Hair Journey Stories

Wearing Natural Hair at the work place; A dialogue with Media personality|Host|MC|Voice Over Artist| Model|Actress.

Meet our guest

20190526_143728My name is MALAIKA.
Yes, I use only one name.
I am a Kenyan born Ugandan.
Radio and TV presenter,  MC and Events Host, Actress, Model, and Motivational Speaker.
I call myself #GodsFavourite because I actually believe it. I love God so much and put him first.
I believe that self love physically, emotionally and spiritually is the beginning of greatness.
My favourite quote is one I coined when i was 10 years old, “I was born to be GREAT it’s not an Aspiration, it’s my DESTINY. “

How did your natural hair journey start?

I have always had natural hair my entire life. I tried chemicals once while in University, my hair did not thrive because its naturally thin and soft. My grand-mother was mixed race so I inherited her hair, so it looked really bad with chemicals, then I had to cut it all off again and restarted the journey. I have always had my natural hair. It is very easy for me to maintain.

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Have you always embraced your natural hair? (If not, what sparked this!)

Yes! Definitely! I have been blessed to have good (insert shy laughter) hair, okay everybody has good hair, that’s the truth, but what I mean is I have texture that is easy to comb and maintain. I do wish it was a bit more coarse sometimes for styling but, I am not complaining. I have always embraced my Natural Hair my entire life, love it, love, love my hair.

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Have you encountered conflict between the way you wear your natural hair and your profession?

Ummm…., No! What I do for a living, thank God, is that, the more unique you are and out there, the better for you. I guess that’s a great part of being in the creative industry. I do remember a TV show I used to host and was meant to, “tame it a bit” and not just leave it out “wild” just for the guests I would host at the time. But for radio, TV no problem.

For acting, I have had many directors tell me that they want me to have my Natural Hair on set. With emceeing, obviously it’s easier to have the weaves and extensions, no one has had a problem with me having my Natural Hair.

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What have the expectations been of how you should present your hair and what challenges have you faced?

This is more of a personal situation, because for a very long time I held my hair back for school and I got really used to that. I felt that if I left it out, it would shrink and I would look unkempt, and that I wouldn’t look pretty. So, I always thought it better to hold a ponytail and keep it organized, but that was personal.

In terms of expectations of other people, hmmm, thank God I have been in Africa. No, none at all.

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Has any profession among others affected the health of your hair,if yes, in what way?

Yes….. Modelling. A lot of heat was used on my hair and that was not good because of the different shows or photo shoots, you know, that’s what affected my hair and also having different stylists using different hair chemicals from what I usually use. By then, I was too shy to be strict, now I am. I’m always like, “don’t use this”, “don’t use that, I will do it myself”. But yes, modelling did affect the health of my hair.

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Any advise to women with natural hair in the professional world!

This is the day and age of ‘Team Natural’ , so, I would advise any woman that is in a profession to set the standard . It is you to make them accept the hair, if you don’t accept it your Natural Hair, why would you expected the rest of the world to. So, you love your hair first then set your standard, but also take good care of it. I don’t support people just leaving their hair without taking good care of it.. Moisturize, oil , wash and protect it. Just because it is out and natural, doesn’t mean it should be unkempt.

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What would you have done differently knowing what you know now?

I would NEVER have put any form of relaxer in my hair the time I did, never ever. Also, I would have used less heat by letting my hair air dry, avoided hot combs/flat irons and driers all the time. Yeah, that is what I would have done differently. And also (insert crying and laughing emoji), I wouldn’t have cut it off.

*Remember, you are marked by flawless craftsmanship*

Regimen

Low porosity characteristics and hair regimen tips to care for your natural hairs’ needs

As I mentioned in the previous post, hair porosity is very important in properly caring for your hair. This porosity level means that your hair cuticle layers are tight and lay flat.  This hair is generally healthy but difficult to process. However, bad hair practices may increase your hair porosity such as; excessive washing, combing, styling, applying heat etc. Please handle your hair gently and less often to avoid this. Below are a few characteristics of how low hair porosity behaves. Continue reading “Low porosity characteristics and hair regimen tips to care for your natural hairs’ needs”

Regimen

Tips on How to Blow Dry/ Heat style your Natural Hair using the tension method to avoid Heat Damage

I love the diversity in the natural hair community, ranging from hair thickness, hair porosity, hair density, curl pattern, texture, sebum level and perhaps many other traits. People with less dense, high porosity, looser and finer texture would most likely not need to use heat to achieve stretched hair. Continue reading “Tips on How to Blow Dry/ Heat style your Natural Hair using the tension method to avoid Heat Damage”

Regimen

Tips on How to Grow back your edges for Natural Hair.

“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.

1. Wigs/Weaves

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

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Started noticing my edges slowly thinning due to constant use of edge control and high puffs that were often tight

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?

1. Massage

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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

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Front twist or braid to reduce tension on the edges.photo credit: @shutterpursuit

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.

4. Moisturizing

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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*

DIY

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE FLAXSEED/LINSEED GEL FOR FASTER HAIR GROWTH.

DIY FLAXSEED/LINSEED GEL

I recently discovered this gel and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. The first time using it, I immediately fell in love with the gel and how great it made my hair feel. Continue reading “HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE FLAXSEED/LINSEED GEL FOR FASTER HAIR GROWTH.”

Regimen

Hair Treatment and Products for Stronger and Healthier Natural Hair while Achieving Soft and Manageable Hair.

I recently cut my hair after 3 beautiful years of growing it.  My hair was in terrible shape after my traditional wedding because of a product I used. I am currently going through what I call big chop 2.0. Continue reading “Hair Treatment and Products for Stronger and Healthier Natural Hair while Achieving Soft and Manageable Hair.”

DIY, Hair Styles

Stunning Headwrap Styles for your hair; Part II

Why I love headwraps:
1.They are great for covering up a bad hair day. When I’m too lazy to comb my hair or wash it. I just use a headwrap to cover up the mess without anyone knowing what lies beneath. Continue reading “Stunning Headwrap Styles for your hair; Part II”

DIY, Hair Styles

Stunning Headwrap Styles for your Hair; Part I

“My love for headwraps wasn’t instant!

Growing up, I’d always loved African print. Being Ugandan, I saw kitenge items of clothing so widely praised, it was hard not to be passionate about them. Continue reading “Stunning Headwrap Styles for your Hair; Part I”

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”

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.”