Hair

Are length checks necessary?

Okay, so we all like to check for progress every now and then right? It’s not bad. However, I have noticed that most people get carried away with the length checks and become obsessed with the desire for length. We all want long hair but we must take time to enjoy the natural hair journey.

Growth differs in every individual and comparing your growth to others will just leave you stressed out. Whilst it’s good to check your progress after a couple of months you have to ensure the health of your hair in order to actually get some progress. It’s easier to retain the length of healthy hair. I’d advise anyone on this journey to focus on the overall health of their kinky crown.

Love your hair, enjoy the journey and growth will be imminent. Natural hair is more than just a trend!!! Get the right products for you and stick to them, follow a set regimen and enjoy each and every stage of your hair journey. I am somewhere between the twa stage and the awkward stage but I am embracing the phase I am in and loving my journey nonetheless. So instead of being obsessed with length and doing constant length checks take time to love your hair the way it is ensuring you keep it healthy. The length should be a bonus.

You can follow some of these tips to ensure you maintain healthy hair and retain as much length as possible:

1. Lightly oiling your scalp with a natural oil

2. Massage your scalp daily

3. Avoid daily manipulation of hair

4.Avoid pulling your scalp and edges

5. Use the LOC method or it’s variations to moisturize your hair

6. Clarify your hair

7. Seal your ends

8. Opt for natural hair colour like henna and avoid chemical dyes

9. Pre-poo using oils

10. Dry hair using a t-shirt

11.Use a wide tooth comb

12.Sleep in a satin or silk scarf

13.Moisturise daily

14.Trim regularly

15.Deep condition hair regularly

16. Do protein treatments once a month

17. Practice the baggy method once or twice a week to keep hair moisturised

18. Find products and a regimen that works for you and stick to it

19. Stop obsessing about length, be patient

20. Lastly, love your hair!

Happy hair growing naturalistas💜

Ps: You can also follow me on Instagram @zimbofros and like my Facebook page @zimbofros

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Beauty

Care tips for summer

Hurray! Summer is fast approaching here in Zimbabwe. I am super excited. Summer time is glow time and we have to make sure that whilst we dress up, our bodies are kept clean and our skin is protected from the harsh African sun. I decided to give out a few important tips that are a must to remember!

1. Keep your armpits clean shaven

Yes, yes and yes! Get rid of your armpit hair please. There is nothing that puts anyone off more than sweaty, hairy armpits. Sweat clings on to the hairs and the odour is trapped so nomatter how much you scrub you'll still get stinky armpits from all that sweating in the scorching heat. You can wax, use hair remover or a shaving stick. To avoid razor bumps I suggest you use a home made lemon and sugar wax, it also prevents darkening of the armpits (double yeay!). I got the recipe here.

2. Get rid of sweat

After getting rid of armpit hair, make use of a good anti-perspirant to keep your armpits dry and to avoid sweat stains on your clothes. Not sexy! My favorite is the Garnier Mineral Antiperspirant Roll-on (Even), it also gets rid of dark underarms. It's available in our local OK supermarket for about $2.50 I think. Another cheap remedy for sweat is baking soda paste.

Baking soda paste:
Mix water and baking soda into a consistent paste. You can add an essential oil of your choice (optional). Apply the paste for 25minutes before washing it off.

You can also use talcum powder for other areas that get sweaty like the inner thighs, below the boobs, in between the butt cheeks, in between the toes or anywhere else you find sweat problematic. I prefer Johnson's baby powder (sue me, haha) it's lightly fragranced and doesn't leave my skin feeling too dried out.

3. Make use of sunscreen

To be honest I hate sunscreen. I hate it. It's laborious and some brands feel sticky gosh! But, it's really helped me to avoid getting a really bad tan. I had very light bra strap marks and really dark sun burnt patches on my back which was quite embarrassing because it was very noticeable. I now make sure I never leave the house without sunscreen because it took a lot of work for me to get an even skin tone again. I also try to avoid hanging in the sun longer than necessary. Yes of course my DIY people, you can also make your own organic sunscreen 😉

DIY Sunscreen:
Mix 60ml coconut oil/avocado oil with 20 drops carrot seed oil and 10 drops lavender oil. This sunscreen has an SPF of about 40.

Coconut oil>SPF2-8
Avocado oil>SPF4-15
Carrot seed oil>SPF38-40

4. Hydration

I can not stress enough the importance of keeping yourself well hydrated in summer. It's not just for health reasons but also for beautiful skin and hair. I mean it. Our bodies lose so much water 💦 in summer especially if you're an active person and we have to ensure our bodies are well replenished. Drinking water is definitely not easy for most people including me so I try by all means to tweak it up a bit. I add a slice of lemon to it, you can also add strawberries, mint leaves, ginger or cucumber depending on your preference. Try drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.

I hope I gave you some very useful tips for summer. If you have any you'd like to add on please feel free to share with me in the comments. I can't wait to get sunkissed!

Hair

Life after the big chop

My hair will be 7 months old on the 9th of August. Yeay me! Believe me it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride because at times I'd regret the big chop and wish I had transitioned. I really had mixed emotions because my hair was so short which had its up side (little maintenance required) but my hands were tied when it came to styling. It was too short to braid or do a sew-in so I had to be patient till I could actually do a proper protective style.

After the big chop I didn't have a proper regimen. I would simply wet my hair then apply Amla oil (not the pure oil as the brand I had contained lots of mineral oil and I only realized that later on). To soften my hair I'd apply Dax Hair Grower, it was good for my hair though it made it a bit too oily. I also used a sulfate shampoo lol. Don't judge me, I was still trying to get the hang of it and I am still learning. I am glad the natural hair community has grown over the years. I have learnt from so many naturalistas across the globe, all thanks to social media. I am not alone in this journey, I've grown in knowledge and I am still yearning to learn more.

My regimen became more fixed in May when I got my first protective style. That's when I decided to become a bit consistent. I am a minimalist. I try do the most I can using a few resources. I do get tempted to horde products but I am trying by all means to avoid being a product junkie and to just find a few products that work for my hair. Here are the few products I have been using since May:

Palmer's coconut oil formula conditioning shampoo:


You can get this shampoo at any Clicks store in South Africa. This product smells so good I could eat it! It's free of sulphates and parabens. It's also gentle on my hair, it doesn't strip it dry and it's also conditioning. It contains keratin to strengthen and repair your strands, monoi oil to hydrate your hair and coconut oil to moisturize and add shine. It's good for dry, colour treated or damaged hair.

Originals Africa's Best Hair Mayonnaise:


I also got this product from Clicks in South Africa. I use this product for deep conditioning my hair and as a leave-in conditioner (sometimes). It contains herbal extracts, olive oil, egg protein and vitamins to moisturize, condition and strengthen hair. It's also good for weak and damaged hair. I bleached my hair and this product has worked quite well in preventing breakage and dryness from the bleach.

Guava water:


If you're a DIY kind of person you probably have such weird conconctions of your own to moisturize your hair. I use guava water as a daily spritz to moisturize my hair in a protective style or as my L when doing the LOC method on free hair. Previously I would interchange it with plain water mixed with olive oil and glycerine or rose water mixed with glycerine. Guava water promotes hair growth, strengthens hair and reduces shedding. You can read more about its benefits and how to make your own here.

Caivil Fusion Oil Hair Gro Essence:


I got this from Clicks SA but it's also available at Dischem. This oil contains a long list of all the good oils. Olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, rosemary essential oil, peppermint essential oil, argan oil, avocado oil etc. Trust me it's a long list of hair magic. It promotes hair growth, strengthens and thickens hair, nourishes your scalp, prevents breakage and I also use it as a sealing oil for my LOC method. It has a strong peppermint scent which might not appeal to everyone but I love it all the same.

Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Afro Moisturizing Butter:


Yes, I also got this from Clicks SA! I am a loyal customer. The afro moisturizing butter deeply nourishes and conditions hair leaving it soft and manageable. It also prevents styling damage and it doesn't contain any parabens, petrolatum, drying alcohol and mineral oil. Plus, it smells divine.

Aunt Jackie's Curl la la Curl Defining Custard:


I got it from Clicks as well. I bought this for my wash n go days which are yet to come this summer lol. My ends have been tucked away most of this winter but I can't wait to try out this product on my hair. Hopefully it will also help me do a cute Bantu knot-out or a twist out we will see. It's been working well on my son's hair though so I am impressed for now. Fingers crossed it will do some good on mine:)

There you have it! Those are the products that I have on my shelf. You can also try them out. Are you already using any of them? Do give some feedback in the comments. I am enjoying my hair journey hope you're enjoying yours too. Love your hair, take care of it. Remember length comes from healthy hair so make sure you maintain healthy hair for you to be able to retain length. You don't have to use the latest product or the most expensive. Find the few that work for you and stick to them. Happy hair growing!!!!