Monthly Archives: November 2013

Workplace Hair

 It would be awesome if I could go to work with my hair, looking like this since my hair grows out naturally like that: tumblr_mw52duW1Bx1qdzx0go1_1280

No matter how beautiful she looks, it just wouldn’t be acceptable where I work. Although Zimbabwe is a southern African country, and one would think that in Africa, where the majority of the population is black, there would be more acceptance of natural hair. This is not the case at all. Mostly due to the damage from our colonial past, natural hair especially in a formal work environment, is frowned upon. I’ve heard people at my workplace say that if your hair isn’t relaxed or weaved, you are not groomed. Adding to the fact, that in general Zimbabwe is still quite conservative, going to work with hair that does not look sleek is considered untidy. I am trying to figure out how I can have my hair done for work without having to get box braids or wear a wig. HR hasn’t complained about my afro puffs or braided hair, but I do occasionally get comments such as ‘I thought you were paid enough to get your hair done’ or ‘you really should straighten your hair, it would be so long’. For those who struggle with workplace hair, here are a few ideas that I also look forward to trying:

With short hair it's more acceptable and not as much is needed to make it so

With short hair it’s more acceptable and not as much is needed to make it so

Perfect for work, from waist up :-)

Perfect for work, from waist up 🙂

 
I will definatetly try bantu knots outs on a Friday

I will definitely try bantu knots outs on a Friday

I've done two flat twists around my head, which seemed ok. Will try this one see how it goes

I’ve done two flat twists around my head, which seemed ok. Will try this one see how it goes

This might be pushing it...

This might be pushing it…

Cornrows are worth a shot too

Cornrows are worth a shot too

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 tumblr_mutj2fWpZW1r7jp6zo1_400

And... For when my hair gets longer

And… For when my hair gets longer

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There are definately going to be more pics as I get more ideas for work.

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Categories: Hair tips, Hairspiration | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

A few hair lessons

Once again, I just want to say I love my natural hair and this journey of taking care of it in its natural state. You hear of people talking about that ‘good’ hair. What is ‘good’ natural hair?  Soft, thick, bouncy, loosely curled? Well, I have type 4 hair, very soft when moisturised, very fine strands that are so vulnerable if you look at them wrong they might fly away and medium to low density hair. I pray for thicker hair and stronger stands, and thankfully as it gets longer it looks thicker. I have had issues, though, naturally, excuse the pun. I’ve had to learn through brittle strands, tangling and excessive shedding what I was doing wrong.

WHAT WORKS FOR ANOTHER NATURAL HAIRED GIRL, EVEN ONE WITH SIMILAR HAIR TO YOURS, IS NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO WORK ON YOUR HAIR!

That is the main lesson I’ve learnt.

Here are a few other things I’ve learnt:

  • My hair does NOT like aloe vera (unless I’m going to wash it out very soon afterwards), amla and coconut oil. All of these products make my hair brittle and unhappy
  • My hair loves glycerin, but only when there is some humidity in the air (Harare is not a humid place unless it’s about to rain or just after it has rained)
  • My scalp doesn’t like to have much on it
  • Extensions (for box braids) that are not silky are a big NO NO
  • My hair needs to be trimmed or dusted often – it’s those fine strands being their vulnerable selves
  • My hair thrives in half wigs although wearing wigs irritates me
  • Make sure to check expiry dates on products (more on this in my henna story soon…)

We live, we learn. That’s the way the journey goes…

Categories: My hair, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Some random hair talk…

I love natural hair. I really do. I love my natural hair and I love seeing other ladies with natural hair. I was in Bulawayo for a few days and I saw a lot of women with dreadlocks and natural hairstyles. I was in Victoria Falls with yarn braids, and I noticed a very large percentage of people there have dreadlocks; freet dreadlocks and even neat small ones. In Harare though, it’s mostly still a sea of weaves. I did see this lady with the most gorgeous thick mane of wild kinks at a restaurant, and I felt like going to high five her, but decided to just stare and smile. I saw a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while at church with a blond TWA. I was so excited to see her and her hair, that I did the unspeakable – I went in to touch. I hate it when people stick their fingers in my hair and touch my hair, but there I was doing the same.

In a city where I hardly saw anyone with natural hair unless they were going to get their hair relaxed or texturised, it’s so refreshing to see the tide turning slowly but surely. It might be due to the influence from the global natural hair movement or from neighbouring countries’ cultures. Whichever, all I know is I see a lot more ladies transitioning or doing the big chop to start the natural hair journey. That really makes me smile… 

 I don’t always have my natural hair out, because of the work I do (which I’ll lament about later) and I realise a lot of women in Harare actually have natural hair under their weaves, wigs or braids.

My blog, like many hair blogs, has a lot of pictures. I’m a visual person like most, and I love looking at beautiful images. With the evident natural hair movement worldwide being played out on the internet, hair envy is inevitable. A mixed girl (or coloured girl) in Zimbabwe is more likely to be admired for having curly natural hair (ie Ammara Brown), whereas a none mixed girl (ie Shingai Shoniwa) will be castigated for walking around with ‘undone’ hair (except Shingai Shoniwa isn’t really castigated, but then again, she’s Shingai Shoniwa). So girls who don’t have looser textures will end up trying, mostly in vain, to recreate that curly look so they can have that accepted pretty curly natural hair. Not treating your hair as uniquely as it is and trying to making look a certain way which is different to the way it is, defeats the whole purpose of going natural.

I struggle with this when I go to work with my natural hair out in full glory. I work in a formal financial environment and at my work, they would actually rather you have your hair ‘done’ – as in a weave, extensions to relaxed hair or braids. If I go to work ‘undone’ I usually plait one or two french plaits, combed out afro puff or some updo. The whole week, I’ll be asked when I’m getting my hair done, which gets irritating, especially when I’m not planning to do anything.

Natural hair perceptions are changing though in Zimbabwe, not fast enough though. I’ll just continue jumping up and down while clapping my hands when I see a natural in Harare.

Categories: My hair, Uncategorized, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

What I’ve been up to and Hair Update

So it’s been a crazy couple of months…. Hectic in every way and to top it all off, my wordpress had been acting up. It seems I’m now able to post, although I’m still super busy.

 

I’m being forced to have a more definite lifestyle change. Taking care of my natural hair, has made me more aware of ways to take care of my skin and body naturally too but I haven’t been as disciplined with taking care of my health as compared to my hair. I’m not overweight, but I hardly exercise and I have a really sweet tooth.  Due to migraines, a tooth issue and other minor illnesses that I’ve had recently, I’m being forced to make a real lifestyle change. It’s all connected spiritually and emotionally too. I’m a steward of this body that God gave me and I’ve decided to really make an effort in taking care of myself. 

With this in mind, I’m going to blog about my journey in getting to a better place in terms of my health.

When it comes to hair, my hair is growing, still shedding but looking thicker, blacker and healthier in general. I’m happy with that. I trimmed about an inch off in September. I easily get split ends (the joys of being so fine haired) and although I really try to space out my trims, I have to dust off my ends almost monthly. I’ve had my hair out and I wear a wig to work sometimes if I don’t feel like dealing with the ‘you haven’t done your hair’ comments. Will get box braids shortly, because this time of the year tends to be really stressful for me and when I’m stressed my hands go into my hair and start fiddling and pulling at strands.

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So I’m going to blog more consistently, now that my wordpress is allowing me to post. On natural hair and health issues, focusing on home and natural remedies and especially my journey.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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