Sunday 26 November 2017

Simple Henna Experiement

What is in this unholy mix, I hear you ask?

Saturday 22 July 2017

This Week's Tea

You ready, huh?

Welp, sorry to disappoint you. But the only scandalous thing around here (at the moment) is my shedding - absolutely shameful!

Friday 14 July 2017

Is this...Hair Dysmorphic Disorder?

Around this time of the year, my most terrible (hair-related) condition kicks in:

Hair Dysmorphic Disorder is anxiety based on:
- The mistaken idea that your hair is longer/shorter or bigger/smaller than it is.
- An unrealistic perception of your hair's current state.
- A distorted view of what your hair is actually like.
-Watching too many blasted Youtube videos at a time

Symptoms may include (but are not limited to)

  • Excessively switching up your routine every two weeks as the last one clearly wasn't working because your hair absolutely, most definitely has NOT grown since you last measured it two seconds ago ....

But I just ate some veggies now and they're s'posed to be good for GROWTH!
Why am I still at this length?!
  • Spending a long time and a lot of money trying to cover up what you think is wrong with your hair - if you can't pay the bills but you can buy that fancy 130% guaranteed growth oil, and you spend half your life upside down and nauseous for the sake of growth then you may be suffering from hair dysmorphic disorder!
  • Constantly comparing your hair to other people's on the internet and thus losing all sense of perception. (Please read An Inch is an Inch for an idea of what this loss of perception looks like. Also, beware of Small Girls with Big Hair, and also petite ladies who seemingly have 3 inches between their shoulders and their waistline compared to your 14 inches.)
The hair on the small girl has literally been copied and pasted on the bigger girl. Promise. 
  • Constant incredulity at the difference between the 'growth' of your hair and someone else's - "How come her hair is growing so fast?? Mine doesn't grow. My hair is broken/useless/not as great." etc etc 
Ma'am! Have a seat. Her hair was already longer to begin with.

This often results in a sense of dissatisfaction, distress, and a lack of remembering how awesome your hair actually is.

Post inspired (especially the last point) by this picture and  then this picture.
How'm I gonna be this old and can't tell the difference between mebbe Armpit Length and definitely Waist Length??Mess...

Sunday 9 July 2017

Fine Bun

Styled in 10 minutes flat à la Neffyfrofro yesterday night.

I think I'm going to have to keep this in for another night and day.

My hair never does too well in buns. It doesn't want me to have nice thing and thus I fear this will not end well 😕
Wish me luck y'all 😂😭

Saturday 1 July 2017

Wash Day Inspired by 22nd Century Natural Woman and the Ladies of Chad

That is a long arse title but writing this up made me feel like this wash day was a long one. 
I promise it wasn't as long as it apparently appears.

I started off by slathering my head in the last of my fenugreek infused coconut oil.

It shouldn't have been the last but I got fed up and made sure it was.

After about an hour, I jumped into the shower with Mane Choice Easy on the Curls Shampoo, making sure to cleanse. Usually I twist or plait my hair but today I decided to bantu knot instead.

There were a few moments of unraveling but I liked it better - it made my hair easier to access for the different steps and I felt I was manipulating it less.

Then I stroked on a DIY deep conditioner  I'd made earlier inspired by 22nd Century Natural Woman's Deep conditioner. (Her channel is here).

I used:

  • a tablespoon of shea butter,
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 generous tablespoon of honey
  • about 1/4 cup (60ml) of freshly boiled rosemary tea (rosemary leaves + hot water - DONE)
  • 2 teaspoons of guar gum.

Experimenting down to my very bones, I started off by throwing everything except the guar gum and rosemary tea in a bowl and smashing them together with my electric whisk.

No dice.

So I just kept adding guar gum and rosemary tea in turn until it all sort of came together and stopped looking like it was on the verge of separation.

My deep conditioner ended up having an interesting moulding dough texture (too much guar gum?)

 but it slid on my hair smoover than a 90s R'n'B love song.

 Aaaaall my liiiiiife....been waiting for someone like yooooou

Bantu knots were the stretch keeper of the day and they were all covered with a plastic cap and then submerged under with an impromptu head wrap before wandering around for a while.
In public or just in my house? You deciiide...

Came back and uncovered everything. I'd expected the DC to have hardened but it was still liquidy and soft.
I rinsed it out easily with warm water and there was some exceptional slip thanks to the guar gum. I bantu knotted again (SERIOUSLY. WHY HAVE I NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE?!) and smothered my hair in a T-shirt to dry/be less wet.

What to do next? Well, I'd seen this video on facebook...

And I thought to myself, yeah, nah, I don't know where to find chébé seeds (a gluten free brand just comes up - okay, okay so I did try to find it - LOL! 😂) but I found the slathering action of the concoction really soothing and reasoned it was just really well protected with heavy protected then braided. I do that anyway without the heavy product. And when it's the first of July, but the coconut oil looks like this:

Solid as a rock!

Then maybe my hair needs a little bit heavy duty protection.

So I left on Alikays Lemongrass leave in, and then added my butterful delight from Almocado - the Twist and Twirl cream. It's a water based butter cream and I think I may be in love. But more on that later.

I went in with the butter on the ends - as in, no subtlety here please, I want - no, need -  to believe it is buttered.

'Cept even MORE generous!
My hair went from this on the ends:

Bare hair

With Alikay Naturals Lemon Grass Leave In

To this.
Aaand finally, with Almocado Twist and Twirl Buttercream!
I choose this area to show the different squiggles on my head too - although it made a significant difference on the right, I don't think it made any on  the left.

And then I braided it. I did have some obvious residue because I've never used so much before (and a little of this stuff normally goes a loooooong way for me) but, like I said, I was inspired by the women of Chad for some extra protection against our British summertime weather™. I popped a scarf on it then bed.

This morning, some of the plaits still had white stuff but by the end of the day, it was all gone.

I'm hoping that the extra butter layer helps with moisture and keeping my ends feeling nourished. We'll see how that goes.

I mean, I'm just like....I better not wake up tomorrow with some crispy hair.

Thursday 8 June 2017

The Hope of the Vote.

There is a special joy with reading stories with young(er) people, especially when it is their first time to be exposed to a favourite of yours and even if the youfs that I'm talking about don't necessarily belong to you.

This time, it was the tale of Prometheus. Chained to a cliff face for daring to bring fire to the mud marching human kind, doomed to spend an endless eternity being pecked and nipped and chomped at by liver-thirsty eagles, his time seems quite tragic.

And then Pandora's Box is open. Out comes the evil, the terror, the carnage, the mess, the horror and the nightmares to ravage the Earth below and its inhabitants. Gloom! Doom! Homework!

But the final breath.

The tiny glimmer.

That little sparkle.

And suddenly, somehow, there is something. Not now, but a maybe. A possibility. A consideration of the future with a tiny, earnest desire and expectation.

Quietly, they comtemplate the ending of the story. One pipes up.

"That's kind of important, innit?"


Yeah, it is.

Please don't give up and please do vote.

Friday 2 June 2017

Beauty Shop Bloc

I have started a new habit of popping into my local beauty shop, just to see what they've got - one of the things that helps bump a product up on my 'more likely to repurchase' list is whether I can grab it and go on the ground.

When I went in a year ago and saw Shea Moisture, I was impressed. 

Then Mielle Organics popped up last month (totally took advantage, I 'on currr). 

I stuck my head in last week and now it looks like this:
Mielle Organics in the UK/A British afro hair shop

Alikay Naturals in the UK/A British afro hair shop

TGIN products in the UK/ A British Afro Hair Shop

We got TGIN! We got Alikay Nautrals! We got Mielle Organics and Design Essentials all over the place!

They had to add an extra slab of shelves for all the extra products they've been buying in...!

My main question is - who is telling them this?! 

Are the beauty shops lurking on the Nappturality or Long Hair Forum?
Are they following Mane Objective and NeffyFroFro on instagram and youtibe? 

How do they know?

I imagine it to be quite like a covert organisation. Robes that cover your face in shadow are optional but greatly admired.

Ahmed and Ranjit are comparing their favourite deep conditioners in the light of a flickering candle.

There is an impromptu workshop on the difference between creams, puddings and soufflés happening in the atrium, when you hear an impassioned cry:

"Dude! Have you felt this leave in? Light as a feather mate, light. as. a. feather. We are NOT leaving until we get two boxes of this, as well as the rest of the range."

I'll be honest - if it means that I get Eden Bodyworks and/or ManeObjective and/or Camille Rose on the ground, then I'm totally cool with this. But I'd loooooove to see local brands like Almocado and Shea Decadence being this easily available awesome would that be?

Till then, the internet continues to be my friend.

Monday 29 May 2017

This is not a photo.

It took me a full 2 minutes to realise that this was a drawing.

And another to work out that this was done by hand.


It's official. Film, TV, theatre, drawing....Viola Davis looks amazing in any medium.

Wednesday 24 May 2017

10 weeks old

When you bring something new into the world and you're blown away by how it's all worked out and how amazing it is, just have to share, don't you?

It's only right.

Somewhere around the 13th of March, this all started.

So that makes it...2 months and a fortnight. 10 weeks.
10 weeks! 

Saturday 11 March 2017

Pros and Cons

On the one hand, I'm proud of myself. Unlike my normal ridiculousness, I waited a week after settling out of my wash and go before doing a curlformer set, so it wasn't as much as a struggle.

Clearly not outgrowing Curlformers physically.

But it feels so much heavier than normal....

And it feels like it's taking years and yonks to dry!!

I'm focusing on the long term goals...but I'll need food to see me through.

S'gonna be a long weekend.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

1st Wash Day of 2017

...done on the 2nd, posted on the 3rd.

After two weeks of 'doing-the-absolute-least-while irresponsibly swimming in-the-sea-whilst-wearing-only-a-bun-for-protection' bidness, I needed to make time for my hair. It was fast showing signs of neglect and rebellion.


This is what my wash days normally look like like, unless I need a shampoo which  switch out the cowash for. The leave in will vary, as will the stretching style but the rest is pretty much set in stone. Start as you mean to go on, old boy, and all that, what!

First of, I let the water run through my hair and used the pressure to help me gently separate my hair into sections - four in all.

Then I started up with Eden BodyWorks Coconut Cowash on a section, carefully using its slip to soften and slide out shed hairs from the root, then putting the section under the shower head to help me remove the shed hair completely. Like maaagic *sparklesparkle*.

Then I applied in the Aphogee Reconstructor and left it in while I moved on to the next section to rinse (most literally!) and repeat.

My right side sections were fine, because that's the side that the bun was on and where the hair was most stretched.

But my left sided sections...? Whooo-wee! That was a trial and a doozy and retribution all in one. I could definitely tell that that side had barely been stretched during my two weeks of tomfoolery.

Thank goodness for great products.

I think that took me about...half an hour to an hour?
Which compared to my old dry detangling times of about 3 hours, I'll take it, son.

That meant the reconstructor was in each section for at least 5 minutes, which they all needed, if I'm honest. I rinsed it out, then added the Shea Moisture JBCO Masque. Normally, I leave it in while I clean my surroundings but when I need a little TLC, I pop on a shower cap and pop my head under the heat cap.
And if today wasn't a TLC day. I don't know what is, my friend.
I used the heat cap for about 15 minutes (lost track of time), then rinsed out the sections. As I rinsed out, I softly detangled again with my fingers, then separated each of the sections into two twists. Shower time - done!

Now, styling/stretching time. I'd already decided to go back to an old favourite.

Unravelling each twist, I clipped up half and then lavished on generous amounts of Eden Bodyworks Pudding Souffle to the other half that was left down.

Mathematician's hat on, I divided each half into about three further sections, taking each section as I went and putting it into a curlformer rod. Some of the halves felt small enough to just go into the rods.

I confused myself by doing this, instead of doing my normal numbers game. Usually I run out of rods before I'm done, but this time I had what seemed like a multitude of rods left.

What in the what - ? Why so many left??

But it had taken me less time than normal to put them in (like 30 - 40 minutes instead of an hour. This is also partly because I foolishly always want to do a Curlformer set after a month of washing and going and the detangling after the wash is nearly enough to finish me off ;_;).

I sat back under the heat cap to dry the curlformer set because I don't have patience to wait the minimum 6 hours for it to air dry...which was a good thing because it turns out my sections were too dang big!

Instead of my normal hour under the heat cap, it took around two ¬.¬
Clearly the time I'd saved putting them in was doubled and then stuck onto the end of my drying time.

The results though...:

Can you hear that? No biggie, just angels singing songs of glory upon my mane.

Light (especially after getting all those rods out), fluffy, bouncy, shiny, delicious...
How my feels and looks after a curlforrmer set never fails to amaze me.

I started playing around to separate the curls and make my hair look fuller...


I need to stop now orelse this'll just turn into a vanity collage of me fluffing my hair. 
Luckily this is all photo based (and I don't know how to use a camera), otherwise you'd just have a ten minute video of me shaking my hair in yo' face.