Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Price of Being Natural

The weekend just gone buy I went looking for a new shampoo, condish, deep treatment and leave-in. Maybe its just me but most of the stuff out there are really expensive! I love to spoil myself every now and then, I love to indulge in things that make me happy, but I believe buying a bottle of good shampoo and condish shouldn't pinch.

My current regimen is fine and manageable, but I just couldn't resist the urge to try something else out there, you know what I mean.....

I've been using:

From Boots I buy:

Herbal Essences Hello Hydrations Shampoo (400ml): £3.49
Tressemme Naturals Conditioner (500ml): £3.99

Online and in local Afro-Carribean or Asian stores I buy:

Dudu Osun Black Soap (150g): £1.00
Henna (500g): £5.00

My BFF supplies my shea butter and I've got bottles of almond, tea tree, jojoba, olive, coconut, and vitamin E oils bought in August from Holland and Barrett for about £40.00.

Here's what I found on the shelf in John Lewis:


Key Ingredients: Aloe vera and camomile

Brilliant Shampoo (250ml): £14.50
Brilliant Conditioner (200ml): £16.50
Damege Remedy Intensive Treatment(125ml): £21.00

Aveda recommends the brilliant range to add softness and shine to dull and dry hair, the be curly range is similarly price and is designed to enhance and define curls

Philip Kingsley

Key Ingredients: Cocoa butter, Almond oil, and Avocado Oil
Moisture Extreme Shampoo (200ml): £14.00
Moisture Extreme Conditioner (250ml): £17.00
Elasticizer Extreme: £25.00

PK recommends the following combination for coarse, curly and frizy hair:

Elasticizer Extreme(150ml)
Re-moisturizing Shampoo (250ml)
Re-moisturizing Conditioner (250ml)
Scalp Toner (250ml)

You'll have to part with £73.00 for this.

I'm curious about the PK Elasticizer, to help fight shrinkage. I really hate it when my 3 inch plus hair shrinks. I know shrinkage is only natural but shrinkage + dryness = breakage which I really need to avoid. I'll try this and write a review in the near future

If the result is unsatisfactory, I will try washing my hair only when braided till it gets long enough to put into 6 large braids to wash, should get there in 6 months hopefully.


Key Ingredients: Ojon oil, Shea butter and Sweet almond protien

Ultra Hydrating Shampoo (250ml): £16.50
Ultra Hydrating Conditioner (250ml): £18.50
Restorative Treatment (150ml): £39.00

In the end I bought a box of Ojon range from John Lewis containing all 3 bottles above plus a leave-in conditioner on offer for £24.50.

I started off by applying the treatment to dry hair and left to rest for 20 mintues before following with an application of shampoo, then conditioner and finished with the leave-in.

On a scale of 1-10 I'll rate this product as a 6. Simply because I could have achieved the same results using black soap with Tresemme Naturals conditioner, which works fantistic for my hair.

I'm really eager to see natural hair products that don't break the bank, something around £4.50-£6.00 per 250m1 would be great. But until then the search continues, I'm quite happy to keep using the products I've got now, but the fun loving PJ in me will always want to try something new, just like buying a new pair of shoes, just got to have one more.

Do you think Natural hair products are unreasonably priced? What has your experience been?

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Must Be Doing Something Right

Wow........look how much I've grown since I Bc'ed in August. I've gone from this:

To this:

And moved on to this:

To come this far in four months, I must be doing something right.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Anger is a BITCH!

Now that I've got your attention, this is what I mean to say.

There is a word for every season and today my heart turns to these comforting words of scripture: " Be angry and sin not.... Eph. 4:26"

There will always be times when those we love or maybe hate, lol, cause us to experience emotional turmoil. For me my default plan is always to suppress my feelings. 

Anger like the more positive emotions of love. joy and happiness is a legitimate emotional response and it's meant to be expressed, so yeah, go a head and smash a few dishes, it helps. I said few, don't go breaking them all, but if it helps well....

Seriously, be angry but sin not, vent but don't blow anything up, scream but don't scratch! And at the end of the day, let it go and give yourself a break, anger is exhausting. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, Eph 4:26 continues, I see this line as a reminder that keeping anger will only hurt one person: me, and bitterness is bad for anyone's well being.  Don't want to be sick from being mad, so what do I do, focus on things that will give me a huge rush of endorphines ( is that how it's spelt?) and a good rush of dopamines. Letting go of anger will help to re-energize your mind, body and spirit, it's all about you, give you a chance to be happy, go to bed happy.

And if you wake up still angry, remember to vent but don't blow anything up, then let go again, till it's all gone. Remember, if you believe, He's there with you helping you through it, it's going to pass because He's there.

OK back to my fro, my henna treatment went very well, it was very hard to wash initially but I love the results, and my hair is still black, phew! My new motto for this week is grow and retain, I strongly  believe that as long as my hair doesn't break or shed unnecessarily, it will grow longer. Much love to all my natural sisters especially the Hair's a thought (HAT) family on facebook, these are a bunch of really inspiring and supportive women, click on the Like button to enter this beautiful world of natural women, you will be amazed at what you'll find, my dear there is a lot to learn. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading, please share your thoughts either here or on facebook.

Happy birthday Daddy, I love you, will always be your girl.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Henna Deep Treatment

I'm doing a henna deep treatment this weekend, so I thought I'll do a bit of research on the web about the benefits and I stumbled on Henna For Hair. It has plenty of information about henna; what it is, how it works on different hair types and colours and most importantly for me is how to mix to achieve the desired results.

Henan works by releasing Lawsone into the hair shaft when applied as a paste.

The term dye is relative as natural henna will produce results relative to the colour of your natural hair. So blonde hair will appear red after an application while dark hair will sometimes come out even darker or have a tint of red colour in the sunlight. Also henna has been known to elongate the curl pattern and make hair feel heavier, this is down to the additional molecules that binds itself to the hair shaft during application.Natural henna can be applied as often as necessary as it is chemical free.

What I would like to achieve using henna as a deep treatment is to get thicker and fuller hair, more shine, and retain length. I bought my henna from buy whole foods online uk, 500 grams only cost £4.93 and this should last for about five weeks as I plan to apply weekly.

This is how I plan to mix my henna following recommendations from  Henna For Hair:

100g of natural henna powder
1 bag of green tea diffused boiling water
lemon juice

The honey is from Curly Nikki's Henna tutorial and more mixes can be found here

Have you used henna as a deep treatment before? What was your experience? Any tips/tricks for me?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Scripture Inspiration for Today

God has reminded me today that there is great strength to be found in confidence and quietness that grows from knowing him. As Isaiah 30:15 says

"For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:"

I know you're here for me Lord, I feel you and I'll rest in your arms.

Products and Regimen

I'm learning that for my hair less is actually more, My regimen is really simple, it goes like this:

Pre-Wash:V05 Deep Nourishing Elixir Hot Oil Treatment

This is a keratin based oil treatment, I run it under a hot tap for  few minutes then apply to my hair before washing. It only needs to stay on for one minute before rinsing off, it helps to reduce breakage from combing, brushing, heat and adds shine to hair.

Wash: Dudu Osun (Black Soap)

Black soap in an elixir for afro hair, and a little goes along way. I noticed very little or no shedding since I started using black soap for washing instead of co-washing. Since then my hair has changed dramatically from being coarse and dry to soft and moisturised.

Moisturise and Seal

I use coconut oil on wet hair and scalp after washing to seal in moisture, I follow this up by using my butter mix which contains shea butter, olive, almond, jojoba, vitamin E,  tea tree and bergamont oils. I leave to air dry and then section before de-tangling

De-tangle: Paddle Brush

I've found the paddle brush to be quite effective in de-tangling hair very quickly with minimum casualty to strands, all I do is gently run the brush in an  upward motion through each section. The great thing about de-tangling this way is that it creates volume without using heat and it removes single strand knots.

What's your regimen? Please share with me.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Bantu Knots

This thing took ages to make, but I'm very pleased with the results. I've decided to wear it out for two days and get two days worth of twist out before I knot again. But for now, here are the results of my very first bantu knots made all by myself, with only my butter mix, coconut oil and a water in a spritz bottle.

All photos were taken with my phone, as my camera decided to die on me!

Monday, 27 September 2010

My Frohawk

I tried out a fro-hawk on my hair and it looked really great, so I thought I'll share. I used pink styling gel to hold the sides down and pulled hair together at the back with a butterfly clip. Cute eh...

Friday, 24 September 2010

Caring for Natural Hair: Clarifying

I started out my natural hair journey as a no-pooer, am still a no-pooer but I've now
included black soap as my clarifier and I'm clinging to it for dear life.

While a no-poo or low poo regimen can be great for black hair it can also leave the hair and scalp dry and flaky. A clarifier will help remove build-up, help hair retain moisture, keep scalp flake free and
leave your hair feeling nice and soft.

There are different products for clarifying black hair, on top of my list is black soap. It is 100% natural and works well with my hair. I've also tried apple cider vinegar (ACV) for clarifying but this was not as effective as black soap and only softened my hair temporarily.

I prefer my hair being as chemical free as possible so I avoid most off the shelf shampoos, even those with a natural tag. But not everyone has to go this way, just check you shampoo does not contain any of these 10 chemicals  and you're good to go. But if you try and it's still great for your hair please carry on using your poo!

If you chose to go natuaral all the way, check out  Kitchen Curlies  ACV and baking soda mix and Napturalities natuaral shampoo recipies

The rule of thumb with any clarifier/shampoo of your choice is not to over do it, this is open to your interpretation, how much is too much?  You tell me, with a twa you can get away with pretty much anything.

Monday, 20 September 2010

What you're looking for in Sokoto..........

Sometimes the things we feel we need to go far or spend a lot to get is right in front of us! For some of us the thought of wearing natural hair is unimaginable, others are still contemplating the idea, while some have decided but don't know how to go about it and others like me have taken the natural plunge already.

Wherever you are in your natural journey know that all you need is never too far away, might be just in front of you, all you have to do is look and challenge the status quo.

So, the next time you buy a cup of relaxer ask yourself the following questions:

What is this really doing to my hair?
Am I trying to hide the hair God gave me?
Why is my hair breaking?
Am I trying to be acceptable?
Is there a better way to care for my hair with the resources available to me?

It's time to start looking under your sokoto to find what works for your fro, it's time to make informed choices about your hair and invest time and money in products that are beneficial to our hair type.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Product Review: Dudu Osun

Yes dudu osun, the good old dudu osun. This natural hair journey is sure full of surprises. Anyway, I remember reading on some blog before I did the BC on how on using black soap is good for natural hair, so I thought I'll have a go and see how it works for me. In less than two weeks I've seen the following benefits:

- Hair is moisturised and less brittle
- Reduced shedding
- Added shine
- Unbelievably soft hair ( this is the most notable effect I've observed)
- All day moisturise
- Prevents dry, flaky and itchy scalp

My hair is pretty short now, so I don't need to use a conditioner at the moment, I just follow up with an application of coconut oil and my butter mix.

Why not have a go and see how this works for your fro, as for me and my fro we now swear by dudu osun!

Friday, 10 September 2010

New do: Update

So, I had my hair braided into kinky twists last weekend, I loved the new look but in my heart I wasn't trilled with the extra length from the extensions. Its still a lot shorter than braids I've had in the past, but a lot longer than my tresses.

To cut the long story short, I miss my hair, I've missed touching and discovering it, I know the twist have kept my ends protected and I've moisturized and wetted as often as I needed to, retained more moisture,but I just miss my hair. I've not taken any photos of this new do which I've had for a week now and I've been uninspired to do so, I will try to take one for record purpose, but I think going forward I'm going to try to doing two strand twists or other styles to suit my hair. Will post pictures of my hair before and after I taked my braids out. Now all I need is a good DC to pamper my tresses this weekend, any takers?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Twists and plenty of growth

I must be doing something right to get this much growth in 4 weeks, I've just made my first two strand twists tada:

So I thought I'll share, ok it's not perfect, but its history in the making, well there you go. So what have I been doing to get such amazing locs? Quite a few things actually:

1. I co-wash as often as I need to, maybe 3 times a week
2. I've been using my home made mix of butter cream of shea butter, glycerin, olive, avocado, jojoba, almond, vitamin E, tea tree and bergamont oils as my daily all in all. Its not yet a perfect mixture, but one thing I've learnt is that the first batch I made without heating the shea butter to help with mixing was a lot better and didn't melt in the slightest ray of sunshine. It was a pain to mix though.
3. My butter cream mix is fab for the skin, how boots must miss me, must make home made soap too! O back to hair now, lol.
4. I recently added coconut oil to my routine, this has made a big difference to my hair, it has improved my texture and I highly recommend this for those of us with rock hard hair that sticks to scalp, works like magic. I simply apply this after my co-wash/ watering to seal in moisture, it works pretty well. If you do nothing please do coconut oil, ok?
5. I drink plenty of water, great for hair and skin, but also let my hair drink as much water as possible, with short hair I can get away with letting my hair get wet every day.
6. And thanks to someone who mentioned exercise was great for stimulating hair growth, doing level 20 on the cross trainer and toning exercises means my scalp gets its fair share of sweaty juice. I rinse it all off though, not nice to leave that in.
7. I've been taking daily vitamin supplements, missed quite a few in the last to days.......hmmn, I wonder why??? Must take today's dose......that's better.
8. I only tried this last night, but twisting the sides and back of my hair before going to bed helped to prevent my hair sticking to my scalp overnight, so this morning I simply applied my mix and I had a so much volume.

There you have it my eight steps to growing my fro. Feel free to try any of these and add your own tips and tricks, remember to check with your doctor if you have any allergies and advice before you begin any fitness regime, level 20 on the cross trainer is the bomb though!!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

New look......

Just when I think I've settled down into a routine, a different idea pops into my head, so to mark my one month nappiversary I'm taking inspiration from this hair do from Loving Your Hair with Natural Care Workshop:

I've got an appointment with my trusted hairdresser/friend in London, hopefully this will keep my ends protected for 3 weeks or so, and will prevent shedding, will post pictures soon. This is what I look like now:

Troy Polamalu's $1m hair insurance

I know this is lazy blogging at its best, but this is one article I just couldn't let slip by, and I knew it just had to be a fro:, how cool. This is my hair  inspiration for today, I wonder what his regimen is.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Not a Lye in Sight......

Sitting there in the salon, Bobby watching nervously as I touched and touched the amazing long locks of the guy have his routine loc maintenance, Naaman making comb coils for another guy, a girl re-locking her fiery red-dyed locs, another girl getting two strand twists, and another braiding her shoulder length natural hair, a guy waiting to undo his two-strand twists, a mum getting her locs washed, another girl getting two strand twists, I looked around and there was no lye, I must have been in fro heaven..............thanks Purely Natural for giving me a truly natural experience.

Comb Free Styles

Its day 4 and I can't believe my comb coils are still holding strong, I'm so proud of you my lovely hair. Although I've been secretly wishing to stick the comb in and pick my fro, I'm glad I haven't because my scalp was suffering from excessive combing and I can't afford to lose any new growth, so this maybe the start of a new weekly routine, it will be nice to find more home-made comb free styles to rock on my fro as a weekly salon trip will set me back more than £100.00 a month. Here're some snapshots of my coils:

This shot is from day 2, and the next one is from yesterday.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Why Natural???

Simples, thats what my hair is, no amount of relaxers will ever make me permanently straight, period. There are many reasons why Black women opt to relax or use weaves on their hair, but for me it was something I wanted since I was young and have continued to do until recently without taking note on the adverse effects it has on my hair and life. Where all this desire to be straight came from only God knows, some say its a need to confirm to western/media standard of beauty, others say its because black people hate their hair and complexion so much.

Well this is how God made me and I'm gonna rock it to the max and then some more. I decided to cut all my relaxed hair off and grow out naturally from the scratch, this is all about me. many kinky babes have opted for a gradual transition to natural but I just couldn't wait that long, I needed to see and feel and play with my kinks. Having relaxed hair is a choice not a necessity, and I've chosen to be nappy and happy, okay!

Check out my video on my progess so far on youtube: Gone Natural

Monday, 16 August 2010

I've got Curlssssssssssssssss

I just discovered my curls, I've got curls, wow wow wow. Eco styler gel here I come, time to unleash some wild s-curl bangers.

10 Things

Ten things I love about my fro..

1. My fro is unique, no one else has a fro like me or will ever have a fro like me.
2. Its attitude, no messing about, wild, refuses to be tamed
3. Its versatility, can do so many styles, name it twa, slick back, bun...
4. The fierce look it gives to my eyes
5. My wild s-curls, just discovered 'em
6. Makes me look super super sexy
7. The way it stands on my scalp like hands lifted up praising God!
8.The way it sits on my face
9. It knocks off 10 years off my face like a magic elixir
10.What else can I say its absolutely fab.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


It has been a really interesting week, my confidence has soared since getting my fro, believe it or not my hair is growing like wildfire. I tried to make finger/comb coils, they came out well but I was quickly overwhelmed by my full head of hair, pity the women who've had to braid my hair over the years.
I heard the old story of other black women's opinion about our hair being unmanageable, such a pity, and I've made it my mission to provoke them to envious envy, a long way to go but hopefully I can turn one.
Anyway, I had a big meeting at work today, I felt my power puff fro was well received, I felt super confident most importantly. One thing I need to do now is match my wardrobe to my funky fro, so I'll be hitting the shops this weekend, God save the bank!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Tracie Mae Challenge

I started the Tracie Mae challenge on the day of my BC (04/08/2010) and today is day 4, believe it or not my hair feels like its sprung up from my scalp over night. Today I co-washed using Trevor Sorbie's beautiful curls conditioner, which worked wonders for my hair, followed my two table spoons of ACV as a leave-in. I let my hair dry naturally and applied a home made mix of olive oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and shea butter, the results was fabulous. My hair stayed moisturized all day and I can't keep my fingers out of it, lol.