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”
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!”
What is a hot oil treatment?
This treatment prevents dry, brittle hair and split ends while strengthening and moisturizing your hair strands. The process involves applying warm oil to hair and scalp. Both wet and dry hair can benefit from this treatment. I have recently discovered that doing this treatment after washing and conditioning your hair is most effective as hair is wet.
After my last post I thought critically about the readers on my blog and my role as an influencer. Due to the very diverse nature of my readers. I felt the need to address a few concerns of mine. The misconception of “one size fits all” is tragic. It was after this realisation that I decided to speak about the issue of all textures matter (say no to 4c self hate).
This is part 1 of the curls series. This series will be exploring the different methods used to define curls.
I have not always worn my hair in a curly style and I have received a couple of comments discouraging me from wearing my hair like this because it appears “unkempt” to some. I have also been asked a few times to comb out the curls because they were seen as shabby in conservative communities. But I have learnt to embrace my curls.
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”
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.
About the author: Daudi is a Fine Artist, visionary and multi-disciplinary creative.
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?
- Since I had very short hair, my natural dreads were very short with an unpleasant shape.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
About the author: Adrienne is an electrical engineer. She loves music and singing
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?
- 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.
- 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.
About the Author: Ottawa’s best dj.
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?
- 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.