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Hair Feature: Meet Damilola

Today, I present you Damilola. She started her healthy hair journey for relaxed hair way before I did and is my number one supporter whenever I feel like doing the big chop and going natural. She always says, “Dorothy, don’t cut your hair. Let it grow!” No long, long introduction….meet Dami

1.Tell us about the cool you. I’m Damilola and I have an uber unhealthy obsession with everything HAIR.

2. What’s your hair type? I’m relaxed (currently on a transition to fully texlaxed hair)

3. When and why did you start your healthy hair journey? I started my hair journey sometime in February /March 2013 when I randomly hit up Google searching for tips on growing out my relaxed hair “fast”. To my amazement, I found loads of black women (the likes of Ulovemegz, Sunshine of Hairlista, Traycee of KISS…) with LONG, healthy hair and tips to help me out with mine.

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4.  Describe your hair (length, porosity, density, texture) I’m somewhere between collar bone and armpit length. Actually grazing APL. I have type 4 hair with some 3s at my nape. I have low porosity hair that sometimes acts high . LOL, let’s just say my hair is a cross between low and high porosity.

5. What is your current regimen?

*Moisturise and Seal daily, depending on the state of my hair it could be done 1ce, 2ce or even 3ce.

*Deep condition once a week, 2ce if the need arises. I maintain a good protein-moisture balance simply by listening to my hair and understanding what it needs. I don’t follow the rules.

*Clarify and chelate when necessary, like 1ce or 2ce monthly.

*I do tea rinses/hot oil treatments only when I feel like.

*ACV rinses on almost every wash day

*I always pre-poo but on days when I have so much gunk (oils and conditioners) in my hair, I opt out.

*Relax every 5 to 6 months.

*I rarely use direct heat.(at most 2ce a year)

*I’m a huge believer in the inversion method which I just started doing religiously (it’s no gimmick, it works!) and scalp massages too.

*Protective style 99% of the time.

*Supplements – Recently got on garlic oil, fish oil & groganics hair vitamins and I think i’m already seeing progress. I took biotin at the beginning of my hair journey and even though I cannot recall the effect it had on my hair, I can remember the effect it had on face. Biotin broke me out and left me scarred for months! Now, despite the fact that Groganics contains biotin, not one zit has appeared on my face. I think the garlic and fish oil supplements (especially the garlic oil) are to thank for this. I’ve also just started using a mixture of acv and water as a daily toner so we can thank that too!

6. Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them? My short term goal is to hit full Armpit Length by my next relaxer in December. Looking to achieve that by protective styling, doing the inversion method and regular scalp massages. My long term goal is to have super healthy hip length hair. (Hello 2017!)

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7. Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?

My last setback was caused by a deep conditioner that completely knocked my hair off balance. This conditioner was supposed to be a balancing dc but boy did they lie to me! It had no slip and left my hair harder than hay! It took about three moisture treatments for my hair to regain balance. I also like to think ACV had a great role to play in helping my hair bounce back.

 8. What are your favourite protective styles? Box braids, cornrows, halo twists, buns, top knots, French braids, tuck-ins – I live in these.

9 . What are your favourite products?

ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream, Beautiful textures tangle taming leave in conditioner, Scurl no drip activator moisturizer, Parachute Coconut Oil, NOW Sweet Almond Oil, Neem Oil, Pure Shea Butter, ORS heat protection serum, Bragg Organic ACV, Ecostyler Styling Gel, Vitale/ORS Hair Mayonnaise, ORS Replenishing Conditioner, Elastaqp +DPR-11, ORS Lye Relaxer, Castor Oil, Elastaqp Crème Conditioning Shampoo, CON Argan Oil Shampoo…these are just a few of my hairssentials.

10.  What do you love most about your hair?

I love the texture, fullness , colour (my hair is naturally jet black) and overall health. Also, they say the average human sheds 50-100 strands of hair a day, I think I shed about 5-10 strands of hair a day and I’m really grateful to God for that.

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 11. What hair myth did you believe in that you no longer believe? I used to think waist/hip length hair was a Caucasian and Asian thing. Now I know better.The naysayers only keep me more focused and ironically most of them eventually get bitten by the healthy hair bug.

12. How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?

I have to say having supportive people who appreciate and notice my progress even when I don’t and never get tired of my constant need to talk hair has kept me going. Also following bloggers/vloggers with great progress has been very helpful. They help me realize that my goal is only a few wash days away.

13. What advice would you give to someone just starting out their journey? I have tipssss!

1. Love your hair at every stage. Ear, chin, neck, shoulder, collarbone, armpit, bra strap…hip length. If you cannot commit to your hair and shower it with all the necessary TLC, it’d be impossible for you to move from one stage to the next. When I first started my hair journey, some people thought I was delusional. They didn’t understand why I was sweating over my short chin length hair. While they saw short hair, I saw long, healthy hair in progress.

2. Never get tired of researching. There are tons of blogs and vlogs out there to help you out. Personal recommendations would be – (BLOGS) rehairducation.com, justgrowalready.com,relaxedhairhealth.blogspot.com, blackhairinformation.com, thirstyroots.com, rachietowaistlength.blogspot.com, belowthawaist.blogspot.com, hairliciousinc.com,naijahaircangrow.blogspot.com,(YOUTUBE) thehappyhairshow, ulovemegz, longnhealthy, journeytowaistlength, Chime Edwards, DearNaptural, Healthy Afro Hair, VivHairTherapyJa, KibibiHair, FreshLengths – the list is endless! They are not just great for acquiring knowledge, they’re also a great way to get inspired, motivated and stay committed.

3. Protective styling should always be the way to go. Let’s save the flaunting for when we finally reach our goals. Don’t let a day’s mistake cost you your entire journey.

4. DIY! Unless you’re lucky enough to find you a trustworthy hairdresser who’s ready to learn and open to change, do it yourself. Some hairdressers can do more damage to your hair in one seating than three flat irons at the hottest point with no heat protectant! Please beware!

5. Keep your hands out of your hair. Hands in hair syndrome is a real disease and even though I’m still recovering, words can’t express how much change I’ve seen in my hair since I made the decision to save the comb for wash days only. Every other day, I let my fingers take charge.

6. Eat healthy, drink loads of water and if you cannot fully commit to a healthy lifestyle(like me), take supplements. Getting on one that’s formulated for the hair would be especially beneficial.

7. For the newbies who think being on a hair journey is too much work, believe me it’s not. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. For me, caring for my hair is like taking a shower, sometimes you get lazy and don’t want to but you know you HAVE to.

8. Invest in your hair – I saw a post by Oyin Handmade Products that said “your hair is awesome, shouldn’t your products be awesome too?” The answer to this is a ginormous YES!

 

14. Where can we find you on the internet? Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (urbanmakes). To purchase my essentials and more, check out –

https://www.facebook.com/pages/URBAN-MAKES-Hair-Skin-and-Makeup-Online-Store/225485304327180

Honey in my hair, Honey on my face!

I love honey. That is my sweetener of choice for everything that needs sweetening aside Milo ( a cube of St. Louis is just fine.). It’s also good for the hair and face and I’ll tell you why.

For hair:

  • Honey is a natural humectant, that is it attracts and retains moisture. I have highly porous hair (which means that I lose moisture as quickly as I absorb it) so I try to get as much moisture in my hair as possible.
  • Honey cuts down on frizz
  • It softens hair
  • And adds amazing sheen to your hair.

Honey and EVOO are what I use for prepooing and I can confidently assert that my hair has become softer and always has a shiny look. This is how my prepoo mix usually looks like.

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For face, I usually mix it with brown sugar and rub it all over my face. I leave it for some minutes, usually whilst I prepare to take a bath and rinse it off when its time to wash my face. I prefer to do it on a clean face. For example, if I apply makeup during the day, I wash it off at night and the next day, I do the exfoliating scrub.

Sometimes, I use the honey without the brown sugar.

 

How do you use honey? Share! 🙂

 

Hair Diary – Relaxing of hair

Hi all,

I was supposed to have waited for about a week before I relaxed my hair but I couldn’t handle my new growth so I had it processed! I wonder how I’ll manage when I go natural (which is not now!)

I made sure my already processed hair was coated with a “petroleum laden” creme I had. My hairdresser, like all other hairdressers, wanted me to feel the relaxer burn before I washed it out but I insisted. She told me that if I underprocess my hair, it will break (where did she get that from?). I ignored her advice and hopefully, my hair will be processed just fine.

I was not impressed with how stingy her assistant was being in applying products to my hair so I’ve decided to take my arsenal the next time I go to the salon. I have also decided to do my own washing and go there to have it rollerset. If I’m not going anywhere, I’ll air-dry with the rollers but if I have an appointment, I’ll sit under the dryer, have it styled and will be off. No one can love my hair more than I do, so what is in the best interest of my hair is what I’ll do.

My plan for the month of July:

  1. I’ll feature 2 people who are on a healthy hair journey; one natural and one relaxed lady. I do not know anyone transitioning so that will be on hold.
  2. I’ll talk about honey too; It’s my main ingredient for pre-pooing and exfoliating my face.
  3.  I’ll talk about lifestyle changes I have made since I embarked on this healthy hair journey.
  4. Finally, I’ll post my wash-day regimen. I am comfortable with that now so I can broadcast that. Every other aspect is still in the experimental stage so until I am comfortable with it, I’ll keep it to myself.

Is there anything you’d like me to talk about? Kindly leave it in the comment section.

 

NB: I am on a social media break thus if you want to get in touch, kindly send me a mail at fantenyimapa@gmail.com or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. 🙂

 

Hair Diary – Update on removal of braids

Hello everyone,

Over the weekend, I removed my braids and I was not amused at the results. I had a lot of dirt knots and it took me almost a day and a half to carefully detangle my hair.

I detangled with CON (Creme of Nature) leave-in and EVOO. I did everything I know under the sun right but how I ended up with that much hair loss, it baffles me.

There is a Whatsapp group with like-minded ladies (ladies on healthy hair journey) that I’m part of and they were very helpful in dealing with my retrogression.

Thanks to this experience, I have learnt new things. I will share what I learnt from my interaction with these ladies so that we can all learn.

  • Not rinsing hair in braids well can result in problems like this. Make sure that you rinse your hair well, braided hair or not.
  • “Washing hair in braids does not cause breakage, but it could if you are not gentle when washing because your hair at the roots and the one where the braid began can easily snap if you don’t handle carefully which will stick in the braids till you undo it” (Stella, she blogs at ghlonghair.blogpost.com)
  • “Allow your hair to rest before tucking it away in protective mode. Give it a lot of treatment eg. coffee rinse and ACV. Give the hair rinses twice a week, then when its ok, you can relax later. If the hair is difficult to comb, use fingers to detangle followed by a wide-toothed comb. Do not comb the new growth.” (From Abena who blogs at http://www.ghanaianemprezz.com)
  • Stella again, “Dirt knots mean you did not wash your hair for too long. You should take your braids out in a shorter time if you don’t want to wash it. If you want to stretch for long, you have to find a moisturiser and deep conditioner that keeps your new growth soft and detangled just by applying.”

My experience is not novel. People go through this all the time but it should not be the norm. How are you to retain length if after going into a protective mode, you lose so much?

This is what I have resolved:

  1. I will do a protein treatment, followed by a deep conditioning moisturising treatment tonight. My mum and sister will be around so they’ll help me with roller setting so that I don’t blow-dry my hair. This is my first time that I’ll be air-drying.
  2. I’ll do a black tea honey rinse on Friday night, roller-set and air-dry. The results will inform my next line of action.
  3. My next protective style will definitely not be braids. I’ll try wigging (cornrows and caps) and observe how that detangling goes.

Have you had this experience before? How did you deal with it?

Hairenemies – part 2

I present the concluding part of Hairenemies. If you haven’t read it, do check the previous post.

6. This is truth; trimming does not make hair grow. Of course if your ends are weak and damaged, they will have to go but regular trimming in itself does not increase the hair growth rate. Pay attention to the ends of your hair and trim accordingly. Don’t allow that scissor – happy stylist, to chop off those tresses unless they are absolutely necessary.

 

7. Relaxer ills; there are some stylists who spread the relaxer over already processed hair which weakens the hair more than it already is. If you want thick healthy hair, ensure that your processed hair is coated with Vaseline or shea butter. I mentioned Vaseline because its stifling properties are what we need to shield our already processed hair against the relaxer-attack. Your hair does not have to cook. Your scalp does not have to burn. If the instructions says 15 minutes, 15 minutes it should be. Naanyin! Overlapping relaxers onto previously relaxed hair is one of the major causes of hair breakage and hair breakage is something you’d want to avoid as much as possible if you want to want to retain length.

 

8.  90% of hair stylists do not massage the scalp; they scratch. You have never been to a Ghanaian salon if your scalp has never been vigorously scratched. The only salon that I have been to that massages the scalp is Exotic (at the mall). Aside more knots and possible bruising, I do not know what scratching does but I know massaging the scalp can improve circulation to your head and promote hair growth. It is recommended that you massage your scalp 10-15 minutes a day to get maximum blood flow to the follicles.

 

What hairenemy tactic have you or your stylist been playing? Is there anything you’d like to share that I didn’t mention? What do you intend to stop? Let’s share and learn together.

Hairenemies (part 1)

Today, I present to you part 1 of what I’ve titled, ” Hairenemies”

So you’ve never gone past a certain length when it comes to your hair…is it neck length? Or shoulder length? Or just because you think your hair does not and cannot grow, you really do not care anymore? How about if I told you that you and your hairdresser/hair stylist may be the reason why your hair does not grow out? Is it true? Let’s see

  1. Heat. Everyone wants to look fly all the time and I do not begrudge you but honey, please put the flat iron down. Put the curler away. Many of us use these items on a regular basis without a heat protectant and we damage our hair badly.  A heat protectant is a product that protects your hair from potential damage from regular use of direct heat such as flat irons, curling irons and blow dryer.  Never blow dry, flat iron or heat curl your hair without a heat protectant. If you want curls or a straight hair the healthy way, we have rollers and flexi-rods for that. We all know what happens when we sit under the dryer, full blast for 30 minutes with the highest heat point on the dryer which leaves our hair crisp. Roller settings aren’t exactly bad for the hair but usually, the heat is just too much and since most of us are usually afraid to speak up at the salon, we endure for a good 30 -45 minutes wincing and wishing time would go faster.

The way out: You can allow your hair to air dry (even with rollers set) after washing and if you insist, don’t forget to use a heat protectant. The best way to use a heat protectant is on wet hair.

 

  1. Too much manipulation. Many of the styles our stylists give us “force” us to manipulate our hair every single day of the week until our next salon visit. Averagely, the hair grows only ½ an inch a month so with all that combing, your new growth may be what you see in your hair every time you comb it. Ideally, you should rock styles that do not require you to touch your hair for 5 -7 days. With this in mind, I can say that it’s good to install braids and weaves if keeping your hands and comb out of your hair is difficult for you.

 

  1. DO. NOT. UNDER. ANY. CIRCUMSTANCE. DO THINGS THAT CHANGE THE DYNAMICS OF YOUR HAIR ALL ON THE SAME DAY! I cannot emphasize this enough hence the strong emphasis. Many hairdressers speak against it but there are some people out there who still do it. You have no idea what I’m talking about? This: Uninstalling braids, relaxing the hair and fixing another weave. That is too much stress for your already chemically altered strands. I am hyper-sensitive so the pain deters me not to engage in such hairtrocities but if you are able to do things like that, you yourself are a big threat to your hair. Please, for the love of God, love your hair as much as you love your body, it’s your crowning glory!

 

  1. Ignorance. This must be the biggest hair sin and its no one’s fault. I stumbled on all this because of a picture I saw on Instagram. I was amazed at the weave-like length people had and I told myself that if they can do it, so can I. We do not know a lot of things. Most of us were brought up to leave the health of our hair in the hands of our hairdressers who aside knowing the basics of washing hair, installing weaves and things of that sort, know little to zilch about healthy hair care. There are amazing websites you can learn more about haircare from. www.rehairducation.com, www.blackhairinformation.com, www.ghanaianemprezz.com (these are personal favourites) and many more. (I hope I become your personal favourite soon.)

 

  1. Quality of products. As mentioned earlier, many of our hairdressers know little about healthy hair practices and their dearth of knowledge makes them use products that are not beneficial to our hair. Many of our shampoos are laden with sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate). These ingredients are the same ones found in washing soaps, dish washing soaps and other cleaning agents. Shampoos that contain sulfate should only be used when you think you have product build-up (applied or have  too much product in your hair(over a period of time) and subsequently stifling your hair). There are good alcohols and there are bad alcohols for our hair. Examples of good alcohols include ethanol, propyl, propanol and isopropyl. Examples of bad alcohols include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol and lauryl alcohol.  More knowledge will give you power to control what you put in your hair. Mineral oil (which is melted petrolatum) blocks hair follicles which makes the scalp dry, dirty and blocks hair growth. It’s perfectly alright to check your hair products and make some changes if many of the ingredients are unhealthy for your hair).  Now, I ensure that the first 5 ingredients (which are usually the active ingredients) of any hair product I buy does not contain mineral oil, petrolatum and  or lanolin.

The continuing part of this article will be put up next week but I do hope you’ve found this enlightening. You have questions? You can send me an email here:  fantenyimapa (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

See you here next week. 🙂

How I moisturise my new growth.

It’s been 2 weeks since I installed my kinky twists and I have been mighty pleased with the results so far.

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I found a recipe online that has been instrumental in keeping my hair moisturised and the regular dandruff at bay.

  • 100ml of rose water
  • 200ml of aloe vera juice
  • up to 5 drops of jojoba oil
  • some drops of rosemary essential oil, tea tree essential oil and peppermint essential oil

The rosewater, which has anti-bacterial, anti-septic and stimulating properties, acts as a conditioner and promotes hair growth. It also stimulates the blood circulation and helps to revitalise the hair making them naturally healthy and strong from the inside. It smells good too so you don’t have to worry about artificial frangrances at all.

Aloe vera reduces dandruff, aids in hair growth and keeps the hair’s natural oils in balance to prevent excessively oily or dry scalp. It also acts as a natural conditioning agent that restores the hair’s sheen, luster and shine.

Jojoba oil nourishes the scalp and hair and seals in moisture into the strands.

Rosemary oil treats dandruff. Tea tree oil treats dry scalp conditions. Peppermint oil treats dry hair and promote growth by stimulating circulation to the scalp. It gives a tingling feeling to the scalp which I love.

This mixture has to be stored in the refrigerator as the aloe vera juice can go rancid if stored in room temperature. I try to moisturise my scalp and hair with this “mist of hair heaven” once a day.

I like how it feels on my hair and scalp and that for the first time in my life, I have no dandruff in my hair and the itchiness that plagues me when I braid no longer exist. I have parted ways with my usual Suphur 8 braidspray because this mist is more than good enough.

Try it and let me know what you think. 🙂