My perfect wash & go – falling in love with my afro all over again

Just when I was getting incredibly frustrated with the state of my curls, I decided to try something new over the weekend, well an old hair style but with new products and  just like that, my faith in my curls was restored. I’d actually had a product review planned for today, but if you follow me on social media, you would have noticed me going crazy with the selfies over the last few days.

Why? Because I decided to do a style that I don’t do very often these days – The Wash & Go.

It’s  a style that many naturals say they can’t really get the hang of. I’ve said before that one of the reasons I don’t do it very often is because my hair is more prone to tangling than wearing it in a stretched style like a twist or braid out. Also, the longer the hair gets, the more prone it is to tangling. I suspect it’s the same for many of you. Add some single strand knots into the mix and you really have a recipe for tangles galore.  But with a few twists and tweaks to my technique, I have found the ultimate method to achieve the perfect wash & go for me.

To add to that, can I just say that my curls were absolutely popping! I’m really not obsessed with having every single curl defined, but oh my word, was every single curl on my head defined this weekend, with absolutely no frizz. Even though I still have single strand knots, I’m starting to think that maybe they are not such a nuisance after as all my strands were curling properly from the roots to the ends. I firmly believe this is partly due to my recent trims as fresh ends are more likely to be healthy ends.

So why wash & go

Every time I opt for this style after a long leave of absence from it, I wonder to myself why I don’t style my curls this way more. After all, it is the quickest way to style the hair and gives a true reflection of my natural curl pattern. It’s what my hair does naturally, sans manipulation of the curls.

The key is to do it on clean, well moisturised hair. Feel free to use these steps, and even to modify them, to create your perfect wash & go.

1. Cleanse the hair by either co-washing or using a gentle, natural shampoo.

2. Apply conditioner / deep conditioner and detangle. Rinse out.

3. Apply leave-in conditioner followed by oil to seal in the moisture. Make sure you apply the product while your hair is soaking wet. This way you won’t give the hair a chance to start frizzing up by applying product to damp, already frizzy hair. If your hair starts to dry because you’re applying product in sections, just re-wet it using your spray bottle.

4. Apply a styling product such as gel (an alcohol-free one) or  a creme styler for hold and/or a butter for extra sealing and softness.

5. Air dry or use a blow dryer on a low setting to speed up the drying time. Do NOT touch the hair while it’s drying. Honestly, I never used to take this step seriously, but it does contribute to more frizz, so try your hardest to only touch your hair once it’s dried.

6. Once the hair has dried, pick at the roots with an afro pick or wide-tooth comb to create extra volume.

Voila! Well moisturised, frizz-free wash & go curls. To maintain your fabulous do, read this post.

I’ll admit, I couldn’t get enough of my curls this weekend! Here are the selfies to prove it.

Love your curls!

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Autumn Side Swept Do

My hair has been doing quite a number on me recently. On the one hand it’s really healthy, shiny and strong and I’m retaining a lot of length. But on the other, I’ve seriously been battling single strand knots and it’s been driving me up the wall. Of course the knots aren’t visible in these photos, but I do think my ends appear rather dried and frayed, which is as a result of the knots (although it could be that my hair hadn’t dried properly). I recently trimmed my ends while in twists and immediately after that I went in search of knots on individual strands – you can read that post here –  and while I got rid of a lot, it feels like I still have a long way to go with them.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll have to cut off at least another  1 – 2 cm fairly soon. So I’ve made a decision. In the interest of being able to see all the knots, I’m 99% sure that I’m going to blow-dry and probably flat-iron my hair when I’m in Cape Town in December. I’ll enquire with my curlfriends on stylist recommendations, someone who knows how to work with natural hair and just take it from there. I’m hoping that having my hair straight will make it much easier for a stylist to give me an adequate cut. I also feel like I just need to have this done once  and then I’ll be fine to trim my own ends again as needed once I’m back in Japan. It’s entirely possible that I’m making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but when it comes to my fro I’d rather err on the side of caution.

Regarding these photos, it does still amaze me  that my hair can go from small to big in a matter of hours. In these images, I’m sporting a fresh braid-out with a side sweep and some of the hair tied in a mini side pony tail at the back. Very simple but I felt quite pretty and in a matter of hours, it had magically grown, just the way I expected it to.

Love your curls,

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The Unplugged Wedding

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I’m a bride-to-be and in exactly 7 weeks I’ll fly home to South Africa to tie the knot. You’ll be forgiven for thinking that I’m turning into a bride-zilla as I am in fact organising my entire wedding all the way from Japan. You couldn’t be more wrong. Even though there are still a few loose ends, I feel rather calm and in control, but please bare with me as I let you in on this little secret: I’m having a major dilemma with regards to photography!

Just to clarify, I have booked an amazing professional photographer. But what has been eating at me is the notion of having an unplugged wedding. You don’t know what it is either? Well, you know how we whip out our camera phones and start tweeting, facebooking and instagramming our way through events and everyday life? An unplugged wedding is one where the bridal couple asks the guests to put all their devices away and to refrain from documenting their special day on social media.

Let me be honest, I have absolutely no problem with pictures of myself appearing anywhere on social media, but I have been thinking that since our wedding is our special day, I would like our guests to be completely present in the moment, and to share all of the special looks, smiles, laughter, kisses and tears with us. I don’t really think I want to be confronted with a sea of smartphones as I make my way down the isle or as we are praying with our minister, and then having the photos appear online before we even get to see them. It would mean that we can share the photos that we want to share with the world at a time of our choosing. I don’t mind too much about the reception, but the ceremony really is a private, intimate affair. So let friends and family relax and let the person whose job it is to take photos, well, take photos.

I recently came across these Top 5 Reasons To Have An “Unplugged Ceremony” 

1. Pro photographers’ pics are compromised by competing camera flashes and the domino effect of shooters trying to shoot around shooters.
2. Not being able to identify guests in the pro shots because their faces are obscured by phones and cameras.
3. The audible distraction of whirl, click, snap crackle pop as guests power up and down and occasionally push “ringtone” instead of “mute.”
4. Most agree that only well-honed professionals can experience what they are shooting fully through a lens. The rest of us detach ourselves from the present as we try to chronicle the past for use in the future.
5. This is a once in a life time event and you have not been invited as paparazzi. You have been invited to SHARE the ceremony with the COUPLE, not the world wide web.

Here are a couple of ways we could politely ask our guests to honour our unplugged request.

Unplugged Wedding

On the other hand, photos taken by friends and family add a different perspective to those of the professional photographer. They might get that special reaction on a guest’s face that the photographer missed. Or a tear shed by the mother of the bride…

I don’t know. Is this too harsh a request and am I overthinking it, or is it a valid thing to ask of our guests? Let me know what you think?

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