Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Salon Review : Kinky Curly Natural Hair Salon - Harare

The primary purpose of this blog is hair, and hair related activities, and lately I have been slacking on that front. But today, the hair drought is over and I have a salon review for you.

Many moons ago (May), I was too exhausted from motherhood and work to wash my own hair and what not. So I decided to take my tired body off to a salon for pampering. Since I haven't had a relaxer for a year plus, I decided that a salon that specializes in natural hair would be my safest bet since I had just started my post-partum shed. After some internet research and making calls, I had set up my first appointment at Kinky Curly Natural Hair Salon. I had booked in for what they call "The Lot".

From the get-go, this was an amazing experience. The lady who took my initial call, Vee, was polite and professional and answered all my queries. I ran a little late for my appointment (I arrived at 10.15am for a 10am) but I had called in advance to tell them I would be late, and they were fine with it. (Slight digression, if you are a client and are running late, be polite and inform your stylist. They really appreciate being treated as the professionals they are). When I got in, I was immediately whisked off to the washbasin. I was pretty embarrassed by the amount of dirt in my head, but the ladies were understanding. My hair and scalp were soon extra clean and my hair was covered in deep conditioning treatment and I was placed under the steamer. As my hair was being steamed, I was offered a drink, and I had tea. African that I am, I really appreciated this gesture of hospitality. Even more important to millennial me, I was given the salon's Wi-Fi password, and started getting active on social media.

After the DC was rinsed out, Vee (who was my stylist that day) started detangling my hair. I barely felt anything as she detangled, and it was an amazing experience. Once my hair was fully detangled, she asked me what kind of protective style I wanted, and I left it up to her. She did an intricate flat twisted updo that I loved and many people envied.

The prices there are pretty steep (I paid $75 for a shampoo, deep condition and protective style) but I happily paid because the service was excellent, the customer care was excellent and the products used were the stuff we (in Zimbabwe) normally read about on African-American natural hair blogs. The brand used on me on that day was Alikay Naturals.

My second visit had the same high levels of service delivery. This time though, my stylist was Paida, and she was as amazing as Vee. The only other difference was that I had biscotti with my tea, which appealed to the African in me. I will definitely continue to go there when finances (and the spouse) permit.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Post Partum Shedding

If you follow my Instagram page (@HRH_Yvette) , you will know that the pride and joy of my life is my precious, (big) little boy. He is the light of my life... (insert all the corniness and clich├ęs a mother can use to describe her kid). When I was pregnant with him, even though I could barely keep anything down for 90% of those 33 weeks, my hair was at it's best at that time. The growth was astounding, it got even denser and lusher, it was just extra juicy thanks to pregnancy hormones.

Fast forward to 3 months after delivery, and I started losing handfuls of hair. At first I didn't panic because I just put it down to having had a protective style in for 2 months. I faced reality one morning when I was bunning my hair for work that my hairline had practically gone on a long term vacation. This was when I ad to accept I was experiencing post partum shedding.

I couldn't do anything to stop the shedding, all I could do was give my hair some TLC. I stopped getting long term protective styles, I did a crown/goddess braid 90% of the time that was gentle with my hairline. I also minimized having to handle my hair, especially when I was tired and/or frustrated. I turned to an amazing natural hair salon in Harare, Kinky Curly Salon (review will be coming soon) when I felt I had little to no energy reserved to deal with my mane. I also decided to hold off on the relaxer and transition to natural again.

My son is now 6 months old, and the post partum shed is over. I am going to continue to pamper my hair as it recovers from this major shed. I am also going back through my blog archives and see what used to work during my last transition. Long hair, I am coming for you... Again.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

It's My Number! Stop bothering Me!

I had to give myself a few days to cool down before venting online. By the way, hello loyal reader :)

Since the advent of WhatsApp and social media, its now really easy for random people to approach you in your DM especially if you're female. This happened to me a few days ago when a guy from the same small town as me decided to drop into my inbox.

Since I really don't know this individual, I did not have his number saved in my contacts. Here's a basic transcript of the thread (but lots of things are left out):

Unknown person: Sup

Me: Hi. I don't think I Know you, please tell me your name (because I'm now a little grown up, I'm slightly less petty and savage these days)

Unknown Person: says name, and where his from when I prompt him

Me: Oh ok

Unknown Person: U oky (as most people who know me IRL I really hate such messaging)

Me: I'm good. You?

Unknown Person: Not gud

Me: ok (because I don't really care in all honesty)

Unknown Person: (translated to English) Where do you stay

Me: Where did you get my number? (because I'm not giving that information to someone I don't know)

Unknown Person: Facebook (which I know is a lie because I have strong privacy settings)

Me: Ok since you are lying please get away from my inbox

Unknown person: starts blowing up my phone because I'm not responding

Besides being married and being a mother, I honestly do not have time for games anymore. And I do have the right to decide who I want to be in contact with. Why do certain individuals do not take no for an answer and quietly go back to whichever hole they crawled out from? Just because we used to live in the same town doesn't mean I should take time out of my life and start an inane conversation with you just because you are lonely.

Dear readers, has this ever happened to you? What was your response?

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Being a Preemie Mum

Honestly, I never expected my pregnancy to end the way it did. I had expected to go the full 9 months, go through labour and deliver my baby ''naturally''. My pregnancy wasn't the easiest, but I expected it to go the usual way.

Instead, one Wednesday morning on my way to work, I fainted. Luckily, my cousin had given me a ride to work, so I was in a safe environment. I ended up going to my gynaecologist since I knew some episodes were quite unusual. The gynaecologist was worried that it was pre-eclampsia, so she had me admitted into hospital for a number of tests.

I was cleared from pre-eclampsia, but diagnosed with gestational diabetes. When I told my husband he was worried. He was at work, 600km away from where I was in hospital. Even though I tried to reassure him, he took a week off from work and drove home so he could be with me. Which actually turned out great, because two days after my admission my gynaecologist decided to do a caesarian section on me because of ''reduced fetal movement and gestational diabetes'' (I am quoting from my son's hospital records). So on the 2nd of December 2016, sometime after 7am (not sure as I was under general anaesthesia), my son was delivered at 33 weeks gestation.

His lungs were severely immature, so he was admitted into NICU immediately after delivery. He was placed in an incubator, and was on oxygen. I wasn't allowed to see him for the first 24 hours since I was extremely groggy from all the drugs.

The first time I saw the little human who had spent 7 months living rent free in my womb was scary. Yes, I immediately fell in love but his chest was sunk in because his air sacs in his lungs hadn't inflated when he first cried because his lungs were pretty immature. He was connected onto a lot of tubes, lots of monitors where beeping and flashing. I didn't know what was wrong or if he would recover. I would go to the NICU and try to express breastmilk for his feeds. I was so stressed and worried I ended up crying. The worst part was being in a ward with mothers who had their healthy babies with them and listen to them bond. I was depressed during the first week. I remember breaking down during one visiting hour, as my family finally confirmed my worst fears. But I knew I had to stay strong for the little person lying in an incubator who was depending on me for his food and affection. His health started turning around at that point. When he started pulling out his nasal feeding tube, the NICU nurses told me he was going to be fine.

One thing about babies, they are so resilient. After a week on oxygen, his oxygen was turned off and from that point, everything happened fast. He was moved out of his incubator 3 days after that into the open cots. All the NICU moms knew that once your baby was moved to the cots you were going to go home with your baby soon. The day after he moved into a cot, I got to breastfeed him for the first time. And I took him home on the following day.

Since his discharge, my boy has been growing fast. From a birth weight 2.37kg he had tripled his weight by his 14 week vaccination. He may be a bit behind in hitting his milestones but I always remind himself he's 7 weeks younger than other babies his age in terms of development. This helps me to keep everything on perspective. I also make sure before I introduce any dietary changes I consult his paediatrician.

My son is my pride and joy. He is one of my reasons for getting up each morning. And I know I'm his favourite person as he always lights up when I see him, especially when I get home from work. I am thankful for all the people who have helped us since he was born.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Too Many "I'm Back'' Posts? Life and Hair Update

Hi guys...

I don't know if you still remember me. My name is Yvette, and I'm the blogger here at Hard Mashona Hair. I haven't been able to regularly blog since August 2015, but I hope things are about to change for the better.

So what's been happening in my life? Well, 2016 was  a crazy year for me. I got pregnant, married, and had my baby within the space of 7 months. Wild, right? My son was born 7 weeks early so he stayed in NICU for a while until he could breathe on his own. After that, I have spent the past 3 odd months in a blur of diaper changing, feeding, sleepless nights, vaccinations, and lots of baby cuddles. I also recently went back to work and had to complete my dissertation so I can fulfil my graduate trainee requirements. I am trying to work on losing the baby weight I had gained, so I'm frequently at the gym too. It's a busy whirlwind, but I wouldn't change a thing in my life or schedule.

Hairwise, what can I say, I have recently self-diagnosed as an individual with a short hair attention span. I took out my locs from the last post, probably due to pregnancy hormones. I have spent the past 4 months in weaves, and braids but I'm back to rocking my hair with all the crazy undergrowth of natural hair that's lurking under my texlaxed hair. Since I'm experiencing some postpartum shedding, I decided to stop protective styling as my hair was getting matted up under the weave in 2 or 3 weeks. I'm really not doing much, except co-wash, moisturize and seal. And of course wear my satin scarf to bed.

That's a brief update into what's been happening with me, tell me what have you been up to?