Scab Hair Myth or Reality...Chime in!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rana at the Elle 25 Summer Cocktail Party in The Hamptons.

This last post on Kurly Kichana mail where frustrated Kui explained how hard and unmanageable her hair was, has brought on a debate on the reality or lack thereof of scab hair.

We have never relaxed our hair hence have no clue on scab hair, we enlisted the help of Kinky_lockz...our loyal follower and great friend to the blog to open up to our readers on her experiences with scab hair.

Here it for Kinky_lockz!!

Scab hair – Hair that is directly underneath the scalp that has been affected by the hash chemicals(i.e. relaxers, texturizers). Even though the hair is new growth it isn’t “trained” to behave in it’s natural state. The hair can be straight-wiry, very dry, hard, and brittle. It usually takes somewhere around 6 months to a year to completely grow it out. – Derived from

*googling "scab hair natural hair" provides more resources
My thoughts: In short, scab hair may be considered a theory as not everyone experiences it. I believe scab hair is correlated to having had a relaxer and scalp burns. The defining factor that led me to conclude that scab hair was present is the front section of my hair was brittle, excessively shedding, wiry and would not hold moisture in comparison to the rest of my hair. It looked alright but it felt a mess... this was my second time 'going natural' so I had an idea of my texture and this was not a true representation of that. A few months down the line, this section was prone to single strand knots (SSKs) like no other, and the scalp was tender, almost sore during detangling sessions. I feared to comb this hair and baggying/deep conditioning seemed futile.

I did want to break down in a fit of tears yet I remained consistent with my routine...when it was shorter I co-washed regularly and when it had some length I began to do more twist-outs. In November 2010 (approx. 16 months post BC) I blew out my hair and flat ironed. The ends were rough and remained 'bushy', untamed by heat. I could fully see all the SSKs and feel the texture difference so I trimmed. I was merciless, probably hacking an inch or more all over. Currently, this section retains moisture better and has a defined hair type, kinky and frizz-prone if you will.

Disclaimer: (1) I will admit abuse to my hair: I was double processed, chemical relaxer and hair dye. The front section is where I experienced relaxer burns. Furthermore, during my transition I applied the most amount of heat to this area and wore heavy extension braids on my fine strands. However, I knew this unruly texture was not as a result of heat damage nor over manipulation because this section did not have split ends or breakage and it did have a curl/wave pattern.

(2) After the chemically damaged follicle shed I did not have a new curl pattern, e.g. i didn't go from '4g' to '4a'.

(3) Of course, it is possible to have different textures on one head of hair.

Chime in and give your opinions and experiences on scab hair and how to deal with it.

Big thanks to Kinky_lockz for this info :-)

Kurly Kichana Mail: Kui Asks

Monday, November 28, 2011

blackandkillingit:  beadsbyaree:   Tyshae Danielle for Beads Byaree Follow @BeadsByaree on Twitter      @BGKIonline #BGKI Facebook Fan Page

Hi ladies,Thank you so much for your blog. I transitioned to afro hair a few months ago and it's been a frustrating journey to say the very least! Even worse is that in Kenya (an African country where women's natural hair is afro kinkiy!) I have struggled to find a hair dresser who can effectively manage natural afro hair!! How now?? So I have now resorted to doing my own hair at home with the assistance of ur blog. YAY to the kurlykichana blog:-) So I have a couple of queries:1) I have REALLY REALLY tough (and thick) hair. I mean can-break-an-afro-comb type of tough. I have tried all sorts of things to try and soften it (including following some of your regimens from the blog), but so far nothing seems to work! I'm so desperate now I'm contemplating texturizing it just to make it more manageable - although ideally I would really want to keep my hair 100% natural and chemical-free. Can you suggest/advice anything that I should try to make it softer/more manageable or should I just be patient and a miracle will happen?? I do find it perplexing cause my hair was always kinda tough even before I relaxed it many years ago but I don't remember it being this tough. Like I had natural hair all through primary and secondary school and it wasn't this bad!!!

Honestly we get questions like these all the time! From this post, Mary detailed the different hair types which explained how some textures need more care than others. Someone with 3c and someone with 4c hair need different regimens to take care of their hair, a lady with 3c may have an easier job detangling than one with 4c. Most people with hair thats 4b and above believe that their hair is hard, we are here to enlighten you that this is not the case.
As we all know natural hair is not easy, we all have to come up with regimens that suit our varying textures and there is not one product that will make your hair softer. Making sure that your hair is properly moisturised and thorough detangling will enhance it's softness and manageability. The tips to remember are,

  • Use a water based creamy leave in conditioner, this locks in moisture and keeps hair soft
  • Always remember to seal in any moisture with an oil or butter, this will avoid hair losing moisture to the atmosphere and leaves hair moisturised for longer.
  • Deep condition often with products such as honey, avocado and various oils
  • Experiment with different products and create a regimen that works for you...this could even mean moisturising two times a day or baggying thrice a week. Baggying is when you apply a moisturiser to damp hair and then put on a plastic shower cap or plastic bag over your hair for 2-3hrs or overnight . The plastic bag/shower cap traps in heat and helps hair trap in moisture. This is really beneficial to afro hair
Happy Monday...X

Sisters of the Curl!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good day lovelies,

I hope you enjoyed the weekend.

SO! As a follow up to a post we did on coloring natural hair -> lookie here, the lovely miss SugarPuss had the following to say!

I agree that permanent colour esp bleaching changes the "moisture protein balance" because i dyed my hair bleached blonde recently and i notice that my curl pattern has changed, it's a bit more loose. I love it tho, and am forced to deep condition more often than am used to and moisturise everyday. And most of all i love love love the colour(av always been a colour junkie) in fact am doing an intense red tonight with food colour tho. Being natural to me means being unafraid and colour is how i show it.

Anyhow, so we asked her if she would be so kind as to send us some pictures! We haven't seen her in ages so we were excited at the whole hair color thing... and guess what, she did! (Ain't she awesome)...

Hey girls,

Missed ya!! So there was a family event recently and my sisters and I took pics with my cuz too. Funny I never realised we were all natural until I saw the pics. The first pic is with me (bleached blonde) and my youngest sis, she has a TWA that she likes setting in perm rods. Next is my other sis with dreadlocks and my cuz with braids(she's also natural)...last is just me and my sisters again.

Enjoy your weekends!!

Gorgeous! The whole lot of them!

We would like to give a very special thank you to Miss SugarPuss and her beautiful family for the pictures.

You my dear, are rocking the blonde bombshell look! We love it.

Enjoy your Monday everyone.


Baby Sitting and Beanie Hats

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm the last born of a whole bunch of kids, 6 kids to be exact.

All, save for one, of my elder siblings are either in marital bliss or engaged to be married. As such I have three delightful little munchkins whom I babysit (for free might I add), in my life. At the risk of sounding like a overly proud aunt, they are the best little monsters in the planet! I love them all for they bring nothing but joy and mysterious sticky "presents" to my otherwise self-indulgent life. Special shout out to my eldest sister and her new bundle of joy! (love you lots xoxo)

I gear up in comfortable loose fitting clothes should I be required to climb a tree or squeeze myself into a crack. It happens...

Whenever I go babysit my niece (8) and her brother (5), I have to carry an arson of items that I know I will need for the sit. These items include (but are not limited to);

1. Colorful band-aids.
2. Hard candy - for bribes and oaths of silence.
3. More candy - I make a lot of bribes.
4. Plasticine - I LOVE THIS STUFF.... they don't care too much for it, but I get my giggles.
5. Coloring pencils and/0r crayons, Coloring book - my niece is going to be the next Renoir.
6. Disney Animation DVDs - I can comfortably recite the entire Aladdin script right now, song lyrics included.
7. Panadol Actifast - I did mention they are 8 and 5 years old didn't I.

My hair is a shrunken twist out. I couldn't be bothered to style it, I know I will be pulling twigs and lollipops off it later in the day. I beanie it up in the hope of added protection.

UPDATE: The beanie didn't make it back home with me... Sigh.

My Mary Poppins Bag! It's filled with mystery and wonder :)

Babysitting is always a joy. My nephew is an X-Box 360 junkie, as am I, and my niece has awesome taste in the arts. Playing with them is also an added calorie burn and fun-filled activity! They rule.

I am still deathly afraid of the newest addition to my litter. My nephew turned 1 month old on Tuesday! My newest mission is to learn how to babysit the little guy, I'm a bit awkward and overly paranoid with him. But I'll get the hang of it :)

Thanks for reading champs.


6 weeks

Friday, November 11, 2011

Its been 6 weeks since we installed our braids...Mary got hers out last weekend, due to all my travelling I have been unable to take mine out le sigh. The time is now, I intend to spend this evening 11/11/11 taking them out. Can't wait..on the 11/11/11, truly a special day to do this

Here are some pics I took yesterday to show how tatty the braids were looking, I should rephrase that...these braids have a lot of character.

P.S : My dress was a steal at Kshs 200..I love it

Of Moisturizing, Maintenance and Care of Dreadlocks

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NB: We will focus on bonded dreadlocks today, for more information on Sisterlocks, keep a look out.

The onset of dreadlocking your hair may have you avoiding large water masses, force you to duck and hide at the sight of rain and play cat and mouse with the shower head. It's a tricky place to be; you have to avoid washing your newly formed locks because this is the phase where your hair needs to mesh together naturally. Water and other cleansing agents hinder this locking process. This bonding period usually lasts, all factors held constant, for as little as 4 weeks, or for as long as three months.

It goes without saying, that healthy hair care demands a clean and healthy scalp. As such, the locking phase is usually synonymous with an itchy scalp and inflamed scalp. But do not dispair, todays post will address remedies and tips on how to care for your scalp and your hair.

General Maintenance:
Always opt for products that do not clog the pores or cause bulid-up. Avoid heavy butters and balms such as shea butter, beeswax or products that have mineral oil as their base. Such products can lead to buildup and leave behind a residue that accumulates and collects grime over time. You have heard us chime and rant about sleeping with a satin/ silk scarf night after night, having dreadlocks does not exempt you from this rule. Not only does a silk bonnet protect your hair from knotting up and losing moisture, it also keeps your locks lint free.

NB: The use of beeswax has often been debated among locticians; while some claim it is a necessary evil during the initial phase, know that there are alternate products that can be used. These include clay, gels, hair glue, honey mixes among others. Find out what you and your hair best.

Now with regard to scalp care, kindly read up on this post. It highlights what you need to know about essential oils for the scalp. Trust me essential oils are a lifesaver for an inflamed scalp. Vitamin E Oil is an antioxidant and a natural preservative that stabilizes other oils. Vitamin E also repairs hair and skin damage caused by stress and the environment. Using the pads of your fingers you can massage the oil little by little to different parts of the scalp and hairlocs as needed. Be sure to also work some oil along the length of your locs all the way to the ends.

Anti-Itch Scalp Oil and Organic Root Stimulator Herbal Cleanse are another way to go. Add a dab of either on a cotton swab and apply sparingly to the scalp.

When it comes to styling, the sky is the limit. Dreadlocks are versatile and translate well with any setting. The only word of caution that I cannot stress enough is this; do not stress your hairline. Your hairline is very weak and sensitive, even more so in the case of dreadlocks. Avoid tight ponytails or styles that will cause undue stress on your hairline. Failure to do so will ultimately lead to traction alopecia.

During the initial phase, washing your hair is out of the question. One of the most effective way to care for your scalp by routinely carrying out scalp dubbing sessions. Remember to be gentle on your hair. Grab a cotton swab and dip it into a mixture of warm water - 250ml and a table spoon of baking soda. Work your way in between your locks section by section and rub your scalp gently (as you replace the cotton swab when necessary). Follow this up with a oil massage be sure to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (remember that less is more, don't use too much product). Retwist to avoid locks from meshing together.

You can wash your matured dreadlocks as often as you would like. Some experts recommend washing dreadlocks every 2-3 weeks, but this really depends on your lifestyle and tolerance level. Be sure to dilute your sudsy shampoo or opt to purchase a sulphate free shampoo if you can. If you work out or have the need for water on your locks, washing your hair more often or whenever you feel the need is also an option.

Deep Conditioning
Yes. You must deep condition your locks. There is a thought that exists that claims once you dawn dreadlocks, your hair is as tough as nails. No ma'am, that is false. Your hair will still need regular nourishment which will come in the form of moisture and protein. How often you carry out these processes is by far, a lot less than that of a woman who has her natural hair out.

Deep conditioning sessions are what make the difference between lustrous, shinny hair and dull, listless locks. You can up your protein; protein deep conditioning sessions will make your locks stronger and tougher, while moisture DC's will give your hair that brilliant shine.

Co-washing mature dreads also promotes clean, soft locks. Do not over-do it, however. Your dreadlocks may begin to fluff up if they are not fully mature.

Leave-In Conditioners such as Infusium 23 are excellent choices for not only dreadlocked hair, but all-natural hair textures because it opens up the cuticle, moisturizing and coating the hair shaft.

In the end, proper dreadlock care is very important. Keeping your dreads clean not only promotes healthy hair growth, but helps get them tighter and stronger. Moisturizing dreadlocks requires light oils that do not clog pores and is close to the
natural oily state. Essential oils like Castor bean oil, Jojoba, Sesame oil and olive oil, will cleanse condition and stimulate the scalp, strengthen, and add sheen to your dreadlocks. Olive oil and Sesame oil are very nourishing to the scalp and hair and help reduce stiffness and tightness in the scalp. Olive oil has purifying properties that help keep pores open.

Thanks for reading.

Back to you.

Kurly Kichana Mail : Mbithe asks

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mary & Nyachomba, hey!

Lately I've been toying with the idea of colouring my hair, but I don't know where to start. Henna has absolutely no visible effect on my hair as far as colour is concerned, and I'm a little wary of chemical colours because I hear they dehydrate the hair (then there is also that bleaching business which doesn't sound healthy at all).

Any tips or advice?

Colouring your hair!! Colouring your hair can add that playful edge to your hairstyle.

Some great tips about dyeing your hair include:
  • Try stick to 2 shades lighter or darker than your natural hair colour. Should you wish to go much lighter remember that you will need to up you moisturising and deep condition efforts
  • Beaching hair can yield great results however visit a well known hair dresser/salon to get this done
  • Do a strand test before you use a box colour set, this will give you a rough idea of how your hair will look coloured and will be cautionary measure to check if you are allergic to the ingredients in the colour
  • Deep condition immediately after colouring your hair to close the cuticle
  • To extend the life of your colour, do not use sulphate shampoos - these will strip hair more easily
  • A tip we got from the last meet up was if you want to go very can use sunscreen on your hair to prevent the hair colour from fading

Coloring hair definitely has an effect on the moisture protein balance because with permanent color a chemical reaction is taking place inside the strand weakening the cuticle layer causing the hair to be more porous. The more porous the quicker your hair absorbs moisture. If it’s too porous the hair doesn’t retain any moisture and remains dry to the touch. This is always a risk with coloring hair.

Hope this helps

Hair Typing 101 - The Basics and the Controversy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I have been checking out other natural afro-hair blogs and for some reason a majority are not sure or don't have info on hair type 4C...Please do a post on afro hair types, there textures and perhaps some pictures to accompany them. Mob love *:*:*

(Jacky Kalamu)

Hey all,

So in response to Jacky's email (Big UP Miss J!), we came up with this post on hair typing for Afro Hair.

For a brief history on just how this typing system came about, and a detailed account of Andre Walker's methodology, follow this link right hurr. Before we continue, we would like to give you our stand on hair typing, here goes...

Nyachomba and I (Mary) have very different hair types. Her curl pattern is looser than my own; her curls are defined and form loose locks when wet. My curl pattern is much tighter i.e. I have more coils than curls. When wet, my hair will form tighter ringlets and become even tighter when dry.

Nyachomba's Hair when wet; notice the thick clusters of wet hair

This completely resembles my hair type (Image courtesy of Nonie of LHCF). The coils are much tighter and do not cluster as much.

It goes without saying that there is a clear distinction between our hair types. And you know what, we ain't even mad! You see, the thing about hair typing is that it forces us to sort, segregate and file in relation to the differences. As human history can attest, the minute individuals or characteristics are classified, feelings of 'the other' come into play.

We, as Kurly Kichana, associate hair typing with other grossly misinformed societal stereotypes; the perfect example being the infamous notion that sisters with lighter skin are prettier than dark skinned sisters. Yes, you may think of us as drastic, but indulge me for a minute.

We have received numerous personal emails, chats and queries via Facebook and Twitter from women with coilier hair types seeking advice and telling us how much they dislike their hair type. They often cite this as the main reason as to why they are reluctant to go natural/ openly display their natural hair. Words such as 'ugly', ''makonge' (sorry if my spelling is wrong), 'unmanageable' and 'unsightly' were often used in these correspondences. More often than not, they ask us how they can get their hair to look like ours, more so - I presume - Nyachomba's.

This kind of 'fro-envy', as far as I am concerned is not healthy. I remember when Nyash and I first watched Good Hair, we kinda hoped Chris Rock would have touched the issue of natural African hair types in relation to the concept of 'good hair', but alas. We still enjoyed it though! We heart Chris Rock.

Now we may be wrong, but we feel that within the natural hair community there exists a thought that claims looser hair is prettier than coily hair. We do not in any way claim that this thought is seconded by every natural out there! Heck no! But it is a widely shared notion.... (I welcome your backlash, come at me).

Kurly Kichana, as the slogan(s) go, are in love with all things hair/ a kurls best friend. We do not care for hair type. In our eyes, all hair is awesome hair.


We believe that the aforementioned system came about to aid women in their hair maintenance regimens. As such, Mr. Walker saw a need to classify our hair for the ease of understanding. It is true that my hair requires a heavier amount of moisture than that of an individual who has 3B hair. It is evident that people bearing different hair types will need different regimens. This however is not always a positive, in light of the system.

All natural hair types require the same basic governance which dictates a moisture protein balance that encourages maximum health for the individuals hair. Hair typing is not the answer. KNOWING what your hair likes, and dislikes, how it reacts to manipulation is what counts. No two heads are the same. On an individual basis, no two WEEKS are the same! One week may require you to go hard on the moisture campaign, while the next might see you reaching for that protein. This reality affects the 3A's all the way to the 4C's.

Manipulation is the most important skill to master. Learning how to effectively manipulate your hair can have it looking super fly as a shrunken afro in one day, and draping down your back/neck in a perfectly executed twist-out the next. Basically, I can go from looking like a 4B to a 3C, heat free! And so can you.

You can take that to the bank.

Anyhoo... By now you know we tend to over think things. We will leave it at that. Below is a rough guide to Andre Walkers hair typing system for your viewing pleasure.

Type 3 Hair (3C):

- Looser S-shaped coil, hair is more coily than kinky
- Can be fine in texture

  • Use creamy leave ins in moderation.
  • Avoid using heavy oils to seal, they can weigh down hair and make it too greasy.
  • Trim ends often.
  • Sleep without a satin cap - tangle central!
  • Use too much protein, can cause your hair to become very hard.

Type 4 Hair:

This has an "S" pattern, much like curly hair. It is kinky, or very tightly curled, with a clearly visible curl pattern. Type 4 hair is extremely fragile and can be prone to breakage.

Type 4 hair can range from fine to coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. It can also be known to shrink to 75% of its actual length.

Type 4A

Type 4B

Type 4c

Hair that is coilier than 4C is sometimes referred to as 4Z

  • Use creamy moisturisers and water based moisturisers as often as possible.
  • Seal with butters and oils to make sure your hair is moisturised for longer.
  • Do not use heat often, this is calling out for breakage and hair damage.
  • Detangle without loading your hair with a creamy conditioner.

That's basically it!

Let us know your thoughts on the hair typing systems. As always we welcome your thoughts and appreciate the time you take to provide them.


Latest Instagrams

© Kurly Kichana. Design by FCD.