The Henna Treatment: For Shinier, Stronger Natural Hair

Dear, lovely curly, coily, heiress,

I do hope you‘ve been nice to your hair these past few weeks, it takes a lot of patience to groom your natural hair and you know what they say ‘’patience is a virtue’’ we all need to learn, being a natural has helped me learn to be a more patient person. My fiancé used to say l had the long but thin kind of patience, that was before I went natural, now l do much better and he tells me that too! though am not there yet, still a work in progress, l’ve come to realize and understand that patience will do much for you than any other virtue, why you may ask? Well, because as humans we face challenges every day, all sorts of challenges, but the trick is everything has a time frame or span, nothing remains the same , how we react or act in these circumstances we face determines whether we are going to come out on top or at a loss.
Patience helps you think before acting and this can go a long way in our daily decision making processes. So my friend, instead of getting all worked up over that issue, losing your cool, and saying things that you will definitely regret later on, let patience help you take a deep breath and walk away, or help you see things from the other person’s point of view then you can understand why the person acted in such a manner and think of a better approach to the situation, you see?

Becoming a natural has helped me see the diversity in life and people, we all have different hair types, are all created different, unique not necessarily bad or good. These and many more lessons l’ve learned in my 14months of natural living.

Now down to my post for the week HENNA. Two months ago I did a henna treatment and l’ve been itching to make a post about it, not just because I feel it’s necessary to talk about henna but because I needed to share my experience with you. This wasn’t my first time but it was by far my most enjoyable experience doing the henna treatment. Why it is i can’t say, but i suspect because my hair was much longer than before, or may be I got over the stress of the first time.

HENNA
Henna_for_hair-353x210plant3x
Photos of henna powder and henna plant

Henna is a kind of natural dye; it consists of ground up leaves from the henna tree, also known as the Egyptian privet or the mignonette tree, here in Northern Nigeria its called laali.

Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather. The name is used in other skin and hair dyes, such as black henna and neutral henna, neither of which are derived from the henna plant, The only dye molecule in henna (Lawsonia Inermis) in sufficient quantity to stain hair is Lawsone , which is a red-orange molecule. Any company that claims they create the wide range of henna colors with 100% henna, using roots, bark, or other parts of the henna plant to achieve their colors is not telling you the truth.
Only henna leaves are useful for dying hair, and other parts of the henna plant do not dye hair other colors. Chemicals, metallic salts or other plants must be added to henna to make any colour other than red.

THE HENNA TREATMENT
This is a deep conditioning treatment, in which henna powder is mixed with other oil, be it carrier or essential oils, to give colour to natural hair. It may also alter your hair pattern by way of loosening it.
Henna is the answer to anyone who is seeking a natural lifestyle or who wants to dye their hair without the drawbacks of harsh chemicals.

How it’s done: This was my process – l boiled some water and put a black tea bag in it, when the tea had cooled off a bit (warm) poured some in a disposable container (always use something you can discard in case you get too lazy to wash, i don’t like to washout henna afterwards) I then added two table spoons of henna dye, a tea spoon of olive oil and coconut oil , this is because dying with henna could strip the hair a bit, you ll understand soon. Stirred the mixture very well and let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

henna 029

Next, I parted my hair in three sections and wearing a glove, applied henna to my hair by section, allowed to sit for about 45mins only because i had an emergency, one can sit with henna for as long as wished, the longer amount of time spent the more can be gotten from the dye.

henna 031henna 032
Parting your hair in section makes for easy application of henna.

Now washing henna out of your hair is where the real work is, for me, I simply allow the sink to fill with water and deep my head in it for as many times as it would take to get the henna out, deep and drain, fill with water again and repeat the process. It might take about 7 to ten rinses depends on how big your sink is…See why the oil is important?

henna 034.
if you look properly, you can still see traces of the henna leaves..it goes with the terrain.

After my hair had been well rinsed enough (for me), I applied my condish, let it sit for another 1hour before rinsing off. Moisturizing, sealing and styling completes the whole process.

The outcome? : My curls came out looser and lighter, my boss commented on how ‘’darker my hair looked’’, also I could see some red highlights especially in the sun plus my hair got shinier!

henna 006
henna 008
Photos of my washango right after doing the henna treatment

Thinking of doing the Henna treatment?

Purchase your henna or laali from your local market, it’s sure to be the real version.
Despite the greatness of henna, the major downfall is ease of use. Henna has a grainy texture making it messy and more difficult to apply. It also seemed to take a long time to wash out in the shower, so be prepared.
Henna dye should last about eight weeks in your hair, it fades out over time.

Is it worth it? – it definitely was for me, I plan to do it every 3 months because of the enormous benefits. It’s a win- win situation for me.

Henna benefits

plant3x
The Henna plant

Henna’s coloring properties are due to lawsone, a burgundy organic compound that has an affinity for bonding with protein.

Strengthens hair from the roots

Adds shine that lasts

Chemical dyes are not only VERY damaging to hair, they can also cause scalp burns, allergic reactions, and recently studies have linked long term use to cancer, henna is a perfect alternative.

Henna contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, some sort of natural protection.

Hope you had a good read, until my next post, Keep rocking that natural heiress!

The ”fragility” of African hair debunked!

Hi there lovely Hairess, hope you and your tresses are doing well, Hair “no name yet” here has been acting craaaazzzy i tell you, I think the reason is partly cause I’ve been too busy with other activities to pay due attention to her,plus the fact that she is quite stressed out from all that twisting and braiding of the past 3weeks really. So I’ve decided to let it be for a week which basically means no twistouts, braidouts , flat twists nothing , just a plain good ‘ol wash n go plus no combing for at least 2weeks!

Now I’ve also managed to do some reading up these past week and have learnt a few things that i‘d love to discuss with you, Remember I was supposed to do an exposé on Good Healthy hair? Well, while researching on it i realised that i did not fully understand what my hair was made up of, so decided to take it a bit further, I came across some articles that gave me not only more information about my Hair but also spurred me to have a rethink on some African hair myths i’ ve been hearing about. Here is an excerpt that caught my attention..

‘’Hair is made of protein which originates in the hair follicle. As the cells mature, they fill up with a fibrous protein called keratin. These cells lose their nucleus and die as they travel up the hair follicle. Approximately 91 percent of the hair is protein made up of long chains of amino acids…this to me basically means hair is dead fibre.
Now the earliest recordings of research on African hair care shows, a variety of methods for managing this hair were adopted. These documentations highlight the use of hot stones; potatoes; lard, and lye, up to modern day methods. But why is afro hair so fragile?
Research shows that essentially while Caucasian, Asian, African hair have the same make-up, the structure of the proteins in black hair differ somewhat. Proteins are the building blocks of hair, providing rigidity, elasticity and strength. Together with water, these determine the overall mechanical properties. However, with afro there are three points worth bearing in mind’’.
AfricanAmerican hair consists of a reduced percentage of cystine, a protein synonymous with the hair diseases where the hair is extremely fragile and frays.
African hair proteins are also laid down in an irregular fashion. This occurs deep inside the follicle bulb within the scalp and also determines the tightness of the curl. The tighter the curl, the weaker the hair. In addition, this irregularity creates weak spots all along the shaft of the hair.
African hair grows from ellipsoidal follicles as opposed to the oval shape of Caucasian/Asian hair. In essence this means that the stresses working over the hair also attribute to splitting.As you can see, Type 4B hair is designed primarily to grow outwards for protection, not downwards’’.

Now this article was taken from: http://EzineArticles.com/4772004, and while I agree with most of the information therein, I would like to state my little observation on the much proffessed ”fragility” of African hair.

First of all, ALL HAIR IS VERY FRAGILE, not just African hair, again this is just my opinion. Reason I say so is because hair structure is basically made up of the same thing ‘’protein and fibre’ ’the only reason African hair has suffered over the years and has been labelled fragile is because very little or no research has been carried out on its structure and development and care methods. It has been simply neglected or swept under the wigs and weaves for decades!
Now I may not be able to provide all evidence to back up my stance but this is how I see it; there are several factors that affect and influence the type of hair on our head, and I categorise them thus:

1) What we eat/Diet
2) Environment/geographical locations
3) Haircare methods and practices

Haircare methods
Kinky coily hair is by no means more or less fragile than any other hair type or neither does it have particular defect in its structure, Off course if you treat your African zigzagly, or coily hair that same way a Caucasian treats her straight hair you would be running at a loss, Because our hair patterns are not the same though its structures are fundamentally the same. One major mistake most of us have been making and it’s not our fault we weren’t taught is caring for our African hair the way Caucasians do. African kinky coily or curly hair’s pattern differs from Caucasian straight hair and should therefore be handled differently. Take a look below:

strangestrandsi7

You would notice that African hair is patterned in a zigzag or round curly fashion, while the Caucasians hair is patterned straight (except for the curly)…After learning this i slapped myself for the many times I let the hair dresser use that blue small toothed comb on my dry hair,all the while saying ” sorry oh” as I clench my teeth in exasperation…looking at it now the pain was so unnecessary.
Mis- information and mis- education of our African hair grooming methods has contributed to the wide spread notion that African hair is the most fragile of all the hair types, it isn’t its just different and should be handled thus.

Food/Diet /Environment and Geographical location
You’ll agree with me, we are what we eat, which means everything that goes into our mouth will be seen on our bodies, same with our hair.
Here in the tropics, our local food is more of carbohydrates than anything else, and this has been going on for years from generation to generation, it’s even become genetic, thus having a huge impact on our hair texture and pattern. Our diet, even the way our bodies converts and processes the food we eat has a huge role to play in hair formulation and texture.

It is also true that African hair has been patterned by nature to serve as a protective shield from the harsh sun, hence it’s zigzagly or coily pattern. One cannot shy away from that fact, however, I did noticed that our hair growth and pattern does vary according to location, You see, up north, especially Maiduguri, is where we have the ladies with the longest of hair that any other parts of Nigeria, long, soft, sometimes wavy and luxuriant hair, despite the use of relaxers…While down south (which is where I’m from by the way) our hair has this redish colour and rarely grows long one can easily see the disparity, my mom use to always complain when we visit the village of how dirty/dead looking the colour of the villagers hair was.

Now if you belong to this group of people, with good genes as a result of years of good diet plus condusive environment, good for you, but if you belong to the group whose hair hardly grows blow the shoulder level do not be discouraged there is hope, Long lustrous or thick hair can be achieved through the adjustments of our diets to accommodate more fruits and vegetables, protection of our strands by maintaining a good hair care routine like ( fingercombing & fingerdetangling, Conditioning & moisturising) and drinking lots of water. Avoid putting chemicals in your hair at all cost.

Now hairess do not get confused by all my mumblings, All l’am trying to say in a nutshell is:

1)All hair is fragile and needs to be handled with care, not just the kinky coily African hair
2)Proper grooming and maintenance is the key to hair growth.
3)Good / balanced diet is important in growing long and healthy natural hair.
4)Protection of our strands is relevant for lenght retention.

Hope to expatiate on this topic as we go along, l do look forward to reading your opinion on this as well. Do have a lovely week!

face and others 020

Facial Challenges

Hellooo lovely hairesses, sorry l’ve been silent on you guyz, this chica here has been feeling too lazy to blog, i know, am ashamed of myself. In my own defence;i do have a big project in the works,i felt the time was ripe for me to get more specific with my posts as oppose to just random gisting, reason its taking a while to make that post i talked about. Information gathering / experimental research is no joke i tell ya, its time consuming, so i ve resolved to make it easy, two detailed posts a month on a specific hair subject, including random posts about my daily ”hairtivities” and lifestyle how about that huh? Now a quick run down of what me and hair has been up to.

For some weeks now i ve been suffering from ”oil blocking my pores disease” dunno what that is but its been really terrible, my pores got enlarged and began producing more sebum than i could control,during this time, i tried everything from regular face steaming, scrubbing, to oil cleansing( which i have been experimenting for more than 6 months now) but my face just would not stop producing extra oil(sebum) and my pores became very visible, especially around my cheeks and chin areas..it looked hoooorrible. l’ve always had an oily face, its the one thing that got me interested in skin and facial care, in short the whole beauty thing, the only time i discovered that my face isn’t too oily is when i use a lightnening agent, then my large looking pores seems smaller and barely noticeable, the moment i stop using a lightener it starts producing oil again which is very frustrating, when it gets like this friends, its all i can think about, what can i do? i d rather have a dry face with smoother skin than this oily face! take a look at the photo below.

face and others 018

Needless to say i’ve gained some sort of control over the situation (Major prob huh?) by using a 3 step facial cleansing method i got from my search with the help of the glorious internet; Cleansing, Exfoliating and Moisturising.i also realise that i was paying it(my face) too much attention and decided to do a once all deep facial clay cleanse, exfoliate with olive oil and brown sugar scrub( home-made),olive oil because i was out of honey and finished of with an eggwhite and lemon mask solution ( home-made as well), egg white to heal skin due to the bruises it had gotten from my constant squeezing, and lemon because its a natural Skin Lightener. here’s how it looks after the facial treatment..

face and others 033
Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh still not the way it should look, is there anyone out there that has a similar problem, have you found a way to control/ combat it? i would very much appreciate some more advice in that direction

Meanwhile Miss fussy (me) was too busy paying attention to her scrawny face, that she totally abandoned her hair,yeah i left my hair in wash n gos for most part of the two weeks which was ok, but the downside is that by the end of both weeks, My hair was all tangled and knotted up that i had such a hard time on wash day ..made me realise that the longer my hair grows the more attention and care it needs. i promise to do that for the reminder of the hair’s life.lol.

face and others 024face and others 020

My 3 top favourite Natural Hair *Crushes *, their hair regimen, and how they did it..see here!

Hey beayuties, i just want to show you some of my natural hair inspirations and what we call ”hair crushes” in the natural hair world, these ladies have learnt to master their own hair, grow it and look beautiful and graceful while doing it.who says we can’t be all at the same time? lol…

http://www.naturalchica.com/2013/01/maes-current-natural-hair-care-regimen-january-2013/403457_10150819629808610_1895002033_n

http://geraldinethegreat.blogspot.com/2013/02/henna-for-strength.html#!/
IMG_1939

http://easynaturalhair.com/my-hair-regimen/
Alicia-James-Wash-and-Go

Looking at these natural hairesses, gives me the courage to move on..its not a days job oh, Rome wasn’t built in a day, it takes consistency, practice/experimentation and lots and lots of patience, that l’ve learnt and l’am still learning.

Below is a photo of yours truly rocking my twa ( teeny weeny afro) , hmmn but who says we cant be all that..we ll get there soon.Lol

mi n hair 010

Have a fabulous weekend y’all hairesses!

My natural hair in Braidouts…

Hey friends, kwana biyu! like we say up north, ( means two days in hausa, its used when you havent seen someone in a while ) , been a while since my last post eh, i just realised that, and thought to share what l’ve been up to with my hair (still thinking of a name for it), i want to name it because i feel like it is different from me, my hair behaves the way it wants to behave, like its got a mind of its own, almost like a person..and there’s nothing i can do about it! I wake up some days and it’s just plain flat, others it’s vibrant and happy,wants to be touched and played with, and some days just plain ‘ol untameable(bad hair days) lol, those are the days i just put on a scarf and head out not minding who’s staring.Understanding your hair is KEY to NATURAL HAIR GROWTH AND MAINTENANCE.

Presently my hair seems really happy, it’s been washed and conditioned over the weekend and left in braids for two days, decided to take down braids this morning, here are the photos of the braidout.

myhair 103 030 myhair 103 037 myhair 103 035

Upclose :
myhair 103 033 myhair 103 041

Luckily for me i had already done a trial on friday last week, but it was more of the chunky braidout cos i didn’t have the time, it was done while my hair was dry, as oppose to semi -wet like the one above,and guess what? the results were quite different, i feel it has something to do with the dry twisting. here’s how it looks….what do you think?

myhair 103 017 myhair 103 020myhair 103 008

One of the main reasons i chose to blog about my hair was to share my experiences with beautiful ladies interested in grooming their natural hair, by showing them my procceses using myself as an experiment so to speak, i ve only been natural for 14 months this April and as you can see my hair is growing, it looks/is healthy too, how would i know you might ask, well i hope to make a post next time about Healthy Natural Hair for you all to understand and know how/if you growing healthy hair or not, not as an expert oh…just going to do some researching, then we can compare notes if you like.

KK loves, time’s up..talk to you guyz soon , cha cha!!!

Old twists outs=New hairstyle

Hello everyone, welcome to the month of April, how did your 1st day in April go? were you april-fooled? ha..i was so busy i forgot that such a trick exists, l remember it though like it was yesterday how we used to do ”April fool” as kids? ..my time does fly really fast doesn’t it?, and this year seems to be in a rush, cant figure out why, very soon we’ll be in june( Mid-Year) and after that before you say bingo its end of the year again, why am i lamenting? don’t mind me it’s just my usual fussy nature at play, But the truth is i feel like the days are counting really fast, like life ‘s leaving me behind, am i the only one? am thinking here i am cramped up all day in my office, shifting papers when there’s so much going on outside, i feel like there’s so much more i can do and should be doing the earlier i get started the better for me,not getting any younger..sigh* sorry to bother you with my worries, down to the business of the day.

l’d promised to show y’all photos of the two different hairstyles that i would do with my last twist out( check out last posts) well…am pleased to let you know that am fulfilling my promise, below are photos of what i did with my hair on the 2nd & 3rd day of my twistouts..hope you ll like em..

outing 001outing 002

outing 003outing 004

On the 3rd day , i had a wedding to attend and as confused as i usually am , i surprised my self by turning the same style above into something presentable and cute, here it is..i was very proud of the outcome..got alot of nice comments too,What do you think?

outing 012outing 014

For me it’s not necessary to twists my hair every day,i like to twists only on wash days and try as much as possible to keep the twists for the week , it’s called low manipulation, a way of keeping ”hands out of hair”, less manipulation= less breakage = length retention..these i ve learnt. For the time being (might change it as my hair grows longer) i wash my hair once every week which is usually on Saturdays, ll love to be able to improve it to twice in a week though, However when ever i wash i use my original dudu osun as shampoo, dark and lovely leave-in moisturizer water based, which is good since 4b hair loves moisture, then i usually seal with my homemade shea-butter mix which contains some other oils such as coconut oil, and olive oil.

Friends, I’ve got to go ..break time’s over so I’ll chat with you again tomorrow..cha cha lovelies!

Big High Bun – My Go To Hairstyle!

Cant wait for my hair to be this lenght…*PositiveEnvy* Please meet my natural hair Icon!

How To Take Care Of Natural Hair

Big High Bun On Natural Hair

I like to leave the hair a little loose. I don’t like to pull my hair too tight. I am using regular hair pins that I ordered from Sallys Beauty supply.
I can make the bun without the sock, but it makes it quick and easy, and also gives it a nice shape. You don’t have to worry about your hair moving around throughout the day.
In this video my hair is blown out. You do not have to blow dry your hair to achieve this hairstyle. This hairstyle can be achieved with curly hair, stretched hair, etc. Results will vary with different hair types, curl patterns, styling techniques, etc.

I blow my hair out once a month
My blow drying method: http://youtu.be/-EXTtMD6O_U

The waves are from an old chunky braid out
Chunky Braid out demo here: http://youtu.be/TZskr-s4jA4

I made the sock bun with a pair of my husband’s old…

View original post 69 more words

Twist -outs : my favourite ‘go to’ hairstyle.

So, i was feeling a bit stronger and decided to do a twistout for the remaining days of the week. what did i do? …I co washed, conditioned (with my leave-in) and sealed with my home made shea butter mix, twisted and left for two days cos i want it to last… oh and i added a dash of olive oil for shine.

Here’s what it looks like on day one.

My hair 102 008My hair 102 006

I realised it would look better styled upwards as opposed to downwards cos i have a round/full face, so i redid it , you should see the difference in the next photos…which do you think is better?

My hair 102 024My hair 102 019

I am going to make an effort to keep these in for the remaining 2 workdays of the week by sleeping with a satin scarf at night, and oiling and restyling it every morning. You bet i ll post photos of the styles i ll be doing..catch ya later!

Making the transition to Natural hair : Conquering the ”fears”

546601_524300967593994_1390286766_n

The above quote transcends, reason i chose it, although i rephrased it to”KNOW YOUR HAIRITAGE”which is more apprioprate for my post today.

Most of us of us that have gone natural know and have experienced how difficult it could be taking this step, you want to, but your mind gives you a 10001 reasons why you can’t, the reason is simply because you have been conditioned to see natural hair as a taboo, ( only for deeper life people) or people who are not exposed, you start thinking how you ll manage and style it, ”maybe i wont look good in it”, l went through all these emotions too so i can tell you that its absolutely normal to feel that way. its normal that after all these years you ve been fed with ”natural hair is hard”, ”its unmanageable”,”its ugly”, ”its only for the poor” you would entertain prejudice about it but hey lets look at it carefully, THAT SO CALLED ”unmanageable” HAIR was given by your maker and creator…he said he made all things beautiful and that includes our black strong kinky coily or nappy hair! furthermore conformity is not normal..the holy scriptures say be ye transformed not conformed.l’ve seen that no race or people on earth tries to change/look like another except the blacks isnt this a sign of inferiority ? isnt its a crime against your creator for you not to appreciate what you ve been given, nuture it in the best possible way?

Personally i see beauty in nature and everything natural, and i believe that if nature is beautiful, so is our natural hair,i try as much as possible to ignore the media’s interpretation of who and what i should look like to be called a human being. i ve realised that the real me in all my glory is far more beautiful than any kim kadashian or beyonce on stage. I ve accepted my hair as a gift , my inheritance and good fortune which i ll inturn pass to my children just as its has been passed down to me.

I ve also acquired a certain level of knowledge about my natural hair and can testify to its versatility which is beyond words hence this blog..here all of us natural beauties can see and appreciate what it is we have been given as African queens and teach it to our children ..its only when we appreciate and harness our true gifts and nature that we can contribute meaningfully to the our environment.

Friends, the best things in life are free..so is our hair! lets step up our game as African beauties not African-indians or African-brazilians..lets tap into our inner reserve of beauty we’ ve been given and shine through. Adios!