Monday, 25 March 2013

Wash Day

I washed my hair over the weekend (on Saturday), and I feel so proud of myself :).

This was my first time washing my hair with a weave installed, ad I must say the results were not too bad. I had done research on how to wash my hair while in a weave, then decided to take a chance and get my scalp clean (after getting dust, sweat and cola into my hair over two weeks).

I first diluted my protein shampoo with a teaspoon of ACV and water. I sprayed this mix into my track, making sure to get it onto my scalp. I massaged the shampoo in, and covered my hair up with a shower cap then let it sit for about 15 minutes. I rinsed it off with warm water and then applied diluted conditioner (the hotel freebies) onto my tracks and scalp. I was afraid my weave would turn into a mat after washing so I applied my deep conditioner onto my weave. I let this sit under a shower cap for about 15 minutes, then I rinsed it off with luke warm water. After this I did an ACV rinse, and rinsed it off again with luke warm water. I wrapped my hair in a tshirt and sat with it for 20 minutes, then I let my hair and weave airdry.

The results a slightly less itchy scalp, and a very fresh smelling weave. My weave was not matted, and still looked good. So my first weave wash was a success :)

Friday, 22 March 2013

My Hair Products

I just wanted to share the hair products I use at the moment. I know all hair forums, and most hair bloggers advise that anyone on a healthy hair journey should try to avoid being a product junkie. So for those in Dar es Salaam who are interested in the products I use here they are, and I have also included where I got them.

My Commercially Made Products:

Relaxer:

I use the Dark and Lovely Relaxer kit (regular strength). I have always used either Dark and Lovely or Beautiful Beginnings Relaxer kits (my hair is used to SoftSheenCarson). However, I am considering switching to Dr Miracles. I always use a no lye formula since my scalp is very sensitive. The last time I bought my relaxer kit was in December 2012 at Game.

Deep Conditioner:



I use the Vatika Deep Conditioner. I bought it at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni for TSH 14,000. A bargain for that amount. I love it because it makes my new growth more manageable. I am definitely repurchasing this product.

NB: Both my shampoos contain sulfates. My budget is too tight for me to buy a sulfate free shampoo. So I just do one wash with the shampoo, starting with my scalp, the letting the runoff when I rinse clean my ends.

Protein Shampoo:



I am using the Protein Feed Repair and Protect Shampoo for damaged hair. Its a South African product, and I bought it in Game at Mlimani City. Relaxing is a way of damaging the bonds in African hair so that the hair can be straightened. I use this shampoo as a way of strengthening my hair. I love it as it cleans my scalp, which is all I use it for.

Moisturising Shampoo:

Dar es Salaam is very hot and humid (it's a bit like living in a steamer), but my hair gets a bit dry quickly because of the air conditioning in my office. I recently bought the Clairol Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo for dry damaged hair at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni. I haven't used it yet, but once I do I will review it here.

Coconut Oil:

I use the Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut oil which I bought at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni. It may be processed but the first ingredient on the list is coconut oil, which means that that is the ingredient with the highest percentage in the product (forgive my awkward English). It also has lecithin (an emulsifier), water, lemon oil, henna and amla oil. I usually use it when sealing my hair after moisturising it. It smells great, and helps keep my hair moist.

Hot Oil Treatment:

I use the VO5 Hot Oil Moisture Soak Elixir for dry, damaged hair. I bought this product at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni. I use it only once a month (when I do my black tea rinse) because it makes my hair feel a bit stiff. I only have one tube of the oil left, and I don't think I will repurchase it because of the way my hair feels after I use it.


My Natural Products

Glycerine:

I couldn't find a mineral oil free leave in conditioner or moisturiser, so I decided to follow the advice given on some hair forums to make my own. I use 1/3 glycerine and 2/3 water to make my own spritz, which I spray onto my scalp and hair every morning before sealing with an oil. After all water is the best moisturiser for hair, and glycerine attracts water from the air making it the best natural moisturiser I can find. I got my glycerine at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni, in the aisle with all the medicines and bandages.

Castor Oil:

Castor oil is one of the most ppopular oils used by almost all of the ladies I have seen on healthy hair journeys. I get my cold pressed castor oil at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni. Cold pressed is the best since it's chemical composition has not been altered during extraction either by heat or chemicals. One of my favourite oils for sealing after moisturising.

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin):

Olive oil is yet another healthy hair journey favourite. I get it in the medicine aisle of Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni (because I can find it in the tiny bottles which are cheaper). Extra virign olive oil again is the best to use since its in most pure form. I use my olive oil mainly for pre-poos (I mix it with a random conditioner my mum takes from hotels and leave it on my hair overnight under a shower cap). I rarely use it for sealing, and if I do I mix it with my other oils.

Almond Oil:

I like using my almond oil (mixed with my other oils) for sealing. I also use it in my spritz for my tracks under my weave (mixed with water and glycerine) at the moment. I bought it at Shoppers Supermarket Mikocheni, and I don't use it as much as my other oils. I only bought it when I couldn't find castor oil, and it worked well as a replacement.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

This is one of my newer purchases. I haven't used it much yet. I currently use it diluted in a mix of water, glycerine and almond oil to spray my hair under my weave, as one of my attempts to reduce the itch on my scalp before I wash my hair this weekend. Only a little will be enough as it can make hair stiff if its in large quantities. I will give it a proper review after I use it as a rinse when I take out my weave in 2 weeks time.



Thursday, 21 March 2013

My Hair Goals for 2013

As a woman trying to move up the corporate ladder (I am currently at the lowest rung possible), I have learnt one thing. For any plan to succeed you need to have a vision of your ultimate goal, and set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achieveble, realistic and time bound). Then you have to think of the actions that would lead to you achieving the set goals, and voila you have a plan that will succeed at the end of the day.

Now my hair goals for the year 2013 (I set them in January and I am working on them) are as follows:

  1. To keep my hair as healthy as possible, which means minimal to no breakage, enough moisture and protein, keeping my scalp clean, so I can retain length, leading to goal
  2. which is to get my hair from grazing shoulder length to full APL (arm pit length.)

Now the action plans I am taking this year are:
  1. Stretch my relaxers for longer (I normally stretch my relaxer for 12 weeks, meaning I relax 4 times a year) I want to try to stretch for at least 20 - 24 weeks so that I relax my hair only twice a year.
  2. Only use heat when I have a salon visit, or a very important occasion
  3. Do a lot of protective styling (mainly sew in weaves), and not keep in a weave for longer than 6 weeks
  4. Shampoo, deep condition and air dry hair each week
  5. Only use a comb once a week when I wash my hair. The rest of the time it will be finger detangling
  6. To resist becoming a product junkie (my hair care arsenal at the moment includes a protein shampoo, moisturising shampoo, deep conditioner, glycerine, apple cider vinegar and natural oils (coconut, castor, almond and olive)
  7. Stop using cotton scrunchies (pony tail holders) and use satin ribbons, head bands and bobby ppins.
  8. Moisturise hair daily (with home made moisturiser madde of water, glycerine) and seal with a natural oil (castor, coconut or olive)
  9. Always wrap hair at night before i sleep (i haven't found a satin scarf so I'm still going old school with an old stocking lol), and baggy my hair overnight when necessary
  10. Drink lots of water, and other liquids, and try to stick to a balanced and healthy diet
So these are my hair goals and action plans for this year in order to achieve my goal of full APL hair.


Intro to my blog

So I also decided to add to all the hair blogs on the internet. Why the extra blog, most peopl will ask? Well the truth is most of the blogs I have seen are from the USA or UK. There are very few African hair bloggers from Africa, and in the country I live, I haven't seen a hair blog at all. Location is quite the determiner (i don't know if this is a real word) of the products you have access to. Believe me, I follow two hair bloggers from South Africa Tendayi (www.africanhairblog.com) and Kavuli (http://goodhairdiaries.blogspot.com/) and I have realised that the products they talk about are definitely not available where I am (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).

This blog will be about how I am trying to keep my hair healthy despite language barriers, products that are too expensive or unavailable and time constraints. Hopefully my successes will inspire you, and my failures will prevent you from going down the same road I did.

Here's to long, healthy hair :)