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!!!!

Hair

Ayurveda part 2: DIY shirolep & shiroabhyanga treatments

In part 1 I explained the basics of Ayurveda and I tried my best to give a detailed explanation of how Ayurvedic remedies promote hair growth. If you somehow missed part 1 please go on to read it here for a better understanding of the topic. As promised in part 1, here are a few Ayurvedic herbal and oil treatments you can use on your hair.

SHIROABHYANGA 

This Ayurvedic scalp massage treatment using warm herbal scented oils, promotes hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp. It nourishes a dry scalp and enhances the hair's lustre. This is achieved by using a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils.

1. For dandruff and a dry scalp

  • Mix olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil with a few drops of lemon juice
  • You can also add a few drops of     chamomile, cedarwood, lavender or rosemary essential oils. They are good for treating a dry scalp (OPTIONAL)
  • Massage the warmed mixture into the scalp and let it sit for an hour or preferably overnight before washing it out with a mild shampoo

2. For hair growth and restoration 

  • To stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles take a few tablespoons of coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or sesame oil. I like castor oil because it's good for hair growth but it's a bit too heavy so I mix it with a lighter oil like coconut oil or olive oil so it's less thick
  • Add a few drops of peppermint, thyme, rose geranium, lavender, rosemary, frankincense, cedarwood or cypress essential oils as they combat hair loss and promote hair growth
  • Massage the warm oil into your scalp using your fingertips to increase blood flow to your hair follicles. Wrap your hair for an hour or overnight before washing it out

Do this treatment 1-3 times a week to see great results.

SHIROLEP

It is the Ayurvedic application of medicated herbal pastes to your hair and scalp to nourish your hair and promote growth.
1. For dry hair and dandruff

  • Mix half a cup shikakai powder, 1 cup amla powder and 1 cup warm water into a smooth paste
  • Let it sit for 2 hours then apply it your hair 
  • Leave it in for 30minutes before washing it out 

2. To combat hair loss and promote hair growth

  • Mix a cup of amla powder, 3 tablespoons of henna powder, 2 tablespoons of fenugreek powder, 1 egg white, lemon juice and water into a smooth paste
  • Let it sit for an hour
  • Apply this to your hair from root to tip and leave it in for an hour
  • Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and rinse with cold water
  • Do not use hot water!!!!

3. For thick hair

  • Mix 2 tablespoons amla powder, 2 tablespoons shikakai powder with 4 tablespoons water into a smooth paste
  • Apply it to your hair and leave it in for an hour
  • Rinse it off with cold water

4. To condition hair

  • Mix henna and coconut milk into a smooth consistent paste
  • Apply it to your hair and leave it in for an hour before rinsing it out

These treatments can be done 1-3 times a week for optimal results.

You can also make your own variations of these mixes to keep your hair nourished, strong and lustrous. Have you tried Ayurveda before? Drop your experience in the comments, I'd love to read your testimonials (good or bad). I hope you found the Ayurveda articles helpful and that I made it all clear and comprehensive. If you have more questions or additional information to add feel free to comment. Happy hair growing!!!!!
Instagram: @missnoirdoo & @zimbofros

Facebook: @zimbofros

Snapchat: @missnoirdoo

Hair

Ayurveda Part 1: The science behind hair growth

I am in a lot of natural hair groups on Facebook. Mainly because when I started my natural hair journey I was clueless about a lot of things and these groups helped me so much. I would follow people's hair care questions and the comments. If I didn't get much clarity I'd take it further to research on the subject matter. The groups really helped me with the basics and also fueled my interest. Someone posted in one of the groups about Ayurveda. To be honest I thought it was another natural hair brand (I was completely clueless 🙈) until I read further in the comments and looked it up on google. I didn't really find many articles that explained in detail what Ayurveda is in relation to hair. Most were just lists of Ayurvedic herbs to use for hair and their benefits or a holistic definition which really didn't exactly answer my particular question. I then tasked myself to look into Ayurveda as a whole and then narrow it down to hair in particular in order to give other people like me a much better understanding. This can easily turn into a boring article that's why I decided to split it into parts so you can take breaks in between and resume later. I pray I keep you engaged. I do not want to exhaust you!!!!!!

WHAT IS AYURVEDA?

Ayu meaning life;

Veda meaning sacred knowledge

It is traditional Hindu medicine based on balancing the body's system using diet, yoga and herbal treatments. It is the herbal pastes and oil treatments in particular that are used for hair growth.

THE DOSHAS 

Doshas are three substances believed to be in the human body.  Ayurveda is based on the tenate that the body is healthy when the three doshas are balanced. The three elements are:
1. Vata 

Responsible for movement in the body

2. Pitta 

Responsible for digestion

3. Khapa 

Responsible for immunity 

I will explain the vata in detail as it contributes to hair growth.

THE ROLE OF THE VATA DOSHA

The vata dosha is responsible for the transportation of nutrients in the body. An imbalance of this dosha  may result in the inhibition of nutrients to your scalp and hair cells. According to Vaidya Manohar this lack of nourishment may lead to , "dry scalp, dry hair, split ends, and finally, thin hair or hair loss".
There are several panchakarma treatments one can use to increase and restore hair growth. These include the Shiroabhyanga and Shirolep.

WHAT IS SHIROABHYANGA?

It is an Ayurvedic head massage performed using scented oils. This hair and scalp treatment nourishes the roots and prevents excessive hair loss. The warm oil prevents a dry scalp. It also gives the hair lustre. They use oils like:

  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Olive oil 
  • Sesame oil

These oils are infused with a few drops of essential oils like:

  • Rosemary oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Jasmine oil
  • Rose oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Neem oil

I have shared some oil combinations you can use and their benefits in part 2.  


WHAT IS SHIROLEP?

It's the application of medicated herbal pastes to the scalp and hair to promote hair growth. Examples of the herbal powders are:

  • Henna
  • Bhringraj 
  • Shikakai 
  • Amla 
  • Neem
  • Brahmi 

These powders are mixed with water, coconut milk or oils to make a smooth paste. 
I hope you found this article captivating and helpful. I have posted some DIY combinations of shirolep and shiroabhyanga here. Happy hair growing!!!!!
Instagram: @missnoirdoo & @zimbofros

Snapchat: @missnoirdoo

Facebook: @zimbofros


Beauty, Hair

FEED YOUR HAIR AND SKIN FROM WITHIN

We all want great hair and glowing skin. We buy numerous products, some a bit more expensive than others just so we can get longer hair or the clearest skin. God knows how extra I am always willing to go! When it comes to skin and hair I believe in a holistic approach. You can’t just buy the most expensive facial serum  or the most expensive hair oil and expect 100% results. I am sure some products do bring amazing results but whilst spending on all those products you should also make sure you’re feeding your hair and skin from the inside too. I have listed below things you can include in your diet for healthy hair and skin.
•AVOCADOS

Avocados are rich in vitamin E, which increases blood circulation to your scalp and hair follicles thus promoting hair growth. They are rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins that improve your skin from the inside by moisturizing it and protecting it from free radicals.
•WHOLE GRAINS

They are rich in biotin. Biotin is required for the production of cells and its also involved in the production of amino acids necessary for hair growth and healthy skin.
*PS:Biotion is also good for growing healthy and strong nails!!!!!!
NUTS

Omega-3 fatty acids nourish and thicken your hair. They also reduce inflammatory skin conditions like acne. Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain these fatty acids.
CARROTS

The vitamin A in carrots protects your skin against the sun’s rays and helps to repair skin tissue. Cell regeneration on the scalp also increases hair growth and vitamin A  helps produce natural sebum on the scalp, keeping the roots and scalp nourished.
EGGS

Protein is the building block of hair and eggs are rich in protein. It is essential that you have enough protein in your diet. They also contain antioxidants that protect the skin from UV damage.
WATER

I cannot stress enough the importance of drinking water. H2O IS A MUST!!!!!!!! It is vital that you keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water flushes out toxins from your body. It helps combat skin disorders leaving your skin smooth and glowing. Water also keeps your hair moisturised from within and helps it grow. So if you don’t want dry and brittle hair I suggest you drink a glass soon after you’re done reading this😜
To ensure you get enough nutrients you can also take supplements like the regenesis collagen matrix for a healthy skin tone and strong hair. However, I personally prefer simply maintaining a healthy, nutrition filled diet as it is less costly. What are you feeding your hair and skin?

Hair

DIY deep conditioners

If you follow most of my posts I am sure by now you have realized how much I just love to DIY. From before I began my natural hair journey I have always been a sucker for deep conditioning concoctions. Avocado 🥑 has always done wonders for my hair even during my creamy crack days. My favorite DIY deep conditioner (DC) is a mixture of Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), avocado and banana. I had a hair colour disaster during the early days of my big chop. I tried to tint my hair but besides coloring my scalp for a few days my hair was literally the same so I resorted to bleach and that stripped my hair so much. It was left dry and brittle. I was so scared that it was going to be damaged. I needed something to leave my hair manageable and to give it life. I deep conditioned with these three ingredients and gosh my hair loved it. It was softer, shinier, moisturized and my coils were so defined. However, my experience with this DC had a downside. The banana left stringy residue on my hair that took days to come off. Trust me it’s not fun seeing bits of banana on your hair brush😂
Now let’s look at the benefits of each of the ingredients in the deep conditioner:

Avocado

It is naturally moisturizing and it will leave your hair silky, soft and shiny.  The vitamin E in avocados stimulates hair growth. It also prevents hair loss.
Olive oil

It is rich in fatty acids which are good for the hair and scalp. It contains antioxidants which block free radicals that damage healthy cells and cause premature greying of the hair.
Banana

It is rich in potassium, carbohydrates, natural oils and vitamins that nourish hair leaving it soft and manageable. It protects the hair’s natural elasticity preventing breakage as well as split ends. Banana promotes growth and controls dandruff. It also leaves the hair shiny.
The three ingredients have so many benefits for my hair. I guess that’s why I love the deep conditioner so much. I will list down three other deep conditioning recipes that are good for different hair needs. You can also try them out.

For dry hair
Banana+EVOO+Honey+Plain greek yoghurt
For severe hair breakage

Whipped egg+Castor oil+Plain greek yoghurt+coconut oil 
For detangling

Avocado+Shea butter+EVOO+ACV
There are so many other DIY deep conditioning recipes that you can look up on the internet. If you’re like me and love to experiment you can simply mix and match your favorite ingredients until you get something that’s really good for your hair. You can also add aloe (gel/juice) or glycerine to the mix. They are humectants hence they draw in moisture into your hair and retain it. If you have any secret concoctions you’d love to share with me you can just drop them in the comments. I am always open to learning and trying new things.



    Hair

    ROSEWATER FOR HAIR

    A spray bottle with a DIY concoction is a must have for every naturalista. From aloe juice to guava water, there are so many endless possibilities. My usual go-to mix is olive oil, glycerine and water. It works well for my hair but I felt it wasn’t good enough for my son’s and my niece’s hair. I wanted something that was well moisturizing and that would make their hair manageable. I began my search for the perfect mix and that’s how I stumbled upon the rosewater idea on Pinterest.
    I always knew that you could use rosewater as a toner for your beauty regimen or a moisturising face mist before going to bed. I knew how revitalizing it is for skin so I was truly eager to see what it could do for hair. I really wanted to give it a try and the fact that I could make my own rosewater at home made this experiment even more interesting. I couldn’t wait to try it out. 
    Method:

    I took two roses, separated the petals and washed them before boiling them in half a cup of water. Once I brought the pot to boil, I let it simmer till the roses had turned from red to white. I allowed the water to cool before I strained it into my spritz bottle.

    Rosewater spritz:

    • 1/2 cup rosewater
    • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons glycerine
    • 2 tablespoons of a light oil of your choice e.g coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil (I prefer olive oil)

    The spritz can be used daily to moisturise your hair and scalp. You can even use it whilst your hair is in protective styling. I am using it on my niece who currently has African threading as her PS. For my son I use the rosewater spritz as his liquid when I do the LOC method. I usually keep his hair in two strand twists but lately I have been lazy so I have to keep his free hair moisturized all the time to prevent breakage. Their hair is now well moisturized and easy to comb. It also appears much healthier. My niece always used to have a flakey scalp but that seems to be a thing of the past now.
    The Benefits of rosewater:

    • Revitalizes dry & brittle hair
    • It reduces build up on the scalp 
    • It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce dandruff
    • It’s stimulating properties increase blood circulation and improve hair growth
    • It replenishes lost moisture 
    • It leaves hair smooth, shiny and healthy
    • It refreshes your scalp and adds a light fragrance 
    • Makes hair more manageable

    I have noticed such great change that I am even tempted to switch my usual concoction for the rosewater as well. Try it out, it could turn out to be one of the best things you’ve ever tried! You can also play around with the measurements till you find what’s more suitable for your hair.

    Hair

    GUAVA LEAVES FOR HAIR GROWTH

    Okay, so if this is the first time you’ve heard of this you probably think I am going nuts right? It seems like naturalistas can use anything and everything in an attempt to get longer hair? Well trust me this crazy hair growth miracle apparently works quite well. Guava leaves water has been trending on the natural hair groups I am in on Facebook. It’s being talked about a lot and people are coming back with amazing feedback. No I am not crazy. I looked up several articles on guava leaves and I am even more convinced.

    Guava leaves are rich in vitamin B which is good for your scalp and your hair. Vitamin B strengthens your roots and hair follicles thus giving you stronger, fuller hair. They also contain vitamin C which boosts collagen activity resulting in your hair growing out much healthier and faster.
    Lycopene in the guava leaves provides protection from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. The guava leaves’ antioxidant properties help fight free radicals to prevent damage.
    The guava leaves rinse helps remove build up on the scalp, unclogging hair follicles. It helps prevent dandruff and oiliness. The removal of dirt smooths down your hair shafts making them soft and shiny.
    Massaging the rinse into your scalp improves blood pressure enabling the follicles to get more nutrients. This stimulates healthy hair growth!!!!! Some people prefer doing the rinse prior to their wash day, they leave it in over night and wash it out the next day whilst some use it as a rinse before conditioning their hair. Me being me however, I prefer using it as a daily spritz. I want to make sure I get the full benefits😂😂😂😂You have to keep the water in the refrigerator though because it has a short shelf life and if kept at room temperature for a while it ferments and develops a really strong smell.
    So now you’re wondering how to make the guava leaves water right?  You take a handful of leaves, wash them and boil them in 400ml water for 20minutes. After that you set them aside to cool and strain the water into a spray bottle.  I don’t always follow instructions lol. I add way more than a handful because I like the water to be really concentrated as much as possible. I want results😂😂😂😂😂Please come back with feedback when you do try it. If you have used it before don’t be shy to share your experience in the comments!!!!!!

    Hair

    Two methods that stimulate hair growth!

    I am an experimentalist. I am constantly researching and looking up new things to try out, no matter how unusual my new discoveries can be. I know the basic stuff about hair growth now. Moisturizing, protective styling, low manipulation, making use of essential oils etc. I know that there is a lot more for me to learn so I am constantly indulging myself in various journeys of discovery, hair related or not.

    Last week I discovered two methods that apparently promote hair growth. Scalp massages and the inversion method. The science behind this is that the methods increase blood flow to your scalp and hair follicles thus speeding up the hair growth process.

    1. Scalp massage

    You apply your favorite oils to your scalp. I use my Caivil Fusion Oil because it has all the oils that stimulate hair growth. You can use castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil etc or you can switch it up a bit and add a few drops of peppermint oil or rosemary oil. After applying the oil you massage your scalp for about 5minutes and rinse out the oils or simply keep them in till your next wash day like what I did. I feel we can get the full benefits that way. You can use the tips of your fingers to give yourself an amazing massage or you can use a scalp massage brush. I don’t have a scalp massage brush so I improvised and used my mom’s old body massage brush😂. The massage felt so good so I guess it’s working well. Finger tips are just as good so you can just take that simple route.
    2. The inversion method

    After applying your oils you can massage your scalp whilst tipping your head upside down (inversion method) for 4-5minutes. You can tip your head over in the sink, tub or going topsy turvy on the couch like I do ( oh how fun it is watching tv upside down😂). You do this daily for 1 week then repeat after 3-4weeks. You have to space the method so that your scalp and follicles don’t get accustomed to it otherwise it will become ineffective.
    I did the inversion method for the first time today and I’ll continue for the next 6 days then take a break. Hopefully I will see its effects in the long run. I have read a lot of testimonials so I guess it’s worth the try.
    Have you tried these methods before and what were the results? What are your favorite oils to use and what do you recommend. I am more than happy to learn any extra tricks from others. If you haven’t tried it yet and do try please come back with feedback💜