Friday, 27 November 2015

Tips on stretching your relaxer for hair health and growth

Hey loves, I am back with a post on stretching your relaxers. Stretching your relaxer simply means increasing the time between when you get your touch ups done. So let’s say you get your hair relaxed/texlaxed every  8 weeks, you can stretch to about 9 or 10 weeks before getting your relaxer done. This means you do not relax/texlax your hair too often. We all know that relaxers are a chemical therefore the longer you can go without having to use them, the better for your hair. However there is an important caveat to this rule and that is you do not have to stretch to the point where it becomes unhealthy for your hair as the main reason for stretching is to improve the health of your hair. Therefore if you begin to notice excessive hair breakage, shedding, matting, it just might be time for you to get your hair relaxed/texlaxed. This does not mean that any slight problems you have with your hair you will run to a relaxer. Rather you can try protein treatments, the baggy method, black tea rinses or any other remedy to sort out the problem. Also I advise that you wait at least 8 weeks before getting a new relaxer (that is the very earliest time period I can recommend). I am trying out stretching only to between 11-13 weeks (mainly 12 weeks) no later because I have come to realise my hair does not benefit from longer stretches, say 16-20 weeks. There are a lot of ladies who can undertake longer stretches such as 20 weeks and above and this works for them. In the end it is all about understanding your hair and knowing what works for you, if you can only stretch to 8 weeks that is fine as well.

An old picture - I am about 11 weeks into my relaxer stretch
Usually around the 8 weeks mark and sometimes even earlier your hair starts becoming more difficult to manage and this usually increases as your stretch progresses. Reason being that you now have about 1 inch of new growth as well as your relaxed hair, therefore you have two different textures to manage. When this happens this is not the time to throw in the towel and give up on your stretch, rather implement the following tips:

1.  Moisturise and seal consistently: At this point of your stretch your hair needs plenty moisture especially your new growth so it is important to moisturise and seal your hair daily. If your hair feels drier you can either try moisturising and sealing twice a day, or misting your new growth with some water and oil while sealing the rest of your hair with an oil in addition to your regular moisturise and seal routine, you can also apply a moisturiser targeted towards natural hair on your new growth and use regular moisturiser on the rest of your hair or the loc (liquid, oil, cream) method. All these moisturising/sealing tips will ensure your hair gets moisturised longer. This is definitely not the time to forget to moisturise and seal your hair as this will lead to breakage which will not lead to an improvement in the length of your hair.

2.   Do not skimp on regular deep conditioning: It is important at this point of your stretch to make sure you deep condition regularly if you can do so once a week or once in two weeks or even more regularly this will help in maintaining the overall health and length of your hair When you are doing these deep conditions it is important to know what your hair wants, i.e. whether you would do a moisture or protein deep conditioner or a bit of both. This is also a good time to deep condition with heat i.e. a steamer, a shower cap and warm towel, a hooded dryer, a heating cap and so on.

3.  Decrease manipulation: When you are deep into your stretch this is not the time to engage in daily combing, trying out different hair styles, washing your hair like three or four times a week, and so on. At this stage less is more. You can just keep your hair in a bun where you change the position of the bun at various times to moisturise and seal. This is not the time to be too adventurous in styling your own hair you can reserve this for the weekends. Also you may choose at this point to wash your hair in sections or in plaits to minimise breakage and manipulation. However this is not absolutely necessary for everybody especially if your hair is shorter.

4.  Take care of your ends: It is every important during your stretch to care for the ends of your hair because when you do you would have less trimming to do, less split ends which in turn would lead to you gaining length retention and thus increased hair growth. Therefore treat your ends like pure gold. At this point in your stretch, pay particular attention to your ends when you are moisturising. Also when you are sealing it is important to focus more attention on the ends of your hair. When deep conditioning your hair as well focus on applying the deep conditioner on the ends of your hair as well as the rest of your hair. Finally make sure your ends are always protected in any style you do.

5.  Protective styles: Protective styles are very important when you are deep into your stretch. You can do longer term protective styles such as braids, crotchet braids, weaves and so on. Or you can just protect your ends by doing shorter term protective styles such as buns, french twists and so on.

6.   Hot Oil Treatment/Pre Shampoo Treatments: Your hair will benefit from you taking the time to do hot oil treatments and pre shampoo treatments with oils such as grape seed oil, before you actually wash and condition your hair.

7.   Detangle your hair at least once a week and on wash days: At this point in your stretch you have a lot of new growth, which has not been detangled daily. It is however important that you spend time to detangle your hair at least once a week. On your wash day, you must also ensure that you spend time detangling your hair to make the wash day process goes smoother and thus reduce breakage and matting during washing. You can use detanglers, some oil or moisturiser to aid in detangling your hair (never detangle dry hair).

If you follow the above tips you should gain longer and healthier hair. For all those new to stretching or caring for their hair, I have included a lot of backlinks in this post on previous posts where I have covered each particular tip in more detail. If you have any other tips on stretching your relaxer kindly share below. Thank you all for reading my blog and for all your lovely comments, I shall have an exciting post up soon.

TONKABELLE, xoxo



"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat" - Theodore Roosevelt, Strenuous Life 

Friday, 13 November 2015

The V&A Bun

The Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum for art and design is my favourite museum. I like it because of its magnificent architecture, stunning views and its sheer beauty (it is truly one of the most inspirational places I have ever been). It has numerous sections such as glass, fashion & jewellery, ceramics, glass, Asia, Cast Courts, Paintings & Drawings, Theatre and so on (there is something for everyone). Some of my favourite parts are fashion & jewellery, theatre, the V&A Sculpture Gallery and my absolute favourites the Medieval and Renaissance Room and the Sacred Silver and Stained Glass Room because of all the religious elements. There are so many other parts of the museum I like hopefully next time I go I will do a more detailed post. When I go there however I just like to soak up the atmosphere and the exquisite beauty all around me.

On my day visit to the Museum I was also going to Covent Garden to see a dear friend of mine. I wanted a hairstyle that would be slightly more interesting than my usual simple bun which I wore on the majority of my holiday. However because I would be out and about for a long time I needed a hairstyle that would look nice but still stay put especially in the wind so I opted for a slightly fuller messy bun. 


I thought to include some other pictures of the lovely V&A in this post just to share:

Wishing fountain, just toss a coin in and make a wish


One of Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks

The Weston Cast Court


One of my fave pics with Angel Gabriel


The V&A is located in Brompton which is also one of my favourite districts in London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There are a lot of places to eat near the museum after you are done sightseeing. You must also stop for dessert at wafflemeister, the waffles and icecream are a real treat. I would really love to hear about some of your favourite places to visit and your go to vacation hairstyle.

TONKABELLE, xoxo



"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away - The Holy Bible (NKJV), Revelation 21:4 



Friday, 6 November 2015

The Hair Typing System – What is your hair type?

First and foremost this is a hair blog which was founded on the belief that everyone regardless of their nationality, genes and so on can have long and healthy hair. Now because of these factors I mentioned long may be different lengths to different people. However if you take care of your hair, you will experience good results and at least have the best version of your hair possible which is what we should all strive to achieve.

The Andre Walker (Oprah’s Hair Stylist) hair typing system is perhaps the most popular of all the hair typing systems (and the one which will be focused upon) and hair is classified into four major categories, Type 1, 2, 3 and 4 and they also each have sub divisions of a, b and c which will be seen below :

Type 1 – Straight Hair

Type 1a – Straight (Fine/Thin) – This hair type does not readily hold a curl, it is shiny, oily, soft and is not easily prone to damage.

Type 1b – Straight (Medium) – This hair type has a lot of body and volume.

Type 1c – Straight (Coarse) – This hair type is typical to people of Asian descent. It does not easily hold a curl and it is bone straight.

Type 2 – Wavy Hair which is usually coarse and consists of s shaped curls.

Type 2a – Wavy (Fine/Thin) - This hair type has a definite S curl pattern and is easily styled.

Type 2b – Wavy (Medium) - This hair type may appear a little resistant to styling and tends to be frizzy.

Type 2c – Wavy (Coarse) - This hair type consists of thicker waves and is resistant to styling and very frizzy.

Type 3 – Curly Hair when this hair type is wet it will appear straight however once it begins to dry it reverts to its curly state. Humidity makes this hair type curlier or frizzier. Some people who are mixed race may have this hair type. Type 3 hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state and can also be straightened quite easily. It is also shiny and has high elasticity with soft curls which are well defined. However it can be prone to damage if not properly cared for. 
          
Type 3a – Curly (Loose Curls) – This hair type is shiny and thick. It can consist of a combination of different hair textures. It has a definite S shaped curl pattern and can be frizzy.  

3a Hair - Debra Messing


Type 3b – Curly (Tight Curls) – This hair type also has a combination of different hair textures, with  a medium amount of curl.

3b Hair - Keri Russell (loved her in Felicity)


Type 3c – Curly (Kinky/Tightly Curled) – This hair type is not in Andre Walker’s initial hair typing system. However it is dense and consists of tight curls in corkscrews.

3c Hair - Tracee Ellis Ross (one of my hair icons)


Type 4 – Kinky or Tightly Coiled: This hair type has sheen rather than shine, it is soft  and is common amongst people of the African descent. Type 4 hair is fragile because of its wiry and tightly coiled nature. This hair type may appear coarse however it is actually fine with a lot of dense strands packed together. It would appear that hair type might be the most dry due to its extremely kinky nature which makes it difficult for sebum to hydrate the entire hair strand. A misconception about this hair type is that it does not grow, but it grows just as fast as the other types. However due to its fragile nature it tends to break easily so it needs to be handled with care. Also, this hair type has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, it therefore has less natural protection from combing, washing, brushing, straightening, blow-drying and so on.

Type 4a – Kinky (Soft) – This hair type is very fragile and is tightly coiled. However it has a more defined curl pattern which is in form of an S curl pattern when stretched similar to that of curly hair. Type 4a hair tends to have more moisture than type 4b hair.

4a Hair - Esperanza Spalding


Type 4b – Kinky (Wiry) – This hair type is very fragile, tightly coiled and consists of a Z curl pattern. It does not have a well defined curl pattern as it bends in sharp angles like the letter Z and is therefore very wiry.

4b Hair - Shingai Shoniwa


Type 4c – Kinky (No curl pattern) – This hair type is not in Andre Walker’s initial hair typing system. Type 4c hair is even more tightly coiled than type 4b hair, with less curl definition.

4c Hair - Viola Davis

It is important to note that a person can have more than one type of hair on their own head say for example a person called Sonia who has 3a hair at the crown of her head and 3b hair at the back of her head. To determine your true hair type you can examine you hair after it has been washed and air dried with little to no product in it. Also if you have relaxed hair do not try to examine a strand of your chemically straightened hair to determine your hair type rather look closely at your new growth to find out your hair type.

I have type 4b/4c hair as my hair definitely does not have a curl pattern to it but like I said all hair is beautiful and healthy 4b/c can be extremely thick and lush.

Kindly share your hair type...

TONKABELLE, xoxo



Promise yourself
To be so strong that nothing 
can disturb your peace of mind....
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticise others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and to happy to permit the presence of trouble.
- Christian D. Larson.


Source: http://www.thewellnessnaturalista.com/hair-typing-systems/

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Before and After Pictures of My Edges

Hey lovelies welcome to the month of November, I just love this month because it is close to Christmas and it is also my wedding anniversary month. Anyways I was scrolling through some old pictures of mine and I came across this picture of my edges. I was attending a friend’s child’s one year old party and my edges were absolutely sparse. I would say that the reason why my edges looked like that was a result of a bad relaxer I had as well as the post partum shedding I was experiencing at the time.


Here I was with my five month old baby and my hair line was looking really terrible. When I saw the pictures I could hardly bear to look at them. I am so glad I did not have them deleted as I would not have been able to share my progress with you all. The comparison picture is one I took during my holidays. I was looking for a picture where I would show that same side of my hair (and this is the best I could find). Now still I have a lot of baby hairs in front of my head because I guess the front has to play catch up to the back, however my edges have grown in leaps and bounds as you can see.


Up the top of my head I would say that what helped me the most was oiling my edges every day with my Wura’s Secret Hair Growth Oil and also making sure to deep condition my hair as much as possible at least once a week or once every two weeks (depending on how much time I had). This is what I still do and I can say these two things have been absolutely beneficial to the overall health and length of my hair. 

If you are having problems with your edges kindly share or if you have been able to grow out your edges please share what you did to achieve this.

TONKABELLE, xoxo



"And shall God not avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to him, though he bears long with them? "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily". - The Holy Bible, Luke 18 v. 7-8