4 REASONS WHY A NATURAL HAIR TREND NOT A BAD THING

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Trend

/trend/

Noun

Plural noun: trends

  1. a general direction in which something is developing or changing.

“an upward trend in sales and profit margins”

  1. a fashion.

“the latest trends in modern dance”

  

Is wearing ones hair in its Natural state a trend? I certainly don’t think so.

However, lately, every time I wear my hair out, I have a number of girls touching and asking how their hair can look just like mine….My beloved sister who has heat trained natural hair (heat trained is just a PC term for heat damaged hair in my books) and her relaxed friends are constantly badgering me for info on how to get their hair to look like mine….for them and a lot of others, wearing hair in its kinky, coily, curly state is just that, a style.

In the70’s Afros were de ri·gueur, then came the jheri-curl, then perms, then the era of weaves, now natural hair……

In Nairobi today, it is currently hip and cool to be spotted rocking your natural hair….have you seen the number of new naturals? I love it…I wonder how many will stick it out… and five, ten years from now? Will it still be cool? Does this make it a trend?

That said, these are the reasons I think ‘A Natural Hair Trend’ is not such a bad thing…..

  1. Better Hair care Practices

It is disheartening that for a nation filled with ladies who are born with kinky, coily, curly hair we are just learning how to take care of our tresses. Our hair dressers are experts at handling relaxed hair, weaves and other protective styles but have little or no knowledge of handling natural hair. I relaxed my hair a couple of years ago because Beatrice, my hairdresser, said it was better than constant blow-outs… (this is partly true)…but I wish she would have said… “Just quit the heat already”.

I feel if this trend picks up…hair dressing schools will have to incorporate natural hair care and healthy hair practices into their syllabus. Thus, churning out a generation of hair care experts who can get your perm laid and also give a banging twist-out.

The mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and nannies of naturalistas will also pick some useful tips along the way resulting in a much healthier nation…Hair-wise at least!

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  1. Availability of Good Quality and Affordable Products

Good quality, natural friendly hair care products in this country cost an arm, a leg and two kidneys…..and no, I do not exaggerate. Oh, and that is if you can find them, because Nairobi Naturals in particular have mastered the art of cleaning off shelves of good products when they show up. As a relaxed girl, I could walk into any supermarket or beauty supply store and pick from a wide range of products without having to break the bank. I can’t do the same as a natural.

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I feel that if the natural hair trend IS a thing…suppliers, marketers, manufacturers, vendors etc will begin to take note. Large chain stores and beauty shops will begin to stock their shelves to cater to this emerging market. The influx of more products will hopefully lead to reduced costs. Everybody will be happy

  1. Cultural Mindset Shift

If there is one that makes me sad it is when I hear a curly gal having to return to relax her fro because of her job or because her significant other requires it. Sadly, it has been ingrained in our society that only straight, long, flowing hair is beautiful and can break the proverbial glass ceiling. If you are in the arts or in jua kali, you can get away with natural hair.

I know there has been a some small changes….magazines and advertisements feature curly ladies, there is more social commentary on the topic…but it is far from adequate or ideal….However, if this trend takes off…this paradigm shift will be for real. We will, as a society, learn to wholly accept and wear our natural hair as it grows from our scalps. It will be the norm not the exception.

 

  1. General Wellness Overall

The last benefit of this trend would be an improvement in the general wellness of society.

For most ladies, when they return to natural, they become more aware of their health, diet, water intake, lifestyle choices etc. for obvious reasons.   You can’t grow a healthy head of hair if the rest of you is not up to par….and you cannot stop putting chemicals on your head and have a household choke full of unhealthy chemicals.

Healthier ladies, means healthier children, husbands/boyfriends and families in general. A win win situation for everyone.

 

So, there you have it, a natural hair trend is not a bad thing after all.

What do you think folks?

Love, Peace and Fros.

-W-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Hair Trends Ke. 2016

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Crystal Ball oh, Crystal Ball.

What’s in and what’s out for Natural Hair in 2016?

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It’s that time of year when everyone is making predictions for what is hot and what will be the trends in their field for 2016.

I was reading this post about graphic design trends and this designer said “A little bored of the grid-less, chaotic, cool kid typography that I see so much of around though. And wobbly underlines.” Broke my heart some…this was one of my favourite trends, I like handwritten fonts and freeform layouts hoped to see more of them…but oh well.See full post here. http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/creative-business/design-trends-2016-20-leading-designers-artists-creatives-tell-whats-inspiring-them-for-next-year/

It got me thinking about Natural Hair trends and these are my predictions.

  1. Short hair, fades and cropped cuts will be all the rage for 2016. If the tapered cut was the IT look for 2015. This year, even shorter cuts will be cooler.

2. More ladies will embrace their hair in its natural curl pattern; curls, kinks and coils. Twist-outs, flat twist-outs and other set styles will be the other option instead of the only option for lots of people. Sculpted fros and asymmetrical tapered cuts. Watch out for these.

 

3. Mainstream media will become even more accepting and will push this naturalista agenda more now that they are aware we exist and are a force to be reckoned with.

Check this  out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpcnN69wYoE

4. A lot of naturals who jumped onto the naturalista bandwagon will return to the creamy crack because the euphoria has worn off.Sigh! Double Sigh!!!

5. I foresee a shift in pricing of hair products; it could go either way….escalate or go low. but there will be a shift.

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I’m no clairvoyant so take everything I say with a big spoon of salt. Whatever you do remember the most important thing is to do what makes you feel your absolute best.

Happy and Healthy Hair Journey 2016.

 

Love, Peace and Fros.

 

I HEART DAR

Dar-es-salaam was simply a point on a map for this lone, way faring traveler but it has simply succeeded in wrapping its warm magic around me and made me fall in love…

12 Reasons why I absolutely Love this City….

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  1. Peace

Dar-es-salaam is literally Arabic for abode of peace and my stay was indeed peaceful which is somewhat surprising as Dar is a big, busy, bustling city. Maybe it was the fact that it was the holidays and a lot folks had travelled out of town, or the lack of aggression I see everyday in +254…or maybe I was just in my little zen bubble.

I have a simple non- scientific method of measuring peace; my heartbeat literally slows down…and somewhere on the cab ride from the airport to my hotel I felt that happen and this lasted throughout my entire stay.

The sea is my place of healing and restoration….so it does help that I had a 360 degrees view of the ocean at almost every place I went to.

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Coco Beach. (PhotoCredits)

  1. The weather

Dar is HOT… literally and figuratively. Hot and humid. The lowest temperature I experienced was 28 degrees Celsius. It went up to 32/33 degrees…yes…. sweltering, humid heat. As a sun worshiper nothing could be better. The humidity is excellent for my skin…. glow, baby glow.

I tried to spend as much time outdoors to soak in all the yummy goodness…I’m glad I did, as Nairobi today is dull, dreary and wet.

 

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Sunset and Chill

  1. Concierges

As a solo traveller, good information is EVERYTHING!! The Internet is a useful tool but it has its weaknesses. Nothing beats first-hand recommendations and tips. The concierges at a lot of the places I went to were extremely helpful. Two, graciously let me use their hotel pools, which were strictly for residents…shh don’t tell anyone.

Another walked around everywhere searching for a charger so I could charge my phone. My battery died anyway and he found me a cab to get me back to my hotel. Another let me use the hotel taxi for free back to my hotel…it was just a couple of blocks away though. Asanteni ndugu.

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  1. Cool Graphics

As a designer nothing warms my heart like clever design and attention to detail. I was utterly impressed with a lot of the adverts, banners, billboards, store-fronts and branding designs I saw. Tanzanians are not afraid to play around with cool fonts/colors, clever layouts as well as different materials for branding. I have to say that this was not the case everywhere but where they did it, they did it extremely well…

 

  1. The Three A’s

Architecture, Attention to Detail and Ambience….

The thing with city travel is that unlike beach holidays where you can lounge at the beach all day…. there is nothing remotely exciting about staying in a hotel all day. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most beautiful room. For this reason, I was on the road a lot checking out different places and these three things stood out for me quite distinctly.

Tanzanians have a certain flair …(unexpected for me). One thing that irks me in Nairobi is that we are the masters of the copying game…. once you’ve seen one; you’ve seen them all…. building designs, restaurants and club interiors, event set-up. Not so much in Dar….every other block there was something that caught my eye with regard to design, ambience and style. Folks here are making extreme efforts to create spaces that look and feel darn good.

The couple of events I attended were so well put together…excellent set up, décor and ambience….

Also they are not afraid of color…. neutrals are so 20th century!!

 

  1. U-swahili

This one is a slightly controversial one but it is on my list. Tanzanians have a very deep-rooted sense of culture and I daresay Pan-Africanism. This has its merits and also a lot of de-merits. I will just focus on what I like about it.

The Swahili language in Tanzania is not just a tool for communication…. it is a whole culture; a movement, a feeling.

It is the courtesy in communication, the respect for other humans even if you do not agree with their views or opinions, the sense of community. It is the thick cord that unites all of the 120 Tanzanian communities.

It’s the reason why EVERYONE will drink Konyagi (Cane liquor) irrespective of their social background.

It is what separates them from the rest of the world. It cannot be taught, acquired or designed like a national dress, it is inherent.

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  1. Magufuli

This man John Pombe Joseph Magufuli!!! He is taking Tanzania by storm quite literally!!! And the folks love him. I noticed a deep sense of pride in Tanzania’s new president in just about everyone I encountered…even random snippets of conversations I overheard. There is a lot of hope and belief that he will fix things and get TZ to where it needs to be. He had better deliver. Dar will only be better for it.

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  1. Tinga Tinga

The Dar art scene is not quite as vibrant as Nairobi. But it is still home to one of Africa’s biggest art movements; Tinga Tinga Art. Tinga Tinga loosely translates to cartoon like or comic like art according to Stephen a painter at the Tinga Tinga Art Cooperative Society(TACS) .

I missed out on meeting a female descendant of Edward Said TingaTinga the father of this artistic movement who still comes to paint at the TACS Oysterbay site, which is where Edward started the movement years ago.

  1. The Men

The men in this city are simply amazing. THE END!!!

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Cheers. A toast to your fine selves!

  1. Abeenaturals

As a die-hard naturalista and supporter of the Natural hair movement on the continent I was honored to have met Abigail Precious of Abeenaturals during the Curlalk with Felicia Leatherwood Event in Nairobi. We didn’t talk much but I thought anyone who travels across borders for a hair event is most certainly a kindred spirit.

She took time off her crazy schedule just to come hangout at talk shop with me for a bit and is one cool sister. This girl is doing amazing things for the natural hair community in Tanzania. She does hair consultations, links her clients to product vendors and is now working with stylists to teach them natural hair care practices. She also launched an amazing line of Ankara themed satin bonnets/beanies and pillows.

The bonnets are so cool you can wear them out if you like…just do a little bang and your sleep wear turns into instant fashion. Dar is better with Abby in it.

The universe also conspired to make certain that I was having lunch in Dar, at the same time and place with Tanzanian born, South African natural hair blogger Aisha of My Fro and I. She and her hubby are such cool peeps.

 

  1. Brunchin’

Dars’ IT peeps come out here for drinks and chill every Sunday. The event is Brunchin’ at The Terrace at Slipway Hotel. Absolutely the coolest place to people watch; with good music and a view to die for….(and not just the sea). Loved, loved the fashion sense….from what I saw red lips are in, so is denim on denim and happy socks.

Nairobi needs one of this…(I don’t know how we’ll hack it without the ocean but we need it) and that bartender making the slush should just relocate here too.

http://www.weoutcheatz.com/brunchn-1/

  1. Mary, the Bartender

I always say that in another lifetime I would be a bartender on some remote island. Enter Mary bar tender extraordinaire at the Skybar at Ramada Encore. Mary makes amazing cocktails with flair and she knows and owns it. I had a strawberry daiquiri and an Espresso martini made with fresh Tanzanian coffee beans. Heaven! She is also an excellent conversationist a skill every bartender should have. Rock on Mary!!! I want to be you when I grow up.

 

 

 

Kwaheri Dar-es-Salaam.

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Fish Curry with Garlic Naan

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Great friends share great recipes!!

I don’t like spending too much time making a dish, if I take more than 30 minutes in the kitchen thats way too much time. this dish takes just about 15minutes and tastes like a gourmet dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets
  • Coriander
  • 1 Pureed Tomato
  • Crushed Garlic
  • Crushed Ginger
  • ½ Habanero chili
  • Natural Yoghurt
  • Turmeric
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Tandoori
  • Oregano
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive oil.

Method

Rub Fillet with Sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes

Shake off loose salt then grill or pan fry till it is opaque and just cooked

Chop up coarsely

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and add in the black pepper, Oregano, Tandoori, paprika, turmeric, oregano and chopped habaneros

Cook until you can smell the spices deep flavors. (If you sneeze, you are headed in the right direction.

Add the Garlic and Ginger and stir continuously making sure not to burn the garlic.

After about two minutes add the tomato puree and cook for about 4 minutes till the flavor are perfectly blended.

Add the yoghurt stirring consistently to prevent curdling.

Cook for a minute then add the fish.

Stir gently till fish is adequately coated in yoghurt sauce. Sprinkle some coriander over the fish.

Cover and let simmer for two minutes.

Turn of heat and let the fish sit for some time for the flavors to blend.

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This is the perfect time to prepare your side.

I had mine with garlic naan, but this dish also tastes perfect with cumin and coriander rice.

This is a simple homemade naan recipe.

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Bon Appetit!!

3 Tiered English Breakfast Sandwich

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Some mornings you wake up and you want a big breakfast …….Sunday Mornings are for big lazy breakfasts and sexy brunch.

Often, I have in my mind an idea of something I want to try and for this one, it was to create something beautiful with regular English breakfast ingredients.

What you will Need.

  1. Sliced Bread
  2. Bacon
  3. Eggs
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Avocado
  6. Sliced Cheese
  7. Bacon Jam
  8. Black Pepper
  9. Lemon
  10. Sea Salt
  11. Paprika

To make

  1. Toast three slices of bread, try and get them as thin as they can possibly get. Cut into even circles using a cookie cutter/pizza knife, or whatever you have on hand.
  2. Cook eggs in your favourite method. Season with Salt and Black Pepper and Paprika
  3. Grill some bacon till perfectly charred
  4. In a small bowl finely mash the avocado, add some fresh lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Slice tomato into medium sized chunks.

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To Assemble.

This is the part that takes the dish from ok….to Ah-mazing!!!

On the Plate you intend to serve, Lay the first slice of bread and spread evenly with bacon jam.

Sprinkle grated cheese or lay cheese slice on the jam

Cut egg into the a shape similar to the bread and arrange on the cheese

Follow up with another slice of bread ad then the bacon.

Place the last bread slice on bacon and spread a generous amount of avocado.

Garnish with tomato wedges.

To Eat….

This is a messy but uber delicious dish…definitely no knife and fork here…hands only…and lots of paper napkins.

Best served with fresh  fruit juice.

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30 + 1 Days of Good Food

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30 plus one days of good food is my way of sharing my kitchen and love for food with the world. Cooking from the heart for the soul.

I have not cooked for the past two months, I lived on take out and vodka(story for another day)…but now, I feel like my cooking mojo is back and I want to cook , cook and cook some more…so indulge me. Read, copy and try out some of the recipes I share.

I like simple, but flavorful dishes. I don’t like sweltering in the kitchen….thirty minutes max, 45 minutes when I go all out.

My recipes may not be perfect, because I never measure anything…I always eyeball and go by gut. But this is great because it gives you room to tweak and play with the recipe as you please. Also, mine is a single user household so my dishes are created for uno persons. So, if you want to recreate for more people just multiply the ingredients accordingly.

Walk with me, comment, share and most importantly be inspired.

Food

…………With love from my kitchen to yours.

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