Monthly Archives: April 2013

Fashion Friday: Music Fest Style – lessons from Coachella

 One of my favourite times in Harare is coming up. HIFA!!!

The Harare International Festival of Arts is a 6 day festival and workshop programme that showcases local, regional and international arts and culture. It’s a week long fest of theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, visual arts and spoken word. It is also a time where arty people come out dressed to have fun however that may be.

I quote Robert Greig from the South Africa Sunday Independent -“The Harare International Festival of the Arts is probably the best organised festival in the sub-continent and one of the most manageably diverse.”

It’s from the 30th of April to the 5th of May, this year.

In my anticipation of HIFA, I figured I would post some of the style I liked at the just ended Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, which I hope to go to in the next few years.

Solange Knowles courtesy of Vogue

Solange Knowles courtesy of Vogue

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens


Sophia Bush

Sophia Bush

Marissa Montgomery - Nylon Magazine Correspondent

Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles

Kate Bosworth

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

Love this! Bat for lashes' Natasha Khan

Love this! Bat for lashes’ Natasha Khan

Jenine Civil

Jenine Civil

Katy Perry

Katy Perry


Street style

Street style

More street style - one of my favs

More street style – one of my favs

harpers bazaarfabsugar

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Exfoliating the scalp…. Just thinking…..


stock-vector-crying-baby-girl-crying-small-child-vector-cartoon-illustration-of-cute-crying-baby-girl-51856987I’ve been thinking about my scalp lately. Most of my hair regimen is focused on my hair strands, my scalp not so much. When I’m clarifying and shampooing maybe, but not much.

One practice that has been done by many women here is kukwenyurwa musoro. I remember as a child I used to dread having this done, even more than having my hair combed. It’s basically getting a comb then rubbing, actually lightly scratching the scalp, removing dandruff and flakes. It’s simply exfoliation. I have always wondered though, if it was necessary or if the process didn’t actually harm the scalp. It does hurt depending on how sensitive your scalp is. I always hated it since I’m tender headed.

When you think about it though, we do exfoliate our face, hands and feet, so surely our scalps need to be exfoliated to remove the dead skin cells. Plus, massaging the scalp is beneficial in that it increases circulation in the scalp, possibly decreasing shedding and stimulating hair growth.

Our scalp needs some TLC too, especially with all the products and accumulation of dirt that go on it. Itchiness, dandruff, dryness and flakiness can all be aided with some gentle exfoliation.

I decided to consider less painful alternatives to exfoliate the scalp, probably before I co-wash my hair, so I can wash it out.

I saw the Organic Root Stimulator Scalp Scrub in the pharmacy the other day but I’m considering doing a DIY scrub instead:

  1. Brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil scrub – I would mix 1 tablespoon sugar to 1 tablespoon oil.
  2. Brown sugar, honey and lemon – the honey has powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and lemon clarifies. A good mix is 1 teaspoon sugar, half a teaspoon honey and a few drops of lemon.
  3. Oatmeal and extra virgin olive oil/water scrub – mix oatmeal and oil or water to make a paste.

Do you exfoliate your scalp?

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What do you think about co-washing?

When I first heard about washing hair with conditioner only and no shampoo, I thought that was dirty and that there was no way conditioner could get hair clean the way shampoo could.

Man, was I wrong. Not only did my hair get cleansed by conditioner alone but it didn’t strip my hair like shampoo, even a low sulphate shampoo, does. Plus it was super moisturised, which is exactly what I needed. Now, just to clarify, I do cleanse my hair with shampoo when I feel my hair has a lot of buildup and needs shampooing, although I have to do a lot of conditioning and moisturising to get my hair back to normal.

Anyway here is the rundown on co-washing…

1. The main benefit is moisture. Co-washing adds a quick blast of moisture creating softer, healthier hair
2. Most commercial conditioners contain cleansing agents along with conditioning agents. Making shampooing not essential.
3. Most conditioners are quite cheap – so no need for expensive products

1. Most conditioners contain silicones, which is the substance that gives hair slip and shine. There are two types of ‘cones, water soluble and non water soluble. Conditioners with non-soluble cones will cause buildup in your hair, which will then need stronger cleansers, most likely with sulphates, to remove. So then a very common con of co-washing is product buildup on the hair. Product buildup from cones is not so much a problem in conditioners though, than it is with daily use of ‘cones in other styling products such as serums. This can easily be overcome by using a conditioner with no silicones (like the one I use Tresemme Naturals) or one with water soluble silicones( for example ones with Dimethicone Copolyl or PEF Modified Dimethicone).
2. Co-washing alone, does not cleanse the scalp. Some use of a clarifier or shampoo is needed to cleanse.
3. Excessive co-washing can lead to limp, weak hair. Everything in moderation, co – washing daily is not necessary.

How often should one wash
This all depends on the coily haired girl. I co-wash my hair every 5-10 days and I clarify every month. I occasionally use shampoo, when I get product buildup on my scalp that clarifying doesn’t rid. My hair is usually quite clean, I have a simple regimen without using many products so washing of my hair is usually to have water on my strands. To impart moisture.

Do not use deep conditioners to co-wash, deep conditioners are meant to condition and not for such frequent use.

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What’s My Hair Type?

Hair Typing is a tricky issue. Hair curls, coils, kinks or lack of are unique to the individual and setting a generic system to classify hair can leave some on the wayside. I have seen a lot of misinformation on some blogs on hair typing, so I thought I would tackle it. This is because whether one thinks it’s important to know or not, it can get very confusing in online discussions and forums if one doesn’t know how to reference the system. Also it gives general direction in how to care for strands although most people have a mixture of hair textures.

The best hair typing system I’ve seen is the one which was developed from the Andre Walker system, which is the one I reference. The other systems such as the L.O.I.S. African American Texture Typing System and the Mizani hair chart  can also be used.

So basically, there are 4 types of hair patterns, with sub-types:
Type 1 is straight hair
Type 2 is wavy hair
Type 3 is curly hair
Type 4 is coily hair.

Most black people and people of mixed African descent, have type 3 or 4 hair so I will concentrate on those types.

I have found that the easiest way to see your hair texture is when the hair is wet and has water running through it like in the shower. The natural hair texture can be hard to discern when it’s laden with products and has been manipulated.

For example, Esperanza Spalding seems to have a mixture of 4a, 4b and 4c hair, her hair can look very different depending on how she styles it.


Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding


Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding

Type 3 Curly Hair  Type 3 has:
• Well defined curls that range from lightly curled hair to very curly hair.
• Hair has a lot of body
• It is easily styled in its natural curly state and easily straightened with a blow dryer
• Use styling creams, butters and oils for type 3 especially type 3c hair
• This hair type needs extra moisture and tender-loving care because it can be fragile
• Make sure hair gets detangled with a wide tooth comb or using fingers
• Do not use a brush or a fine toothed comb on your dry curls
• Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wrap hair in a satin cap.Type 3 is further divided into:
3a: Curly Twirly
3b: Curly Spirally
3c: Curly Coily

3a – Curly Twirly

Colombian Singer Shakira

Colombian Singer Shakira



Pattern: Definate loopy S pattern
Circumference: sidewalk chalk size
Curls are springy and shiny. It is usually soft and fine.








 3b – Curly Spirally

English ZImbabwean actress Natalie Gumede

English ZImbabwean actress Natalie Gumede

American actress Keri Russell

American actress Keri Russell

Zimbabwean model Amanda Crewe

Zimbabwean model Amanda Crewe

Pattern: Bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews
Circumference: Mighty marker size
Curls are not really shiny and its texture can be quite coarse

3c – Curly Coily

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross


German Nigerian singer Nneka

German Nigerian singer Nneka

 Pattern: Voluminous, tight corkscrew curls
Circumference: Pencil size

Fine curls usually densely packed

Type 4: Coily Hair

Type 4 has:
• Hair that can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse strands
• Hair can range from tightly coiled hair with an S pattern to very tightly kinked strands that seem to not have any definition
• Coily hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less protection from the damage inflicted by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening
• It is the most fragile hair type and is not as easily styled. This hair type needs extra moisture and tender-loving care because of its fragility
• Reduce tangles and breakage by sleeping on a satin pillowcase or wrap hair in a satin cap.

Type 4 is further divided into:
4a: Coily Springy
4b: Coily Crimpy
4c: Coily Ziggly

4a – Coily Springy

American singer Leela James

American singer Leela James



Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles










American singer Macy Gray

American singer Macy Gray









Pattern: Tightly coiled hair with an S pattern
Circumference: Crochet needle size spirals

• 4a hair has more moisture than 4b and can be wiry or fine-textured. It is very fragile with lots of strands densely packed together.
• Co-washing the hair will cleanse and condition your coils without stripping out its natural oils
• Restore and renew your dry coils by deep conditioning weekly and moisturise it daily to hydrate, soften and nourish the hair.

4b -Coily Crimpy

Zimbabwean British singer Shingai Shoniwa

Zimbabwean British singer Shingai Shoniwa


Shingai Shoniwa

Shingai Shoniwa

Pattern: Curl pattern is less defined with a Z pattern, it bends in sharp angles instead of coiling or curling• Type 4b hair has a cotton-like feel
• The hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled or bent in Z shapes and very, very fragile. Great care must be taken when working with it.
• Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.
• Type 4b hair often shrinks up to 75% of the actual hair in length.

• Use a heavy creamy cleanser to keep your coils healthy and moisturised
• Detangling is essential and must be taken with care, either with conditioner with lots of slip with water and a wide toothed comb/fingers or with lots of oil without any water
• Seal in moisture and add shine to your dry fragile hair with creams and butters. The LOC method (Liquid such as water or leave in conditioner, then an oil such as coconut or olive oil then a cream) is beneficial with this hair type.
• Restore and renew your dry coils by deep conditioning weekly and moisturise it daily to hydrate, soften and nourish the hair.

4c –

American hairoine Cipriana

American hairoine Cipriana

Pattern: Curl pattern will almost never clump without a specific hair style

• It can range from fine/thin/super soft to wiry/coarse with lots of densely packed strands.
• 4c hair has been described as a more “challenging” version of 4b hair.
• Some say 4c looks identical to 4b except that the curls are so tightly kinked, there is seemingly no definition. 4c hair can shrink more than 75%

• Limit your cleansing to heavy co-washing conditioners
• Use products like oils, creams and butters to moisturise and seal your coils
• Use heavy butters to help elongate your hair.
• Deep condition and moisturise often.

I have a mixture of fine, low to medium density strands that fall mostly into 4a and 4b.. Most of my hair consists of tiny spiral coils, like a pen spring and S curls which sometimes look straight but when wet they are S shaped. Parts of the front and crown consist of strands that are a mixture of S and Z strands, sometimes the strands even look S curled from the root, then near the ends they have kinks with sharp bends. The hair here demands the most moisture and tangles very easily.

What type do you think you are?

Categories: Hair tips, Hairspiration | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Some hairspiration: Natalie Gumede

Natalie Gumede

Natalie Sithokozile C. Gumede is an English actress and dancer of English and Zimbabwean descent. She’s starred in a few British and has just wrapped up playing the violent character Kirsty Soames on ITV1’s Coronation Street.

Natalie on Coronation Street

Natalie on Coronation Street

I love how she showcases her gorgeous tresses on TV.
Photoshoot by Inside Soap

Photoshoot by Inside Soap

At the TV Choice Awards 2012 in the UK

At the TV Choice Awards 2012 in the UK

*All pics courtesy of tumblr.

Categories: Hairspiration, Natural hair celebrities, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Aloe Vera and Hair


Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

• Improved detangling

• Moisturisation

• Scalp healing

• Dandruff reduction

• Restoration of pH levels

• Decreased frizz

• Anti-inflammation on the scalp

• Hair growth stimulation

As with most hair products, aloe vera gel or juice work differently in different people’s hair. There have been some testimonies of aloe vera being drying to the hair and that it contains protein which makes low porosity hair especially, stiff and dry.

It can be a humectant in certain climates for specific hair types and be a detriment to others (I have found that in Zimbabwe, humectants are better to use when it is more humid, for example when it’s about to rain or has just rained. Our climate can be quite dry and this might cause the humectant to do the opposite of moisturising the hair).

Natural hair uses of Aloe Vera

To speed up hair growth and reduce thinning

Massage aloe vera into the scalp to restore the scalp pH balance and this helps regrow hair.


Used as a conditioner

Aloe vera also helps retain moisture in the hair, which is very important since hair needs water.

1/4 aloe vera

1/4 cup coconut or extra virgin olive oil

Apply to the hair, and cover with a plastic cap for about 30 minutes. Then rinse out.

You can also add a ripe avocado and a Tbsp of honey, to make it a protein conditioner.


Used as a moisturiser

Can be used as a spritz for hair in a protective style or free.

1/2 cup water

1/2 aloe vera

I really like this spritz, it’s simple and very moisturising for my hair.


As a natural shampoo

1/4 cup aloe vera

2 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

I use apple cider vinegar about once every two months, it really clarifies my scalp well. The honey and aloe vera make the mix less drying, although the shampoo doesn’t smell great. The smell dissipates when the hair dries though.


As a detangler

1 cup water

2 Tbsp aloe vera

5 drops of glycerin

Glycerin is what makes this detangler have slip, so play around with it to get the right consistency. I don’t think I will use this detangler much though, since I prefer to try detangle with just oil.

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Aloe Vera Uses

I walked into a pharmacy at Avondale and found this:

Organic Aloe Vera Juice

Organic Aloe Vera Juice

I haven’t used Aloe Vera Juice or gel (although I have the plant in my garden), so I decided that I would find out what I can use it for and how my hair would take to it.

What is it
Aloe Vera is a plant that originated in North Africa and has been used historically as far back as 6000 years ago in Egypt where the plant was depicted in stone carvings. It is a legendary healing plant used historically by the North Africans, Greeks and Native Americans. The aloe leaves contain a clear gel that is often used topically (externally on the skin, scalp and hair). The green part that surrounds the gel can be used to produce a juice or a dried substance (called a latex) that is taken orally (by mouth). It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. The plant is so healing that scientists are looking at its potential to be a HIV/AIDS and cancer fighter. Due to its healing properties, it is often found in cosmetic and hair products.

The Chinese call it ‘the harmonious remedy’, the Egyptians ‘the herb of immortality’ and the Russians ‘the elixir of youth’. It’s also mentioned in the Bible in John 19:39 -40: He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

What is it used for?
It’s two main uses are for burns and to soothe the stomach lining, as in the treatment of ulcers. Raw or processed aloe vera can be used, but it’s more common for processed aloe vera to be used as an internal remedy (as a drink) and the raw plant to be used directly on the skin. As for all home remedies, it’s recommended to consult your doctor beforehand.

Externally (topically)
Aloe Vera can be used directly on the skin to soothe burns, as a general skin moisturiser especially for dry skin, for acne, bruises, insect bites, rashes, psoriasis and sunburns.

How can it be used topically?
To use raw aloe vera on the skin from the plant:
1. Break or cut off about 2 inches from the tip.
2. With a sharp knife, cut through the thick, green bark and you will see a gel-like, clear substance. The plant will continue to grow out new shoots.
3. Then rub that clear substance on the affected part of the skin. Keep the leaf section in a sealed bag in the fridge for repeated use.

As a juice, just apply it directly to the skin.

Side effects and warnings from topical use
Aloe Vera used topically is not associated with any significant side effects.

Aloe Vera is used as a traditional (home) remedy for a variety of conditions like diabetes, osteoarthritis, asthma and epilepsy. It is also used as a laxative; for soothing ulcers, hemorrhoids, aiding in cholesterol reduction, inflammation reduction, easing of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms, aiding of digestion and colon problems.

How can it be used internally?
Find a commercial, certified organic juice and drink it either on its own or mix it with water or juice to make the taste better.

Side effects and warnings from internal use
• Abdominal cramps and diarrhoea has been associated with oral use of aloe vera.
• Diarrhoea caused by the laxative use of aloe vera, can reduce the absorption of many drugs.
• For people who are diabetic and use glucose lowering medication should take aloe vera orally cautiously, because studies suggest it may lower blood glucose levels.

Some remedies (other than for hair)
1. Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor to alleviate asthma
2. Mix two tbsp of aloe vera, two tbsp of organic brown sugar and one tbsp of organic lemon juice to use a skin exfoliator
3. Apply directly to skin to decrease dark spots and pigmentation
4. Apply directly to skin to shrink warts, to rid rosacea and eczema
5. Mix some aloe gel and vitamin E oil to make a homemade burn healer.

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