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Hi!, I started this blog quite selfishly and yet not. I had just become a new mum and I needed a space to air out my thoughts. I’ve neve...

Jul 24, 2012

The Chop!

Dear Diary,
SO I have been thinking about cutting my locs a lot shorter for a while now,I hesitated.................
and hesitated............
and.......
lol like i've said before the length of my locs make me feel like Samson from the bible , literally :)
but i decided to be practical,
the locs are now almost at bum lenght, they are heavy! I teach and my kids often think they are part of a climbing frame andddd if i don't cut them soon they will grow longer than me!
So there I sat and this lovely husband of mine did the big chop..
before

after



to my greatest delight, post chop i feel lighter.. my kneck feels lighter, the summer breeze is rolling through my locs and i am styling, styling styling..
so all in all a great decision.
all hair needs a trim and also to be kept at a workable lenght so ladies, dread head or not ..scissors are friends :)

Jun 24, 2012

Barber Shop!

I have been thinking about our boys hair. It generally seems that for guys , neat hair is short hair, and i don't mean an neat tidy afro, i mean shaved all off. Any mini afro, twisted curls, long pony tails, dread locks is just not acceptable and are perceived as signs of being unkempt.
I personally like short shaved hair, in fact I like it a lot, just not all the time and I think its time we learn to re-love those curls on boys/men, take it back to the 70's :) when every guy was growing, greasing and picking out their hair with an afro comb!lol Okay I am generalizing but you know what I mean..Where I am from in West Africa , people don't hesitate to tell you your child needs a hair cut, an inch of hair is just unacceptable.
As a teacher I understand about hair lice and needing short clean hair and all that but seriously if I could create a movement for attitude change I would start right here.
Weekly trips to the Barber Shop with your sons is an important part of life but maybe they can wash, twist, curl,wave, briad and maybe even cut a little!
Will Smith's children are one of my hair icons for little ones : )//



Jun 10, 2012

"I Am Not My Hair!" -India Arie ....Or am I..

I love India Arie, she is in my top five favorite artist so I have followed her, her music and her hair journey without giving it too much thought. Her song " I am not my hair" however made me think a lot about my Hair Identity. In fact I will start by sharing the lyrics with you, just the verses:


"I Am Not My Hair"

[Talking:]
Is that India.Arie? What happened to her hair? Ha ha ha ha ha
Dat dad a dat da [4x] Dad a ooh

[Verse 1]
Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen and I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went on and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlocks all gone
I looked in the mirror
For the first time and saw that HEY....

[Chorus]
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

[Verse 2]
Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what's on your head
Its what's underneath and say HEY....

[Chorus]

[Bridge]

[Verse 3]
Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY...

[Ad lib]

Initially her words just rang so true in my mind. I totally started wit ha press and curl and here I am now all natural, perhaps the woman inside me had finally found her way. Or does it matter? India was actually saying to me by the end of verse3 that it doesn't matter If I choose to weave or relax, its whats inside that defines who I am. I love her message and confidence , about accepting who I am regardless.

In a way it does make sense, part of my Hair Identity is my Identity. However after a few years of tossing this around in my head, I am going to choose to disagree with my India.
Personally my hair is like my smile. A bad hair day or comments about my hair go right to the core of me ( i know i am a sensitive soul :)). My hair is my pride and its strength directly correlates to my feelings of confidence. Having discovered and accepted that I cannot then see myself losing the naturalness of it.
My hair is like my face, a little makeup is ok but total plastic surgery including skin bleaching is just not ok. ..for ME.It is ok for everyone to find thier own Hair Identity but such is mine.

Todays hair tip then is just a little more about how I feel about hair, to prompt others to make their hair journeys and understand what their hair means to them. Because once we understand those feelings we will then be able to care for our hair a lot better. very simply you wouldn't hurt what you loved.Think then how that relation will be passed on to your children as you would extend your knowledge and feelings to them.

looking forward to your thoughts!



May 28, 2012

Dealing with the knots!

Dear Diary,
Here is the thing we need to first acknolwedge the multitudes of hair types ( remember there are lots of in-between textures);

1.some are extremly kinky, that is very curly and hard to run your fingers through

courtesy of http://www.beauty-and-the-bath.com/black-children-hairstyles.html

2. some just have very tight curls

courtesy of http://www.blackhealthzone.com

3. larger very visible curls


4. big round curls

SO:
There is no hard and fast rule, every body has to try and test whats out there till we find what works just right for us. Whatever the type though, there is one thing we all have to do; DETANGLE!
I dreaded that after every single hair wash, the pulling and brushing and combing felt like every know was pulling out my hair scalp!
So here are a few tips that my mum used and that i now used to help minimize pain and simplify the process.
1. Leave in conditioner..
oh yes! this is magical for me..as a child the "Just for Me- Leave in Conditioner" worked wonders. the trick is to put it on your hair right after the shampoo when your hair is still soaking wet and thenleave it for 5-10mins. Then use a large tooth comb to detangle, whilst hair is still wet and dripping in conditioner.

2. The Comb.
the comb used to detangle has to be the wide tooth kind, infact the wider the better. This kind worked best for me from birth till adulthood:


3. Partition
In order to detangle properly it is easier to partition the hair into four sections ..i just find that it helps when the hair is in smaller bits to comb through..


once youve done that, you can choose to rinse some of the conditioner off of just leave it as is..Afro or mixed afro hair styles tend to last for up to a week so you get the bonus of not having to fix it every morning.Whatever you decide make sure you do something with it, plaits, braids, in hair bands, just done leave the hair out to dry out naturally because then your knots will reappear before you can say, hello In order to style it is important that the hair is clean and oiled. growing up these are the products I used..all available on amazon by the way.

hair grease: Dax Hair Pommade & Olive oil lotion

once the hair is oiled try styling and see how you get on.

Have a look at a great simple article on the subject : http://www.blackhealthzone.com/how-care-black-childs-hair


Thats it for today!

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Introducing....Me! :D



Dear Diary,

its day one! I have lived my whole life learning to love and care for my hair. My mum who is of mixed ethnicity did the very same thing and crucially made sure i could do my OWN hair since I was 7. I hope to do the same for my children. This process has been long and a learning process. I wanted to share a space for people who have babies or children with Afro hair who are struggling with it or parents with mixed ethnicity children as 'hair knowledge' has to be learned from somewhere. So if your mama didn't teach ya hopefully our diary will be the start of your learning process! :)

So there we are in the picture, my brother an I, lovely african brown skin babies, however my and his hair tell the secret that somewhere in our african heritage, we got some European and even a little dash of Indian! whilst living in Africa, there was nothing quite like going to the hairdresser to be told, "gosh there is something not quite right about your hair". What they meant was, my hair didnt have enough kinky-ness to it. My hair is in the middle like so many others, it is curly, voluminous, and soft. It is not typical and has a mind of its own , instead of taming it we just have to learn how to let it grow right so here goes..Below are more hair pictures; I grew and the evolution of my hair progressed.


Here a 7 year old me, all natural, detangled and put in hair bands



After a few years of struggling with relaxer and other illadvisable products, i cut it all off and nurtured a fro:



Here it is the same year when it is just washed and oiled:



The longer it got, the curlier my hair got..a few for you to see:





then I deceided to lock my hair, but my hair was so soft it came out in twists..



but i persevered and finally they came out great!

And now I have full lenght locs


So as you can see it has been quite a journey. I will do my best to update often with styles and products, tips and techniques for caring for you child or child to be's natural hair. i hope you will all follow, share and give feedback.

Next blog : Simple care and styles for your toddler