Tag Archives: beautiful

PRODUCT REVIEW: Aunt Jackie’s curls & coils Curl la la defining custard and In control conditioner

This is review of the Aunt Jackie’s products and how I tried them on dry hair and wet freshly washed hair. It took me two tries to figure this out.

Curl la la defining curl custard

If there’s something that immediately stands out with Aunt Jackie’s hair products it’s the yummy fragrance. It smells like a loaded berry smoothie. I liked it so much that I would shake my head happily just to get a whiff of the fragrance! 
For the first try I used it on dry hair in combination with a braid spray to mist. When applying the custard, hair was touchably smoother and easy to brush. I then tied it up into Bantu knots and left it overnight. 
The top Front of my hair curled perfectly but the back not so much as my hair texture is kinkier there. As for hold I wouldn’t recommend this hair custard as it didn’t really work for a Bantu knot out. In the product’s defence it does say ‘for natural curls’ so I’m guessing ‘fabricated’ curls like the Bantu knot out don’t count? 😅 I might try Aunt Jackie’s flax seed gel next time for a Bantu knot out.
The Bantu knot out result was lovely but in my opinion not very defined.

So I decided to give it a second try tweaking a few things. This time I did not layer the curl custard on any other product — layering can easily change the way your product works on your hair — I applied it on freshly washed hair and used Aunt Jackie’s​ in control “anti poof” moisturising and softening conditioner, sho! That’s a mouth full 😅
I used the Aussie​ frizz miracle shampoo going for a second wash to make sure that my hair was completely product-free.
Deep conditioned with Aunt Jackie’s​ in control conditioner. Since the directions​ said to use a generous amount, I did and detangled, sectioned & twisted my hair focusing on my nape hair as that is where my hair is the most coarse and coily. I put on a plastic cap and hopped into the shower while it deep conditioned with body heat.
After rinsing the conditioner out, I did a final rinse with 1 cup of aloe Vera juice + 1 cup of cold water all while my hair remained in sections (I’m really too lazy to undo individual sections​ just to rinse. Plus I like a little bit of conditioner left my twists​ for softness)
I must say my curls hardly ever clump regardless of the product I use but while undoing those twists to put in the curl la la defining custard, I noticed that they had clumped. I was impressed! Also my hair was soft. The deep conditioner worked really well.
To style, I decided to do something different so I braided​ my hair. What I loved is that since my hair was wet the coils formed much better at the ends of each braid which is everything if you want your twist out or braid out to look defined and frizz free when it will dry.
By morning I unbraided, fluffed my hair out and I was good to go!  I was so pleased with this braid out.
This is how it turned out:

Day 1
Day 2

Aunt Jackie’s products are great and you can expect your braid outs to last all day. I managed to stretch my style for 2 more days​. Now I’m definitely keen on trying the other products in this range.

If you’ve tried Aunt Jackie’s curls & coils products let me know how they worked for you below. I’d also love to know what products you’re using to define your coils!

​PRODUCT REVIEW: Aussie Miracle range products

Hi guys, so I tried out the Aussie Miracle products and thought I’d share my thoughts on them.
This review is not sponsored and this is my honest opinion on these products.

Aussie Frizz Miracle Shampoo

On the label it says that the shampoo is for flyaway, frizzy, “please sit still” hair. If there’s one habit I’ve developed as a naturalista when it comes to hair products it’s that  when I have been won over by the front label of a product, I immediately flip to the other side to see exactly how true it’s claims are by going through the label. 

One of the ingredients that will have me returning a product right on the shelf is sodium laureth sulphate.

In the past using shampoos with sulphates have left my hair crunchy right after rinsing which would follow with an irritated scalp that would last for almost a week. So was kind of wary when I saw this ingredient on the label of the shampoo. But just this once curiosity got the best of me, plus I got these for a bargain at Clicks so I said why not? 

This shampoo smells amazing just like bubble gum and looks like it.  It’s silvery Blue in colour.It’s not too runny and lathers up almost immediately. It really cleaned out my hair of the build up caused by my castor oil and moisture sprays.

My hair did not feel stripped of moisture to that squeaky clean feeling (this is an indication that all oils have been stripped from your strands) even when I went for a second wash with the shampoo, something I don’t usually do. Hair felt clean but moisturised, soft and spongey. Also I could see a few curl clumps forming before even applying the conditioner. And my hair was shiny! I then rinsed out with warm water to open up hair cuticles and prepare for conditioner moisture.

Bottom line: 

For a shampoo with sulphates it’s amazing. No crunchy feeling you get after washing your hair with a sulphate infused shampoo. It cleans out all the dirt and grease from your hair while at the same restoring moisture into hair. 

If it wasn’t listed in the ingredients I wouldn’t know there were any sulphates.
I would recommend this to naturalistas who feel that sulphate free shampoos don’t seem to be working well for and are looking for a good shampoo thats cleans all gunk away without stripping moisture.
Ps. I experienced some *very minor* irritation after the first wash. But strangely nothing happened the second time round

Photo cred: me 🙂

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

The label says that it’s for hair that is ‘dry / damaged / a bit unhappy’

[Side note: although I would consider my hair to be healthy, I always go for products that say ‘dry, damaged and frizz prone’ because my hair is kinky and needs all the moisture it can get.]

 It smells sweet and nutty, looks like Aloe Vera gel and is of a jellylike consistency. For those of you who use makeup, it feels a little bit like primer and with this conditioner a small amount is enough to melt tangles, I promise.
I applied the conditioner on soaking wet hair —as I have highly porous hair so towel drying will result in me applying conditioner to dry hair. 

Detangled by sectioning, brushing and twisting hair into smaller parts (8 to be exact lol) 

8-10 mins later I rinsed out with cool water to seal in moisture.
Curls were popping!!!🙌 No frizz and my hair was so soft to the touch. Not sure if my new detangling hairbrush had something to do with it too but I was  impressed. It looks something like this: 


With my hair still wet, I applied my fusion oil and let it air dry. When it dried, I still expected my hair to feel a little crunchy but nope! It was shiny, felt strong and smelled amazing!
Aussie products are available at Clicks stores and retail from R69.95

Bouncy Bantu knot out results

​Today I’m in the best of moods!! I feel like God was smiling on my fro and I. 

After having being way overdue for wash day (by a little over 3 weeks 🙈) I finally got around to doing it.

The journey starts last night yesterday when knowing I would have a busy day ahead, I dragged my feet for this planned wash day turning it into a wash night (yep, that’s a thing too) and I was sad because I couldn’t find my favourite paddle brush and would have to detangle with a wide tooth comb. 

I made a hair mask using activated charcoal, bentonite clay, tea tree oil and aloe vera and applied it on damp hair to get all the buildup out then followed it with a quick shampoo using the Garnier ultimate blends sleek restorer

Next, I decided to give the ORS Hair Mayonnaise that’s been sitting on my shelf for months now a second chance. Since by then it was so late at night I couldn’t wait for the recommended 15 mins and just added the Garnier conditioner ontop of it and started with the detangling.

By then it was 11 PM  and I started with blow drying on medium heat using some heat protectant, my favourite — caivil fusion oil and a little bit of gel. The whole time I was blow drying I kept thinking: Lydia why do you do this to yourself? lol

I went on to start Bantu knots and crossed my fingers for great results as I went to bed.

In the morning when I took down the knots… Hellooo yummy curls 🙂
Couldn’t help but snap a few shots of this Bantu knot out 😀

Things I wish I knew when going natural

These are some of the things I wish I knew before going natural because it would have saved me from lots of disappointment, frustration  with my hair and just plain confusion.

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Sulphates make your hair crunchy.

Not all hair salons will be as patient and gentle with your hair.

Your hair cannot live on coconut oil alone it will become brittle.

Don’t wash and twist damp hair the night before if you have an early morning meeting. The same goes for trying out a new style or technique the night before and important day.

Satin head scarves/bonnets/pillowcases keep your hair looking good in general.

Getting a protective hairstyle like braids or a weave is no reason to ignore your real hair.

aloe vera juice. castor oil. peppermint oil

Spritz and drink water, your hair will thank you.

Your damp twist out might look bomb but in about an hour it will shrink into a hot mess

Paddle brushes trump wide tooth combs! This I really wish I knew from the beginning.

When shopping for shampoo and conditioner, get 2 bottles of conditioner for every 1 bottle of shampoo 🙂

Curlformers, bendy rollers and perm rods are over rated you can do without them

Bendy rollers do not make for a good night’s sleep. Ouch 😦

You will become an informed and conscious shopper even if just a little bit. It’s unavoidable

The best way to preserve curls? Pineapple

Heat protectant is a non negotiable must have.

When traveling to a country with a tropical climate: forget your straightener because your hair will frizz the minute you’re done straightening, don’t get a weave with a parting, and especially don’t forget to enjoy how plump and moisturised your curls will be most of the time.

But if you really do insist on wearing your hair straight in humid tropical areas then silicone is your best friend. Just remember to wash it out often.

Don’t buy a 1l tub of ecostyler gel that you won’t even get halfway through before forgetting it somewhere while on holiday lol.

Getting a trim regularly really will save you from damage caused by split ends and single strand knots. Also you will avoid stunted hair growth or feeling like your hair has stopped growing.

Heat is totally ok when used in moderation plus it saves time.

Sadly the honeymoon phase eventually comes to an end.

Keeping it simple is what will keep your hair awesome.

 

 

​How to get strong, healthy and manageable natural hair

This is what I’ve learnt over the 5 years of being natural. This is isn’t an exhaustive list and there are many things I used to do that I am not so strict on anymore. This is what I really want to explain everytime someone asks me what I do to get my hair looking as healthy as it is. I usually just give them the basics or awkwardly go with ‘it’s castor oil and washing with conditioner’ because I might leave them confused if I started gushing about natural hair, sulphates, all the do’s and don’ts and must haves.
Be gentle and patient. Contrary to what most people believe, ethnic hair is the most fragile of all hair types and although appears to be strong and unruly requires the gentlest of means to be tamed.

Cut out the products with sulphates. Sulphates are the ingredients in your shampoo (and sometimes conditioner) that hair care companies add in to make your shampoo foam and get all the dirt out. Their names on products range from sodium lauryl sulphate to ammonium lauryl sulfate. The problem is that these ingredients harshly strip coily hair of natural oils and this is immediately  noticeable with that squeaky clean feeling you get after a wash which is followed by crunchy hair when you attempt to dry and comb your hair.

Always use conditioner. Conditioner is your best friend. Before going natural I didn’t  think it made a difference whether I used conditioner after washing my hair or not. But now I wouldn’t even dream of getting my hair wet if there won’t be some kind of conditioner around for me to use.

Do not attempt to tackle and detangle/comb dry hair. Have a spray bottle handy to lightly spritz your hair. When combing your hair, finger detangle or use a wide tooth comb or paddle brush. I personally prefer a paddle brush as it untangles my strands effectively.

The best time to safely detangle your hair is when you have conditioner in it. Just don’t over-manipulate your hair for long periods of time while wet or you might experience hydral fatigue.

Do not compromise on quality. Read what goes into the product you are about to purchase/use. Most products will say something like olive or Shea butter on the front only to have that ingredient far beyond the 8th ingredient or worse not even have it included in the product.

Don’t become a product junkie it doesn’t help. You’ll only end up with drawers full of products and disappointment at your delayed hair growth. I’ve been there.

Do get your hair trimmed professionally regularly. I tried to put this off for as long as possible or trim it by myself and it just made my split ends worse that at some point I felt like my hair wasn’t growing anymore.

Try to be consistent with moisturising your hair this will help reduce the amount of hair that breaks when you comb your hair.

Keep it simple. Do not use so many different products that you can’t tell whether something is working or not. By simplifying your hair routine you can tell how everything is working for you. Always changing your hairstyle while neglecting it is a recipe for disaster. Give your hair some time to breathe after taking out a hairstyle.

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Here are the must haves in my opinion. The other things out there are just things that will make your hair journey interesting and for those moments when you want to be a lil’ extra fancy:

A good shampoo and conditioner

A rattail comb, wide tooth comb or paddle brush

A good boar bristle brush or one with a blend

Heat protector protectant

A spray bottle for spritzing with water throughout the day

Metal-less hair ties

Hair oil: Coconut, olive or castor. I currently use the Caivil fusion oil which has a blend of all these oils and more. It’s amazing!

Bobby pins!!

Satin head scarf or pillowcase

Hair dryer for days when air drying just won’t do or if you’re like me can never wait for hours till my hair dries.

So this is what I could think of of the top of my head and hope that it could help someone out who doesn’t know yet that this is the information they are looking for.

The natural hair movement and why I went natural

Why I went natural and have never looked back!

In 2011 while randomly searching the web I discovered the natural hair community and decided to go natural. I got my last relaxer on June 30th a date I cannot forget because it coincides with independence day of the DRC hence my independence from the creamy crack lol

I was amazed at the pictures of beautiful afros I saw and for a minute I thought the women with such beautiful hair were wearing wigs because how could a black woman someone possibly have so much hair. I mean I believed it used to exist but maybe before colonial times? In any case I had never physically seen anyone with that much hair. I eventually started reading up on natural hair and the benefits and realised that relaxers were not for me. From my first relaxer at the age of 7 that I had begged my mom to get to my last relaxer at the age of 18 I had gotten burnt every. single. time.

 Later big chopped but but it wasn’t just a big chop for me. It was a big bald chop. In the beginning I struggled internally but this forced me to redefine my standards of beauty and made me realise how much I measured and associated my beauty with my hair. It also made me realise how much the world was fixated on a European standard of beauty because after the chop remembered how I thought I was so beautiful after my first relaxer because “now my hair can sway :)”

Although natural hair is beautiful and just amazing I’d be lying if I said bad hair days will cease to exist or that it will always be a breeze to take care of. Frustration? That happens and sometimes you might feel as if your hair just won’t cooperate with you but when that happens you always learn a lesson  what not to do next time. It requires gentleness, patience and care.

On the other hand here are the amazing I’ve gained form keeping natural hair:

  • Natural hair is beautiful and very flexible.
  • You can wear it up, down, straight, curly without long-term commitment or changing its natural state.
  • My hair is healthier
  • I am more informed about my hair and health and have become a conscious shopper and this doesn’t ony apply to my hair product shopping but has extended to shopping in general. 
  • I have learned to take pride in my hair, skin and origin. My black was always beautiful. This has just made me see this clearer