Featured

Caring for baby curls: bathtime edition

Hi lovelies, and welcome again to Chi’s Kitchen.

This is absolutely my favourite topic. I’m a hair specialist, and particularly love curls, kinks and coils. (Not least because I and my children have them 😉). I’m a mum of two (and a bump) and my children tend to be known for their gorgeous curly locks and adorable smiles.

If you’re reading this, likelihood is you’re a busy mum too and don’t really have time for fuss. This is why my babies’ hair care almost always coincides with bathtime, and I’ve come up with a time-efficient, fairly fuss-free way to get the job done.

The method below is how I care for my one-year-old’s hair and how I have done since she could sit up in the bath.

You’ll need:

Johnson’s baby “No more tangles” conditioner and shampoo

A muslin cloth

And

A tangle-teezer brush.

Method:

1. At bath-time, wash baby’s hair with the shampoo, rinse, dab with a towel to remove excess water and then apply the conditioner to the hair from ends to roots.

2. Try to bush through it gently against the baby’s scalp or better still if length permits, against an outstretched palm (to prevent catching and tugging). Brush from ends up towards the roots. If you get stuck do not pull, immediately stop and go back to the end and gently work back upwards.

3. Leave the conditioner in the hair whilst you wash the rest of baby’s body and then rinse thoroughly afterwards (I use a sponge around the front to prevent water from going into her eyes).

4. Dab hair dry with a muslin (rather than a towel, to prevent frizz) and perhaps, put into cute little bunches to prevent matting.

This should be enough to moisturise and Detangle baby’s hair for a couple of days. The following bath-time, baby should only need his/her hair dampened, but not fully washed.

If he/she has dryer hair you may need a separate product for after bathtime (a leave-in conditioner).

5. To apply this, after dabbing baby’s hair mostly dry, add on a generous amount of leave-in- enough to dampen baby’s hair slightly, but not wet it all over again.

6. Style hair as desired, and cover with a satin bonnet like this one if baby will allow you.

Neither of my older babies really liked things on their heads, so I resorted to using satin bedding for them.

I hope this has been helpful.

Take care, lovelies.

Featured

Stretch your hair for length retention

Keeping your hair stretched is ONE secret to retaining length and achieving that long hair you want.

Why stretch your hair?

Stretched hair is less likely to tangle with other hair strands and cause itself mechanical damage, tangles, knots, splits etc.

Another (more aesthetic rather than practical) benefit of stretched hair is its appearance, on a smoother hair strand, your hair is able to more uniformly reflect light (rather than dispersing it in lots of directions) which creates a slightly shinier appearance.

How to stretch your hair

Some methods for stretching hair include: banding, African threading, plaiting, twisting, wrapping, and of course heat-based methods like blow-drying and flat-ironing. I’ve tried all but one of these at different points during my natural hair journey, and will give you my opinion of each one.

It is first of all important for me to state that for best results, hair needs to be fully moisturised and detangled before using any of these methods.

Banding: this is a method wherein, using elastic hair bands, you tightly bind sectioned hair along the length of the shaft. This method makes for fairly straight hair, depending on how close together your “bands” are. The closer together they are, the straighter your hair will be. Leaving gaps can leave you with a slightly wavy/beachy blown-out look which is also quite nice.

I find binding to be a really easy method, not too time consuming, and requires minimal skill or effort- but it does require a number of bands (which, no matter how many you buy, always seem to disappear…). Banding is also a completely heat free method of stretching.

Pro: No skill required, no heat.

Con: Max straightening requires loads of hairbands.

Youtube: NaturallyChea

African Threading: My mum and Grandma (and pretty much every “Aunty” I have) swear by threading. Similar to Banding, African threading uses waxed cotton threads or rubber/plastic threads to wrap the hair, but traditionally, with little to no gaps whatsoever. There is a style called “Gaps”, which, as the name implies, allows for gaps and leaves hair wavy.

African threading requires a little bit of skill to prepare the threads (if using the waxed cotton thread) and to wrap the hair, as there is a technique to doing it which makes for quick styling and best results. It is important that if using cotton threads, they are the waxed variety, because cotton tends to wick out moisture from the hair and with such a large surface area/volume ratio as is provided by threading this is even easier to do. For this same reason, people began using rubber/plastic threads, as preparation is minimal, and the flexibility of the material means the threads would break less often while styling.

My only pet-peeve with threading is that if done too tightly, hair may break. I can usually tell my hair has snapped because I suddenly have little fly-aways along the section lines where there werent before. For this reason, I don’t use threading quite as often. Sorry, Mama. 😀

Pro: Potential for Max Straightening, No heat.

Con: Max Straightening = tight = potential to break hair, needs skill/know-how.

@curlyfarah

Plaiting: This can be done on dry or wet hair. I tend to plait my hair while wet, immediately after rinsing out my conditioner (and applying sealing oil and leave-in) as hair is the most pliable when wet. I do the same with my baby’s hair too. This can be done on dry hair too, but the effects differ.

Without going into too much detail (and probably losing you halfway haha) to stretch hair for longer, or to get it to take on a new shape, you have to maipulate the Hydrogen bonds that help create your natural curl. To do this, water (which both attracts and supplies Hydrogen for bonding) is required. The water makes it easier to make your hair move into, and stay in, the shape you want it even after most of the water has gone. This is one of the reasons why heat styling is so effective.

Pro: No heat. Simple enough if you know how.

Con: Max straightening not possible- creates waves or curls. Skill/Knowhow required.

my last washday

Twisting: In my experience, twisting provides a lot less stretch than plaiting or any of the other methods, and that might just be because I do it on wet hair, but, I believe its simply because you don’t force the hair to stretch across very many “turns” (more turns/revolutions in plaiting) or a large enough space (like in wrapping) which would force it to stretch out more. (shrugging emoji).

Pros: No heat. Easy, very little skill required.

Cons: Very little stretch provided even if you do the twists super tight. Max Stretching not possible, creates curls or waves.

Twists on wet hair
twists on dry hair

Wrapping: This method involves pulling your hair around your head and pinning it down flat. The tension slowly stretches the hair. Achieving maximum straightness with this method may require combining methods such as threading, banding, or more commonly, blow-drying or flat-ironing.

Pro: Can be done without heat.

Con: Maximum straightness not necessarily achievable without heat.

Blow-Drying: I know we live in an era where “heat is the devil”, but hear me out for a moment. Using the right tools, the right temperature, and the right technique, at the right frquency (ie. NOT TOO OFTEN!!!!), heat can be used effectively to stretch hair for length retention. Across my lifespan I’ve gone from ignorant and not caring at all (because I wasn’t caring for my hair myself), to being anti-heat (due to a bad experience), to being “use-heat-responsibly”, after thorough research including consultation with experts.

I’ll do a more detailed post on the responsible use of heat in future, but the summary of how I use Blow-Drying in particular is this:

  1. Use an ionic hairdryer. (more on that later)
  2. Low temperature, high speed.
  3. For the love of natural hair, USE A HEAT PROTECTANT!!!!
  4. Use a brush to make the heat application indirect.
  5. Blow-dry from root to tip- swiping past the tips maximum twice,
  6. The fewer passes the better! I aim for two.
  7. Bone-dry is not the way forward!!!!

My heat protectant of choice is actually a leave-in. More on that later.

Pro: Fastest method here. Easy once you know how. Leaves hair really close to maximum straightness. Fluffly blowouts.

Con: Uses heat. Using my method, you will not achieve maximum straightening. 😜 Some skill/know-how required (if doing it my way).

YT: @naptural85

Flat-Ironing: I’ve used this method, each time with awful results for my heat-disliking hair. I haven’t used a flat iron on my hair in at least 7 years now, and never plan to again. This method applies a heated utensil to, as the name suggests, iron-out your curls. For pre-treated, well-protected hair (of a different type to mine) this can give some amazing results, but as I have not yet mastered a method to do this safely without heat damage, I unfortunately can’t say much. The best method, I have heard is the Dominican Blow-out method, which involves several specific products and practices, and may be quite time consuming. I’ll have to look this one up and get back to you.

Pro: Maximum Straightness achievable. Soft, shiny, silky appearance that goes with maximum straightness.

Con: Direct Heat. Slightly “safer” methods may involve (potentially expensive?) products. Might be time consuming.

Heat-damaged hair, 2009.

Conclusion
Although I have mentioned it in my pros and cons, maximum straightening is not essential/necessary for healthy hair and length retention, or even to prevent damage! If I were to recommend a regimen for stretching hair for length retention, it might be something like this:

To freshly washed, deep conditioned, detangled and sealed hair, apply a leave-in conditioner (with heat-protectant properties), and blow dry gently until nearly completely dry. At this point, either: band, thread or wrap the hair. Cover with a satin scarf (for added tension) and (the next day) either follow with a longer-term style, or a short term style like the one below, which I often wear to work.

Youtube: @CurlyPearly

Again, these are just my opinions, but I do hope I’ve been of some help.

Do you have any favourite stretching methods that I’ve not mentioned? Or more info on your experiences with these? Please tell me below, in the comments. 🙂

See you next Fro Friday,



Featured

5 Ways to Retain Length

long natural hair
Photo by Caique Silva on Pexels.com

The secret to natural hair growth for anyone who doesn’t suffer from specific medical issues, lies in one thing and one thing alone:

RETAINING. HAIR. LENGTH.

A lot of people have the misconception that their hair “isn’t growing” or that their “non-mixed genetics predestine” them to poor growth rate- however, these things are untrue.

Although genetics does play a part in whether or not you grow hair at a rate of 3/4″ or 1/2″ a month, what is really happening is that a lack of understanding of the hair on your head has led to poor care practices and hence poor length retention.

Some of the real enemies of hair retention include (again, with the exception of medical issues):

  1. Breakage
  2. Mechanical damage (damage sustained due to handling, styling, and friction against the hair)
  3. Dryness, leading to split ends (or split shafts- right in the middle- OUCH!)

To combat the problem, you need to get to know your own hair, and learn to take good care of it- helping it grow healthy, and long.

To start you off, here are 5 ways to help you retain length.

  1. Moisturise!

    bottle pouring water on glass
    Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

    Our hair is notoriously dry. Due to our curls and kinks, sebum (the oil our skin and scalp produce) is unable to travel down the hair shaft as effectively as in straighter hair textures and seal moisture into the hair shaft. In addition to that, afro-carribean scalps do not produce quite as much sebum as Caucasian or asian scalps do. To make matters even worse, when we shampoo with most store-bought shampoos, what little oil we do produce is stripped away.
    For this reason, we need to apply oils to our hair when damp to help do the job our sebum has trouble doing. It is essential that you keep your hair moisturised to aid its flexibility and maintain the structure of the proteins it is made of. For more on HOW to moisturise, click here.

  2. Strengthen
    It is possible to over-moisturise, over-condition or cause what we call Hygral fatigue in your hair, which leads to weaker strands that are more likely to break off. To combat this, hair must be conditioned with the right conditioners at the right time. Not everytime moisturising conditioner- sometimes protein treatment too. And NO, eggs are NOT suitable for protein-treating your hair, no matter what you’ve heard, but more on that later.
  3. Protect your ends

    ends
    Protect those Ends!

    This one is simple- find youself a bonnet like this one, or a satin pillowcase, to reduce the mechanical damage and friction your hair is being subjected to- not to mention the moisture being sapped out of it by cotton pillowcases and similar fabrics. Another way to do this if your hair is longer, is to pineapple it with a satin scarf.

  4. Protective styling

    photography of a woman looking at flower
    Photo by Ezekixl Akinnewu on Pexels.com

    By this I mean, put your hair into a style that enables you not to touch your hair for a while- and protects the majority of the hair from mechanical damage. Protective styling also significantly decreases the rate at which your hair loses moisture. Styles such as braids (pictured), twists and cornrows (as long as they aren’t too tight), as well as wigs (like this one I love so much) and weaves can all serve brilliantly as protective styles to help you retain length. NEVER leave a protective style in longer than six weeks, however, or you will soon find the effects to be counter-productive. Find out why, here.

  5. Seek-and-destroy split_ends
    Trimming only when needed is essential to retaining your length- for what one would think would be obvious reasons- if you cut off the same amount from your ends as you just grew, it won’t look like your hair has grown. “Seek-and-destroy” means to seek out frayed or split ends, knots and hyper-extended (overstretched, damaged) bits, and snip them out as soon you see them so they don’t get worse. ALWAYS use specialist hair shears for this like these, as any other scissors may cause further damage, and do not use your hair shears for anything else so they don’t get blunt and cause damage to your hair.

These are the basic things you need to do in order to help your hair recover from all the abuse it faces daily, and to keep it healthy. Try this for a month and come back to me. I guarantee you’ll see a difference!

Take care now, and as always: may your skin glow, and your hair grow!

img_5054-4

“some people can’t grow long hair due to genetics”

Hi lovelies, there’s a common belief that

“some people can’t grow long hair due to genetics”.

It’s a myth.

According to SCIENCE, genetics only affects:

1. The number of hair follicles you have- ie how much volume of hair you have (fullness). The same number of follicles you’re born with is the number you’ll have your whole life. This is determined at conception!

2. The rate of growth. Some people grow hair at a rate of 1/2 of an inch every month while others grow as much as 3/4 of an inch in a month.

While factor 1 doesn’t affect length at all, factor number 2 can only “slow” your hair growth but not STOP you from growing LONG hair.

Your hair grows in phases: growth phase (anagen), resting phase (catagen), transition phase (telogen) and then goes back to the growth phase again.

MOST of your hair (90%) is in the growth phase which lasts from 3-6 years. Only 10% of your hair MAXIMUM will be shedding at any one time if healthy.

Let’s do the math:

WORST CASE SCENARIO, if your hair grows at least 1/2 an inch every month for a minimum of 3 years, BEFORE it sheds, you are able to grow (0.5 x 12 x 3= 18) at the very worst, 18 inches of hair. That’s approximately BRA STRAP LENGTH!

The factors that slow and affect hair growth negatively are:

  • Stress
  • Lack of proper care
  • Incompatible products
  • Trauma (causes hair loss)
  • Illness
  • Improper diet
  • Tight hairstyles
  • Lack of moisture (which includes humidity and moisture applied by you)

So to grow long, healthy, full hair, you need to simply:

  • Eat well (balanced, colourful diet)
  • Stay hydrated
  • Be gentle with your hair
  • Use products that are gentle and work well
  • Moisturise daily

And

  • Take care of your own well-being: as in, reduce your stress.

The same rules apply to nail and skin health too!

Plenty of love,

 

 

Help! My hair keeps breaking!

It’s Fro Friday! I thought I would share with you one of the biggest problems natural-haired women are facing in natural hair care: excessive breakage. On a page I admin on Facebook, I found that the same question kept being posted by different people:

“Why won’t my hair stop breaking? How can I fix this????? 😨😨😨😨”

There are so many reasons hair might break excessively: from incompatible products to hormonal issues, vitamin deficiencies, heat or chemical damage or improper handling of the hair, etc. Without knowing exactly what your habits have been so far or seeing how you care for your hair, it’s a little hard to make a judgement on what needs to change.

What makes the most sense is to start from the very foundation- the basics, and keep it simple! So let’s talk about:

Your Hair Regimen

Working out a simple hair regimen, with products specific to your hair type (more on that here), and sticking to it for a few months will help greatly. Your focuses need to be health of the hair strands (strong, elastic/flexible strands) and retaining length (through protective styling).

The first thing you need to do is a trim of your ends to make sure that any damaged bits are removed (otherwise, when the hair grows, it’ll just break again because of the damage).

Next, find mild products of the following categories:

  • Shampoo (No sulphates)
  • Conditioner (no silicones)
  • Hair mask (deep conditioner, also no silicones!)
  • Leave-in conditioner (for styling and daily rehydration. No. Silicones).
  • You will also need a scalp oil to help treat your scalp and stimulate your follicles for good growth. (There’s a great one here, and a great DIY Recipe here)

Your routine could be this, starting from your wash day (maybe at the weekend):

Detangle damp hair gently using oil or a high-slip conditioner. (You’ll need these)

  • Wash your hair, concentrating on removing debris from your scalp and product buildup from your hair.

Deep condition immediately after washing- apply your hair mask (from ends up to roots), cover with a shower cap and either:

Sit under a dryer for 20-25 minutes, or

Tie a towel over your shower cap for about 30-45 minutes while you carry on with life. #lazynatural!

Seal in moisture on wet or damp hair with your hair oil (ends to roots).

Add on a leave in conditioner (which, depending on your hair type, may be a hair milk or a hair cream/butter) and then, style.

Styling

I’d suggest protective styling for the week, ideally on wash day. To maximise your hair growth and retention, you will need to avoid any style that is too tight or breaks your edges- the KEY thing to hair growth and retention is being GENTLE with our very delicate hair.

Weekly, I personally alternate between Cornrows (like we used to do back in school) and single twists or large braids with my own hair, quick, easy cheap, and doesn’t involve heavy extensions. This will protect your hair and keep it neat- and, when you take it down each wash day, you’ll start to see the growth. Keep track of this and take pictures. Feel free to @ me in them if you share on Facebook or instagram, I’d love to see your progress!

Detangling

Another, VERY IMPORTANT KEY to hair growth (and avoiding breakage) is detangling the right way:

We tend to think “our hair is so tough” because it tangles or sometimes feels hard, but combing roughly WILL BREAK YOUR HAIR.

To detangle, spray your hair with water or a diluted conditioner mix (just enough to make it damp, not wet). Take your time and be gentle. This gives the hair two things it needs for safe detangling:

1. A bit of slip- so no snagging strands.

2. Elasticity to withstand pulling and manipulation.

Detangling dry hair WILL BREAK YOUR HAIR.

Hold a small section of hair and begin combing gently from the ends and working your way up to the roots.

If you come across a tangle, use a little olive or coconut oil on your hands and use your fingers to gently separate the tangle.

Being gentle with your hair will make a HUGE difference to how much length you retain.

Sticking to this routine with the right products for your hair will soon give you good results.

At the beginning, it may be hard to keep track of what you did and when, so I’d suggest either using your phone calendar and scheduling everything in so you never forget, or putting it on a desk or wall calendar to make it visible and easy to access (or both!).

Your handling of your hair, your regimen and of course, the products you use all play a huge part in helping your hair look healthy and grow long.

At least, once you get these things right, it would be easier to figure out what other factors could be at play (if the problem persists).

I hope this helps. Share with someone you think needs to see this, and feel free to email or DM me anytime!

See you next Fro Friday,

FAQs: How do I “soften” my hair?

Welcome to my Kitchen again, lovelies.

As some of you may know, I admin a couple of groups on Facebook educating on the science of black hair and caring for it. Sometimes interesting or odd questions come up, but mostly, I get the same questions over and over again from different people (mostly new members who haven’t searched the group and read previous posts. Yes, I am throwing shade 😝).

One of my most commonly asked questions is

“How do I soften my hair”

My answer to this is quite simple.

If your hair is hard- it’s not because you have a “tough hair texture” although that might lend some additional resistance to the feel of your hair.

Your hair is “hard” because it is DRY. It’s desperate for moisture, but that doesn’t mean you need to pour a bucket of water over your head three times a day. 😂

To effectively moisturise your hair from the inside out you need to start from wash day:

1. Cleanse all product buildup from your hair using a clarifying shampoo. Clean hair has slightly more open cuticles that will allow in water. Hair covered in buildup won’t allow water in. Simple as that.

2. DEEP CONDITIONING with an appropriate deep conditioner. (If you’re pressed for time, use an ordinary conditioner, but don’t bother leaving it on for more than 20 minutes- leaving it on for longer doesn’t “condition the hair more”, but more on this later).

Your hair must be DAMP, but NOT waterlogged for conditioner application, so keep a towel handy during wash day (too much water on the hair blocks the action of the conditioning agents in the Deep Conditioner it’s something to do with concentrations, but I won’t get too deep into the chemistry on here, despite my natural inclinations 🧪👩🏾‍🔬 ).

NOTE: different “hair types” require different deep conditioning methods- slightly more porous hair doesn’t need heat to help the conditioner to penetrate the hair strand, but less porous hair will need to be steamed to help the conditioning molecules to bind to the hair.

I’ve written a short article about hair porosity here.

3. After your hair is about 80-90% dry, you may put on an appropriate LEAVE IN CONDITIONER. If you have found the right one for you, you know how “magical” its effects can be on your hair strands.

Apply your leave-in and allow it to partially dry before adding a sealing oil (if you use those) and styling.

If you have a daily leave in product, whenever your hair needs topping up on moisture during the week, you can use it again- especially if you don’t have time for a mid-week co-wash. Generally I wouldn’t advise using any product (especially if it contains silicones) every day, as I find that, depending on the weather and season, generally hair may only need a couple of top-ups within the week, if protectively-styled and cared for properly at night. Daily use of a silicone-containing product will inevitably lead to build up.

NOTE: There are many different types of leave in conditioner. Different hair types work well with different deep conditioners. The “magic” (Science) behind this is pH and what specific ingredients are in the formula. Mostly, however, you’ll find that lighter (more liquid) formulas work better for less porous hair and heavier (thicker/greasier) formulas work better for more porous hair.

I’ll talk more about ingredients in a different post, and trust me, what we’re going to learn about them will BLOW YOUR MIND.

Until then, take care, lovelies. 💕

5 things to stop doing NOW to see a huge difference in your hair health.

5 things to stop doing NOW to see a huge difference in your hair health.

1. Combing/Detangling your hair dry (without water or products)

Do this instead:

Spritz with diluted Aloe Vera juice, use aloe Vera gel (it’s VERY moisturising) or use a detangling Leave-in lotion before detangling. Hair *must not* be soaking wet when you Detangle, only damp, to slightly increase flexibility.

If you must dry-Detangle, try using oils (NOT butters) for added slip- be generous.

2. Pulling out knots/ripping through them/snapping them off.

Do this instead:

Get out your trusty hair shears ✂️ and trim off the knotted bit. This stops the damage from spreading up the hair shaft!

3. Using heat without protectant!

Do this instead: only ever use heat after a deep conditioning treatment (that contains some form of protein, but more on that later 😉) and after using a heat protectant. These commonly contain silicones, but this is because silicones are the only compounds resistant enough to prevent the heat from damaging your hair. Using oils WILL FRY YOUR HAIR. (More on this here)

4. Over-shampooing

Bubbles/foam/lather are not the “hallmark” of cleanliness! They’re often a hallmark of dryness! Manufacturing companies always list foaming agents in shampoo formulas as “customer satisfaction agents” meaning they bear little benefit to the hair other than to make you *feel better* about the experience using the product.

Do this instead: Use only what you need to generate a small amount of lather in each section of your hair (yes, always wash in sections if your hair is long enough to put into sections). OR

add a few drops of an oil like olive or jojoba oil, to help reduce the stripping effect of the shampoo.

5. Over-styling

Updo on Monday. Twists on Tuesday. Cornrows on Thursday. Afropuff on Friday. Roller set on Saturday.

If your hair styling regimen looks like this or similar (ie if you change your hair style more than once in a week), you’re probably doing FAR TOO MUCH, and causing breakage, premature shedding (from the root) and mechanical damage to your hair.

The same applies if you use a lot of heat and/or products on your hair.

Do this instead:

Use heat sparingly, and keep the temperature below 150’C/302’F.

Do a protective style on your wash day (at the end of the week) that sets you up for success the next week.

For versatility, choose a style that can “evolve” during the week, ie: with very little manipulation, it can convert into a low maintenance style.

As always, I hope this was enlightening and helps you on your healthy hair growth journey.

Take care if yourself, your kinks, coils and curls, and see you next time.

The only hat I’ll ever wear (review)

…is a silk-lined one. 🙂


I’ve always been a girl for a hat, but had always struggled with the drying, static-inducing, tangling effect of cotton and wool hats on my delicate natural hair …

From the carefully stitched seams to the delicately chosen silk and lambswool fabrics, it’s obvious to me that my Chidora hat was made with care. I look good, feel good, and best of all, my hair is protected.

This has been a long time coming, and I am glad to finally pen down my honest thoughts about my first ever hat from Chidora.

I’ve always been a girl for a hat, but had always struggled with the drying, static-inducing, tangling effect of cotton and wool hats on my delicate natural hair. I tried everything, from tying silk scarves underneath, pinned down with bobby pins (which were almost always lost by the end of the day), wig caps (worst idea ever), to finally giving up and just not wearing hats anymore- I was sacrificing too much in terms of hair health for my comfort, and I had to choose.

This was until recently, when I discovered Chidora.

My hat came delicately wrapped in tissue, in light-speed. From order to my door took less than two working days. I believe I had just seen an email from Chika at Chidora letting me know it had been dispatched, when it came through the door.

I ripped open the envelope with excitement- I’d been dying to try on my new hat since I ordered it. I gently unwrapped the tissue, removing the purple Chidora sticker, and immediately put the hat on my head, making a bee-line for the nearest mirror.

I chose a charcoal-grey lambswool beret. This was largely an experimental choice, as I’m more of a bobble-hat and beanie-hat girl than a beret-girl, but I was hoping for casual comfort and style across seasons. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. I am still experimenting with styling it but am currently largely favouring wearing it to the side.

The silk feels luxurious to the touch- as you would expect from 100% pure, natural (non-synthetic blend) silk satin. The lambswool is soft and neatly woven, and the colour I chose goes well with almost anything.

This hat is now my go-to, not just because it is silk-lined and protects my hair, significantly reducing moisture loss and mechanical damage, but- can I say it again(?) It goes so well with my casual, Mum-wardrobe, and no matter what I do with my hair, still looks amazing.

Discalimer: but I was sent a hat free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I have not been paid for this, and am genuinely very happy with my hat. I will be buying more Chidora hats in future, as they are well-worth-it!

Secrets of Long Afro Hair

woman holding white plumeria flower
Photo by antas singh on Pexels.com

It’s a common, unspoken misconception; the mind’s image of a black woman is oft one with short, tangled, messy hair.

Though I won’t get into the historical reasons that this erroneous image became the stereotypical representation in the minds of many- black or otherwise, I’ll start by declaring it now: IT IS NOT the “norm”, in fact, I’ll go as far as saying, it is a MYTH that black people can’t grow long hair.

I’ll go even further and say- it isn’t genetics that limit you to having short hair. You don’t have to be mixed, have a bit of “Indian in (you) from (your) great great great grandmother’s uncle’s side” to have long, healthy, beautiful hair.

The truth is, black hair hasn’t been researched or invested in enough, and secrets of our hair care secrets and practices from our origin have been largely lost from our communities. This is particularly true of those living in the western world, and those of newer generations in previously colonised African countries.

NOTE that I specifically said “largely”.

Our secrets aren’t all gone or lost.

I started blogging about natural hair because I want to share what I know, what I’ve been told, things I’ve tested, researched and have learned, with you all.

I want us as a people to get back to holding that power to have healthy long hair in our hands- and I want it to be common knowledge.

With my keen eye for a good recipe, my scientific background and my hair obsession, you can trust that I will bring you informative and useful content that you can really sink your teeth into.

So as you read and watch, be sure to share with someone who needs to know (.

Enjoy!