The Sweetness of Cinnamon

This spice cinnamon has got so many uses, it’s like the goddess of spices. I never thought I would be using it on my hair but I guess when we are looking for natural hair solutions, we use every remedy out there to give us the best results.

Cinnamon has been discovered as a spice that has been used over the years to heal skin problems because it is antiseptic and has healing properties. I mean if Cleopatra used it, then it has to be a pretty remarkable spice. It has got ancient history, so to speak.

So there are major benefits of cinnamon and since it has been used in the past, then we can definitely push it for the present and future. Cinnamon is a spice that is here to stay. ☺.

Speaking about things that are here to stay, one of them is the Blends of Nature hair growth formulation that has cinnamon. Since Cleopatra is not here to test it out, I did on he behalf and this butter is just a mix of everything nice and spice.

If your hair loves thick formulations, this is the butter to go for. I recently twisted my hair using it and it drank it all up. The twists I currently have are supposed to stay in for three weeks before I take it out into a twist out.

What I loved about this particular butter is that it has a great scent. You can actually get a whiff of all the spice in it. The cinnamon, essential oils, and other ingredients are so powerful, it just makes it a great concoction for your hair.

Apart from cinnamon being used for skin problems, it is the best for hair because it prevents hair loss and regenerates new growth as it stimulates the hair follicles during massage of the scalp.

With the Blends of Nature cinnamon butter, use it no more than three tines a week for best results. So far have applied the butter twice – yesterday and the day when I installed the twists. My hair has really kept its moisture levels at per.

This is a butter I will definitely be purchasing again because my goal for this year is to retain moisture, do lots of DIY (do-it-yourself) hair protective styles.

Apart from cinnamon the butter also has coconut oil, Shea butter, castor oil and spice blends. Believe you me, this product is all your hair needs for that ultimate hair goal you have. I am sure Cleopatra would approve of this formula.

Thinking about purchasing it? It can be found at all Banana Box branches, Utamaduni and Spinners Web. Let me know how your hair responds to it.

Quick question… What are your hair goals this year? Are you ready to achieve them? Comment down below and let me know your thoughts.

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One length? All Year Long???

Before I started this natural hair journey, my hair never seemed to grow. Year in, year out it was always the same length. This is what I came to realize…

Every time I would remove the protective style I had, all the length I had gathered was usually combed out. Yes ladies, it’s like the hair was just always the same, there was no change at all. To make it worse, the hair was always subjected to very high heat every two weeks, sometimes every week.

Do you know how frustrating it is?

Fast forward to 2013, when I went natural and discovered a solution that would make my hair grow like crazy and still help maintain length after taking out braids. It seems very laborious but it is so worth it.

So one day, when I was removing some kinky braids I had, I had done some research on undoing a PS with oil. Every braid I take out, my hands would be coated with oil just to apply to the strand of hair after the braid comes out. As I apply the oil, I would detangle too, using my fingers before using a comb. Let’s just say it was a form of prepooing.

In one of my posts, I explained what prepooing is.

Coconut oil was my oil of choice. It is light and I love how it smells. I agree that it would take hours, a process that is supposed to take about an hour just to undo but if you want to retain that length, sacrifice needs to be your middle name. Here is a video showing the take down process.

Oil makes the amount of hair lost minimal. It’s like a protective coating, so it seals your strands and makes them strong. After realising that secret I haven’t looked back. I do that all the time. Last time I had a PS( in October), I used the same process and it took close to five hours, and it was worth it.

This process can and should be used by both naturalistas and those who have permed hair. Oil is everything!!

Whichever oil is available is fine. My oil of choice is coconut. Olive oil, Sunflower oil, avocado oil etc can be used. Go ahead and mix them up if you want to.

Once you’ve soaked your hair in oil, leave it in for a couple of hours. If you want to do it overnight, it works as well. Cover your head with a shower cap and a satin bonnet for more intensity. Remember you haven’t combed your hair yet. So covering it ensures that the moisture gotten will now give you enough slip for you to comb out the hair. When you finally comb, start at the tip all the way to the root.

Be gentle as well. Remember you are trying to keep all the growth attained from the month or months you had that protective style.

Point to Note:- When you do this, have time on your hands because it requires a lot of patience. Don’t hurry just to get it over and done with.

After combing the hair, you can now go ahead and do the rest of the process of washing it. Always have time when you decide to take down your braids.

If you decide to get it done at the salon, do it your way because after all that head of hair is yours and it is a labour of love. I am sure the salonists won’t deny you the pleasure of using their steamer or drier. That actually makes the process of “soaking” faster. And wash fay will be complete in a couple of hours as compared to a day or two.

So want to see growth? How about you use some oil. ☺

That’s a Wrap

I have been falling in love lately. I have been getting addicted to tying my head with vitambaas. Yes. Head wrapping is for the win!! My current addiction and love. I had no idea it was as easy as ABC to just put one on the head and go!!

For the past few weeks I have been working from home and if I want to leave the house I will just wrap my head and go.

The good thing about tying scarfs is that you ‘hide’ from the embarrassing bad hair days. Honestly I have been feeling a little bit lazy when it comes to taking care of Miss Fro. I know I just removed my Nyasuba locks, but for some reason I ain’t feeling the fro. Working on that though. After the twist outs I achieved last week, I am definitely proud of that achievement.

It is time though to experiment with different things and why not use the different scarfs I have to achieve different looks for myself?

I have long scarfs that I am not currently using because Nairobi weather has decided to behave so instead of covering and protecting my neck, my hair gets that privilege.

Before I learnt how to tie the head scarf, I got one from Trendy B fashion house. Their head wraps come ready made, it is just for you to tie it on your head and go!! Well, we all learn things everyday, so I made it a lesson.

Having different coloured scarfs makes it even more fun to play around with. I currently only know one way of tying the scarf and I found that it works just fine for my head shape. Just play around with earrings too and I’m good to go.

Let me try as hard as I can to explain how I tie the scarfs…

So I put the scarf on my head, take the two ends, twist them together and then wrap it up on my head. Does that make sense? It is really very simple, because anyone can achieve the style.

Apart from hiding the bad hair days, scarfs are also used to protect the hair from the elements of the environment e.g wind, sun, dust, rain. If you decide to do your weekly deep conditioning and you want to leave the house, the scarf will be your best friend. ☺

I am yet to experiment with other ways of tying the scarf, but so far loving this way. It is easy, simple and elegant too.

Twisting Twists, Yummy Twist Outs

I recently removed the Nyasuba locks I had, and they had really served me well, seeing that they stayed for a record twelve weeks( three months). I honestly don’t see myself putting another protective style, probably until March, April there about.

I have been doubting myself when it comes to twist outs. My hair always seems to fail me and I just give up on it. This time around I decided to go through with it and just let the hair enjoy. Thankfully, they didn’t fail.

I used only three products to achieve the curls. Before I talk about the curls, let’s talk about washing the hair.

I used the Mazuri organics shampoo bar that lathers so well. I need to do a review of this shampoo very soon. It has worked wonders for my hair and scalp.

I stopped using rinse out conditioners because the sulphate free shampoos and shampoo bars I use are already conditioning enough, so my hair gets detangled easily.

After washing, I used my Marini naturals leave in conditioner that has an amazing scent and is very moisturizing for my hair. I use this on sectioned out hair.

After applying the leave in, I used Saru organics curl pudding. It is very rich in oils, so it keeps the moisture locked in completely. Today is day four after washing my hair and I didn’t need to re-moisturize it.

What I realized about my hair is that it has high porosity so I normally use the L.C.O(Leave in, Cream, Oil)method instead of L.O.C(Leave in. oil, Cream) and that works well for my hair. We can talk about porosity in detail soon. ☺

Having my hair out now is fun and I am enjoying it. It looks fuller and has so much more volume. At least thoughts of cutting it have died, but might colour it soon.

Oh this hair of ours. It is very diverse.

Miss Mandy’s Hair Journey

I have known Miss Mandy for a little over a year now. We met at Onea’s hair salon and we built a great friendship after that. She had her big chop in June last year, so it has been a little over a year too. Let’s hear her natural hair story:-

1. How long have you been natural?

One year now.

2. Do you enjoy being natural? Have you face any challenges since going natural?

Yes, I do. I have not had any challenges as I started out with a great hair stylist who understood natural hair and gave me tips on how to maintain my hair. Secondly, I read a lot of material on natural hair before I went for the big chop.

3. If given the chance, would you go back to the creamy crack?

Well, I like the fact that I do not have to seek shelter when the slightest drop of water falls from the sky! Haha

I have grown to embrace my kinky hair so I take a pass on the creamy crack.

4. How simple or complicated is your hair regimen?

I go to the salon often so my hair stylist does the deep conditioning and styling for me. Then I maintain the hairstyle by wearing a satin bonnet when I go to bed.

5. Do you base your hair regimen on your hair type and does it really matter?

Quite frankly I do not do much to my hair. I let my stylist do her magic and I bask in the glory.

6. Would you consider yourself a curl chaser, length chaser or volume chaser? What are the perks?

I thank God that I have all the above.☺

7. D you purchase products based on needs or reviews?

My friend Maria Saru(ahem!) tells me what to buy.

8. What would you advice newbies on this natural hair journey?

Love your hair regardless of the stage you’re in.

Jennifer Githae has been natural from a while back since I knew her on the Kurrly Diaries group on facebook. She is a cheerful girl, with such a big heart. here is her story about being a naturalista.
1. How long have you been natural for?
I have been natural from April 2013 and then did another minor big chop in April 2016.

2. Do you enjoy being natural?

I love being natural. It gives me the freedom to do whatever. I am not scared of the rain or working out so I love it. The only challenge I have faced is products but once local companies started manufacturing products, I am a happy camper.

3. Have you faced any challenges since you went natural?

My hair has always thrived even under the creamy crack. I would however not go back to it because it hampers my working out and that for me is key.

4. How simple or complicated is your hair regimen?

I like to define myself as a lazy natural. I keep it simple. Wash, DC and make it disappear in a protective style for 2 weeks then repeat. Occasionally I will leave it out for like a month just so that I can remember how to deal with it.

5. Do you base your regimen on your hair type? And does it really matter?

I learned how to listen to my hair. It knows best what it needs. I do not have one hair type so I cannot tailor my regimen to hair type. I find what works and I stick with it.

6. Would you consider yourself a curl chaser, length chaser or volume chaser? What are the perks?

I am a reformed curl chaser and at the beginning of my journey, I would slather my hair in gel just to get the curls. Now I am a volume chaser. I want healthy hair. That is all.

7. Do you purchase products based on needs or reviews?

I purchase products based on needs. If my hair loves it, I will purchase it even if there is one review on it.

8. What would you advise newbies on this natural hair journey?

Keep it simple and don’t buy into the hype. It takes a while to get into a rhythm but once you get it, you and your hair will thrive.

Maggie’s Natural Hair Journey

Courtesy of the natural hair group, Kurlly Diaries, I met Maggie and her love for short hair is impeccable. She says she is a lazy natural and Marini Naturals saved her life. Let’s hear her story.

1. How long have you been natural for?
I have been a natural since 2009
2. Do you enjoy being natural?
I love being natural. I may have challenges from time to time but I love my hair more as a natural than when I had straightened or treated it chemically.
3.Have you faced any challenges since going natural?
I’m a lazy natural so, yes! I struggled a lot with caring about my hair. By nature, I’m a low maintenance girl so finding affordable products and affordable hair care has been difficult. The good news is that I adapted to the situation by figuring out what I really needed to feel good (moisture), how to get it and keeping my hair care routine simple (‘wash n go’ is a close personal friend of mine). I haven’t been to a salon for braiding in years!

4. If given the chance would you go back to the creamy crack, if not why?
No, I wouldn’t. Aside from the burns on my sensitive (normal?) scalp, I was constantly complaining about how weak my hair felt. There was always ‘hair shame’: not thick enough like many creamy crack models, not long enough, needed a “retouch” too soon, breakage…it was more trouble than it was worth,
5. How simple or complicated is your hair regimen?
Honestly? Too simple. I don’t pre-poo, although Jesus is going to help me get there, lol. I wash it every couple of weeks or whenever I remember. On a daily basis, I ‘wake it up’ by rubbing it with wet hands or spraying Marini Daily Spritz either mixed with a dollop of the Marini Leave-In Conditioner or their Curling Butter. That takes me maybe 5 minutes. After applying whatever I’ve applied, I either leave it looking rough and unkempt or I comb it and pat it down. When it’s got a little bit of body, I wear my signature side flower because it literally adds joy to my life.
6. Do you base your regimen on your hair type? And does it really matter?
No, I don’t base my regiment on my hair type because I’m not even sure what my hair type is. Maybe this is another area that Jesus will have to help me with. I resist anything that threatens to complicate my life so I go by my minimal hair instincts, lol.
7. Would you consider yourself a curl chaser, length chaser or volume chaser? What are the perks?
My fantasy would be long hair so I can wear it in full, shaggy afro plus of course with my side flower but honestly, this year I’m trying to stick with simple routines and quality products so that I can have healthy hair especially after all the neglect it has suffered in the last couple of years. This means no chasing anything of any kind for a while. Since I’m Marini-exclusive for the foreseeable future, I will be experimenting with curls but for now? Simple simple simple; healthy hair.
8. Do you purchase hair products based on needs or reviews?
I got on to the Marini line out of necessity. I admit I’m a lazy natural so I needed products that made my life easier. I had also not been kind to my hair previously so it was dry and really quite sad to touch. Marini products have moisture (which my hair desperately needed) and it felt like they were already coupled together so I didn’t have to use a lot of products separately: I needed moisture so their daily spritz solved that problem. My hair seemed to respond well to creamier consistency in products so their leave in and curling butter solved that problem. Basically, they made my life easier so that’s how they ended up as my current faves. I really can’t be bothered with day-long hair routines so these products work for me.
9. What would you advise newbies on this natural hair journey?
I would honestly say that it should be an adventure so don’t take it so seriously. Resist the temptation to buy every product that is touted. Instead, ask around and talk to people who are using different products so you can get first-hand knowledge of both the ‘what’ (product) and the ‘why’ (reason behind choosing it and sticking with it). Ask for advice every chance you get; you’ll learn a lot because naturalistas are generally quite knowledgeable and very generous with that knowledge so…ask. As you’re asking, be honest! If you don’t know, say so. If you’re sure you like or don’t like something about your hair, a product, a routine…say so! And finally, resist hair envy and LOVE your hair no matter its length, curl pattern, type, etc. Love it, because it’s beautiful and it’s part of what shows how varied and versatile African hair truly is.