Blog

Regimen

Protective styling to retain length for longer natural hair

Protective styling for hair growth

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”

Tools & Products

Shea Moisture: Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil review

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”

Hair Journey Stories

How I have grown my 4c natural hair!

The journey started when I was in primary school (middle school). My mum would relax my hair each term. However, the relaxer would only work for two-three weeks. I had very thick 4c hair with a lot of volume. Continue reading “How I have grown my 4c natural hair!”

Regimen

How to retain moisture

After the blog post on How to make your own hair moisturizer, most people wanted to know how to retain this moisture.

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”

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.

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”

Hair Journey Stories

Embracing my curls

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 Journey Stories

Inspiring Afro Hairstyles for your natural hair

How I learnt how to style, and what my experience has been like?

I think styling is very texture dependent. The first time I went natural I had very healthy hair. I would do very easy washes, mostly because I didn’t know a lot about managing natural hair. Continue reading “Inspiring Afro Hairstyles for your natural hair”

Food

Old Fashioned blueberry pancakes

It has been a while since I shared some of my recipes! I put up a poll on Instagram and I got a 100% vote request for the recipe. So I am back with a recipe for all those who would like to enjoy some homemade pancakes from scratch. Perhaps you are looking for a breakfast treat, a stack of pancakes with maple syrup sounds perfect right! Continue reading “Old Fashioned blueberry pancakes”

Hair Journey Stories

All you need for a smooth transition to a natural hair journey.

A quote by Coco Chanel declares that “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”.

I had poured through thousands of pictures of women owning their natural hair and was haunted by old images of my mother and great-aunt sporting their full, voluminous hair. I remember clearly the day I looked at my flat chemically straightened hair and decided that I wanted to do something different. The decision was a culmination of the need to have a radical reimagining of who I could be which was both deeply personal and superficial. So, in November 2014 after begging my reluctant mother to help me cut my hair, I took the scissors myself and cut off the ‘relaxed’ ends of my hair. Continue reading “All you need for a smooth transition to a natural hair journey.”

Regimen

3 Home Remedies to Naturally get Rid of Dandruff

Dandruff! Let’s talk about that itchy scalp

About 50% of people struggle with dandruff so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is also the most commercially exploited skin disease/ disorder by personal care industries (Ranganathan S, 2010). Continue reading “3 Home Remedies to Naturally get Rid of Dandruff”

Tools & Products

CANTU HAIR PRODUCTS REVIEW

 

Cantu has been a faithful friend during my natural hair journey, mostly because I am student and the prices are super kind to my pockets. They are the cheapest products you can find on the shelf. The collection you see above was as a result of the 3 for 2 specials at clicks (health and beauty retailer in South Africa). I know everyone loves a good special!

Product ingredients

All cantu products contain no mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, glutten, paraffin or propylene. They all have shea butter as their base. The best part of this brand is that it has a kids friendly range..

Cantu collection

Cantu has 4 styling products and 2 for conditioning. My purchase decision is based on what purpose I will be using the product for. I always bought the cleansing cream shampoo, hydrating cream conditioner and definitely the deep treatment mask to use on my weekly wash day. For styling my curls I use the coconut curling cream together with the shine and hold mist over the weekend for my twist out and finally the daily oil moisturizer and tea tree and jojoba hair and scalp oil for everyday use.

MY EXPERIENCE

Cleansing Cream Shampoo

sulfate-free-shampoo

Pros

Is definitely a clarifying shampoo because it is very stripping. It meets its description “rich lather and removes heavy buildup. I prefer this shampoo because I get build up easily and I like to feel that my hair and scalp doesn’t have any oils once I am done washing it.

Cons

My hair feels really dry after the wash from the stripping properties of the shampoo but the conditioner quickly brings it back to life. If your build up doesn’t develop as quickly, I don’t advise you to use this weekly. Try bi-weekly.

Hydrating Cream conditioner

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Pros

This is my one of my favorites because it is a great detangler, moisturizes and reveals healthier hydrated curls. This stuff is really good and worth getting. I have no cons with this product

Deep Treatment Mask

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Pros

It penetrates deep into the hair shaft and repairs damaged hair. My hair always feels soft ,smooth and fairly manageable after rinsing it out.

Cons

It doesn’t have as much slip as I expect and not as hydrating either. I find the conditioner does a better job at hydration. I found a solution to this though! I add a warm oil (coconut oil) first to my hair then apply the treatment mask and use my heating cap to activate the deep conditioner and therefore I get better results. Otherwise, the product by itself is okay but I find the results better with an oil and heat added.

Coconut Curling Cream & shine and hold mist

Pros

I use this mostly for my wash and gos. After deep conditioning, I apply this throughout my hair using the racking method ensuring that all strands are properly coated with the product. I love this product because it defines my curls and lives up to its promises to “define curls without weighing down hair”. I then apply the shine and hold mist to smoothen the curls.

Cons

I struggled with flakes/ dandruff later on in my journey with these products which wasn’t the case in the beginning and I was surprised because I have been using these 2 products together for about 3 years now. It could be due other external factors such as; weather changes or the water I now use. Anyway, I would like to hear your opinion on this.

Daily Oil Moisturizer & Tea Tree and Jojoba hair & scalp oil

Pros

It is great to use if you want to soften your hair or right before a blow dry session because it adds that shine to your hair. The tea tree scalp oil is good to apply on the scalp. it helps with dandruff control.

Cons

I wouldn’t say I find the daily moisturizer as moisturizing because it tends to feel pretty greasy than moisturized because it is an oily product. I find the tea tree scalp oil heavy when applied directly to the hair hence only applying it to my scalp.

General thoughts on Cantu products

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I would say this is a great natural hair care line. My absolute favs are the hydrating cream conditioner and I did try the leave in at some point and really loved it too.

NB: If you live in Uganda, South Africa or Canada and would like to know where you could get these products, comment below and I will advise based on where I purchased mine.

I would love to hear your experience with these products, please do share in the comments below.

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