LOC IT 2

LOC IT- Daudi’s story

My dreadlock looks like it is going to snap. How do I fix it?

During your salon visit, ask them to fold the dread onto itself and crotchet together.

When and how do I crotchet my dreadlocks?

Ideally, I should crotchet my hair every 3 months but I tend to like a lot of growth so I would say 5-6 months.

What oils do you use?

I use different oils. Shea butter, castor oil, olive oil and dread moisturizer.

How often do you wash your hair?

Every 2 weeks (long wash) to stimulate growth and to keep them looking clean and healthy.

How do you prevent your dreads from breaking?

Moisturise them because if they are constantly dry, they will break.

How did your journey begin?

I had wanted dreads for a long time, then I met someone who had just recently had their hair dreaded. I was surprised by how long it had gotten in such a long time and I decided right there and then.

Challenges you’ve faced?

So far the journey has been smooth.

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About the author: Daudi is a Fine Artist, visionary and multi-disciplinary creative.

LOC IT 2

LOC IT- Adrienne’s story

What technique did you use to achieve your dreadlocks?

I used the crotchet method because I can actually take them out in the future in case I want something new and recover my natural hair, which is fantastic.

How often do you re-touched?

I usually get them re-touched every month, but I will probably adjust to every 2 months once they are longer.

How it begun?

My dreadlock journey begun when I moved back home (Rwanda) from South Africa. I wanted a nice hair style with minimum maintenance that would be practical for my lifestyle but still nice and could be styled in different ways. Dreadlocks ticked all the boxes! With the facilities in Kigali, it is easy to get the dreadlocks longer, curl and style them differently including spicing the look with highlights. The cherry on top is that it doesn’t break your wallet to maintain.

Challenges you’ve faced?

  1. Since I had very short hair, my natural dreads were very short with an unpleasant shape.
  2. Another challenge I still face is how to take care of my locs other than simply washing and occasional moisturizing.

How did you overcome the challenges?

  1. I added extensions for about 7 months. This allowed my hair to grow and later took out the extensions when my natural dreads grew longer.
  2. I am not a huge fun of shiny moisturizers, so I had to find one that was right for me. So far, coconut oil has been wonderful mostly because it doesn’t have a scent.
  3. It took me a while to figure out that I had to cover my hair before bed, because my dreads are very short. If not covered overnight, they will be facing all kinds of directions in the morning. It is not a pretty sight. Covering them gives them shape and prevents unwanted random curling.

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About the author: Adrienne is an electrical engineer. She loves music and singing

LOC IT 2

LOC IT- DJ Roz’s story

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How do you tighten your dreads/roots?

This is perhaps the only maintenance I do with my hair.  I used to do it myself but it would take over 10-12 hours but now I have someone else do it and only takes 2 hours. They use gel and twist the ends clockwise till it tightens up, they either clip it down or twist it with another loc so that it holds it in place. Once its all done, it is blow dried.

How do you get of the loose hair?

You can have your dreads interlocked. As they grow out, instead of just twisting it during tightening, you can actually pass the dread through the root of the hair and you can get rid of the loose hairs at the roots like that. I have only done that twice. I know most people have it done more frequently but I like my loose hairs. As far as the loose hairs, I like the end of the dread because a lot of times people’s end of the dread are fuzzy, I just cut mine off.

Why did I start dreads?

I started dreads because I always liked having long hair. I grew my hair for 8 years when I was younger and I cut it. I kind of missed that hair but I couldn’t go back to cornrows or braids so I decided to dread it. Its funny because the last hair cut that I had was 9 years ago and the guy made a bald spot at the top of my hair and he was like don’t worry I will fix it. Then, he made another bald spot right on the opposite side. I now had two bald spots on my head and I asked him to just cut everything off. That’s when I knew that there were no good barbers in Ottawa to cut my hair. So, I just decided to grow it out after that. It was probably the defining moment. I knew for sure that I was going to grow out my hair.

Challenges you have faced?

  1. There have been times I have felt stereotyped and thought I wouldn’t be able to get a job. I thought that my dreads would be seen as too unprofessional to get a job in the work place. I now know that that is completely false. It is not impossible to be in a professional work environment with dreads.
  2. Finding someone to do my hair for me because I hated doing it myself. I currently haven’t done my hair myself in like 7 years.

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About the Author: Ottawa’s best dj.

LOC IT 2

LOC IT: Wamuyu’s story

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What is a good maintenance routine?

It might vary from person to person, my routine includes re-twists every month, hot oil treatments once a month. When I am doing my re-twists, I only use oil and water. In the beginning of my journey, I would use wax but I have switched to oils and water because this helps to prevent build up with your dreadlocks. I wash my hair once every two weeks and usually I just oil my scalp with extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil. As for the hot oil treatment once every month or 3 weeks when I re-twist. My loctician uses orange oil, lavender and coconut oil mixed. In general, always sleep with a head scarf on, either satin or silk. This goes for everyone with afro-textured hair because our hair is fragile. For dreadlocks in particular, it helps to prevent build up by you picking up fluff that gets stuck on your dreadlocks. Keep your roots healthy. I achieve this by oiling my scalp every week, massaging if I get time. Spraying it with water.

How do I get rid of lumps and bends?

I would say it is almost impossible to have perfectly cylindrical dreadlocks but, depending on the technique you use, you might be close. I use the palm rolling method or finger coiling. The crotchet method makes it more cylindrical and even but if you don’t want to use crotchet method, palm rolling is the next best alternative. Yet again, if palm rolling is done by different people, each person has different intensity they apply or palm roll in different directions in which case you might get lumps and bends. Changing locticians or locking your hair yourself, the technique varies, therefore, achieving perfect lump and bend free dreadlocks might be unattainable to be completely honest. Different techniques give a unique result. If you use crotchet method you are more likely to achieve that perfect look and thickness that you want.

How to make the dreadlocks thicker?

When starting off your loc journey, have your locs partitioned in large sections. I got pretty thick locs, approximately 70 on my head. I naturally have thick hair, so my locs are thick. If you already started your journey and didn’t get thick locks cut, you can either combine dreadlocks (usually obtained by getting two thin locs joined using crotchet) or avoid re-twisting very often. People often times over re-twist. The latter can make your hair weak and you might start to experience breakage. Personally, I am still new on this journey, I am only 10 months in and I re-twist every month but once my locs mature, I will re-twist every 3 weeks.

NB: The thicker your dreadlocks are, the longer it will take for it to lock. Thinner dreadlocks look longer than thicker ones where the hair is actually the same length.

How do you tighten your dreads?

This goes back to the type of technique you use. Some people use interlocking method. But I use the palm rolling method because I think it is the safest and reduces damage to your hair. If you decide to comb out your locs, palm rolling is easier to comb out compared to crotchet, interlocking or sister locs.

How did your loc journey begin?

I first considered locs 5 years ago. At the time, I ‘chickened’ out because I did not have the commitment for it. I have done almost everything you can think of with my hair. I have relaxed, colored, shaved, been natural, shaved half of my head multiple times. At that point, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have the commitment for dreadlocks. I grew out my hair in 2017 December and I decided to loc my hair. I thought I would give myself a year and if I didn’t enjoy the journey after a year, I would comb out the locs and have my afro. So far so good. It will be 12 months in December. And that’s how it begun!

Challenges you have faced?

  1. My hair took longer to loc than I had imagined, probably because my dreadlocks are thick. It is now locked but not completely mature. Perhaps another 6-12 months to go.
  2. I struggled with build up in the initial stage because I was using wax. I also braided my hair and that too caused build up.
  3. I work in a very corporate environment, part of the reason I started braiding. I didn’t quite know how to style my hair in the beginning. When your dreadlocks are baby locs, they look really weird and I honestly wasn’t comfortable going to work like that. So that is why I was braiding my hair for the 1st four months. Even though my hair has now locked, I still need to find styles that are corporate friendly. I will never wear my dreadlocks loose so I often style them for work.

How I dealt with the challenges?

  1. I have reduced the time between re-twists to give my hair more time to loc.
  2. I dyed my hair black so that the build up wasn’t visible. It’s been fine so far.

Otherwise, it has been a good journey so far. It requires A LOT of patience. If you are someone who just wants dreadlocks because they look cool, it is not for you because it requires plenty of patience before it starts to look like dreadlocks and you can actually start to work with your hair.

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About author: Wamuyu loves all things artsy and outdoors. She has an electrical engineering degree and works for a top strategy consulting firm.

DIY

MAKE YOUR OWN HAIR MOISTURIZER

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By now, you know that I DIY almost everything as long as I have access to the tools, resources, skill or ingredients. I personally prefer to know exactly what I am applying to my hair. The ingredients used in this recipe are moisturizing and softening to the hair. I will not go into detail for each ingredient but I will highlight the benefits of each. All these ingredients can be used individually depending on what you are trying to achieve with you hair.

Continue reading “MAKE YOUR OWN HAIR MOISTURIZER”

DIY

DIY BRAIDING

BUT WHY OH WHY ?

I know this might sound crazy and a complete no go area for some. DIY (Do It Yourself) braiding is not for everyone. It needs plenty of patience. A number of circumstances may lead you to braid your own hair. Continue reading “DIY BRAIDING”

Hair Journey Stories

Goodbye to the sizzle

My hair journey started right before I joined High School. The primary school I attended didn’t allow us to grow our hair, so I started growing it during the vacation in preparation for high school. In my first year of High School, besides praying for my hair to grow so that I could hold a puff, my hair care involved plaiting ‘tuts’ (about twelve three strand plaits) with my own hair every night and I would take them out in the morning. The routine also involved oiling my hair sometimes. Continue reading “Goodbye to the sizzle”

Food

Shrimp salad

Shrimp green salad with mint-lemon dressing

Shrimp is primarily made of protein. Aside from protein, shrimp provides an impressive amount of nutrients. It also plays a role in immunity and thyroid function.

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Immediately after pouring the shrimp on top of the salad before mixing

prep: 10 mins

serves: 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of shrimp
  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 3 handfuls of lettuce if pre-packed /6 leaves of lettuce
  • 3 baby carrots grated
  • A cup of cherry tomatoes/ cut up one full size tomato
  • 1 teaspoon of mint leaves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Half a lemon

Dressing

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In a small bowl, mix mint leaves, olive oil, lemon, honey and stir to achieve a good consistency.

Salad

  1. sear the shrimp to achieve a golden brown crust. You may add your choice of spices and salt. Allow to cool
  2.  In a large bowl, put lettuce, spinach and grated carrots, then pour the dressing on the contents. Mix everything properly to evenly distribute the dressing.
  3. Add tomatoes and shrimp once it has cooled. Distribute evenly once again
  4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, if your preference is to have it cold.

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Ps: Cashews are a great addition to this salad. You may customize it based on ingredient availability or preference.

NB: IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO SHELL FISH, PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM SHRIMP. IT MAY CAUSE SEVERE REACTION

You are welcome. Enjoy your delicious salad.

Remember: You are marked by flawless craftsmanship

Food

Chia Seed Pudding

CHIA SEED PUDDING

Chia seeds are loaded with lots of calcium, antioxidants and omega-3. They contain  nutrients that have important benefits for your body and brain. These tiny seeds pack a wonderful nutritional punch

What is chia pudding?

A delicious way for your body to receive nutrients from chia seeds as an on-the-go breakfast option.

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Chia seed pudding breakfast recipe

prep: 5 mins

inactive: overnight

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk/ plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • a handful of blueberries
  • 2 strawberries
  • 6 grapes
  • 1/2 apple

Instructions

  1. Place apple, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and almond milk into blender . Blend until smooth. Whisk in chia seeds.
  2. Pour mixture into a jar and place in refrigerator. I usually leave mine overnight to let it gel so that it is ready for breakfast.

Ps: This recipe is very customizable, based on what nutrients you want to get out of your meal. You can change the flavor , sweetener, texture or even color of the recipe to your preference.

 

 

Hair Journey Stories

Introducing ‘Afro Mona’

 

Lets go back to 2012, freshman year. A friend of mine nicknamed me ‘Mona’ whom he describes as my alter ego. Coincidentally, at that time, I was also thinking of creating a Twitter account and  what handle I could use. I had so many options. Long story short, I came up with ‘Afro Mona’, because I was obsessed with Afros. I was convinced that if I ever got a tattoo, it would be of an afro, #ErykahBaduNewAmerykah cover. I always wanted to have natural hair since High School, but I didn’t have much control of my hair because my parents thought it would be too much admin to look after it and cutting it wasn’t an option. Continue reading “Introducing ‘Afro Mona’”