Tuesday, 29 July 2014

2014 Protective Style 3: Afro Marley Weave


So I had only contemplated my third protective style of this year about a week before I got it installed. I usually announce I'm thinking about getting another put in but I didn't have a clue what I wanted (haha as usual) or if I wanted one to begin with. I considered doing the bangs weave again cos it kept me and my ears ridiculously warm. Then for a minute (literally) I thought about getting braids again. Then for another minute (literally) I thought about leaving my hair out for a bit longer. My initial plan was always to give my hair two weeks rest before installing a new style. It's my rough 'get her to the aisle' hair plan. But I noticed that my edges needed more of a rest so I actually stayed with my own hair out for four weeks and in those four weeks I discovered a new website that sells a whole bunch of awesome natural girl friendly stuff but what got me excited was that they have Marley hair! 





Now, my regular readers would know I've struggled to find some realistic looking natural hair extensions in SA. Remember my big bad fro? That hair was from the States - a very useful gift from my dear sister (hi Z!). So when I came across this site and saw they were based here in Jozi, I gasped, my heart stopped and I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't dreaming! I got several packs (two different brands) and used one of them the next day on my real hair. My Instagram followers would know that I was loving adding that Marley hair on to my hair to create faux buns etc. Then work got hectic, time wasn't on my side and I wasn't feeling the last packs of hair extensions in my hair basket. So I had a brain fart - why not use the Marley hair as a weave...





And so here I am. I knew I still wanted to have a bit of detail so asked the stylist to put cornrows in on the side. I had actually thought the finished look would give me a bigger type of afro but I'm loving this longer hair vs. bigger hair result. It took her a total two hours to complete the style.

I got my hair from Obulunji - a brand new South African based online store. Each pack costs R150 and I went overboard and used two :D. As you can see, you really don't need more than that!  If anything, 1 - 1.5 should be enough. The hair itself is supposed to be used for braiding so a few snips to the ends will be necessary as time goes on. If you want to use this (or other hair meant for braiding) just ask your stylist to attach it as a weave - you make a knot with each piece and sew that part on. At the moment I'm loving just tying it in a low pony to help reduce the ends from matting.

It's keeping me warm, it's giving Fro a break from the cold, it's a brand new look and I have to simply say that I'm loving it!



     

Monday, 28 July 2014

30 #NB2B Style Inspirations: No. 13



Follow and interact with my natural bride to be journey using the tag #NB2B. Tag me and #NB2B with your inspirational photos or your own bridal styles.

     

Monday, 21 July 2014

30 #NB2B Style Inspirations: No. 12


Follow and interact with my natural bride to be journey using the tag #NB2B. Tag me and #NB2B with your inspirational photos or your own bridal styles.

     

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

What I Tried: Design Essentials




South Africa, there's a brand new line coming for all of you to try!

When I first heard about this product line from the US I was really excited. As you know, I've been searching high and low for an entire line that caters to natural hair. The Healthy Hair Gurus all received and reviewed a hamper of different products catered to our hair and needs which already tells you that Design Essentials' impressively wide range has such a variety of products that they have a line or a selection of products that suit women with different hair choices (relaxed or natural) as well women with different hair types (3a or 4c). When I first heard that it's coming to South Africa, I was glad we'd have a chance at trying some of these popular professional quality products. 

My stash included the Gentle Balance Nourishing Shampoo, the Stimulations Super Moisturising Conditioner and the Hydrate Leave-in Hydrating Conditioner. When I tried the products out, I made sure to start and finish with a Design Essentials product to really test out the range as a whole. So I started with the shampoo...




The good stuff

  • lathered quite nicely and cleaned my hair without leaving it feeling too dry 
  • it's sulphate free so it was more gentle on my hair than others
The not so great stuff

  • Not such a fan of the scent as it's quite clinical. In general I prefer products to not have a strong scent.  With shampoo, it's always nice to have a sweet or fresh scenting experience. I love shampoo that leaves my hair smelling scrumptious and I didn't really get that from this. On a functional level it does the job! 
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The good stuff

  • consistency is incredibly thick so a little goes a long way
  • Smells quite minty which I usually don't like but actually preferred for this product as it wasn't overhwleming
  • My hair didn't feel dry

The not so great stuff

  • It lacked slip so it didn't easily go onto my hair
  • It has mineral oil as the most prevalent ingredient after water :(
  • Although my hair didn't feel dry after using it, I was hoping it would be feeling more moisturised
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The good stuff

  • consistency is also quite thick for a leave-in
  • Smells amazing so my hair smelled nice when I was finally done with my hair. It had that sweetish almost caramel-ly type of smell which I love
The not so great stuff

  • I would have preferred a spray bottle to apply it easier - but it's too thick for that so I understand but I had trouble getting out the bottle
  • It also has mineral oil :( :(
  • My hair felt drier after using this than it did after washing. It left it feeling quite stiff
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I also tried the Naturals Curl Stretching Cream which Kavuli has reviewed along with the Natural Daily Moisturising Lotion, HCO Leave-in conditioner & Blow drying lotion and the Naturals Honey Curl Forming Custard. Have a read of it here

If you're looking for relaxed hair friendly products have a read of Tendayi's review of the Natural Curl Cleanser, Twist and Set Lotion, Express Instant Moisturising Conditioner here

Wisaal's hamper included the Natural Curl Cleanser and Almond and Avo Leave-in Conditioner. Check out her review on her stash here

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Overall I'm definitely keen to try some of the other products they have on offer to find my perfect mix. Which is what's so useful and relevant about this line; there's so many different products to choose from that you can mix and match to find your ideal combination.


Products can be ordered from their website from 15 August 2014 and their naturals line from 1 September 2014. Product prices will be between R120 - R300 each with shampoos costing approx. R120 and styling creams/sprays R140.

Find Design Essentials online:

You can also find them on:
Be sure to attend some of their upcoming events for special discounts on products:

The Professional Hair and Beauty Show: 31 August - 1 September 2014.
The African International Hair Extravaganza: 13 - 14 September 2014.


     

*This post was brought to you by Design Essentials South Africa

Monday, 14 July 2014

30 #NB2B Style Inspirations: No. 11


Follow and interact with my natural bride to be journey using the tag #NB2B. Tag me and #NB2B with your inspirational photos or your own bridal styles.

     

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My Current Winter Routine


As you know, I've been (and still am) experimenting with different products this year. I guess for some women the search for the holy grail of products is ever continuous. With that, I'd also been trying to figure out what's the best way to handle my hair. Last year my routine was kind of all over the place. I washed when I felt my hair needed to be washed or rather when I had the time to. When my hair was at the TWA length, my routine is very straight forward: wash/co-wash, apply leave-in, apply butter and go. Then it grew and it's now at a point where my routine is quite different.

I'm sure many of you can relate to not having much time to do much else when you get older. Well, that's become my life this year. I've had a couple of comments from people who only frequent my blog (and not my Instagram, Facebook etc.) saying they don't hear from me as often (I've paraphrased that to not sound as accusatory as the comments did). What with a demanding full time job, running a house (which is now a significant way away from work), planning a wedding, running a blog (and all the other media platforms My Fro & I is on) and ummm, having a bit of a life in between - you've got to bear with me. And in and amongst all of this busyness, I've finally found a more or less regular way to do my hair so that it's quite happy in winter. And it doesn't take me as long as it had previously. I'm still flirting with some products so I won't mention exactly what I'm using but I've returned to my old faithful Daily Spritz (after abandoning it for a couple of months). If anything, that's been the product that has stuck with me from baby Fro to now teenage Fro.

Here's what I'm currently doing:

Week 1 + 3
    • Shampoo in four sections + Deep Condition (DC) using the baggy method. The number of sections will depend on your length. I separate the sections with some no metal hairbands.
    • Detangle in sections with DC still on using shower comb. Twist the hair into smaller sections and tie plastic bag (yes, a normal grocery store plastic bag!) 
    • Rinse after at least 30 minutes. I usually do some sort of household chore in that half hour to make the time go faster. There's always something to do.
    • Wrap a t-shirt (instead of towel) to catch the first drippies. I had always used a towel before and microfibre towels have never worked for me - always snag on my hair! But now I use an old t-shirt - works amazingly.
    • Apply leave-in conditioner and let air dry about 50%
    • Spray Daily Spritz to each of the 10-12 sections of hair I divide for a longer stretch. By longer stretch I mean that on wash day, my hair shrinks to its maximum so I need to do something to stretch it to its maximum (minimising on heat). This usually entails putting hair into more twists or wooled up sections.
    • Apply some butter to ends first, then to the rest of hair.
    • Put sections into twists or wrap wool. I do this while catching up on TV or even Skyping with a friend or family (with the video off of course).
    • Undo next morning
    • Daily: re-twist in the evenings to keep detangled, spritz in the mornings before undoing sections to minimise shrinkage. Apply styling products if necessary. Always wrap in satin scarf before sleeping.

Week 2 + 4

I don't always do this. It's only when I feel my hair's manky. In winter, I prefer to only wash it every other week as above. So if it needs a bit of a moisture spurt, I do the following:
    • Co-wash in two - four sections
    • Apply leave-in conditioner and let air dry about 50%
    • Spray Daily Spritz to each of the 10-12 sections of hair I divide for a longer stretch
    • Apply some butter to ends first, a bit on the rest of hair
    • Put sections into twists or wrap wool
    • Undo next day
I'm finding that this routine which I do between protective styling is working quite well for me and my current hectic schedule. If anything, something about watching TV while I stretch my hair relaxes me. All in all, it takes me about 2 hours to complete all of the above. The rare times I don't have time to air dry etc., I'll use my blow dryer on low-medium heat. But I usually consciously plan for my wash day and try and multi task while I'm doing it. Things still need to get done, life shouldn't stop because you have to do your hair! 

That's it! I'll probably do a video about my current routine and show you the tools I'm using to do it.

What's currently working for you?

     
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