You knew I wouldn't leave you hanging! Here's some video footage of the day and my thoughts on the event this year. Enjoy!
This year's event was enjoyable but notably different.
All the other bloggers that went agree with me on it: there were less stalls / vendors than last year. Now whether this was a deliberate thing (to allow for more foot traffic) or just an inevitability that last year's throng of US companies would fall back under EU regulation changes, I don't know.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed it! There was much less of a weave-stall presence - they became a side-line to the natural product parade. I attended day 2 (Monday 27th May 2013) of the event.
Of course, not all the companies really understood what this meant.
Hence, my goodie bags, though plentiful, will need sorting through before giveaways are planned.
There was NO bloggers lounge but the lady trying to organize it had a word with myself and fellow bloggers CrystalAfro and Ketishia, explaining the situation and promising something much better in the near future.
There should be a blogger's lounge event done before the end of the Summer, so we can look forward to that!
Enough chat, time for the pictures! Enjoy!
Here are even more pictures!
I'll be doing yet another giveaway almost as soon as the current one is over to share my loot from the Bank Holiday "Hair Weekend"!
Enjoy the pictures below!
It's always a great sign when you wake up at the end of a long rainy week and find the Sun welcoming you! So I headed out to the Docklands in anticipation of a day of fun, motivation and hair goodies! (check out the pics below!)
It was a wonderful turnout - twice the numbers as last year, if not more!
As always, a pleasure to meet-up with blogger pals. It was also a wonderful way to meet other UK naturals and motivate each other. I also finally wore my hair out in a twist-out puff (a failed flat twist-out) and got loads of compliments - we natural girls really know how to turn a style around!
With talks from the likes of AfroBella (US blogger extra-ordinaire), Dr Hair (ORS Trichologist and mane man) and Design Essentuals, this was a great line up. Two actors from Holby City started off proceedings and then we got to have a candid interview with Afrobella. This was followed by the Charming but frank Dr Hair. He did not pull any punches!
Finally, I must mention the host of hair stylists, dressers and vendors who shared their stories, ethos and goodies with us. The vendors were outside the main event area so we could eat, browse and purchase at leisure.
I had to leave a bit early but as always, I got the kick up the proverbial backside that I needed from Action Jackson. Back to the drawing board and don't stop till I see my name in lights.....lol! A girl can dream right?
Just have to be disciplined, focused and get it done (last year's mantra - re-worded). A deep message I took with me was that the greatest enemy of my success are my average friends!
"I'm natural, I'm blessed, I'm Unique!"
- Thanks to Belinda of BeUnique.
(This year's mantra to remember)
Were you there today?
Enjoy the pictures!
Is wash day doing a number on your hair?
1. Start with sections
Once I started washing my hair in sections, I was blown away by how quickly I could detangle afterwards. By twisting or braiding the hair, you reduce the tendency of the strands to wrap around themselves whilst being cleansed. Try it and see for yourself.
Tip: For shoulder length hair, as few as 2-4 sections will do. For longer hair, you may need to make up to 8 sections.
2. Ditch the Shampoo!
Yes, I know you've been told to shampoo your hair to really clean it ALL your life but there are methods that are just as effective - and incidentally less stripping to the hair strands.
Clay washes are now more widely available and have been used for 1,000s of years by Ancient Egyptians (even Cleopatra) and Romans to cleanse their hair and bodies. Click here to find out about Rhassoul Clay and Bentonite Clay as hair washes.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking soda can be diluted in water to work as a final clarifying rinse for hair. You can alternatively add a tablespoon of baking soda to conditioner to wash your hair with.
3. Add a CO-wash or Pre-poo
A co-wash is a conditioner-only rinse: using conditioner in lieu of shampoo to wash your hair. The benefits are that your hair will not be stripped by shampoo but will also get a boost of moisture with each application. I personally do this weekly and use a mud wash every month to clarify my strands - remove any excess buildup.
A pre-poo is a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment (if you opt to shampoo). It involves using a mixture of oils or a deep conditioner BEFORE you wash your hair to prevent all the oils from being stripped by the cleansing process. You can do this for an hour or even overnight (if you want to wash your hair first thing).
4. Detangle like a pro!
The length of your hair depends more on this one step more than any other!
First choose when you will detangle: a the beginning of the wash routine, or at the end. Will you do it on damp or dry hair (but always moisturized) or on conditioner-drenched tresses?
Next, choose a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush and start at the ends of the hair. Work in the sections you will be washing in. Slowly work your way up to the roots. Twist or braid up the section once you can comb through with relative ease.
Finally, allow hair to air-dry in that section to at least 70% dryness before trying any further detangling. Be extra careful if you are styling whilst the hair is wet.
When I started my journey, I detangled my relaxed hair when damp at the end of my wash routine (air-dried to 70%). Now I detangle under the stream of water in the shower with conditioner in my hair. Oh, and I finger detangle almost exclusively. This takes dedication, practice and patience.
What parts of your wash routine have you tweaked on your journey? What needs changing now?
Hey. I am half African American and half white. But, I definitely have the African American hair! I have straightened it several times but over the past 8 months, I haven't straightened it because I want it to be naturally curly again. But, there are still quite a few parts of my hair that are straight because of the flat iron.
Firstly, I hate to break the news that the parts of your hair that don't go back curly now are heat-damaged: their protein bonds have changed to stay straight after wetting it.
Like a relaxer, no product can take it back to it's original curly state. The only thing is to grow your hair and eventually trim off those areas.
The good news is that you can mask the straight areas with textured styles like twists, braids, bantu knot-outs, braid-outs and twist-outs. See video tutorials for these on Lolascrib YouTube channel.
For your second question about taming your hair, first invest in a satin scarf or bonnet. Next, trial hair creams or butters when letting your hair dry. With freshly washed hair, apply a leave-in conditioner and a hair cream or butter (like whipped shea butter). Style your hair and with a satin scarf for 30 mins. Let the rest of the hair air-dry. If this process is going to be done overnight, keep the scarf on. When dried, your edges (hairline) and hair will be smooth. Gently undo the braids with some oil on your fingertips to prevent frizzing and don't fluff too much. At night, you can make big braids of the hair and cover with the scarf again.
If you notice your hair poofing up at the end of the day, spray some water on the edges, smooth back with fingers and cover with a scarf - even 5 minutes makes a huge difference.
The main things are to use the scarf to smooth your hair and have a good holding product that will moisturize but prevent frizzing (the butter).
Hope this helps and let me know how it goes.
Does it feel like you've been trying to grow your hair FOREVER?
Well, it could be down to habits that are still sneakily undermining your efforts.
Read on to see if you are guilty of one of these.
1. Hand-in-Hair Syndrome
You're finally rocking the ultimate twistout! Your hair is looking the BUSINESS. And you can't stop yourself from checking it out in every shiny surface today. Problem is, every time you look, you reach up and tuck, fluff, primp and twirl the strands.
Why is this habit bad? Well, simply put, you are over-manipulating your strands. You are tugging and twisting more than twice a day. You might as well be back-combing the hair, for all the tangles you are introducing!
This habit will lead to dry, tangled hair that needs even more time (and comb sightings) at the end of the day to fix it. And each point of manipulation is a potential source of breakage.
Beware of the hand-in-hair! lol!
2. Scissor-Happy Trimming Times
Trimming off split ends is a good practice - that much is widely agreed on. However, this is different from the 8-weekly to even 6 monthly trimmers.
When trim-time approaches, the scissor-happy lady goes overboard: cutting up to 2 inches off the ends. This is also known as a HAIR CUT.
Another type of scissor-happy habit is when dusting goes too far. Forever looking for the split end, this trimmer may dust a centimetre off every few days! This adds up to inches in a short period.The main issue is too much hair being taken off either in one go or over a few days.
Shorter ends = shorter hair (unfortunately).
Solution: Pick a set date for trimming, and only trim on that day (don't finish it off over the next 4 days). Trimming should only take half an inch off the ends maximum. Any more is a hair cut (evening out the ends if a blunt cut style).
3. Hair Brush Crush
There is a widely believed myth that encourages 100 strokes of the brush daily for stimulating the scalp. On hair that is naturally drier, curlier or kinkier (read 'Hair of African Descent'), you will either end up bald or with a very sore scalp from doing this!
A brush is only good if you use it properly and sparingly. Using it vigorously as you 'detangle' the strands will lead to breakage.
Side-note: if your hair is relaxed, you tend to need only one pass of any brush to get the job done. If your hair is natural, hair must be very well moisturized (maybe even coated in conditioner) before a brush can look at it).
I threw away my brushes at the start of my hair journey and only bought the Tangle Teezer or a soft boar bristle brush for special occasion use only.
4. Shampoo / Wash Routine Mayhem
A poorly planned wash routine will be poorly executed! Washing LOOSE hair that is past shoulder length (stretched length for naturals) will only land you in TANGLE CITY.
You need to remember that hair will be more prone to tangling from the shampoo alone (raises the cuticle to clean the hair). A good routine will see you through this common obstacle with ease.
You may need to apply a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment (pre-poo) to your tresses before getting in the shower. Washing the hair in sections also minimizes the tangled web one can fall into. (More info in the next post on a good wash routine).
Well, ladies and gents, any of these sounding familiar? Your thoughts?
So, have you met a Natural Hair Nazi? (Or are you a budding one?)
Here are a couple of videos from the preceeding week. I learned that I can't quite manage my loose hair very well yet - lol! First the hair frizzed up and shrunk. Then the puff I made still produced A LOT of knots!
Not to worry, I will be experimenting with aloe vera based sprays well before Summer so I can rock my fro, braid-outs and twist outs!
Now for a review of the conditioner in the Curly Kinky range!
PJ stands for Product Junkie. It simply describes the slippery slope of becoming so obsessed with finding "the right product" that you accumulate too many that are barely used. A lot of these may even be poorly performing products that you heard some good reviews about and thought you would try out.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong about trying out new products. The issue arises when there is no real thought behind why a product may work well for you (or not). Products with similar ingredients tend to have the same kind of effect. However, you can't argue that you NEED 5 of the same type of product!
Beware of letting your wallet feel the effect of this easy obsession. Wean yourself by restricting purchases to once a month and only buying sample sizes of new products.
You will see many of these on YouTube and hair forums. These can be quite motivating when you are new to the journey. However, not every hair product or technique is good for transitioning heads of hair.
Some heavy products just make your relaxed ends limp and stick together and others just make your new growth beg for more moisture.
Bandwagons targeted at naturals should be viewed with caution too as only 'some' of your hair is in that state. The safest bet is to watch one cycle of whatever challenge it is from the sidelines, see the results then decide about joining the next.
#3. Hair Typing
Hair typing can be useful for a natural to see what type of extra care needs to be given to her head of hair. However, a transitioner is not in the position to properly judge their hair type. Why? Simply, because you have relaxed ends affecting the way your new growth looks. You cannot truly tell your hair type until all the relaxed ends are cut off.
There are other reasons why hair typing is not as helpful on one's journey: namely curl-obsession and divisive feelings between fellow naturals.
#4. Heat Styling
Some transitioners try to straighten their new growth to help blend the textures. They may have done this before when they were waiting between relaxer treatments. When you are embarking on a natural journey, this can easily lead to heat damage: natural texture alterations with the heat.
This can be as little as a bit of a stretch to the curl/coil pattern and as bad as sections of new growth that don't revert back to a coil pattern. What's the point of transitioning to end up with hair you can't wear as an afro or other textured style.