Transitioning Series: How and When?!!?

Hi Ladies

Let’s talk a bit about transitioning.Put quite simply transitioning is the process of cutting out the use of relaxer with the intention of not relaxing…EVER… and growing out your natural hair.
I have said this before, don’t think for a second that this is easy.. I have been here before and let me tell you it’s no joke!! But it CAN AND WILL be done, you just need to figure out a few things along the way. I’ll start with these two. Know HOW AND WHEN.
demarcation line

How ?
There are different ways to transition and the choice is yours- the key however is to keep your hair as healthy as possible and to minimize breakage even though it’s bound to happen.
You can long term transition over an extended period of time by stopping the use of relaxers and gradually cutting off processed hair, or you can dive right in and big chop by cutting it all off (the relaxed hair that is) to start growing your natural hair.
If you choose to long term transition protective styles are of utmost importance. Even low manipulation styles can be used on moderation.

When?
When you are READY … mentally, knowledge, and product wise. Don’t make the mistake of tricking yourself into thinking you are ready when you have not fully done your research on transitioning, you will be wasting your time and effort and you actually end up damaging your hair so DO YOUR HOMEWORK please….
The best way to get info is to read blogs, watch videos and to talk to fellow natural haired ladies about their hair journey and transition. You in turn will also need to share your hair journey as a way of progressing. You will come to realize just how fun it is to talk about hair :-p and it’s great to know you are also helping others along the way.

When you have your staples products. The same way athlete prepare for game day you need to prepare for your transition. You can’t start your transition or any hair journey for that matter without your staple products. What are they??
• A natural oil for your scalp ie JBCO,
• Shampoo – sulphate free*
• Deep conditioner
• Protein treatment
• Daily moisturiser (water based)
Now it might sound like a lot but there’s a reason why you need all of them and if you read the blog you will see the posts that explain why.

So food for thought for all my ladies that are on the fence…. Think long and hard on what you want to do. Regardless all types of hair can be healthy and the awesome thing is there is never a “WRONG” choice when it comes to hair 

~XoXoXo~
K.

My go to protective and growing style-WIGS

Those that know me well would be shocked to hear me say I wear wigs and I wear wigs OFTEN …. Prior to my hair journey and also at the beginning of it, I always used to wear braids and weaves as my go to protective styles. However, after coming across various bloggers who use wigs to grow out their hair I decided to give it a shot. I have not looked back since! Now I’m in love with using wigs as my protective and growing style, here’s why:

Flexibility:

Because I blog about hair care and growth the demand to “see my hair” is quite high… I tend to disappoint people quite a lot because my hair is always braided up. However with wig regimens I have the ability to wear my hair out every 3weeks when I have wash days. I usually keep my hair out for3-5days so I can please my followers and at the same time maintain low manipulation during stretches. There is also flexibility in hairstyles. I can be long haired one minute then short and curly the next. So it’s great for my ladies who get tired of the same hairstyle after 4 weeks of having it.

Accessibility:

Wigs are the best of both worlds. I can have nice protection with my hair covered during the day and yet I can pay attention to the health of my hair 100% during my regimen because I have full access to it at whenever I need it. The one thing I did not enjoy about WEAVES is that as much as I can oil and moisturize and seal my hair, I always feel like it’s not effective enough. There are too many “hard to reach areas” that I can’t get to give to and I can never work on my ends and give them TLC. However with my wig regimen I can put my hair in box braids then moisturize and seal the length of my hair. I can also keep my scalp clean and even dry condition on those braids whenever I want.

Scalp Focus

When I am using wigs I can really focus on my scalp care and cleanliness. I put the box braids in securely with the tension that my scalp likes. There is never hair that will fall out because I pulled it too tight so this way I can always protect my hairline and nape from breakage. I can do deep massages on my scalp after oiling it and then do the greenhouse method over night which my hair loves!! I also tend to have a very sensitive scalp so I need to apply aloe vera and vitamin E to my scalp often. The box braids in my wig regimen give me full access to my scalp and any problem areas so I can treat them in time and clean my scalp often. 

3 tips when I use my wigs:

I never hook the band …. too much tension around my head and hairline. The friction will cause breakage and also just give me a headache

I use lace front wigs and secure the small combs as far back from my hairline as possible

I massage my hairline with coconut oil daily before I put on my wig to reduce breakage and itching along my hairline

Decision Time: long term STRETCH or long term TRANSITION????? (Part1)

OOOHHHH GOSH here I am on the fence again…. I really don’t know what my problem is? Lol … I never make a solid hair decision…  Now for those of you who are wondering what I am going about I’ll have you know that I have the biggest case of indecision when it comes to my hair… I’ve been texlaxing for almost a year now and I’m surprised I have even made it this far without changing my mind! Lol but I guess I cannot say that anymore because here I am!! Lol

Ok so my problem is that I am a lover of NATURAL HAIR. Everything about it! How it looks and feels etc  And I transitioned to natural over  a two year period from 2008-2010 HOWEVER … I have a super sensitive scalp so detangling and wash days when I was natural were the worst because of the pain. I sound like a baby but I’m really not, my scalp gets super sore! Any way you all know my hairstory, I texlax and even with texlaxed hair I struggle but here I am once more missing the feeling of my coily, kinky curls and I am yearning to be natural again!!! Especially now that I am so much more informed. (ps anyone who is natural or transitioning can testify that those little curls are addictive, your hands STAAAYYY in your hair.)

With all that said I’ve decided to embark on a long term stretch that could possibly turn into a long term transition, depending on how things go…You might now be wondering what the difference is since the hair experiences are pretty much the same….Well really, they are basically the same thing, just that:

  •  Stretching – is extending the period of time between relaxers. it’s done with the intention of relaxing at some point. stretches can be as short as 10weeks to as long as 52weeks!!
  • Transitioning– is cutting out the use of relaxer over an extended period of time with the intention of NOTrelaxing…EVER… and gradually cutting off processed hair to become fully natural.

Now don’t think for a second that this is easy.. I have been here before and let me tell you it’s no joke!! But it CAN AND WILL be done and in the healthiest way possible.. Below are just 2 of many things you can expect if you are doing either or. I will follow up with other posts because I wouldn’t want to bore you with a super long post right now. it’s Friday :-p

1) Breakage

Do you remember reading my post on the mark of demarcation? If not please do so because when you transition/ stretch there is nothing more live than breakage and that’s where all the action happens!! As a recap to what is –The texture difference between our relaxed hair and natural hair is so great and so the point at which the two meet (demarcation mark) is very weak and prone to breakage. So you will need to be very careful when managing your hair and limit the use of heat and excessive combing during these times. YOU WILL EXPERIENCE BREAKAGE so just get ready for it…. I’m already psyching myself out to not hit the freak out button. The aim though is to not let things get out of control. Stick with the same regimens and keep your hair as healthy as possible during transitions – but that’s a post for another day.
demarcation line
That’s a pic from my post of the demarcation point. So get reading. Difference in texture is very clear

 2) Multiple Textures

I’m lucky I get to manage 3 different textures during my stretch… Oh what fun (sigh) Not only do I have to worry about the health of my natural growth and fully processed hair. I also have to manage the texture and extra demarcation line with the texlaxed hair…Stress I tell you!! And every texture will be on the extremes. Extremely tough and kinky, or extremely straight and thin. So combing and styling is not easy. You may want to steer clear for a while and throw in a protective style.   Remember different types of hair have different needs so you need to be very mindful of that. You will find that wash days are the enemy when you are stretching… the thin relaxed hair all of a sudden looks  and feels so unhealthy and flimsy and it knots up every chance it get. Say hello to single strand knots and hour long detangling. A lot on caution and patience is needed on washdays as you can really damage your hair if you are not careful.

 

Don’t let all this stuff scare you I will post on tips for managing transitioning/stretch and how we can keep our hair healthy and reduce damage! All is not lost!!! Healthy hair is the number one priority…. Until next time

~XoXoXo~
K.

Feedback Friday: Summer Heat and Moisture

Hi everyone,

As usual it’s another Feedback Friday… Not sure what the weather is like where you all are but here in Zim it’s sweltering!!! What are you doing to keep your hair hydrated and moist in this heat???

Remember our hair needs all the moisture it can get to improve elasticity. The weather here is not helping that cause at all!  Dry hair has low elasticity = BREAKAGE and we don’t want that at all. Focus on retaining your length so that your hair growth is measurable.  Don’t have equal but opposite forces at place on your heads i.e growth and breakage at the same time. We all know from our physics lessons what the result of that is! lol

REMEMBER >>>MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE<<<<<<<

  Aside from moisturising and sealing is anyone else doing something different? If so PLEASE SHARE. The more ideas the better….

tHs Hair Consultations

Ladies,

As I am sure you have seen, when it comes to our hair there is SO much more involved than we EVER expected.  The sheer volume of information out there can really be overwhelming and you may end up with more questions than answers. Also you could have hair challenges that need discussion as reading alone may not help.
wont-grow
If that’s the case and you are anything like me a ONE-ON-ONE session where you can ask all the questions you have, and discuss YOUR HAIRSTORY and challenges at length will be really helpful to get you going. This is why I’m so excited to offer that opportunity to you all.

Hair consultations will involve a number of different things from hair assessments, regimen building, styling advice, product selections and more. They will be done on an individual basis as everyone’s hair and hair needs are different and we will work together to find the best regimens and products for YOU and YOUR hair. They really do make a world of difference to your hair care journey so let’s give it a go.

Email me on kundayimawema@gmail.com to schedule a hair consultation before/after working hours on weekdays and between 7- 10.00 am on weekends. Further contact details and pricing information will be given upon request. Looking forward to seeing you all soon and helping you start your Healthy Hair Journey!

 

~XoXoXo~

K.

Hair Teams:Natural, Relaxed or Texlaxed: What’s your team? (Part 1)

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to hair. The choice is 100% yours when deciding which way to go. People like me are just here to help you out with information that can help you make your decisions.

No matter which team you have picked we are all part of #TeamHealthyHair 😀  Our main focus is hair health and hair growth and you can achieve this with ALL THREE. If you read my first post on MY Hairstory you will know that I have been on all three hair teams. Lol. Yes it may seem like I’m confused and indecisive but it’s ok, this has been part of me discovering and getting to know MY hair, what it likes/dislikes and what works/doesn’t work. Right now I’m on #TeamTexlax and LOVING IT!

**I am however, obsessed with natural hair so don’t be surprised if a few years from now you hear me saying I’m transitioning to natural.

Anyway, that’s enough babble from me let’s talk about the hair types, or hair teams as I have put it. Natural, Relaxed and Texlaxed hair. What they are and why I love/hate them. It’s quite bit of info so I’ll take you through each type one post at time. Today let’s start with natural hair, because, that’s what we are born with so it should take precedence. Ps- this is long so brace yourselves!

Natural Hair

This is hair its’ natural state. It has not been altered by the use of chemicals i.e through relaxers, perms or texturizers.
As Africans our hair is usually type 4a-c when referencing curl patterns (Refer to the hair type chart I posted). It grows in tiny tight coils that look like springs and it’s this kinky curl pattern that makes our hair appear fuller and more dense than other hair types. There’s no ‘silly hair go back,’ or cool breeze blowing through your hair when you are natural. Rather you have a beautiful thick mass of hair on your head. Personally I love it! I’m obsessed with natural hair but unfortunately with my scalp it’s not the best way to go for me.

Back in 2008 I started transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. This process actually started by accident. I was braiding my hair so much that before I knew it, I hadn’t relaxed for a year. I had been considering going natural for some time so I decided to make it official. I stretched for another year then did a big chop! Luckily my new growth had grown out a lot so I had a nice medium afro and my hair was at neck length (NL) when straightened. I was LOVING my natural hair but I had no clue how to manage it and really dropped the ball. I was also quite lazy with my hair and this contributed to my hair being all knotted and matted together. Something I definitely could have avoided…

Here are a few things I know now, that I WISH I knew then about natural hair and hair care….

Moisturizing and sealing:

Daily MS is of paramount importance when you are natural. I used to wonder why I would wet and oil my hair in the morning but it would be so dry by the end of it. This was actually very frustrating an painful for me because I would make the mistake of combing on dry hair as well, so my scalp was in agony. Why does our hair get so dry? Well, our scalps naturally produce an oil known as sebum on a daily basis. However due to the curl pattern of our hair the sebum does not travel down the shaft of our hair which makes it a lot drier than other hair types. Because of this we MUST use a daily moisturizer to combat this dryness and maintain the moisture balance in our hair which improves our hair elasticity.  Our curl pattern again makes our hair susceptible to breakage and so hair elasticity is of utmost importance for natural hair and any hair type for that matter. Sealing helps to lock in moisture and the oils add to the health of our hair as well. As usual, focus a lot on your ends during MS this will prevent them from tangling when your hair is out.

Shrinkage

Remember how I told you my hair was actually at neck length? Well it never looked that way, and the only way it would was if I took a flat iron to it. When you go natural you have to be ready to embrace your curl pattern 100% percent. Our curls are so tight so there’s no way you will get the length without the WAIT. So be ready to be patient. When water hits your hair be prepared for shrinkage and embrace it. I was loving my curls but I was still too connected to my straight hair ways so I was very frustrated a lot of the time!! I didn’t know how to style my hair and the shrinkage made combing almost impossible! I wish someone has told me about detangling on wet hair in sections prior to my natural hair journey! It reduces tangles and reduces the risk of breakage when done correctly.

Single Strand knots

You will have definitely experienced these on your detangling days and hated them! If you’re wondering what they are its when I our shed hairs get caught around our non-shed hair and form a nice tight knot around a number of our strands. Kind of like a nice little bow tie, but it’s never that pretty gift. Like me, you may have made the mistake of getting impatient and just ripping it out but then your jaw is left hanging on the ground when u see that it’s taken half of at least 5 strands with it! Ughhh. Well just so you know you’ve seen them before and that’s not the end of them, especially if your hair is natural and you are wearing it in its nice kinky state. The trick is keeping hair moisturized, in hairstyles that keep it stretched like twists and detangling or combing as effectively but gently as possible so that you can remove the shed hair before they form knots with the rest of your hair. When you do encounter them, patience and a good detangling stray are EVERYTHING! Do not rip them out!!!

Wash Day Sections

I used to dread wash days… All I envisioned was the knots and the pain I would experience combing them out. It really didn’t have to be that way! If only someone had told me about washing in sections back in my natural. Heck I wish someone told me about washing in sections before this year! This is my DREAM !!! I love it and I will never look back! Because I stretch my hair always has growth and this helps transitioners or stretchers as much as naturals. Unfortunately people believe that scrubbing scalps in rapid sideways and up and down motions is great for your scalp and will make it clean. Sure I guess….. but what about our hair?!? It’s usually a tangled and knotted mess afterwards and then we or our hair dressers proceed to comb out the knots with a small tooth comb( gasp) if only our hair could talk! It would be yelling and cursing us back and forth up and down! Lol…wash days are essentials and must be done correctly. You can make or break your hair on washdays. Part your hair into six big sections (I put in braids, you can decide if you will or not) then proceed to wash each section one at a time. Focus on your scalp them work the product DOWN the shaft to cleanse it. This will reduce tangles and help removes those shed hairs that get caught up in our hair.

Hair treatments

We need to keep our hair nice and strong so maintaining our moisture and protein balance is very important. We can do this by doing deep conditioning and protein treatment on a regular basis. (DC more often than PT for moisture. Too much protein isn’t good for our hair) If you have a heat cap or get to go to the salon, doing your DC or PT with heat. This opens up your cuticles and allow the moisture or protein to penetrate your hair and scalp. Hair becomes softer, stronger, more elastic and manageable. You will love it! This must be part of every natural’s hair regimen.

There’s so much more info to learn about natural hair but i will stop here before your eyes pop from too much reading!! I really hope this helps some of my natural ladies out there! 

~XoXoXo~

K.

* For your patience, here’s a pic of me mean mugging with my transitioning afro back in my transitioning natural hair days 🙂 How I miss them! (i hadnt fully big chopped at this point, but it’s 70% natural)

Image

oh and here is is after a blow dry and straighten at neck length! So you can rock both ways but just try to limit the heat so you don’t damage it.

Image

 

Motivational Monday: The Myths are NOT true!

Hello everyone, and a very Happy Heroes Day to those of you that are in Zimbabwe!!!

I was sitting here getting ready to type and I just changed my topic completely. I decided today and every other Monday will be “MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY.” I like how it sounds and when you have black hair you need all the motivation you can get, even if you are a hard core hair obsessed person like me.

It’s quite gutting when you decided that you want to be on a healthy hair journey and the environment you are in does not support it. Well “have no fears Kundi is here!” ( lol – sorry I couldn’t help myself :-p ) With my blog I want to change the hair culture of Zimbabwe and other African countries to a Healthy Hair Culture where women are empowered, knowledgeable and proud of their healthy growing hair. It can and will be done ladies but it will take time so one step at a time 😀

I’ve realized with my own hair journey that the myths about black hair have really shaped the hair culture in Zim and other African countries. These myths are not true!! Don’t let them get you down. I will touch on a few of the myths I have heard and experienced the most in my life and times. We NEED TO TRUMP these myths about black hair. You might be wondering what I’m talking about when I say hair myths but keep reading and you will realize that you have heard it all before.

Myth 1: Black hair doesn’t grow long or fast -It’s long because of your genes!!!

I’ve been asked are you coloured? You must have some ‘white’ blood in you somewhere….

wont-grow

Ummmm NOPE. none of the above, and my hair isn’t even “that” long yet. What more when I reach my mid back length goal?!? Lol. Personally I feel that this excuse for lack of hair growth has worked for so long because people have not been educated about their black hair and how to manage it. So of course we think it doesn’t grow!   On average, studies have shown that black/African hair grows about 4-6inches per year, the same as ‘white’ hair so let’s not be so quick play the gene card.

However, structurally,  our hair is the weakest type of hair and so length retention becomes our biggest challenge. Poor handling, and over processing of our hair leads to weakened hair and increased breakage. Remember how I talked about equal but opposite forces at play in our hair in my post about trimming? Well same thing applies here.

Myth 2: ‘Hair food’ is the best thing for your scalp and hair

Blue-magic-hair-grease

Remember that time you got your hair done and you were mad because your hair dresser didn’t but enough hair food in your hair? Oh and then there’s the time your scalp was itching and you were told, ‘isa mafuta’ (put hair food) to stop the itching? Well, that was just a hair myth at play in full effect. And to think we would and still just eat it up… smh.

I’ve talked a bit about petroleum based products in previous posts but the key point is that these products sit on your scalp, clog your pores and attract dirt to your hair. So if you think your hair was itching before you can expect twice as much itching going forward. Use natural oils for you scalp as these are absorbed easily into the pores and water based moisturisers for the length of your hair.

Myth 3: Trimming your hair every relaxer makes it grow.

 I hope I made you understand trimming in my previous posts and thus trumped the myth immediately.  Hair grows from the roots, not the ends. Once it leaves your scalp it is dead anyway so now you just need to maintain it. Trimming helps to eliminate weak and split ends and must be done as an when necessary. Don’t trim if you don’t have to because then you obviously won’t retain any length if you are getting scissor happy. You should be able to identify what split ends look like and if you don’t here’s a pic to help you out.

spit ends

While a trim rids your hair of split ends and may help you retain length, cutting your hair will not increase or promote growth.it facilitates length retention.

Myth 4: Stay away from water!!  It will wash out your relaxer.

 I remember how I hated the fact that there was swimming class twice a week because I had just relaxed my hair. Or I dreaded the thought of being rained on or having any type of moisture near my hair… Well contrary to popular belief water is your friend. Relaxers chemically change your curl pattern on a molecular level, don’t worry your hair will not suddenly be kinky again if you wet or wash it. Rather, use water and moisturizers on your hair more often than not. Hydrated hair and a clean scalp is everything!!!

Myth 5: Sit tight and keep the relaxer in as long as possible

A hairdresser telling you to sit for a bit longer while your scalp is on fire is the WORST thing they can do to your scalp! The result is a burnt damaged scalp. Also don’t let it bother you when they wash out your relaxer and look at you in disappointment saying “hayina kuibva dai washingirira” (you should have sucked it up the relaxer didn’t take) this is all part of the myth!

hair-damage2

Never ever sacrifice your scalp for “straighter” hair. Relaxer burns are NEVER okay. This leads to long term damage and hair loss. DON’T DO IT. Besides different hair types respond to relaxers differently, so if your hair is coarse no matter how long you keep in a relaxer it may not make your hair bone straight. It shouldn’t be bone straight anyway. But I’ll get into that in another post as relaxers is a whole topic in itself.

So please ladies, let’s be MOTIVATED MYTH BUSTERS and educate ourselves and those around us. The change will come and once you start taking care of your hair you will see each myth broken as you nurture your own hair. It’s a very rewarding feeling. Oh and next time you hear someone mention these myths correct them and direct them to my blog J Let’s talk hair whenever we can and share the knowledge.

~XoXoXo~

K.