Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My Do: Marley Twists, Again

After I took out my cornrow ponytail I was back to feeling bored and uninspired by my hair. I loved the cornrow hairstyle because it demanded so little of me in terms of styling so I decided to install another protective style. This time I did it myself, revisiting Marley Twists

I prepped my hair by washing and deep conditioning it. When you do install a style that will be in a longer period of time it's best to try to get your hair to best possible health before hand. If you follow me on Instagram you saw my three evening install session. I decided to split it up since I have busy days but after the kids went to bed I spent my evening watching back to back episodes of Project Runway and twisting. 

Not sure how long I will keep this style in. Before it has lasted me about four weeks, but I've removed them partly because I've missed my loose hair. I doubt that will be the case this time, I'm so over my loose hair at the moment. 

After two evenings of twisting I only had the top left to do, disguised it with a bun. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Return to Loose Strands

Last day of cornrows
Exactly two weeks after getting my cornrow ponytail I removed the braids. Partly because they were getting very frizzy, partly because I didn't see any other opportunity in my schedule to remove them. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know I wasn't ready to remove my braids. I really enjoyed the feeling of getting up in the morning without having to think about my hair. But all good things come to an end. 

Curls, curls, curls

So after taking out my braids I comb through it to get all the she's hair out. And there was a lot of shed hair. Then I deep conditioned my hair over night. What shocked me was that during washing and applying leave in conditioner my hair kept on shedding! All and all the amour of shed hair I accumulated during these two weeks with cornrows was the same amount or more of what I usually shed during a month. I wasn't really expecting this even though I know how harmful tight hair styles can be. No wonder women who constantly braid and manipulate their hair into tight hair styles are at risk for traction alopecia. I did see one hair (prior to removing the braids) at my hair line that had been pulled out with the entire root of the hair. I gotta be honest I didn't study my hair in depth after that, but where there's one there's usually more. 

Though I loved this hair style I'm not sure I would get it again after seeing how much hair I shed. 
Bedtime with the cornrows 

Close up

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Baby Girl's Box Braid Maintenance

For anyone who gets box braids for the first time it's an experience. My daughter of course has learnt a lot of things due to having her first box braids; the tightness after getting them installed, the itchy scalp, the weight, the reactions. We both have had to rethink how we deal with her hair now that it is in box braids. 

Before she got the braids installed we did a proper deep conditioning treatment (actually several - once a week leading up to the day of the braiding). This to infuse the hair with lots of moisture and get it into the best possible state before the braiding. The healthier the hair is when the braids are installed the better it will cope during the time the braids are in. 

Two days after the braids were installed I rubbed her scalp with coconut oil 'cause she said her scalp was itchy. Twice a week I have spritzed her hair with water to moisturize the hair. Even though the hair is "tucked away" it needs its moisture to stay healthy. 

About ten days after the braids were installed we washed her hair for the first time. I used this YouTube video with Breanna Rutter for tips since it had been years since I had synthetic hair in my hair (Marley twists back in 2014). She was overjoyed once her hair was washed and felt comfortable with keeping the braids in (she was hesitant pre-wash since she was bothered by her itchy scalp). 

We also figured out that the Snappee's we started using a while ago were perfect for box braids. We put two together to be able to put all her hair into a pony tail. 

To keep the hair from frizzing I would recommend sleeping with a bonnet or satin scarf, but baby girl can't deal with that so I let her sleep with her hair the way it is. The goal is not to have the braids in for long anyway.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

CinemAfrica: Hairitage

On February 22nd CinemAfrica hosts their annual film festival in Stockholm. I was asked to be part of the panel on February 24th under the title Hairtage together with Yaya Foon, Sofie Asmait, Lyota Swainson and Leila Trulsen. I'm very excited to be a part of this and hope to take part in an interesting discussion. I've never been able to take part of this film festival so I'm very excited to be a part of it this year, and hopefully I'll have time to see some of the other films shown. I've got my eye on a few South African films, but there are a few others that also caught my eye. 

For tickets visit CinemAfrica 
And check out the other brilliant films that will be shown.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Edgar Rice Buroughs Tarzan and Jane on Netflix

If I said I'm always aware of what my kids watch I'd be lying, but most of the time I do have some clue. The other day my daughter called a new show on Netflix to my attention by saying "Look mama, she has hair like yours."  Of course I had to find out what she was talking about. I was very happy to see a male character with locs and a female character with curls on the screen. And yes, she did have hair like mine. he show was Tarzan and Jane.


As I think about representation a lot I was happy to see these characters on my kids screen. Since there have been a few curly haired female characters the last couple of years (Home, Annie, Zack & Quack) I was extra happy to see a character with locs who wasn't a villain. As one of my friends pointed out years ago the movie characters with locs are usually villains or drug related. How good the show is I don't know, I didn't watch for more than a minute, but regardless I'm happy to see that my kids have characters that look like them to watch in the shows they like.

Nice bun!

Perfect locs and nice bangs 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Baby Girl's First Box Braids

Only a few days after braiding the ends of her hair
were sticking out of the braids due to her curl pattern. 

If you have been following the blog you know I'm not a supporter of hair extensions on small children. So when my 11 year old daughter wanted to get box braids I really had to think about my answer. She's growing up fast and is in the midst of puberty so experimenting with her look is part of where she is in life. Finally I decided she was ready. Not only for the hours of braiding and possible discomfort (and mature enough to let the braider know if she was in pain or needed a break), but also for the comments this change in look would bring. My daughter is beautiful and has heard this all her life. My worry was that she would get the same comments many of us have when changing our hair into a style that more resembles European standards of beauty. Comments like "You are say much prettier with your hair like that" or "You should always keep your hair that way". This can lead to self doubt and self criticism when the braids come out. But I'm aware, and I'm there every step of the way. 

So for about 5,5 hours she sat through her first braiding experience at Jabula Salon, Cape Town. Not only her first braiding experience but her first African hair salon experience. It was almost like a rite of passage. I love that she got to experience this; the chatter, the constant movement of clients and stylists, the weaves, cornrows, relaxer and much more. 

Of course my daughter has very loose curls so the braids won't last more than two or three weeks. But for me as her mom it was not the point of her hair being "tucked away" so I don't have to deal with it. For me it was my daughter choosing a new hair style, showing her stylist what she wanted (she googled until she found the image she liked) and getting it done, that was the point. I want her to feel she can choose for herself about her body, about her hair. That is a part of growing up. And that she feels welcome and comfortable in an African hair salon whenever she chooses to go there. One of my biggest challenges in life is teaching my daughter self love, to be assertive and to feel welcome in whichever space she wants to be in.