Thursday, 30 August 2012

Moisturising and Sealing Hair - My Method


1. I part my hair into four sections and work with each section separately.

This is my hair divided into four sections


2. I take a coin sized amount of moisturiser and apply it to each section of my hair making sure I concentrate on the ends of my hair as well as my roots. It is important to concentrate on the ends of the hair because they are the oldest part of the hair and tend to be dryer. I also concentrate on my roots because if you have relaxed hair it is important to ensure that the point where your natural and relaxed hair meet is properly lubricated to prevent breakage at that point of demarcation.

Here I am concentrating on the ends of my hair


3. After moisturising a section I detangle lightly (sometimes with a wide tooth comb, my fingers or not at all) and repeat this throughout the other sections of hair.

4. Then I take a coined sized amount of oil and rub it through my whole head of hair (this is called sealing with an oil) concentrating on the ends of my hair as well as the front and nape sections of my head. I concentrate on my front and nape sections so that my go to style – “the bun” looks sleek and glossy.


When sealing with an oil I might do so in sections (sometimes 2 sections) but usually I just seal my entire head of hair. 

Seal with only a few drops of oil; do not use too much oil to avoid ending up with very oily hair. It is also important not to use too much hair moisturiser.


Please note that there are different ways to moisturise and seal, this is merely a description of how I do mine. You can divide your hair into smaller sections (sometimes I divide my hair into eight sections when I have the time) or larger sections. It is about finding what method works best for you.

More posts are sure to follow, kindly leave comments and subscribe by email or with google friend connect.


TONKABELLE, xoxo




The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Moisturising and Sealing our Hair


Moisture (water) is one of the most important components for healthy hair growth. Moisture functions in the hair to give it elasticity, suppleness and resilience which in effect leads to longer and healthier hair. Examples of products which moisturise the hair include hair moisturisers (my focus in this post), leave in conditioners, deep conditioners, rinse out conditioners and so on.  Please note that if any of these products do not contain water (aqua) they will not moisturise your hair effectively.



Black Hair (of African descent) is usually dryer than other hair types because of its kinky/curly texture. Basically our scalp produces its own oils (sebum) which provide nourishment to our hair. These scalp oils function to travel up the entire hair shaft so as to work their magic; however due to the nature of our hair strands (kinky/curly), the oils are not always able to travel to the very ends of the hair. As a result the ends of our hair tend to be dryer and more fragile. That being said everyone’s hair regardless of hair type needs moisture for proper hair growth.

In choosing a hair moisturiser it is important to ensure that it contains water (aqua) as its first (preferable) or second ingredient. It is crucial to make an effort to moisturise your hair as frequently as possible. Even if you regularly have you hair done at the salon it is important to maintain and take care of your hair in between salon visits/appointments by moisturising it. It is vital to replenish the moisture in our hair because moisture is prone to escape after a while due to external elements. Where our hair is not adequately moisturised it becomes dry and brittle and may eventually break off. 

Sealing the hair with a natural oil after moisturising is also necessary to protect the moisture which you have put into your hair from escaping. Sealing will only keep the moisture in your hair for a certain period, therefore it is vital to consistently moisturise and seal.

The frequency with which you moisturise and seal depends on your hair and lifestyle. Some might moisturise and seal daily, or even twice a day others might do so every two or three days or even weekly; it really just depends on what works best for your hair. I personally moisturise and seal my hair daily, so the key is trying out what works best for you.

Please watch this space for my next post where I demonstrate how I moisturise and seal my hair.


TONKABELLE,XOXO



Do I love you because you're beautiful or are you beautiful because I love you? - Richard Rodgers, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

Monday, 20 August 2012

Milder Shampoo Recipe


Shampoos are a necessary evil. They are necessary because they keep the hair clean and evil because they may strip the hair of all of its natural oils (i.e. the sulfate variety).

There are basically two kinds of shampoo those with sulfates (which are harsh detergent cleansers which clarify the hair, strip it and rid it of product build up) and those without. Some people believe that one should use a sulfate shampoo at least once a month to clarify the hair; clarifying gives you a clean slate to work on. However not all sulfates are created equally the laureth sulfates are not as harsh as the lauryl sulfates. Ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate are the harshest variety followed by sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate which are less harsh. Therefore the least stripping sulfate shampoo will contain sodium laureth sulfate which is what I tend to use because it gives my hair the best results. If you find that your hair loves sulfate shampoos, please stick to what works for you. I however find that when I use the harsher varieties my hair becomes one huge tangled mess.



Non- sulfate shampoos are more difficult to find in Nigeria. Therefore I came up with this recipe to help me to reduce the harshness of my sodium laureth sulfate shampoo. I now find that I actually prefer this milder shampoo recipe to my non-sulfate shampoo because it leaves my hair soft, clean, detangled and my hair feels lovely to the touch.

Recipe No. 2

Utensils
Small bowl/small bottle/small spray bottle
A tablespoon
A teaspoon


Ingredients

3 tablespoons of a shampoo of your choice
1 tablespoon of distilled water
A quarter of a teaspoon of Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil
A quarter of a teaspoon of Olive Oil (Please note that you can substitute these oils with others such as sweet almond oil, grape seed oil)
A drop of tea tree oil (Optional) (to soothe the scalp)

Procedure

Add all your ingredients in a bowl/bottle/spray bottle and mix thoroughly.

Please let me know how this works for you, hopefully you love it as much as I do.


TONKABELLE,XOXO



The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 





Thursday, 16 August 2012

Shampooing – How to Shampoo


Hair Basics - No.1


Shampooing is a very fundamental aspect of hair care. It can be described as the genesis of all other healthy hair care practices; this is because without clean hair all other hair care practices will be ineffective. Washing allows the scalp to be rid of build up such as dirt, debris, oils, hair products and such which accumulate on the scalp over time. Consequently this build up needs to be removed to promote a clean and healthy scalp. 

Shampooing therefore promotes healthy hair because the scalp is allowed to breathe freely. In a situation where the hair follicles are clogged due to an unclean scalp – the growth of new hairs may be inhibited. This may in effect lead to slower and reduced hair growth.

The frequency of shampooing depends on the individual’s hair and lifestyle. Some people choose to shampoo every day or every other day. This may however not be ideal for black hair (of African descent), curly or relaxed hair. You may choose to wash your hair twice a week, weekly, every two weeks or even monthly. I formerly shampooed my hair every week now I have reduced this to every two weeks because this is what works for me at this time. However in the future I may decide to change this. Therefore it is important to know what works for your hair at any particular time so that you can implement any necessary changes accordingly.



Shampooing may be viewed as something which can be done by everyone. However the shampooing process is not as simple as it seems. There are certain techniques that can result in a more effective wash day.

These are described below:

1. Before shampooing make sure your hair has been properly detangled, i.e. combed out properly using a wide tooth comb.

2. Before washing your hair you may decide to do a pre-shampoo treatment (optional). In the event that you do, this treatment should be left on and then rinsed out before shampooing. Please see my earlier blog post explaining how this treatment is done.

3. Thoroughly wet your hair before using the shampoo.

4. Apply a coin sized amount of shampoo on your hand and then rub it in between the palms of your hands before massaging the shampoo into your scalp. When shampooing do not rough up the hair but allow it to flow down in one direction, just like it is done at the salon sinks. If you choose to wash your own hair, simply stand or sit in the bath so that your hair flows in one direction only. Do not scrunch the hair up and roll it up into a ball while washing it because this will lead to tangles which are always a pain to remove.

5. When shampooing it is best to concentrate mainly on the scalp because that is the primary place to be cleansed since this is where build up occurs. Shampooing should be done using the pads of the fingers and not the finger nails. Using circular motions apply light pressure and massage the scalp.

6. Then rinse. You may then choose to repeat the shampoo process after rinsing to ensure a proper wash (optional). I always shampoo twice just to ensure that my hair is properly cleansed.

7. When rinsing the water travels through the entire hair length which leads to the hair being effectively cleansed. Therefore it is not necessary to concentrate your shampooing efforts on the entire length of hair.

8. When doing the final rinse it is important to rinse the hair thoroughly until there are no traces of shampoo left.

9. You can wring your hair in a downwards motion very gently to rid the hair of excess water like I do. Finally towel dry your hair by just placing the towel on the hair and patting gently until the hair is dry. Please do not wrap your hair up in the towel like is usually done on shampoo adverts because this again leads to tangles.

More posts are sure to follow, kindly leave comments and subscribe by email or with google connect.

I will like to thank all my new subscribers for joining.


TONKABELLE xoxo



But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose – Anne Bronte

Monday, 13 August 2012

How to achieve a Fuller Bun on Relaxed Hair and Other Hair Types


In your quest for longer and healthier hair, you may decide to wear your hair out more often so that you can understand your hair better. I believe that you can achieve longer and healthier hair using properly installed braids and weaves but for those times when you want to give your hair a break, the bun comes in handy. Also for people who do not particularly care for weaves or braids, the bun is an easy go to style.

The bun is one of the most versatile hair styles ever because it suits most occasions, it is easy to do and requires little time. Bunning is a very good protective style because it protects the hair from external elements and prevents over manipulation.

My curly bun

However a major concern with bunning is that it can get monotonous after a while. Hence the need to switch it up and make it different each time. It also leads to breakage when it is always done in the exact same spot. 

This blog will feature various ways to spice up the beloved bun brought to you by yours truly (a.k.a. the Queen of Buns).

With this look I try to recreate the fullness of the buns usually seen on natural hair on my relaxed hair.

Things you will need
Hair Moisturiser
Oil to Seal
1-2 hair pins
A wide elastic hair band. NB. not a pony tail holder











Method (Curly Variation)

1. Moisturise and seal the hair. Ensure that your hair is not weighed down by the moisturiser. Using too much moisturiser will result in hair that would lack volume for this style because it is vital that the hair has some hold.

You may skip this step if you have already moisturised your hair, you can however use a bit of oil for shine and manageability.

2. Braid your hair in two sections. You can leave the braids in overnight or for at least thirty minutes. The longer the braids are left in, the curlier the hair will be. The reason why I recommend braids is because it helps to give hair more volume and pretty curls. If you prefer you can do as little as one braid or up to 20 braids. I just prefer doing the two braids method because it is faster and works for me. 

Here is an example of the braids in my hair, I do not try to make it perfect or anything.


3. Take out the braids and separate them gently with your fingers, fluffing them lightly as you go along. Do not comb. If you must comb, do so very lightly making sure not to disturb the curls created by the braids.

4. Use your hands and open up the hair (thereby increasing volume) with each hand working the crown and nape (back) sections of the hair respectively.

5. Pull your wide elastic hair band over your head and let it fall to your neck, slowly lift it up unto your head gently until it gets to the position you want it.

6. You may tilt you hair upside down to add slight volume (optional). Then pin the hair at the base (beneath) of the wide elastic band with as many pins as required while forming the bun shape. I however used just one pin for this look. You may use two or more hair pins for extra hold.


The final result.

This bun usually turns out different each time. It can be done on shorter or longer hair. If you do not have a wide elastic band to do this style, please subscribe to stay tuned for future posts when I show you how to do this style using only hair pins.

TONKABELLE, XOXO



Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Friday, 10 August 2012

Pre-shampoo Hair Treatment Recipe (Pre-poo)


A pre-shampoo treatment can be described as the icing on the cake of hair care. It is a process whereby you apply certain products to your hair (e.g. hair conditioner, natural oils, humectants, butters and so on) prior to washing it so that your hair is extra conditioned and more manageable. This treatment helps the hair to withstand the harshness of the shampoo and fortifies and strengthens it. Although it may be not be viewed as an absolutely necessary step, it however promotes longer and healthier hair.


Recipe No. 1

Utensils

Small bowl/container/spray bottle
A tablespoon

Ingredients

1 – 2 tablespoons of instant (rinse out) hair conditioner
These conditioners are identified by their runny consistency they are not thick like deep conditioners. They usually have stated on their directions that it should be left on the hair for about 3-5 minutes and rinsed out.

1 -2 tablespoons of oil
There are many natural oils that can be used such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil.

Procedure
Add both ingredients in a bowl and mix together properly till the mixture is well blended.

Application
Part hair in four sections and apply the mixture onto each section of hair making sure that the mixture is rubbed in properly. Cover hair with a plastic cap. Leave on hair for about 10 minutes with heat (i.e. under a hair dryer) or about 20 minutes or more without heat (depending on how long you can stand it). Rinse off, then begin the washing process.

More posts are sure to follow, kindly leave comments and subscribe by email or with google connect.


TONKABELLE xoxo


                A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous – Coco Chanel

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The 10 Cardinal Rules for growing Longer and Healthier Hair




Be Healthy: It does not matter how many hair products you use, good hair care starts from within. A healthy person eats properly making sure they eat a bit from each food group. This is however not an excuse for you to over indulge - remember everything should be in moderation and nothing in excess.

Most people should know this but for the sake of those that don't - drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Water is essential not only for great hair growth but for overall health as well. Other factors which are crucial for hair loss include stress and illness - try to avoid these by being as healthy as you can.



Back to basics: Before shampooing do a hot oil treatment (optional) with a natural oil like olive oil and then use a moisturising shampoo. You may choose to limit shampoo use because some shampoos are very stripping to the hair. Deep condition weekly and use a leave in conditioner after this. Trim hair at least every 4 months. Sleep with a silk/satin bonnet/scarf at night. Only use wide tooth combs to comb the hair, the smaller combs are meant for styling.

Moisture: Our hair needs moisture to grow. One of the reasons why Black hair (of African Descent) may not grow as fast is because we are not always able to retain moisture effectively. Water is the main source of moisture therefore a good hair moisturiser should contain water (aqua) as it’s first ingredient. You can use an effective hair moisturiser on it’s own or mix some distilled water with it and use this as a hair moisturiser daily. It is very important to seal your hair with an oil after moisturising such as Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil and so on. This prevents the moisture you have put into your hair from escaping. You can also add moisture into your hair by using a moisturising deep conditioner such as Wura’s Secret Hair Conditioner after shampooing as well as an effective leave-in conditioner. 




Protein: Our hair is made up of 75% protein. If you are relaxed the relaxer will break down the protein component in your hair this means you have to put the protein back. There are many protein deep conditioners available; the key ingredient to look out for is protein. The most effective protein treatment (deep condition) in my opinion consists of 1 or 2 eggs, 1 or 2tbsps of mayonnaise, 1 or 2 tbsps of Wura’s Secret Hair Conditioner (moisture based) or any other moisturising conditioner, 1 or 2 tbsps of Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil or olive oil (Optional). Cover hair with a plastic cap for about 1-2 hours (or even less) depending on how long you can stand it. Do not use heat or else the egg will cook in your hair. Then follow up with a moisture based leave in conditioner this will balance out the protein treatment with some moisture. Alternatively you can do another deep condition (moisture deep condition – the key ingredients to look out for are water and a lack of protein) and cover with a plastic cap for about 15mins – 1 hour with/without heat. The reason you may need to follow up with a moisture treatment is because your hair may feel quite hard after a protein treatment. However it depends on how your hair feels. After a protein treatment, I do not always follow up with a moisture deep conditioner especially before relaxing. Do this as often as your hair needs it, it could be weekly or monthly. If your hair is natural however you may not need to do protein treatments as often. Alternatively you can mix both a moisture and protein deep conditioner to get the best of both worlds as I did above in my most effective protein treatment recipe.

Growth Aids: Growth Aids are perhaps one of the most important components in hair growth. Although our hair grows about half an inch a month (more or less depending on how fast) you can aid the growth process with topical applications on your scalp. For example Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil can stimulate hair growth. A very important tip is that you massage the growth aid/oil into the hair; this also speeds up the growth process because massaging encourages blood circulation to the scalp.

Know your hair - Keep a hair diary: We will not be able to determine hair products that work and don’t work if we do not keep a record of how our hair responds to each product. With your hair diary you are able to know what works and does not work and implement accordingly. Some people say you should test a product for about a month to determine if it is good or not for your hair. However I do not agree with this because there are some products that I have used and immediately experienced a bad reaction. E.g. my hair fell off or got very hard. After such an experience I am usually sceptical about trying it again. A note of warning: If your hair dresser has no knowledge about healthy hair care, look for a new one or do your hair your self. This will help you to achieve greater results and to understand your hair better.

Protective styling: Black hair is very fragile though it appears resistant. You need to treat your hair with utmost care and keep it protected from the elements. To grow your hair you need to keep the ends protected because this is the oldest part of the hair and tends to be weaker. Styles such as buns, French twists, braids, weaves, and so on protect the hair from over-manipulation and brushing on your clothes which may lead to breakage. When you are doing a weave or braids do a proper deep conditioning prior to it or you may experience breakage. I learnt a lesson from this just recently and suffered a minor set back as a result. These styles however do not mean neglecting the hair you must still moisturise and seal hair and use a leave in conditioner underneath the weave or braids.

Here is an example of my hair in a bun


Relaxing precautions: We use relaxers every day without knowing the extent to which they actually damage our hair. A relaxer is designed to break down the structure of the hair cuticle. So if you use relaxers there are some important things you should know.  First of all – you may want to switch your relaxer to a lye formula – this is the sort that does not need to be mixed. Some people think it is better because it is not as harsh to the hair shaft, does not leave too many mineral deposits on the hair, is highly effective and does not allow you to over relax by making you sit for longer than required. However I personally do not use it because it is harsher on my scalp and I am not able to endure the severe pain. However for us non-lye relaxer users we need to take an extra precaution mainly – we need to completely neutralize with a neutralizing shampoo for about 10 minutes so that the mineral deposits are not left to sit on our hair and eventually break it. Before relaxing protect the hair shaft with an oil or a heavy cream. This will help protect your ends especially during the “acid rinse” - when the relaxer is able to travel to very ends of your previously relaxed hair during the washing process. When relaxing ensure your hair dresser does not relax previously relaxed hair or this would result in breakage. After neutralizing with a neutralizing shampoo do a strong protein treatment followed by a moisturising treatment (or mix them both). If you must wear a weave or braids I advise that you wait at least two weeks after a relaxer. Finally stretch your relaxers to at least 8 weeks – this will prevent re-relaxing which leads to breakage. I usually stretch my relaxers to anytime from 12 – 16 weeks depending on how my hair feels i.e. if it starts breaking I know it is time to relax. The soonest I have relaxed my hair in about four years is 10 weeks. But then again you need to know your hair so you can determine what your hair can cope with.   

Excessive heat is the enemy: Limit the use of flat irons, blow dryers, curling tongs and such on your hair and if you must use them use a heat protectant to prevent heat damage. After washing your hair it is best to leave it to dry without any form of heat - air dry. I simply apply my leave-in conditioner on towel- dried hair and detangle my hair and either put my hair in a bun (most times) or braids. Airs drying with braids give beautiful curls which you can wear in different styles through out the week. If air drying does not work for you, a better option would be to either blow dry using the cool setting, protective style with braids or weaves to limit heat usage.

More posts are sure to follow, kindly subscribe by email or with google friend connect. xoxo

Tonkabelle




We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. - Maya Angelou, attributed, The Butterfly's Daughter