Two is invariably my number of preference. Two puppies to chase after at two P.M on a cloudless Sunday afternoon, coffee and cream, pen and paper, the perfect pair of fitted jeans and 2 more papers to go until I bid university goodbye…Whoop 😀 Regrettably, yesterday took a melodramatic turn of events when Wambui and I spent 2 hours trying to comb out my hair. Yes! 2 hours highlighted by whimpers, kite tresses (I must have lost about a pound of hair) and that legendary concert we kinda threw down of our brilliant remake of Justin Bieber’s purpose all in a bid to capture the miscalculated procedure behind hair care!
2015 seems to have started on a rather gutsy mood; Let’s take a minute to reminisce on my brief thesis on how a girl out to change her hair is about to change her life…well I definitely set myself up for that one. And by that one I mean the 6 inches of hair I lost when I decided to colour my hair not to mention how brittle and frail it became. And finally after a couple of thousands blown on salon bills and beating myself up for my poor decisions, I finally decided to grow it out. Its been 7 months since I started transitioning, 7 months of happy healthy tresses; well til yesterday!
For coon’s age, you guys have asked me to share my hair secrets, not that I believe I have any stupendous tips that will blow your mind or anything but here goes…
1. Pre – poo.
Obviously I had no idea what this even meant before I devoted all my insomnatic episodes to extensive research on natural hair care routines. Basically I apply a generous amount of hot oil on my tresses a night before washing my hair to protect it from hydro-fusion. Coconut oil continues to serve my obsession.
2. Shampoo and washing.
There are numerous shampoos out in the market so to choose a perfect shampoo you need to fully understand your hair, is it soft or course? Is it curly or straight? Why do I want to wash my hair today?
Currently I’m using tresemme shampoo to remove build up and cleanse my scalp. After which I rinse with cold water and use a leave in apple cider and water treatment for about 7 minutes. Why? To balance my hair ph and importantly encourage hair growth (I’m not 100% sure about this but if it’s on google bet you a hippo I’m gonna try it) Allow me to emphasis shrinkage at this stage! It’s a real thing you guys.
3. Deep conditioning.
For all the less fancies rather unimpressed by thesaurus and word play this simply means treating your hair. A rather imperative part of the process that demands about 30 solid minutes away from any human interaction. Possibly enough time to choreograph an entire dance routine and by dance I mean poor hand and leg movements meant to impress the masses.
Use a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment. Personally I use coconut oil and castor oil together with my treatment of choice (which I change on a weekly basis for effective coverage) after which I retreat to the backyard watching Gotham as I marinate…literally! After 30 minutes, rinse with cold water to retain moisture.
4. Dry and style.
Using a leso/kikoy, I dab lightly to dry my hair to about 70% before oiling it focusing especially on the tips to ensure they are protected. For about 5 months, I always blow dried my hair to make it easier to manage but I figured I was doing more harm than good to my tresses. With the occasional use of a curly steam iron to style my hair, I resolved to letting it dry naturally and two strand twists to style. A decision I was proud of up until yesterday when I almost lost my cool after realizing that asking my brother to undo my twists was far much ludicrous than the time I had him remove my weave and I almost became a specimen for his medical experiments (he’s been secretly pursuing a medical degree since he discovered rats). Everything seems to not have gone as planned with this shoot yesterday, I might be used to the unexpected surprises that come with each shoot but yesterday was one to blow out 😀
I apply shea butter moisturizing cream and allow to sip into my tresses while lightly blow drying them locs or just natural drying.
5. Supporting steps.
- Note the scissors is your friend. A year ago I suffered from major hoarding issues when it came to letting Wanjiru (my hair stylist for almost 12 years now…I’m hoarding her too 😀 ) chop off a couple of inches of my hair but now we fight when she refuses to chop it weekly. Believe me when I say this is the most rewarding commitment you’ll ever make.
- Combing out your hair isn’t quite advised but when push comes to shove, a wide tooth comb will do. Last month my mum got me this magic brush from Golden curl that is in fact a miracle brush, perfect for brushing without cutting.
- The bun has become some sort of hyperbole that my friends capitalize on to pick me out from the crowd; constantly making fun of my cliche look but ultimately ‘THE’ protective style.
- I like to spray olive oil after I’m done just to add moisture to my tresses.
The dreaded question, to continue transitioning or the big chop? Or maybe just relax it!
As I obsessively stalk relaxed and natural on Instagram I’m kinda stoked and flustered at the same damn time! Maybe 2016 will bring about new adventures!
All products available at any Nakumatt or Super Cosmetics.
Photos by Wambui Wagema and Kihumba Mumbi.