27 April 2013

Hairspiration: Hair talk with Shereen

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!

15 April 2013

Expectations, expectations, expectations

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:

  • Buns
  • Weaves & Wigs
  • Braids - yarn brands, mini braids, box braids, braided updo's
  • Twists - flat twists, 2 strand twists, senegalese twists, havana twists, kinky twists, twisted 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.

Hopefully some food for thought :) xxx

3 April 2013

2 months heat free!

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.

Thanks for keeping up with my hair journey xx