Categories
hair straightening no heat

Straightening your hair with minimal damage

Sometimes changing up your hairstyle can be exciting. Especially when you have special occasions or celebrations of any nature where you want to look your best. Now this does not mean that straight hair is the only style that makes you look great. Straightening your hair comes with its advantages and disadvantages. I honestly believe that it is a lot safer to have it relaxed if you want it straight than use a hair straightener. The main reason is that straighteners tend to make afro hair more damaged in general. You also have to make sure that you use the right products in order to minimize hair damage. However, there are ways you can straighten your hair without causing a lot of damage. One of the methods you can use is a silk press.

Silk Press

A silk press is the process of using specific products to make your hair bone straight like you have a relaxer. It has become quite popular nowadays and is a great way to change up your hair routine if you want. The process of getting a silk press is that initially, you have you wash your hair. Any type of shampoo or conditioner will do, however there are some products that are ideal for silk press such as Keracare and chi. After you wash the hair, make sure that it is detangled with a brush. If you want to get the best results, it’s best to use the range in order to get the result you want. Once the wash and blow dry has been done, you blow dry your hair. You can use any type of blow-dryer but your hair must not be wet at all (always make sure to use heat protectant). After the process of blow drying you have to add the silk press no matter which one it is. Once you complete the process, you will get a straightener your hair will just glide through and get really bone straight. When you pass through the straightener it should only be one or two passes. This process works for mostly afro hair types.

If you get a well done silk press, you hair should revert back to its original state once it is washed. A silk press can last up to 2 weeks depending on how active you are and how well you look after it. If you are active, then it’s something that will only last a shorter period for you. Is it worth it, I guess it all depends on what type of occasion you are attending.

Flat Iron

This is another method of straightening your hair. Again it may seem similar to the silk press, however with the flat iron, you don’t use the products for a silk press, more likely a serum. The process of straightening is exactly the same. Make sure that you wash your hair. Again any shampoo or conditioner will do. Make sure before you blow dry that you detangle your hair with a brush. Then you can put the serum before you blow dry your hair. Once your hair has been blow dryed, then section it into four depending on the thickness of your hair. Then when you straighten, make sure you use the tail comb as that will help with the process of straightening. It does take some time to get this done, however if you want results this is one of the best methods.

Now it may seem like the silk-press and flat-iron would be exactly the same processes however there are a few differences.

Straightening – No heat method

This one can be quite tricky especially if your hair is quite kinky and thick, however it works if you have some type of hair dryer. I have tried the method however I find that because my hair is curly, it dries and still has the curls so the tip is making sure that when you brush it, before you put the rollers, it’s a lot smoother. I would advise that after you wash your hair, just stretch your hair if it’s curly, you can braid it or use the threading method which will help in straightening it without any heat. Make sure that you put moisturizer during this process so that when you have take out your thread or braid it’s straightened as naturally as possible. Once you start the process of the rollers, you can use any oils that work well on your hair. This process is time-consuming however once you get it done, you may have to keep the rollers in your hair for some time. If you have the hair dryer, the process can be shortened.

Once you take out your rollers, you will find that your hair has a great style and you can comb it to your satisfaction, depending on the style that you want. This is a heat free way of straightening your hair and making sure that it is in good condition.

Banding method

Depending on the length of your hair, the banding method is a great way to straighten your hair if you want to straighten it without heat. If you want results like the silk-press or flat-iron type, then you will be disappointed. This will help elongate your hair if you don’t want it in the shrunken state. Make sure that when you part it, that the bottom is not too tight. If you want it to look neater, you can use some edge control if you want, however depending on your hair-type, it may not be necessary.

Your hair does not have to be dry it’s a good idea to moisturize it as well. This is a more comfortable method if you don’t want to sleep with rollers on your head and it will still straighten your hair with little to no damage at all. You can actually comb out your hair without any struggle.

At the end of the day you have to make sure that you are not damaging your hair. I would recommend a silk press or flat iron once a year or even every six months and also for use when you want to trim your hair. These should not me methods that you use all the time. If you want a constant silk press look like I mentioned at the beginning, it’s best then to think of relaxing your hair because that would be a better option for you. I have kept my hair relaxer free for more than 10 years now and I know that some individuals cannot do that, however if you want to keep it natural you need to learn how to look after it. If you don’t have time to experiment then try to find something that works for it. It may be braids, weaves or wigs. The options are endless.

What method of hair straightening have you tried? I tried the silk-press once, it looked great however after a few months I needed to cut most of my hair as I actually got some heats damage. I have not attempted to straighten my hair in a long time, but that was something I had to learn over the process of looking after my hair. If you want maximum growth, you have to really be patient and consistent with your routine. It’s not easy but if you develop a habit, then it becomes as easy as breathing.

Categories
hair care plan hair ideas

Natural hair during quarantine

The impact of the pandemic had brought about the feeling that things are out of control, including your hair care regimen. During this time when you have more time to prepare yourself, it’s time to learn how to do the basic, such as trimming your own natural hair especially if you cannot visit your hairdresser. Additionally, it’s a time to keep busy although you are confined. It’s been difficult for most individuals, however something I have learnt over the course of the days that have gone by is that when you start looking inward, try and remember those that are around you. If you can help your neighbour next to you, it will make a world of difference in how you feel.

Hair Ideas

The beginning of this pandemic, brought about fear and anxiety to many individuals. I know that in some countries, individuals have curfews, while in others people have actually been confined to their houses. At this stage, you have so much time to be creative and come up with ideas on what you can do. During this period, I came up with a little dairy where I could stick the type of hairstyles and it is free.

It’s a time to explore different colours and styles especially now that you have the time.

Maintenance

This is a great time to moisturize your hair as often as you can. If you want a reference to the type of moisturisers you can use, I have included a link to the moisturisers that I use. This has been a great time for me to learn which moisturisers work well on my hair and which one’s I should avoid buying next time. One thing I have done is that I will not purchase any other products until I finish using the ones that I have. The problem with accumulating many products, something that I do not promote is risking having some expire on you.

Trims

I would not advice you to cut your own hair, but if you know how to do it, go for it. However, if you don’t really know what to do, a good trim should help you in minimizing split ends and also having hair that looks healthy at the end of the lockdown.

You can always book in sometime to see the individual that cuts your hair. I think that it’s important to look after your hair even with this tough time. If there are any new skills you want to try when it comes to doing your hair, there are so many wonderful individuals on Youtube.

Watching what you eat

I realised that a lot of my friends have been complaining about the fact that they can’t help themselves but eat a bit too much. I think it’s good to keep yourself busy and you can start by learning a new skill. If you want to start a business, I have a link that you can use to set one up for free. If you have time, don’t hesitate.

Additionally, when you go shopping, make sure you are picking the right types of foods that will not cause you to overeat. If you are constantly hungry, that means you may not be hydrated. It’s a good idea to be hydrated, it minimizes your hunger. I also find that eating food that keep you fuller for longer is also useful in getting you to be less hungry.

There are many ways to keep you preoccupied. If you have any children this is a great time to teach them something that they do not know. That means there is no excuse to overeat and you can always keep healthy. 

Don’t forget that you can exercise even in a confined space, 30 minutes per day is the requirement for adults.

Conclusion

This may be a challenging time for everyone, however don’t focus on yourself, seek to serve others and also when you require that moment to be by yourself you can always get it. This is a season to think about all those things that you probably have not done and develop talents and skills that you can use once things get back to some type of normal. As they say “this too shall pass”. If you require any assistance with anything don’t feel afraid to reach out.

Finally, try and be more positive by the time this period of time will be over you will be able to meet with your friends and they will think that you have been pampered the whole time.

What tips would you give someone at this time?

Categories
unpredictable time

How to deal with your hair in this unpredictable period

It’s been a while since I have posted. The last few weeks have been extremely unpredictable and shocking. Since the announcement of the pandemic worldwide there has been some panic and some people have acted in complete opposite to what you would expect. Kindness and giving should be mandated and if you have the capacity to assist a neighbor in need, most definitely do it.

I am reaching out to those that maybe cannot see their hairdresser in this period of time. Maybe you were due for a hair-cut but since the impact of the virus, you cannot do anything.

I have a few videos on YouTube that I enjoy and I think there has never been a better time to learn about your hair in a better way. Get to know your porosity so that you can use the right products, use up the products that you have already and if there are any that don’t work for you, put them aside and give them to someone else who they would suit.

This is a great time to deal with what is working for you. Spend time with the family and hug them as much as you can. Although this was completely unexpected, you need to stay strong in this perilous time in history.

Connections

This is a great idea for those that love to be creative but you could create a whatsup group with your friends that you like to share ideas with. What do you want to do with your hair at this stage? Share a few clips from YouTube and help each other if there are ways in which you can make a suggestion as to the suitable styles that would suit your friend. If you have a dedicated hairdresser, you can still give them a ring and ask questions, I think there’s nothing wrong in reaching out.

Focus on yourself

This is a great time to reflect on your life, what goals and dreams do you want to achieve in the next 5- 10 years. What can you do to improve yourself at this stage. What books are you reading at this stage? Do you want to study something that you are passionate about? Have you had a look through some free classes? This is some time you can work on improving yourself and your skills.

Stay healthy

It is extremely important to stay healthy at this time. It’s very easy to become discouraged, especially if you just lost your job or if you happen to have any tragic event. If you have the opportunity to keep yourself working out and staying healthy it will help you stay focused. Also, if you have any individuals that you know would be good mentors, it’s great to reach out and speak to them or others who you trust. Make sure that you eat well especially now that quarantine will be expected for a period of time.

Spring Clean

If you are working from home, prepare yourself a timetable every day and make sure that you save some time to clean those things out that you already have. I think that in this period of time, where individuals have accumulated so much, we don’t need anymore things, honestly if you have clothes that do not fit you and are in great condition, just wash them well and put them aside in little bags, once the curfew in your area is over, best to give them always. Throw away any items you have been holding on to, if you have not touched something for more than 6 months, there is a high possibility that you will never use it.

Family Time

If you have not had a chance to bond with your family, this is the best time to bond with your family. It can be through the various technological tools that we have, or it could be through board games that you have available in your house. If you don’t have any, just look for them online it’s so good to be able to just see how the mind of your family members work and the tricks some of them can try to get up to.

Prayer

In this unpredictable time, it’s important to spend time in prayer. I always spend time reading one of the greatest books on earth and spend time in prayer. If you have not had a chance to reconnect there has never been a better time than today. I really think that it’s vital to develop a relationship with God if you don’t have one at this stage. If you are a member of any church, it’s a good idea to join them online if they have any type of meetings online.

Catch up

If you would like to catch up with any programs or movies or documentaries, there has never been a better time. For me I have been watching some programs that I have not had a chance to watch but since, I normally have other activities, I don’t really get to watch too many things.

Music

Music is medicine to the soul, if you can just get your favorite tracks and listen to them, music can just move you. It’s also fun to check out some newer types of music out there.

Cooking

This is a great time to experiment with a recipe that you may not have had a chance to do in a while. It’s also great to share the results with members of the family that love to be your tasters.

Unfortunately because you cannot meet with others, you may just have to call them through the net and show them what you have done.

Start a digital business

There has never been a better time to start your own business, although before going straight into it, it’s wise to have some education on that. If you are interested, I have put a link below where you can get ideas on how to get started for free. There has never been a better time to start.

Stay Safe

If you can avoid going outside just don’t go outside unnecessarily. If you don’t have a choice because of work or other valuable things, then stay safe. If we work together, we will defeat this.

Categories
braid maintenance hair braiding

Hair braiding styles for black hair

As mentioned earlier in my blogs, there are various methods of getting protective styling. One of the methods that I mentioned was braiding. Now braiding is a great way to protect especially Afro hair from being exposed to the harsh weather conditions. It’s also a way of maintaining the hair as it is curly and tangles a lot if it is not in a protected style or even properly maintained. I did not realize this but when I was a lot younger, I had my hair cut short for a long time. I must have started getting it done when I was a little older. I did not get a relaxer until I was almost 13 or 14 years old, but I also got rid of chemicals from my hair at 19 years old. Ever since that time, I have only left my hair in its natural state although I used to blow dry it regularly. At the age of 19, I worked on learning how to look after hair so that I was able to maintain my own hair. It was something that started as a passion and to this day still is because I always look after my hair.  Another reason for this was the fact that I stopped blow drying my hair often.

Braiding Styles

Braiding styles and patterns come in all different shapes and forms. In certain parts of Africa they signify a certain clan and were a way of identifying specific family members. Therefore, if you go to different parts of the continent, you will find different styles that are authentic to a region. In the cities, people normally just wear whatever style they like or what is considered in fashion. As you can see from the pictures below, here is an example of popular braided styles.

Braid Maintenance

I remember one question that individuals often used to ask and that is how to maintain braids. If you braid your hair without adding any extensions, they will only last for up to two weeks. Mainly it’s because your hair grows and it will start to get frizzy. If you use a satin cloth when you go to sleep every day, you can keep it in for longer. The size of the braid will also make a difference to how long it will last. If you have the really large cornrows on your hair say about 2 of them, I tend to last a week, however for some individuals they only last for about 2 to 3 days. If you have smaller cornrows, they can even last for a month depending on how well you take care of them. For others, they can only last 2 weeks, however maintenance is key.

If your scalp is itchy, I did recommend some products that could be used to help in maintaining it well.

Washing braids

Yes braids can be washed, there are a few methods that you can use to help in making sure that they last a little longer on your scalp. Before you braid your hair, it’s important to have a clean scalp. This helps in keeping the scalp cleaner for longer and also in keeping the braids in good condition. Normally before the process of braiding, your hair has to be moisturized and stretched to get the best results. After the installation of the braids or your own hair, I always make sure that a few days after the braiding, if my scalp seems a little dry I will definitely moisturize it. Now the thing with moisturizer for my hair, I tend to use a lighter oil rather than a heavier oil. The main reason is that it minimizes any itching that can take place. After the first week, sometimes, I use a spirit to clean my scalp and minimize any type of itch, but once it dries out, I will put moisturizer immediately to stop any dryness.

Normally after a week or two I will wash the hair with shampoo and conditioner. The problem I normally find with braids in general, they tend to have build-up after a few weeks. It’s very difficult to avoid buildup and sometimes you just have to remove the braids to avoid your hair getting tangled and minimizing breakage.

Removal of braids

When you remove your braids, you have to make sure that you try to detangle each braid as soon as possible. If you remove all the braids in one go and do not detangle bit by bit, if you don’t do that, you will have a sore scalp. Make sure that you have someone assist you with the process as it may take some time. Make sure that you use the detangling shampoo as well to make the process smoother. During the process of removal, it’s wise to have some olive oil at the side and spray your hair each time. It will help with the detangling process.

Breaks

It is important to note that you must take a break between braiding. If you can give your scalp some time to breath, it’s vital and important. The main reason is that you need to let your hair breathe. Many individuals do not like to expose their hair, maybe they don’t like the length or it’s difficult to do anything with it in its natural state and that is understandable, but you just have to find what works for you. We are fortunate that more than ever there are many options in this day and age. If you want, you can wrap your hair and not have to expose it to anyone. A break of 2 weeks to a month is sufficient, but the longer the break the better for your hair.

After Care

I mention this because I have braided my hair many times. You have to be careful how you look after your scalp. I remember one time I was braiding my hair and I happened to put in the braid a little too tight. On that particular day for some reason, I bumped my poor hair onto a ledge. Afterwards, I felt a tingling sensation that did not go away. On removal of my braid, I found that my hair literally fell out. The fact that I had pulled my hair too hard and the impact of the hit caused me to have a little bold spot on my scalp. I was lucky that it grew back, however I had to change the way I styled my hair significantly. I also had to be careful how I was doing my hair to make sure never to repeat that mistake again. You must always give your hair a break after braiding so that you allow your hair to breath and also grow. You also need to check your scalp to make sure that you don’t have any dandruff and if you do that you get it treated before you braid your scalp again. In terms of hygiene if you have someone that braids you, it’s fine to ensure that the items used on your scalp are also clean. If you must you can even use your own hair tools for your own peace of mind. These are critical things to think about when you do braid your hair.

What sort of styles do you like to do on your hair? Have you braided your hair without a break?

Categories
hair products

Where to get products for black hair in Australia

I have lived in Australia for over 18 years now and this question never gets old. I remember when I first came here there were practically no hair salons where I could get a hair dresser. The worst thing was that my aunt was one so almost every weekend, I remember visiting her salon. Coming to Australia and the stress of not having anyone doing my hair, was not too bad as I knew what to do with my hair. However, I underestimated how difficult it was to get products and so that was where the struggle began.

I had relaxed hair when I came here and I tried to maintain it on my own for some time. When I suddenly removed a clump of hair during one of my relaxing periods though, I thought that these chemicals can’t be good for me. I have been natural ever since.

Over the years

Over the years though I think that the hair care industry here in Australia has come a long way. I don’t worry too much about my hair as I always have someone I can speak to get it done. Most times I do it myself because I really don’t want to pay $150 or more just to get a style which may not last for a long time. I had to invest in getting some salon products such as a hair-dryer, straightener, curling iron and who can’t forget the lovely curl rods. I would like to add the steamer on the list because I have low-porosity hair which means that’s one of the best ways to add moisture to my hair.

If you don’t know what low-porosity hair is, you can always go back to my link in the beginning.

Products galore

There are many shops nowadays where you can get products, some I have visited and others I have no idea about but hey I know with any African shop you can always get what you want.

After discovering my hair type and what I need, I decided to target businesses that provide the type of products that are great for natural hair.

If you don’t want to walk into a shop you can always order them online without having a high cost like it used to be back in the day if you had to order internationally.

Sydney

Afro puffs -You can get products from them and even order them online. They stock many products and you don’t have to order international brands as they tend to have them.

Afro goods – You can order any type of hair product you want. You can even get some great deals from their shop.

Saint curl – Another great resource where you can shop for your natural hair products

Nature’s hair and beauty supply – I have actually been to this shop and they stock most things that you need. If you want hair of any type they have it.

The curl store-They have all types of curly hair products and I mean some I haven’t heard about, which means you have options.

4 my curls – This is also a great website to get the products that you want. Not sure where it is based, however I have just included it in the Sydney list.

Melbourne

sm cosmetics – Another great resource where you can get your products from.

Afro trends -You can get your hair and skin products and also get your hair done.

Brisbane

Curly wurly -Another great resource to get products that you require for your hair.

Adelaide

Flora African Shop Australia – They do sell many African products including food. Therefore, if you are based in Adelaide you have somewhere to go.

Perth

Ebony and Ivory – You can get all hair products, weaves, wigs, black opal makeup and many other items that you would like.

If you are based in Canberra or Northern Territory, don’t fear you can get any of these products from any of these places mentioned above and best of all the shipping costs will be a lot lower than usual.

Now just note that many of these places should have items for both men, women and children. In terms of products it will depend on which one you use.

As mentioned earlier though, it’s best to stick to a specific product and use it for a period to see the changes on your hair rather than use too many products. In terms of budget the products range from cheaper to more expensive brands.

Now this list is not exhaustive, the main reason some businesses may not have been listed is that some do not have websites, therefore depending on where you live, you can explore your city and let me know if there are any other shops that you have come across that provide products.

Let me know if you used any of them.