Friday, February 26, 2010

Hey Guys,

I promised a Henna post and here it is. When any Kenyan girl/lady hears henna we automatically think ladies of Asian and North African descent, Somali weddings, mehandi, old Somali men with brazen copper beards, ladies from Mombasa, henna on fingernails and old ladies with henna stained hair. My mother used to treat her hair and nails with henna but I always shunned it. I also used to go to Eastleigh and have my hands and feet adorned with lovely mehandi, little did I know how amazing henna is on natural hair.

Henna lawsonia inermis is a small desert shrub that can grow 2-6m high. It is grown in Africa, southern Asia and northern Australoasia. The actual powder comes from the henna leaves being harvested, dried and powdered. When the powder is mixed with an acidic liquid e.g lemon juice it will stain nails, skin and hair a reddish-orange tint. This comes from the dye molecule in the henna called lawsone. Different types of henna have different dye contents, some may have higher dye content than others. The henna powders with the highest dye contents come from the henna grown in the hottest most arid climates. Henna however only comes in ONE colour...REDDISH ORANGE. Some henna packets claim that they are black henna, brown henna etc...this is false, this henna has synthetic dyes and metallic salts that cause this weird colours. This henna is not pure and I do not advocate the use of such henna. It is best to use pure henna with no additives to avoid allergic reactions.

Henna has been used in the world for a long time and there is evidence that it was used in Egypt to dye hair more than 5000 years ago. It was also used in Europe in the late 1800s and 1900s to cover greys and help the women get thick auburn hair. Europeans used to get the henna from Turkish merchants and it was quite the trend. Henna promoted thick, flaming auburn hair and was thought to be a natural hair dye with no nasty side effects.

My love affair for Henna is well known. I love this fantastic herb. It makes my usually fine hair thick, rich, shiny and gives it a red tint. I am so obsessed with this herb that when I buy it, I do so in bulk so that there is no chance of me running out. I have tried various brands e.g Karishma Henna, Ayurvedic Henna, Hasini Henna, Lush Caca Noir Henna etc. I used to henna once a month but now I do so every two weeks. The benefits of henna on my hair are, Thicker, stronger, shinier hair with a reddish tint which is very noticeable in the sun. One controversial issue of Henna on Natural curly hair is that it can loosen the curl pattern on hair which can be a good thing for 4b and c's but not so much for 3b and c's. My hair has a looser curl pattern especially the front bits and I attribute this to henna.
In my next post I shall describe how I make my henna mix and also how I do it step by step.
Thanks for reading and I hope you are all going to embrace being Henna heads.

pics courtesy of diwali.jp, siegfriedmodola.wordpress.com, www.cqj.dk

My hair, 7 months after my BC

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


As you may know i cut my damaged hair last year July.. I just thought its about time I posted a few pics of my new grown locks, I finally got a data cable (huzzzah!) so here they are....


my very first twist out

I love my hair pretties!

FLOWER POWER!! and back length

my thick and kinky fro

my hair after a good co-wash

Thats it for now!

More pics to come...

Later yaol

Traction Alopecia Part 2

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In the last post I talked about traction alopecia, who it affects and the main reasons most African ladies have this problem. As I said, traction alopecia is caused by the pulling and subsequent tension on hair follicles on the scalp. The tension causes hair to start falling out in clumps and bald patches. The main causes are tight braids, weaves, cornrows, overprocessing of chemical relaxer and heat. In this post I shall go on to give advice to ladies who may be suffering from this condition as well as give some simple home remedies that can work on the scalp to remedy the situation. However when traction alopecia is at an advanced stage there is nothing one can do to regrow the hair.

Certain things can help regrow back the edges of the hairline such as;
  • Reduce the tension on the hairline by completely avoiding hairstyles that cause this tension such as braids and cornrows. Wear hair loose and avoid tight pony tails and buns.
  • Prepare a good hair regimen. Cleanse and deep condition often at minimum once every two weeks.
  • Massage the scalp often maybe even once a day with castor oil and olive oil which makes hair grow thicker and stronger.The massage aids good blood circulation which gives the hair roots nutrients and enhances hair growth.
  • Keep your scalp clean because a dirty clogged scalp will not sustain hair regrowth
  • Maintain a good exercise regime, healthy body=healthy hair
Most importantly if you keep rocking styles that cause tension on the scalp it makes the problem worse and you end up with a hairline that starts in the middle of your head and we all know how bad that looks.

Happy hair growing folks
pics courtesy of bellanaija.com and google search

Traction Alopecia Part 1

Monday, February 15, 2010

This is a post that is very close to my heart. You might be wondering wth is traction alopecia. This is a very common problem and is very visible if you walk around and notice.

Traction alopecia is a condition mainly affecting African women, it is caused by constant pulling and tension of the hair follicle over long periods of time. It often occurs in ladies who wear styles such as tight braids, cornrows and weaves and buns. Its also common in Japanese ladies that wear tight buns and Sikh men who grow their hair and put it in tight buns under their turbans.It may also occur in ladies who overprocess their hair during chemical treatments such as hair relaxers. The chemicals in this products can weaken the keratin in the hair follicle and brushing and combing of this weakened hair will cause the hair to fall off.Heat can also exacerbate traction alopecia through extensive use of heat appliances such as flat irons, curling irons and blowdriers. You do remember when the salon lady used to use a small comb to blowdry your baby hairs..talk about burning flesh...ouch!!Naomi Campbell's thin edges clear sign to Traction Alopecia

The reason Traction alopecia is so close to my heart is because it mainly affects young girls, teenager and young adults, and walking round Nairobi you do tend to see many young girls as young as 3 with tight corn rows, braid extensions and even chemically relaxed. This young girls could over time suffer from traction alopecia and the saddest part is that THE HAIR DOES NOT GROW BACK. The young girls have hairlines that start from the middle of their heads and bald spots near their ears.
In this case Kelly Rowland definitely has traction alopecia

Most ladies would rather hide the problem by donning weaves and even braiding hair...this makes the situation worse and at an advanced stage the hair will never grow back. I will go on in the next post to explain what you can do to combat traction alopecia early.

pics courtesy of the Saturday Nation, google image search and bossip.com

Hair Woes

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hey guys,

I am in pain and its not literal...my hair is breaking big time and every time I touch it, I hear snap, crackle and pop....its making me want to tear up....lol. Anyway its my fault because I have been rocking the wash n gos for a while and not really doing enough protective styling...so from today I am rocking twist n curls for this week and maybe will go get cornrows done next weekend. Wish me luck guys.

Nyachomba X

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