A Handful of Concealers

Concealer Colours

I’ve been on the hunt for a good vegan and cruelty free concealer to use. I love my L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD. High Definition Concealer in the Colour Fawn, but I wanted to try new products and discover some vegan alternatives. (Why do the give makeup products such long names?) Continue reading

Afro-textured Hair: A Break Down

I wanted to provide a break-down of afro-textured hair in comparison to Caucasian and Asian hair. Afro-textured hair is pretty unique to people of African descent. Although woolly and curly hair appear in other groups, the frequency and nature still differs to afro-textured hair. Continue reading

My Lazy July Wash day

Wash day happened on the 2nd July. I’ve been rushing around and just taken a day to take a breather

The need to wash my hair quickly, has led me to my lazy wash day routine.

Three products only, which is quite simple for a naturalista.

  • Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner
  • IC Fantasia Pure tea shampoo dilutes with green tea
  • Giovanni Weightless Moisture Direct Leave in

After this my hairdresser washed my hair and put it in twists.

My hair regimen is very repetitive, quick and simple at the moment, because I don’t want to spend too long on hair.

My aim for this year was to actually start my blog, over the next few months one of my aims will be to improve the content. I hope you stick around!

#WashDayExperience

The Wash Day Experience

My Trip to M&S

When in M&S (Marks and Spencers) some of these  oils caught my hair. A lot of us don’t realise that we can buy our hair oils from the supermarket. I think this is a better way to purchase, than some of the dubious retailers online.

So you’re thinking why don’t you just buy if from a hair shop that caters to Afro-textured hair. Over time I’m beginning to question these shops, as a lot of them don’t follow regulations. E.g. selling bleaching creams is banned in the UK and EU, because a lot of them contain steroids.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/skin/Pages/Skinlightening.aspx

I trust these brands. Why you may ask?

Well known brands have more to lose by being caught up in a scandal and a lot of these oils are designed safe to be consume.

 

I’ve also listed a couple of places you can buy oils.

Other Options:

  • Holland and Barrett: UK Health food store
  • Shea Butter Cottage: Ships internationally and has a range of unique oils at great prices. You also support a black-owned business, as well as UK (homegrown) business and the owner is Ghanaian, so this is an A++ for me.
  • com: They ship internationally and have a range of oils.
  • Supermarkets: Some oils may be exclusive to large branches, but supermarkets offer great oils at low prices.

One Blog

Initally, I decided to have different blogs for different themes, but decided that I want to just have one blog with all my interests. This hopefully gives a holistic approach.

Sherifa The Hatter is born.

Initially, I wanted something along the lines of Sherifa in Wonderland or Sherifa Wonders, because when I was younger my mum would always say I am always wondering about things and that is very true and apart of who I am. However, I also thought this was a tad generic.

Not to along ago, my dad responded to something I said, by affectionately calling me mad. I laughed and exclaimed we all need a little madness. Thinking about this The Mad Hatter is one of my favourite characters in Alice in Wonderland and is often my favourite character in the various spin offs of this Lewis Carroll classic. The Mad Hatter embodies the fun, excitement and creativity of life. I think it is important to think a little outside the box, or hat in this case. These are some of the amazing jokes you can expect from me. I hope you stick around on this adventure of mine.

What Natural Hair Girls Need To Stop Doing

Putting oil water into and oil in a spray bottle.

Oil and water don’t mix. In Science we learn that you need an emulsifier, but I still see a lot of this in DIY spray mixes. ‘m going to offer three alternatives.

Have water and oil in separate spray bottle, use the water mist first and follow it up with an oil mist, to seal in the water in your hair. Layering is better than mixing.

Buy a spray leave in conditioner that has water and oil these spray leave ins have been formulated to do what you cannot do with a DIY.

Dilute a deep conditioner with distilled water and shake the mix with each use.

Using mayonnaise and eggs as a protein treatment

Yes, there is protein in mayonnaise and eggs, but it is not hydrolyzed protein, so cannot penetrate the hair strand. The reason mayonnaise and egg makes your hair look shiny is because of the emollient properties of them but there are better conditioning ingredients.

If you really love DIY try using ingredients like  Coconut Milk, Tea, Rhassoul Clay, Henna, Light oils and Ayurvedic herbs may be more beneficial.

Using oil as a heat protectant

The high boiling points, does not mean the oil is protecting your hair. If you think about using cooking oil and how an egg reacts, that’s what you’re doing to your hair, frying it. I’ve seen someone use coconut oil to straighten their hair, they got sleek results, but heat damaged hair.

Being afraid of parabens

Parabens have not been proven to cause breast cancer. Parabens are used as preservatives in products, this is what allows our products to last 12-24 months and not get bacterial growth.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/01January/Pages/parabens-in-breast-cancer-tissue-studied.aspx

Being afraid of silicones

Some silicones are water soluble. The main issue with silicones is the use of non water soluble silicones if you don’t wash your hair with shampoo regularly. Silicone deposits on your hair shaft can lead to build up. Silicone blocks moisture out of your hair so over time this can lead to damaged hair. I avoid silicone in the top 5 ingredients of my products that aren’t heat protectants. When straightening your hair silicones will be your best friend, because it protects your hair from heat damage and humidity

All natural products

All natural products, doesn’t mean all good. Some companies may put natural ingredients in their products that is not beneficial for your hair. I heard this example once and loved it. Poison Ivy is natural, but it’s not necessarily good for your hair and skin. Start to question the marketing hype surrounding a lot of products. Not all synthetic ingredients are bad, what is most important is research.

Using oils and butters as a “moisturiser”

Moisture means water. Oils and butters help seal in moisture into water. Applying oils and butters to dry hair only coats your hair. When hair is coated in product it may feel soft and a lot us confuse this for hydrated hair, but hair is often dry underneath the products.

Doing too much

I love the idea that hair care should be simple. People have been growing hair for years, I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel to get there.

Deep Conditioning Session: tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask

24/03/2016

So today, I was sitting at home and received a special delivery. It was my tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask. My first impression of it is good, when opening up the container the hair mask smelled good. More importantly it was sealed. If you are like me anytime you got to a black hair shop, you pick up the 3rd item in the row of products, because you know the first one has been most likely contaminated. I’ve been in shops where I see people open a container and put their fingers in it.

But, I digress. I bought the hair mask for £12.99 from Beauty by Zara, with delivery it cost me £15.98. I have never in my memory spent so much money on a single item of product. But I suppose, now I’m a fully fledged natural. When you buy an overly expensive product, only then will you feel my pain (Discrete Naruto reference).

The tgin Honey Miracle Mask is cheaper in the UK than the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Hair Masque that retails for £13.99 on My Luxe Beauty and £14.99 on BeautybyZara.com.

Funny enough this is the reverse in the US with Shea Moisture being cheaper.

I would rather the product label had a gloss finish, rather than a matte finish, but the aesthetics have nothing to do with the function. Overall, the product looks sleek and professional.

I have low porosity hair, the product would be made better for low porosity hair if it was more alkaline and didn’t have aloe vera juice in the top 5 ingredients.

Ingredients.

WATER, RAW HONEY, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) LEAF JUICE, STEARYL ALCOHOL, CETYL ALCOHOL, STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, GLUTAMIC ACID, FRAGRANCE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, EDTA, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, DIMETHICONE, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE

low porosity deep conditioning.jpg

Results

April Wash day: 07/04/2016

I bought the Gold n’ Hot Soft Bonnet Dryer from Amazon for £10.50

I bought another Ko:Kou Turbo Ionic Blow-dryer. My message to you is buy directly from the Ko:Kou website and don’t buy from a third party, because trying to claim on the warranty gets ridiculously tricky. Their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

However, I will say I think they have made a good product here. I also bought the Long Pik and it came up to £49.97 including delivery.

So I mentioned, that I got the tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask, this review goes into more detail about how I used it to.

I used the tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask after a henna treatment and sat under my soft bonnet dryer for 20 minutes.

The Soft Bonnet Dryer was difficult to use and kept blowing off, I think I will try experimenting with it further, as it would be useful for low porosity hair. I like the fact that it is detachable, so doesn’t take a lot of space and is much cheaper than a standing hair dryer.

gold n hot soft bonnet dryer instructions

When applying the products I was surprised that I didn’t need as much as I thought I would. The 12oz container gives you a good amount of product. After removing the cap, I could see that the product has sunk into my strands. My hair felt soft, with the product in it and even after washing. Overall, I’m very happy with the products performance.

Other reviews

Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Discovery!

Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Ingredients My Version

I’ve notice that the ingredients of my Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Repair cream is different from the ones online. The Ingredient list is more similar to the Cantu Argan Oil Leave in Repair Cream.

Water (Aqua, Eau), Canola Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glycerin, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Acindia Chinesis (Kiwi) Fruit Etract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Fragrance (Parfum),Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowgfoamate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Pentaerythrityl Tetracaprylate/ Tetracaprate, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, DMDM Hydantoin, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-4, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride.

Using Cantu Properly

I used Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Repair cream, the way it was intended and it was works well. Apply to freshly washed shampoo’ed hair and apply a plastic cap for deeper penetration. I’ve decided that this is the best way to use it, as it is not the most moisturing product for already dry hair, but best for freshly washed hair.

http://theblackhairdiary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/cantu-shea-butter-leave-in-conditioning.html

A blogger I found that has the same Cantu ingredients.

Other Cantu ingredient lists online:

Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Repair Cream Ingredients Online Version

Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG 1 Trideceth 6, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Panthenol, PPG 1-PPG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Lanolin Oil, Cinnamidopropyl Trimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Benzophenone 3, BHA, BHT, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin, Phenoxyethanol

Cantu Argan Oil Leave in Repair Cream Ingredient

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Canola Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Argan Oil, Panthenol, Hexapeptide-11, Betaine, Hexylene Glycol, Sugar Cane Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/ Dicaprate, PPG-1, Trideceth-6, Phenoxyethanol, Ethlyhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA.

I think the UK and US ingredient vary. It was an interesting discovery.

Seek help when needed

A good hairdresser can be of great support in your hair journey. It is amazing that the natural hair community has inspired people to do more DIYs and I think knowing your own hair is important. However, a good hairdresser can totally change your own hair game. I say support and not complete reliance. For the things you don’t know how to do a hairdresser can save you time. Sometimes we tell ourselves we are not willing to part with a set amount of money, but we know a good hairdresser can do the style in half the time and probably do a better job.

You can get more money, but can’t make more time. I understand if you can’t afford it, but this is to the people with a stingy mentality who are willing to buy a designer bag, but not willing to pay someone to do a job. My mum said something to me once on this topic, that they, referring to hairdressers (in this case) also have to drink ice water. This is an African Proverb, which means hairdressers also have to make a living. As well as, supporting natural hair products and brands we have to support good hairdressers by sharing the love. Tell your friend to tell a friend. I will probably write an article in the future about How to find good hairdressers and How to spot bad hairdressers.

I emphasis good, because of course a bad hairdresser will be more detrimental than any DIY. I think there often than not, we know a hairdresser is bad before they lay their hands on our hair, but we tell ourselves we have a special function and need to look good. Only if there was a lastminutehairdresser.com for those situations, I think it would empower more women to leave a bad stylists seat than face damage. In some cases, the hairdresser may not be bad, but we are unwilling to speak up, so we end up leaving with services we are unsatisfied with. There is something about that chair, that makes even the most out-going of women nervous to speak up, maybe it’s because it has become standard practice for so many of us. But remember that you are the customer, you have the money and no one is ‘doing you a favour’.

A Take on Protective Styles

I think, I have often been too length focused on my hair journey, done things seeking long hair rather than healthy hair. 2016 is the start of my healthy hair journey and hopefully in several years time, I will look back fondly at these moments and think of my choice as a turning point. When you hear have healthy hair practices, length will come we often roll our heads at it, but there is a lot of truth in it.

I have nothing against using extensions as protective styles and when done correctly can be useful in helping retain length. However, I think protective styles should be done in intervals, rather than be your default setting. I’m not saying don’t protective style, but I think it is useful to find protective styles that don’t involve extensions, such as two strand twists, cornrows and braids.

Sometimes, we don’t think we don’t have an issue with our natural hair, but ask yourself would you be comfortable wearing your natural hair 24/7.

Someone else may say, extensions are a fantastic protective that can help achieve length goals which is true. However, imagine you never reach your length goal, then what then?

It seems a bit extreme, but I have started to understand that it is important to learn and enjoy your hair before reaching your length goals. I am trying to get out of the mentality, that when it reaches  tailbone length I will be rocking it, swishing my hair from side to side. I think once you embrace your hair whatever the length or texture before you know it, it will grow. I think the adage of if you focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have, before you know it your bounty will be overflowing holds true.

If you feel that your natural hair is too much to deal with, you are doing too much. The key is to simplify your regimen to something that is effective, works around your schedule and delivers results. I am not for long wash days, expensive products and an hour braiding daily. Who knows I may come back to expensive products once I’m a multi-billionaire *grins cheekily*, but at the moment as a student that is not one of my priorities. Even as a natural hair enthusiast I’m not for it, 2016 is the year of natural hair minimalism.

I will try and practice this and let you know how I get on. I know my hair grows most when I don’t protective style without extensions and encourage more people to try the No Extension Method. When I look at my favourite YouTubers most of them do styles using their own hair 80% of the time and even their protective styles are done on their hair. Is this best practice?

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

I love looking at beautiful box braids, faux locs and crotchet braids, but from now on I’ll only live vicariously through other women, because as much as I admire these looks I don’t want it for myself.