper penetration into the hair shaft. Castor oil also helps the hair to grow. The application of Castor oil to your scalp and roots will help promote regrowth of hair. It is also reported to help thicken hair that is thinning out. I use this a lot on my three year old daughter due to her hair texture
Avocado oil contains essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins A, D, E and B6, magnesium, copper, iron, amino acids and folic acid, all of which is extremely essential for hair growth and nourishment. It is also a rich source of Lecithin which gives it good penetrative qualities. It is also known to have natural sunscreen properties that can protect the hair and scalp from the damage caused by the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It works better when blended with other oils like almond oil or olive oil which are also very good for hair care.
Macadamia oil absorbs and penetrates quickly into the hair and skin. This is due to its high amounts of palmitoleic acid which is naturally present in young persons but decreases with age. It therefore increases the strength of your hair. Great for hot oil treatments and for use as a leave in conditioner in conjunction with other natural hair products.
If I were stranded on a desert island I would need my evoo, aka Extra virgin olive oil. I put it in my shampoo, in my conditioner, in my hot oil treatments and in my deep conditioning treatment and use it on my newborns skin , the whole family for that matter. I cook with it too. Olive oil can be used as an effective shaving oil to shave facial and other body hair giving results
that are equivalent to expensive commercial products.
My eldest daughter told me about Jeanne Calment, who holds the record for the longest confirmed lifespan born in 1875 and died at 122years . She reportedly attributed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance to olive oil,
which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed into her skin.
Thursday 17th February 2012
Before we delve into this weeks topic. I wanted to mention Vitamin E oil as a must have if you intend to do mixes, it acts as a preservative. Overall I could post some more oils that are beneficial to our hair but I feel that only a few are needed depending on how you wish to style your hair or what homemade concoctions you intend to make.
What is Shea Butter? A naturally occurring fat found in the fruit of shea trees in AFRICA. The butter is then extracted by means of crushing or boiling. It naturally has a shelf life of up to 2 years+ . If sold as raw shea butter (virgin or unrefined), then it contains no water,parabens nor preservatives. It is often included in expensive cosmetics for its soothing and revitalizing qualities, but also because manufacturers can demand a slightly higher price for items containing the ingredient.
Shampoo and conditioners manufacturers, for instance, can increase the asking prices based on this ingredient. The butter can bring elements to the hair products that it wouldn’t normally have In winter because of its high stearin content, in the cold it hardens up. It also contains vitamin A, E & F. It naturally contains SPF 6 and as such provides some UV protection to the skin, although you can not rely on this butter alone for UV protection. I use it to seal in the moisture in my hair, I make a hair and body lotion from it. As you saw from my previous video I use it in my deep conditioning treatment. This is the only butter I would need if I was stranded on a deserted island.
It provides nourishment to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. Damaged and brittle hair can be conditioned ,soothed ,softened and revitalized by its properties.
Some other uses include: dry chapped lips or skin , clearing up blemishes ,stretch marks, dandruff, cracked heels. , dry or itchy flaky skin, eczema and scar fading etc. psoriasis and soothes shingles
What is it? It s similar to shea butter and cocoa butterin in terms of its chemical make -up. It is derived from the coldpress process using the mango seed. Mango butter has emollient properties . For this reason its traditionally used for its skin softening, soothing and protective properties. Restores flexibility to hair and reduction to degeneration of cells. Great to use in the hotter weather because it acts as a natural sun screen (protects from UVA & UVB sun rays). It can even be used to replace lard or margarine in cooking.
Avocado butter This is crushed from the fresh flesh of the avocado fruit and then
hydrogenated to yield a soft greenish butter. Avocado butter is very high
in vitamins, and has some natural sunscreen properties.
Friday 17th February 2012
Chris Rock has done a documentary on BlackHair entitled “Good Hair” which deals with some of the issues ,that I have touched on so far. If you can get your hands on a copy it is definately worth watching. Enjoy
Chris Rock Good hair talking about relaxer
Tuesday 21st February 2012
This week I would like to break it up a bit all this education we’ve been having with some what I want to call some Hairspiration from the secular world.
Now minus the glitz ,the bling and the glamour try to see the positive message in the following song. Now as a way of disclaimer read my posts on JEWELRY and on MAKEUP to find out why I choose not to use these forms of beautification. Some ladies in the secular media industry that wear their hair in its natural state are defying convention. Not sure about their lifestyle (as I DO NOT read celeb magazines or celeb tv shows) but their hair whether locs,afro, braided or covered in wrap is enough to give you the courage to step out there.
I WILL BE POSTING VIDEOS AND WRITING ARTICLES ABOUT STYLES AND TIPS IVE LEARNED OVER ON MY OTHER BLOG SEE YOU THERE