Friday, 24 October 2014

Mango and Cocoa Butter, the 411

IG: @naturalinlondon

Before I get into today's post I'm going to apologise for missing last week's. I promised a couple of months ago that I'll put something up at least once a fortnight, and I didn't last Friday. See the thing is, I was kidnapped (not really). I was held against my will (completely in line with my will) by a New Girl marathon that I had no desire to watch and in fact, it was torture (I LOVED IT!). Sorry guys! <3

Anywhoosies, on to today's post. About a year an a half ago I formulated this awesome hair cream detangler thing that was based on Shea butter and Okra. I loved that ish. My hair loved that ish. After a few months of making and using the aforementioned awesomeness, I became curious about other popular butters and decided to do some tests to see what they did to my hair. So I came up with three new creams with the shea butter substituted for either the exact amount of mango butter, the exact amount of cocoa butter, or a half and half mix of the two.

After using the creams here's what I found:

  • Mango butter definitely made my hair majorly soft, the softest of all the butters. However it also made my hair extremely frizzy. Like a frizziness I haven't experienced in like 2 1/2 years, ever since I started formulating pH controlled products.
  • Cocoa butter had the least softening properties. It also made my hair the least frizzy, in fact it had a slight 'slickening' effect. 
  • The half/half mix wasn't memorable (lol) 
  • The shea butter version was definitely my favourite, it softened my hair without causing extreme frizz.
For the record, I have no problem with frizz. My hair is naturally frizzy and I don't try to change that. But I wouldn't use a product that made my hair frizzier. 

So that's all folks. What are your experiences with Cocoa and Mango butter, or even other butters? Do you even like using butters or butter based products?

Hope this post finds you well,

Rella x

Friday, 3 October 2014

How I Use Shea Butter

IG: @naturalinlondon
When I first started my natural hair journey err'body spoke about the miracles of Shea butter. It seemed like every blogger and every YouTuber that had anything to do with natural hair was also a member of Sheanity. And so of course, newbie that I was, I wanted in. So I scoured the Nigerian markets of east London until an ori source was found and proceeded to baptise my strands with shea as if application alone will get me to hair heaven.

Now, I was disappointed because this thing that had been touted as divine nectar did not transform my chronically dry coils into silky moisturised curls,  nor did it 'seal' in moisture for any longer than anything else did. In fact, it just seemed to make my hair look duller. So after about a year of trying to use it in 25 different ways I threw up a deuces sign and two stepped away from my shea jar.

A year after my two step, prodigal son that I was, I returned to shea to see if we could work things out. See at this point, I was completely disillusioned of all things pertaining to natural hair and more specifically; my natural hair. I no longer looked at my hair type as a symptom of a problem and now understood that my hair will always look and feel and behave the way it does because that is how it is suppossed to. So this time when I approched the shea throne my bathroom cabinet I wasn't expecting extracts of the inside of a unicorn horn that had been steeped in the tears of a leprechaun for a thousand years. I understood that by definition, a butter cannot moisturise. However, I also understood what emolliants were, and that shea butter can have a softening effect. So armed with this knowledge I carried out informed experiments with shea butter.

So now, years later, this is what I use shea butter for. If I'm doing any kind of long term style, like my annual mini twist set. I will braid or twist with my shea butter mix. During the time when my hair is braided or twisted (nornally two months)  I do not mositurise. At most I might reapply some butter mix to my ends every fortnight. When it's time to take down the style, my hair is at it's softest and I feel like my head is covered in lambs wool. Seriously.

If at any point I want to stretch my hair for something, I will apply my shea butter mix to dry hair and braid. Nothing (heatless) stretches my hair like shea butter. If I want maximum stretch I will do this every night for like four days. By the end of it, my hair looks almost like a blow out. If I wanted really stretched hair I would use thread instead of braids.

So that's it. Now instead of being disappointed by myths and folklore, I am able to truly appreciate Shea butter for what it can actually do for my hair. Do you use shea butter? If so how do you use it and have you always used it that way?

I hope this post finds you well!

Rella x

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Naked As The Day I Was Born by Rella J

Hey Guys,



So after a two year hiatus I'm back to posting videos on my YouTube music channel. Here's my latest video if any of you were interested. P.S a vid for that braidout will be up at some point :)




Friday, 19 September 2014

Musings: Fro-age, Fro-ness and Fro-ability

Instagram: @naturalinlondon


Guys,

My fro is getting big... I've got some serious fro-age going on. I'm fro-ness galore over in these here hair streets lol. You know it's funny because after what felt like set back 3000 and 1, I was so despondent. I was disheartened, discouraged, and a whole host of other dis-emotions. If the word was prefixed with dis-, best believe I felt it. It seemed like after my hair fell out, it would never recover and I was the most tempted I've ever been to just cut it all off and start again. But thank God I didn't.

I'm so grateful that I never make rash decisions. Seriously, never. About anything. Sometimes I get a strong urge to shop, like proper SPLURGE. I go to the website of my usual clothing stores, fill my baskets with everything I want and then once I'm done, I think about it. For like three days. LOL. Over that time that basket gets whittled down to a fraction of what it was, and then I pay. That's the kind of person that I am. So when I was all in my feelings last year about the hair loss and cutting was looking like a real good option and the urge was strong, you know what I did? I thought about it for three days. Over that time that huge urge was whittled down and the reality of my hair situation became much clearer: cutting won't make my hair grow back faster, it will just make me feel more in control. But that sense of control will only last for like a minute, and then afterwards, I'm just left with shorter hair.

So I'm happy that I never cut off my hair, because now I get to enjoy all of this fro-ability lol.

Hope this post finds you well.

Rella x

Monday, 15 September 2014

YouTube| 21 Facts About Me Tag

Hey guys,

So I did the 21 Facts about me tag. Here's the video! And keep an eye out for part 2 of the Business In The Back series which will be posted later today!

x


Friday, 12 September 2014

YouTube Update

Hey Guys,

I've been really bad at posting my YouTube videos here and keeping you all updated so here's what's happened since.

1. The Ten Ways To Wear A Bun series finished last Monday.
2. I started a new series on YouTube called Business In The Back which focuses on hairstyles where the front is subdued and the back is the focal point.
3. To celebrate reaching 100 subscribers last Friday, I decided to upload three videos this week as opposed to my usual one. The first being part one of the BITB series, the second being a video about why I suck at YouTube comments and the third will be uploaded on the weekend.

Ok that's everything, here are the videos!


Friday, 22 August 2014

Musings: Working to love your hair.



I've set the scene. I have chill music playing right now while chocolate ice cream churns in the kitchen. I've put on furry slippers, have my softest throw wrapped around me and am sitting in my most comfortable armchair. I'm ready to talk about hair so lets see where this goes...

Let's talk about hair and self image for a little bit, k? You know for the longest time I tried to convince my younger sister (who was natural for most of her life before she relaxed, due to 'unmanageability') to return to natural. I was convinced that since I had learnt to take care of my hair; she would have a much easier time of it because I could teach her. But she would say two things to me:

1. "Rella you know how to do hair so it's much easier for you to make your hair look good"
2. "You're comfortable with it. It looks good on you but I don't think it would on me"

Both of these responses would get me equally frustrated but in completely different ways. For the record by do hair she meant that I could braid, canerow, flat twist etc. 

Now that I think about it, both responses frustrated me in the same way. Because it kind of minimalised the hard work I put into arriving at the hair place that she saw me at. You know, when people see you, they don't see all it took for you to be there, in front of them, they're just seeing the present you. Not all the other versions of yourself that came before.

What do I mean? Well to the first point, I didn't come out of the womb braiding ish. I made a conscious decision to learn how to do it when I was like 9. And practiced and practiced until I had it down. So by the time I started my hair journey, I had close to a decade's worth of experience. So that's why she saw it as easy. She didn't see my practice braids, or my struggle parts. All she sees is the dope ish  I come out with after years worth of practice.

But that's not what I want to focus on. I want to talk about the second point, the comfortability. Now that is something I had to work at. I had to work at liking my hair. I had to teach myself to like it. I had to unlearn every standard of beauty I'd been taught and eject every beauty ideal I'd internalised. For a long time my hair made me uncomfortable. I saw it as ugly and inferior. When I started my hair journey those feelings didn't magically disappear. In fact I developed even more inferiority complexes rooted around hair type.

See the thing is though, I didn't let that stop me. I had a goal that I wanted to reach. I wanted to learn how to take care of my hair and see it as beautiful and I was determined to work to get to that place. Because of this, every day I would look in the mirror and feel uncomfortable but I would tell myself my hair is not ugly because it is, my hair is ugly (to me) because I was taught that it was. I told myself that, until I didn't have to anymore. Until that deep rooted shame was expelled and in it's place was planted a pride so deep that nothing can shake it. Until every ounce of ugly was replaced with beauty in my eyes and a reminder that my design was not a mistake. My hair is not a coincidence, but an intention.

So I just wanted to come here and tell you, that it's ok to not like your hair. It's ok to feel uncomfortable with it, but they're not feelings that you have to settle for. If you're willing to work through it, a much brighter place is on the other side of that darkness.

Until next time,

Rella x

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ten Ways To Wear A Bun #7

Hey Guys!

I forgot/was to busy and/or lazy to post last week's video. So before #8 is uploaded here's #7 of my Ten Ways To Wear A Bun series. Enjoy!


Friday, 8 August 2014

Who got time for keeping hair 100? Not I!

instagram: @naturalinlondon (I finally started an account!)

You know on a day to day basis, my hair is not in the pristine condition displayed in my YouTube videos. See when I make videos, I prep my hair, so that it looks it's best. So my hair in these vids is normally clean, detangled and has a hint of definition that comes with drying hair in twists or braids. Now I don't want anybody who watches my videos to feel like you can only successfully style awesomely prepped hair. Really and truly, my hair ONLY gets that kinda prep once a month. If that. The majority of the time, my hair is undefined and slightly matted at the roots (if I haven't detangled in a while)(which I normally haven't lol). But the thing is, this doesn't at all keep me from styling. Or make styling intimidating. I can style my hair in all of it's states.

The hair style in the picture above was done on dry and matted hair because I hadn't detangled in two weeks but I needed to go somewhere real quick. The Rella of two years ago would've been intimidated at the un-prepped-ness of my hair, I would've probably backed slowly away from the mirror in sheer terror/panic and donned a beanie. But this I-Stay-Slaying-These-Styles-No-Matter-The-Hair-State Rella? She didn't even blink twice. Nary a fudge was given. My hair got did and errybody stayed happy.

This was just a quick encouragement to say, you don't need pristine hair for an awesome style. In fact some of my favourite style moments have occurred when my hair was in less than ideal maintenance conditions.

Rella x

P.S can we take a moment to appreciate the cuteness that is that bun, I feel like taking down my sleeping braids to recreate this style even though I'm not going anywhere LOL.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Ten Ways To Wear A Bun #6

Hey Guys,

Here's this weeks installment of the Ten Ways To Wear A Bun series!

Hope you enjoy it!

Oh and guess who's on instagram?? Me!! @naturalinlondon


Friday, 1 August 2014

Real Talk: My Moisturising Truth


I'm going to tell you a secret. Are you listening? Lean in a bit closer, I don't want anybody to hear...

How many of you actually leaned towards your screens? =)

Anyways here goes:
I don't keep my hair moisturised. GASP!! I don't know how many of you are shocked, or disgusted or intrigued but hear me out before you judge me. Yep, today's Real Talk is all about my moisturising truth. Let's get to it.

See the thing is, for the first 17 years of my life my hair was never properly moisturised. In fact it wasn't really ever properly taken care of, especially by today's 'Natural Hair Care standards'. Whenever I did any type of maintenance, to take down one weave/extensions and put another one in, it was all done dry. Whenever I combed my hair, it was done dry. And by dry I mean without using a moisturiser or any type of 'wet' styler. In fact the only hair products I ever owned was a standard shampoo, conditioner and a bottle of pink lotion. And that pink lotion only came out when I straightened my hair *shudders*. Anyway, the point is for those 17 years I never thought about dryness, and to be honest I didn't really see my hair enough to ever really evaluate it.

Then when I started my hair care journey, my hair remained 'dry' for the first two and a half years. Now this wasn't for lack of trying. I tried to moisturise my hair. I deep conditioned and steamed and used leave ins and oils and butters galore. However, the only time my hair would feel moisturised was for the first 24 hours post wash and then it would dry out like I didn't spend 12 hours marinating my strands in plant extracts, oils, and unicorn tears.

As I learnt that particular oils had better sealing properties than others, I was able to double those 24 hours post wash, but retaining moisture was nigh impossible in between washes. I tried a lot of popular leave ins and moisturisers and creams but nothing worked for more than a few hours after application, no matter what sealants I used. Eventually I discovered the Faith In Nature conditioners which were the first products to actually moisturise and soften my dry hair. And I continued to use them faithfully for about 6 months until I developed my own products that I was able to use. And I've used those exclusively for about 18 months.

So that's a condensed history of my experiences with moisturising. You might be wondering "Hey Rella, now that you know how to moisturise and you have products that do it, why isn't your hair damp and springy all day, erryday?" I'm glad you asked. There are a few sides to my answer to that.

1. I aint craving silky hair, it's not my hair type and I'm not fighting it
At the start of this hair journey I had all kinds of insecurities and inferiority complexes surrounding my hair texture. I used to wish my hair was silkier and the curl was more apparent. It took a while before I accepted that silky naps will never be my portion and then I was able to see the beauty of my spongy texture. Back when I was lusting after them silks, I thought frequent moisturising will somehow transform the sponge. But I learnt with time that a wet sponge just feels like a wet sponge lol. My spongy texture wasn't going to become silky because it was deep conditioned and moisturised. Sure, it would feel smoother but not silkier if that makes sense? So now that I'm fully all for my spongy texture, I'm not trying to change it.

2. Water = popping, tiny, non-clumping coils = tangles = NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT
I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but my hair is a congregation of non-clumping, teeny tiny, springy coils. When I wet them, the springs contract and since the coils don't clump this creates a cacophony of tangles and matting which nobody has got time to detangle. I mean NOBODY. I live my hair life avoiding tangles where I can, so I'm definitely not trying to create conditions or opportunities where tangles can occur. Not if I can help it.

3. My hair is not a living organism that requires water to live, thus I only moisturise when I need the elasticity to minimise mechanical damage.
If you were here for the last Real Talk about trimming, you have heard me say this before. Hair is dead. Hair does not get thirsty. If you don't moisturise your hair for a week if wont die of thirst. Because it is already dead. Because of this I embrace my natural dry spongy texture and only moisturise my hair when I need the elasticity that moisturising provides, to minimise mechanical damage. An example of this is when I'm finger detangling or if i'm doing a hair style that requires a lot of handling.

So yeah, now that I'm not looking for silky hair and have recognised the softness and beauty in my naturally spongy texture, the urge to constantly moisturise has completely dissipated. Wetting tightly coiled hair is absolutely no fun at all for me, I do it when my hair needs it. When it is being washed or when it is being overly handled. But even then I do it in a controlled manner, braiding and twisting after moisturising to prevent tangles...

So now my moisturising efforts depend completely on how I'm wearing my hair. In all honesty it can be as frequent as a few times a week, or a few times a month. My hair is the longest it's ever been (APL), my ends are in good condition, and I have no problem retaining length. You know why? Because hair strands are dead. They are not a garden that needs to be watered to live. It's sort of like spaghetti. Imagine dry spaghetti and hydrated spaghetti. If i'm moving dry spaghetti from one place to another, and handling it gently, it wont break. But if I want to create a spaghetti Mona Lisa, them spaghetti's will be all snaps and cracks galore if I try to manipulate them dry. Whereas hydrated spaghetti is easily shaped and manipulated.

So if you handle your hair often and you need that elasticity by all means keep your hair watered. If you dont, then dont.

I wanna hear from you. How often do you moisturise your hair? Why do you moisturise it that frequently? What are your thoughts? Let me know!

Rella x

PS. None of this applies in the summer though. In summer, the air is humid enough that erry mornin' I wake up and my hair feels like 17 elves wept on it while I was sleeping...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Ten Ways To Wear A Bun #5

Hey Guys!

Yep it's that time of the week again. Here's the latest installment of Ten Ways To Wear A Bun. I can't believe we're already at the half way point!

Enjoy!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Ten Ways To Wear A Bun #4

Hey Guys,

Here's this weeks addition to the Ten Ways To Wear a Bun series.

Enjoy x


Friday, 18 July 2014

Real Talk: Trimming


You know, one thing I'm grateful for when it comes to my degree is a better understanding of the way the human body works. Now my having a degree in a Life Sciences field doesn't mean that i'm anti- tradition or folk lore etc. See I get that science doesn't know or can't explain everything when it comes to the beautiful thing that is our bodies. In fact i'm all for traditional methods of hair care, hence why I've been using ayurvedic powders for like four years. But see the thing is, is that i'm inquisitive and reflective by nature. That means that I always question why? I spend a lot of time thinking why I do something and then spend a lot of time researching that something, and then at the end of this process, I make a decision as to whether I'm going to continue doing it. I've always done this, it could be something small like "Why do I eat cereal for breakfast?". This thought will lead me to research things like the history of food in different countries, combined with their history of food related diseases/diseases where diet is a risk factor. Or i'll research the impact that industry and food preservation advancements have had on our diets. While considering what I know about nutritional requirements and metabolism and the influence that monetary gain and business has on what is marketed to us as healthy, correct or traditional. The whole process then ends up with a complete restructuring of my diet. Then, Rinse and repeat with another topic. It's an exhausting but thorough and logical process.

See when I first started my hair journey, I looked at my hair like it was something mythical and abstract, something that couldn't be understood. And so for like a year I soaked in any and every piece of advice that could be found on these here internets. I took it all as gospel. However as time went on I started to look at my hair for what it is: a dead fibre. Then I was able to take a more logical approach to my hair care practices.

So let's get logical about trimming. Some people on the internet will stay telling you that trimming your hair makes your hair grow or even makes your hair grow faster. And so I used to trim my hair religiously. I never thought that it would make my hair grow faster but back in those mythical abstract days, I never questioned these practices. I just went along with it. But then I actually asked myself "Why do I trim my hair?".

Cue university and having to spend three years studying the most boring topic ever- Cell biology. You know what I learnt in that time? Cells that are alive talk to each other. They make their presence known in their community of cells. Each cell is aware of itself, it's neighbours and it's environment. When a cell is injured it will freaking cry about that injury (figuratively of course) for all cells to hear and take action. Look at your beautiful, living skin. You see this kinda thing in action every time you get cut. See your skin knows it's been cut and as soon as that happens a host of organised events are triggered to go about repairing that cut. Because your skin is alive and aware. You know what isn't alive and aware? The shaft of your hair. You know what that means? When you cut your hair, it doesn't know it has been cut. It won't send out an SOS signal to your scalp demanding new hair to be created at a faster rate. It is just cut. Because your hair is dead and cannot communicate with your hair follicles in your scalp (which is the only living part of your hair).

This means that the only reasons to cut your hair are for aesthetic preferences or for preservation.
For example if your hair is split and you don't want that split to continue to travel up the hair shaft, you trim. Because hair cannot repair itself. Because it is dead.
Or you may trim to maintain some kind of preferred shape to your hair.
Or you may trim because your ends are overly weathered and frazzled because of the mechanical stress it has been subject to, and you don't want to deal with the extra detangling time it requires, or the extra product it needs to behave so you cut it. Because it cannot repair itself. Because it is dead.

See this is why I haven't cut my hair in over two years. As for trimming, I haven't trimmed my hair in over a year and probably wont for another few months (if at all). Why? How? I'm a finger detangling pro and live completely on low manipulation styles. That means that the mechanical stress that my hair is subject to is minimal, so my ends stay preserved and my splits are infrequent. However when I used to comb my hair and employed other practices that inflicted excessive mechanical stress, my ends stayed chewed. These days if I see a particularly bad split then i'll snap it off (don;t judge me) cut it off. But otherwise my hair is predominately a scissors free zone

So really I just wanted you to know the truth about trimming, that the frequency/ necessity of a trim is completely up to you and your hair care practices. So the next time somebody tells you you need to trim your hair for it to grow give them the side eye they deserve. Also if you find that you're having to trim often because of damage, evaluate your hair care practices and ask yourself what you can do to reduce the mechanical stress to your hair.

I think i'm gonna leave it here. I want to hear from you though. Why do you trim? How often do you trim? Have you ever thought about the reasons for your trimming schedule? Has over trimming ever been a habit that you've had to break? Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time x

Monday, 14 July 2014

Ten Ways To Wear A Bun #3

Hey Guys!

Yep it's that time of the week again.
Here's the third installment of the Ten Ways To Wear A Bun series.

Enjoy!
x

Friday, 11 July 2014

Here's to new beginnings!

Putting my hair in twists to dry after washing. -June '14

Hey Guys!

Wow it's been a while... But I am back now! Yes Uni is officially over, I have finished my degree and now I can come back to doing me. It's funny because I'm so out of practice *sigh*. See the thing is my degree was Life Sciences based, it was intense, and it sucked all creativity out of me. I'm not even kidding. It sucked my desire to write, sing, create... all of it was held hostage. So now that I am free, I'm kind of at a loss. I don't really know what to write about anymore... But instead of wallowing and waiting around for inspiration to hit, I am going to jump right in and not be afraid of how foreign blogging feels to me now. So here I am, jumping in, trying to rediscover what my blogging voice sounds like...

So let's talk hair, k?

As some of you might remember, at the beginning of the year I shouted from the blog roof tops: "Screw the downess!" in response to the hair loss that I had experienced last year. And I really kept to that. I didn't let it get me down at all, and as a result I've been really able to enjoy my hair. These days we're really in sync and it's crazy because I never thought that I'd get to this place. I started out on a hair journey years ago because I wanted to learn my hair. The first few years were so tough and filled with such frustration and pain that I couldn't imagine getting through to the other side. I guess that's another reason why I don't know what to write. Before, I'd come here and talk to you about the things that were going wrong, the things I wanted to learn. And now that EVERYTHING is going right, I'm like: so what should I talk about?

But you know what, let's flip the focus. I'm four and a bit years in now. Me and my hair, we know each other. We are friends. So i'm going to come and tell you what I've learnt. In detail. We are gonna sit here and talk about successful hair care. Real results. I'm not going to tell you what other people say or guess about hair care. I'm going to tell you what didn't work, what did and why it did. I'm going to try and help dispel some myths that have been perpetuated in the natural hair community and hopefully all of our heads of hair will be better for it.

I'm gonna make a commitment that at minimum, every fortnight something will be posted. But I'm aiming for weekly, and hopefully I can build from there.

You game?

Rella x

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Ten Ways To Wear a Bun #2

Hey Guys

Here's the second installment of the Ten Ways to Wear a Bun series.
It's super quick and super easy!


Hope this vid finds you well

Rella x

Monday, 30 June 2014

Ten Ways To Wear a Bun #1

Hey Guys,

As mentioned in the previous video, here's the first installment of my new Ten Ways To Wear A Bun Series.


Hope this post finds you well!

Rella x

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ten Ways to Wear a Bun

Hey Guys!

So, I'm done with Uni!! Woooop!!!
I'll be back to blogging once I get my bearings.
In the mean time I've put together a style series: Ten Ways to Wear a Bun.
Thought this could help out those of us who need some inspiration when it comes to low manipulation styles.

Here's the introduction.



Back Soon!

Rella x

Friday, 4 April 2014

Back Soon!!

Hey Guys/ Those of you who still check back here,

Just wanted to let you know that I will be back to blogging in a couple of months once uni is done.

In the mean time here's my latest video


See you all soon

Rella x x

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2013: A Hair Review...



Ok guys,

So i'm feeling a bit down...
I remember feeling so ready for this hair year. I remember thinking I have solved all my major hair problems and so 2013 should be nothing but growth. I was so wrong *sigh*. When it gets to this time of year I like to sit back and look over the past year- see what went well and what didn't. So why not do the same on this here blog?

January-February

The year started off so strong. I had no reason to think that I wouldn't reach my goal of full APL by the end of the year. I had my finger detangling routine down which was my main headache of 2012 and I was a few months into making my own products so my washing woes were over.

Towards the end of January I put my hair in mini twists for the first time and I fell in love. I was so excited about how full they were and how they fell into a perfect bob shape despite the fact that my hair is incredibly uneven. I was also surprised at how smooth and unfuzzy they were, which was a definite testament of my change in products because my hair used to be fuzz city. The twists were so convenient and allowed me the security of a protective style with the flexibility of loose hair. I wore them for a month.






March

Come March I was still high on how well my hair was doing. It was the longest, thickest and healthiest that it had ever been, I was amazed! The bentonite wash was still doing wonders and in this month I put the finishing touches on my own detangler so I was able to say goodbye to the Faith In Nature conditioners and solely use my own products. I had so much hair I hardly knew what to do with it!













But despite the sheer magnitude of it all I was having so much fun with it. I was enjoying styling it and taking care of it and just reveled in the flyness of it. I felt like everything had finally clicked into place.

April-June

Now this is when the hair-ish hits the hair-fan. I experienced chronic stress for the first and I hope last time in my life. It was insane! I had heart palpitations,  I would eat massive amounts of food and still be hungry AND my skin lost its pallor- I literally turned grey!
This was all strange for me because i'm normally a cool and collected person. Seriously, I don't normally get stressed. I experience stressful sitches all the time but it doesn't usually affect me. But during this time it was as if all the stress I hadn't felt in my life joined together to sucker punch me in the gut!

Guess what else happened? Yep, my hair fell out. Alot. Like giant balls of hair. Over the course of those months a little over a third of my hair fell out, no exaggeration. But I didn't even realise the full extent of it at the time, I had other things going on!

July-September

So the stressors passed and my body drew itself out of defense mode. By this point I was like "hmm my hair isn't as thick as it used to be. Or as long as it used to be"... "Did I always have that short patch at the back?"... So I had some concept of loss but it was summer! I had ish to do, jobs to work, uni to prep for so I didn't let it phase me. And plus my hair loved summer. I formulated a moisturiser that had just the right amount of glycerine and shea to keep my hair soft for days so I felt fly. My hair felt ten feet tall.

October-Now

Then uni started and again I didn't have time to worry about hair loss. See I still had hair on my head. It didn't look damaged or thin, it was just less than what I had before- and I was the only one that could tell. I still rocked the flyest updo's and enjoyed my hair!

So why the down-ness? Screw the down-ness! I wrote the first half of this post ten days ago after watching a clip of my hair at the end of 2012 when it was bountiful, booming and full of potential. It was at that moment that I saw the FULL extent of the loss and it got me down. It was like mourning... except 6 months after the fact.

New Years Eve. I told you I ain't mad!

But it has been 6 months guys. So after processing, it's hard to mourn the loss of hair when you have 6 months worth of growth coming through if that makes any sense. It's also hard to mourn the loss of hair when right after you realise what you lost it's the holiday season and you get to spend time with your family. Then the year ends and everything is put into perspective.

So with a less gloomy outlook I was able to celebrate the hair year that I had because I accomplished ALOT. I have my maintenance routine down to a Tee. My products just make my hair life so much easier in every way and I took my styling game to new levels in 2013. So the factors that I could control? I controlled the heck outta! The factor that I couldn't control? *shrugs* I ain't mad no mo'

It's a new year. It's already starting to grow back and I had so much hair before that a half density loss just makes my hair look normal! (LOL) so what do I have to complain about? Nada!

Again, screw the down-ness!!!

Hope this finds you well,
Rella xx