Posts Tagged With: Zimbabwean women

My self installed yarn twists



So I plaited my own yarn twists, for the third time and if I do say so myself, they came out even better than last time.

My twists in 2013My yarn twists in 2013, were a thinner and shorter and took me about three days to put in.

I really wanted to do thicker and longer twists than the last time, but the thought of sitting for three days put me off. However, this time it took me less time, and I was pleased with the result.

My process

1. I bought a lot of wool, in the end I used about 8 rolls. I bought black and a bit of brown, so I could mix the two (looks more natural with my hair). Wool is easy to find and quite cheap, the wool sold in supermarkets is ideal for yarn braids. Other tools needed are a pair of scissors, lighter (and candle, I just find that easier) and a lot of patience.

I washed my hair, conditioned it, made sure to use protein as I always do before I put in a protective style. I then separated my hair into smaller sections of front sides, back sides, back centre, middle and fringe front.




Started from the back


When tired…

    2. Had to section the wool too, into the length I wanted, which is another tedious      process. To plait one braid, I had 20 length pieces of wool, which I would then        bend in half to plait. With installing on to the hair, I started off with a three strand  braid ( I haven’t mastered doing the twist right from the scalp yet, although this  looks more natural).

 I twisted starting from the back, then sides, front and finished off with the middle.  When I got tired or needed to go out during this two day process, I used a scarf to cover the front.





Still left with the middle at this stage


3. For the ends, I’d burn them using a candle.





This is after about 3 weeks

I kept them in for about 4 weeks, although I would have kept them for 6 if my strands would just stay put.
I washed them twice, although I was worried about my hair locing when it shrunk in the twists, thankfully it wasn’t a hassle at all to undo.



Categories: My hair, Protective Styles, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Crochet Braids

I’m always on the lookout for new protective styles, as I usually have a protective style about 90% of the year.

Recently I’ve been thinking of getting crochet braids done. I’ve thought of doing them on my own, but I’m not great at plaiting cornrows on my head, let alone crocheting pieces of hair into them. So I’ve decided to search for hairdressers in Harare who do it, I heard that there are a few.

What is crochet braiding?
A crochet needle is used to weave packaged, usually synthetic, hair into natural hair that has been French braided or braided into corn rows. Crochet braids, despite the name, are actually closer to sew in weaves than actual braids.

What is the difference with sew-in weaving?
Sew-in weaves are hair extensions sewn into tracks, placing more tension on the hair. Crochet braids use crochet needles (latch hooks) to loop bulk pieces of hair extension onto cornrows.

• Low cost and low maintenance way to protect hair
• Give better access to the scalp than other protective styles, such as sew-in weaves
• Don’t require hair glue or caps, making them easier on the scalp
• Place less stress on edges
• Look very natural, especially with natural looking extensions

Here are a few pics:

crochet braids 5 crochet crochet braids crochet braids 4 crochet 2 crochet braids 1 crochet braids 2 crocet cro crochet braids 3

All images can be found on the Tumblr page.

Categories: Hairspiration, Protective Styles | Tags: , , | 19 Comments

Hair Update

Time for a hair update.

An updo done with two parts

An updo done with two parts

My hair has grown (stands up and does a victory dance). Obviously my hair has grown, because that is what it does, it grows, we just have to be patient and try to retain as much length as we can. Honestly, I’ve been a little lax on taking care of my hair. I haven’t moisturized it as often as I should have and there were days when my hair would get tangles and I was too lazy too untangle it. I have to get back to treating it like silk, my hand in hair syndrome seems to be getting worse.

The Good News:
1. Again, it’s grown. The back is actually past collar bone length, the front past my nose.
2. The shedding I experienced has significantly decreased – I believe this is due to detangling more thoroughly, although not as often. I now use a wide toothed comb along with my fingers.
3. My fine and fragile strands seems stronger, mostly due to regular protein treatments.
4. My edges are filling in, thanks to castor oil and protecting them.

The Bad News:
1. My hair has started to tangle more at the roots, which I’m trying to figure out how to deal with.
2. I’ve noticed my ends are a little frazzled and I have seen a few split ends, although I dust my ends approximately every two months.

I usually get box braids/twists, yarn braids or wigs to protect my hair. I went two whole months with my hair out which was liberating and taught me how be more creative with my hair, especially for work. I ended up doing a lot of updos for workThe shedding I experienced has significantly decreased – I believe this is due to detangling more thoroughly, although not as often. I now use a wide toothed comb along with my fingers.

Here are a few pics:

Shrunken hair style

Shrunken hair style


My edges are growing back!!

My edges are growing back!!


An updo done with two parts

An updo done with two parts


How it looks from the back

How it looks from the back

Categories: My hair, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , , | 12 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

Hair Journal: Box Twists to Hair Out to Yarn Twists

Have been so eager to post about my hair and all things hair, but due to the usual connectivity issues found where I happily live, I had to patiently wait. Which as a lady on her natural hair journey, is something that I’m getting the hang of. Patiently waiting.

Anyway, I undid my box twists to reveal hair that is still growing, especially on my stubborn thin edges. Yay! My hair there is slowly filling in and I’m patiently waiting. When I detangled, washed my hair and conditioned it, along with the shedding ( I just don’t feel happy seeing shed hair no matter how normal it is ), my hair was black, shiny and strong. Oh and so soft, so I was very relieved. Adding to my relief was the fact that the few split ends I found when I still had my braids in, were not widespread in my hair. With a little extra tlc on my ends when the braids came out, it was all good.

I love having my hair out, although coming out with cute styles that still look neat for work can be a challenge for me. With my hair out, during the week, I usually do updos or french plaits and puffs. During the weekends, I tend to do more, although I’m a lazy styler. I wanted another protective style though because our winter was not over yet, so got yarn twists/genie locs which I intend to keep in for about 3 to 4 weeks.

So this month I went from:



My puffy puff puff...

My puffy puff puff…

To yarn twists! Which took me FOREVER  to plait.

Nearly done...

Nearly done…


Relieved to be done, finally...

Relieved to be done, finally…


Categories: My hair, Zimbabwean & African Natural Hair | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Hair Idol: Chiwoniso Maraire (RIP)

nehanda 4

A Zimbabwean icon passed away yesterday. Mbira musician Chiwoniso Maraire aged 37 died yesterday from a lung infection, and I’m absolutely gutted. Her music to me was an inspiration and she was a joy to watch live.

I wanted to profile her as a dreadlocked hair icon later on, but I’ve decided to profile her now in celebration of her life at her passing.

Chiwoniso with her mbira

Chiwoniso with her mbira

Chiwoniso Maraire was born in 1976 in exile in Olympia, Washington in the US. Her Zimbabwean parents, Dumisani and Linda Maraire were both musicians. Her father, ethnomusicologist Dumisani Maraire, taught marimba and mbira in America between 1972 and 1990. Chiwoniso started singing and playing the mbira at a very young age. Her family relocated after independence to Zimbabwe in 1990, where Chiwoniso attended high school. She was a member of a hip hop oriented ensemble, A Peace of Ebony, which won a number of contests and “Rebel Woman,” one of her songs finished second in an international song writing contest that had over 1500 entries.

In the mid-1990s she became a full-time member of the Zimbabwean group Andy Brown & The Storm. In 1999, she was a nominee in the “Best Female Vocals of Africa” category of the KORA Awards. Chiwoniso left Andy Brown & The Storm to concentrate on her solo career in 2001.

For the last fewyears, she has been working with her own band, Vibe Culture. Her last album, Rebel Woman, is a mixture of traditional Shona musical styles using traditional instruments and modern African dance music.

Chiwoniso created a music that reflects life as it happens in her experiences and yet remain rooted in her culture.

Chiwoniso performing live

Chiwoniso performing live

Dreadlocked Zimbabweans, like other nationalities, get dreadlocks for religious reasons, as a fashion statement or the apparent convenience. Chiwoniso Maraire wore dreadlocks as part and parcel of the traditional African culture celebrated through music.

nehanda radio 1

Doing a radio interview

Doing a radio interview


Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

nehanda radio

Source: Nehanda Radio

Source: Nehanda Radio

Famba zvakanaka Chiwoniso, tichazokuona….


Biography information and media is from Wikipedia, Listen to the Banned, Nehanda Radio, Tumblr, Youtube and

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

Why short hair rocks…


Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

I have short hair, it’s just above my shoulders, neck length. It’s growing and I really should have more patience but if I could will it to grow faster so I have long healthy hair, I would. Waist length hair when stretched which would be about mid back length with my shrinkage (that’s what I dream of). Thick gorgeous coily kinky hair that is, key word here, LONG.


Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira

The reality though is that my hair is short and I have to enjoy my hair being short. At whatever length it is, I have to enjoy my hair and all the advantages each length has. Therefore, here are some advantages of short hair, for the long haired ladies who want to cut their hair; for girls who want to keep their hair short and for those who are growing their hair and need some encouragement or reminders on why short hair rocks:

  •  Less time in doing your hair, whether it’s styling, washing or detangling
  • Stronger ends, since they’re not as old as the ends would be with longer hair. This means fewer split or frayed ends, less tangles and less fragile ends
  • Short hair styles can be so cute and hard to fake when you have longer hair
  • Better to experiment with, for example, when dyeing or when trying new products. This might sound weird, but you might as well experiment with short hair than with long hair since new growth is stronger
  • You are free to have hand in hair syndrome, since your hair is stronger to withstand constant manipulation at this length
  • Water is all you need. At some short lengths, not much is needed to be done. Washing hair and going is easier at short lengths for most hair textures, air drying is faster and tangles are not as big an issue as they would be with longer hair
  • Short hair is cheaper, less products, less time and in some cases, less effort
  • Protective styling is not as important since hair doesn’t touch shoulders and rub against clothing. So hair can be free more often.

If you have short hair, what do you like about it?

Categories: Hairspiration | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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