Yinka’s Braids – A Review

Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

This post is a review on hair styling services by Yinka of Yinka’s braids.

Selfishly I almost didn’t write this post because I don’t want Yinka to get so busy that she can’t do my hair anymore. However that’s not really supporting a sista now is it?  I met Yinka at NHW 2014 in London, we had a lovely chat and we exchanged business cards. I liked her work illustrated on her card so a few months later I gave her a call.

I wanted my hair to be canerowed and two-strand twisted without extensions, Yinka explained that as she currently does not have a salon she is unable to offer “wet services” that was fine with me, so we made an appointment and around a week later I detangled, cleansed and conditioned my hair,  hopped on my bike and made my way to Yinka.

  Yinka’s place is welcoming, clean and comfortable. Before getting started on the actual styling Yinka assessed the health of my hair and gave me a mini consultation. Yinka is natural herself and has fine hair – like me so she understands the struggles of not making the hair look “gappy” once the style is finished, in addition Yinka is sooo gentle. I’m used to my natural hair being handled roughly by braiders because they are not used to – or don’t like dealing with natural hair. A lot of braiders are only concerned about the finished look of the style and are not concerned about the health of your hair or damage from manipulation. Yinka did not insist on working on dry stretched hair, she was happy to work on my hair while damp and only used a comb for parting, any tangles we came across along the way Yinka gently finger detangled them just like I would.

PicMonkey Collage (4)

These small fine canerows did not hurt a bit and I loved the style so much, it was a lovely protective style, as you can see I also wore my twists in a bun to protect my ends even more. Since my first appointment I have seen Yinka regularly for twisted and braided styles. Prices start from £20.00 but are individual and based on the length of your hair or extensions and the complexity of the style, I can confirm that Yinka’s prices are very reasonable and very good value for money.

Yinka also braids with extensions and installs kinky twists, Men and children are also welcomed for hair styling services.       I know many of you twist/braid your own hair but I do not have the skill to style my hair as neatly or quickly as Yinka can – even if I could I wouldn’t do it because I don’t believe we are designed to do styles on our hair that take more than an hour maximum. If we were supposed to style our own hair for hours and hours we would have been born with an extra set of eyes to enable us to see the back of our heads clearly ( I don’t know where these eyes would be placed)  and we would have a different type of shoulder joint so our arms didn’t ache so much.

Jokes aside I honestly believe that hair dressing and styling especially of natural African/Afro/Black/highly textured hair should be a special bonding experience. Hair is very personal and has spiritual meaning for a lot of people. In some cultures including my own there are many beliefs related to hair and you are warned not to let just anybody handle your precious tresses.

Ms Yinka Herself.  photo credit Yinkas Braids

Ms Yinka Herself.
photo credit Yinkas Braids

I am very happy to continue to have my hair styled by Yinka and she is extremely talented at what she does, Yinka is happy to chat while she works if you want to talk but she can also sense when I’m too tired to talk or I’m engrossed in my book, there’s no pressure to keep talking the whole time.

To see more photos of Yinka’s work and to like her facebook page – click here

Yinka is based in London and can be contacted on 07869554529.

@yinkas_braids on Instagram

Thanks for Reading

luv

Sian

x

Advertisements

Update on My Protective Styling Challenge

Hello my Cakers, Bakers & Beauties!

So I haven’t written about my hair for a while, this is not because something drastic happened I just don’t want to bore you!

Natural Looking Twists

Natural Looking Twists

After I removed the natural looking twists, I did a real protein treatment and then assessed the state of my hair, it was in good condition and still strong and supple with no traces of  traces of traction alopecia, so I went for the pick and drop style braids I mentioned before.

2013-11-16 17.23.13

The layers were a bit off, so I cut the bottom layer in the end.

2013-11-16 17.24.11

2013-11-16 17.26.282013-11-16 17.27.24

These took around 6 hours to put in and my Sister-in-Law – Deborah installed them for me, we used 5 packs of the same Aftress Fingeroll Hair that I wore in the summer on my trip to the Dominican Republic . Before installing the braids I  cleansed and air dried the hair before the install. You can read about how to cleanse your hair extensions here. Each pack of hair is only £2.99 so it’s an economical option for extensions.

I asked Deborah to braid my hair while it was damp as my hair is easier to work with while it’s damp and is more supple therefore less prone to breakage from manipulation. I wore the braids for about 5 weeks I washed my hair once per week I was working out on a regular basis 2-4 hours per week and I was paranoid about my hair smelling if I didn’t wash it .

After I took those braids out it was just before Christmas and I wanted to wear my own hair out during the Christmas Period so I did my hair in two strand twists for a few days. To protect my ends, I put my twists into a small high bun then I used Afro kinky extensions to create a faux bun by wrapping the extension hair around my own mini bun.

Faux Bun

Faux Bun

 On Christmas Day I wore a curly Fro.

2013-12-25 15.02.04

Hubby and I went on a Spa Break between Christmas and New Years, I had to pack light so I didn’t bring too many hair products plus I went swimming every day for 4 days. I washed the chlorine out of my hair every day and because I knew I’d be swimming again,I didn’t style I just put my hair in a high puff.

Hubby and Me - High Puff

Hubby and Me – High Puff

All in all I probably had my hair “unprotected” for about 4 days. After NYE I gave my hair a protein treatment and I’m glad to say that I haven’t experienced any breakage after all that swimming. I also put my hair into a high bun and slathered my hair with Vaseline before getting into the water, as you know Vaseline does not allow water to penetrate into the hair strand which is why we usually stay away from it, but it has it’s uses.

So far every day in January I’ve stuck to my self imposed Protective styling challenge, I actually cover my hair most days, even at work I wear a head wrap or beanie hat, I work in an office with a  lot of Muslim women who wear Hijab so no one blinks an eye at the fact that my hair is covered. Under my head scarf or beanie hat I always wear a satin bonnet to make sure that my hair is protected from friction, tangling and moisture being sucked out of my hair by various thirsty fabrics. Under my wraps and hats my hair is in 2 strand twists and I’m washing once per fortnight but since I’m still working out (yay!) I co wash with my twists in weekly.

Thanks for reading, Luv Sian x

Holiday Hair – Part One

Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

I have been back from the Dominican Republic about 4 weeks now, typical me I was supposed to post this ages ago but I got caught up in life and have been dragging my feet. I know I post about all sorts of things and so I’m sorry if you’re here for cake stuff or book stuff this is a hair post so feel free to ignore this one, I promise I won’t feel bad.

I decided to do a protective style for my holiday as I knew I’d be swimming daily and I didn’t want to be manipulating my strands too much. I have been on holiday with my natural hair loose but honestly on that trip (Ibiza July 2012) I didn’t swim as much as I wanted to because of my hair, that is really a poor excuse not to exercise and not to fully enjoy my holiday.

Image

Loose Afro Ibiza July 2012

Image

Afro Puff Ibiza July 2012 

I didn’t want to do kinky twists because the hair is too rough for me, I don’t really like the look of them on me any more, everyone and their Mama has kinky twists and last time I got kinky twists they were really itchy and irritated me, I have tried different brands of hair and soaking the hair in ACV but kinky twists are not for me. I would try Havana twists though, they look a bit softer and seem like they would suit me more.

Image

My last ever Kinky Twists Egypt September 19th 2012.

Image

My last ever Kinky Twists Egypt September 19th 2012

I have nothing against Kinky Twists on others but for me this time, I wanted something different. I decided to get something similar to pick and drop braids, but I wanted twists instead of braids and I wanted them to be sealed off and “dropped” a centimetre or so AFTER the ends of my natural hair, that meant that my twists had to be quite long. I also wanted my twists to be layered and curly so that they had some interest and movement. I searched the internet for braiding hair with the type of curl I wanted, which was a loose ringlet texture, I came across Aftress Fingeroll Hair:

Image

Aftress Fingeroll Hair

I bought 6 packets of this hair at £2.99 each (what a bargain!) Unfortunately the shop didn’t have a lot of this hair left in stock so I had to mix and match with colours I had two packets in 1B/30, two in 1B/33 and two in colour 2.  At that price obviously the hair was synthetic and manufacturers coat synthetic hair and cheaper human hair with a chemical base which is quite alkaline, this coating makes the hair look smoother and silkier in the packet and provides a level of heat and water resistance to the hair.

However as human beings our skin including our scalp has a pH level of around 5 which is acidic, this is natural and protects us because it is harder for germs to thrive in an acidic environment. The alkaline coating on the hair often causes an allergic reaction, which is why so often when we have extensions or weave installed it is itchy and irritating.

FYI Relaxers have a pH of 10 -14!

FYI Relaxers have a pH of 10 -14!

There is a relatively easy way to remove this alkaline coating which is to soak the hair in a slightly acidic solution of water and Apple Cider Vinegar, I don’t have specific measurements but I used a big plastic box because I had so much hair and I wanted the hair to be able to lay flat in the bottom of the box and not tangle and twist around itself. I filled the box about halfway up with hot water from the tap and added about a cup (6 tablespoons-ish) of ACV.

Image

This is the brand of ACV I use.

I removed the hair from the cardboard backing but left the gold “thread” that bundles the hair together in place, I gently placed all of the hair in the water/acv solution one by one and made sure they were not wrapped around each other. I left the hair in the solution overnight and when I came back in the morning there was an oily looking murky film floating on top of the water, that film let me know that the ACV had done it’s work and removed the alkaline coating from my extensions. You do not have to leave your hair in the solution over night, once you see the film on the surface of the water you can then rinse your extensions with cool/cold water and lay them flat to dry. Before you remove your extensions from the water you can gently detangle them (if needed) with your fingers or a large toothed comb, it’s much easier to do this while the hair is fully submerged under the water. Remember to remove your extensions from the water by holding them at top of the bundle or weft. I let my hair dry flat outside on a dinner tray that had a towel under the hair and folded over the top of the hair (imagine the hair is in a sleeping bag which is made from your towel.) Once again I made sure that all the hair was laid out straight and in one layer.

It took about 4 hours for my twists to be installed and I used 5.5 packets of hair, the root of each twist was braided for about a couple of centimetres first before being turned into a twist. It is possible for twists to be installed without the braided root but because of my hair texture I always prefer for the root to be braided first even when I’m doing two strand twist without extensions. I prefer the braided root because it keeps the twists neater for longer and doesn’t require my roots to be twisted and twined so tightly in order to keep the base of the twist tight, in addition the braided root gives the twist a stronger anchor as the hair can easily slip out.

Image

Freshly Finished Twists!

To reduce the risk of Traction Alopecia, (which is one of the most common causes of hair loss in Black women) when installing “extra” hair make sure that you do not put in too much extension for every section of your own hair that’s braided/twisted. If your head feels heavy when it’s finished, then it is a sign that you have too much extra hair on your head, try and use a smaller bunch of extensions and a larger section of your own hair for each braid/twist, your finished section may not look as thick and full but your own hair will thank you for it, the same principle applies with weaves. It is especially important not to add too much hair if you plan to swim and do water-sports as the hair will be even heavier when wet.

Here are a few photos of me enjoying my Twists in the Dominican Republic!

ImageImageImageImage

Image

Thanks for reading!

Luv

Sian

X