Saturday, 4 March 2017

Black Marley Braids On Short Afro Hair

A day or two after I tried the protein method (see last post) I set to work installing my Marley Braids....
It's taken me a minute to get used to the extra volume that comes with this hair but these are definitely my favourite type of braids! Light as a feather and they blend well with my natural texture so the style looks neater for longer.
I used about 5 1/2 packs of Noir kanekalon hair from the Janet Collection, in colour 1B. 
Marley braiding hair from the Janet Collection always kinda bums me out because there is so little of it in each pack, but I really like the quality of it so it's worth the extra few quid...







I would love some nice gold braid cuffs as I think they would compliment this style perfectly but I can't seem to find any that are both nice and affordable... Any suggestions would be very welcome! 

You can reblog this photoset on Tumblr here xx

(Lyrics of the day = 'Let me cover your shit in glitter I can make it gold', Consideration, Rihanna)

Saturday, 25 February 2017

How To Grow Your Hair Overnight!!! (Protein, oil and Scalp Massage Method)

I'm absolutely kicking myself for not taking proper photographs and documenting this process as well as I could have- might have to write a do over post some time, i'll see how I feel.

Anyway, the title isn't clickbait, I really did see significant hair growth overnight using a protein, oil and scalp massage method i'd seen on Youtube!

Naturalista Youtubers have been boasting of overnight hair growth of up to an inch for the last few years now using the method i'm going to lay out for you step by step. I'm veeeeeery sceptical about the claim that any method could grow an inch of hair overnight and a lot of the videos use very iffy methods of checking the growth (which i'm not here to bitch about so I won't go into all that- if you're interested just search 'grow your hair overnight' videos on Youtube). But still, with such positive reviews i've definitely been curious to try it for a while now- even 1mm in one night would be good after all and even with no noticeble new growth this is still a good treatment for your hair.

If you only watch one video watch this one. This girl has the most relaxing voice you will ever hear in your life and the video is good too!

What's really great about this method is that you'll probably have most, if not all, the things you need to try it in your home already. Unfortunately this version isn't suitable for vegans but I bet there is a protein substitute you could use instead!


Right let's get to it...

For stage one you will need:

  • 1 x bowl
  • 2 x eggs
  • 4 x tablespoons of oil of your choice, I used extra virgin olive oil, a lot of the Youtbers used grapeseed oil
  • A whisk or fork
  • A roll of cellophane (saran wrap)
  • A towel



1.) Whisk the eggs and oil together in a bowl. If your hair is very long you might wanna think about adding more oil. 




2.) Apply this nasty ass mixture to your hair, trying to achieve as much coverage as you can. If you can use something to apply it with, do! Plunging my hands into this phlegmy mess was the low point of my day.



3.) Wrap your hair with cellophane (seran wrap) and leave it to do it's thing for an hour. This ish drip, drip, drips- so annoying! So wrap a towel around your neck and try to busy yourself with something that will take your mind off all the oozing.




4.) Unwrap your hair and thoroughly wash out the mixture. Use cool- lukewarm water so it doesn't start to cook, making it harder to rinse out.



For stage 2 you will need 

  • Coconut oil
  • A dish or pan to heat it up with
  • Sellophane
  • hair wrap- satin scarf, do-rag etc
  • A scalp massaging brush (not essential)


5.) Heat 4 tablespoons of coconut oil just enough so that it turns to liquid. You may need to adjust this amount depending on the length and density of your hair. I used 4 tablespoons but I definitely could've just used 3.




6.) Apply the liquid oil to your damp hair. Make sure you apply it evenly, getting as much coverage as possible from root to tip. When all of the oil is on your head start massaging your scalp all over with deep circular motions. If you have a massaging brush, use this. Keep this massage up for 6 minutes. This is a very important step as encouraging blood circulation stimulates hair growth. This all gets very messy so you might want to position your head over a bucket or outside.





7.) Wrap your hair in cellophane and then wrap your head for the night, I opted for a do-rag as I thought it would keep things the most secure! Sleeping with a load of oil and cellophane on your head is surprisingly comfortable.




8.) Try to keep your head incubated for at least 8 hours. I left the oil wrap on for nearly 12 hours.
Remove the wrap and cellophane and thoroughly wash your hair. That's it... Method done!





My Results

Many Youtubers reported that their hair felt silky soft after washing out the coconut oil... That wasn't the case for me at all, my hair felt a bit crispy and when it had sufficiently dried out I applied a healthy dose of shea butter to get it feeling closer to its usual softness. 
That last photo is after I had towel pat dried my hair after washing it. As you can see the shrinkage was realllllllll!!

Because it was late when I started and I really didn't think there would be noticeable growth, I hurried through the photograph taking process and didn't do length check before and after photos. I did however take very careful before and after measurements from the middle of my forehead, crown, my sideburn area and the back of my neck. I didn't measure any noticeable growth around the sideburns or crown but to my absolute shock I measured 4-5mm growth in the middle of my forehead and at the neck. HALF A CENTIMETRE IN ONE NIGHT!! Amazing. I also noticed a fair few new hairs have sprung up around my crown, really thickening out the appearance of my hairline, lovely!


Notes 

  • If you decide to try this method try not to go into it with an expectation that your hair will grow as there's no guarantee this will work for you. Remember, patience is the key ingredient to growing hair!
  • If you find the method helpful and decide to incorporate it into your hair routine, make sure not to do it more than once a month. This is a protein treatment and overloading your hair with protein could have detrimental effects.
  • After trying this method I noticed that my head was quite tender for about a day so be cautious when massaging your scalp and check for signs of protein allergy
Definitely gonna give the inversion method a go next time I take my braids out! xx




Lyrics of the day = 'If the lighting's good you have to get your phone out, bare skin, teeth when we pose for the photos, some girl are braided some girl are in cornrows but still gwan dread if we have to' taken from my current jam 'Skwod' by Nadia Rose... And yes I know i'm late... But i'm always late!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

9 Lazy Girl Tips To Growing Natural Hair Faster And My 4 Month Length Check...

**For the purpose of showing hair growth and styles this post contains a few fugly unflattering photos of me... You have been warned**

If by any chance you've been reading this blog for a few years you might be wondering if you've got deja vu.... Nope, i'm really growing my hair out... Again! I've realised that when it comes to hair growth, i've got no patience whatsoever and after two years the disappointment and frustration of impulsive hands takes over... Before I know it my two years worth of hair growth is sat in a fluffy, dejected pile on the floor while I frantically jab away at my head with my clippers, going over and over the patchy job i've done of shaving all my hair off... *Deep sigh*

But not this time, this time i'm going to commit... This time i'm going to finally find out what my hair looks like after 3 years of growth... And as this is the third time i've grown my hair back from BC-ing it, i'm really hoping that the third time's the charm.

So far i've been growing my hair since October 2016.

After the initial hair growth spurt of October/November I started to feel like my hair grew faster the last time I grew it out, which is quite frustrating. Probably not even true but a frustrating feeling to have nonetheless. Plus there are few things I hate more than the sight of myself with a TWA (Teeny Weenie Afro)... It just doesn't suit me. (If you're not interested in seeing my hair growth over the last few months, scroll down to the bullet points to check out my new hair regime)

My hair story from October 2016-January 2017...

4th Oct '16- 1st wig I have ever bought! Channeling Bettie Page


11th Oct '16- that proud 1st curl

11th Oct '16

6th Nov '16 (hair had been wrapped for flatness)
8th Nov '16 Curly Sue


12th Nov '16 (hair had been combed)
12th Nov '16


I reallyyyy hate these next photos but I don't seem to have any others that show how I've been wearing my hair during December '16 and a lot of January '17 so i'm going to put my vanity aside. This was probably the longest i've ever had to spend installing a hairstyle... There were quite a few points I genuinely considered giving up... My fingers and my soul were numb. In the end I had about 150-160 skinny yarn braids. It was the first time i'd ever tried yarn braids and it was especially challenging to braid the back as I don't reckon I could've had more than about 1/2 an inch of hair the first time...


Dec 2016

Dec 2016


Which brings me to my hair now... Benn has been singing into it as apparently my head now resembles a microphone! Hahaha


23/01/17

23/01/17

23/01/17

So that's what i'm working with right now. Definite progress but I can do better! I'm going to switch things up and try to get into a good hair routine. I've finally come to terms withe the fact that i'm quite lazy and low maintenance with my hair so I've chosen things that don't carry a big investment on my time. This is a mixture of tried and tested methods and things i've heard or read about and would like to try.

To begin with my regime will primarily consist of-

  • Jamaican black castor oil- This has been recommended to me on numerous occasions and loads of people vouch for it's hair growing and thickening qualities. I've been meaning to buy some for months but keep forgetting. Looking forward to seeing what it's like, would love to thicken my hair up a bit!
  • Water- I think that people often forget to look at internal things that can affect hair growth. I used to drink loads of water everyday, now i'm out of the habit of really drinking anything. Sometimes it gets to 9pm and i'll realise i've only had 2 cups of a drink (including my morning coffee, eek). Well no more of this. I don't want to be unrealistic as I need to ease back into drinking lots of water but i'm going to start making sure I drink at least 3 large glasses of water, hopefully working up to 2 litres a day. I will also be trying to make generally healthier food choices too, but we'll see how that goes.
  • Biotin- I've used biotin tablets as part of my routine quite a lot, but i've never really been sure how it was impacting the rate of my hair growth. For all I know it might be doing nothing for me at all but I think after this slow few months, reintroducing it now should give me a better idea of whether it actually helps me or not.
  • Hair wrap- Some of you might be reading this one in shock... Who seriously tries to grow out their natural hair without sleeping with a silk scarf or bonnet on??!... Well... Me! This time round I haven't really bothered wrapping my hair at night. While it's so short it just doesn't feel like a priority and having my hair wrapped kinda gets on my nerves. But i'm going to buy a nice new head wrap and get wrapping. I might also invest in some new satin pillowcases so that I can at least minimise friction on my hair on the nights I really can't be bothered to wrap my hair.
  • Coconut Oil- I already use coconut oil on my hair and body and the last time my mum came to visit she left me her nice new tub to use to my heart's content. I'm going to look into all the benefits of coconut oil so I can maximise what I get out of it... Thanks to a suggestion from my friend, i've already started using it orally for oil pushing (I might write a separate post about that at a later date)
  • Ditching the junk- Whilst i've never been a product junkie, I think that every Black girl is guilty of picking up products they don't really need when they visit the hair shop. I'm especially bad at doing this with styling products. Every so often I find myself walloping a load of 'curling creme' or other nonsense onto my hair , just because it's there! Well i'm getting rid of all that crap. All i'm going to keep are my coconut oil, shea butter, apple cider vinegar, spray bottle and combs. 
  • Low manipulation- When I have my hair out I find it practically impossible not to sit twisting and pulling locks of hair pretty constantly throughout the day. I'm actually doing it as I write this post! Doesn't take a hair expert to realise that this definitely isn't the best thing for growing coily hair out. So i'm going to be leaving it alone as much as possible, mainly through my next point...
  • Protective styling- The best friend of growing out Black hair... When done properly! Meaning; no tight braids pulling out your hairline, no leaving the style in for X million months, no back to back protective styling without giving your natural hair a breather for at least 5 days, no hurried removal job when it's time to take it out- take time and be gentle and kind to your hair, especially in this vulnerable state!
  • Managing expectations- While this one might seem like a bit of a cop out, it's probably the most important and most difficult thing to incorporate into a regime and something I can't stress enough to everyone who's currently growing their hair. It's obviously a lot easier to preach the virtue of patience and not comparing yourself to other's than it is to do it, but it's important to try and the whole thing becomes much more rewarding if you can. I've found it's helpful to completely cut off anything that negatively impacts the way you feel about your own hair. For me this meant turning Youtube off, scrolling past certain Instagram posts and keeping it moving. At some point I got the crazy idea that it would be good hair growth motivation to watch the tutorials of Black hair gurus with suuuuuuuuper long afro hair. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I know a lot of people take this approach but I think it's counterproductive. If you do this, especially in the TWA phase, you will inevitably become frustrated with the length and growth rate of your own hair (which at the low end of the Black hair scale could be growing at a rate of 3-3.5 inches per year and at the higher end be growing at a rate of 5+ inches per year) and this can really start to get you down. If you need visual motivation I think it's a really good idea to collect some of your favourite photos together of your own hair at time's it's looked particularly luscious to you... If you're going to get hair envy you may as well get it for your own hair :) Also remember not to think too deeply about the comments of your friends and family; Some of these will be well meaning and meant to encourage and some might be sly jabs, but focussing too much on this feedback can leave you feeling confused, inadequate, frustrated and a whole host of other things you wouldn't have otherwise felt. 
Over the next few months i'm sure I will adapt this plan (which admittedly isn't really much of a plan at all lol) depending on what I feel my hair needs. I'm also likely to slip up sometimes but i'll report my findings and hopefully start seeing some results. xx

Lyrics of the day- could only be 'Don't touch my hair, when it's the feelings I wear' taken from Solange's instant classic, beautiful, magnificent album A Seat At The Table <3 <3 <3

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Be Leery 'Bout Your Place In The World, You're Feeling' Like You're Chasing The World, You're Leaving Not a Trace in The World, But You're Facing The World...

For once my most recent blogging hiatus wasn't due to disorganisation or lack of time- for the last however many months i've been without a laptop and there was no way I was about to to try writing blogs on my iPad... Aint nobody got time for that! So here (slightly later than planned) are some of my reflections on the past year and my plans for the coming one.

Most of us are in agreement that 2016 was a pretty bad year to say the least. It was so bad that even Charlie Brooker's 2016 Newswipe fell pretty flat. As I sit writing this post the inauguration of racist Cheeto Donald Trump looms ever closer and it still feels like a bad dream (that I wish i'd placed a bet on at the beginning of 2016 and won my fortune). Listening to the soothing beats of A Seat At The Table it  feels like Solange's stunning album was the only good thing to come out of the cursed year. Losing music icons: David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and Sharon jones in a year that seemed to offer up so few creative offerings made everything sting that little bit more. Buuuuuut i'm going to resist the urge to write a full round up of all that mess, i'm sure it's all still fresh in everyone's memories.

On a personal level 2016 was an odd year for me and it really did fly by. On the one hand Arthur is now a thriving 15 month old; independent, determined and energetic. Watching the rapid development of a lil baba over a one year period is genuinely fascinating and from a parental viewpoint I found it extremely fulfilling. I got to observe Arth grow from some lil, curly haired alien egg that couldn't lift his own head up to a toddling menace with his own likes and dislikes, constantly absorbing the world and pushing new bounderies and that was all fantastic.... But on the other hand i've fallen very short of my own personal ambitions this year. Last night I was absolutely knackered but lay in bed for hours plagued by my frustration with myself and endlessly recapping all the things I haven't done that I could have during the last few months. I tried to implement my New Years Resolution at the beginning of December in a bid to gain a bit of momentum in the hope that it might actually make it stick if I was already one month in when 2017 actually came around. I wanted to choose something achievable so I chose getting fitter and having a healthier diet. The healthier eating part has been going ok but the exercise part, my goodness I CAN'T STAND EXERCISING any more... Like I can't believe people actually enjoy all that!... I can't believe that I used to?!?!... Was I living in an alternate universe?!?! I don't yet know how i'm going to address my fitness regime but please pray for me if that's something you do cos a few home sessions have had me feeling like i'm dying forreal! Hahaha

So my new New Years Resolutions are- 
  • Maintain a healthier lifestyle (fitness included) 
  • Complete tasks at the earliest chance... It's a bit of a purposely vague one but those who know me will know that i'm really bad when it comes to completing anything in a timely manner. I put almost everything off right up to the last minute and this not only makes even the most basic tasks anxiety ridden but also means I generally get a lot less done than I could do. If I can start to adopt the 'no more last minute' mentality and just do things as soon as they come up, my life will completely change gear for the better. So this organisation and motivation based resolution is for my financial well being as well as my mental health.
Basically i'm going to be tightening up my life this year and hopefully that will mean fewer regrets next year.

To stop this post being entirely text here's a pic I took of me and Arth a few weeks ago.


As you can see i'm back on the hair wave, hopefully i'll resist cutting it this time!

HAPPY (BELATED) NEW YEAR EVERYONE! xx

(P.S. Title = Lyrics to 'Weary' by Solange, my favourite song of 2016, taken from 'A Seat At The Table', my favourite album from- the last x number of years lol)

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Baby I Got A Plan, Run Away Fast As You Can...

So i'm nearly a week late with this and i'm sure the internet is saturated with articles about it... But for the last few days I haven't been able to get it out of my head... Any time my mind starts to wonder it drifts right back to it and so I feel compelled to get this out of my system...

I'm talking about Kanye West's Yeezy Season BORE 4 collection...

Now i'm not going to go into his messy, controversial 'multi-racial women only' casting call or even the show itself, which was clearly a shambles and has already been dragged all over the internet. No, i'm actually just interested in shading the clothes.

For the most part I have actively tried to ignore Kanye these last few years. His narcissistic rants and the delusional soundbites they've produced 'I AM SHAKESPEARE IN THE FLESH' have left me cold to the man and the overrated music. Someone who once spoke out so passionately about the plight of Black Americans now seems completely out of touch, only motivated by grandiose visions of achieving the same level of success and respect in the fashion world as he has done in his seemingly unstoppable music career.  When it comes to Kanye the designer, although i've seen the occasional pictures from his previous fashion shows pop up on my Tumblr dashboard, I was usually far more taken with the strikingly beautiful models and the gorgeous hair sported by some of them, than by Kanye's sartorial offerings. But this time round I had Tidal (still haven't unsubscribed, welp) and they were live streaming Yeezy Season 4, supposedly from 7pm GMT. I was curious to see how many Black women had ended up being booked for the show and had nothing else to do so decided i'd give it a watch...

What feels like 18 hours later, the show actually began. What I assumed at the time was an elaborate performance piece re: models sitting down and having to drink water as well as tripping down the catwalk, turned out to be genuine production blunders caused by heat exposure and tiny, faulty, foot crippling and hideous shoes. Even with all this drama going on I found myself bored, waiting for inspiration. It never came cos that collection was drier than Riveta!    

If I was trying to describe the collection to someone lucky enough to have avoided seeing any of it i'd say 'bootleg American Apparel meets Home Alone meets 1990s Manchester' because it was a borefest of Winter body con and parkas. Don't know where the hideous boots fit in, i'll have to have a think about that...


Wtf is this?






The only mildly redeeming looks i can remember were these 2...



... And the second one was mainly just because the model looked so good!

I really would love to meet Kanye while he's surrounded by the 'YES' crowd who must surely be present every time he expresses an idea because I feel like a world where anyone who thinks this collection is good should be an alternate one... Far far away from me. The resources and connections that must be available to you when you possess Kanye levels of star power and wealth are unfathomable to me... And yet this is his offering?! These are the fruits of his boundless creative genius and team?! Where is the innovation?! Where is the DESIGN?!? Imagine what emerging designers with actual talent could create if they had Kanye's resources! A quick google of his previous collections showed me that this is pretty much just more of the same and there has been no real conceptual evolution... In fact Yeezy Season 3 was marginally more interesting.

Love seeing melanin on the catwalk and it was nice to see two of my faves, Grace Bol and Chanel Iman, walk in the show, but model choices aside, I really wish people would stop drinking the Kanye Fashion Kool Aid... But I guess until his fans are ready to stop paying £70 for Kanye Gildan t-shirts that's never going to happen!

I will be passing on Yeezy Season 5.
Drag over xx

(Title = lyrics to 'Runaway' by Kanye West)

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Something Happened On The Day He Died, Spirit Rose a Metre and Stepped Aside, Somebody Else Took His Place and Bravely Cried- I'm a Blackstar (My 5 Etsy Shop Picks)

Over the last few years i've really developed a soft spot for Etsy! If you're not yet familiar with it, Etsy hosts millions of independent online boutiques selling handmade and vintage items. The site is most popular for the fantastic handmade jewellery and high quality, genuine vintage clothing on offer.

Here are my five favourite Etsy shops at the moments...

  • Dronning Vintage Based in California (USA) this is one of the prettiest and most successful dress shops on Etsy! If you love genuine vintage clothing and have a thing for the 1940s - 1960s in particular like I do, this is the shop for you!
 

 


  • MarcusKwame is a New York (USA) based artist with a fantastic array of prints for sale through his Etsy store. Touching work with a focus on the African American experience.





  • Dig For Victory A Brighton (England) based dress shop with a twist... Stunning one of a kind vintage style dresses (mainly 1950s) made using vintage and end of roll fabrics.
  


  • Peace Images Stunning handmade jewellery from Georgia (USA). Bold designs, beautifully made with a focus on Africa.







  • StormySeasUK shop owner Liz is a Brighton (UK) based illustrator known for her unique and quirky drawing style.









So those are my Etsy shop picks for today... I had to stop at 5 cos I really could go on and on- could make a pretty extensive list of fabulous Etsy artists/illustrators alone!! Etsy is so huge with so many great sellers i'll probably come back to share some more with you at a later date. 

Also drop by my Etsy Bank Holiday Flash Sale for 20% all full priced items until tomorrow (Tuesday 1st June) at 8pm gmt. Worldwide shipping at pretty cheap rates xx

(Title = lyrics to 'Blackstar' by David Bowie)