Sunday, 5 August 2012

Yarn Braids 101

Yarn Braids are super popular at the moment. They are a great alternative to braiding with synthetic hair, and they are super light and really natural looking. I've done them a couple of times before, and they're becoming one of my go to protective styles simply because the lightness of the yarn means less stress is places on my hair, and the texture means that I can get away with faking dreadlocks, not to mention, a ball of yarn can cost as little as £1, so it's a win in situation.

They are really simple to do, just cut the yarn to your desired length and braid in a similar way you would to box braids.

Key tips:

  • Don't braid too tight
  • Use only acrylic yarn NOT wool
  • Once they're in, moisturise daily with a conditioning spray that has water, glycerin, conditioner etc in it.
  • Make sure you moisturise the whole length of your hair.
Here are some pic of my latest set:
 (Excuse my lack of groom-ed-ness, it was late)

Peace, love and (non-petroleum) hair grease lovelies! x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

How to Henna/Indigo Natural Hair

Sorry for the hiatus guys! I'm back with some tips :-)

Henna is a natural herb that is great for providing strength, colour and thickness to natural hair. 

I just finished henna'ing my hair, and I can already feel that my hair is stronger and thicker, so I thought I'd share how I did it.

You will need:

1) 50 grams Indigo (Black Henna)

2) 50 grams Henna (this is the brand I used)

3) Half a pot of Greek Yoghurt (plain)

4)A capful of Apple Cider Vinegar (or any other vinegar, or lemon juice)

5)A tablespoon of honey

6)200 ml of green tea/ water
7)A plastic fork
8)A plastic container


  1. Tip the indigo and henna into the container
  2. Add the half pot of yoghurt
  3. Add the capful of vinegar
  4. Stir vigorously until a thick paste is made
  5. Add the green tea or water gradually to ensure the mixture doesn't get too runny
  6. Add the honey
It should end up looking something like this:

(I got this image from google images via

Leave overnight/ for four hours for the dye to release

Wash and condition your hair.

Part your hair into four or more section, and apply the henna paste (use gloves if possible!). You don't need to comb it through, brush it through or anything. It should be too thick to do that anyway.

Cover your hair with a plastic bag/cap.

Leave in for 3 hours or so, less if you want less dye release.


Deep condition after as henna can be drying. (With a protein free condish)

You might want to put some shea butter around your hair line to prevent the dye from staining your forehead :-)

Hope this was helpful.

Peace, Love and Hair Grease my lovelies! xx

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

"Is that all YOOOUURR hair?????"

If you’re black, female and alive on this planet, you’ve been asked this question at least once. “Is that yooouuurrr hair?”. You’ve probably been asked this question by (in order of frequency) :
1)other black women, 
2)black men 
3)your non-black friends.

For some reason, this question has always bothered me. Now, don’t get me wrong - I’m a hypocrite. I’ve definitely asked this question several times before, and I’ll probably continue to do so, but it doesn’t stop the slight annoyance every time someone asks ME.

I recently went out on a limb, did something slightly out of character, and bought an afro wig. (see last month’s solitary post.. (sorry guys :-(). About 2 weeks ago, I attended a fairly large church event and kept getting compliments from other people on my hair. (Or not my hair, as the case may be). Each time, I would smile, say thank you, and whisper surreptitiously “It’s not mine..”. After a couple of rounds of this, one of my close friends berated me…”Shade, stop telling people it’s not looks so real no one would ever guess, and you bought it, so it’s yours!”. She might be right, and I thought about why it was I felt so compelled to tell people it wasn’t my hair.

I think a small part of me just feels slightly, well….deceitful..It’s almost like hair is something that you put work into, and cultivate, and GROW, and so when people compliment you, they’re not complimenting only the hair, but also the trouble you’ve taken to get it to look fly..So, when all I’ve done is popped a wig on, it feels slightly strange to accept a compliment for that. Plus, I feel like it’s easier to offer what you know the person is already looking for. I know you want to know if it’s real or not, so to prevent the awkwardness of the question, I’lll just offer the info instead.

Forgetting that though, when I’m wearing my real hair, I’ve begun to feel increasingly more irritated by that question. Like, is it really your business if it is or isn’t? What difference does it make to you? Especially when the question is followed by ‘where are you from?’ if to say ‘what non-African blood do you have in you to get your hair that way?’. Those are the times when I wish I was 100% pure blooded (if there’s any such thing) West African, just so I can crush that silly idea that it’s easier to have ‘good’ hair if you’re more mixed.
And don’t get me started on when the question is accompanied by an unsolicited petting of the hair. *rolls eyes*
I guess I would just prefer if people asked ‘how did you get your hair like that?’ instead of ‘is it REEEAAALL??’. There’s something a little less abrupt, less confrontational and less….well...nosey…
What do y’all think?
Peace, Love and Hair Grease xx

Monday, 16 April 2012

Friends with benefits

There was film out fairly recently called 'Friends with Benefits'. I haven't seen it, but the plot (from my Wikipedia search) is fairly predictable. Guy, girl. Don't want a relationship. Want sex. Add sex to friendship. Realise this is complicated/not-doable.  I didn't bother to read to the end.

It happens a lot nowadays, apparently. It's definitely not my cup of tea, and I don't think I would recommend it to any of my friends. I want something more lasting than that, something more meaningful, and definitely something with a lot more commitment and stability. Deep down, I think that's what most of us are looking for from our relationships and friendships. Commitment, stability, loyalty, fulfillment, love. We expect it from others, we're disappointed when they let us down and don't fulfil that and unfortunately, we sometimes let them down as well.

When I began to think about the idea of 'friends with benefits', i realised that it wasn't just about sex per se. It's the idea of having something that should be the reward of commitment and loyalty  without having to put in the effort that those two things require.

How many of us treat our relationship with God that way?  We want the benefits that come from being a Christian. We want to claim the promises. More specifically, we want God to bless us with temporal things that we see as most important -a job, a spouse, good grades, friendships, happiness, but we don't want to make the commitment of a 'marriage' to him.

Marriages take time, work, effort. They involve communicating with the other person, considering them in your actions, because you realise that you can't just live for yourself anymore. They involve going through tough times together, crying, struggling, and working through issues. They sometimes involve pain.

Then there are the good bits - laughter, love, fulfilment - the feeling of partnership that means that you know that you're part of an inseparable team that can take on anything that's thrown at it. Building together, growing together, creating memories and looking back on times you've shared.

The crux of the matter is, no good marriage only has good times. But friends with benefits can't provide the same fulfillment as a marriage. 

God has a special place in his heart for each of us. He doesn't want to be a friend that gets called once in a while for when we want something. He wants a proper relationship with us.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. Songs of Solomon 8:7

Love is so much stronger, bigger and better than a fleeting friendship. I'm praying that God helps me experience a real relationship with him.

Blessings x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Review: La Jay Wig, Vanessa

SO I got this wig. which is crazy because I dont wear wigs. However, it looks very natural and rather amazing if I do say so myself, so I'm gam. Here is a picture.

It was from
When I first got it it was long and veeerrry curly, so I trimmed it and also finger combed it to make it more afro-y and frizzy and generally more natural looking.

I get a bunch of compliments on it (not that I live for those), and most people can't tell it's not my real hair. Even other black women, which surely is a good sign.


  • Good protective style
  • Fairly cheap
  • Natural looking
  • Not human hair (the idea of human hair grosses me a little)
  • Easy to use
  • Seems to be getting tangled at the back near my collar.
  • It is called 'LaJay'.

I give it a 4.5/5.

 I knock half a point off because i know I'm going to have to repurchase it when it gets tatty, as it isn't the most high quality wig in the world, but that's to be expected. Also it gets point knock offs for being called LaJay. (No offence to anyone called LaJay. Well, you're already offended by now. Anyhoo). Why not call her Kemi? Or even a cliched Nefertiti or something? But LaJay? Really?

I'll be doing part 2 of natural relaxers soon, so watch this space x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

How to trim your hair: Avoiding hairdressers, saving dollars

I say all the time that black hairdressers are the devil. Obviously, this is in jest, because there is a real devil ( I believe) , who is not involved in the dressing of hair. However, they do say many a truth is said in jest. There are many good black hairdressers I believe, but when it comes to natural hair most hairdressers get a bit frightened and either run away, attack your hair with a comb, or attempt to coerce you into relaxing/ straightening.
That long intro was basically to say -  this post is about how to trim your hair yourself.

How often should I trim my hair?

Every 6-8 weeks, maybe a bit more or a bit less depending on how easily your hair gets damaged.  I trim every time my hair comes out a protective style, which is every 4 weeks or so.

Will trimming my hair make it grow longer?

Nope, that's a myth. It will however, make sure your ends are healthier so that you are likely to retain length better and your hair ill have the illusion of being thicker and healthier due to the healthy ends.

What will I need?:
  1. Sharp Hair Scissors (you can buy these from ebay or Amazon for around £10. Do NOT use scissors that you use to cut paper etc. The dull blades will damage your ends.)
  2. Hair :-)

Method 1: Dusting

This is a pretty simple method. If your hair is in small braids or twists on your own hair, just trim the ends of each small braid or twist looking carefully for splits...this is good because it allows you to get feel of the condition of your whole hair, and also makes sure that you pretty much trim every section.
I usually divide my hair into four big braids (i.e. I twist the small twists/braids into 4 overall big braids), and do each section at a time.

Picture from

2) Straighten, then trim.

Many naturals prefer this method, because it doubles as a length check. I've done this once about 6 years ago, when I was still fine with using heat. I don't advise it because I think generally, natural hair and heat don't mix, but if you are ok with using heat, then this ones for you.

3) Section trim

This is just the lazy method I use most of the time. When my hair is out in a fro, I divide my hair into sections and just trim split ends or damaged ends as I see them. The only problem with this method is that you might well miss bits, or trim too much at ne time.

Lastly, if you want a proper cut (as in a style, not trimming), then a natural hair dresser is probably your best bet. Adornment365 in Brixton is the only one I've been to. I did feel they treated my hair a bit harshly when combing, but the customer service was fantastic.

Peace, Love and Hair grease folks xx

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

'Natural' Relaxers/ Perms...what's the deal?? Part 1

Recently, on my travels through blog-land, and also my frequent trips to youtube-city, I've been hearing a lot of chit chat about natural relaxers. These are products people hope will have a similar effect to relaxers, but sans the chemicals. Yes, you too can finally get bouncin' and behavin' hair minus the burns, weird smell and corrosive toilet cleaner strength liquid. Or can you?

I'm initially skeptical about this. Firstly because our hair, although fragile, isn't prone to changing from lovely coils and ringlets to sleek straightness without something rather strong - whether that be heat or chemicals. I wouldn't say that I'm a product junky - it's not my crack, but I have tried out a couple of things, and nothing, be that natural or petroleum laden, has ever been able to alter my curl that dramatically.
Secondly, because this is AGAIn feeding into the idea that our hair texture needs to be 'fixed'. The problem with relaxers is not just the dangerous chemicals, but also the insidious insinuation (like that one?), that 'nappy' hair is unattractive, man-repelling, unmanageable mess that can be changed with a magical box of goo.

Despite this, I'm willing to investigate a little before writing them off. So let's take a look at the claims of some of these natural relaxers.First off, the Bodiphier,  a 'natural' relaxer that can be bought  at It says "the BodiPhier cannot make hair look "totally straight" like relaxers do", but it can give you "soft, manageable, bouncy hair..the new way to relax hair". Hmmm. Ok. Let's check out the ingredients:

BodipHier Ingredients: Purified Alkaline Water, 100% Natural Soda Ash & Minerals, 100% Natural Citric, 100% Natural Menthol, Cetyl Wax, Emulsifying Wax, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Lanotrol, Volpo 10, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, 100% Natural Protein Powder, Shea Butter, 100% Natural Protein Oil, 100% Natural Soy Bean Oil, and Fragrance. 

This looks fairly innocent. The claim that it's not as harsh as normal relaxers is true..there s no sodium hydroxide or something of a similar strength. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean it's good for your hair. The first ingredient, alkaline water is definitely not 100 percent safe. The Beauty Brains, a scientific website that investigates beauty products says  "The key active ingredient is soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, which is an alkaline material used in a variety of industrial applications from food preparation to pool sanitization. Sodium carbonate raises the pH of the product and allows it to soften the chemical bonds that connect the protein fibrils in hair. Once these chemical bonds are broken, or relaxed, the hair becomes straighter....Bodiphier’s pH is 12, which is a bit lower than most relaxers that tend to be 12 to 13."

So basically, it's a weak relaxer. So basically, it's too good to be true.

However, there are other natural relaxer companies that make similar claims...I'll investigate these more in part two. Until then, be careful! Just because something claims to be natural, doesn't mean that it is - do your research.

Peace, Love and Hair Grease folks xx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Product Review: Anita Grant Whipped Butter

So I used this stuff ages and ages ago when I was like 14 or 15 and although it was impressive, I wasn't impressed enough to repurchase. I was also on a 15 year old budget. Whoooaa massive mistake (not being 15 and on a budget, I mean massive mistake not repurchasing)...I tried it again this year because it was on sale at for  £4 a jar. Wowzers. This stuff is soooo good. It smells great too in my opinion - I had the Monoi de Tahiti version which smells like flowery coconut. It's a buttery texture (duh), but very light a fluffy, almost like frosting.

Ingredients: non-destructive palm oil,unrefined murumuru butter,unrefined shea butter,unrefined cupuacu butter,vegetable glycerin,vitamin E & LOVE (that's what it says on the jar!)


  • Very Moisturising
  • Smells great
  • All natural ingredients
  • Leaves hair super shiny
  • British black owned business :-) (gotta support the Brits)

  • Potentially a bit greasy
  • Normal price is quite expensive, especially if you're paying for shipping to the U.S.
Overall it gets 4 and little bit more outta 5!

Definitely try this one out.

Peace, Love and Hair Grease folks xx

Monday, 23 January 2012

New Years Resolve

Happy 2012!
We're coming to the end of January, but I haven't blogged for a ages, mainly due to January exams and the madness that is Christmas and New Year. Although it's a bit late in the day, i thought I;d share with you all my New Year's resolutions.

This year, I resolve to:

1) Love

I will spend time act day getting to know Love. I will prioritise Love above anything else, placing Him as the centre of every activity and the motivator for every action and reaction. As I get to know Love better, Love will teach me to love myself fully and completely, and most importantly, teach me how to love others as fully and completely as I love myself. God is Love.

I will treasure time as something precious, valuable and finite, and will dance in each moment of it as freely as I can, realising that I will only get that moment once. I will see new sights, smell new smells and receive new thoughts and ideas with reckless abandon. I will open my heart to peace, joy, unselfishness, humility and courage, and close my heart to pride, hatred, bitterness, worry and self-righteousness.


I will try to see the bright side of every situation, and dig deep enough to find laughter in the little things, and share the laughter with others.


I will let Love grab hold of regret and bitterness, and take instead wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of lessons learnt. I will choose to view setbacks as stepping stones, and welcome criticism as a way of refining me. I will choose to be welcoming of information from others,  viewing everyone as someone who has something valuable to teach me, regardless of age, colour or religion. I will choose to learn to open my mind in order to learn how to close it to things that are harmful or not useful to me.

So, those are my resolutions. They're non specific, but they are real, and I'll  try to remember them as I go throughout this year. What are your resolutions?

Peace, Love and Hair grease folks xx