Natural Hair Look Update
After having my second big chop in 2010, with the exception of annual trims I’ve allowed my hair grow naturally. I supported the growth and my all round good healthy, during my two pregnancies by taking supplements. After my second baby, I took part in growth challenges hosted by Jenell Stewart on her Kinky Curly Coily Me blog. Taking part in the challenges allowed me to focus on caring for my hair better which helped to combat postpartum shedding. However, since joining the gym I’ve been feeling for a change. I wanted a look to fit with my shedding pounds. Just as it happened five years ago, two weeks ago I woke up and decided it was the day for a big chop.
Over the years I’ve had various hairstyles. Since going natural I’ve worn braid and I twists with extensions a few times. I’ve never been that adventures with my hair. My main concern was keeping it healthy to foster growth and fit with my lifestyle.
This time around I went for a big chop with a bit of style, an asymmetrical curly version of a short crop I had years ago. I had it done while I was visiting my dear friend Chelsea. Some of you may remember she did my last big chop. Additionally, when I was pregnant with Valentina, she did my look up date by trimming and highlight my hair. I trust her immensely. Aside from my hairdresser, there is no one else who I’d allow to cut my hair. I’m absolutely happy with it, but I think when I lose more weight I may cut it a shorter. It’s so liberating to have short hair and for some reason I tend to feel sexier and more confident. Once that second cut has been done, I’ll allow it to grow again.
Like my new lifestyle I want to start anew with my hair and let it grow and blossom as I hope to do as a maturing woman, wife and mother. This is my third big chop. Here’s hoping, third time the charm. It is true, being natural is a s state of mind. What have you done to your hair this summer? Do you plan to change you look for autumn/winter? Please feel free to share you story.
Press Release: lounge & learn with the United Kurls
On Sunday 6th September The United Kurls Collective will be hosting their second Lounge & Learn event. The concept was launched in June 2015 by the founding members of the collective with the aim of bringing back the personal touch to events and offering those interested in natural hair and beauty something a little different.
The over-subscribed ‘Learning Sessions’ bring something special to the event, imparting valuable knowledge to UK naturalistas including both adults and children. These sessions allow attendees to become more informed about their hair, the products they use and the work of small business owners. United Kurls truly believe that imparting such knowledge will allow attendees to make more informed shopping choices.
Lounge & Learn 2 sees the return of Annette Clark-Headley (Almocado) and Akua Wood (Sheabutter Cottage) delivering their session entitled ‘Is it worth it?’ The two explain what goes into making natural products, how to read the labels whilst selecting the best options for your hair.
Hair stylist and YouTube vlogger Yonkel C will share her professional knowledge; discussing the effects that diet, lifestyle and environment can have on hair and scalp health.
Blogger Crystal Afro founder of The United Kinkdom, will be providing food for thought with her talk entitled ‘Black British Beauty?’ Crystal will discuss the relationship between culture, identity and black women in Britain.
Additionally Katrina Emmanuel of Mane Divas will be offering Mini Divas consultations with FREE Prescription. Learn how to avoid tears and tangles by booking a taster session on maintaining your daughters beautiful Mane. Afro-Caribbean or of a mixed heritage, this service is for all hair textures.
Who are the United Kurls?
United Kurls was created as an innovative response to market and promote small UK hair care brands. The main premise of the collective is to cooperatively utilise the skills and talents of the female business owners to self-promote through carefully designed marketing campaigns and United Kurls branded events. The founding members come from varied backgrounds and bring to the collective many skills for the successful development of the collective.
Sunday 6th September 2015 11am-5pm
Hilton London Tower Bridge 5 More London Place, Tooley St, London SE1 2BY
Learning Sessions and Mini Diva Consultations cost
Mane Diva’s Sea Heart: product review
It’s been several years since I’ve used Rhassoul clay in block form as a hair treatment. One of my favourite conditioners contains Rhassoul clay, but its a soft creamy mixture. I was intrigued by the new product of Mane Divas had created, Sea Hearts. When I trialled the Sea Hearts (Banana & Apricot) hair treatment, I’d recently dyed my hair one weak previously. I was happy with the results. Mane Divas’ Sea Hearts (Banana & Apricot) gave me fortified popping curls.
Mane Divas’ Sea Hearts is a heart-shaped block 70g in weight. Organic Moroccan Rhassoul clay is the primary ingredient, mixed with Apricot, Banana, Irish Moss, Sulphur, Coconut Oil & Avocado butter. Its functions as a two in one shampoo and conditioning treatment. To use it must must be mixed with a liquid either 100ml of distilled water or coconut milk. I mixed mine with boiled water. In my excitement, I think I added more water than I should have. It smelt good enough to eat.
To dry hair I applied the Sea Hearts mixture. I wrapped my hair in plastic wrap and covered in an aluminium-like treatment cap. I didn’t use electrical heat. I allowed my natural body heat process by the treatment, while I went about my house chores. I left it in for about one hour. When I removed the cap, I massage my hair and rinsed it. Although it’s advised that no conditioner is required, I had to apply a conditioner. I don’t normally detangle my hair before washing, so after using the treatment it was very tangled. Additionally, my hair felt a bit weighed down but fortified. I applied a high street budget brand conditioner it gave me good slip to detangle without stressing my hair. Once the conditioner was rinsed out the weighty feeling was gone.
After detangling, I applied a styling cream and an organic oil to my hair and flat-twisted it. I followed up by drying with a diffuser. The following day I took my twists down and styled my hair in an updo. My hair felt soft, silky, and bouncy. My curls were well defined with minimal frizz.
Although, Sea Hearts worked well for me it would not be my first choice of treatment. My choice is based only on personal choice, not the effectiveness of the product. Treatments like these cannot be rushed. Time must be taken to mix it correctly and apply without making a big mess. This is one for a natural mixtress who loves making hair treatments. I prefer ready-made conditioners and treatments just for the ease due to my lifestyle.
Mane Divas has created three types of Sea Hearts treatments each has its own benefit. It can be ordered from the Mane Divas website. The price ranges £5.99-£6.99. To find more about Mane Divas, their product range or read their hair blog please visit their website.
NXS International Haircare Range: product review
I first heard about the NXS International haircare range in 2014. I was eager to try more organic British haircare brands and luckily I won a competition via Instagram for trial sizes of the NXS International range. I was a bit heavy handed using the styling products, so I didn’t get best results. When I untwisted my hair it was limp and felt clammy. What difference a year makes. I’ve learnt styling tricks to make my thin hair look fuller. Best of all, I know what ingredients my hair likes and how to use them. Thankfully, I got a second chance to try NXS International products. Armed with my new styling knowledge, the outcome was much better. I trialled NXS International Nature Intense Moisturising Hair Lotion (suitable for Dry/Extra Hair) and NXS Shea & Cocoa Butter Hair Pomade for three weeks with good results.
I liked NXS International’s Nature Intense Moisturising Hair Lotion when I tried it last year, this time around at first I didn’t. My hair has changed over the last year. To start with most of the professional bleaching and colour has grown out. At the moment it has a rinse out hairdye. Overall it’s in good condition with the exception of the ends that need trimming. I eventually worked out I needed much less of the hair lotion now.
How I used it: on clean damp hair as a styling. On dry hair as a detangler and styling aid. I also used it on occasion as daily moisturiser.
The Results: Because it’s so rich I could easily go three days before reapplying. It always gave my hair a lovely shine without weighing it down. My curls had an elasticity to them and no frizz. On wet or dry hair it worked best for me when used alone. Including an oil to lock in moisture made my hair clammy.
The fragrance is a pleasant spicy but not over-powering coco-vanilla with a hint of lavender. It would work any hair type. Use as advised. I would suggest applying a little, only adding more it’s needed. It comes in a 250 ml bottle with a pump nozzle. Depending on how it’s used, it could last up to two months.
The NXS Shea & Cocoa Butter Hair Pomade I love LOVE! It’s not petroleum based as ole school pomades used to be. This pomade is all gorgeous natural cocoa and shea butters mixed. In the jar it’s solid but once on the finger tips, it slowly beings to melt.
How I used it: I applied to my dry hair and that of my daughter’s as a styling aid.
The Results: I believe my daughter has a 2b curl pattern. Her hair loved it. Her naturally glossy hair felt super soft and smooth like silk. She had less flyaways then usual. On myself, it kept my edges neater than usual but it’s not an edge taming product. Don’t expect it to have a hold. I would say that my hair is 3b/c curl type. It absorbed quickly into my hair, no clamminess or tackiness. I can easily use it mid-week to re-twist my hair if necessary without fear of build-up. Because it melts so easily it can be applied to the scalp directly.
The fragrance is a pleasant sweet cocoa smell. It contains coconut, castor and olives oils all of which my hair responds well too. It’s my new favourite styling aid.
NXS International was established in 2008. It has a range of bodycare, haircare and skincare products, all of which are at least 87% natural. The products are affordable and well packaged with a high-end look. On the NXS International website the Nature Intense Moisturising Hair Lotion RRP £13.99. The Shea & Cocoa Butter Hair Pomade ranges in price £7.99-£11.99. For more information about the brand and its products please visit their website.
What I’ve learnt about diffusing my natural hair… so far…
I’ve been wearing my hair natural (if you exclude the highlights) for 3 years and 11 months now. In that time, I’ve only used heat on ‘wash-day’ for deep conditioning and drying my twists . I’ve been wanting to experiment with diffusing for AAAAGES. I’d viewed Taren Guys YouTube video on diffusing natural hair a few times and I thought I was ready to take it to the next level. What I’ve learnt about diffusing is heat protection is vital.
Recently, I was finally able to treat myself to a new hairdryer WITH a diffuser attachment. I’d read a few reviews and opted to go with the Diva Professional Styling Veloce 3800 PRO which has ‘Ionic Technology’. Ionic Technology is meant to neutralize ‘ionic charges on the hair smoothing the hair shaft to add shine, softness and manageability whilst reducing flyaway hair caused by static’. They had me at softness and manageability. To be honest I didn’t know and never noticed if I had frizzy hair due to static as only used my hairdryer for and not styling.
According to review the attachment I selected, Diva Professional Styling Disffuser XL PRO, can fit most Diva Professional hairdryers. When it arrived I was shocked by the size! It could fit half of head! But the upside is as my hair grows I will not need to purchase another, also my drying would be cut down. Both products have lived up to their claims. On both occasions my hair was lovely and swishing with minimal frizz. However, my hair was not a silky to the touch as when I twist, dry my hair, then rock a twist-out. It never occurred to me to to apply a heat protection treatment.
SO! based on my novice hair styling blunder I have a few questions for more experienced natural hair wearers/stylers:
– What heat protection product should I use (cream, or liquid spray…)
– How often can I safely diffuse my hair
– How do I maintain my curls after day 1.
Added to the above I need to work on my technique as I’m not getting much volume. Do you style your natural hair by diffusing?Are you happy with the results? What products do you use to prep your hair? Are you big on volume? If so how do you achieve it?
|Angelo’s first haircut|
First Natural Hair Length Check
|growth over 2 1/2 years|
|length check images, pic on rhs shows thinning hair at temple area|
Health complications aside, I think maintaining natural hair can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.
Natural hair as an expat
|Circa 2001, passport pics are NEVER cute|
of mine. By the time I moved into my second flat share in the summer of 2003, one of my flatmates had referred me to her hairdresser.
add. I wouldn’t recommend a DIY BC, unless you have a hairdresser on speed dial.
|5 mths pregnant, June 2010 (T’dad)|
|June 2010 (T’dad)|
finding a hairdresser and products that suit your hair needs?
- Only do the big chop (BC) when you are certain you are ready to let go of your old hair ways
- Less is more: good hair products and as little hair manipulation as possible goes a long way for growth
- Do trim your ends from time to time (its recommended every 6-8 wks, but I do twice per year)
- Pre-poos are great to preventing excess loss of the hair’s natural oils and improving the hairs flexibility (swish swish)
- Keeping hair and scalp moisturized improves the hair condition and there is less frizz.
- Hair may shed after pregnancy due to changes in hormones (more info here)
|Prepped and ready for steam|
|Rinsed and trimmed|
|Protective style corn-rowed front & two strand twist back|
Are you a nautralista? What was the best thing about going natural Did your hair change during or after pregnancy? If so, how? I’d love to hear your story.
Labour Day Hair Do
|Hubby & I a few weeks before Angelo’s arrival|
|Me one week before Angelo’s arrival|
|Hairdo complete @ Morris Roots Loc/Natural Hair Salon|
|Back at home|
|Top side view|
Click HERE to find out how my trial went.
mentioned that on one occasion she noticed her daughter:
different curl patterns to show her it was ok not to have long, straight
‘yellow’ (her words) hair.’
|Image from Pinterest via ManuelSimón|
favourite programmes all about superheroes, like Superman, Batman, Spiderman AND The Man from Atlantis. Ok well I don’t know if The Man from Atlantis qualifies as a superhero but I loved that show. Anyways, Superman was my favourite without a doubt. Every (hair) wash-day, when I was under the age of 9 years; I
tried to achieve The Superman Curl. Yes I did! After many failed attempts I gave up… Enter Michael Jackson!
|Image from Pinterest via AmyKnipschield|
front my mirror with my mums sun glasses trying to get my hair to curl and fall just like Michael Jackson’s. Thankfully there’s no photographic evidence of this phase in my life. CRINGE!!!
Wash-n-Go with Inecto Pure Coconut Hair Repair Treatment
- Washed with Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo
(although I no longer have that problem)
- Treated with Inecto Pure Coconut Hair Repair Treatment (it’s
recommended that you leave it in for 5 minutes but I left it for 45 mins to enable easy detangling)
- Rinse and towel dry
- Applied pure unscented coconut oil (after leave-in-conditioner), the solid one you can
kind in the supermarket
- Finger combined and ‘fluffed’ hair, DONE!
|Wash-n-go Day 1|
|Day 2 with some curl cream added|
A woman’s hair: crowning glory… a beacon of change
was not relaxed well, but I didn’t care! Instead of waves I now had straight hair that I could roll Lana Turner style. Then came the years of teenage angst; bouts of depression and broken hearts … my hair suffered for it.
think, I began to reminisce about my younger years. I had so many fears and insecurities; truth be known I have yet to find the reason for them. I see clearly now at every juncture of personal trials, I cut/changed my hair. But when I saw my baby boy (Angelo) for the first time, I vowed he should NEVER feel those pains if I had a say in the matter. I’m happy to say that while it’s a work in progress, I feel truly comfortable in my own skin. Becoming ‘natural’ has had a big part to play in my feeling more ‘grounded’.
|St Lucia Summer 2001|
|Courtship autumn 2003|
|Engaged Spring 2006 (my 1st pony tail ext)|
TWA. He didn’t like it. I a chuckle but I understood and respected his concern. I left a few inches when I finally did my BC. Little did we both know it would give our relationship a new level of intimacy? He began to play with my TWA. He said it was ‘therapeutic’. I loved it! He’d NEVER touched my hair before then, certainly not that I could remember. Now my hair is longer than it was when we first met (but natural)…
My natural hair during pregnancy
braided my hair under the direction of my two younger sisters. Most styles were good but we had a few mishaps along the way.
|Half-head cane-row the back was left open|
My sisters cheekily said they’d not go outdoors with their hair like that. My retort was that I was on holiday and no
one would see me. Little did I know I’d be writing this post to share, which now means exposing my dodgy does for all the world to see. During my first pregnancy my hair was much shorter and I had time to experiment. My regime was:
- I co- washed twice per week, then shampooed and conditioned on weekends (sometimes using ginseng tea for the last
- Sealed with sweet almond oil
- Flat twisted with the aid of pure shea butter (or wash and go with leisure curl gel)
- I was took pregnancy multivitamins
- Covered my hair at night in a spandex cap
- Once per week pre-poo (with pure coconut oil) for at least 1 hour
- Wash, condition and de-tangle rinse
- Towel dry to remove most of the water
- Seal with sweet almond oil
- Apply curling cream, then set curl with two strand twist of about 12 twists and leave
hair to air dry
I’m a NEW Deva Disciple: how I had my curly hair trimmed using the new Deva Cut Method
Thankfully, my mate Chelsea (artist, designer, crafter… mum, friend AND experienced hairdresser) was on
hand to fix the damage that was my teeny weeny afro (TWA). I went to her house the day after my madness and had my hair shaped properly. Hubby did look a bit concerned when he came to fetch me from her house, as my ‘fro was still a work in progress. Chelsea calmly explained to him my styling options, I think she may have even shown him a few there and then… he soon relaxed… once he knew wouldn’t ‘look like a boy’. Yesterday, Chelsea came to my home to spruce up my hair: trim, streak and treat; she opted to use the Deva Cut Method for
An Evening with Dr Hair: learning trade ‘secrets’ on how to maintain Afro Hair
industries. Don’t be jealous… but here’s the line-up:
- Winston Isaacs– Veteran
Salon Owner (of Splinters), Stylist and Mentor
- Keysha Davis– Editor of BlackHair Magazine
- Junior Green-Afro
Hairdresser of the Year 2011
all. Mr Isaacs suggested that women should not be guided too much by trends but rather chose a style that suits them. He advised not to be pressured by hairdressers to do otherwise. Woman should wear their hair not the other way around.
or as Dr. Hair put it coiffure and couture. Being natural herself, Keysha admitted just has hard maintaining natural Afro hair, as it is with processed hair. As far as fashion is concerned, the neons of the 80’s are in and
for the less adventurous amongst us, pastels is an alternative. Summer 2012 is all about colour and vibrancy. Keysha informed the audience that BlackHair magazine all covers aspects of our lives. If you have ever read a copy you’ll know that’s true. Personally, when considering a style change or even searching for black heritage events, BlackHair is usually my first port of call. So if you’ve not read a copy, grab one as soon as!
- For maintaining a straight hair in cool damp conditions use hair serum as to protect hair from heat and to seal hair style with curling tongs, instead than blow-drying.
- For regaining hair elasticity have a hair treatment with hair mayonnaise, also, when using braids its recommend to take them out every three to four weeks and wash to avoid scalp build up and straining of hair.
- For naturals how swim, make a barrier between hair and chlorine by applying hair serum, cover hair in plastic cap, followed by usual swimming cap.
- To avoid purchasing fake ORS products, always be sure to check colour of packing and the address of manufacturers at the back of packing.
|Dr. Hair and I|
Before leaving I had the chance to have scalp and hair ends analysed. It was a bit repulsive to see my scalp in such high definition and close up but I was happy with the feedback.
months. That’s GREAT!
The Afro Hair & Beauty Live 2012 – the experience of a SAHM
and a mum. After being home-bound for months, I made my escape for a couple hours to attend the Afro Hair & Beauty Live show, as it had moved to a more accessible venue for me, the Business Design Centre, Islington London. My son Angelo was six months old it was the first time his dad had him on his own. I pitched
up at event one hour to closing and whizzed through like a whirlwind but I got my essentials and was pleased for few hours alone. I didn’t feel like a mom, actually a guy at the Supermalt stand asked me if I was a teacher. It must have been my tame style of dress and simple hairdo compared to the other patrons. I took it as a compliant and told him I used to work in a library, and then smiled. I would have missed the AfroHair & Beauty Live 2012 show if it wasn’t for a well-timed and fortunate spotting of a tweet from @MsQuiche (editor of Black Hair Magazine, Keysha Davis) last Saturday.
better this year. In my defense, I’m a SAHM who only RARELY gets out without her son him tow and it’s usually an event for him. Anyway I arrived at the venue 15mins before opening time to be sure I’d get a ticket. As ‘luck’ would have it, this was a good time. It wasn’t too crowded, yet, and everyone was all smiles. I received several little bags with samples. I also purchase my first ever magazine subscription. I choose BlackHair Magazine which was only fitting as I’d have been none the wiser that the Show was on if it wasn’t for their editor Keysha Davis.
|Black Beauty mag counter|
|Keysha Davis & I|
|Afro Candy stall|
|Cherish & I|
fact that it tastes gorgeous. I bought the exclusive sweet of the day, I Heart Afro which has a passion fruit flavour. Oh so gorgeous.
|New magazine collection|
Now that I’ve been natural for over two years and luvin’ it I think makes sense to have a page dedicated to the issues and experiences I’ve had concerning natural hair.
I love it when my son, Angelo, plays with my curls. It’s particularly funny to see his facial expression whenever I change my hair style. Additionally, natural hair has given me a different level of intimacy with my husband. Its special. Plus! Who knows baby Number Two may be a girl then I’ll have more to share on the topic.
Below are links to posts I’ve done in the past concerning natural hair and products I’ve used:
I welcome opportunities to review natural hair products and discuss my personal experiences in this area, to date.