Two aspects of Cambodia that intrigued me most were the warm spirit of the people I came in touch with and the way they get around. At any given moment, you can spot almost an entire family on one motorbike. It’s quite alarming to see at first, but then I realised that this is how they get around every day and they are quite comfortable with this mode of transport. Amidst the crazy hustle and bustle of cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks weaving in between each other, a kind or organised chaos seemed so exist. As far as the people, I constantly had women come up to me to compliment me on how pretty I am, presumably because they don’t get to see many women of colour. Aside from compliments though, I just found the general populace quite friendly and open to talking to foreigners. The only thing that annoyed me was constantly being hassled by street vendors to buy something. Other than that I hope to return to this lovely country one day.
I’ve been meaning to share pictures of my week-long holiday to Cambodia in October last year for ages. My fiancé and I decided to start our visit in Siem Reap, a bustling tourist town in the north east of the country, after which we travelled south to the capital Phnom Penh for a few days, before finally heading back to Siem Reap for our last 2 nights. I’ve decided to divide this travel update into three different posts which are all picture heavy, so I’ll let the photos tell most of the story.
The photos in this post were all taken in the Angkor Archaeological Park. The most majestic of all the temples in the complex is Angkor Wat, located about 6 kilometres north of Siem Reap, and was built in the 12th century. This world heritage site is generally considered an architectural masterpiece and it was easy to see why once you were approaching it.
In this first update, I’ve included loads of pics to show you how my hair did in the weather. Let’s just say that the humidity got to my fro big time! Not that I minded. I was on holiday and felt free to let my hair just do its thing naturally, but I honestly think it was the first time that I ever saw it that big and puffy due to the weather.
Now for my ramp walking shots 🙂
Here you can see the full extent what the humidity did to my hair – one big puff ball!
Today I’m super happy and loving my hair. Why? Because my twist-out looks Ah-maaay-zing! Well, to me anyway. It’s actually become my go-to style over the last month or so since I shaped my hair up with a trim. Up until then I’ve mostly been wearing braid-outs as I loved the length it gave me, but since my cut I adore the shape that I get with the twist-out, never mind the extra shrinkage. Here’s how I did it.
- Washed and twisted my hair on Wednesday night.
- Wore the twists on Thursday and Friday.
- Unravelled the twists this morning after smoothing a bit of coconut oil over my strands.
- Separated the twists.
- Combed my hair at the roots (only) for more volume.
- Tossed my head from side to side for final volume boost.
Voila – big hair!
Have a fabulous weekend and love your curls,
While it’s all Summer lovin’ for us folk in the Northern hemisphere, my natural girls in South Africa are experiencing the complete opposite: dry, cold Winter air competing with them to rob as much precious moisture from their strands as possible. We all know that the ensuing dryness can lead to weak and brittle hair, which is why it’s vital to protect the strands at all costs during the chilly months.
Believe it or not, it is possible to get through the Winter without letting your hair get damaged. Here’s how.
Wash your hair more often
Dry hair is only going to be moisturised by the one true moisturiser – water. Therefore it stands to reason that the more you moisturise, the longer your hair will stay hydrated.
Deep condition more often
Deep conditioning really does do wonders for putting back moisture lost through the elements. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. A simple home-made conditioner comprising some everyday kitchen ingredients can work wonders. Check out some of my favourite DIY deep conditioners over here. Once applied wrap your hair in plastic wrap or put on a shower cap, cover with a towel and leave it on for anything from 30 minutes to an hour (or more) to ensure deeply nourished strands.
Try and oil rinse
Coating your hair with oil before or after you’ve applied your conditioner is another way to ensure softer and longer lasting moisturised tresses. Oil rinsing is great because it reduces the chances of single strand knots from forming, it makes detangling easier and it’s a natural shine enhancer.
Use the LOC / LCO method to moisturise and seal
If your hair is really suffering, use the LOC / LCO method to lock in moisture. If not, dry and brittle ends can lead to breakage and split ends. Try using a thicker oil like avocado or castor oil to seal the ends. These two oils work well as they are really thick and do an effective job without congealing in the cold weather the way coconut oil and shea butter do. See this article to get the how-to for the LOC / LCO methods.
Try low manipulation / protective styling
Wearing your hair up and out of the way with the ends protected is an ideal way to help prevent moisture from escaping the hair. Have a look at this piece for advice on simple protective styling for ultimate length retention.
Keep your hair off your back and shoulders
Hair resting against woollen collars, scarves and jackets can cause havoc on your ends because of the friction from the fabric, so try to wear your up on the days you choose to wear clothes made up of these types of fabrics.
Line hats and beanies with a silk / satin scarf before you put them on
I think this is pretty self explanatory. The silk / satin will protect your hair from the drying out effect of the woollen hats and beanies.
Wear a satin bonnet / scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase
It may sound like overkill to do both, but trust me your tresses will thank you for providing the extra barrier to prevent moisture from escaping.
Moisturise from the inside
As with my Summer hair care tips, making sure you moisturise your body from the inside too will go a long way in keeping both your skin and hair healthy and hydrated.
I’ve made use of all these tips during the past Japanese Winter, and I managed to keep my strands healthy, strong and moisturised for the best part of it. I was also able to retain the length, so much so that I was surprised at how much my hair has grown, including a trim at the end of the Winter.
If you have any more tips that you think I should include in this list, please let me know in the comments section below. That way I can compile and share them with my other readers. Also, if you have any more questions that I can answer on how to keep your hair moisturised and soft during the Winter, jot them down below and I’ll try and help as much as I can.
Thanks so much for reading and as always, love your hair…
With summer practically on the northern hemisphere doorstep I’ve scoured my favourite natural hair blogs and collated the best advice that I plan to follow for my natural summer hair care routine.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
I think moisturising your hair will always come up as the no 1 hair care tip, no matter the season, and it couldn’t be more apt than to ensure healthy hair during the summer. The hot air temperature and the direct sunlight on your hair can really cause havoc on your tresses by drying it out, which leads to brittle hair and eventual breakage.
A few ways to guarantee moisturised hair:
- Incorporate nourishing deep conditioning treatments into your wash routine to replenish what the the sun has taken out.
- Use moisturisers / leave-in conditioners with water as its first ingredient. This means the product is water based.
- Keep a spray bottle handy containing water and / or your favourite moisturising ingredients to spritz and re-moisturise as needed.
Seal in the moisture
There has been some debate going on weather oils really do seal moisture into the hair or whether it’s just a myth. From my experience I can attest that oils and butters really work. If you find that they are too heavy for your strands during the Summer, try switching to a lighter one. If you’ve mainly been using butters during the Winter, opt for an oil like avocado or olive oil during the Summer. Or if you’ve been using heavier oils during the Winter, switch to a lighter one for the Summer, like argan, coconut or sweet almond oil. If this is still too heavy for you, then just apply a light oil to the ends of your hair, where moisture is most likely to escape from first.
Some say that applying gels over your leave-in conditioner can also seal in moisture. I’ve never used gel as a sealant, but go ahead and give it a try to see if this works for you.
Refrigerate your hair products
Rinsing your hair with cold water after you’ve washed it and applying cold products from the fridge will encourage the cuticle to close, which ensures shinier and moisturised hair for longer.
Rock cute low manipulation styes on the days it’s too hot to have all your hair out
As much as I love wearing my hair down during the Summer there are some days that it’s honestly just too hot to have all my hair out around my face. For those days I plan to wear simple low manipulation up-do styles. Some of my current styles include the high and low bun, the puff and the roll and tuck up-do. Goddess braids is a style I’d like to try as I think it’s ultra chic, feminine and perfect for hot Summer days. Add a cute flower or headband and you’ll be good to go.
Protect the hair from direct sunlight
The easiest way to do this is to wear hats and scarves. I love this method as it creates a direct barrier between your strands and the harsh drying effects of the sun. Of course the fact that hats and scarves add a completely new dimension to your look is an added bonus.
Wet your hair and apply oils/conditioner before swimming
Hair that is already wet from tap water is less likely to absorb more water, which will help it to absorb less chlorinated / sea water. Once sea water has dried on the hair it can have a drying effect as it draws moisture out of the hair. As unstylish as it might feel, consider wearing a swimming cap if you’re going to be spending lots of time in the water, especially chlorinated water as is can be very damaging. Rinse the chlorinated / sea water out of your hair as soon as you’ve had enough water play for the day.
Ditch the satin scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase only
Those nights when it’s so hot that you can’t bear the thought of wearing a scarf / bonnet to bed, simply prep your hair for the night as you usually would and sleep on a satin pillowcase only, foregoing the scarf / bonnet. You’ll be a lot more comfortable.
Moisturise from the inside too
Generally I struggle to drink a perfect 8 glasses of water a day, and with Summer comes the added cocktail hour every day, which can cause dehydration. But since I’m placing a huge focus on keeping healthy throughout the Summer I plan to hydrate myself from the inside too. The advice I’ve come across is to drink 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink. This will help to ensure healthy tresses from the inside out.
Love your curls! x
What are some of the ways that you protect your hair during the Summer?
P.S. Next week I plan to write a piece for all my curly girls in the southern hemisphere on Winter hair care, especially for those in South Africa where it’s cold as @#$% right now. So make sure you check back over here during the course of the week.