Head wrap styles are a must during the summer months.  I love summer, the sun is out, everyone feels happier, the weather is good and for many naturals, this is the perfect time to sport one of their many head wrap styles. Summer is the perfect time to rock a bold, colourful, artistic head wrap with pride.

Many would be forgiven for believing that summer is non-existent in the U.K, but according to the official UK records, British summer is from 27th March 2016 to 30th October 2016. Therefore, since we are now in August, it officially means we are in summer time.

Whatever the weather, head wraps and head scarfs always go down a treat, and the best thing about these styles is they are so easy to create, and you can use whatever scarf, head wrap, headscarf or material you have at home. There is an array of different styles and many ways to wrap natural hair that it’s almost impossible to run out of inspiration.

To get started and to help on the way to headwear bliss or simply increasing styling options, I have put together a series of 100 different head wrap and headscarf styles for your viewing pleasure.

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Head wrap styles for natural hair Youtube video

For this first head wrap style in the series, you will need only a long scarf. The scarf I am using in this YouTube video is made from 99% cotton and therefore does not have any stretch.

This style is best achieved with a scarf without any tassels. However, any relatively long scarf will do the job just fine. You may also need a bobby pin to pin your hair up for this style. Secure your final look with a safety pin if you want your final masterpiece to be more secure or if you just want peace of mind that your new look won’t spontaneously unravel.

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Subscribe, share and comment below the video to let me know your thoughts on this summer look.

30 Apr 2016
April 30, 2016

Hair length check April 2016

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Hello Curlies, I have another hair length check update for you.  If you frequent my blog, you will know that I am on a journey to grow healthy waist length natural hair.  At my last length check back in September 2015 my hair came in at mid-back length, despite my best efforts. I have discussed the reasons for this in a earlier blog post, but to quickly summarise, my dismal hair performance in 2015 was primarily due to neglect and lack of consistent hair care. However I am not going to major on my 2015 hair failures because it is a new year with new possibilities and as I discussed in my last post, healthy length retention is my main hair goal for 2016.

Planning for length retention success in 2016

So how do I plan to retain length? Well, I have found that protective styling is by far the easiest, stress-free way for me to retain length. In fact, I have noticed the most success when I have consistently followed a protective styling regime. My protective styling regime/challenge usually consists of set periods of protectively styling followed by periods of rest (free hair) throughout the year. My aim is to have my natural hair in protective styles for the most part of the year. My period of free hair usually involves undertaking hair strengthening, hot oil and other beneficial hair treatment which are not as convenient when wearing protective styles.  This is basically the tried and tested system I plan to use to retain as much length as possible this year, and hopefully achieve my hair goals.  I believe it is a simple formula, protective styling, persistence, consistency and patience. No magic potions or expensive lotions for me!

Sticking with what I know works for my hair

Although I do retain length without protective styling, I choose to protective style my hair because I have a busy schedule and I always opted for the route of least resistance.  As I always say, “if it’s not broken then don’t fix it”.  I definitely retain more length when I stay consistent with my tried and tested methods, products and regimes.  In my opinion, it is pointless jumping on the newest natural hair bandwagon, or any other bandwagon just because everyone is doing it. If you have already found a tried and tested system that works for you, why not stick with that until you achieve your desired results. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying don’t try new things – I’m forever experimenting.  I am simply saying, why not try new regimes and/or products in the area where you are still not seeing results while sticking to regimens/products you know work.  Remember you don’t have to follow every natural hair craze that’s trending on YouTube, just find what works for you.

Tracking my hair growth progress 

I plan to make my protective styling regime even easier this year (as if crochet braiding wasn’t easy enough).  Either way, as I mentioned in my New Year’s blog post, it is important to track your progress when you set goals.  I believe that one of the best ways to track your progress to waist length hair (or whatever length) is to take photos in a length check T-Shirt so you can clearly see your progress (see my photos below).

Front hair length check photos April 2016

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 Back hair length check photos April 2016

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Tracking and recording your progress visually is important, especially if you have super shrinkage like myself, notice how my hair without pulling looks like it is about armpit length.  This visual aid will help me to keep track and record my progress giving me that much-needed motivation and confirmation that my hair is actually growing.  Kinky hair, especially tightly curled Type 4 hair, has the tendency not to show it true length even when stretched. Only by actually pulling my already stretched hair can I actually see my true length.  It is important for Type 4 hair women to closely monitor their hair growth and not to give up on the journey wrongly believing it is “not growing”.

What method do you use to retain length?  Do you do regular hair length checks? Have you found your tried and tested length retention regime? Comment below to let me know what is your go-to protective style.

Happy hair journey

Colleen xx

Happy New Year my lovelies

The start of a new year is a great time for a fresh start, a clean slate.  You may have already made New Year’s resolutions relating to your diet, finances, organisation or fitness, but have you made goals relating to your natural hair? Have you even thought about it?  How about taking the plunge to make 2016 the year you start your natural hair journey, or maybe you are already on your journey and simply want to reach a target length. Whatever our best intentions research suggests that only 64 percent of resolutions are maintained longer than the first month. In fact, you may have broken yours already.  Why do so many of us give up on our New Year’s goals and resolutions so quickly? Well there are actually a multitude of reasons including: making unrealistic goals, lack of self-belief, giving up at the first sign of obstacles/slips/failures, lack of planning, failing to measure your progress, lack of support and not sticking at it long enough to allowing changes to become routine. This is by no means an exhausted list.   Whatever your New Year’s goals or resolutions for 2016, here are some simple tips to help you keep on track or even get back on track if you have already thrown in the towel:

Be realistic: Trying to grow your natural hair? It is unrealistic to grow your hair from chin length to waist length by December 2016, but trying for shoulder length over a given period based on your hairs growth rate is realistic and achievable. So too is aiming for healthier natural hair.

Take tiny steps: If doing a big chop is not for you, try transitioning with the use of protectives styles until you achieve your goal. Want to experiment with new hairstyles? Spend a few minutes checking out Pinterest or Instagram for ideas. Subscribe to new Youtubers with natural hair how-to videos.

Find a community: Being accountable to others can help you stay committed to your gaols. Why not join a natural hair challenge or be part of a Facebook group or blog forum? Maybe a family member or friend could give you that much needed encouragement.

Don’t give up or be too hard on yourself: When you feel like giving up, remember why you started. Rome was not built in a day! Success takes time and involves a cultivation period of hard work and determination before you can reap a harvest.

Track your progress: Help yourself stay motivated by measuring your progress. Tracking your progress, will help you to identify how well you are doing or if you need to make any simple changes.

Celebrate your successes:  Whether it be a new pair of shoes, a new bag or an expensive new protective hairstyle, treat yourself to something that will make you feel good about achieving your goals.

New Year’s Challenge – Creating Good Hair Care Habits

 

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The New Year is not just about resolution and goal setting but for some it may also be about changing certain habits.  Remember to start with something small, it’s all about taking baby steps.  Achieving tiny victories will give you the confidence to tackle larger ones.  Why not start using a satin headscarf or pillowcase or committing to regular deep conditioning. Maybe you need to start wearing your hair in large braids or a pineapple for bed, rather than leaving it all free to become tangled.  Have you been washing your hair as frequently as you know you should?  Rather than totally getting rid of a habit why not replace it with a better one. For example, you might replace your tired weave with a suitable protective style which allows access to your hair and scalp.  When you have the victory in one area, reward yourself and move on to find a solution to your next problem area.  Slowly but surely you will be waving goodbye to damaged breaking hair and loving the new you.   If you have not done so already, why not consider making realistic hair related goals, as well as planning how you will accomplish them. Setting your hair goals and planing how you will achieve them will help you to reach your natural hair hope and aspirations.

My 2016 hair related Goals

1.) My main hair related goal for 2016, will be to retain as much ‘healthy’ hair as possible.  I am not going to aim for waist length this year, since I am unlikely to make it after trimming etc. But I am definitely going to track my progress by taking photos in my length check t-shirt (front and back).

2.) My other hair related goal, will be to find a new protective style to help me retain more length. I’ve been crochet braiding now for far too long (over 3 years) and I think I want to try something new and exciting. I always see girls on YouTube sporting a different protective style every month. I’m not sure what I’ll go for yet but I’m thinking about Nazuri Curls. I have seen a couple of naturals wearing one of their numbers on a few blogs I frequent, so I may give them a try.

What would you like to achieve with your hair this year? Anyone planning on actually achieving waist length this year? What one hair care habit do you feel you need to change? Comment below to let me know if you have any hair related goals for 2016?

See you soon ladies x

 

When I first received my surprise invitation to be a bridesmaid at my good friend’s wedding, far from been at a loss as to how I would be styling my medium length natural hair for a wedding, I was actually wondering which amazing style should I pull from my treasure chest of natural hairstyles. After a brief look at a couple of YouTube videos and Pinterest photos to help me decide, I was finally left with the difficult choice between a mega empress bun and an elegant sophisticated afro Mohawk.  After much deliberation, I finally decided to choose a mega bun; not only is this style super easy to create, but it never fails to attract a flurry of compliments (plus I could only find one banana clip).

With the right knowledge and experience, styling natural hair on a daily basis should be a five minute job.  However, equally as important are those special events such as weddings, banquets, promising dates or that very special prom. These occasions should not pose a problem for the natural sister when it comes to styling her kinky, curly, coily, wavy natural hair. Check out my YouTube video above on how I achieved my perfect “mega bun” hairstyle.

Step-by-step styling guide: How I created my mega bun on medium length natural hair for the wedding

Styling medium length natural hair for a wedding

1.)    I usually start with stretched hair after an old braided out.

2.)    Using my trusted bristle brush, I brush my hair up to the crown of my head, ensuring all my stray hair strands are slicked back.

3.)    I add moisture to my hair before styling by applying Giovanni direct leave-in conditioner to my hair and ends.

4.)    I always use my trusted Eco-styler argon oil gel, as I like to slick down my edges and give my styles a super sleek appearance.

5.)    Using a zig zag hair band, I secure my hair at the crown of my head. I always ensure a large circumference area is gripped with the zig zag band to make sure I have more than enough hair left out for the different sections of the mega bun.

6.)    Using one leg of an old pair of tights, I secure the zig zag hair band so that my hair feels super secure and to also help my edges lay flat.

7.)    Using a small section of hair at the very centre of the hair that is left out, I secure a small mini bun. This mini bun will form the base of the rest for the hair style, as this is where the other sections of the bun will be secured.

8.)    I then twist two “chunky” twists, one on each side of the zigzag hair band, just above my ear. These twists will hide the zig zag band and tights as well as add an elegant detail to the finished style.

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If you live in the West Midlands you will know that the minority of natural hair events often take place in London, usually on a Saturday. This is why I am so pleased to see a natural hair event in Birmingham, right on my door step. The show is also on a Sunday which is more convenient for me since I attend church most Saturdays. It’s the perfect way to start the new year, with the opportunity to network, learn, socialis and meet like-minded naturals. There will be hair demos, expert advice, consultations, Q&A sessions and giveaways featured at the show. You can buy your ticket (£20) here: www.ticketsource.co.uk/napturallyhappyhair

Event venue: The Birmingham IET Austin Court

The event will take place on Sunday 4th January 2015 (sponsored by Napturally Happy Hair) at:

IET Birmingham Austin Court
80 Cambridge Street
Birmingham
B1 2NP

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So who is Cassandre Beccai?

If you frequent Facebook or many of the very popular natural hair blogs you would have no doubt seen Cassandre Beccai. She has not been on the natural hair scene very long but her popularity as a YouTuber has steadily grown. Cassandre has been natural for over 9+ years and like myself she has 4b natural hair, I like to follow and watch naturals who have similar hair textures to myself. I absolutely love Cassandre’s hair length and I quite like the different styles she often demonstrates on her blog. For those who don’t know who Cassandre is you may recognise her in the photos below:

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Click here to view Video 2 of 2

Hello ladies,

I am frequently asked how I achieve my hair length and what methods I use to retain length, well it’s not a big secret really and to be honest I’ve chosen the easy route to long heathy hair. For those of you who do not know, I attribute much of my hair growth and length retention to ‘protective styling’ and my number one means of protective styling at the moment is crochet braiding. Crochet braiding is a technique that involves cornrowing your own hair and simply attaching loose hair to the cornrows using a crochet needle in a ‘latch hook method’. Please check out my new YouTube video to see how I achieve my ‘natural look’ crochet braid-out look with mode model Marley braiding hair. I’m both an advocate and massive fan of this method of protective styling!  For my sisters who have not yet discovered crochet braids or for those who would like to give crochet braiding a go, here are 15 reasons why I think crochet braiding is the ideal protective style.

  1. Crochet braids are easy and quick to install, especially if you pay a professional to install them for you. They take between 3-4 hours to install once your hair has been cornrowed.
  2. Your entire hair is allowed to rest underneath in the cornrows.
  3. They are a time saver, in most cases you can literally get up and go because daily styling is relatively simple.
  4. There is no need to leave out your own natural hair but you can choose to do so if you wish.
  5. The strands of your own hair are not all intertwined with the extension again reducing the tension placed upon your own hair strands.
  6. There is no daily styling, brushing, combing or manipulation of your own natural hair therefore allowing your own hair to grow and rest. You are therefore able to retain all your growth and so help to retain length. This is what I call 100% protective styling at its very best.
  7. They look extremely natural and if installed correctly they look very much like your own natural hair.
  8. You can wash/cleanse your natural hair while wearing crochet braids, giving your own hair the much needed moisture it requires to remain healthy and grow.
  9. You can easily oil your scalp and moisturise your natural hair, thereby preventing dryness and ensuring your hair is less prone to breakage (I have a post coming up about how to do this- so stay tuned).
  10. They look really, really good and they actually look even better the longer you have them in.
  11. No glue, tread or chemicals required.
  12. Crochet braids are kinder to your edges than conventional braids since your hair underneath is cornrowed.
  13. Crochet braiding is inexpensive with two bags of Model Model Marley braids costing only £7.89 (you only need one and a half bags) perfect in a time of recession when you might have more important things to spend your money on i.e shoes! Lol
  14. You can use different types of synthetic hair not just Marley hair, for example water wave, kanakelon, expressions etc
  15. They are quick and easy to take out – simply cut the Marley braid just above the cornrows and then take down the cornrows and the reminder Marley hair will simply come out.

So if you have not already, it might be worthwhile giving crochet braids a go?  Considering all the positives I have listed above I personally believe crochet braiding has many advantages when compared to weaves or other braiding methods.

What you will need:

1.) Model Model Marley braid 1 or 1B

Model model marley braiding hair

Model Model Marley braiding hair

 

2.) Crochet needle

Crochet needle for installing marley braiding hair

Crochet needle for installing Marley braiding hair

 

My 10 top tips for installing crochet braids:

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May 2013

May 2013

 

Hello ladies, I hope you like my second YouTube Video

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This hair style is similar to the hairstyle in my first YouTube video and I’ve used the same products/trusted banana clip. This style can be worn for a chilled out look or accessorised and dressed up for a special event. I would like to say a big thanks to everyone who has commented and given feedback on my first YouTube video (which was uploaded last week).  The feedback has been amazing and I’ve taken on board many of your comments and suggestions. Based on your feedback I’ve made the following changes to my second YouTube video:

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