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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Stretching; what, how and why!


Hiya!
Today's post is going to elaborate on something I always talk about- 'stretching'. 

What is stretching? Well it is the act of delaying a relaxer treatment weeks after you would normally get one to ensure that you have an increased amount of new growth. Let's say you relax your hair every 8 weeks, well at week 8 if you decide to delay  for 4 more weeks and relax your hair at week 12 then that's called stretching. Its that simple, however it must be a conscious calculated effort on your part so you can get the maximum benefits.

How? Well as i just stated, it must be a conscious effort. Simply forgetting to take out your weave at week 8 until week 12 comes along technically isn't a stretch for hair growth purposes because stretching is not complete without giving your new growth TLC( tender loving care). 

How you might ask? Well il start with what not to do while stretching; constant combing and tugging of your hair root to tip will only help rip your hair to shreds and inhibit length retention so during your stretch keep the comb at a distance except when you want to detangle your hair which requires a wide tooth comb and detangler or leave in conditioner sprayed at the roots.

Never equate hair neglect to stretching, hair neglect means you do not oil your scalp, moisturize and seal your hair especially the ends, deep condition, do pre poo treatments and all these are essential for a successful stretch.  So do not think you get a break from your regimen in fact you need to stick more to your regimen  while you stretch but put emphasis on keeping your new growth soft and manageable. 

Protective styling is a great way to stretch. For instance you can have a your hair in a secure bun for a few days without taking it down, in the mornings all you need to do is spray on leave in conditioner and brush it in place or you can do what I loved doing in the winter, each night I'd divide my hair into two sections and then braid down each section after moisturizing and sealing like this




then in the morning I'd carefully loosen the braids and finger comb my hair, see the results


It's d quickest twist out ever! Other protective styles you might consider are wigs and extensions. Basically any style that involves low manipulation to maintain, the operative word there being LOW, if the style requires NO manipulation at all like sew in weaves then it is not a protective style in my view because how are you going to take care of your hair when you can't get through wefts upon wefts of one Brazilian woman's hair sewn onto your scalp!lol

Finally Why should anyone bother with stretching? Well it makes sense to stretch because the longer you stay without a relaxer the more you allow your hair in its natural state to grow from your scalp and if you can adequately maintain the two textures( relaxed and natural) you can then have fewer relaxer treatments. Fewer relaxer treatments means less damage by the relaxer on your hair and that will result in your hair having more body and less breakage because believe it or not relaxers do break down our hair strands. 


Short story; during my masters I practically lived in the library and one day I was sitting beside a colleague of mine( caucasian) and a strand of her hair fell on my laptop, out of curiosity I picked up the strand and as I happened to have a strand of my own hair lying around, studied the two strands closely and I instantly noticed a difference. While her hair was the same in terms of thickness(hmmm I'm cracking my brain on how best to describe this) ok it was like a solid black line, mine was undulating, it was solid near the root then became thinner then solid and then thin again( remember this is just a strand of my hair) I instantly knew the reason why many people go natural and why people with relaxed hair suffer most from breakage, relaxers break down the hair composition immensely! But I'm still a relaxed babe, my hair is too tough to go natural!

Oh well I have come to the end of this post, I hope you have gathered a thing or two. Try purposeful stretching and let me know how it goes.

Ciao, 
Dabs

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Arise Fashion Week; Model Hair Review

Hiya,
So pictures from the Arise Fashion Week that recently held in Lagos are out and pardon me readers, I am about to have a 'say it like I mean it' moment with this post!

My understanding of a fashion week is that its a time for designers, upcoming and established to set the bar for fashion. The models they send down the runway are supposed to portray what's in vogue from HEAD to TOE. Pick up any fashion savvy European magazine like Vogue for instance and you will read about the fashion trends including HAIR trends set by designers during the latest NY or Paris Fashion weeks. Even Essence Magazine has a segment online dedicated to the past NY fashion week hair styles. Do you want to know whats styles are trending this season?;

Slicked Back hair;
Cushnie et Ochs Spring Summer 2012 
Ruffian Spring Summer 2012 
Big puffy hair Teased to the max;
Badgley Mischka Spring 2012
Douglas Hannant Spring 2012



Then there were the Designers who went all out in making a statement;

High Double Knot Updo
Gwen Stefanie's LAMB Spring 2012
Short shaggy hair with feathers
Jason Wu Spring 2012
Messy Low Ponytail
Michael Kors Spring 2012

So you can imagine my disappointment as a hair blogger when I looked at the pictures from the just concluded Arise fashion week and saw drab boring hairstyles all across the board! Nothing new or innovative that you could look at and say; that's a cool African inspired hair style! The only designer that stepped outside the bore box went with red Chinese bob wigs!
Re Bahia Arise 2012

Horrendous!!  I felt like screaming; WE ARE AFRICANS!! Can we swap these boring straight wigs with some cool Bantu Knots?Madonna will rock them and call them her invention! Lets take a look at how some popular designers styled their models' hair;

Jewel By Lisa
Most of the models had their hair pulled back in a boring, dull ponytail(with no tail) like this;
And then she threw in the Odd model in a full fringe;


Tiffany Amber; Guess What? SAME THING!! most models had hair pulled back or with a center part and then out of nowhere a model with a full fringe surfaced;


EJIRO AMOS TAFIRI;
Made models wear Hausa type hats but those left without hats once again had pulled back dull hair

dull hair!

Except for just 1 model; 
How Refreshing
CLAN; DEOLA SAGOE'S Daughters' line; With such a fashion forward mum, I thought there might be some hope but nope, not when it concerns hair styling!! Same old all back hair


You see, most of the designers have sold out ( to western styles) even in their clothes and might totally get stomped internationally by already established names because of their generic and basic style
choices but if they embraced their origin a bit more, maybe just maybe they would stand out internationally! 

Jewel By Lisa for instance has achieved international acclaim for her unique creative Ankara pieces, just imagine her models coming down the run way with strong Afro  puffs! WOOT!!! WOOT!! Who remembers Thread? Models can thread or even braid their hair in very modern silhouettes that could bring a whole meaning to these classic hairstyles. How about long Bob Marley braids like this;

Heck full on dread locks? Are they telling me that if a model with dread locks came in to audition for the show, they will not pick her based on her hairstyle? You might be asking yourself what I asked myself; how will Arise fashion week appeal to non African models if the designers require them to have African hairstyles. Well my response to that question is; the same way African Models have to get their hair( what is left of it) straightened and sewn with a weave, all that stress to fit in is the same way our African fashion week should require non African models to fit into Africa, if they need to wear an Afro wig, fine, if it's braids then they should have braids on, Bantu knots? Cool, roll their hair into knots! Let Statements be made; this is an AFRICAN fashion week!

Yes I know its the clothes most people are there to see but is it really? if it was just all about clothes I am sure Badgley Mischka, Micheal Kors and all the designers I showcased above will save the stress and send their models down the runway in ponytails. Even when ponytails are made in NY Fashion week, its not just any old, dry and dull ponytail! its glossy, rich, most times the hair will be wrapped around the pony, or the pony is messy (like Michael Kors model above) not what I saw in the Arise pictures, cut off the models' heads from the pictures and you will never guess they were walking the run way; its just a case of pure lack of creativity or laziness!!  I am seriously considering an idea that came to my mind that will help showcase true African hairstyles. Till then I hope this rant is shared and those who are concerned will sit up! Next Arise Fashion week should inspire everyone from head to toe!!

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to share your views on this issue below!
xoxo
Dabs

Photo Credits; Essence magazine.com, bellanaija.com, realbeauty.com

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

PRODUCT REVIEW; ECOSTYLER HAIR GEL WITH OLIVE OIL THE '21st CENTURY GEL'!!

Hiya,
How's everyone doing? hope all is well in your parts of the world!! I am always excited when I check my blog stats and see that I have readers from all over even as far as India!! Thanks for all your support guys, you keep me coming back here.

Now to the topic at hand, I have never been shy about condemning hair gels and spritz, I have even gone as far as saying that using hair gels is sooooo 90's, so I am sure you are wondering why I have a post dedicated to a product review of a hair gel! Well truth is I have seen the light! Ecostyler Gel has been a recurring recommended product for most natural hair divas on you tube and anytime I watched it being used, I used to just been like 'yuck! it looks so gooey and will definitely make hair hard as rock and unmanageable. I thought the fact that it looked like all other normal gels meant it would be like normal gel UNTIL my sister bought a similar non alcoholic gel by 'Proclaim' and I tried it one day and was impressed! My edges stayed sleeked down, yet my hair was not hard as rock. Thus I set out to buy my own gel, that's when I came across this big tub of ECOSTYLER GEL WITH OLIVE OIL;

And my dear sister I no go tell you lie, this gel is AWESOME!! It does its job which is to sleek down your hair especially your edges but does not weigh down your hair or render it immovable! your hair can still be brushed, pulled back or left down. Check out my results (my hair is 4weeks post relaxer and it looks like I just got a relaxer!)

Like every thing in life, this product has its pros and cons of course! The major pro about this product is that it  is alcohol free, hence I call it the 21st Century Gel! It also helps that it has good hold and that it contains olive oil which is moisturizing. Oh its also great value for money, this huge tub was just about 5dollars at Sally's Beauty. Using this gel might also allow you stretch your relaxer for longer weeks as it will keep your edges in check. 

Its Cons are that it can get a bit flaky IF you pack on too much also if you are constantly applying gel to your edges and brushing them, you might end up brushing them out of your scalp strand by strand without taking notice till it is too late, so I advice you either get a very soft bristle brush or a tooth brush which you will use on your edges to apply the gel or you simply stick to using your fingers.

I have come to the  end of this post; hope it helps anyone who had given up on gels like I had. There are still some good ones out there like the ECOSTYLER STYLING GEL WITH OLIVE OIL. Try it out and let me know how it goes for ya!

Ciao,
Dabs 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The war against POST PARTUM hair shedding!

FROM NEARLY ZERO SHEDDING TO THIS!!!

Location; Daboju's Scalp

Mission; Get excess shedding of my hair caused by postpartum shedding under full control!

From my research, this occurrence is natural, when you get pregnant, your estrogen levels increase and this affects your hair and nails. In most people you experience increase in growth of both hair and nails; in my case I definitely noticed my hair was fuller but now I have had my baby, my hair is shedding :(   BUT Fear not! I am up for the challenge! I have few strategies in place to make sure that this shedding does not take me back on my hair journey and that I am able to sustain the progress I am presently enjoying.

Strategy 1; Lieutenant General Castor Oil comes to the rescue! Since I noticed the shedding increase, I have  Started oiling my scalp DAILY section by section with castor oil. I have stressed enough the benefits of castor oil, oiling my scalp with it will definitely affect the quality of the strands of hair that grow from my scalp as this oil is proven to thicken hair strands.

Strategy 2; Major Moisturizer; to avoid added breakage with all the shedding going on my hair most remain soft and manageable. That's my moisturizers job, of course my conditioner has to work with my moisturizer to ensure maintained moisture on my ends ( the area that needs it most) And then as usual I follow up with sealing. Rinses like the Black tea rinse will also be incorporated in my weekend regimen, benefits of this tea have been stated in my ' Open your refrigerator post' in my archives.

Strategy 3; Sergeant Scissors has to remain on duty. I am sure you are asking yourselves what sense it makes to use scissors on already shedding hair. Well let me ask you to do a quick easy exercise; comb your hair straight, then pass your fingers  through your ends as if you are finger combing your ends, if your fingers pass through your well combed hair with ease, then you do not need to trim your hair ends yet but if your fingers get all tangled in your hair especially after several tries then your hair URGENTLY needs a trim. 

While this is just a rough test, it has worked for me. I said in my relaxer post that I will try and stay away from scissors but that has not been possible, since then I have put scissors in my hair at least 3 times! And for good reason! Trimmed ends tangle considerably less because the ends are sharp. I am not asking you to cut inches off your hair that will defeat the purpose of a hair journey but 'dusting ' your ends which is just taking little bits of your ends off can greatly reduce hair loss. The process is gradual and might look insignificant but it is worthwhile in the end; Split ends will be in check and tangles especially at your ends will reduce thereby reducing the tendency for your comb to pull out more hair.

My final Strategy for this war is to keep Brigadier Prenatal Medicine close by. I must confess I HATE swallowing pills but since I noticed the impact my prenatal medicine was having on my hair, nails, skin I will be the first to tell you, it works. It has vitamins A, all the B vitamins, Vit C, folic acid, calcium, zinc, iron, in fact all the good stuff to keep your hair healthy and strong. I recommend prenatal meds for all women of child bearing age.

Oh well I have come to the end of this war strategy briefing and I hope this post will be of help to as many new mothers out there who want to keep their hair mostly shedding free!

Thanks for stopping by
Ciao
Dabs