This is a practice that I have done for years though not properly, long before I knew of the benefits of protective styling. Most of us within the natural hair community know protective styling to be done using hair extensions only (braids, twists, wigs, weaves etc.). However, you may protective style your hair without adding any extensions. Continue reading “Protective styling to retain length for longer natural hair”→
Winter is upon me and I was desperately looking for a range of products to help me keep my hair hydrated and moisturized. Having grown up in Uganda, all my hair and skin knew was beautiful warm weather. That being said, I hardly knew the importance of keeping hair moisturised and hydrated. Continue reading “Shea Moisture: Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil review”→
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?
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.
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.
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?
I have reduced the time between re-twists to give my hair more time to loc.
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.
About author: Wamuyu loves all things artsy and outdoors. She has an electrical engineering degree and works for a top strategy consulting firm.
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”→
I have always wanted to start a natural hair blog but I was always walking around with a bag of excuses. A couple of friends suggested YouTube, to which I always tactfully changed the topic, quickly steering away because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself behind a camera, let alone people watching me. But maybe one day, just like I have finally got to writing this blog. I still cringe at the thought of blogging because you basically make yourself vulnerable to all the negativity out there. One of the reasons for my delay was because I was trying to figure out how to make this platform as purposeful as possible. Continue reading “Embracing my curls”→
Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain water or any other penetrating substance. In the past, I didn’t pay much attention to this, because I thought it was just more natural hair vocabulary I didn’t need. It was only 3 months ago when I started doing my research and applying it to my hair care, that I realized it is very important for us as naturals to know this. Continue reading “What hair porosity is, the types and how to test it for natural hair”→
My niece recently reminded me of this amazing method you just read in the title, Pre-pooing! I know, not the most impressive/catchy statement right! The first time I heard the statement, I took it literally. lol
I struggled with this concept in the past and suffered breakage i.e. leading to slow growth and dryness. As a result of dryness, my hair was also unmanageable. It was a nightmare having to comb/ style my hair in the morning especially since I was always in a hurry and I would recklessly comb through. Continue reading “How to retain moisture”→
“Where did my edges go?” This is a question many of us ask ourselves when we finally realize our precious hairline is receding. In 2015, I had a major issue of thinning edges. It was a very gradual process, and when I finally noticed as I was getting ready one morning, I couldn’t believe that my edges had reached that extent of thinning and breakage. At the time, I had a handful of bad hair practices that contributed to the loss. Someone close to me was recently struggling with this issue and I recommended a few things to her and today, she was very excited to share with me that her edges are back. How awesome is that! Hence my decision to share this post with others who are struggling.
By the time you are reading this post, you must be looking for ways to save/ revive your edges. Before I share the tips I used and highly recommend, I will start by highlighting a few reasons why your edges are thinning.
These are great as a protective style if done with caution to protect the edges. However, thinning of the hairline is as a result of very tight braiding, wig caps and use of glue. Since the hairline is very delicate, the hair might start to break overtime. Sometimes you don’t notice right away until the damage is very visible. Please watch out.
2. Chemical/ Heat damage
Over time, these weaken the hair and weak hair leads to breakage. Relaxers and hair dye/ bleaching chemicals may lead to thinning edges if not supplemented with good hair care habits.
3. Frequent edge control usage
We all love that sleek back, edges on fleek look, but the results of frequently applying very drying gel to your edges may cause them to start thinning. I use a toothbrush that I got specifically for this purpose which I use to manipulate the edges to get them sleeked. This practice has to be done with caution because it too may contribute to disappearing edges.
4. Wearing Styles too tight
I loved to wear tight high puffs/ buns on a regular basis but I started to notice my hairline receding. I still wear these but I alternate with other styles. Such styles cause tension on your hairline. When braiding, it is important to stress what you want to the person braiding you by politely requesting them not to pull on your edges, especially the “baby hairs”. Whenever I used to braid, after 2 weeks I would start to see my roots literally start sticking out. I would freak out and remove the style the next week because it wasn’t worth me losing my hairline.
5. Postpartum Hair loss
This affects about 40-50% of new moms of which most of the hair loss occurs in the anterior scalp (ie; the front). This might be alarming and frustrating to many but do not worry, it is normal and the hormonal changes that cause hair loss are temporary . The hair return to its normal cycle in 6-12 months after delivery. Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and protein will help minimize hair loss.
6. Medical conditions
Alopecia, stress and diet deficiency contribute to thinning edges. Some people may have a condition whereby they have the urge to pull out their hair resulting into hair loss. I recommend seeking medical advise if you are losing more hair than usual. Do not suffer in silence.
How Can I Grow Back My Edges?
I recommended this method to a close friend of mine recently and I kid you not, after a month of consistently doing so, her edges have grown back. You can do this every night before bed. I personally still do so. I use Jamaican black Castor oil, it does such a great job at promoting hair growth and thickens the hair while doing so. Apply the oil to your fingertips or use an applicator bottle and massage for 2 minutes.
This method alone will get you significant results if done consistently. You could use any other stimulating oil but I highly recommend castor oil.
2. Reduce the usage of strong edge controls
By doing so, you are reducing the level of manipulation on your edges. The gel tends to become to dry and causes breakage on your edges overtime. If you do apply the edge control, I recommend wetting your brush and start by applying water as though you are using the gel. This will help in making it easier for gel application, reduce the amount of gel required and finally, the gel will not completely dry out.
3. Avoid very tight Styles
Alternate between styles to reduce on the stress on your edges. Switch between your high bun /puff to maybe wash n gos/ twists that require less manipulation and stress on your edges. You will start to see a huge difference. If your hair cannot easily be held back, please do not force it otherwise you will be stressing your edges,
As you are waiting for your edges to grow back, if you want to hold a puff, leave the edges and some hair in the front out and style with a twist braid or leave the front hair hanging.
This also played a huge role in growing back my edges and currently in maintaining the edges. I apply a generous amount moisturizer to my edges. On wash day, during the deep conditioning stage (I deep condition weekly/ bi-weekly), I apply a good amount of deep conditioner to my edges. You will start to notice the delicate, and oh so fragile hair starting to become stronger through this easy practice.
NB: IN ORDER FOR YOU TO SEE RESULTS YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY CONSISTENT AND BE WATCHFUL OF THE PRACTICES YOU HAVE WITH YOUR HAIR. BE KIND TO YOUR EDGES.
Are there some tips you have used in the past that helped you? Please do share in the comments below. They might help someone else. Cheers!
*Remember, you are marked by Flawless Craftsmanship*