Friday, 27 May 2016

How to Get the Perfect Afro

Ever seen those people who can pull off a perfectly round afro and wondered how they do it? I like to wear my hair out in an afro every once in a while and sometimes, it takes a little bit of work to make it well-rounded. It's easier, in my opinion to do it on shrunken hair, but if you want a big a$$ fro, you can follow the steps below.


  1. Start with moisturized, stretched hair. Stretch your natural hair using twists, braids, banding, etc. Make sure to not overstretch your hair to the point that it's almost straight and limp. The hair at the top of my head has looser curls and stretches a lot better than the other parts. It's always harder to get it to stand up well for my afro. 
  2. Make sure your hair is trimmed well. Getting rid of split ends and knots will go a long way in achieving the perfect afro look. 
  3. I know some people don't like to use combs on their natural hair but an afro pick can be vital here. Lightly fluff the ends of the hair with the pick until it's uniform.
  4. Pat your hair down to make it even and until you get the perfect shape for your face.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Finghair Tips Thursday: Hair Care


This salon is changing the conversation around Natural Hair in the workplace with the #NaturalisProfessional campaign






Hello everyone!

We all know how a lot of our workplaces are still trying to come to terms with accepting natural hair as the status quo. Well, this natural hair salon in the Bahamas is changing the conversation with a campaign they have declared #NaturalisProfessional.

According to Carol-Lynn Taylor, the owner of Happy Hair Boutique, “the goal is to illustrate to our public that natural hair is accepted in the workplace and more notably in the professional environment.”  We couldn't agree more.

The whole idea of the campaign is to encourage women who wear their hair natural but do not feel comfortable or supported in the work place by showing examples of women who do. Taylor further added that, “It is an important part of educating and changing the mindset to where natural hair is not viewed as inferior to any other hair type. Most of all it is important to demonstrate that how one wears their hair does not influence ability or competence, as professionals in all fields rock their natural and rock their careers.”

See some of the campaign photos below.







Can I just say that I absolutely love the idea behind this campaign. I wish it was something we could do here. A collaboration here and there. A lot of employers need the paradigm shift. We've done enough talking. Now, we need to show them. Maybe, just maybe things would change.

Although, the campaign originated from the Bahamas, Taylor is inviting everyone around the world to take part with the hashtag #NaturalisProfessional on Instagram and Facebook.

Will you be sharing?

For more on this, visit here


Love, coils and curls.




Wednesday, 25 May 2016

'I can't wash and go the way I used to when my hair was shorter' Mane Matters with Glory Okubo

Hi Naturalistas,

How is the week going?

Meet Glory

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
I'm Glory, a Lagos based software developer. I have an ever expanding range of interests - from design to politics to food to health and fitness - and I love trying out new things.
What are your thoughts about natural hair?
Natural hair is one of those "topics" I could go on and on about simply because it's just so awesome. It's your hair, unprocessed, doing what it should do. It can be anything, do anything, mean anything or nothing. But above all, it's just so, so beautiful.
When/why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural almost 3 years ago, in July 2013. It started when my hair was basically falling out after I'd just relaxed it. I'd never experienced anything like it before, so my mom convinced me to look up a solution online. The quest to repair my damaged relaxed hair led me to a world of beautiful unprocessed hair. I haven't looked back since then.

Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I transitioned for a year before cutting off my relaxed ends.
What was the experience like?
It was a period of excitement, confusion, trial and error. It was a great learning process. I read about natural hair practically every night before going to bed. I was so anxious to know all I could, to try out what I was learning. It was also a great buffer period - I had the chance to see and feel the difference between the relaxed and natural textures; how they were so different.

What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?
My biggest fear going natural was that I would be unable to care for my hair, and that it might not grow as long as I'd really like.

Do you have a regimen you stick to? What is it like?
I try as much as possible to stick to a regimen, but I'm still quite flexible. I wash my hair with a shampoo and deep condition every two weeks. But sometimes I may want to wear a style that requires freshly washed hair, or I might have done an intense workout and need to wash out the sweat. In that case, I just wash or rinse my hair as needed. I usually keep my hair in braids to dry, stretch and then wear a braid out which eventually ends up in a protective style till the next wash.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
I think one struggle I've faced especially since my hair has gotten longer is the boredom that comes with realizing that you can't just wash and go the way you used to when your hair was shorter.

Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?
This is definitely not a phase. This is a way of life. This is forever. Lol!
There are people that definitely have negative comments about your hair, how do you deal with that?
Actually, I've really not dealt with negative comments about my hair. The closest scenario to this could probably be people asking if or when I was (ever) going to relax my hair again, and seeming shocked when I say never. Oh, and there was this one time the young daughter of a friend asked why my hair was like a boy's (it was still short and I was sporting a shrunken wash and go). I told her short hair does not belong to any gender. I don't consider these negative comments anyway, just points of learning (and possible incredulity lol).

What's your must have product and accessory?
For a product, I'd say shea butter. It's become more of a friend since my hair has grown longer. Accessory - definitely bobby pins.

What is your go-to style?
My go to style is a bun. It's always there for me when the braid out gets old out frizzy or when I experience a style fail.
What advice do you have for anyone just going natural?
There's two major things any new natural needs: an open mind and patience. Armed with these, you'll find your hair is less of a challenge and more of an adventure. There's a lot of defaults in our minds that come with years of caring for relaxed hair, and almost all of those need to fly out the window.
Where can we find you? Your social media platforms…
I'm on Instagram dishing natural hair tips and more at @flamellehair and on Twitter as @Flamelle.


Did you enjoy this post? Don't forget leave a comment below

To get featured on the blog, send a mail to manematters@africanaturalistas.com and you would get a response asap

Enjoy the rest of the week Naturalistas

Leeznijis

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

4 things to avoid when protective styling

Hello Naturalistas, 

How are you all doing? Kinks and all? After what seemed like forever, I did a protective style. I have been careful during this 'break' to also take care of my hair. Here are my tips of what to avoid when protective styling in order to keep your natural hair protected.


Avoid styles that pull your edges too tight; ...or just speak up. I did crochet braids and one of the first instructions I gave the stylist is NOT to pull my edges. Thankfully, the style doesn't require I have my edges on fleek, so I just cover it up with the part. You want to make sure that while you're protecting your hair (which is the essence of a protective style) you are not causing further damage. There is no "lay your edges" police.

Avoid totally ignoring your hair; Remember, your natural hair is not 'forgotten' its underneath and you're still going to deal with it when you take out the style. The first week I did the style, I was so happy and relieved that I didn't have to bother with my 'stressful' hair for a while, I was called back to reality when it started itching. Don't ignore your hair. Moisturise!

Avoid keeping it for too long; I've had this protective style for 2 weeks+ already looking at the calendar that it's time will soon be up and I am sad. It is so good, I am tempted to want to keep it for longer but of course I know that it's not very healthy for my natural hair.

Avoid taking down the hairstyle improperly; Don't be so much in a hurry to 'get it out' that you damage your hair. Handle the process with alot more care by finger detangling as you go along, this will help to reduce hair loss.

These are my tips, What are things you think that should be avoided when protective styling? How long do you keep a protective style?



Mixing Cantu with other products on my Natural Hair.

  'Cantu' has long been touted as the least 'Social' of Natural Hair Products. This meaning that it is the product least likely to mix well with other products often resulting in clumps of white residue left in your hair. As I have Low Porosity Hair, my hair naturally takes a while to absorb any amount of Hair Product. So today I took a walk on the wild side to see what happens on my Low Porosity hair after mixing Cantu Products with different Products to see how the dust settles. This Natural Hair Journey is a matter of Trial and Error after all...
 
 
 
 


Monday, 23 May 2016

Diary of an Honest Naturalista: Week 155


My niece, Boma, would be 4 years old next month, and we are all feeling the pressure in the family. It falls within a period where they would still be in school, but almost wrapping up for the year. She said she wants an elaborate party pack, and wants to look like Sofia on that day.

The thing is my sister, and I, if I may add, don’t believe in the current party pack craze going around in primary schools nowadays. Like every trend that comes into our country, it has been abused, and now become sort of a competition, a battle of let’s see who can outdo who.

I was at their house this weekend, and she ran to me in that manner which said “I’m about to charmingly ask you for something, and you better give it to me.”

“Aunty Anna, you know my birthday is coming soon.”

“Yes, Madam Boma, I know. You have been reminding me for the past 6 months.”

“And you know, I am going to look like Sofia.”

“Okay…”

“I’m going to wear a long blue dress, and have a shiny gold hair.”

I rolled my eyes. “With your hair like that? I’m waiting to see how you would transform to this your Sofia.” I then began to laugh.

Amused Oprah
Source
“I’m going to look like Sofia.” She screamed emphatically. “I’ve told my mummy and daddy, and they have agreed.”

“So who am I to argue?” I said with sarcasm that fitted her answer.

“And I want you to donate to my party pack.”

“Huh?” I was confused.

“My party pack. The one I’m giving my friends. I’m taking donations. I want my party pack to be the biggest.”

“Donations? Why?”

“Because mummy said she wouldn’t buy me all those big party packs.”

“Okay, so why did you decide to collect donations?”

“Aunty Anna, I already said it.” She said with frustration. “I want my party pack to be the biggest.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.” She said and paused for a while. “ Everyone’s own is always very big. When Tomi brought a small party pack, people were not happy. Some people even laughed at her the next day.”

“So you are now campaigning.” I said, wondering what the world was turning to. How could 4 year olds allow such pressure on themselves?

“What? Anyway, what are you going to donate?”

“Tell me what I can donate?” I indulged her.

“You can give toys, muffins, children’s books, writing sets, media kits for children…” She went on and on, sounding like an adult reading from a list, rather than a 3 year old spelling out her desires.

She concluded with “The one you choose, you would have to buy 27 of it because we are 27 in my class.”

What? I shook my head. “Boma, number 1, you don’t need the biggest party pack in your class.”

“Yes, I do.” She protested.

“I’m talking.” I said with a firm voice to let her know that she dares not mess with me. “You must not ask anyone for donations, and must accept whatever your mum gets for you. And then when you get back home, you would say thank you.”

“So you are not donating?”

“If you mention anything about donation again, I would report to your mum, and the whole party pack would be scrapped.”

One look at my face told her I wasn’t kidding. Funny enough, she didn’t seem to get the message, and wasn’t remorseful. She just left me, went to a corner and started playing alone.

What was this world turning to? Infants trying to bankrupt their parents. It’s making me think twice about having children

Sunday, 22 May 2016

DIY LOUNGE - Herbal infusions for natural hair.


What is an infusion?
An infusion is a drink, oil or an extraction prepared by soaking teas or herbs in liquid.
Herbs that can be used for natural hair benefits.
- Basil : acts as an anti_inflammator,strengthens and stimulates hair growth.
- Lavender : protects the scalp from lices.
- Amla : increases hair growth.
- Henna : seals moisture,makes hair thicker and fuller.
- Aloevera : moisturises and promotes hair growth.
- Green tea : restores damaged hair.
- Rosemary : prevents greying.
- Ginger roots : fights dandruff.
- Ginseng : stimulates hair growth.
- Flaxseeds : removes toxins and dead cells from the scalp.
- Burdock : strengthens and repairs damaged hair.
How to make oil infusion.
1. Harvest fresh herbs .
2. Inspect to check if the herbs aren't diseased.
3. Cut the herbs into small bits.
4. Fill a dry and sterilized jar with the chopped herbs.
5. Slowly pour olive oil into the jar.
6. Make sure the oil reaches every part of the herbs to prevent molding.
7.fill the jar to the top and let it age.

NB :do not wash the plant, if you must clean, dust off with a brush.

Who else can't wait to start making these oil infusions? I can't!

Your questions and feedback
Are highly appreciated
See you in the comment
Section..

Saturday, 21 May 2016

How to Get the Perfect Twistout for Natural Hair Kids

How to Get the Perfect Twistout for Natural Hair Kids African Naturalistas DiscoveringNatural

The desire for that perfect twistout is something that every naturalista strives to have. It can even be more difficult to maintain this style for kids, however with the tips I will share that has help us, you will be able to do it.

TIP 1 :: DO ROPE TWISTS
Rope twists give the best definition because not only are you doing the standard twisting method to create the curly effect a twistout gives, you are also twisting one strand first before you twist the other strand on top of it. This method of twisting minimizes frizz that can make hair appear messy.

Learn how to rope twists by watching the video below:


TIP 2 :: USE GEL
After sectioning the hair, apply your non-glycerin moisturizer of choice and then a non-alcoholic gel. The gel helps to further keep the frizz at bay and freezes the curl pattern the way you want it.

TIP 3 :: STAY AWAY FROM GLYCERIN

When used in humid areas, Glycerin has a way of pulling moisture from the air and putting it into the hair. This results in very puffy twistout styles. Look for products that don't have glycerin in it to twist your hair.

Here is my daughter's hair in a 12 hour time lapse with rain and high humid condition.
How to Get the Perfect Twistout for Natural Hair Kids African Naturalistas DiscoveringNatural

If you like this blog post written by Sola of DiscoveringNatural, you can find her on her Youtube channel, DiscoveringNatural,  for more natural hair tips. Click here to visit her channel.

Friday, 20 May 2016

5 Reasons Your Bantu Knot Out Ain't Workin' Out

Hi Ladies, Happy Friday!

I've become more experimental with my hair and tried to conquer the almighty bantu knot out (BKO). After a number of hits and misses here are my top 5 reasons your bantu knot out ain't workin' out. But first let's enjoy my BKO puff so we can be inspired for better hair:

Tutorial for this style here


Ok you may proceed!

1. You've used a product with a humectant

Humectants draw in moisture. This means you lose definition in a number of hours or even as soon as you undo the knots. Avoid products with ingredients like glycerine, rosewater and anything you know will definitely make your hair absorb moisture.

2. You used too much product

The thing about the knots is that they need to dry out completely in order for your hair to be set. Avoid using a lot of leave in conditioner or setting lotion/mousse as your hair may not dry, leaving you with puffier hair. One literally needs a drop of leave in, just enough to get your hair barely damp, not wet. 

3. Your hair wasn't dry enough

This applies to the instance when you are working with freshly washed hair. Give it time to dry out and be damp, not soaking wet. This ties in to reason number 2 above; wet hair takes long to dry. Generally I advise to work with dry stretched hair the day after you've washed.

4. You didn't detangle well

Smooth seamless detangled hair produces smooth knots that separate easily,  with lasting definition. Always work with finger or comb detangled hair. Make sure there aren't any knots as these are what make you lose definition. The hair will separate this way and that, and you'll end up with a coily/curly mess that would look better as a bun or afro.

5. You didn't use a setting lotion, cream, mousse or gel

Not everyone's hair sets well without the use of leave in conditioner and oil. How often we wake up to the frustration that our curls unravel and become straight  EVEN THOUGH your hair was dry, detangled and set overnight. 



My setting mousse of choice
Use a gel, setting lotion/cream/mousse to hold the curls all day long and even for the next few days. My setting mousse of choice is ORS wrap/set mousse. 

Happy bantu knotting. 

Which one of these reasons is messing with your knot out? 

P.S. I know I was supposed to continue with the hair over 40 series, next week pinky promise. 
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