Friday, 29 August 2014

Product Review: Dudu Osun (African Black Soap)

Finally, a review of my African black soap. I will review its effects on both my hair and skin.

Product: Dudu Osun soap
Click for larger picture
Price: $4 (any little shop in Harare selling skin lightening creams)

Ingredients:  Pure honey, Shea butter, Osun (Camwood), Palm kernel Oil, Cocoa pod ash, palm bunch ash, Aloe Vera, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Water and Fragrance.

My take: I have used Dudu Osun soap for almost 2 months now, mainly for washing my hair, but also sometimes for my skin when I get a bad case of hormonal acne. I will start with the skin review.

Effects on Skin: The Dudu Osun soap was useful for my acne in that if a zit was just starting to sprout and I washed my face with the soap, the zit would just retreat the next day. That was pretty much the best thing about this soap for me. The soap also promised to fade acne scars. Well, I didn't use it consistently enough  for me to gauge that. Maybe I should use it for 3 months consistently to see if it has any effects. I do have a lot of scarring I want to get rid of.

Effects on Hair: I really bought this soap to use on my hair as an alternative to shampoo. I don't like SLS free shampoos, but since I'm going natural, I need something that can cleanse my hair and scalp as effectively as an SLS shampoo, while not stripping my hair. I don't demand a lot, do I? :)

Well, the first time I used it, that soap was heaven in a bar. I mean curls were popping, hair felt so moisturised after washing that I almost skipped the DC. And that happened again and again, until I had to clarify because I had a bit too much scalp build up. So for cleansing hair, its great since it does not strip. However, since I like putting stuff onto my scalp (like oils), the soap couldn't manage to remove all the build up effectively.

I give the soap 3.5 thumbs up out of 5 for the results I got. I am definitely repurchasing the soap to continue to use for my hair and skin.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Wash Day Saga - Back to Basics

So my family crisis has finally calmed down. What was happening was my grandmother was very sick. She has been having a series of small strokes this year, and had a really major one 2 weeks ago. So she couldn't move at all, and most of our time at home was spent taking care of her. Things got so bad that she was admitted into hospital last week, but she came home on Saturday, and she is much better now. This means I am back on my blog again, and have time to search for new things to write about.

Wash day this week was pretty simple. I just decided to focus on the basics, and my hair turned out pretty well. Here's how my #washdayexperience went...

1. I did a coconut oil prepoo, and detangled my hair. As I finished detangling a section, I would braid it up. I ended up with 8 braids to wash in.

2. Washed my scalp with Dudu Osun African Black soap. I rinsed off using warm water. I washed twice, since I was trying to lift the build up on my scalp.

3. I DC'ed with Elasta QP DPR 11+ Deep Penetrating Remoisturizing conditioner. I left it in for a while (not sure how long).

4. I rinsed out the conditioner and wrapped my hair in a t-shirt. Then I had to take a nap because I was in pain (I injured my ankle while playing tennis on Friday).

5. I woke up a couple of hours later, took down a box braid, detangled, applied my leave in (Shea Miracle), detangled again and sealed with coconut oil before threading up the section. I air dried in African threading.

Results: My hair feels nicely moisturised (although I have to remoisturize my new growth a lot more now to prevent matting since I am not using combs.). I had missed the way coconut oil smells. I will be using it a lot more now since its getting warmer hotter here.

How did your wash day go?

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wash Day - Clarifying + Protein

Just a quick advance notice, I won't be blogging much for some time. I have a family crisis at the moment, and will be fully back once everything is over. However, the #washdayexperience posts will keep coming (if I wash my hair) since I have to keep track of what I am doing.

This will be very short and sweet, because my wash day was pretty short. Here's what happened:

1. I finally made up my mind to wash my hair. I had thought of not doing anything, but decided to just do it.

2. Finger detangled and did 8 box braids to wash in.

3. Shampooed scalp and ends with Dark and Lovely Color Signal Neutralizing shampoo. I know its a weird choice, but my hair liked it, and was not stripped at all.

4. DC'ed with ORS Hair Mayo. I was told that this is a medium to heavy protein, but my hair treated it like ORS Replenishing Conditioner. My hair was so soft after I rinsed out that I didn't bother to do a moisturising DC afterwards (and I didn't have the time).

5. T-shirt dried for about 3 hours. Things were crazy at home.

6. Applied my leave in (African Pride Shea Miracle Leave in conditioner) and sealed with Hot Six oil. Then I did the threading like I did last wash day to completely air dry in.

That was my wash day in a nutshell. Short, and to the point.

I will miss y'all while I am offline. Take care



Friday, 15 August 2014

Transitioning Update - 40 Weeks post aka almost 9 months post relaxer

Hiya everyone,

Today is all sunny, I'm feeling happy and my hair co-operated with me this morning. Yup, it's a good day for me today. I haven't done a transition update in a while, so here's one on what's been happening with my hair as I continue to grow out my relaxer.

Well if you remember my post in June, I had a setback with breakage. I had slacked on my protective styling game, and wasn't too attentive on my moisture/protein balance, and I had a lot of breakage at my nape. I basically didn't retain any length at all since my length check in March and my length check in June. If I hadn't had this setback, I would have claimed BSB much sooner (I am claiming grazing BSB now, since my lead hairs are way beyond the bottom of my shoulder blade), and could have been grazing BSL earlier than my projected date. Anyway, them's the breaks and mistakes happen.

And then, remember when I was 6 months post, and I thought transitioning would be a breeze? Yeah, I have a fond memory of the days when I was very naive about how stubborn my hair can be. When I hit the dreaded ''awkward'' month 8 of transitioning, my hair went crazy on me. It refused to be bunned, it fought against gel, it didn't want to stay moisturised. Honestly, I had several relaxer fantasies, and even posted on LHC and Hairlista about how I was thinking of just relaxing again. Well, at least I didn't give in to the urge right away, and it seems like my hair is settling down. Or I am getting used to dealing with the new growth now, and I got this.

I just realised my hair hates most humectants right now. It gets dry and crunchy when I just look at glycerin, and it went weird when I used honey in my DC on Wednesday. So, I am avoiding most humectants at the moment, since my hair isn't happy when they are in.

I have one side of hair that's just about completely curly now. I chopped off the rest of the relaxed strands that were left after my breakage, and its actually a decent length left. I I BC'ed today, I would have about neck length hair. But of course with shrinkage, it will be a TWA, so I am definitely not BC'ing anytime soon, because I want to have enough length to bun before I go completely natural.

And speaking of shrinkage, my gosh, that's the most annoying thing right now. If my hair is just stretched out by bunning or braids, my shrinkage is at shoulder length. If I really stretch it out fully, I'm at BSB. I am going to be a high shrinkage natural that's for sure.

I'm loving my different curl patterns. My edges are 4a, my nape is 4b/c and my crown is a mix of 4a/b and a few 3c strands. Its crazy up in my head right now with all these curl patterns. And I finally get to see most of them after abandoning my comb. Combs (even wide tooth ones) are not that curl friendly that's for sure in my experience.

Well, that's what's been happening with my transition up until month 9(ish). I am waiting impatiently for November so I can get to 1 year post.

Peace and love,


Thursday, 14 August 2014

30 Days Without Split Ends Game Plan

I have been having an annoying number of split ends recently. I have been trimming them off, but this has to stop. I can't lose length to something this silly *fuming*.

So I was happy to see Jen come up with a 30 days without split ends challenge. It simply involves changing up your regimen in a few ways that will minimise (or eliminate split ends). So my changes are:

1. Protective styling 100% of the time. This means even when I'm at home at night, I have to braid up my hair and cover it with a satin scarf when I take it down from my ususal bun. No hair hanging loose anymore.

2. Use coconut oil to prepoo for at least 2 hours. Coconut oil prevents hygral fatigue, which for me equals less split ends. I have seen more splits when I haven't been using coconut oil as much, so back to my coconut oil.

3. Moisture, moisture, moisture... My hair just thrives better when I just let it hang out with water (and conditioner more). So I am going to start doing my DCs twice a week now as we head into summer to boost my retention. Oh and more protein to keep the balance.

4. No direct heat whatsoever. No negotiation on this point.

5. If I notice a split, I will resist the temptation to try break it off using my hand. I will use my scissors (used only for my hair) to cut off the split.

6. No combs. Combs break off my hair and leave splits because I don't have seamless ones. SO I will exclusively finger comb.

Well this is my game plan. What would you do to minimise split ends?

Peace and love,

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wash Day Saga - Two Washes

If only the weekend could have been extended till next Monday, I would have been in lazy girl heaven right now... But alas, I am not in charge, so no extra holidays. But I did have a great weekend and ended up squeezing in 2 washes. Here's what happened:

1. Friday night: Prepoo/ hot oil treatment using coconut oil. Left it in overnight covered with my shower cap. Detangled and put hair into box braids for washing

2. Saturday morning: Washed my hair using Dudu Osun soap (African Black Soap)

3. Instant conditioned using African Pride Dream Kidz Olive Miracle Moisturising and Detangling conditioner.

4. T-shirt dried until 80% dry, before applying leave in (African Pride Shea Miracle Leave In Conditioner) and sealing with African Royale Hot 6 Oil. Since we were having a long weekend, I decided to protective style for that entire time using African threading.

5. Then on Tuesday, my hair was dirty (after house cleaning like a mad woman) so I decided to do an overnight DC. Since the weather is getting warmer, I am thinking of going back to doing 2 DCs each week. So i mixed up some honey, extra virgin olive oil and ORS Replenishing Conditioner for my overnight DC mix. I just applied the DC in the 4 quadrants my hair was in during the threading and covered with my shower cap and some old pantyhose for bed. I rinsed out the DC this morning using cold water, t-shirt dried, applied my leave in (Shea Miracle) and damp bunned for work. Lol, I just realised I forgot to seal my hair, so I will do that later on.

I am doing my inversion challenge this week (ending it on Sunday). I will hopefully gain some more length, since I need to make my goal of BSL this year. By the way, I joined Jen's 30 day Anti Split End Challenge, and a post will be up on how I am fighting splits this month.

Peace and love,

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Hair Crush Thursday - Christine

I have been sitting on this post for way too long. I guess I was too selfish to share these lovely locks with you :). Anyway, this feature is finally back, and today Christine is in the spotlight. Let me now shut up and let her (and her hair) speak for themselves...

Hi tell us a bit about yourself (and your hair)? You can go back in time if you wish 
Hi everyone :) My name is Christine and I'm a post-grad student at UCT. My hair has been relaxed since I was about 5. My mum didn't know what else to do with my hair. Knowledge about black hair wasn't as widespread as it is now. Also, relaxers were the in-thing in the 90s. That said, I have ZERO memory of having natural hair, which makes my current transition to natural all the more challenging. I think I have type 4B/C hair... I'm basing this on my mother and sisters because I've never really seen my natural hair.

What inspired you to start taking better care of your hair?
I came across the black hair care world by accident. After a relaxer I wanted to keep my hair straight and a friend referred me to YouTube to learn how to wrap my hair at night. I found black women with extremely long hair and I wanted it too. I got completely obsessed and I haven't looked back since.

What’s your hair care routine/regimen?

My regimen is pretty simple because I'm in braids 90% of the time because of this transition. While in braids I wash my hair every week, apply coconut oil to my scalp and braid spray on the shaft of the braid. When I take them out, I deep condition, and air dry in twists. I only blow dry before I have another set of braids done.

What hair goals have you achieved since you started?

I never really set hair goals. The point of all this was just to get my hair healthy, and i managed to do that.

What are your goals for your hair now?

As mentioned above, i don't really set hair goals. Its too much pressure!! hahaha. I think for now maybe one would be a successful transition and big chop in December 2014.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking better care of your hair?

Hair typing is helpful!! when i started I had really unrealistic expectations of my hair, and it was only last year when i actually started looking at more type 4 hair bloggers that i really began to understand or have a better idea of what my hair can and cannot do.

What are your favorite hair styles (everyday and special occasions)?

TWISTOUTS!!!! I love twistouts.. just undo the twists, pin up the side and you're good to go.

Who are your hair inspirations (online and real life)?

My mum. She has been doing all this hair care stuff since we were little. from deep conditioning, to cutting her ends regularly, all of that. Shes my inspiration for going natural. Lady has BIG HAIR, and she plays with colour a lot so the dimensions are absolutely beautiful.
Online would definitely be YouTuber, Jouelzy. Her channel really helped me get to grips with my hair type. I absolutely love her.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 hair care items (products and tools) would you want to have?

Coconut oil, my wide toothed comb, WATER, African pride moisturiser cream, aaaaaand Dora the explorer's backpack lol

Can you tell us one funny/weird hair related experience you have had?

I have thick hair and wore a twistout to a friends house party. Another friend of mine put her hand in my hair and i think she was looking for weave tracks.. when she couldn't find any, she exclaimed (in her thick coloured accent) " YOOHH its not a weave!!". It was absolutely hilarious.

Where can we find you online?

you can find me on twitter @masibandah and instagram @masibandah as well.

Thank you so much Christine for being a feature here. Your hair is absolutely amazing :). And I read that weave tracks story in a Trevor Noah voice. When you big chop can I have the relaxed ends for weave tracks???  :"")

So if you're interested in also being featured just email me on and I will be in touch with the questions.

Have a great day...

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Wash Day Saga - Heat (Oh The Horror!!!)

I am so sorry about the lack of any posts besides the wash day experience ones. Life just got into the way over the past few weeks but I am definitely going to post a lot of stuff this week.

My wash day this week was influenced mainly by the fact that I was going to my cousin's live DVD recording. I really wanted my hair to look good for the telly (since these DVDs will be watched by a whole lot of people) and to also just look pretty since I went to the show with the boyfriend. I just wanted him to see me all glammed up for once (I am usually too lazy for anything more than a quick bun and some lipstick). So here's my #washdayexperience for you to enjoy.

I was off work sick on Friday, so I decided to do my wash day on Friday afternoon while it was warm.

1. I first finger detangled my hair, and put it into chunky box braids after detangling a section. I ended up with 10 box braids that I kept in for the entire wash.

2. I washed my hair with my Dudu Osun soap (aka African Black soap). I focused most of the lather on the scalp, but I ran a bit of it onto my ends to lift the gel and whatnot on my hair from the past week.

3. After rinsing out the soap, I did my DC with the Elasta QP DPR 11+ Deep Penetrating Remoisturizing Conditioner. This is a new product I picked up last week. First impressions were that it was nothing to write home about when I was applying it. I left it in for an hour or 2 under a plastic cap before rinsing out with warm water. I really wasn't expecting my hair to feel good after just this, but it felt awesome. Moisturized, soft and easy to get through.

4. I t-shirt dried for an hour while sunbathing (I had to stay warm tjo).

5. When my hair was just damp, I took down a box braid, finger detangled again, applied my leave in, African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Leave In Conditioner (another find from my haul), and sealed with the African Royale Hot Six Oil. Then I detangled again using my fingers before threading that section to air dry fully. I left the threading in overnight so that my hair could be really dry the next day.

6. The next morning I dusted off my flat iron, wide tooth comb and ORS heat protection serum. Yup, its been that long since I last used direct heat. Its also been more than a month since I used a comb to detangle. I took down a thread, and finger detangled before applying the heat protection serum. I combed the section before flat ironing it. I ended up doing about 5/6 passes per section. This is mainly because my flat iron is not that hot so 1 or 2 passes really don't do anything to my hair. 3 - 4 passes make me look like I did a blowout. I needed 5/6 passes to really straighten my hair. I also wasn't afraid of heat damage since I hadn't used another heat tool before, and its been ages since my last flat iron. My hair was straight but still had a bit of texture left.

After the flat iron my edges finally got laid for the first time in forever. I didn't want to wear my hair down, so I settled for a ponytail. My hair felt great :). Unfortunately, I don't have a very clear photo of the ponytail, I am bad at selfies.

On Sunday, my front had already started to revert. Sigh. I was hoping to rock straight hair for the next 2 weeks, but I don't think I will even end this week with straight hair since its already getting back to its usually lion's mane self.

Well, anyway, that's the last time I will use direct heat this year. I am going to hide my flat iron again and use it next year in June.

That's my entire wash day.

Don't forget to join the wash day experience linkup with Jen and KLP.

Peace and love,