Purple Afro! – Mane Divas Hair Part 2

Hi Naturalistas!

I decided to do a follow up on the Mane Diva NHA Afro Kinky hair, I wore my first installation of the hair for 6 weeks straight.

Before I carry on with this post, I’m not recommending that anyone should follow my hair practices I did what I did to really put the hair through it’s paces and test it out.

During the six weeks I hydrated and moisturised my leave out and my canerows underneath on a regular basis, I was really scared that I would retain my hair under the tracks but my leave out would break off… so I treated my leave out very well, I moisturised my leave out every single day and the left out portion of my hair from ear to ear (round the back of my head) was kept in flat twists and wound into a tiny bun at the nape of my neck, I didn’t undo the twists to moisturise my hair, I only took the twists out on wash day or if I wore my hair up in a high bun or puff.

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High Puff with Leave Out

The leave out at the front was also twisted the majority of the time and sometimes loosened when I wore a fro, but the hair is so voluminous that I didn’t need to undo my leave out every time I wore my hair down.

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Fro’d Out!

As you read in my first review, to keep this hair looking soft and to prevent mega tangling this hair needs to be treated like highly textured hair that grows out of a scalp. Regular moisturising and de-tangling is required the frequency depends on how you wear your hair during the day and how/if you have a good bedtime routine.

I shampooed my hair every 2 weeks while I wore the weave, rinsed my hair whenever I felt like it and deep conditioned after every wash.

Whenever I fully saturated my hair I was standing in the shower directly under the water – never with my head flipped over.

To wash my hair  I used a diluted sulphate-free shampoo on my scalp which was dripped on using an applicator bottle, the weave was in a few chunky twists so I could access my scalp easily and not tangle the hair.

I gently used my finger-pads to distribute the shampoo mixture into my canerows then applied some more shampoo mix onto the chunky twists and used the “milking a cow” motion (squeezing and GENTLY pulling downwards) to  get the shampoo into the twists.

At no point did I rub the hair, dig my scalp with nails or heavily agitate my canerows not only was this to prevent tangles but also to prevent breakage to my hair underneath from dragging it about too much.

After standing under the jet of water for ages, to rinse all off the shampoo out I deep conditioned my hair + tracks, I used moisture treatments because I had done a protein treatment just before getting the weave installed.

I put a shower cap on and my “Look Great Heat Wrap”  for 45 mins before getting back in the shower and rinsing out all traces of product from my hair. I wrapped my hair in an old t-shirt to absorb most of the excess water before doing the L.O.C method on my hair and weave. I let the hair air dry each time I wet it.

As you can see the whole process is quite involved -which is why I only did it fortnightly. If I felt like I need to  get rid of product build up or pollen (which was abundant at that time) I just went ahead and rinsed hair by standing under my shower jet.

I wore a few different styles during the time I had the weave in, please excuse the picture quality they are mostly selfies. The hair can be defined or brushed out when fully dry to the touch to get the full Afro effect, I tried chiney bumps a couple of times but they didn’t dry on time so they were fluffy which is my fault but the twist outs turned out really nicely. Although I don’t have any photos (sorry) I flat ironed the hair 3 times not to wear as a style because I didn’t want to use heat on my leave out, but just to test if the hair would revert every time- which it did.

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(Twist Out) Selfie with gorgeous Dionne of Qemamu Mosaics.

During the last two weeks of wearing the hair, I intentionally treated it very  badly, I didn’t twist it up at night,  wear a bonnet, moisturise it or detangle it before going to sleep, I wore a folded satin scarf around my head to protect my left-out hair. In the mornings the hair was a  mess but I was able to spritz it and detangle it before going out and it still looked presentable.

On the last 2 days I literally did nothing to  the hair and wore a hat when I went out during the day. When I tried to remove the tracks I could not detangle it at all so I carefully cut through all the stitches and took the hair off like a wig, the weave was in a state one huge dread lock I could not separate it at all.

I dumped it all in a big plastic bowl and squeezed Tresemme Naturals Conditioner all over it before adding warm water and leaving it in the bowl for a day, then I panicked and consulted YouTube for how to detangle used weave – I then panicked some more because the ENTIRE interwebsuperhighway told me that putting water on it would make it tangle up even more! I flew home from work that day and drained the water out but to be honest the water/conditioner mix had done what I thought it would do which was to soften the hair enough for me to separate the tracks. I ended up with 3 separate pieces which was what had been installed, I didn’t have to cut through my wefts at all, I then coated each weft in cheapie conditioner from Savers and painstakingly combed and brushed through ALL of the hair under my shower jet- the entire process took about 3 hours but I didn’t lose much hair doing it like this, you could do it much more quickly I’m sure- but you would lose hair by ripping through it with your tools.

I spread the wefts out in my bathroom and let them air dry loose, when they were dry, I out them on skirt hangers and put them in my wardrobe to stay detangled until my next install.

3 weeks later  I decided I wanted to colour the hair a bright vibrant colour…

I knew that since the weave is a natural 1b colour I would need to bleach the hair first in order to get the colour to show up as brightly as I wanted it to.

I had consulted the mighty YT and watched several videos on bleaching and colouring hair before my holiday so I had already bought the extra items I needed from Ebay.

This is what I bought:

Dcash Hair Dye Platinum Blonde  White Toner + Bleach (40%)

Adore Purple Rage Colour.

I also used items I already had around the house:

Latex Gloves

Tresemme Naturals Conditioner

Plastic Recycling Bags

Raggedy Old Clothes

Plastic Bowl and Spoon

The technique I used mainly came from the video below,  I did not want to damage my own hair by bleaching it in order to match the weave -so I decided to do an “ombre” effect and not colour the entire length of the strands.

 

But as you will see I didn’t feel the need to get my hair as light as this young lady did, I also only bleached my hair extension twice for a total of 2.5 hours.

The process 1

PicMonkey Collage (1)

After I washed the bleach out, the bleached portion of the hair felt quite straw-like and “trashy” like chewed up sugar cane but I resisted the temptation to deep condition it straight away  because I knew that the colour would “take” better on unconditioned hair. I towel dried, then lay the hair on large plastic bags before mixing some of the Adore Purple Rage hair colour with a squeeze of conditioner to lighten the shade a bit. I tried an ombre effect by using undiluted hair colour on the middle third of the hair and used the diluted colour on the very ends of the hair. I left the colour on the hair over night  and rinsed it out in the morning until the water ran clear. My last step was to saturate the coloured tracks in conditioner put them in a sandwich bag and zap the soggy hair in the microwave for 2 mins, I then wrapped the bundle in a towel and left it for an hour to deep condition, after this the hair felt really soft and back to normal.

PicMonkey Collage (2)

That was 2 weeks ago now and Iv’e been wearing the coloured hair since then, the coloured section has tangled up more than before but I just make sure I moisturise it well twice a day and that has cut down on the tangles.

I’ve also used heat on the coloured hair, by doing wand curls and I’m pleased to report that the hair curled well, and reverted again back to it’s original texture.

I can say that this hair is very good value for money and has been able to handle everything I’ve thrown at it so far, I think the main thing is to make sure the hair is hydrated and if you get serious tangles conditioner and patience are your best friends!

It was a long process but I’m glad I did it, what do you think of my “new” purple hair?

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I bought all of the products mentioned in this post with my own money – including the hair.

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

x

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Are You a MANE Diva?! (Review)

Hello My Naturalistas!

Today I’m sharing something a little different…

A WEAVE review! Yes I said it, I got a weave.

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Although my protective style challenge is now over and I was rocking my ‘fro all over the streets of Paris a couple of weeks ago, I have fancied a change for a while and wanted to get a weave that was close to my natural texture for 3 reasons:

  •  I rarely use heat on my hair so I couldn’t blend my hair a straight weave.
  • I still want to wear hair that looks like it could have grown out of my head, instead of an Asian or European texture.
  • I love Afro hair and I want to rock a BAA (Big Ass Afro) but I’m still a few years away from that with my own hair.

I had my eye on some hair from the USA but it was sooo expensive and I have been stung with those customs charges in the past adding an extra £100.00 to an already ridiculously expensive bundle of hair.

I decided to stick to my principles of  supporting UK businesses and discovered that Mane Divas based in Essex,  UK provide NHA (No Heat Alternative) extensions especially suited to women with natural hair.

I chose the Afro Kinky Curly texture which is a tight coil that can be defined or picked/fluffed out to achieve a full billowing Afro.

The website has a lot of advice regarding the hair and I was also able to contact the Divas themselves to get advice on how many bundles to buy and what lengths. I was going to buy 12″ and 14″ like I used to when buying straight extensions but I was advised to get 2 bundles of 14 as this texture has a lot of shrinkage.

Each bundle of 14″ costs £75.00 and p&p starts from £4.99 for recorded delivery . I think the price is very reasonable considering it’s Afro kinky virgin, human hair and the company are in UK so the shipping is much cheaper than if the hair were coming from the USA or China. In addition 3% of Mane Diva’s profits are donated to The Sickle Cell Society which I think is fantastic.

One of the best things about buying from Mane Divas is the customer service, they are quick to respond to any questions or queries, I don’t need to try to figure out the time difference if I need to call them and English is their first language so no worries about their being a language barrier and having a misunderstanding. Trina was particularly helpful to me as I bombarded her with about 50 questions before actually buying the hair!

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You can purchase the hair by clicking here.

As you can see the hair comes packaged in a lovely sleek box and each bundle is tied up with a pink ribbon.

The bundles measured 7-8 inches un-stretched but they were 14 inches once I stretched the coils out which is how all non-straight extensions are measured.

The hair comes in a natural colour which is a dark brown, roughly colour 2 but it looks lighter in bright sunlight almost around colour 4.

I was worried that it wouldn’t blend with my hair which is dyed black, but it looks fine and as the hair is not chemically treated prior to purchase it can be dyed or coloured, I will be colouring mine later on after I’ve worn it in it’s virgin state for a while.

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I only needed 1 and a half bundles for a full weave with my entire perimeter left out in order to enable me to wear the hair up in high buns and puffs, plus my edges are fragile like many women so I don’t like to canerow my edges and add  tracks as the stress is too much for my hairline. In the pictures I’ve intentionally exposed my tracks so you can see my leave out, when I wear the hair down it’s so full and fluffy that I don’t need to blend my edges, so I keep my leave out in twists, 2-strand at the back/side and flat twisted across the front. Since my sides are getting pretty long I gather them into a loose bunch with the hair in the back and tuck my ends away.

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When I first saw the bundles I thought the hair would be too curly to blend with my natural hair but it was fine, the hair is really versatile and you can manipulate your leave out to blend with the extensions if you want to. The extensions are not an exact match for my varied curl patterns but obviously an exact match is impossible as like most human beings I have several curl patterns all over my head. As my leave out is minimal I had no issues with blending. The hair is very soft and clean when it arrives but I co-washed it and let it air-dry prior to installation anyway.

The wefts are strong and thick, but my stylist didn’t have trouble sewing the tracks in as she sewed over the weft not through it. I  have not experienced shedding even though I did not seal the second weft that was cut. I have also not experienced any matting which is very common in Afro-textured extensions but this is because I made sure that my tracks were not sewn too close together and I finger detangle daily, obviously once I run a comb through it there will be some shedding which is normal, my real hair sheds and this hair behaves just like my natural hair.  I remember wearing straight weaves back in the day and hair falling out all over the place it was awful!

I have been wearing this hair for a week and I flippin’ love it! On Mothers Day (30th March) I was with my Mum for over an hour before she asked me if I’d dyed my hair, I said no and only then did she ask me if I had “hair” in my hair! I admitted it but my Mum still insisted on coming and looking for the tracks… lol!

My Mum really likes the style on me and trust me my Mum HATES weave!

This hair is not low-maintenance hair, you cannot just get up, shake it out and go but that is just like real highly-textured natural hair that grows out of our scalps. You do need to keep this hair moisturised and detangled, I literally treat this hair like my own natural hair which also means that my leave out and my braids underneath are not neglected.

I moisturise both my hair and the tracks at least once per day, I use Mane Divas Milk Moist or my own water spritz mix. Every couple of days I apply castor oil to my scalp (only) with an applicator bottle and I lightly finger-detangle every night before putting the hair into 2-4 chunky twists and covering with a satin bonnet.  I don’t do anything to my leave out except moisturise it, I don’t undo my twists unless I’m wearing my hair up as I’m trying to avoid over- manipulation of my precious strands.

If I wear my hair up, or back in one,my natural hair blends effortlessly  into the extensions as illustrated by by ponytail/puff below:

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I highly recommend this hair to anyone who wants to add length, thickness or volume to their natural hair or someone who wants to try out a natural texture before taking the plunge. Mane Divas also offer kinky-curly extensions which are a looser curl and various straight textures, if you don’t want to commit to a sew-in weave you can also purchase clips-ins from Mane Divas.

I haven’t washed my hair yet but when I do I’ll do a post on how easy or hard it was to wash the hair by myself. I’m also going to add highlights then colour the hair to see how the hair holds up.

Thanks for Reading

Luv

Sian

x

*I bought this hair with my own money, prices correct at time of writing this post.

Recycle Your Old Extensions! (Straight to Kinky/Curly)

Hello my Naturalistas!

This one is just for you,

Today I’m going to show you how to recycle your old extensions or change the curl pattern of straight-wavy hair to better blend with your own curl pattern.

When I had relaxed hair I experimented with wearing wigs and weaves, now I’m natural I still like to wear various types of extension but I prefer to wear textures that are closer to my own natural hair, not just because it looks better but it means that I don’t need to risk heat damage by flat-ironing my hair to blend with straight extensions.

If you have ever tried to buy good-quality Human hair kinky/curly extensions then you know how expensive they can be, the hair I currently have my eye on is over £250.00 not including p&p! Right now there is no way I’m spending that amount of money on some hair. So I decided to save some money and invest some time in converting a straight and wavy homemade U-part wig into a kinky curly wig.

My lovely friend Georgia made a U-part wig out of straight HH (Human Hair) weave but ran out of straight hair so added some wavy hair to complete the wig, unfortunately Georgia couldn’t achieve the colour match she wanted so she kindly donated the wig to me.

There are many ways you can steam perm extensions but my way is cheap but effective and does not require the use of any dangerous or smelly chemicals. This process is very easy but takes a little bit of time.

You will need:

  • Extensions – tracks, a bundle or a wig,  you can do this method with Synthetic hair but my instructions are for HH only.
  • A Very Large Saucepan or Pot with a lid. Pot should be large enough to accommodate all of your hair.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or your hair oil of choice (not an expensive one!)
  • Conditioner
  • Perm Rods, Foil or both – I wanted a tight curl but in theory you could use rollers to create a looser curl
  • Water
  • Wide Toothed Comb
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First things first, put your hair on the perm rods or rollers, I refused to buy several packets of perm rods so I made “flexi rods” out of foil. I made my flexi rods by simply scrunching strips of foil into rod shapes , you can see one in the photo above on top of the box of foil.

Fill your large pot about 3/4 full with water and while you are rolling your hair you can set your water to boil.                                      Try to roll your hair using the same technique on each roller, because this was an experiment, I used different techniques to see which curl type I preferred.

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Once your hair is rolled and your water is boiling add a squeeze of conditioner -about 1 tablespoon & a few drops – 1 teaspoon of oil to your boiling water.

Next carefully submerge your hair in the pot reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on, your hair needs to gently boil for about 2 hours, make sure you check the pot regularly so that the hair is always covered with water, you should top your pot up –  if  necessary with boiling water from the kettle.

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After the time is up, very carefully remove your hair from the hot water I suggest using metal food tongs.                                     Do not let the water cool with the hair in it.

   Let the hot hair, air dry for at least 4 hours before removing your rollers.

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As you can see,  my curls did not come out evenly but I was expecting this.

Next you want to detangle and comb out your hair with a wide toothed comb. I slathered my hair with diluted conditioner, combed it out and then rinsed out the conditioner before leaving my hair to air dry over night.

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In order to blend this U-Part hair with my hair, I flat twisted my leave out and rolled the ends of my twist onto the same perm rods.

The next day, I put the wig on and then blended my hair with the wig.

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This technique is a home version of the industrial steam perming method which is often used to make Asian hair extensions mimic the texture of Kinky/Curly hair.  Please don’t be fooled by the term “Brazilian” hair this is still Asian hair that has been processed to alter the curl pattern, almost every brand of kinky/curly HH hair extensions you will purchase even the high end ones will be processed Asian hair.

The only time you are likely to see genuine virgin (unprocessed) kinky/curly extensions is on wigs that have been made from donated hair from charities such as Locks of Love. Reputable vendors will let you know the provenance of your extensions and if the hair has been chemically or steam processed.

If you have any questions about this technique, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

x

Man Made Afro!

Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

The other day I was in my local “hood salon” and I saw this man (below) getting his hair done.

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The Afro before cutting and shaping.

I was literally fascinated and asked him if I could ask him a few questions and take a couple of photos, he agreed but as he was in  a rush he asked me if I could email him the questions instead of asking then and there. I dutifully emailed him later that day, but I am yet to receive a response  maybe I copied his email address incorrectly. Who knows?

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Back View before cutting and shaping

What I did manage to find out is that this gentleman name is Marlon and he is originally from Trinidad but grew up in NYC.

The style took 1.5 hours and was achieved by using the “pick and drop method” using synthetic kinky hair

(just over 1 &  a half packs, Colour 27, Aftress Elysse Star £4.99 per pack ). Marlon already had blond natural hair a little bit longer than a TWA, the stylist did not braid the very centre of his hair with extensions because the density was already enough with just the edges done, as you can see from my photos, you cannot tell that the middle does not have any extensions.

If you would like this style, depending on your braider you should expect to pay between £35-50 pounds in London, personally I would negotiate around £40 and tip the braider if I like the service/salon.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the pick and drop method it is a way of installing hair extensions where the stylist begins by braiding a piece of hair into a small parted section of hair growing out of the person’s head, but stops braiding after roughly an inch and seals the hair with a knot or sometimes glue.

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The loose end of the braid is usually styled to blend in with the person’s own hair. Unless your hair is very short or the extension is braided past the ends of your own hair, pick and drop is not really a protective style as the oldest and most fragile parts of your hair – the ends are exposed to the elements and are sometimes manipulated by the brushing and combing that is done to style and detangle the loose hair. You do have a lot of styling versatility with Pick and Drop Styles and in my experience it is a lot easier to clean, dry and moisturise your real hair in braids rather than a weave, but to each her own.

Below are some more examples of Pick & Drop styles

(none of these images belong to me, if the image belongs to you and you would like credit or for me to remove the image let me know.)

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As you can see Pick and Drop Styles can be achieved with practically any type of extension, your braider will be able to advise you further.

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The Finished Look!

I really liked this style and I think that it is a great way to boost your ‘Fro. I will definitely be trying this style in the future, not in blond of course!

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Oh and Sheryl Underwood if you are reading this, (not likely I know) here is proof that people want Afro-textured hair extensions !

Every day on the streets of London I see people with many types of kinky curly extensions wigs and weaves!
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Thank you to Marlon for being such a great sport!

Thanks to you for reading my blog.

Luv

Sian

x

Call for Government to ban use of hair relaxers and extensions

I will also be at the event with an array of delicious cakes for sale, all cakes will be discounted on the day and I am running a competition for one lucky person to win a celebration cake up to the value of £100.00! Plus free delivery.

Hope to see you there!
Sian xxx

Valley Fontaine

My site has moved to www.hairvalley.com

To read the article please click here:

CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO BAN USE OF HAIR RELAXERS AND EXTENSIONS

 

 

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