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Hair

Instant Braids, Can You Handle?

I think we can all agree that we all dread sitting for hours at a time to install the braids, only to have to repeat the process weeks later to remove them.

Ugh! I literally don’t have time for that.

Enter Braid Wigs Australia.

How we met was interesting. I posted a question via my Instagram stories asking people “to braid or not to braid my hair?”. Mya, who owns the Instagram page Braid Wigs Australia, then contacted me simply saying, “Why not try a braided wig?”.

To be honest, it’s a concept I had never thought of, but I must admit it intrigued me. I stalked her page at length and asked her a million and one questions – long story short we exchanged details and here I am rocking the braided hair wig.

“How you do you wear it?” Well..

Step One: Braid your hair into cornrows to ensure the wig lays flat on your head.
Step Two: Using the pre-determined part as a guide, place the wig on your head.
Step Three: You will need four or more bobby pins to keep the wig secure on your head.
Step Four: Pretend you sat in a salon, not just for hours but days, to install these braids and rock the hair!

I must admit, I was slightly intimidated by the hair color at first – it seemed bright and out there. I guess this is because I mainly rock dark hair, but I am really feeling it now. These braided wigs come in many assorted colors: red, black, blonde, purple and blue.

To get yours please contact Mya.

Special thanks to Mya for opening my eyes and giving me back my time so that I can concentrate on other things.

IamTinashe

Hair

In My Natural State

For the last say eight months, I have been wearing a lace front wig.

I am sharing my secrets – so I will give you a moment so it can marinate in your mind.

Back in the day, it used to be embarrassing to say that – but in this modern world, it’s a status symbol! Women of colour from all over the world are proud to tell anyone that will listen about the number of bundles on their head.

Anyway, I digress.

Needless to say, with so much going on I had what you would call a “brain fart” on a Sunday night. I randomly decided that I just wanted to let my hair breath. It sounded good in theory, but the reality was very different. You see, my hair has grown significantly in the last eight months. Dealing with hair that does not want to be tamed each day…well, let’s just say, time is of the essence! I had forgotten how much work is required to keep an afro looking fresh, healthy, and bouncy. No shrinkage allowed!

To make matters worse half way through my work week I realised that I was due to present at a local university. The image of me on stage with big afro hair and matching big bold African print just didn’t marry well with the conservative nature of my organisation of employment. I suddenly remembered why I had originally chosen the unassuming lace front wig.

Later that night I panic braided my natural hair, found an old wig with a fringe and rocked it for the remaining work days. My work colleagues were confused – wondering how I had managed to get my hair so dead straight. I really didn’t entertain the conversations – they couldn’t handle the truth.

Again, I learnt the valuable lesson that hair is one thing that I never want to think about. Any hairstyle that I invite into my life should make me look and feel glamorous with minimal effort.

Top – Dotti | Jeans – Supre | Heels – Wittner

Hair

Crotchet Life…

This blog post is being written by popular demand.

I literally have had other women of colour stop and ask about my hair. Most have been shocked when I let them know that it was crotchet braids and not my real hair.

Basically this blog posts has been written to explain my crotchet braid process.

Its no surprise that I love big hair. The bigger the hair the closer you are to God. Me myself, I am a natural haired girl – no chemicals can be found on my nappy head. Achieving this look day in and day out would just be too hard as I would be fighting against elements beyond my control.

After extensive research I settled on crotchet braids using hair that could pass as my natural hair.

To achieve this look you’ll need the following things:

  • Hair extensions – I used a random afro braid I found in my hair suitcase.
  • A long bobby pin – You will need to open it at about a 45 degree angle, as this will be you crotchet instrument. You can also use a crotchet hook but I found that it not only painful but also broke my own hair,
  • Scissors – these will allow you to shape and even out the hair.

Step One:
To lay the foundation for you crotchet braids, cornrow your entire head of hair from the forehead to the nape of the neck.

Step Two:
Starting from the back row, insert your bobby pin under your braid line. Grab a piece of your extension and insert the hair in to the loop created by the bobby pin. Once the extension is secure in the loop pull the bobby pin throw the cornrow ensuring that you are holding on to the end of the extension. Using your fingers pull the extension through the loop and tighten – basically doing a knot to secure the hair.

Step Three:
Repeat step two until you have covered all the cornrow braids on you head.

Step Four:
Cut and style to your heart’s content.

By following these four steps you can achieve the look you want for at least three to four weeks.

Now that is satisfaction!

Earrings – Lovisa, Turtle Neck – Zara.

IamTinashe. xx

Hair

New Hair, Who Dis?

Hey, thanks for joining me! How was your weekend going? Ours has been pretty damn good thank you – we have enjoyed our first long weekend of 2017.

What’s funny is I had been working so hard of late this long weekend kind of crept up on me – a wonderful surprise! We got to just chill – to lounge as a family and catch up on TV shows we don’t get to watch during the week. Thanks to YouTube, we spent some time watching TV shows like Generations – the Legacy, Date My Family, etc.

The TV shows were a welcome distraction, but one thing I could not get over was how everyone was immaculately dressed and the Afrocentric hairstyles everyone was rocking. I particularly loved the idea of having braids. Their braids looked so neat and perfect.

Let’s rewind for a second. When I got this new job, I talked myself into purchasing an expensive lace front wig. I thought that by buying the wig the morning routine would be faster for me with less time doing hair.

It has been three months of me rocking the lace front and I think I grossly underestimated the time it takes to make a lace front look somewhat realistic.

When you get it right it looks amazing and you have the confidence of the Roman army. Get it wrong and you spend most of the day paranoid that everyone knows it’s a wig and is looking and laughing at you. I have experienced both emotions and it’s an emotional rollercoaster.

I invested so much money in my lace front wig because I wanted to wear this relatively safe and low maintenance hair until I passed probation. I would normally change my hair once a month – so I don’t think I was being completely honest with myself -thinking I wasn’t going to get bored at some point.

To cut a long story short, after flirting with the idea of braiding my hair and umming and ahhing I decided to, as Nike says, Just Do it.

The braids were cheap at $10 for two packets. It costs between $AUD150 – 200 to have braids installed in your hair. Thank God for YouTube – braiding is a skill I learnt many years ago, so I don’t have to spend a dime. It took me 6 hours to do the hair – the only downside being that I had to braid my hair at ungodly hours so that I could finish it without interference from baby girl.

The truth is, I am very excited to be rocking these old school braids again. This is the hairstyle I used to rock in my teens – and I feel so young and carefree again!

Whats your fail safe hair style?

IamTinashe

Hair

Watch Me Transform..

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Hi there! Thanks for stopping by.

Don’t be alarmed.

The above image is the IamTinashe that in the past, only my very close friends and family would see. As Beyoncé said, “I woke up like this”.

A sleep deprived wife and mother who works full time. No foundation or makeup, no filled in eye brows – not even Vaseline to moisturise my lips. My natural hair had been washed the night before (my natural sisters know all about shrinkage – got me looking like a criminal on the loose) but as you can probably tell – no comb had tended to my hair. Everything has been stripped away so you can see me.

The real me.

All of me.

*Pause*

I will say this – like most people would, when they look at themselves in the mirror just as they are – it can be confronting to see such rawness. For a moment, I felt just like that – then I got over it. Why? I still see a lot of beauty in my natural state – if you can’t be comfortable in your own skin ask yourself – what’s going on?

I probably could have smiled for the photo – but how many before pictures have you seen of a model smiling?

My point exactly.

When I took this picture it had been exactly 36 hours since I had removed the braids I had earlier. I had made arrangements for a home hairdresser to come over and do my hair. This process alone is not easy because, like most women of colour would know, when you get a hairdresser to do your hair, you are basically giving them ALL of your trust to make sure that you don’t look crazy in these streets. Finding a reliable hairdresser in the African community can be difficult – either they don’t show up, come hours late, charge absurd prices, or leave your hair looking like a hot mess. So when you find a good one, you hold on to them – TIGHTLY.

To be fair, it’s not easy being me. I change my hair once a month – it keeps my hair fresh and my Husbae thinking he is with a new woman every 4 weeks. Hahaha, I have jokes.

This month I decided that I was going to rock a curly and frizzy weave. Which is a strange choice, because I have never been one to like weaves – wigs are more my thing.

BUT now that it’s not just about me and what I like, I have to be somewhat considerate of others. Why? Well, Imagine having a wig on and you’re feeling yourself and then the next moment you take the wig off and you are left with just the wig cap covering your not-so-evenly-spaced cornrows – it can be confronting for the baby and worse still for your better half. Can anyone say, mood killer?

So I needed something semi-permanent, minimum fuss – maximum appeal and glamour. Whilst weaves are not my favourite, I think they are a great protective style for my nappy hair. Thus, I decided to document the process so I can show you my transformation.

To achieve this look you will need (I used):

  • Hair extensions – I used synthetic curly hair. Brand – Noble Gold, Style – Bloom Curl, Colour – 1B
  • Comb to untangle your hair and create lines for cornrows
  • Oil to soothe your scalp – I like to use coconut oil
  • Weaving thread and a weaving needle – essential tools for the hair install
  • Scissors – allows you to shape and even out the hair

hair

Step One

My scalp often reacts to the hair extensions’ film, so before I do anything I like to firstly wash my extensions with apple cider vinegar. This removes any unwanted residue. The hair doesn’t smell so good after that so I will then wash it hair with baby conditioner or anything that I can find in the house.

soakedhair

Step Two

To lay the foundation for the sew-in weave my entire head of hair was braided in cornrows- from forehead to the nape of my neck.

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Step Three

Starting from the back row, sew in the weave using your weaving needle and thread.

Step Four

Repeat step three until you have sewn over all the cornrows on your head with the weave.

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Step Four

Cut and Style until your heart is content.

 

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You know, I have had weaves in the past and if I lasted two weeks it was one hell of an achievement. My scalp always gets irritated under the weave resulting in odd head pats or reaching for the bobby pin to scratch the hard to reach places. So far it’s been 3 weeks, 4days, 6 hours and 18mins and I can see the 4-week light before I switch up my hair once more…

I did this post because people were asking about my hair. And whilst I would have loved to say it’s all mine boo boo – the truth shall set you free.

IamTinashe. xx

Hair

Three Hairstyles And A Baby…

It’s just before midnight everyone in the house is fast asleep – I am currently huddled on the floor of our walk in closet writing this blog post on my iPhone. Why? Firstly I can’t sleep – too much in my mind and in my heart, secondly I didn’t want to leave the bedroom and risk waking the baby and thirdly I need to get this post to be done and dusted.

Okay, so I recently discovered that having a new born baby and regularly changing hairstyles really doesn’t work. You want to switch up your hairstyleslike you used to? Tell her she is dreaming. Everything takes twice as long as it used to – but I am patient, I am told it gets better.

*side eyes everyone who has said that to me*

Not sure if you noticed but in an earlier post I had micro braids – big mistake on my part. I mean it looks good when you get it done, but who the hell is going to help you take it out?

I thought I had it all figured out. By recommendation I found a young girl who was willing to undo my braids for me for a reasonable price – can’t knock the hustle. I was all smiles until she cancelled on me not once but twice. By the third time I was like bugger it I will do it my damn self.

Monday morning came around and I started – probably undid about 20 braids if that before I had to call it a day. Tuesday, Wednesday the same thing happened. With a quarter of the braids undone on my head my hair was holding me hostage – I couldn’t leave the house without looking crazy, shady with a cap on or fresh off the boat with cloth/material covering my hair.

What can I say being a mother trumped my vanity. Motherhood changes you, but don’t get it twisted I still want to look fly. Say it with me – yummy mummy!

Thursday came along and to be honest not much happened with the undoing of the braids – I was over it. My head felt like it weight a tonne and my hands didn’t want to corporate. Later that night to my surprise baby Tasima decided to go to bed early – bless her – she will one day understand my struggle. I basically pulled an all nighter undoing my hair and went to bed just before 5am. I knew I would feel like shit during the day, but knew that the braids had been removed – so that made it all worth it.

The braids are out now what?

I could wear my own Afro out? Decided against that my tender head hated being brushed out each day, jumbo braid? Nope my scalp needs a rest. I decided to wig it, short and sassy wigs because baby Tasima now loves to grab and pull on mummy’s hair.

After washing, conditioning, air drying, moisturizing and cornrowing my hair – I was ready to install my wig. The below picture is the first wig I wore:

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A short and curly cut. To tell the truth I didn’t mind it. What made me rethink my hair choice was when baby Tasima woke up from her nap and I was wearing my new hair and literally did double take. She even hesitated when I picked her up. They say children never lie.

Of course I was all the way in my feelings, but got the hint and switched it up to the below pixie cut:

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As you can probably tell from the photo I was the only one excited about the new hair – baby Tasima’ face says it all – she was not feeling it AT ALL. Infact when I would breastfeed her she would stop midway look up and just laugh. They say children never lie.

I started thinking to myself what is that I am actually trying to achieve with my new hairstyle? The points below were my main goals:

  • “spring break” for my scalp
  • a protective style for my hair
  • short to medium hair length
  • easy to maintain hairstyle for my new up and go lifestyle

The more I actually zoned in on what I wanted the more it made sense for me to just have my hair out. With that decision I ripped off the wig and undid the cornrows. I had retained moisture from the coconut butter I had applied earlier so I just sat there and twisted my own hair. The below is the end result:

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Not the clearest picture but judging from the picture above it looks like I finally got my hairstyle approved from the diva in waiting herself – Tasima.

Fast forward to today, I have been rocking my natural hair now for two going to three weeks and I am not yet bored.

As a black woman braids, weaves even wigs have always been my go to items just to make my life easier. Just rocking my own hair was often the last option because I don’t know about you I feel like a bold chicken even though my natural hair is thick as. The lack of movement – makes me think twice – that’s for another blog post. I digress.

In closing Tasima’s pure reaction to my hair reminded me that sometimes its just easier to be your natural self.

IamTinashe