The Journey to… Hair Realisation

As I sat in bed one beautiful evening, I kept thinking of my hair…how far I had come with it, the effort I didn’t put in it and the effort I now put in it. It’s been one hectic and confusing period but I am very proud of my natural hair and the confidence it gives me.

I remember when people used to really like my long relaxed hair when i was younger and how I detested it just because i spent so much time in the salon waiting for hours for my hair to dry and all the burns i used to get from the perming cream. I honestly couldn’t wait to cut it (high school rules). So when I finally did I didn’t shed a tear, for it was such a relief to finally get rid of it. My mum kept my pony tail anyway and couldn’t get herself to put it in the bin.

Many years down the line I am done with Senior High school and I could finally grow out my hair the way I wanted it to be. I had missed it and cried each time i had to cut it low for school. But that was another problem. I had no clue on what to do with my hair. The only thing i was sure about was keeping it natural for a long time and maybe perm it later (which is never going to happen because i now know staying natural is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life). I wore weaves and kept my hair in braids just to hide my short natural hair and I now regret it. I regret that I couldn’t flaunt my short curly hair. I was scared that people were going to see my flat head and how ugly I looked in short hair. Now I wish I could start all over and walk with my head held up high. If you have started your journey don’t be scared of that big chop or how you are going to look after, wear your hair like a crown.

I went 2 years natural without knowing what to do and hating my hair because it was too ‘bulky’ (now i know my hair had so much volume and there are people buying shampoos just to get volume). I will go to the salon and have to pay more because my hair was ‘a lot’. I couldn’t even keep my natural hair in peace. I was fed up, I couldn’t keep sitting down for 4-6 hours just to get my braids done or straighten my hair just so it looks ‘perfect’ and silky just for it to return to its afro curly-kinky state a day after. I was tired of my hair being unhealthy and tired of all the visits to the salon. So i sat home and thought of how to handle my hair. I used shampoos that smelled good and any conditioner i could find because all i knew how to do was to shampoo and condition my hair. The type of product didn’t matter so far as it smelled good and did the work. For a long time (3-4 years i think) i kept to this routine and didn’t care if my hair was breaking. Then I became enlightened. The natural hair community started to get a voice. Instagram was flooding with kinky afros and curly hair. I had found my place and that is when my journey started. I knew my hair looked like that and needed to get it to look more like the Instagram and YouTube vloggers.

So i did my research and got to appreciate my hair for what it was. I knew my hair was special and different and i needed to care for it like a baby. So I began my healthy hair journey and It’s been great so far. I love that I have become more confident in my natural hair and I just love it the way it is. No more regrets.

You may be out there thinking your hair is too hard and too kinky Android just can’t get your curls defined and pretty like you see on Instagram or YouTube, don’t forget your hair is special in its own way. It’s kinky in it’s own way and curly in its own way. Do what is best for you and your hair. Love it! Care for it! and wear it like a crown! Growing  your Natural hair is one heck of a beautiful journey so don’t rush it. Patience and consistency is key. And water is your bestie.

Photography by: @Ashbel Studios

Makeup by: @reedas_glam

Hair by: Myself @dija_torbay on IG

Please do leave a comment on your natural hair journey and what you know now that you didn’t know before. Don’t forget to like and share this post. ❤️

PS: I used my homemade avocado and coconut milk conditioner to get my curls looking so shiny and moisturized.

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The struggle is Real!

Do you sometimes just look at your hair and think to yourself “fuck it! I hate my hair! I should just get a perm!” Well so do I. This natural hair struggle is so real and we are not even joking about it. You wake up one morning and your silk scarf is nowhere to be found on the bed and your hair is like that of a lion or maybe worse and you look into the mirror and see yourself as some monster and don’t know where to start with this hair. Imagine if you wake up late and all this happens and you have no time to fix your hair…girl i’m sorry but shit happens. Keeping your hair natural will  definitely not be always rosy but it’s definitely worth it.

I know as Naturalistas we go through similar struggles and one main and very annoying struggle is fairy knots. I’m sure we all get fairy knots once in a while and when you see it your heart just beats faster than normal or you take it very calmly and look at that knot and just shake your head because you know this thing is impeding your length goals.

I asked a couple of natural hair friends and one person stated her struggle was that her hair refuses to grow. And I’m like wait a minute! me too! I’ve been natural for about 5 years and I look at my hair and see no growth at all. i’m expecting it to be waist length by now because 5 years is really that long. I go on YouTube and IG and I see people posting their hair growth after 1 year and i’m wondering where did I pass? what am I doing wrong/ or is my hair finished? I know that last part can’t happen but really is that all the hair I have?? I’m beginning to think the more coily your hair is the more difficult it is for you to see growth. I’m a type 3c/4a/4b (my hair decided to come in different curl patterns which totally sucks) and I see my length goals and ask myself when am I going to ever reach that length but I guess its patience. The secret they say is patience and I think healthy eating and of course lots of water.

What is natural hair without split ends? I think split ends are inevitable. I’m not saying it’s a good thing if it happens but your old hair gets weaker and may eventually start to split after some months and if you are taking care of your hair well then this will happen less often. This is when you know you need to get the trim, One of our worst fears. Some of us , if not most are so scared of trimming our hair because that means your hair is going to look shorter and I know we all crave length. So when someone asks you ” why does your hair look short?”. Your reply “I just recently got a trim” and someway somehow that makes you feel more satisfied than actually acknowledging you have short hair.

Let’s not forget WASH DAY! As much as I like to keep my hair healthy and clean, I dread wash days. This is a whole workout routine and i’m not joking. If you are as lazy as I am and hate exercising then i’m sure you will understand me more. Wash day means spending over an hour on just your hair  not to talk of an added hour or two when you want to twist your hair or braid it so you can get amazing twist-outs. I take this exercise as my arm workout-no need for the gym.

I know a lot of us struggle with shrinkage especially if you have 4c hair. You try so hard to pre-poo, incorporate protein treatments in your regimen, deep condition etc and you do this for over a year but the length never shows- its just stagnant as if you are not doing enough. You end up hating your hair for shrinking so much and wonder why you ever decided to go natural. So guess what? we take pictures of a stretched out section of our hair so the world sees you’ve actually got some length, it’s just been hiding(I do that too). Well, Shrinkage is really not bad at all. That is just how our hair texture is and there is nothing absolutely nothing you can do to prevent shrinkage so why don’t you just accept it? Shrinkage comes with our curly, coily hair type and unless you keep straightening your hair (which is bad advice), shrinkage will follow you the rest of your natural hair life( which should be forever. Don’t be tempted)

Some of us may read this blog post and totally relate, others (those thinking of going natural) may feel scared and think i’m giving them more reason not to go natural. Let’s not forget that with success comes pain. If you are willing to go through the pain and the struggles then you are ready to enjoy the fruit of your labour. You can’t have it all good or expect to have a smooth path but the result is totally worth it and worth trying. I would choose my beautiful curly-kinky natural hair any day and go through all these struggles over and over again.

DIY COCONUT MILK AND HONEY HAIR MASK

Coconut milk may be the last thing on your mind when it comes to conditioning your hair but it really is moisturizing and helps with very dry and brittle hair. Coconut milk is rich in Vitamin B, C, iron and fatty acids. So yes! it came to save your hair. So next time you buy that coconut don’t let the coconut meat go to waste. Keep it and let’s put it to a better use.

My hair had been very dry for about 2 week because I run out of conditioner and my fridge was very empty (no kitchen hacks could save my hair). Fortunately, I got some fresh coconut one morning on my way to work (that coconut water was so refreshing for it was a very hot day) and saved the coconut meat for my experiment. I researched on how to prepare coconut milk at home and It was easier than I thought.

WashDay…

In making your coconut milk, first put the coconut meat in a blender. Add hot water (not boiling) and blend. Sieve your blended coconut to get the milk. Keep blending the food that remains in the sieve until you get enough milk. Voila! you have your coconut milk.

  • I mixed my coconut milk with 3 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of melted Shea butter, and a bit of au naturale knot-out conditioner.
  • Wash your hair with the shampoo of your choice. Don’t forget to rinse with warm water.
  • Section your hair and apply your coconut milk and honey mixture to each section while d detangling hair with a wide-tooth comb, your fingers or your detangling brush.
  • Cover with a poly bag and wait for 30 mins.
  • Rinse with cold water.
  • Apply your LOC and leave to air dry.

My experiment did not turn out bad. The only down to this was the mixture was very light. I probably used too much coconut milk or made my milk too light so it created a lot of mess. It was quite difficult to detangle my hair in the beginning because my hair was very dry. I added more of the detangling conditioner to make detangling easy (I used just a little in the beginning). However, this was not a fail since my hair came out just like I wanted-soft, moisturized, curly and healthy. This is going to be one of my go-to DIY deep conditioning techniques and I totally recommend it.

Products used

  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo
  • Au Naturale Anti shrinkage Knot-out conditioner
  • Biocare Curls&Naturals Leave-in conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Smoothie
  • Fresh Coconut and pure honey from Vanessa’s village
  • Raw Shea butter from Tamale, Northern Ghana

Please check out the short video of this routine on ig- @dija_torbay

 

Thanks guys!! Don’t forget to leave a comment.

HairResolutions

“Life isn’t perfect but your hair can be”…

The year may not have started as you expected it to, but it’s never too late to make some hair resolutions. Life is really too short to have boring hair. You’ve got to embrace it, love it, pamper it, invest in it and most importantly be confident in your natural hair.

What are your resolutions this year? Are you going for the big chop? or just going to transition? Don’t be scared! The natural hair community has got your back. Your natural hair may not be as hard  as you think it may be. It may not be as difficult to take care of it as you think. Forget all those insecurities and take the bold step.

My hair resolution this year is getting length, getting more defined curls  and learning more styles to do with my natural hair. Getting more length means more buns, maybe a few braids (and I dislike sitting down for hours just to get braids😩😩), and investing in oils. This is going to be challenging but let’s see at the end of the year if this works out.

This is my length now and I hope it grows longer by the end of the year What are your Hair Resolutions for 2018? Drop them in the comment section…

Have a blessed 2018 and I hope you all are able to achieve your resolutions.

HARMATTAN IS HERE!!! SAVE YOUR KINKS AND CURLS

Winter is here!! I know some people are going to have my had for saying “winter” so probably I should be saying Harmattan is here since I am in Ghana, West Africa. The Harmattan season is the driest season of the year which starts from November and ends in March. However, due to climate changes we are in December and we still don’t have the real feel of Harmattan. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to come, you just need to prepare for it. Buy a big bowl of shea butter because Shea butter will definitely be your night and shining amour in these times..lol..

Anyway, during Winter and Harmattan, the atmosphere is very dry meaning your hair is in trouble…big trouble. You need to take care of it better than you used to do. Your hair is now prone to breakage, fairy knots and frizz. So keep your hair more moisturized or stick to protective styles. Let me just put down a few tips you should know

  • Add heavy oils (Olive, coconut, castor oils) to your conditioner or add honey to your conditioner. This is going to help your hair to be more moisturized and seal in the moisture as well. Or do your weekly deep conditioning treatment
  • Do protective styling. This doesn’t mean just getting braids done or wearing a weave or something of that sort. Keeping your hair in a bun is also a protective style. So far as your ends are off your shoulders then you are good. Braids, weaves, twists, buns should now be your go-to styles. I am not a huge fan of getting briads or weaves because it takes so long to finish it. I just cannot sit still for 4-6 hours I would stick to my buns.
  • Pre-poo with your hot oils (Olive oil, castor oil, cocnut oil) before shampooing or co-washing.
  • Grab your satin scarf from wherever it’s hiding. Don’t be lazy girl…use it.
  • Trim your ends. Don’t wait till it’s breaking or super dry..cut it off and keep your ends healthy.
  • Seal your ends with castor oil or shea butter. You can do this once every other day before bed. Keep your hair in big twists or braids and cover with a satin scarf before bed.

Don’t let the cold and dry weather win. as much as you keep your body warm you should keep your hair warm too. Protect it, retain your length or grow it, and don’t ever regret going natural. These are just simple tips you can add to your regimen.

Thanks for reading this guys and thanks for your likes and comments as well. If you have further questions, please leave them in the comments.

MERRY CHRISTMAS🎄!

Is your hair breaking??? 

You wake up one morning to see your hair on your pillow😱. Okay that’s an exaggeration..lol.. But if you realize your hair is breaking than usual and shedding more than it should, then that’s a problem. This means your hair is dry and lacks moisture and protein. This usually happens when you take out your braids or weaves and have split ends.  If you are trying to retain your length or increase your hair length you shouldn’t let this happen.  If it does, don’t just sit down and think it’s normal, take action!

Our hair usually loses its moisture that’s why it’s very important for us to inculcating the habit of moisturizing our hair daily especially since we are entering the colder and dryer season. Lack of protein in your hair can also cause your hair to break because your hair becomes very dry and frizzy which can cause your hair to shed more than it should.

I recommend 3 main remedies for hair breakage;

  1. THE HOT OIL TREATMENT: This oils helps to seal in the moisture in your hair after you shampoo and condition. Heat up the oil of your choice in hot water or in a microwave and apply to your hair, Cover with a plastic cap. Do this the day before or 30 minutes to an hour before bathing. Shampoo and deep condition after.
  2. PROTEIN TREATMENT: You need to repair your hair by adding more protein to it. Do the egg+olive oil+honey treatment or other protein treatments (see previous post on DIY protein treatment). Leave in your hair for about an hour and shampoo and deep condition. You should do this every 4-6 weeks to repair broken hair.
  3. VITAMIN E TREATMENT: Vitamin E is very essential for hair, skin and nails. It should come as no surprise that you can actually use Vitamin E oil to repair your broken hair. Just break open 5 to 6 vitamin E capsules and add to your shampoo. This will prevent your hair from breaking.

These are very simple remedies to repair your broken hair. However, when you notice you have split ends trim them. don’t wait till it gets bad. Also, when you take out your braids or weaves, do a hot oil treatment or a protein treatment. Your natural hair always looks better when its healthy and moisturized.Thanks for reading this! If you have further questions please drop it in the comments…

Merry Christmas in advance🎄

NO SHAVE NOVEMBER- THE BEARD STORY…

Since we are in the month of November, I want us to acknowledge the #NoShaveNovember movement. Before I continue let me answer your most pressing questions- Yes I’m a girl writing on beards…and No I don’t have a beard.

Now let’s move on. The concept of No shave November was started to raise awareness for Cancer by embracing our hair and letting it grow. The money typically spent on shaving and grooming must be donated to educate people on cancer prevention, help save lives and aid cancer patients. So guys don’t grow out that beard just for the fun of it, save up and go do some cancer awareness.

Now to the beard story…

I don’t know much about beards but it doesn’t hurt to share the little you know right? The beard is also natural facial hair (unless some of you guys relax it…Don’t do that!) so taking care of it should not be too different from taking care of your natural hair except the beard might not need as much products as us naturalistas use.

  1. Beard Shampoo/Beard wash: This is specially made for facial hair. It helps cleanse and strengthen the beard hair and also reduces itching as the beard grows. Don’t use regular shampoo since this strips the beard of its natural oils and leaves your beard dry thereby leading to beard dandruff and split ends.
  2. Beard Balm: This is used as your moisturizer. It conditions and softens the hair thereby making it easier to handle.
  3. Beard Oil: Natural oils are best for hair growth. This helps to hydrate and condition facial hair as well as the skin beneath it. Some oils to use are Argan oil which promotes healthy hair, Coconut oil, Castor oil, Olive oil, jojoba oil, hemp seed oil and almond oil . You can also make your own beard oil by mixing two or three of the oils of your choice. Use your beard oil everyday to prevent it from becoming dry and brittle. That doesn’t mean you should pour a whole bottle of beard oil in your beard.
  4. Beard Softener: If you’ve got really hard hair this might just be what you need. It works as a leave-in conditioner so it helps to really soften coarse beard hair.
  5. Beard Growth Serum: I know some of you guys struggle with beard growth and since it’s now a trend you are just dying for your beard to grow. This serum was made to boost growth of beard follicles and also condition your beard. This is a must have if you are trying to grow some beard.

There are quite a number of products for beard growth in the market today. Make sure to choose the right product with natural ingredients. Natural oils are also not hard to find. Add this to your morning routine and your beard will thank you for that. Let’s not forget a good diet and a good rest helps with hair growth. Eat healthy and sleep well.

This is it guys!!!!! If you have further questions, please leave a comment below. Don’t forget it’s still #NoShaveNovember and you’ve got to donate to Save a life.

Thank you for reading this. And a big thanks to Kevin and Fiifi for featuring in this post. They should be your beard goals..lol.

Please click on the link-  Dadie Anoma to check out the new song by one of your beard goals-Fiifi..