The cold weather this winter has really been no joke and it has definitely taken its tole on my hair. When I realised that the condition of my hair was deteriorating I decided to change up my hair regime a little to accomodate for this cold, windy and pretty much awful weather.
This post is way overdue, but better late than never right?
I've only been to one natural hair show before so I still wasn't completely sure what to expect, but I was hoping for a good day out and that's what I got. The day was full of a range of people giving interactive talks on all things hair, skincare, beauty and even healthy eating and lots of vendors selling great products.
I didn't get to make it to all of the talks because I got distracted by all the stands just outside the main room (oops). There were so many vendors - It was great. There were stands there from some amazing UK brands selling beauty and hair products as well as jewellery, magazines, scarves and more. And there was also some favourites from across the pond like Jane Carter and Curls.. I was in my element!
I ended up leaving with some Hibiscus powder, Rhassoul Clay Powder , Earrings and a ring from Meen Clothing and Naturally Made for You Exfoliator and Body Butter!
I really have to give a special mention to the Naturally Made products I bought. They make my skin feel soft like butter, I love them! The prices were reasonable too and the company owner was so lovely to chat too! It's a brand I would definitely recommend.
It was really amazing to see so many naturals all in one place! I saw so many different hairstyles that day and I managed to snap a few of my favourites. This lady's hair was amazing - it looked so healthy and full, I had to take a photo.
As for these locs - I completely love this updo!
The atmosphere was really friendly so it was a great chance to meet lots of other people who are interested in natural hair too ( I say people because it wasn't only women there, there were a few men representing too which was nice to see).
It was a really good opportunity to learn a little bit more about natural hair and how to care for it. I think it was definitely suitable for newly naturals, people who have been natural all their lives and also relaxed ladies wanting to learn a bit more about natural hair - Thats a hard balance to find but I think they pulled it off. The talks were interactive and there was opportunity for people to give their opinions and cause discussion which was pretty interesting. Overall, a really great day and I'm looking forward to next year's.
I've put all the photos I took on the Kinks, Curls and More Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/KinksCurlsAndMore
Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about twistouts and how to achieve and maintain good ones. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I wear twistouts the majority of the time - they're my all time fave!
Anyway, I thought I'd sum up all my tips and the things I've found to work for my twistouts in this post. Not all the things that work for my hair will work for everybody's hair type, but I think they're work sharing either way. Enjoy :)
Achieving the twistout
1. Ensure hair is well moisturised and sealed before twisting - By moisturising and then sealing with an oil or butter all the moisture is being locked into the hair prior to twisting, so that once it is untwisted it will still be moisturised. This will stop the hair looking dry and frizzy and have the curls popping, looking moisturised and healthy. I have also found this helps to make the curls last too
2. For a more stretched look - air dry hair 70% before twisting - I have found that when my hair is drier rather than soaking wet, the twistout has more volume and looks less shrunken. Its a matter of personal preference whether you like them with a bit of shrinkage or you prefer them to be more stretched out. 3. Make sure hair is fully detangled and smooth before twisting - Ensuring hair is smooth and detangled will make it a lot easier to untwist and help give sleeker curls. 4. Stop twisting hair about an inch before the ends of your hair and finger coil the ends - this leaves a more natural looking curl on the ends.
5. Let hair dry 100% before untwisting- Allow drying time when you plan to do a twist out. If you unravel the twists before they are completely dry the chances are that your hair will be frizzy as a result. Curls tend to be more defined and smooth when the hair has fully dried in the twists.
6. For a more defined look use a product with 'hold' - You can simply add some gel to your hair whilst twisting or use a product that states it has hold and is great for defining. By using these twists will create very defined curls and give a less fluffy look. I wouldn't recommend using either of these if you like a more fluffy look. I prefer the fluffy look so rarely add any product with hold. If I do it will only be on the ends to keep the curls very defined there, but they usually hold well just with oil.
7. Be careful when untwisting - If you want to keep defined curls and make it easier to maintain them then take care when untwisting. If you do flatwists for your twistouts this will cause the hair to separate quite a lot naturally when untwisting. Separate your curls more or less depending on the look that you want to achieve. Just know that if you separate your curls to much they will probably just end up frizzy. Also, by adding a little bit of oil to your hands when untwisting you will add a nice shine to the hair.
8. Use an afro pick for a more volume - If you love to have BIG hair then by using a pick to tease your roots after untwisting your hair you will achieve amazing volume. If you want to keep the definition of the curls then only tease the roots, don't use the pick to comb out any curls elsewhere.
Who remembers Yaya from ANTM back in the day? Ever since I watched her on there I have been loving her hair. Recently she's been wearing some beautiful styles and generally just looking AMAZING. Maybe this is part of her 'pregnancy glow'? - Who knows. All I know is that she's been generating some serious hair envy and a lot of hair inspiration.
As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I'm not exactly sure what style my 'Good hair day' was. Whether it was a wet twist out or wash and go, it really doesn't matter to me because I loved it either way so I had to share it.
The planned style was a wet twist out, however I only had around 3 hours to get ready and wash my hair before going out, so I knew that my flat twists wouldn't have time to dry in time but I put them in anyway. I managed to keep them in for around 2 hours after washing my hair, but as you can imagine my hair was still pretty damp when I took them out. Due to this my hair had maintained more of its natural curls rather than setting in the shape of the curls formed by the flat twists so it came out looking more like a wash and go.
Usually whenever I do wash & go's I never wear my hair out, but immediately put my hair into a puff and wear that style for the duration until the next wash day. This is mainly because my curls usually look shrunken and I'm never quite feeling that look on me. Not to mention the single strand knots dryness that usually follow which always make me regret doing the style.
This style on the other hand came out like a less shrunken wash and go which was PERFECT for me. Plus due to the slight stretching of the hair, I didn't feel like I had been cursed by the single strand knot fairy! So it turns out that being in a rush wasn't such a bad thing, because I was completely loving the results of this accidental style. It ended up being the perfect summer style and solved all my wash and go problems.
I'm giving away a small selection of some of the products and samples I got my hands on during Afro Hair and Beauty Live, Curlvolution and Brit Beauty over the May bank holiday weekend.
Open until 27th July! Winner will be announced via this blog!
African Pride Olive Oil Growth Oil
Elasta QP Mango & Olive Oil Moisturiser
Beautiful Textures Curl Definer
A selection of samples
How to enter: 1. Follow this blog 2. Leave a comment on this post saying 'enter me'
How to follow the blog - You need to click the 'join this site' button in the right hand side bar which looks like the one below. Then follow the instructions, which will create you an account if you dont already have one, so you can comment on the post.
Just click the pencil or the 'comments' to enter your comment.
Open only to UK unfortunately. Hopefully I'll be able to do an international one soon :)
Mix all the ingredients together using a blender, hand blender or whisk (preferably electric as it will make life much easier for you)
It's best to use some kind of blender as you're less likely to be left with any lumps and the smoother the mix, the better. I had to use an electric whisk when I made it and I had a few lumps which I had to pick out my hair when applying the conditioner.
I was so impressed with the results of this deep conditioner! My hair felt VERY soft and moisturised. Recently my hair has been feeling quite dry, especially on the ends, so this was perfect. My curls were poppin' afterwards too.
Avocado - Great for moisturizing the hair and leaving it soft. Rich in vitamins and fatty acids to nourish hair and promote hair growth. Natural humectant properties.
Natural Yogurt -Helps eliminate frizz. Probiotics help combat dry, itchy scalp. Gentle cleanser. Moisturising. Great for detangling. Protein helps strengthen hair. Encourage hair growth. Olive Oil - Anti-imflammatory properties which prevent dandruff and promote scalp health. Rich in vitamin E and fatty acids. Penetrates hair shaft.
I bought this product a couple of months ago and I was so excited to try it. Be Unique is a UK homegrown company and I'd heard great things of some of their products so I wanted to give them a try myself, starting with Butta' Shine. I chose this as I'd been looking for some kind of butter to seal my hair with and this looked perfect.
Product Description/Purpose:"Creates shine and locks in moisture"The description didn't lie. I've been using this product regularly since I bought it and each time its done exactly what it claims to. It creates shine without making the hair feel too greasy or giving that 'wet' look. It also does a great job sealing in the moisture so it doesn't get dry or brittle.
Uses: Packaging says it can be used in general to lock in moisture, for twists, twist outs, braids or braid outs. Also its good to use under hair gel to prevent crunchiness.
Ingredients:A really great list of natural ingredients with none of the nasties that most naturalistas try to avoid - Murumuru Butter, Capuacu Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Crambe abyssinica Oil, Sweet Almond Oil *(and) Nettle (and) Horsetail Extract (and) Sage Extract (and) Lavender Extract, Sapote Oil, Carrot Tissue Oil (Sunflower Oil (and) Carrot Seed Extract)
Price:90g / 3.17oz £12.95. This is slightly more than I would have liked to spend as I prefer products on the other side of £10 usually, but for the quality of the product and its ingredients I think it was worth it. Sometimes you have to pay more if you want great quality right?
Packaging: Product comes in a sleek black plastic tub, with most of the writing written in white so its easy to read.
Shelf life: Around 8 months - I bought mine early May and the best before date is 12/2013 which I think is fine as I would expect to have used it all in that time.
Texture/ Consistency:Initially the product was fairly solid and had a smooth, light, mousse like texture. When using my fingers to scoop some out I could hear air bubble popping which was quite cool. Once it melts in your hands it looks and feels like melted butter, making it easy to apply to the hair. On the tub it does say that it may liquify at warm temperatures and unfortunately mine did this after few days, so I've been storing it in the fridge since. The consistency changed slightly as a result but not dramatically and it was still just as effective so it didn't cause too much of a problem, but its something to be aware of.
Scent:The smell isn't anything special, but its definitely not unpleasant. It has a slightly nutty smell, but is hard to describe. To me, its what you would expect from the mix of natural butters and other ingredients in the product.
Verdict: I really love this product, I think its a great sealant. I'll definitely be re-purchasing it once the one I have runs out. A little seems to go a long way so its lasted well so far and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth. The price might be seen as a little expensive, but I think its worth it. Its also great to know I'm supporting an independent UK business!
Pre-poo? Please let me explain... if you don't know what it is, it's really not as weird as it sounds lol. Pre-poo is just short for pre-shampoo treatment.
I only started doing pre-poo treatments 3-4 months ago and I'll never go back! So I wanted to dish all the details for anyone who hasn't tried it yet or doesn't know much about them - sharing is caring right?
What is it?
Applying a conditioning treatment to hair before washing/shampooing.
This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to be a hair model for Strength of Nature at Curlvolution, Afro Hair and Beauty Live and Brit Beauty. Curlvolution and Brit Beauty were the first natural hair events I've ever been to so I was SUPER excited... It's safe to say they did not disappoint.
Over the weekend I had my hair styled by award winning stylist Charlotte Mensah, so on Friday I went to get my hair treated and prepped at her salon, Hair Lounge.
After deep conditioning using Beautiful Textures' Rapid Repair, my hair was blowdried and then the bottom half was braided upwards. The top was sprayed with water to give it some 'puffiness', put into chunky twists using Beautiful Textures' Curl Control and pinned to create this amazing style.
As much as I loovee to see these updo's on other people, I've never really thought they would suit me so I've stayed away from it. I have to admit it took a while for me to get used to it, but once I did I LOVED it. All the models got hooked up with our makeup too over the weekend and had our faces looking on point. You can find the MUA on instagram @beatbybeni.
Over the weekend Charlotte showcased how she created this look using the Beautiful Textures products and recreated the top section during live demonstrations. I even had the chance to work the runway at AHBL!
I was also able to meet the lovely Strength of Nature team who came over from the US for these events, which was great. AND they bought the one and only Afrobella with them who I managed to steal a picture with (and yes, she's even more sweet and friendly than she looks.. and she looks super friendly).
All in all it was an amazing experience and I'm really grateful to Pelumi of Care For Your Hair for the opportunity. I got the chance to meet so many great people including the lovely girls I was modelling with! Plus I also came away with a crazy big selection of Strength of Nature goodies. If you don't know their brands then they include: Beautiful Textures, Elasta QP, Profectiv Mega Growth, African Pride, Profectiv Growth Renew, Profectiv Relax and Refresh.
I'll be doing my first give away with some Strength of Nature goodies so make sure you're subscribed for a chance to win :)
Some of the other lovely girls modelling for Strength of Nature at the weekend
Well, its fair to say its been a while since I posted (apart from the deep conditioner post). Why? Because I've been busy drowning in a sea of revision. But now I finally have my freedom back - I've finished my second year at uni so there's going to be blog posts galore!
As far as my hair goes for this exam season... its not been pretty. I definitely found myself neglecting my hair in favour of the books, as sad as I am to admit this. My hair has been in the mighty, forever faithful, always triumphant - PUFF... for about 2 weeks. (as you can see in the pic above).
I can't lie, although it looked alright, bwoi did it feel the complete opposite. It felt so dry and neglected. So as I type I'm sat with my coconut oil pre-poo on, ready to fix this hot mess tomorrow.
Natural Hair Events in London:
I'm sure a lot of you already know that this bank holiday weekend is going to be one crazy weekend for UK naturalistas.
Here's what's going on...
25th 2013 May - Curlvolution's Curlfriends Day Out
I'll be attending all of the events this weekend which I'm super excited about. I'll be posting regular updates of all the goings on via my twitter and instagram so make sure you're following me on these! Also I'll give a full run down on the events in a post at some point next week.
I got the chance to ask the lovely Shereen a few questions about her hair. This will be the first of many 'hair talks', so check out her answers below!
How long have you been natural for and are you a 'big chopper' or a 'transitioner'?
Well, this is my second time going natural due to a freak accident with some shampoo that somehow managed to relax my hair again! But this time around I’ve been going natural since about Sept 2012, so around 8 months. I’ve been transitioning but I do plan to do my “big chop” quite soon!
What influenced you to go natural?
When I first went natural I made the decision because my hair is quite fine and the relaxer was damaging my hair to the point where my hair lightened from 1B to about a 4 without any colouring. Also my hair seemed to be refusing to grow past a certain length which was getting quite frustrating as not long before I relaxed my hair, my hair seemed to be growing quite nicely.
So what are your go to transitioning styles?
My number 1 transitioning style which I love, love, love is twists! I absolutely love them! Lol. Depending on length they are so easy to manage and to maintain and you can do so much with them. Also when my hair is out for a break flat twist outs with bantu knots at the end tend to work really well! I also like to occasionally do a half head weave, since I learnt how to keep my leave out straight with-out having to use heat.
And how about your top 3 products whilst transitioning?
Shea-moisture products are great, I don’t know how I lived without them! Also black castor oil especially for my hair as its fine, it helps to thicken my hair and (even though its not 1 product) all of the Mahogany naturals products! Love them! And what great is she’s based in the UK, literally round the corner from my moms house in Milton Keynes lol!
What does your current regime involve?
Co wash - Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. If my hair is out I co-wash every 2 weeks
Leave in - A mixture of jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil, Shea Moisture restorative conditioner and aloe vera or Tresseme Naturals conditioner
Deep Treatment - Mahogany Naturals rhassoul cocoa and honey treatment. When I treat my hair I usually leave it in for about and hour and when I deep condition I leave it in for 15-20 minutes applying a gentle heat.
I moisturise every day and trim every month but it usually works out as 6 weeks as thats how long I leave protective styles in.
Are there any hairspirations (from youtube/blogs/celebrity etc) that you think other naturals or transitioners should look out for?
In terms of celebrities, Solange Knowles! I am such a fan of not only her hair but her whole style! I love it! Also Lauren “KeKe” Palmer. Just because you see people in weaves all the time really does not mean they have no hair! Kim (Youtube: backsyncfan) and Jess (Youtube: Mahoganycurls)
Whats been the hardest thing about transitioning and also the best about going natural?
The hardest thing about transitioning is definitely maintain and looking after the 2 different types of hair! However the best thing about going natural is the versatility of our hair! There is so much you can do with it. If your hair is naturally straight you can’t have an afro but with afro hair you can do both and so much more!
How can we keep up to date with your hair journey?
You can follow me on instagram at “reeniebee_x” and I’m currently in the process of setting up my youtube channel! Filming is beginning next week so once everything is sorted I’ll definitely update you with details!
I stumbled across a video the other day about having realistic expectations for 4C hair over on Jouelzy's channel and it got me thinking about how important it is to know what you can achieve with your hair and the things that are no go areas.
She makes some really good points about 4C hair in the video, but obviously its not just people with 4C hair that need to think about it. I started to think about this a while ago, so I thought I'd share some of the general things I've learned - not specific to any hair type.
For the record I'm still not completely sure about my hair type because my hair seems to be a mixture. BGLH has a really good guide if you want to figure your own hair out though (just click the link).
1. Different hair textures can make one style come out in so many different ways. You have to find the way that works for your hair and not keep expecting to make it turn out like someone who's hair is on the other end of the spectrum to yours. I soon realised this after trying to get my hair to resemble one my hairspiration's at the beginning of my hair journey who's hair is more coarse than my fine strands.
For me, I've realised I can't expect to get amazing twistouts - they just don't work for me(like, really don't). My hair ends up like shrinkage central, with curls that just don't work. But Flat-twist outs... that style loves my hair and my hair loves it back!
2. Wearing your hair out all the time really isn't for you if your hair gets dry easily - know your limits & get your protective styling on. They prevent damage from the daily elements and are especially helpful to the ends.Also if you're aiming for length retention then they're really useful.
There's loads of cute protective styles out there that can be worn - Ones that can be worn for a day or two, like buns to ones that can last a month or so like braids. You just need to figure out how long to keep them in, because some hair types need to be fully moisturised quite often.
I'm feeling informative so I thought I'd share a few protective styles:
Weaves & Wigs
Braids - yarn brands, mini braids, box braids, braided updo's
I've been trying to wear them more often too because I know I can't be expecting to retain length and wear my hair out all the time like I have been doing.
3. Healthy, long hair doesn't happen over night. Natural hair takes patience . It seems to me that a lot of naturals are looking for long hair, but when you look at all those ladies who have it, you have to realise its taken years to get there - especially if they big chopped. Expecting your hair to reach unrealistic lengths, within unrealistic periods of time = discouraging when it doesn't happen.
You have to figure out a regimen that encourages length retention and that takes time too. Some people's hair grows faster than others and thats just something you have to deal with. You can't expect your hair to grow at exactly the same rate as other people's and then get discouraged when it doesn't. You just have to learn the way and the rate which your hair grows and make realistic goals.
I did it! I challenged myself to going at least 2 months without using heat in my first post and I've made to 8 weeks and I feel like I could easily go for longer. SUCCESS.
I just wanted to prove to myself that I dont need to rely on heat all the time to style my hair and I've done it, so I'm happy! This doesn't mean that I'll never straighten my hair again - hell no. BUT now that I know I can last without doing it and rock my styles well, I don't really need to use heat that often. When I do decide to straighten or blow dry my hair I'm gonna make sure I do it the right way to so theres less chance of any heat damage.
I've had some amazing twistouts, given bantu knots a try, rediscovered african threading, found my wash and go mojo (finally) and started rockin my headscarves more often. I'm on a roll!
I'm really getting into this blogging thing too soo even though I've been a bit quiet in the past few weeks (oh the joys of uni work) I'm gonna be getting back on it!
Oh and I've been getting my mix on with deep conditioners so I'm gonna be doing some 'mixtress' posts with my fave recipes.
I think its about time for another dose of hairspiration. I'm just loving Chrisette Michele at the moment. She changes up her styles so much - she's completely showcasing how much fun you can have with your hair. Plus I went to see her in concert at the Jazz Cafe in January and saw in person just how STUNNING she looks with her short hair.. seriously, she looked fabulous!