Thursday, 27 November 2008

Why do all these african women have receding hairlines?

We were watching a Nigerian film. Then hubby asked the question: 'why do all these Nigerian women (ie african women) have receding hairlines? They are going bald and you can see it under those wigs and weaves...' This from a white man. My daughter and I exchanged looks and I sighed. I didn't want to go into the same old same old topic, hence the sigh. So I just said 'yeah, they just did too much to their hair and the hair got tired... and gave up.' But, I realised, african women have the worst, most wretched, thinnest, tiredest hairlines of all the races. This prompted me to do a bit of research on current African hairstyles. I thought I'd start with Ghana- seeing it's my homeland. Friends, I was in for a nasty jarr. I could find hardly any natural hairstyles - unless you want to count extension braids/twist done over permed hair! The rare 'natural' style I came across was fake hair/weave done over some fried/relaxed hair. Tell me, african sista, what's the rationale in this? You've got your own beautiful afro hair. Yet you blast it with chemicals only to buy fake afro, to put over your own? The self loathing often spoken of by AA women may be far worse in the AW(african woman), than I thought. All those beautiful styles from generations past are slowly fading into oblivion. The practice of braiding, handed down from generation to generation, is barely hanging on. Many children are permed or have a low cut. Back in the day, mothers did their daughter's hair, girl siblings did each others' or if you had no aunt or relative capable, you got the lady down the road to come and braid it for you. Youngsters learned to do each others hair in boarding school. Now virtually all girls wear close cropped hair until they complete secondary education and then they make a beeline for the chemical fire cream and a weave. No wonder a friend made this observation: that african girls no longer know how to do hair. They have to go to 'braiding' school to learn. Even then they can't braid african textured hair, unless it's straightened first. We seem to have totally lost our way. I will endeavour to post some of the hairstyling pics I found -later. For now if you're an african woman, and you're natural,you're a rare sight.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

You no longer have sisterlocks!

This is what a few sister's have been told b'cos they used a tool other than the sls tool to retighten their locs. Personally I dont really care what my locs are called. Apparently if you dont take the official retightening class, and learn to DIY, you suddenly get BOOTLEG sls.But surely anyone who's paid the money and sat for hours for the install has sls. How does another tool change the style? I mean if you do a 3pt 4pt R4 or whatever the pattern is you'll still be going in the same directions, even using an unofficial tool??? I wonder what my locs are then. Most of them are still sls, but I've used nappylocs tool and yarn needle and latch -hook to tighten a few around the edges. So I have SLS-nappylocs-latchook-fingertwisting locs. Like they say a loc is a loc is a loc. So what makes SISTERLOCKS? The size? the pattern? Or the tools? What about the products? What are your thoughts? Any Sls purist out there? Tell me what you think and why there seems to be such a fuss over this. At this rate, many people will simply piggyback off sls and so called 'step sls' will be appearing everywhere,b'cos many people use other tools, even those who've taken the class. It's all about ease and convenience. Besides, it's a good idea to learn to retighten, official class or not. If you don't live in the USA, or suddenly find you have no access to a consultant/trainee, you don't really care what your locs are called, as long as you know how to maintain them. And I know for a fact that it's not easy to take the class here(UK).My consultant has a fairly relaxed attitude about this, and I get the impression the UK consultants generally are,but I may be wrong. I've heard of situations where consultants refuse to monitor your hair any longer simply b'cos you broke the rule and DIYed without permission. There are blogs and youtubes teaching you how to tighten sisterlocks and locks in general, (even how to start locs with a tool) using step by step instructions. So if you get caught out, don't cut your locs, just look for an alternative and join the ever growing band of DIYers. At this point in time, I'm a semi-DIYer. I say semi, b'cos I have never retightened my whole head. But I repair or tighten any that need help. I like the thought of DIY, but don't fancy the many hours and aching arms that accompany it. However, I may try going to an official every other reTi, maybe that will suit me just fine.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lookeee what I made

I decided to make my self a shea butter mix cos I sent my shea-cream mix to Anne after her SOS for shea butter. She is my guinea pig for lotion and potion experiments. So I went into my 'archives' to see what I had. I found some left over mango butter,murumuru butter,cupuacu butter,sapote oil, almond oil shea-cocoa,shea-coconut. I got about a tbs of each and added white and yellow shea butter. I melted the solid butters and added 3 big dollops of Roiboos shea butter cream(courtesy of y'know who you are) and whisked the mixture together.The result is this absolutely delightful luxurious cream. It's my best cream mix! I know it looks grainy, (just a thin film on it)but I promise you it's Smooth and silky.

As Imentioned b4, I'm taking part in an Art Journal project. I keep forgetting to take pics, but this what I made for the sentimental journal. The left one is christmassy to remind me of my childhood. This how I imagined England at christmas.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Micro-sculpture? Headwrapping.

I Haven't blogged in a while, due to this thing called-LIFE. I have been doing all sorts. I took my children to see a micro-sculpture exhibition. These micro sculptures are make by a black man called Willard Wigan and they are not visible to the naked eye. They are smaller than the head of a pin or a full stop and I'm not exaggerating. Infact, they fit in the middle of the eye of a fine needle! You need to look through a powerful microscope to see them and yet the detail is incredible. It seems impossible that they could be made by human hands. Mary took one look and said 'this proves there's a God,and that's probably how he sees us ; yet he sees every detail'. This collection was bought for £11million! I have a friend whose son makes incredibly detailed miniature sculptures from plastercine so I sent them the details, and they went to see the exhibition. They took some of the boy's work with them and are scheduled to meet this micro-sculptor sometime in 2009. Isn't that exciting! My Natural hair business is incredibly slow. There are not many natural haired sistas here and the few seem to travel to London to do their hair. We did do someones twists over the weekend. And I'm almost done retightening Arashia's hair after months.Each loc needed 3 or more rotations, not to mention all manner of repair work. It's taking about 4 days of doing a bit here and a bit there. She is now working in a clothes shop and only does hair part-time. She wants to apply to become the visual merchandiser, bc that's the job she's having to do, as they are short staffed.
HEAD WRAPPING: Cheleski - this is for you. My friend Eni who gave me the 'gele' head wrap,said once I folded it in the recommended manner, I could tie it anyway I wanted.
So this is what I did.
1. Take the fabric(in this case a very stiff fabric), bringing the 2 opposite corners together, fold to make a triangle.
2.Fold the long edge over,roughly 2-3in up.
3.Put the wrapper over your head with the triangle pointing upwards (from your nape towards your crown/forehead)
I can only do this by bending forward when the fabric is big and stiff like the gold one in the previous photos.
4.Tie, then tie a 2nd time making sure the pointy bit is underneath the tie.(make sure it's tight and secure)
This is where it get's exciting. If you have any sticking up bits, you can push and pull in different directions to get a shape you like.
Note: you can do this in the opposite direction ie tie towards the nape of your neck so the knot ends at the back of your head. Infact I carefully removed that headwrap and put it on backwards and I really thought it looked better.
I hope this makes sense. If it doesn't, sorry, the description may not be that great. I'll do a step by step with photos as soon as I get a minute.