Friday, 28 November 2014

Are 4C Hair Bloggers Boring?

I'll just say off the bat that I don't generally hair type. There are far more relevant factors to take into account than curl pattern. But for argument's sake, I'm going to say I'm 4C. 

When I first went natural, I really didn't understand hair typing so I just followed the popular bloggers, specifically, Naptural85 and Kimmaytube (Newbies be like 'who?'). And I believed that my hair could do the same things theirs could. Well. I was wrong. Not only couldn't it, it didn't even want to try. (I still cringe at my attempts at shingling). It finally twigged that my hair was totally different and that I had to find someone with the same texture as mine before I committed haircide and went back to the crack. 

Cue massive stumbling block. I couldn't find anyone. These days, there are a few kicking about but back then, it was tumbleweed as far as 4C bloggers went. I did find those who sorta-kinda-looked-like-mine but they still had curls. Or rather coils.

And my hair doesn't. It doesn't curl or coil or clump.It's edges won't be laid and it can't wash and go. In fact, it's pretty much like having a stroppy teenager growing out of your head. It just wants to be left alone. *slams door* If I do try to force it, it punishes me by matting and tangling and knotting and drying up. My 4C hair may look tough as nails but is very fragile. To make it even more challenging, my strands are fine, therefore lots of handling = lots of breakage. So I learned that, in order to keep it happy and make my life easier, I needed to severely minimise how much I handled it.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Homemade Moisture DCs Do NOT Work!

So lately I've been looking into making my own products for home use. I'm pretty lazy so this is purely because, until local brands have more of a presence, it is hard to come by natural-friendly products locally that are affordable.

My foray into DIYing led me to sites that broke down the chemical composition of conditioners etc. Although I have had to shelve the idea of homemade water-based products as the chemicals simply aren't available here, my research has given me a better understanding of how different conditioners are formulated to do different things.

In order for something to be considered a conditioner, it has to have a conditioning agent/emulsifer (among other things of course) like any -ium chloride coupled with a fatty acid, for example. Leave in conditioners have the smallest percentage of these, at only about 1%, followed by rinse-out conditioners (like Tresemme), which have an average of 3-4%. For Deep Treatments, that percentage rises to 7-9%. Based on this, it stands to reason that mixing a rinse-out conditioner with oils and humectants to give it extra oompf only serves to dilute the percentage of what little conditioning agent it has in the first place, meaning not only are you NOT deep conditioning, you're not even regular conditioning. Technically, the same reasoning should also apply to mixing a purpose-made deep treatment.

Monday, 24 November 2014

How To Stay Sane While Finger Detangling

There's no question about it, finger detangling is the biz. It dramatically reduces breakage caused by combs and brushes. And the less breakage you have, the less split ends are likely to form, the better your hair health and the more length you retain overall. But damn if it isn't a pain in the buttocks. 

Let's face it. Gently separating 150,000 (don't quote me) strands of hair one at a time to remove shed and broken hairs is not for the faint hearted. Yes non-naturals and naturals who comb, pick your jaws off the ground; that is literally what we do.


To prevent the loss of any marbles during the process, here are a few tips on how to keep finger detangling as mentally palatable as possible:

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Which Natural Are You? *Warning: Will cause offence*

1. The Product Junkie
The most common of the species, the Product Junkie, or 'PJ', is often found trawling beauty aisles looking for their next fix. PJs always acknowledge that they are PJs but rarely admit how much they actually spend on their habit. Any amount the PJ confesses to spending on products should be multiplied by 10 to get a more realistic idea. PJs will ALWAYS know what the latest, most desirable, most exclusive product or gadget on the scene is. And they will usually own it, or go bankrupt trying.

2. The OG
Easily identified by the bored look on their faces and the barely controlled irritation in their voices, OGs are those rare creatures that have been natural FO' EVER! Before natural was cool. Yeah, they're those people. Should you be brave enough to try and impart some of your new-found wisdom to an OG, you will be shot down faster than you can say 'Black Hawk Down'. The OG anthem features lines like 'I've been using Dax Pomade forever and my hair is fine'. If your paths should cross, duck your silicone-free head and cross the road, quickly!

3. The Oil Slick
Also known as 'The Heavy Hand', the oil slick can easily be tracked by the stains they leave on every chair, wall and pillowcase that crosses their path. Usually sporting a greasy forehead with a generous sprinkling of resulting acne, the oil slick eats 'dime-sized' for lunch and causes an environmental crisis every time they go swimming.

How To Avoid Long Wash Days

Wow. It's been a minute since I've had a three-day wash-day but I just finished a marathon session that has left me reeling (albeit with cottony-soft hair).

Day 1: (evening) Prepooed with coconut oil. I decided to do a proper full-head, dry, finger-detangle at the same time since I was already sitting around with obscene amounts of oil in my hair. It ended up being worse than death by a thousand paper cuts as my poor planning meant I hadn't bought something trashy to occupy me and, worse, it was hubby's remote night (long story) so I had to endure hours of 'Deadliest Catch', football and boring intellectual stuff like news. Finally finished and had to go to bed in a shower cap (ran out of cling film) to avoid messing up my pillowcase with my greasy head.

Day 2: (crack of dawn) shampooed with Kinky Curly Come Clean (I love this stuff) and was conditioning when I thought 'heck! why not do a henna gloss'. Since I was too lazy to rinse out the conditioner, I slapped on a shower cap (again), mixed the henna and let it 'cook' while I went about my day.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Fierce Fridays!!


night-time matutas :)

Name: Monica Kaburu

Age: 41

Hometown: Palermo - Sicily

Favourite Item Of Clothing: Scarves of all sorts, sandals and ethnic jewellery

Can't Live Without: My three special little kids, What would my life be without them? So empty! They give a sense to my life and to all my sacrifices. Everything is worth it.

Country I Most Want to Visit: In addition to going back to Kenya as many times as possible, a tour of Central and South America would be great!

Style Icon: All those ladies around the world who work for women's rights and fight against oppression. Their style is in their character, in their personality, and in the work they put into what they believe. From the famous faces to the common woman on the street; from Isabel Allende to Rigoberta Menchu. From Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Tracy Chapman.

Hair Tip: My Hair represents my mood. In my natural look, I find the grit and determination to face life with strength, energy and intensity. I feel authentic, genuine and original. I feel self-confident.  I am myself!