How I Grew My Curly Hair LONG (357/365)

I don’t really consider myself a hair expert in any sense, but I got asked on Instagram about how I grew my hair and I feel like it’s difficult to really write everything down in the comments section – plus I needed an idea for todays blog post as I’m currently in the later stages of a massive migraine attack… I need to remember my body has limits so it humbled me… but back to hair.

So, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m lazy when it comes to my hair. A lot of the time I don’t even realise it has grown a lot until I straighten it and it hits me. My hair is fairly healthy, it does what it needs to do and I’m pretty good at finessing my frizz by either incorporating it into my style or hiding it completely.

My first tip is to leave it the fuck alone sometimes. I know it’s tempting to wear braids, twists, bantu knots and manipulate the fuck out of it, but your hair is delicate so loads of tightening and styling leads to breakage.. and breakage is the enemy. A lot of people believe black hair doesn’t grow very long, but it’s a myth, the only reason some people struggle to grow their hair is because it breaks off at the ends due to loads of extra styling. So leave it alone and throw it in a bun later on in the week, your ends will thank you in the long run.

I like to oil my scalp throughout the week, I’m not sure if it even adds to growth but it helps my dusty dandruff ridden scalp. I use a mixture of 2/3 Jojoba Oil, 1/3 Jamaican Black Castor Oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. Again, I don’t know if it helps, but it’s worth noting.

I also swear by keeping your hair moisturised, don’t let it dry out during the week. Your hair needs water and help, so moisturise it and really pay attention to how it’s behaving! Use masks, deep conditioners and leave in conditioners. You won’t see results straight away but trust me you’ll thank me in the long run.

I know it’s tempting to use every product you see influencers use but stop it, just stop it. Use what works for you and maintain a good routine. Some products out there aren’t good, and even though something new is out and every curly haired woman is saying it’s their holy grail, what works for them might not work for you. I’m a big believer in staying in your own lane and tailoring your routine to your hair as everyones hair is different.

Drink water… just do it. I know whenever I’m dehydrated it shows in my hair, and skin, so just stop being thirsty and drink some water.

Back to things that can cause breakage – don’t brush your hair when it’s dry, your hair will break a lot and you’ll lose all of your progress that you’ve been working on.

Last but not least, chill a little bit. I never really made hair growth my goal and to be honest I don’t really care about it’s length a lot, I just want healthy hair and the length comes with it. Most of the year I have no idea how long my hair actually is, I just keep it nice, moisturised and free to do what it wants. So stop doing length checks, and allow it.

Every Thought That Runs Through My Brain When Doing Spot Treatments (327/365)

I haven’t written about skin care in a while, part of it is because I don’t have a lot more to say. I’m not an expert and I don’t tend to do new things a lot when I find shit that works, but one thing that never changes is my need to use spot treatments. I, like many, get breakouts quite a bit, it’s not as severe as acne but it’s still annoying enough to inconvenience me. Due to this consistent effort to treat spots I realised that I have a lot of weird thoughts when doing it – so since we’re reaching the end of this daily blog challenge I thought I would lower the tone and write this trashy post.

Here’s a full list of every thought that runs through my brain when using spot treatments:

  • Do normal people have to use spot treatments every single night, or is my skin a special case?
  • I wonder if this will transfer on my pillow?
  • That little bugger (the spot) came because I forgot to treat it last night.
  • Why do drying lotions end up EVERYWHERE?
  • How long do I need to apply a drying lotion before it’s ok to sleep?
  • 10-20 minutes will be fine … right? A girl needs to sleep!
  • Spot patches are supposed to be easier but you have to use them before serums/lotions and that’s annoying.
  • Fuck it I’ll apply it after using everything.. what’s the worse that could happen. (it falls off by the time I wake up)
  • Will this tea tree oil work or make my face feel like it’s burning.
  • Will this toner hurt my spot after I’ve picked the scab.
  • It burns!
  • Why must friend chicken betray me?
  • Why must my period betray me?
  • Why does my skin betray me – I LOOK AFTER YOU!
  • Gotta be gentle on my skin because I’ll wrinkle apparently (I then continue to apply everything in a rough manner).
  • They tell me glycolic acid fades spots… seems like a conspiracy. (It’s not, it works).
  • Do I need retinol/vitamin c/niacinimide etc.
  • Every swear word in the book when a spot is resisting days of spot treatments.
  • Every swear word at the dark mark it leaves behind.
  • Every swear word.

Why I Don’t Follow The Curly Girl Method (271/365)

So for everyone who doesn’t have curly hair or follow any bloggers let me first explain what the CG method actually is. It’s quite a strict regimen that focuses a lot on cutting out ALL sulfates, silicones, parabens, waxes and harmful alcohols in your hair routine. It also follows a method of moisturising your hair called the L.O.C/L.C.O (liquid, oil, cream) so it’s essentially the order at which you apply your products and which ones you use.

There’s a whole book about it and honestly it is helpful for anyone who doesn’t know much about how to care for curly hair. Now you’re probably wondering why I don’t follow this method since it does seem helpful and healthy – well because it’s a lot of time, effort and I hoenstly don’t find it helps a lot for my hair.

I have cut out sulfates in my hair care routine, but whenever I’ve used anything silicone free I haven’t seen any major differences to justify spending more money on the product. I’m also lazy and I think that point is so important. The CG method also restricts heat styling and honestly even though I haven’t straightened my hair all year, it doesn’t mean I won’t.

The L.C.O/L.O.C method also just doesn’t work for me, I used to do it a lot and it’s just a lot of product and effort and my hair really hates it. My hair loves a leave in and a gel type cream, but if I put those two products plus an oil, my hair will be frizzy, weighed down and just generally disgusting so I avoid this and do my weird routine that works. (Hint, it involves first applying a leave in, then an actual conditioner, and in theory it shouldn’t work but omg it really does).

I know the CG method works for loads of curly hair people out there and some do follow it like its sacred, but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t spend your hard earned moeny trying to make it work. Just do something else, maybe even try just one product, you never know it helps loads of people out there!

Sometimes less is more, and just because your hair is curly it doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on it. You can be lazy, and have hair that behaves the way you want it to.

Also – I know people swear by ditching combs for finger detangling, but not all of us have the time or effort to do this shit. Buy that wide tooth comb and brush your hair when its wet with conditioner in!

My Skin Care Pet Peeves (255/365)

You may or may not know but I spend a lot of my spare time watching skin care routines, and also watching professionals react to them. They’re weirdly addictive and honestly I can’t stop watching them. I love learning more about skin care and how different ingredients effect the skin in a variety of ways, but through watching a lot of these videos I’ve realised that I have a few pet peeves. Again, I’m not a professional, just a nit picker.

So here’s a complete list of my pet peeves:

  1. Forgetting to apply product to your neck – your neck needs love too. Whats the point in having a 10 step skin care routine if you’re going to avoid your neck?!
  2. Not removing makeup properly – the second I notice that the person still has makeup on, I can’t un see it and honestly it becomes a horror show in my eyes.
  3. When people use scrubs, scrubs and more scrubs – I love a good scrub, but it’s not an ‘everyday’ product.
  4. PUTTING SCRUBS ON YOUR UNDER EYE AREA – you know who I’m referencing and yes, I wanted to melt inside watching it.
  5. Using oils before creams – Look, oils are great, but they seal products in. If you use it before creams, the creams can’t penetrate your skin, so there’s no point. Oils are the thickest, so make them your last step.
  6. When rich people use loads of their expensive product – I cry every broke tear watching this happen.
  7. People using sheet masks as a last step, what fiery pit of hell are you from? I used to make this mistake and I learnt, but if you’re someone trying to teach me a thing or two – STOP IT.
  8. Those same people then washing their face after using the sheet mask over their layers of products – why use all of these products and then wash it off?
  9. People recommending creams and serums that are super expensive like it’s worth the money – it rarely is, keep your la mer to yourself!
  10. Lastly, when people get the clarisonic face thing and say they use it everyday. STOP! Your skin is crying, honestly, it’s not an everyday product.

Black Will Crack If You Let It! (250/365)

This is just a short post and a friendly reminder to all of my black people that black can crack. I know, it’s hard to believe since we’re surrounded by elders who look 20 years younger than they actually are – plus the fact that everyone and their mothers will let you know we age gracefully. The thing is, what we don’t see is that the same people who look amazing are also moisturising all of the time.

Yes, genetics play a massive role and honestly some people are more prone to ageing and can’t afford to ever have an off day when it comes to skin care, but at the same time if you have bad practices like not using moisturiser or skipping on sun protection then you will age. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white or asian, nature will find a way to remind you that you’re at risk.

The only reason I’m even writing this is because I used the phrase ‘Black will crack if you let it’ during a conversation after work and honestly I can’t stop saying it. I’m quite fortunate in the fact that my genetics will protect me from ageing and I also have a 8 step skin care routine which keeps my breakouts at bay, but sometimes I think the ‘black don’t crack’ mentality makes people think we all just do nothing.

From a very young age we’re slathered in mositurisers, oils, cocoa butters and that also plays a massive role in our ageing process. We fear the ashyness and judgement that comes with going outside and looking grey – so we take extra steps to prevent that and those steps help a lot.

I’ll round this off here in a sudden end because this wasn’t a planned post and honestly I have to leave my house soon so this is just another stream of consciousness post.

Please moisturise everyone, even if you don’t see the ash, IT’S THERE.

Stupid Skincare Tips (237/365)

It’s 2019 and honestly skin care is something that a lot of us invest a lot of time in, maybe it’s due to the rise of beauty influencers, or the rise of real information being spread by professionals, but everyone is either aware of skin care trends or are practicing them. Even that person who uses hand wash as a cleanser knows it’s not the right thing to do.

Thanks to this, we have loads of information thrown at us all the time, but sadly not all of this is good, and some of it’s just plain stupid. Now I’ve written nice blog posts about this topic, but now it’s time to call out the stupidity out there using my favourite method – a list.

So here’s a fairly passive aggressive list featuring all of the stupid skin care tips we are told about.

  1. That those spinning face brushes are a need, I’m looking at you Clarisonic. Even though they are probably nice, they’re not a need, and in some cases they can irratate your skin.
  2. That you can mix and match all of your acids, don’t, your skin will regret it.
  3. That some skin products can work for every skin tone and type, just stop. Different people have different needs.
  4. That miracle products exist – regardless of how amazing your product is, that KFC bucket will make you break out.
  5. That all natural = better. It might be nicer for some, but all natural ingrediants can all contain irratants and some may also cause alergic reactions.
  6. That a DIY mask with lemon in it can be used in the morning, your skin is more sensitive to the sun when lemon is used in it, just stop playing this game.
  7. That oily skin doesn’t need moisture as much, oily skin still needs love!
  8. That face oils are the enemy – they’re not. They might not work the best for everyone, but some of us swear by them.

Just Period Shaming Things (231/365)

Period shame is one of those things that on the surface is illogical. Half of the world goes through it, the other half of the world knows about it, but they continue to shame everyone. Which leads to a general lack of education when it comes to periods and also little children being afraid or feeling dirty, and honestly it’s just horrible attitude. I’ve written about the notion of shaming already, so now I’m going to list all the ways we act out period shaming, but in a light way because the reality is just sad.

  1. Whispering when asking for pads, or generally trying to do the exchange in secret, it’s almost like how people pass drugs around in clubs, but very legal, and kind of ridiculous.
  2. Using phrases like ‘time of the month’ to hide the actual thing you’re going through, because the notion of anyone actually hearing the word period is somehow worse than the fact that we use stupid phrases to hid them.
  3. Feeling too shy to use a hot water bottle in public because even though it helps, it’s a massive sign that you’re possibly BLEEDING.
  4. Laughing off peoples disgusted reactions to periods of bleeding, or anything to do with the monthly cycle.
  5. Laughing off when people say ‘oh well she must be on her period’, because the idea that your behaviour is a reaction to their stupidity is just baffling to them.
  6. Teaching women and young girls about periods separately to young boys – this encourages young children to feel weird about their own puberty. I initially get the separation but teaching everyone about everything together would break the ice a lot earlier.
Image result for period shaming

Things To Remember When Trying New Skincare (228/365)

Skincare is super important, there’s no ifs, no buts, after a certain age you need to at least wash your face and moisturise it so you can maintain your skins lovelyness, I know not everyone has a 10 step routine, but in all honesty the bare basics are fine. I only have a routine because it’s nice to have time dedicated to myself, but I also have spot prone skin and hyper pigmentation, so the extra steps are to treat certain issues.

In the quest for a new routine you tend to go through a few variations of the same products, which is fine, but I’m seeing people only try a product for a week and expecting it to do magic and that’s just not going to happen. Even the best products out there won’t show their full effects without continous use, and it also depends on the results you actually want – if its clearer skin, that’s going to take a while

When trying new products it’s best to give it at least a month so you’re able to see if it’s giving you a negative or a positive result. Obviously if you get a reaction or irratation then throw it away, but for the most part you need to wait to see if the product makes any difference to your skin.

Spot treatments work the best when the spot is just about to appear, if it has already sprouted it probably will just reduce the pain/swelling but once it’s out to play, it’s going to stay for a bit. As much as I love the Mario Badescu drying lotion, it won’t get rid of my spots in the middle of their cycle, it’s a great product but it’s not a miracle worker.

It’s also best to be conscious about how you use it and what step it should be in your routine. The general idea is that you use the thinner products first and then the thickest last, so if you’re using an expensive cream and aren’t getting results, it might be because you applied it after an oil – which is something I see a lot. Or applying serums after creams and wondering why the serum has no effect.

The general order is: oil cleanser – cleanser – toner – serum – essence – eye cream – moisturiser – oil

Feel free to skip some of those steps, but the order should remain the same because it’ll allow your skin to actually absorb the goodness from each product. There’s no point spending your heard earned money and then wasting it through incorrect use.

My last tip is to take peoples product advice with a grain of salt. What works for them might not work for you because everyone’s skin and lifestyle is different, so if you find something that works, don’t just switch it out because someone told you about a ‘better’ product.

Unspoken Curly Hair Rules (226/365)

In case you missed it my hair is naturally curly, for anyone who uses the ‘type’ system, I’d say my hair is 3a and I don’t know what kind of porosity. I’ve been wearing it natural for almost 6 years now and in that time I’ve watched curly hair bloggers, learned from them and realised a lot of their tips are nonsense. I’ve tried it all, except the inversion method – that’s just stupid. In this time I can safely say I have a few tips and tricks that can help your hair thrive, or at least grow without breaking off.

Leave your hair alone

Yes, you read that right. Sometimes the excessive braiding and styling really fucks your hair up, and those ‘protective styles’ are causing it to break even more than usual. If anything it speeds up any form of hair damage and you’ll regret it years down the line.

L.O.C/L.C.O doesn’t work for everyone

The famous L.O.C (liquid, oil, cream) method has been hailed as sacred to many curly girls out there, and for many of them it truly works. Personally my hair hates it, and I don’t even bother with it anymore. It used to work once upon a time, but as I’ve grown, my hair texture and reactions to products have changed, so I’ve adapted my routine to what suits it and at the moment it’s a weird routine. I use my leave in conditioner (which is basically gel-like) and use conditioner after, and it works, I don’t know why, but it does.

Pick your wash day based on how your scalp is feeling

I don’t care about the ‘wash every week/ 2 weeks’ rule, if your scalp is feeling gross even after oiling it, you’re probably due a wash day. Curly hair tends to be drier which is why we can’t wash our hair everyday, but if your scalp is hurting, just do yourself a favour and wash it (or even co-wash it). Scalp health is always slept on when it really should be the focus as your hair literally grows out of it, so a healthy scalp would lead to healthy hair.

The older your hair is, the better your bun will look

I blame curly hair bloggers for making me think my hair would look good in a bun straight after washing it. Spoiler alert it doesn’t, it’s small, flat and sometimes difficult to actually form the bun, but when its day 3+ hair, the bun is big, lively and generally just looks better.

Also try to put your hair in a bun when its dry, you can slick the perimeter with water, but the if the ends of your hair are dry, your bun will look the best.

So A White Woman Is Claiming She Invented Silk Bonnets.. (205/365)

If I had a pound for every time a white person claimed to invent something that BME people have been using for decades/centuries I would be a multi-millionaire. So it’s happening again, but this time it’s with silk satin bonnets, which we use to keep out hair freeze free and to reduce breakage. They’ve been around for decades and it’s nothing new, but a white woman is now claiming she’s invented them in 2019..

So who’s the culprit – Sarah Marantz Lindenberg who founded the company NiteCap. She’s said “my concept came out of a problem that needed solving”.. “I was preparing for my wedding and, like a lot of brides, wanted everything to be perfect. My skin was breaking out and I have quite long hair. I like the way it looks the second or third day after washing, so I don’t wash it every day. A dermatologist recommended that I sleep with my hair pulled back. Another physician recommended I try silk scarves, and I had fun playing around with them but they didn’t stay on. I did notice, though, that my skin cleared up from not having my hair on my face.”

I just love how every time this happens they claim that they’re the sole inventor and always ignore the things that POC use, she could have saved herself some backlash if she had just acknowledged its roots of the bonnet.

The backlash doesn’t stop there, she’s also selling these products for $100 – yes, you read that right. In the UK you can literally find these under £5, but of course this woman decided that she must sell it for a extortionate amount because she’s the inventor of it.