It truly is an expression of who I am as an individual but also as a Black Woman.
As I stated at the recent panel debate on the Politics of Afro Hair at the 2013 Woman of the World Festival, I am the hair chameleon! I LOVE switching up my style and it is one of the things I LOVE about being a Black woman, the versatility of Afro hair and the creativity of the many talented stylists in the UK is to be celebrated.
Having spent the weekend at the Afro Hair and Beauty Show in London I was yet again reminded of this creativity and felt it would be a perfect time to share some of my recent styles and how they were created!
1) Let’s Twist Again!
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that last year I had the privilege of being selected to be one of the LOCOG Olympic Gamesmakers who played a vital role in making the 2012 Games happen!
With extremely early starts (5.30 am!) and late finishes (1.00 am!) I decided to put my hair in twists for the ease of styling and maintenance! I used X-pressions braiding hair by Sensationnel which is a staple for many Women of Colour and I kept my twists in check with items from Strentgh of Nature’s Beautiful Textures range (which I had received at the Beautiful Textures launch in association with Gidore).
I used the Tangle Taming Leave-In conditioner on my scalp and the Silken Growth Oil to add sheen to the twists. Mineral oil free – these budget friendly products worked a treat!
My twists were super versatile and I was able to create transforming updos with ease! In fact my hair was in twists for the inaugural Keziah CONNECTIONS evening in July 2012!
2) Who runs the world? CURLS!
I LOVED having big, textured hair! I was kindly invited to the Errol Douglas salon for the first time late last year and opted for a full head weave with an invisible parting which was installed by the very talented senior Afro stylist/technician, Eve Owusu. The invisible parting was flawless and I received many, many compliments from friends, family and even strangers on the street!
What I love about visiting the Errol Douglas salon is the speed of the service! The fabulous team at the salon removed my twists, washed and treated my hair and installed and styled my new weave in six hours! To some that may sound like a long time but for use ladies who are used to spending the WHOLE DAY at the salon to have just one of the above processes completed, the ED team are efficient and expedient!
The hair retained its bounce throughout the wear but it did shed a bit so was essential to detangle gently.
I used the Ojon Rare Blend Oil* and Mizani’s True Textures* Curl Soft Leave-In Creme to hydrate the hair and when I wanted to wet the hair down to redefine the curls I actually used a dash of Infusium 23 – from back in the day!
3) Long and Lengthy
After my curls I did a 360 degree u-turn and had a long virgin Indian Remy weave installed. The hair was gifted to me by Ezra Brands. I wore 3.5 packs: 2 x 20″, 1 x 16″ and half of a 14″ for a full look.
I revisited the Errol Douglas salon again in February to see the Matrix Colour master Jasmin Allen and Afro Stylist Gemma Humes who worked their magic as seen in the images above!
Here is how they achieved the look!
“I used the Matrix Clear Gloss which has a Cerimidkomplex to add shine to the hair which was then cleansed with Kera Care’s Moisturising shampoo and hydrated with Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Conditioner.
Both of these products really ensure that hydration is built into the locks before styling to allow the colour gloss to really shine through and the styling to produce that luxury finish”
After the shampoo and conditioner.
-add 2-3 pumps of Moroccanoil to towel dried hair.
-use hair dryer to rough dry hair until its 80% dry
-blow-dry hair straight using a round brush (once the blow-dry is complete)
-sit under hood dryer for 20 mins to ensure the underneath is dry (only in the case of a full head weave).
-using flat irons, create soft curls, spraying each curl as you go
– once finished give hair a good shake upside down and spray entire head with Moroccanoil Luminous hairspray for a light hold
-finish with a mist Moroccan oil glimmer shine so that the health of the hair and polished finish really captures the light
5) Short and sassy!
I am currently wearing a short weave! I do love a crop and the way it really changes your face.
When I wear a short weave I use Sensationnel’s 27 Pieces and a few rows of 8″ human hair to create the fringe.
I use the Diva Slim Feel The Heat Intelligent straighteners* to maintain bump. I love these straighteners and the fact that they automatically begin to cook down if they get too hot. The Argan infused plates glide through the hair leaving it soft, shiny and manageable and it heats fast!!
I also use the compact Tangle Teezer Styler* to mould and tease the hair. I find that the multiple short teeth smooth and shape the hair with out overly disturbing the curls.
I protect the hair from the application of heat with the Activilong Actirepair Thermo-Protecteur Conditioning Milk spray*.
I finish with Mizani’s Spradiance Gel Serum to add shine and define.
So there you have it! What style will I go for next? Who knows? One thing that is for sure I will share it with you!