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Gel free styling

I love the natural hair movement because it has created opportunities for individuals to start doing various hair styles that are becoming popular and some that are easy to do. 

One style that I love at the moment is the slick back afro with a bun or even with hair out. Now I remember when I first

went natural and a lot of products that are in the market now were not available at that time. Therefore, you could not even slick back your hair with any ecostyler or anything else. With the new products in the market now, there are so many options. 

Gels

The first time I was given information about gels when I was younger is that they are not suitable for afro hair and should not be used at all. I think at that time that was true however in this day and age, that is not the case at all. I got my first product about 10 year ago to slick my hair back. I remember how excited I was because my hair was shiny.

However, the only draw back was that after a few hours the gel made your hair seem like a rock and my hair would get lots of white on it. At that time, I did not understand why my hair would not come out as it did, however I kept using it anyway. It was not often but it was quite frequent. 

Gels now

Nowadays there are so many types of gels and most of them can be used on afro hair. You can look at Eco styler, Olive oil, Giovanni e.t.c and the list goes on. Now the problem with gels for me is that after a few days, I start developing white flakes on my hair, I am not sure why and that means I have to either use water to help with the flaking or just wash it out of my hair. 

Recently I discovered that you can use a moisturiser on your hair before you place the gel on top and that normally helps in reducing the dryness that gels can cause. However the other problem I get with gels is that my scalp can become really itchy. 

Gel free

Therefore to develop the same style as I would with a gel but without it, I discovered a technique that works quite easily for me. 

1. Depending on the look you want to achieve, make sure that you put a leave in conditioner on your hair. 

2. Comb through to get the desired look on your head. 

3. Tie up your hair in whichever way you want to have your bun. 

4. Place a head tie on the section for about 5 – 10 minutes.

5. Once the time is up, you can still get a bun without the gel but your hair still looks great. 

That is the same look without any gel on it and it comes out looking exactly the same. I have the same look with gel and it looks slightly different, however as mentioned before I have to be careful not to let it get itchy on my scalp. 

If you have tried any gels, which ones do you like to use often and which ones work for you?

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Review- Giovanni Smooth as silk for that xtra soft feeling

Product: Giovanni Smooth as silk shampoo and conditioner

Prices: $4.58 – $13.00

Cheapest place to buy: Beauty expert

Size of container: 250 ml which is 8.5 Fl.

My rating: 4 out of 5

The first time I used Giovanni shampoo, I thought that it was great. At that time, I felt that the costs of the products were quite pricey and so I would just get it once in a while. I finally managed to get it on sale a few months back and purchased a specific brand known as smooth as silk. It is their moisturizing range. I felt like my hair was lacking in moisture and it did not feel as soft as I was used to before, therefore the journey to using Giovanni began.

What I like about it

I like Giovanni shampoo smooth as silk because it does not contain any harmful sulfates and parabens. It’s free of any artificial dyes and has natural botanical ingredients. Now it may not be for everyone, however for  me I love it because it actually makes my hair less frizz prone even a few days after washing my hair.

One thing that I noticed that was great about Giovanni, was that when I first started using it, I had quite a bit of breakage, however after several uses now, I am finding that my hair breakage is significantly less. My hair is easily detangled which is amazing, so everytime I use my wide toothed comb to comb it out there are very few tangles.

Actually on Friday when I washed it, I had actually undone my hair which had been in little twists, normally the process of detangling would have taken me ages, but with Giovanni, the detangling process was quick and easy.

For those individuals that want to know if the company is environmentally responsible, well their packaging is recyclable.

My hair certainly is easier to manage, however not sure that it’s smoother per se, however I have texturised hair, therefore for the work it does on it, I am quite impressed.

Additonally, it does not have a strong smell so it’s great when you wash your hair. It has also saved me considerable time and effort as I don’t spend a many hours as I used to on my hair in general.

Giovanni Conditioner is great as well, it’s very think and I normally just use one coin and it is enough to moisturise my hair. I normally keep it in for 5 – 10 minutes without heat, however depending on the time I have, I use a shower cap and put a beanie on top if I want ran other household chores.

What I don’t like

Some of the ingredients seem to settle at the bottom of the shampoo and you have to keep shaking it to make sure that you are getting everything distributed in the shampoo. I am not sure if it’s because of my location that this is happening but it’s something I don’t like.

I find that I tend to use the conditioner more than the shampoo, yet I need it more. I think this is also on my end and has nothing to do with the brand.

As you can see, there’s not much to dislike about Giovanni in general.

Overall

Giovanni smooth as silk shampoo and conditioner really work well for me. I think depending on the type of hair you have it can be great and potentially it may also not be suitable for you. If you can get a sample in the shop I would suggest getting that first before you make the purchase.

This product would be ideal for an individual that has dry hair. I will go into my next blog to discuss about identifying how you can revive your hair depending on what you use for it.

If you have used Giovanni shampoo, how did you find them, did they work for you?

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Do you have a hair-care regimen plan?

I have a few questions that can assist you in knowing how well you are looking after your hair.

If you want to know how to retain afro hair length. Here are a few questions that will help you evaluate yourself.
Do you ensure that your hair is moisturized often?
How often do you colour and manipulate your hair?
Do you do deep conditioning every month?
Do you have a hair care plan?
Are you using the right products?
How often do you have protective styles?
How often are you trimming your hair?

If you don’t have a plan, the terrible news is that you may not see progress on your hair. But the good news is that anyone can start a plan just like if you did not go to the gym and decided to dedicate your time, energy and effort.

It’s never too late to get yourself started. How do you begin?

Well the key thing to begin with is making sure that the products you use are the best ones for your hair. How do you know a product is good for you? Nowadays there is a lot of information that can help you in getting the right product. Also it does not hurt to be consistent with a product for a minimum of 3 months as that can help you in identifying what works and what does not. Just like your skin, you need to make sure that your hair gets the same care.

How do you begin your plan, well that’s not too difficult. You just need to create consistency with what you do. For example, if you decide that you will be washing your hair every week, are you doing that? Are you consistent with your trim every 3 months? Don’t just start the process and stop it, the progress will be a lot slower. Are you keeping your hair moisturized every single week?

I will let you know that I was quite lazy in the maintenance of my hair, although I am aware that it can grow quite long. I left it to dry not really maintaining moisture and the other thing was that I was not trimming as often as I should.

When I was young, I had extremely long hair. It was actually the longest in the class. Everyone loved it and nobody wanted me to cut it off. During my final year of primary school, I decided to cut my hair short and let’s just say everyone was really surprised. I don’t remember any photos from that time but I remember my mum asking if I was sure I wanted to cut my hair. I was so sure and I actually don’t think I regretted it at all. Not sure I would cut my hair that short again but that was something I have done before.

I developed a hair care regimen that has assisted me in looking after my hair and it’s quite simple. Sometimes the simpler the hair care regimen, the easier it is to remain consistent.

Planning List

Here is a list of what should be done to ensure maximum maintenance and growth of hair:

  1. Select the right products for your hair and be consistent with it. Do not change your product unnecessarily just because a specific product is working for another individual. Research the product that your friend or family member has suggested first, don’t be running to buy it without research.
  2. Make sure that you are moisturizing your hair and that is well moisturized. A good tip, every 2 or 3 days make sure that you spray some water onto it and use a light oil such as argan, olive or coconut, whichever works for you.
  3. Minimize unnecessary use of heat. Make sure that you are not putting heat on your hair if you don’t need it. If it’s open you can try and get a protective style and make sure you are not using a straightener if you don’t have to.
  4. Trim your hair every 3 months. If you don’t trim your hair, you will find that it will grow but when you go to the hair dresser and it’s damaged you will get a hair cut and not a trim. That would mean that the growth you gained will be in vain.
  5. If you have chemicals on your hair, make sure that you are consistently retouching your hair every 6 to 8 weeks, don’t do it too frequently as that is not good for your scalp.
  6. Balance the protein treatment on your hair. Now some individuals cannot use protein on their hair and that’s something that you will get to understand the more you look after it.
  7. Low manipulation hair-styles are also suitable for afro hair as that means you are not tampering with your hair often.
  8. Lastly, make sure that you have a good diet as that will really help in growth of hair. Especially vegetables. If you must take supplements to make sure that you have everything, there is no problem with that.

Remember that this takes time and commitment as you cannot just wake up and do this once and all will be well.

Time will give you a good indication as to how well you are looking after your hair. Additionally, if you find that you hair is growing but it’s difficult to maintain your hair length, make sure that you are not manipulating it too much. The longer your hair get’s the more moisture will be required especially for the ends as the cuticle tends to get a little less stronger.

Now I will certainly delve into selection of hair products. I live in a country where it’s difficult to source many products, however I will provide information on how I choose suitable products for a reasonable price.

What other hair care regiment tips do you have if you have grown your hair? Let me know in the comments below.

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Hair Shrinkage on afro hair

In this article I will be looking at the shrinkage of afro hair and how the hair technique used for washing it can have an impact on how the hair will look as a result.

Anyone with hair that is 4a – c which would have the most curly hair type and various curl patterns from spiral to z curl knows this pain too well. When I was a lot younger I used to get my hair blow-dried all the time and braided into the usual school hairstyles as we were not really permitted to have any other types of hair styles in school.

I remember there was one older girl in the class ahead of me that had beautiful hair as well. One day out of curiosity just wanting to know what she does with her hair as she did not braid much I mentioned that my hair had shrinkage. She did not know what I was talking about. At that time I thought I was the only individual that goes through this. I had assumed that she goes through the same and potentially she may have had a different curl pattern therefore it may not have been an issue for her.

Shrinkage
Since as far back as I can remember I always experienced shrinkage, however whenever my hair was braided, I did not seem to have much shrinkage on my hair. Now as many individuals are discovering their natural hair sometimes depending on the occasion you may want to have your hair in a more natural state and at other times you don’t really want your hair in a natural state. I find that when I am washing it. If you want to minimize shrinkage when you are in the process of conditioning, it’s always good to separate your hair into four parts depending on the thickness of your hair and putting in huge twists.

When I start rinsing my hair in the shower, I normally undo one twist at a time, I will then make sure that all the conditioner is completely removed and put it back in the twist immediately after it has been rinsed out. I would repeat the process on the rest of the sectioned head and once I get out of the shower I moisturize it.
When the hair is completely dry, I find that it does not shrink as much as if I had just washed my hair in the shower without any sectioning.

I believe that the technique you use to wash your hair will determine how your hair dries.

What you need to know about shrinkage

Shrinkage is nothing to worry about. The main reason why we get hair shrinkage is due to the fact our hair type tends to change it’s structure during the process of washing. The water makes the hair heavier and the added moisture from the water makes it change. However once you straighten curly hair because the moisture content is reduced, you find that it becomes drier, and it can also tend to get frizzy. There is a lot of information out there that when hair is wet it can be easily manipulated and there are various styles that you can be done. Also when afro hair is wet, it’s the best time to blow dry it.

I have also heard that sometimes it’s better to manipulate dry hair and not wet hair as there tends to be less breakage. Through doing my own hair, I find that it’s easier to remove tangles when my hair is wet than when it dries up and if it dries up, then I will have to use a moisturizer if I am not using water to remove the tangles.

Therefore it’s best to find out what suits your hair well because if you are better off untangling your wet hair then it’s best to use that technique. Another really good way is to put lots of conditioner on your hair and use  wide toothed comb to take out the tangles. It’s always time consuming, however it will help you if you want to style your hair in a specific way be it blowdrying, braiding or just leaving it as a wash and go.

I also discovered an amazing club for afro, curly haired individuals, check it out on the website and I hope you enjoy it  as much as I did. Earthtones natural

Also let me know what hair method works best for your curly hair?

 

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Wash and Go Styling

Wash and Go

Wash and Go, let’s just say this particular style took me a long time to adopt to. Well first of all getting used to the texture of your hair and allowing it just to stay as it is was a great learning curve for me. The fact that you grow up in a society where the afro is looked down upon, it took a really long time before I started getting comfortable with it. In my previous post I spoke about self-love and how it has an impact on how you look after yourself.  When I had to begin the process of accepting everything about myself including my hair, it took a long time. I was always using a blow dryer and I noticed everytime I used it my ends were thinning. It was quite terrible. I remember at that time I was still trying to figure out what to do with my hair and I discovered a really interesting source of information. I used a few products to help my curls get less frizzy due to the fact I had been addicted to relaxer and now I still had that need to have my hair more manageable.

I ended up using clay as a treatment.

Clay treatment

This was amazing for me because I found that it was really safe on the hair and felt good when used on your head.
As I was looking for various resources to assist me during this time, I came across a product known as Kinky curly. To say that this product was one of the best things that happened in my life would be an understatement. I started using it a long time before it became popular and loved how it worked on my hair. I remember being at University at that time, so the cost was a bit of an issue for me but I remember using it on every member of the family and letting them know how it would solve their hair woes.

In terms of my hair type, it’s a mix between 4b and 4c texture. It’s not quite tough and when it’s blowdried it get’s quite soft. Most of the time people think I have used product to make it a certain way. I can only imagine what would happen if I was more consistent with products.

Products

One things I got to discover during the wash and go journey is that we don’t need to use too many products on our hair. I would have been a product junkie if I had access to many of the products that are in the market today, however I try to keep it simple because I think getting a product for $ 24 per item can tend to be alot and imagine if you are a student that can be  way too much money for it. So when I started this site, I thought if I was a student again, what would I tell my younger self? I would probably say, don’t spend too much on products and keep it simple, which is what I do today.

In saying all this, does it mean that I always moisturise or stick to a consistent strategy. Well ever since I got my son I can say it’s a challenge, however when I had all the time in the world to fix my hair I was absolutely committed. I think it’s also great to be around individuals that are positive about themselves as that can assist you in learning how to be happy with yourself. I think with the information nowadays we have a great opportunity to meet with other like-minded individuals online. I do remember being part of some groups at that time, but it still took me a very long time to accept myself.

How things change

I find it extremely fascinating that the natural hair journey became a thing when I had been natural for over 10 years. I have finally found the confidence to be myself and not apologize for anything. I know how to look after my hair although I don’t spend too much time like I want to. I always make sure that I wash it every week as it’s curly and use products that are sulfate free such as GIOVANNI Tea Tree  . This particular shampoo makes my hair feel amazing. However if the cost seems a bit much I find that using the more natural soaps such as Himalaya Protein Shampoo for Dry,, It’s much cheaper and you can easily get a hold of it.

There are a lot of products nowadays that cater to natural hair, however sometimes when they start becoming too commercialized sometimes you wonder if it still has the same impact. A few years ago the Keratin treatment became a really popular and I even considered doing it. I just think when you learn how to manager your hair in a certain way and then get to revert back to your original texture. It is a challenge. To this day I have friends that probably don’t know the texture of their hair because of the relaxers that they are used to and I can’t judge them because I know the struggle I had and I think everyone is on a different journey when it comes to natural hair.

I can conclude that for me at this point in my life I have finally learnt to accept myself through the good hair days and bad hair days. I think I have learnt how to cope with each situation and this blog made me realise I should probably start getting back to the creative individual I once was. I have accepted my hair for what it is and would not change it for the world.

What do you think of your natural hair and how has your journey been so far?