Monday, 29 October 2012

Night-Time Hair Routine


It is important to have a night-time hair routine which you follow through on a consistent basis. This will help in retaining hair growth, keeping up your hair’s moisture levels and protecting your hair from tangles and split ends. The basic point is to ensure your hair is properly protected while you sleep.

It always emphasised on this blog how important it is to moisturise and seal your hair. You may choose to do so twice a day which if you do; probably means you will need to moisturise and seal at night as well. Some people who moisturise and seal once a day might choose to moisturise and seal at night (I however do so only in the mornings; I am usually too tired at night). Even if you moisturise and seal your hair during the day at night times you can still use some oil over your whole hair, just for extra nourishment. Or you can choose to do nothing since you have already moisturised and sealed during the day (this is what I normally do).


The next step is to secure the hair somehow; I normally just bun my hair however you can also try twisting or braiding/plaiting the hair, the act of twisting or braiding/plaiting the hair before going to bed actually prevents the hair from tangling. However because I am usually too tired to be bothered with braiding my hair I just leave it in a simple bun.

The most important step is then to cover your hair. You must never use cotton and other fabrics which are known to suck out moisture from the hair. Rather stick to silk or satin only. This will ensure that your hair stays well hydrated during the night. Some ways to cover the hair before bed include using a scarf or hair bonnet. I have used both but now I use a scarf mainly because I am certain it is made of pure silk. Make sure you are not using polyester scarves that mimic the look/feel of silk scarves. You can however also use a hair bonnet which is usually made of satin. Like I always say use whichever works for your hair.


Some people sleep on a satin/silk pillow (pillow case) just in case the bonnet/scarf slips of, this in my view is merely a cautionary step. You can find a method of tying your scarf (I normally just make sure it is secure and not too loose) or securing your hair bonnet where it does not come off at night. Some people may choose to do away with the scarf/hair bonnet option and just stick to the silk/satin pillows.


Whatever options you choose, it is important for your hair to be well protected at night. Kindly share how you protect your hair at night before sleeping.

TONKABELLE, xoxo



Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. - Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Protective Styles for Long and Healthy Hair


A good way to explain protective styles is any style that protects the ends of our hair (which are the oldest hence the most fragile parts of our hair) and decreases over manipulation (where you do not need to keep handling your hair in terms of styling it) which in turn preserves hair length and prevents hair breakage, split ends, dry hair and so on. Proper protective styling does not allow for the use of constant direct heat. 


Protective styles can similarly be described as styles that protect the hair from damage such as mechanical, environmental or chemical damage. Such damage results from everyday wear and tear such as when your hair brushes on your clothes, gets caught in your bag straps or car seat belt, or clothes zips (this stuff always happens to me when I wear my hair down), cold, hot or dry weather conditions, using relaxers too frequently, excessive use of hair straightners/flat irons or blow dryers. These styles ensure that we do not manipulate our hair too frequently and allows our hair to stay moisturised and well hydrated.

In my opinion, protective styles can be grouped into two parts long and short term protective styles:

Long term protective styles: A long term protective style is one where our hair is left protected for an extended period of time.  For example if you leave your hair in a protective style for more than one week such as in a bun, french twist, braids , twists, corn rows, (where you do not take it down to redo it, this will be viewed as a long term protective style, therefore you moisturise and seal as is without taking the style down The other kind of long term protective style is done with the help of braided extensions/weaves, wigs (if you braid your hair underneath and leave it that way for more than a week). However if these styles are done too tightly, or a drying gel or glue is used this defeats the essence of a protective style which is for our hair to retain length. 


Short term protective styles: These are hair styles such as buns, french twists,updos when the hair is covered with a scarf/beanie/hat (as long as the ends of the hair are not exposed) which may be taken out at the end of the day so that the hair can be moisturised, these styles should also not be too tightly done. This means in effect that styles such as a pony tail where the ends of the hair are exposed will not qualify as a protective style.

My formal updo - it is a protective style as the ends of my hair are tucked in

I would advise that everyone tries out protective styles to help with retaining hair growth. If you have shorter hair i.e. your hair does not even touch your neck then you do not need to protective style as the short hair is a protective style in itself. As soon as your hair is long enough where it touches your neck, then protective styles are necessary, however if your hair is not long enough to be put in a bun, do not try to force it, you can just try tucking the ends in with a hair pin/bobby pin.

Kindly share your favorite protective styles in the comment section below.

TONKABELLE, xoxo



Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day - A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Olive Oil for Healthy Hair


Olive Oil is perhaps one of the most versatile and readily available oils that can be used in our quest towards healthy hair. Olive oil is very effective because it provides our hair with nourishment; provides conditioning properties due to its penetrating ability; strengthens our hair; provides elasticity; helps with manageability; reduces static and smoothens the hair cuticle.

Olive oil is excellent for dry damaged tresses because it contains Vitamin E and anti-oxidants which are important for healthy hair. It has been used since the inception of Ancient Civilizations such as in Ancient Greece for hair and even for the skin.


Make sure to use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil because this process ensures the oil retains all of its wonderful properties; popular brands in Nigeria include Goya Olive Oil.

There are various ways to use Olive Oil for our hair:

1. As a Sealant: I have previously explained how beneficial it is to moisturise and seal our hair and how I moisturise and seal my own hair. Olive Oil works as an excellent sealant to ensure that all the moisture that has been put into the hair actually stays there.

2. As a Scalp Oil: Olive Oil contains certain anti-inflammatory properties that work to promote scalp health. It can be applied to the scalp for hydration, it also relieves itchiness and helps eliminate dandruff/dry scalp by providing the scalp with much needed nourishment.

3. As a Hot Oil Treatment: Olive Oil can be used as a hot oil treatment just before shampooing and conditioning your hair. For a hot oil treatment simply heat it up in a microwave for about a minute or in a bowl of hot water; divide the hair in sections and apply the warmed up olive oil and cover hair with a plastic cap. Sit under a hooded dryer for about fifteen minutes or for about thirty minutes without direct heat (ie. using only the plastic cap) or overnight if you can, the longer you can leave it on the better.

Tip: If you do not have a hooded hair dryer (which let’s face it most people don’t), you can apply the olive oil just before taking a hot bath, while bathing the steam would help so that the olive oil can penetrate a bit better.


4. As a Pre-shampoo Treatment: Olive Oil can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment, simply divide your hair into sections, apply the oil and then cover with a plastic cap, leave it on for about thirty minutes or longer. For better penetration you may use a direct heat source in the form of a hooded dryer. See my post explaining pre-shampoo treatments here and my pre-poo treatment recipe here.

5. As a Deep Conditioner Addition: Adding a tablespoon of Olive Oil into your deep conditioners works a treat to rejuvenate dry damaged hair.

6. As a Shampoo Addition:  A teaspoon of oil can be added to reduce the harshness of your shampoo, check out my milder shampoo recipe here.

Please check out African Naturalista’s Product Swap Forum here, where you can exchange hair products with other people; it is a wonderful way to try out new things.

I would love to know how you use this Oil for beauty purposes, hair included. I would also like to thank all my lovely subscribers for their support. Please comment and send me emails if you have any questions, I am always available to help.

TONKABELLE, xoxo



It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err - Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, 14 October 2012

How to Deep Condition Hair Effectively


When deep conditioning our hair it is important to make sure the hair is properly saturated with hair conditioner. This can be achieved by applying the deep conditioner in smaller sections of hair; till the entire head of hair is done. The following illustrates how:


1. After shampooing your hair and towel drying, begin to apply the deep conditioner on slightly damp hair.


2. Mentally divide your hair into about six - eight vertical (i.e. straight down) sections (this is how I do it however your sections may be more or less than six - eight)

3. In each section apply the conditioner like you would a hair dye (which simply means spread it on quite thick). Take the conditioner and apply it to the tips of the hair first, then work your way upwards towards the roots avoiding your scalp area as much as you can. (try to use an ample amount of conditioner to coat your hair properly)

4. Repeat this on other sections of hair and comb the conditioner through your hair. Combing can also be done in sections. This will ensure an even and proper product distribution and will also detangle the hair.

5. After you are done applying all of the conditioner, secure the hair with a hair band/hair clip and cover with a plastic cap


6. Seat under a hair dryer (direct heat) for 10 -15 minutes. Alternatively you can leave the conditioner in your hair for about one hour or so (most times I leave it in for about 4 hours without direct heat however do whatever feels best for you) without direct heat, your body heat will work in this case.

7. Rinse conditioner with cold water, this will help close the hair cuticles and seal in the moisture

Please don't forget to join me in my New Year Perfect Hair Growth Challenge and send in your pictures.


TONKABELLE, xoxo



The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one - Elbert Hubbard

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The New Year Perfection Hair Growth Challenge – Please Join In


Hey to all my lovely subscribers and readers, hope everyone is doing well. I decided to do a more personal post this time round just to let you know my hair plans for the rest of the year. I suffered a minor setback recently because my hair was severely tangled at one point so whilst detangling I lost a lot of hair. As my hair gets longer and thicker I sometimes struggle with detangling especially from six weeks post relaxer and beyond (this is my biggest challenge). In an earlier post I had said that I would be applying my Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil to my hairline as well as to the rest of my scalp (more regularly) so that I can have a more fabulous head of hair for the New Year (which is almost upon us by God’s grace).

The rules of the challenge are listed below and you can join me in challenging yourself to stick to these rules as well.

1. Do a pre-shampoo or hot oil treatment before washing and conditioning my hair every two weeks. (You can wash/condition weekly this may be more effective)

2. Moisturise and seal my hair daily. (You can moisturise/seal every other day if this suits you better)

3. Oil my scalp with Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil every two – three days concentrating on my edges. (You can use other oils like jojoba oil, castor oil as long as you do so consistently)

4. Keep my hair in buns, french twists and other protective styles to retain length at least 4-5 times a week. (You can do longer term protective styles such as weaves, braids. Just be sure to moisturise/seal and oil the scalp as often as you can - if your hair is in a weave try to go under the tracks. It is important to take the style down latest after three weeks - a month to wash/condition).

5. I will not use any form of heat to style my hair in the form of flat irons, blow dryers and such.

My hair in a textured state, it has not been straightened to reflect the actual length

Duration - 3 Months
Start Date:  7th October 2012
End Date:  7th January 2013 (In the Bible seven is the number of completion and perfection)

You can print out the rules and stick them somewhere you can be reminded of them. You can start with a trim, I have already done a slight trim on my hair. I will relax at the end of December or early January.

By the New Year we will have healthier and longer hair. Feel free to send your before and after hair pictures to wurassecret@gmail.com

Let us grow together.


TONKABELLE, xoxo



Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don't and believe that everything happens for a reason - Author Unknown

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Deep Conditioning


Deep Conditioning is absolutely the most crucial aspect of hair care. It is essential because it nourishes the hair follicles, provides elasticity, hydration, and strength, allows oils, emollients to penetrate deep into the hair shaft and prevents and treats damaged hair. Deep conditioning is very important for relaxed hair, colour treated hair, natural hair and other hair types. However it is likely that chemically processed hair requires more deep conditioning treatments. This is the reason why a lot of people experience hair breakage after colour treating their hair because colour treated hair requires more care and attention; especially colour treated hair that is also relaxed (this is often termed as double processed hair). As I have stated in earlier posts here, black hair is usually dryer as a result it is essential that we restore moisture and rejuvenate our hair by deep conditioning frequently.

There is no strict schedule set in stone as to the amount of times one should deep condition the hair. However it is vital to do so as often as possible. I deep condition my own hair every two weeks however I formerly deep conditioned every week and I even deep conditioned twice a week when I had extremely damaged hair. It is important that you are able to figure out how you often you deep condition it could be twice or thrice in a week, once a week, bi-weekly or even monthly.

Source
Hair icon - The lovely Janelle Monae

There are basically two types of deep conditioners:

Moisture based deep conditioners: These deep conditioners contain moisturising agents such as emollients, natural oils, humectants, water (aqua) and so on. They provide moisture to the hair thereby increasing elasticity, suppleness and manageability. It is essential to use a moisturising deep conditioner as frequently as possible especially for people with natural hair. Anyone with relaxed hair should also ensure that a good moisturising conditioner is used; however protein deep conditioners should also be used at regular intervals. In indentifying a moisturising deep conditioner it is important to look out for words such as moisture, moisturising and so on. You can also look at the label to ensure that water (aqua) is listed as one of the ingredients. One should also look out for a lack of proteins listed n the ingredients. Examples of good moisturising conditioners include Wura’s Secret Moisturising Conditioner, Africa’s Best Organics Olive Oil Deep Conditioner, Queen Helene Cholesterol and so on.

Protein based deep conditioners: These deep conditioners contain protein in them thereby re-enforcing and strengthening the hair. Due to the fact that the hair is made up of protein (keratin) it is important that we use protein conditioners so as to improve the condition of damaged or chemically processed hair. People with relaxed hair should endeavour to use protein conditioners more frequently, for example you can use a protein deep conditioner every month or every two weeks, it really just depends on what your hair needs. Those with natural hair can use protein deep conditioners less frequently, like every month or every six weeks. In identifying a protein deep conditioner it is important to look out for words such as mayonnaise, protein, strengthening, etc. You can also look at the label to ensure that protein is included; examples of protein include wheat protein, silk protein, soy protein, keratin, collagen and so on. Good protein deep conditioners include Wura’s Secret Hair Moisturising Conditioner + 1 egg+ 1 table spoon of real mayonnaise (the edible kind) (medium protein), Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise (medium protein), Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner (light protein), Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise (light/medium protein).

A light protein deep conditioner can be used on its own to deep condition without any adverse effects to your hair. However a medium – strong protein deep conditioner may require that you follow up with a moisturising deep conditioning treatment after the protein deep conditioner or you may decide to mix both the protein and moisture deep conditioners together to save time. Some people’s hair can handle a lot of protein and they do not need to follow up with a moisturising deep conditioner. It really just depends on what works for you and how your hair feels after the protein treatment. If it feels very hard it will be advisable to follow up with a moisturising deep conditioning treatment. Protein conditioners are an excellent way to treat damaged hair and you will find that as your hair gets healthier you will require less protein treatments.

It is important to make sure that the hair is balanced so that you do not over do on the moisture or on the protein. Therefore after deep conditioning your hair observe how it responds to the treatment, does it feel soft or hard? This will determine what sort of deep conditioner you will use, on your next deep conditioning treatment. If your hair feels soft you may want to use a protein deep conditioner next time and if it is hard you may want to try a moisturising deep conditioner on your next treatment. The key is finding the right balance. I will elucidate more on finding this balance in future posts.

I would like to thank all my subscribers for joining this site – it gives me such lovely pleasure. Please comment and send me emails if you need any help, I will gladly respond.


TONKABELLE, xoxo



Don't cry for a man who's left you, the next one may fall for your smile - Mae West