Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I love my hair and I'm proud

There's a video that has been going around for a while and I'd like to share it with all of you that may have missed it. Enjoy

I posted this a few minutes back coz I only wanted to share the video but after watching the video for like a hundred times, I've decided there's something I'd love to add to the comment from the video. I definitely think it is great when media "accepts" other kinds of beauty other than the traditional forms usually portrayed in movies but do you really think that media should be left responsible to decide whether WE accept OUR form of beauty????

Many people keep complaining about media always portraying light and white skin as more beautiful, but can you really decide what media decides to show as beautiful? I personally think regardless of what is in the movies or what is considered main stream, you should have your own standards that determine what goes and what doesn't. My mother taught me that I am beautiful and that my natural hair (she wasn't into me getting locks but she was ok with me being natural) was the best thing I could rock, and regardless of the fact I grew up with a barbie doll and watching "white" tv, that never changed my mindset or my belief on MY beauty.

All those that may be reading this post and have kids, teach them they are beautiful, just as they are and not to think that they will only be beautiful when they have extensions and relaxers on their hair. Relaxing your hair and wearing extensions is not a sign that you don't think you're beautiful but when you would rather die than be seen with your hair in its natural state then that's madness. Know yourself worth and pass it on to your kids cause even when they get to a hundred, they will always remember what their parents told them.

It's next to impossible to avoid the media nowadays especially in a developped world where media is closer than your relatives but it's about time as adults we took back the power to influence your children. Don't try to be the cool parent that lets their kids live like movie characters, this is real life that requires real advise from parents and relatives, and when most kids don't get that, they check the net. Not everyone on the net is out to harm your children but to tell you the truth as much as I'm honoured by all the readers I would hate it to know that, some kid somewhere reads my blog to find identity that their parents don't help them to find.

Yeah the other excuse is that most people don't appreciate black hair, but hey, how many times does what other people think affect your life. What other people think is none of your business. Work on your self confidence and stop blaming people who should not matter in your life.

The post has turned into a rumbling of sort but I'll stop here and hope you enjoy the video and be proud of who you are coz YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL regardless of your race, religion, gender, age and beliefs.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Starting locks at home

As you may have read on this blog, I had a professional loctician do my locks for the first 2 times then had my mother retwisting them for the next couple of months and by the time I started doing them myself they were already locked. Those who may have read my earlier blog posts may also know about how I started using the hairclips to hold my locks and try and make them look “professionall” whenever I retwisted them myself and this lead to the thinning of some locks and unfortunately loss of some others. Got me scared there for a minute but as my mother says, “It’s just hair, it’ll grow back”.

Well 2 of the locks I lost were at the back of my head, and the back always looked so bad without the 2 locks as they were from the side and were very visible when I hold a pony tail. That wasn’t much of a problem considering when my locks were shorter I let them fall freely, but now they are growing longer; I hold the ponytail and it looks horrible to say the least thus I decided to start the 2 on my own.

I have tried starting the locks before with the usual twist and gel method but considering I suffer from "Hand in Hair syndrome" (nothing serious only that when I'm idle, I prefer having my fingers on my hair), so I always ended up removing the lock before it could lock up. I honestly thought this would be easy but I realized it isn’t hence the post for all those who are in an area with no loctician in sight but definitely want to start locks. The process will take time before they actually hold or even lock but hey, you’ll be a proud owner of DIY locks afterwards.

This is how I did one lock; the other I decided to join to a nearby thin lock. I used the method on short hair so I can’t assure you it will work the same way for long hair but anyone who’s willing to try it out is welcome to share their story with us.

  1. Decide on the size of locks you would like to have thick, thin or medium, choose a size you’ll be able to maintain.
  2. Partition your hair into squares of the size of lock you have decided you would like and braid the hair. In Kenya we call these matuta. Make them neat as you’ll have them for a while.
  3. This step may be done a couple of days later preferably after a wash of the hair. Do NOT re-braid the hair after the very first braid. After the wash; the root will be loose, now you will need to interlock the lock/braid. Interlocking will help tighten the root of the lock ready for locking. Do this repeatedly, every time you wash your hair, interlock the root. Remember to maintain the usual hygiene, wash the hair right and oil it.
  4. After about 4weeks (i.e. after 2 washes depending on your lifestyle), a good length of the root will be interlocked. After the wash you can twist the lock with gel. For the first couple of times you’ll need to gel the whole length of hair. Don’t undo the braid though coz then the hair goes loose, for the next couple of times you can stick to twisting without interlocking.
  5. The missing locks are on the left
  6. If you continue doing this, within 3 to 5months your hair will have locked. I’ll repeat again, maintain your hygiene standards, leaving your hair to accumulate dirt will not fasten your locking process.
The lock I started is now about two and a half inches long. I feel so proud, after 3yrs I'll finally have a lock at the side again.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Removing build up from Locks

Here is a lock with build up in it, not very clear but I hope you get the picture
Build up is a major issue many people have to deal with especially those that twist their hair with gel or shea butter that cause build up in the lock over time. You may wonder why not stop using these things and avoid the build up? That would be a possible solution to the problem, but sometimes you get addicted to the sweet smell of your gel or shea butter (not a great excuse but hey, what to do when you are an addict?). Sometimes the build up is caused by using too many products at the same time, especially chemical products. I advise to use one product at a time but sometimes the impatience (I'm so guilty of impatience), you buy a new product a few days after your last retwist and you can't wait to try it out but waiting another 2weeks will "kill" you so you just use the new product. Well, you do satisfy your curiosity and impatient self but most of the times the chemicals react and they do lead to build up.

So now that we have discovered what causes the problem but we are human and we are still bound to do the same silly thing even after knowing the consequences, how do we solve build up?

The web is full of recipes for it from using Vodka (which I must admit was the most interesting of all) to the usual Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). What these 2 have in common is alcohol, apparently you can use alcohol to remove the build up, due to its low density it dissolves the residues from your hair faster and easier than water. But you may want to read this article before you decide to use just any alcohol you find on your hair.

What you need:
- Usual shampoo and conditioner
-A cup of vinegar/ alcohol -I used wine vinegar, it doesn't matter what vinegar or alcohol you use just make sure it's nothing that will leave your hair smelling and/or looking worse than before you tried solving your build up problem. If you find this to be too strong for you, you can dilute it with some water to the ratio of 1:1

1. After shampooing your locks and rinsing them thoroughly, take the vinegar and pour it onto your locks. It would help if you had a small bucket to hold the vinegar so that you can pour the vinegar on your locks several times. The first time you pour the vinegar on, it just flows without wetting the lock cause the locks are wet. You could also try drying the hair after shampooing then pouring the vinegar onto your head to make sure your locks are only wet from the vinegar. The smell can be very pungent depending on what kind of vinegar you use.

2. Cover the locks with a shower cap/ polythene bag and leave them for about 20mins

3. Rinse out the locks several times cause of the smell and the acid (though I've come to learn it's not that bad to have it there after all) from the vinegar.

4. Condition your hair, preferably a deep conditioning (DC) cause the acid leaves the locks a bit dry and stiff.

5. Continue with your usual routine.
A lock after being soaked in ACV and rinsed out. Hope you notice the difference from the before picture, this one has no white pieces in it.
I learnt the ACV, also "helps to balance the pH and helps the hair shaft to open up for growth" by Sandy C.

Do you know any other reasons why ACV or any other alcohol or vinegar rinse is helpful to our locks?