Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Trust your dopeness #Hair-Segment Part one Weaves and Cornrows

My hair is one of the easiest pointers to my extrovert personality. It is loud, it is out there and more often than not it is a conversation starter :).  I am rarely ever hesitant to try new things with my hair no matter how controversial as I believe hair is a God given accessory that you get to have fun with rather than be a slave to it's dictates. The minute I let go of  the length chasing spell my hair became a fun tool that I could use to change my look to suit my mood or lifestyle. My personality is such that I like colouring outside the lines and that really gets some people's pants in a twist despite my life choices having zero effect on their lives. This post has been inspired or rather a comment over the weekend triggered thoughts that inspired this post. Whatever hair or hairstyle you choose to wear do so with confidence and enjoy it with everything in you. Don't do it to placate anyone or please anyone other than yourself. Whatever comment anyone else may have that is a reflection of who they are rather than who you are or anything to do with your hair. So indeed trust your dopeness. Below are some of the hairstyles I have had that remind me to trust my dopeness.  I think I was more experimental in 2011 and some parts of 2012 . I did the so called big chop mid 2010 and trimmed my hair three more times after colouring it several times. As I said I stopped having length goals :) 
Some will warrant more blog posts later on but for today it's a reminder to love what enchants you even when others don't understand why you do.

 I will try categorize the styles in some form of category and this will be in two or three posts

I was lucky enough to meet a true artist in the name of Merrine who doesn't just do weaves but really does what hair styling should be i.e doing hair that flatters the wearer and having fun while doing it. It's a shame that when I met her and started doing weaves I wasn't a selfie fanatic as I currently am for Merrine has done some amazing hairdos for me. I used to be a banker and each Monday my colleagues would be sitting waiting to see which hair do I had done. The styles were so much fun that every three weeks to four weeks I had a new one. I had a file at work of the different styles I'd researched on-line and I only needed to take to Merrine a picture to get the hairstyle. The only other person who has installed a weave on my hair is Ronnie(Ronald Asumbo) who did one of my favourite straight weaves with razor cut ends. I am a lazy maintenance person hence I always do full weaves none of that leave outs and I must say these two stylists are the best when in comes to installing full weaves. Both have salons in CBD Nairobi so if interested let me know in the comments below the post

Some people are against weaves and I do agree that is their choice, my problem is with  crazy hair fanatics and hair police who want to make that same choice for others. I love the versatility that weaves can give you from super short to long, from straight to wavy, from kinky to silky, from black to blonde. The trick is to find a good stylist , choose your weaves well and no matter how much the weave cost stay with it for a reasonable time. In my opinion a month is the most one should stay with a weave unless you are washing your whole hair then perhaps 6 weeks, beyond that it will probably smell and look like you are wearing an underground rodent or a cleaning brush on your head. The other thing is for some reason if you continuously wear weaves your hair grows in terms of length but you somehow lose in terms of volume. I am yet to know the reason why this is so but I have seen it with my own eyes and heard it from my friends who weave frequently. The other thing is your hairline more so if you love weaves that call for leave out or the so called micro braids. A full weave is no threat to your hairline but micro braids actually pull your hair from it's roots so preferably don't do them or do it for a very short time. I mostly use synthetic weaves as I don't have a sponsor to pay for these 30k weaves some people have nor am I willing to pay too much money on hair I will have for 3 weeks. If you have the resources and want to spend it on weaves then do you boo but for the rest of us with limited resources Fashion Idol and Darling are two brands that have an unlimited number of synthetic weaves that you can choose from starting from Ksh 500 per packet.
One of my favourite weaves that Merrine ever did. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Same weave styled differently

The  online image was as she produced it. This style had many fans who thought it was my own hair
Sadly the phone I used to take this pic had a wack camera but this is one of the 'glam' Weave styles she did in 2011. Full weave, cut and tonged to get that shape.
This was the first weave I ever installed on my head and made me a Merrine fan. This was 2009 despite my Camera wrong stamp :). It was a human hair weave which I rarely ever use but it was fun and my boyfriend at that time loved it

Yes this is a weave

Another 2009 weave time stamped by my camera as 2006. I loved this short do.
Another unconventional weave. Some thought it was dreads. 2009
The downside of these curly and kinky weaves is that the hairline has to be braided which can weaken one's hairline
Ronnie did this weave and I was obsessed with this hair.I love razor cut edges.This is the glam version
This is the everyday version that I loved just as much as the glam version.

This was the latest weave I had on my hair. This was 2014 for a wedding. Merrine is a ninja when it comes to a fringe.

When I talk about cornrows inevitably there's always someone( Read mostly my friends who are glam squad) who thinks I'm going to get those cornrows we got while in primary school. It's always funny but those 'lines' maintained our hair and allowed our hair to grow without too much interference; something kinky hair appreciates. I love cornrows with a passion as I think they are good for hair growth, volume and they are low maintenance. My friend says I only like cornrows because I have a head shape that allows me to pull the style without worrying that I look like an alien or a Potato head lol. The trick is to modernize the cornrows so that you either add fun extensions to it or you make sure they are done in a direction that flatters your face. The internet more so Pinterest is your friend in getting styling inspiration. When it comes to cornrows there's only one person who does my hair: Pauline. She has been doing my hair from when I was introduced to her salon located at South C in 2004. Over ten years later and I still go to her to do my cornrows despite the distance. Her pricing has barely changed and she is open to trying new styles as I suggest them or improvising. If your stylists doesn't want to try something you really want then find another as it's your hair and unless you are a fan of hats or scarves then you should have your hair as YOU want it. As stated before if you want Pauline's contacts then leave a comment and I'll get back to you. She has been doing my cornrows for the last ten years and despite many attempts by other stylists to try them I have not. I like her pricing, her work and her attitude.  She always willing to listen and try a new style no matter how bizarre it may sound or seem. She will try or improvise.  Maybe it's growing up in eastlands but no one can convince me that cornrows should be the same price as braiding or a weave. That is what most of these salons charge and miss me with that mess. The irony is that they are not even good at it or willing to do the stylish stuff yet charge way more that the talented Estate stylists.

The critical thing with cornrows is how you will take care of your scalp after you have been plaited. I discovered that spraying with water and then applying gel activator works for ME. I don't get itchy or have a dry scalp for over a week or two weeks after which I need to spray my scalp again, oil it and then gel. I don't get dandruffs and I thank Pauline for this fix as I am quite lazy when it comes to oiling my hair/scalp .

I had just coloured my hair and wanted some of it left out while the rest of the hair in coily cornrows. The chopstick was my own addition. Several photographers loved this and stopped me to take pictures

Faux hoc using Afro kinky braid and cornrows. This is one of my favourite looks as it's versatile and very handy if you need your hairline to recover yet still look stylish.
Zig zag cornrows with kinky hair leave out
These were 4 milazos. My mum was super shocked that I could leave the house with this look but I liked it.
I had three cornrows on each side of my head like a weird frohawk. I was experimenting with my newly chopped hair.
This was a turning point for me. I more or less do versions of this hairstyle like several times in a year. One of my favourite looks that you can easily do at work
Side view
Cornrows with fluffy kinky extensions. I got a lot of teasing for this from being asked why a nest was on my head to being called a crane by three of my male friends but I would still do this style

Side view and front braided fluffy kinky 

Front View with the fluffy kinky combed out.

This was certainly pushing the envelope but it was fun though the kane kalon braid extension made my forehead quite itchy

Thursday, September 3, 2015

#HAIR-SEGMENT Guest BlogPost : My hair philosophy is the.least.effort.required

We continue with our hair series and today's guest blogpost is from blogger Gnovember so do visit her blog at this link .

I was invited to blog on my hair regimen and I started with the fact that since I have dreadlocks, it will be the world’s shortest post EVER! How wrong because as I started to put down the structure of the post I quickly realised that I do (ASIDE: which I guess is the reason for this invitation to share knowledge with each other and stuff)

I must start off with the fact that I have had my hair locked for five and a half years for no reason beyond the fact I wanted to have long hair and try as I might my relaxed hair never grew past my neck before it started to look unhealthy and required a trim. Also, I was tired of the cycle: retouch, treat, treat, treat, braid/ retouch and start over again. I figured my Saturday mornings could be better spent elsewhere so I trimmed my hair in May 2009, grew out my natural hair and locked it the following February. Natural hair was never quite the option for me because of that weird length of natural hair where you can’t hold it up but left down it looks like a weird halo. Nope, no sir, not for me thanks!

General stuff :

· How often you wash your hair of have your roots relocked is really up to you. Some people go bi-weekly or others take much longer. I generally go every three to four weeks and mainly because I want to have my hair washed.

· I have been trying to get into hot oil treatments because it would be nice to pamper my hair every so often. I just don’t make the time and frankly hair oil is quite pricey so if you can afford to and you have a great mixture, go ahead and do share.

· I used to brush the tips of my dreads and one guy working on my hair warned me against it, said it makes the root weaker and so I stopped.

I started to list out what I do and it’s really in no order and most of it is stuff that has worked for me. I would recommend taking what works for you and leaving out what doesn’t bearing in mind my hair philosophy is the.least.effort.required.

  • Nothing better than having someone wash your hair for you. BUT when you first lock your hair, it feels like you never quite get a good wash because they have to be gentle so as not to unlock your hair before it takes. Be patient, depending on the texture of your hair, it will soon lock.
  • If you or someone else washes your hair, make sure it is properly rinsed so that there is no build-up of product (the white stuff in most dreads). Also, with your bath soap or shower gel, it can get caught up in the back row of dreads. Be careful about the towel you use, it needs to be made from natural fibres because it can also get caught up in the dreads. It need not be fancy, a T-shirt works just as well, and it gets rid of the moisture and does not harm the hair.
  • Watch out for the ingredients in the products you use. Sulphates are the worst baddies because they strip your hair of the natural moisture. Also, as a rule, the first six ingredients of any products are by far the most represented in the product so be sure they support what you are trying to do. 
  • Having said that, I don’t often understand what each one means because they get technical so I would suggest googling them and seeing what they mean and whether they are good for your hair. I am all for making it easy for people to make informed choices so in the absence of this, follow a couple you can trust whether on YouTube or other bloggers and use what they recommend – outsource the difficult task.
  • Dreads/ Natural hair love water so I have stopped using a shower cap when I shower. I let them get the little specks of water than I apply a moisturising spray after. My rule is a spray every second day in the winter and after three in the summer.
  • Loving water is NOT the same as being damp. Damp dreads are a breeding ground for all sorts of vermin and vermin is not my look. So make sure they are fully dry before you go out and about. When I do my hair in the colder months I know I sometimes sleep with my hair damp but by morning it is dry, if it goes beyond that I have to use heat to dry it because dampness.

  • Dreads absorb moisture, smell and all else so be careful to tie them up when in extreme places or wash them immediately afterwards because they can smell musty and start to look dead. 
  • Give your hair a break from styling because some styles place a lot of pressure on the hairline, almost as much as weaves, and with time it will start to recede. In the colder months, I generally have my hair down and styled in the summer. Although, I am finding that the longer they get, they are placing pressure on my scalp so I probably in truth style one in three/four salon visits. 
  • The thing I found most surprising about dreads is how the tips pick up fluff, smell and build up from products. GROSS, but I sometimes see fluff from my favourite scarfs in my hair which grosses me out to no end. So I find that I just hold up my hair in a loose bun because I don’t know how else to counter this. 
  • I would recommend dyeing your hair every so often because there is something it does for the texture of the hair that I like. I haven’t really read up on it but I can only go with what has worked for me. Also, it helps with changing up your look which is a good thing. 
  • I once tried a new salon while I had gone home and the dude decided to trim the sides of my locs. I would never recommend this to anyone because it’s a waste of time and frankly, I have seen no added benefits to my hair. 
  • I also sleep with hair tied to keep the moisture in but also because I have never not slept with my hair tied.

Sources of inspiration for other tips and styling

Friday, August 28, 2015

Let's talk Silk

I met up with a couple of friends two weeks ago and one of them was wearing a stylish yellow silk top that reminded me how much I love the feel of silk.   If worn well, Silk can give you a luxurious look. I bought a silk fabric about three years ago and even took it to the tailor but for some darn reason I could not make up my mind on the design nor was I convinced the tailor would't overwork it or know how to cut and stitch it as required. One minute I would want a draped dress, the next a maxi dress, the next a pair of blouses and the next a fitted skirt. As you can see my thoughts were all over the place. Seeing that silk top reminded me how much I want to incorporate more silk items to my look. So below are a few ways that you can wear silk or a few ways that I personally find stylish.

This is one of my favourite looks. This is stretch silk meaning it has 5% elastane. I am not a fan of brown but i would definitely wear this outfit. The top is less fitting which balances with the fitted bottom.
I'm usually wary of prints but this butterfly silk dress is absolutely gorgeous. I have thing about back details and this dress sells me on the back detail alone.
Front view of the butterfly silk dress

Cara is slaying in this high slit silk maxi skirt. 
Before I became self conscious about my arms silk cami tops were a staple in my closet. I really love them with fitted blazers.
I love simple silk tops in monotones. It gives you an expensive and classic look. You can dress it up or dress it down
One of my favourite official looks. Silk tee's come in handy.

I think I'm finally ready to embrace the wide legged and palazzo pants trend and silk is the perfect way to do it. I love this outfit though it needs darker shoes. The way the top just hangs and slouches on her is one of my favourite things about silk. This can be both  work outfit as well as a social look
So chic!

White on white
Now this is fashion. Nicole Richie in a white and blue embroidered silk trouser

High low silk skater dress
This silk print dress is so alluring!!!!
So elegant. Full silk skirt paired with a fitted knit top
Talk about being a siren!
I like the red silk skirt. I don't know the mess that is going on with that top but this skirt would be a stunner
A beautiful transition outfit. The white silk top works well with the red blazer
Asymmetrical silk skirt

Michael Kors Silk Blouse
Animal print silk shirt

Print silk dress in Fuschia

Chinese silk print dress. Those shoes are hot!

Double volume using silk. This is a tricky look and mostly for petite frames
Silk kimono. I prefer them with shorts or tights
Love the oversize silk top