My experience at beauty salons

My experience at beauty salons

Generally, time spent at the beauty salon is considered as ladies time somehow. If you often visit the beauty salon either to do your hair, makeup, manicure, pedicure, facials etc you would know that every discussion mostly revolves around beauty, men, money and fashion.

Recently, I visited a salon to do my hair and one of the hairdressers (a beautiful dark lady) there looked at me and said, “chai, black is fine.” “I want na dis kind fineee black” This prompted the lady whose hair she was doing to narrate a story of a guy who was so dark that some people thought he was wearing black socks. So, one of them decided to touch his leg, to confirm whether their thoughts were right or wrong. Of course, they were wrong. You can imagine how the dark guy must have felt.

Well I’ve been in his shoes. So many times people have touched my hands or face to see if my dark complexion will fade away. Like seriously, what nerve!!!! I was really impressed with the hairdresser, even after hearing the story, she still went on to say how much she loved that kind of black. Then she said, “ natural fair skin too is nice because we all are Africans. The only problem is when you see a light skinned girl, you would never know if it’s actually natural or bleached. But when you see a dark girl from afar, you’re hundred percent sure that it’s natural.

I really feel encouraged seeing other dark girls love their skin as much as I do

Then there’s this thing about colors. What color will fit a dark girl? Some say bright colors, what do you think ?

Speaking of beauty salons, what are your plans for your hair this festive season? If like me, you want something natural or braids, be sure to check out my post on braiding styles

World Afro Day: 6 Peculiar Hair Influencers Share Their Best Hair Tips (part 1)

World Afro Day: 6 Peculiar Hair Influencers Share Their Best Hair Tips (part 1)

Nowadays, Afro has become a very popular trend. Most women are doing the big chop and going natural. Some years back that was not the case. I for one, would have never imagined going natural someday. Just the thought of the pain… nah! I didn’t think it was worth it. But as I embarked on the journey to self discovery, I began to love my skin more alongside my hair. I started taking care of my hair using the best hair tips I got from some of the peculiar hair influencers on this post.

There’s still some stigma as concerns afro but thanks to World Afro day, which is celebrated on 15th September every year, many ladies like me are being encouraged to rock our afro because it is who we are. So I reached out to some peculiar hair influencers who have been consistent to hear how they do it. I hope as you read you get inspired to finally do the big chop if you’ve been planning to. But if you have afro, get a pen and paper and be ready to jot things down.

Besttsii

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Besttsii

Speaking of crownsssss! two and a half year natural and counting… Check out her blog at The Hairtress for more hair inspo.


#1: Why did you decide to go natural?

Besttsii: Using relaxers burnt my scalp every time. Then this one time I had a really bad relaxer experience and that was the last scalp burn I could take. I decided to stop using relaxers and perms. At first, my aim was to give my hair some time to recover from my previous relaxer since it burned my hair so bad and gave me bald spots in some places but later I fell in love with my natural hair and I didn’t want to go back to relaxing.

#2: what motivates you despite the hair challenge?

Besttsii: Honestly, I really love that natural hair can do different things, it’s very versatile. it can look really short today, but form a huge afro the next day. I can style it curly, straight or wavy and still revert to an afro . I didnt have that freedom with relaxed hair and my hair wasn’t this voluminous so i’d rather be natural. Going natural for me was like a journey to self discovery, it’s amazing how much learning you receive in the process.

#3: what hair tip works best for you?

Besttsii: Always do protective styles and stretch your hair before styling. It’s a game-changer for me because it keeps my ends from tangling up and breaking off, so am able to retain as much length as possible.  With how rough many Cameroonian hair stylists can be, It’s better to take precautions before any hair appointments. I always opt for heatless ways to stretch my hair so a simple banding method ( locally known as “long long”) or braid-out before any saloon visit goes a long way. Your stylist will no longer frown when she sees you coming and you won’t have to bother much about your ends breaking off during the braiding/styling process.

#4: What advice do you have for other naturals?

Besttsii: Be patient and love your hair texture. Your hair won’t get long overnight, but it’s growing. Natural hair takes a lot of care and maintenance, there’ll be a lot of setbacks too but being patient long enough to see results is the only way to reach your hair goal.


The mampey with locs (4 year natural)

Mampey

You’d be amazed at what her locs can do. She knows how to play with them. One day it might look like the locs are down( probably if she’s wearing a wig or having braids on) but the next day , BOOM! there they are, healthier than ever before.

#1: Why did you decide to keep locs?

Mampey : I found them beautiful. I’m a believer in the beauty of the African woman and locs are a means of keeping my hair natural, and at the same time ‘not regular’. Locs are quite unique.

#2: What motivates you despite the hair struggles ?

TMWL: My loc journey is one of self discovery. I have a personal attachment to each and every loc on my head. They’ve thought me a lot about myself. So I treat them like my babies. That alone, is more than enough motivation.

#3: Which hair tips works best for you?

TMWL: water!!!! Our kinky afro hair tends to get quite dry. Water seals in moisture and prevents breakage.

#4: What advice do you have for other naturals?

TMWL: Find what works for you and stick to it. Also, be dynamic with your hair. It’s beautiful. Play with it, show if off!

Pricekylon

Price

You need to see the way people look at her in public with so much awe. It’s been almost 2 years, no mesh, no ‘gref’, no wig… just locs!

#1: Why did you decide to keep locs?

Price:It expresses my personality. It makes me express myself freely and live an adjustable budget unlike other hairstyles. It makes me feel unique… lol.

#2: What motivates you despite the hair struggles ?

Price: Looking at my anciens like Bob Marley, I believe if he could get to that level successfully, then I’m no different. I also look at loc pages on IG and Youtube.

#3: Which hair tips works best for you?

Price: I wash my hair once a week with a good shampoo and vinegar, keeping it moist.

#4: What advice do you have for other naturals?

Price: Let your motivation be real. Be intentional!

Hope this inspired you one way or the other. When I decided to keep afro, someone told me I won’t be able and will give up. If you know someone who believes afro doesn’t grow or that it doesn’t last, please do well to share this post with them. I believe with determination you can do anything.

I would love to hear from you too, what are your best hair tips? We’re in the week of World Afro Day, inspire someone with your story by leaving a comment below.

Stay tuned for a part 2!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a protective style, check out my post on 5 protective styles for women of color

MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE

MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE

All sorts of information are now on the internet and to be honest, I was really skeptical about posting this article. When it comes to skin care, one has to be very careful because In our world of today technology is much advanced and what works for A might not necessarily work for B. There’s also a lot of confusion since different people are saying different things about it.

Before, I didn’t know anything like skin care routine existed until i had a break out. It was a very challenging moment for me. Luckily, I met this amazing lady, Massi Martha and she opened my eyes to see the realities of skin challenges and how they can be treated. She actually made me to understand that a girl can glow naturally without having to wear make up all the times. So I used the tips from her Youtube channel at Massi beauty pageant coupled with others and after a hard struggle, I came up with a routine that works for me.

I’ve noticed so many people, both male and female with skin challenges and in search of solutions but though there are so many controversies concerning this topic, nonetheless, I wish to share on how I had my breakthrough from my breakout because if it worked for me, it might as well work for someone else. I pray that this hopefully will work for you too.

1) jojoba oil

While I was looking for a very simple skin care routine, I watched a video on Youtube in which a 60 year old Japanese woman looked as young as her 40-year old daughter. Her routine was as basic as this;

  1. At night,
  2. Wash face with lukewarm water
  3. Rub with soap (any soap will do)
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water and then fresh water
  5. Apply jojoba oil on face in a gentle circular motion from inside to outside
  6. In the morning,
  7. Wash and rinse face with lukewarm water and then fresh water without applying soap.
  8. Apply jojoba oil.

Jojoba oil is anti-ageing natural oil. It helps in the synthesis of collagen (collagen levels decrease as age increases). Recently, I learnt that this oil is similar to the oil produced naturally by the body and so when applied on the skin prevents the body from producing more oils. This keeps the skin from looking oily and helps prevent acne caused by clogged pores.

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My mum used it and after 2 days, the results were so evident. You don’t have to use your body lotion on your face.

My only problem with jojoba oil is the fact that it’s scarce and found mostly in America. Nevertheless, it is sometimes imported and you can get a bottle for about 10 000 FCFA. It has a lot of benefits aside from skin benefits and in case you come in contact with it, I encourage you to get one for yourself and you won’t regret it.

2) lemon

After cleansing, sometimes instead of using jojoba oil, I used lemon. All I did was cut out a small piece of lemon, squeezed out the juice on my face and rubbed it in a gentle circular motion before sleeping and washed it off when I woke up in the morning. I did that at least 3 times a week.

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Lemon has antibacterial and antifungal properties and so it helps treat acne and clear dark spots but keep in mind that it is acidic and so might irritate your face.

3) honey

Honey has good moisturizing effects and that I can testify. When I noticed my face was getting too dry (especially as the pimples was drying off), I would rub one teaspoon of honey in same gentle circular motion and allow for an hour then wash it off. The feeling I got afterwards was always so rewarding and my face always felt smooth immediately. I did that twice a week.

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Honey hydrates the skin, leaving it smooth, soft and glowing. It also has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. You should try it! At least I’ve never heard of its side effects that’s if at all it has.

4) apple cider vinegar (ACV)

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Apple cider is a good toner and protects the skin from bacteria and other impurities. Care should be taken when using it especially for very sensitive skin.

Usually I put a little quantity on a cotton pad and apply to my face and allow for 30 minutes before washing it off but if you have very sensitive skin, then you can dilute in water first before applying to your face.

ACV is a wonder and it can turn your ‘skin care routine life’ around. The glow is undeniable. It makes your face to be as smooth as that of a baby and it makes your skin color shine brighter altering it, if you understand what I mean. ACV is sold in most supermarkets. You can get a bottle for at least 3000 FCFA.

5) honey, bicarbonate and apple cider vinegar

This is kind of a whole package and a very effective one. To me, it’s like moisturizing, exfoliating, and toning at same time instead of doing it one after the other.

  • In a small bowl, add a teaspoon of each
  • Mix till it becomes homogenous
  • Rub the mixture on your face then wash it off after an hour

Bicarbonate is a good exfoliator but despite its well-known advantages like removing dead skin cells, its alkaline nature tampers with the skin’s pH. Naturally the skin is acidic so that it can destroy harmful bacteria. Just a small quantity (not more than a teaspoon) should be used and it shouldn’t be allowed on the face for too long. Your face might feel dry after washing off and so, you might want to moisturize afterwards.

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Image result for bicarbonate

Like I said in a previous article, the key to consistency in a skin care routine is simplicity and determination. I wanted it simple so I went for natural products and I got amazing results. I’ve been slag on my routine for a few months for reasons beyond my control but with this harsh dry weather conditions, I’ve decided to be more serious about it and so I’m very open to suggestions. To all those who have ever complimented my skin color, now you know my secret (laughs) and i hope this helps.

MAKE UP OR NOT

MAKE UP OR NOT

I remember I used to hate makeup while in secondary school. The best I could do was put lip balm and it always made my face to shine so much so that people will ask if I oiled my face with groundnut oil. Well I’m sure I didn’t do makeup because it wasn’t allowed and I was a good student (as they called me). But when I got to university, things became much different and I got to love it more and more. One thing I realized is once you get so used to it, it becomes difficult to go out a day without wearing it and when you do, you feel less beautiful or unattractive. Having in mind that inner beauty is much more important than outer beauty, your outer appearance still matters a lot. Now you won’t always have the time to wear makeup especially when you’re running late for a class, appointment, interview or even to church. You wouldn’t want to appear shabby or people identifying you as beautiful because of makeup. First and foremost, it’s very important for you to know that you’re beautiful, it’s a fact and you don’t have to prove it to anyone not even yourself. Let it sink right deep into your heart and not your head (LOL) else pride might take over you. Seriously girl, though that long fitting gown looks fabulous on you and those ‘pokello’ shoes that match the dressing not forgetting the long human hair you just got, don’t let these define your beauty because we both know they’re just temporal. Among us girls we know though we fancy them now sooner or later they’ll get old and we won’t be able to wear them. Peter puts it this way, ‘your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:3-4). One question I always ask myself is, do I feel as beautiful with makeup as without? If the answer is no, then I know something is wrong somewhere, maybe I’m no longer taking care of my skin and I’m hiding under the umbrella of makeup. If I were married, I’ll try to find out if my husband finds me attractive whether or not I wear makeup. If not I’ll know that I’m neglecting my skin in certain ways. It’s true makeup is so magical and its effects cannot be over emphasized. If you’re on Instagram you’ll understand what I mean. Makeup enhances your beauty, so should you wear it if you don’t believe you’re beautiful? The thing is, most people use makeup to hide their blemishes and imperfections which doesn’t change the fact that they are there. Rather than trying to hide that acne or rash or pimple, why not try treating it instead. Your skin doesn’t glow? Have you tried a skin care routine or perhaps it’s your body lotion you need to change or even your diet. You can try to hide it but you can’t run away from it. The best thing to do is to fix it. I had my first breakout few months ago and it was so devastating. I literally saw my self-esteem drop to zero level. It was more traumatizing because everyone knew me as the smooth face type so they kept asking questions like, ’what happened?’ which only made me hurt the more. Whenever I got a compliment, I doubted it. Yea, I started doubting my beauty. Seriously the person I saw in the mirror with pimples all over her face wasn’t beautiful. But through prayer and reading the Word, I got my confidence back. It’s then that I learnt about skin care routine, which I had no idea of before. To me, skin care was all about using the right body lotion (the one that won’t change my skin color). Since then, I haven’t had any breakouts because skin care isn’t just a solution to your skin problems but it also helps to prevent them. By skin care I’m talking about cleansing, moisturizing, toning, exfoliating etc. Some of you might be familiar with these already which is great and I just wish to encourage you to keep being consistent and save yourself from future skin issues. If you are serious and have been doing it for a while, the results should be evident already. The key to being consistent is to make it simple and flexible

All the same I still love makeup and wear it occasionally but I always try to keep it simple, don’t get me wrong!

If there’s one thing you should remember after reading this long writing is

  • You are beautiful and you don’t have to prove that to anyone not even yourself.
  • Your beauty is irrespective of whether you wear makeup or not.
  • Do not let your beauty be defined by clothes, makeup, or jewellery, true beauty is within.
  • You don’t need to look shabby just because you aren’t wearing makeup.
  • You can look flawless and attractive without makeup too.
  • Your outer appearance matters too and your natural beauty needs to be maintained.
  • To do that you need to start a daily skin care routine.
  • This involves cleansing, moisturizing, toning and exfoliating.
  • To have results you need to be consistent.
  • The key to consistency is to make your routine simple and flexible.

 

To conclude, taking care of your body is a way of honoring and glorifying God because you are His temple. So when next you want to leave your house remember that the king of Glory lives in you.

Thanks for reading through and I hope you found worth in it.

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