Sunday, 21 July 2013

Natural hair dyes

My natural hair colour is a brownish of sorts like a dark brown. I have only ever used boxed chemical dyes on my hair once; on the leave out hair for my number 1 (black) weave install I couldn’t find the specific weave in my regular number at the time and my natural hair colour just wouldn’t blend so the leave out had to be dyed black. On take down the difference in colours on my head was so obvious but since the leave out was a very small section the rest of my hair covered it well and henna and braids also helped over time until the black totally grew out.

Here is a list of natural hair dyes I compiled from different sources that I thought would be of interest to ladies who do not want to put more chemicals than necessary in their hair or are allergic to manufactured hair dyes. In my opinion any plant (fruit, seed, bark, leaf, and root) that can stain is a potential hair dye you just have to find the right proportions and/or dye releasing agents to mix it with. I just came up with a list, for more information on these and more natural hair dyes Google is your friend I am feeling lazy today lol I always think it is quite important for people to do their own research before trying out anything. It is also a good idea to do a strand test beforehand you don’t want to end up with greenish purple hair now.  Some of these dyes work instantly and others work overtime with frequent and consistent use.

So here goes;
Henna (I think everyone on a hair journey knows this one by now and it is one natural dye that  I can answers questions on personally, been around it since I was a child so feel free to ask any henna related questions in the comment section thanks.)
Indigo (used mostly in conjunction with henna to dye hair black)
Black tea (most of the other teas can dye as well)
Lemons (lightens hair)
Honey (lightens hair)
Black Walnuts
Rhubarb root
Amla - Indian Gooseberry (darkens hair; get the powdered version)
Curry leaves (darkens hair)
Sage (this is one herb I came across a lot while researching for this post)
Another alternative hair dye is food colour! Yes the one that we use in food.

Quick hair update: today was what I hope is my final wash day before I commence my kinky twist take down in about two weeks time or less. I finally managed to do a hot oil treatment aka hot oil pre poo they are currently air drying it’s been about four hours since I washed them and I am about 60% dry I may go out in the sun later and get them sun dried.

In other hair related news I came across this lady who uses pure Argan oil on her human hair weave *insert blank stare*! Call me cheap but I will use vegetable oil from my kitchen on my extensions before I use such expensive oil on hair that is not growing out of my scalp. Different strokes for different folks.

Do you know of any other natural hair dyes? If so please add them in the comment section below…

Monday, 15 July 2013

Kitchen Korner: Coconut Bean Stew

Coconut bean stew with coriander/cilantro leaves and a clove floating around; #garnishfail

You will need;

1 cup boiled fresh beans or 1 can beans drained (any type of beans will do)
1 cup coconut milk or ½ cup coconut cream
1 small onion chopped
1 fresh ripe tomato chopped (tomato paste or canned plum tomatoes can be used if preferred)
A few Coriander/Cilantro leaves
3 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 teaspoon Ginger powder
3 cloves
1/2  teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Vegetable oil about 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
  1. Pour the vegetable oil into the pot, add chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes, add the spices (cloves, ginger, turmeric, thyme, salt) let them cook for a few seconds add in the garlic cloves and chopped tomatoes cook for a minute or so while stirring until the tomato is cooked
  2. Pour in the beans and mix the contents of the pot well, pour in the coconut milk; if using coconut cream mix it with some water first before pouring in. Let the bean stew simmer for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat until it thickens add in the coriander leaves and then turn off the heat and let it cook heatless for 2-3 minutes and it’s done.
Serve with any accompaniment of your choice. Among Kenyans and the larger East African community by extension bean stew with or without coconut milk is commonly served with either Chapatis (the East African version) or plain white rice. Other accompaniments include but are not limited to sweet potatoes, green bananas, mahamri/mahambri, bread, ugali (a cornmeal based stiff porridge) and a host of other accompaniments.

Any seasoning of your choice can be used and other vegetables like carrots can also be added to this stew.

Kitchen Korner is a feature on the blog that showcases food prepared using ingredients that can also be used on the hair; double food hair products I like to call them. Today’s major double food hair ingredient was coconut milk/cream. Other ingredients that can be found in hair products or used in homemade recipes are onions, garlic, cloves, thyme and ginger. Vegetable oil can also be used as a pre poo or mixed into deep conditioners.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Hair update!

I have had my kinky twists in for 4 weeks now just getting started on week 5. I had the perimeter redone yesterday so now they look brand new. I have shampoo washed them twice at two week intervals. First wash was with liquified African black soap second wash Organic Root Stimulator Creamy Aloe Shampoo since I had been swimming and needed to get rid of the chlorine in my hair. I did not manage to do any hot oil treatments for both washes unfortunately but I hope to do at least one before I take them out. I have made three braid spray mixes so far the first two mixes consisted of my leave in conditioner (a different type each time), avocado oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, glycerin and distilled water the third mix was Aloe Vera Juice, my kiddies carrot crème moisturizer, tea tree oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, avocado oil and distilled water.

My shed hairs were peeking out of a few twists at the front of my head. I have noticed this before whenever I had braids but always assumed it was product build up and wiped it off with a wet cloth. This time however being on a hair journey and all once I saw little white bits I decided to take a closer look and tried pulling one out and lo and behold this long strand came out with a white bulb at the root that’s when I knew it was shed hair.
Still got the dented spray bottle!.Note to self never add boiling water into a spray bottle!

This is my very first time installing kinky hair and here are my highs and lows so far;
  • This hair holds styles much better than regular braiding hair I think it is because of its coarse texture
  • The older it gets the better it looks
  • I like the fact that they sort of resemble twisted locs I am considering having them wrapped around like how you do threading instead of twists next time to achieve a loc’d look
  • According to the lady who braided me they can be reused at least twice if you do not cut them on take down and I plan to do this. I will use them to rebraid with a different style for maybe 4 - 5 weeks once I take the twists out. Actually most braiding hair can be reused it’s just that they are usually quite affordable so most of us do not think of reusing unlike “human hair” which costs an arm, a leg, and probably an eye as well:)
  • They are very heavy when wet and mine are even heavier since I used 3 packs of Afro Kinky bulk, I have a big head  love the full look lol
  • I used my cousin’s braider this time and she followed my instructions; do not braid too tight, leave out my edges and then I just had to go and tie them in a tight updo let’s just say I lost a twist while I was trying to achieve the updo as in it broke off from the root! Thank God it was at my nape so not very visible. They had started loosening up due to new growth and I think this twist was at its weakest point and snapped from the root. I take full responsibility for that one lesson well learnt.

All said and done I must say that I am satisfied with this hair and will be using it more frequently in the future. I hope to carry this protective style until the end of July/early August which will make it 8 weeks. If you plan on wearing your braids or twists for longer than four weeks I highly recommend getting the perimeter redone halfway through, your hairline and nape will thank you for that.

Meanwhile it’s been rather quiet round these parts nowadays is everyone on hair blogsville on a blogacation, where are you people?