Hair challenges for 2015

Hi ladies

I've had my box braids for 3.5 weeks now, so I don't have much to say about my hair. I'm taking them out this week, I miss my hair and so does my hubby lol

Anyway I've not had a chance to put up a list of the challenges that I'm actively and passively following. Here they are:

Active participant:

1.) The 2015 Change your hair challenge hosted by Ms Kibibi of
2.) The 2015 NHCG 6 inches of hair growth challenge hosted by Dabs of
3.) The Castor Oil Hair Challenge hosted by Sunshyne of
4.) (My Personal) 2015 grow my nape challenge 

Following, but not an active participant:

5.) 2015 Pamper your hair challenge, hosted by Star of
6.) Let's grow our hair challenge hosted by Yemi and 3 other hair bloggers,

These groups are open to anyone and regular checkups will be done throughout they year, to ensure that you keep up with the challenge and your hair. Join up by going to the websites above for more info.

I have especially loved the Kibibi facebook group, it's a closed group so your friends and family won't see you posting or asking strange questions about your hair. It's always my go to group when I have a question or need a quick review on certain products before buying them. is like Facebook, but for hair and fashion, it's also a great forum to follow hot topics or ask any questions you have in mind. There are always people online in the chat room, and you can even reach out to a specific person who may be your hair crush or whose hair pics you adore.

I think it really helps to know that you're not the only one on this journey, and there are some really supportive hair bloggers out there... So I would urge you to join a hair group or challenge that will keep you on your toes when it comes to treating your hair well...

Happy hair day ladies :-)


Castor oil: A Fad or For Keeps?

Castor Oil has definitely been the natural oil that I have used the most since the beginning of my healthy hair journey (HHJ). I have used two 50ml bottles already, which is alot given how thick this oil is!

So many other ladies on HHJs use castor oil in their regimens, and it's also a popular oil that is incorporated in many hair challenges.

I have used two brands namely:
1.) Ideal pure castor oil 
2.) Tropic Isle of Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil

After reading abit over the web and dropping an ear on other bloggers, these are the benefits that I think have a legit explanation behind them:

1.) Promotes hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles
2.) Helps reduce dandruff or any other scalp infections
3.) Moisturizing properties

I have used it in the following ways:

1.) As a scalp massage
2.) 1-2 Tbsp in my deep conditioners
3.) During my 1.5 attempts of doing the inversion method (.5 because the second time I only did it for three days, got sick the rest of the week and was not going to fling my head upside down in that condition)
4.) Related to 1.) but as part of the Hairlista Castor Oil Challenge (I am doing the advanced level which requires scalp massages 3 times a week, and using it in your deep conditioning treatments).

My feelings so far about castor oil:

- Thickening: After a month of using it, I could definitely feel how my hair had thickened. It had gotten slightly fuller at the edges which was really great.

- Moisturizing: My hair also feels slightly softer after I apply castor oil to my scalp, especially my new growth. I feel like it is easier to manage after doing a castor oil scalp massage...

- Too thick: On the downside it is a heavy oil, and because of that I tend to use a bit more than is necessary (as I need more of the oil to spread across my scalp because of how thick it is). Another problem with this is that it does not penetrate completely into my scalp because of how thick it is, I have ever had to wipe a film of castor oil off my forehead after my hubby thought I was sweating alot lol! So it does tend to melt off during the day and if it is hot, you might have a few streaks falling down your forehead.

- Itching: Yep, it really makes me get the itchies the day after I apply it. But I have found that mixing it with essential oils stops that itchy feeling.

- Excessive shedding: I had been experiencing excessive shedding, much more than I have ever experienced even before I started my HHJ. I kept trying to find out the calprit, and thought I was doing something wrong on my wash days. By elimination, I figured out that it was the castor oil (I skipped a week of using castor oil and in that week my shedding reduced alot). So I know that it don't do me good when it comes to shedding, but it has done alot of good for my hair in other areas.

I did some research on this, and found that I was not the only one who experienced shedding due to castor oil. Apparently as it promotes hair growth it also increases the rate at which the hairs in the resting phase (which were going to shed anyway) fall off.

For this reason, I have decided to continue using castor oil, but in a diluted form: 1/2 castor oil to 1/4 coconut oil and 1/4 olive oil mixed with a few drops of peppermint and rosemary oils. I started using this mix when I put my hair in box braids, so as for the shedding, I do not know if it is now controlled, will have to wait and see once I remove my box braids.

All in all this is an oil that is most likely becoming a staple in my regimen. Although I will not be using it in its original form, I think it will still do my hair alot of good, which is evident from the results that I have seen so far.

So to answer the question, I think it's for keeps for me, unless the shedding gets out of control in which case I'll have to consider discontinuing it's use.

I've only recently started using JBCO so I can't really say whether it's better than the yellow castor oil, I will give it another two or three months before comparing the two.


10 things I hate about Salons

I would say that the thing that made me seek better solutions to my hair care was my last hairdresser. Not to discredit him, he does a great job, but just not for someone who wants to maximize the length and health of their hair...

And this is not to say that all hairdressers are not good at what they do, but these were my main frustrations and I wanted to share them with you in case you have been/ were feeling this way...

To be honest when I look back to as far as I can remember about my hair, I had one really awesome hairdresser when I was in varsity. This was about 4 years ago, and this was actually when my hair was the healthiest and the thickest it has ever been... 

Also, in all honesty, I have to say that I experienced the most damage to my hair due to a number of hairstylist nightmares I experienced. Not to scare you, but I can clearly remember one situation where my hair was so overrelaxed that I had burns that required special medical attention. That's how bad it was, imagine how my hair reacted to that... For these and many other reasons I decided to join surprisingly many other ladies who were on a DIY healthy hair journey. 

Some of my friends looks at me funny when I say I don't go to the salon, some of them have followed suit in this journey, so it is not for everyone! What matters is that I know how I want my hair to be and I am learning how to get it to be where I want it to be by myself.

So when you read this post, please do not think I have a personal vendetta against hairstylists, I am just sharing my experiences which will help you understand why I am and will be a DIYer for the foreseeable future...

Anyhoo here are the 10 things I have really not liked about hairstylists, that has led me to being determined to doing my own hair:

1.) When you can feel you are burning from the relaxer and you tell the hairstylist, and he does not even look at his watch to check how long you have had the relaxer on your scalp. This is probably my worst experience and some hairstylists would just ignore me when I would complain of scalp burns. 

Truths learnt on my HJ (hair journey) so far: Your scalp should never burn before you wash out the relaxer, and you should ALWAYS follow the relaxer times

2.) When the hairstylist assures you that he/she has applied heat protectant serum to your hair before flat ironing it, and you have clearly seen that nothing has been applied.

This actually happenned to me a few times, the first two or three times I ignored it and thought maybe my eyes did not see properly or I missed a glimpse of the serum application... After a few times I actually stopped my hairdresser from flat ironing my hair and reverted to a much safer option, roller setting.

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Applying direct heat to your hair (even when blowdrying) without using a heat protectant calls for major heat damage, split ends galore if your hair easily splits and many other unwanted side effects!

3.) When you ask the hairstylist to trim off your split ends and he/she agrees and trims off 3 inches! Say whattt! And the explanation is that the more you trim the longer your hair will be able to grow out...

This has not happened to me but I have heard and SEEN this happening.

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Trimming does not and has never resulted in hair growth, the importance of trimming comes in removing split ends and thin hair (if you are transitioning to texlaxed or natural hair). It does indirectly promote hair growth in that the cut split ends will not have moved further up the hair shaft, but other than that please do not be deceived that your hair will now miraculously grow!

4.) When your stylist tells you that you should never go after 8 weeks without relaxing your hair!

Yes, this also happenned to me, and is now the reason why my ends are straighter than a pencil!

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: This is actually dangerous in that you could easily end up with hair that has been relaxed two or three times if your new growth is not long enough to clearly show the line of dermacation (where the relaxed hair meets the unrelaxed new growth).

Actually stretching the times between your relaxers can be beneficial in ensuring that only new growth is relaxed, and preventing overprocessing of hair which leads to thinning and possibly breakage.

5.) When your hair stylist puts you in the dryer for a deep conditioning session for less than 10 minutes

Aha, you may be thinking I am over-exaggerating this but I have been to salons where they are extra stingy with hot air, you can't even pay extra to get 10 more minutes under the dryer!

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Deep conditioning with heat for an adequate amount of time is of utmost importance to ensure that the goodness of the conditioner penetrates into the strands. Especially for us low-porosity haired ladies where our hair has difficulty taking anything in, DC'ng with heat for at least 20-25 mins can go a long way in improving the health of your hair.

6.) That "awesome" jar of black majic castor oil/ coconut oil will help your hair grow if you apply it to your scalp & hair often.

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Please don't get me wrong because there are some ladies who have actually shown that their hair has grown from using oils/moisturizers that are packed with mineral oils, but this does not work for everyone.

I learnt this the hard way, especially with my hair type where products just sit on top of my hair, mineral oiled products are a no-no for my hair. The mineral oil actually forms a film on your hair and does not allow anything else past it, which is why vaseline is recommended as a scalp treatment before applying a relaxer. These products can actually block your pores from performing their function and releasing natural oils onto your scalp that are beneficial for hair growth.

7.) When your hairstylist reveals the secret that doing your hair at a salon gives superior results to when you try to DIY. 

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: *cough cough* my hair is actually looking so much healthier now that it has been 4 months since I walked out of a salon door. This is only true if you are not prepared to put in the hours of research and effort into ensuring that you are doing the right thing for your hair.

8.) When your hairstylists pulls the last little strand on your edges to make your braids or cornrows look "neat and beautiful"

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Yes I was told that my braids will look prettier that way, what I was not told was how much hair I would lose especially in such a conspicuous area which you cannot possible hide, not even with a wig!

Pulling hair when doing protective styles causes more damage than the benefit from protecting your hair in a protective style. Your strands become weaker, making them an easy target for breakage. If the pulling is excessive, you could even develop a condition called Alopecia, where you could experience excessive hair loss and damage to the follicles. However this can be treated over time, but why treat something when you can prevent it in the first place?!

9.) When your hairstylist just does not want to hear anything you suggest about how he/she can handle your hair.

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Probably one of the things I hated most because it meant that even on this healthy hair journey it would be hard to impossible to instruct my hairstylist on how to handle my hair. I mean, even in the corporate world, we learn every day from our colleagues, seniors, juniors... Who are these hairstylists to think that they know everything, and even worse, that we are paying them to do our hair!!! Lesson I learnt was that if I know how to handle my hair, there is no need to outsource this service to someone else who will not care as much for the health and well being of my hair.

10.) When your hairstylist tells you to come at a certain time only to find a host of people in fron of you in the queue.

Truths learnt on my HJ so far: Yes, maybe I am spoilt, but I do not have all the time to wait for my hair to be done. I would rather do it myself, my schedule, my time, my pace!

Hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have a reliable hairstylist? If not, what ticks you off about hairstylists, hair salons, etc?


New product stash!

I am really excited that my friend from UK was able to bring me some products that I have really been wanting to use on my hair journey. I bought the products on Amazon UK and had them delivered to her place...

I have only used one of them so far (OGX Anti-breakage leave-in serum), so I will give updates as I use them.

Here they are:

I intend to use these products for the following purposes:

1) OGX Anti-breakage serum: My sealing serum especially on wash days.

2) Roux Porosity Control Corrector & Conditioner: Quick condition after using medium & heavy protein treatments, and after neutralizing my hair on a relaxer day.

3) CHI Silk Infusion: Before flat-ironing, roller setting or wrapping.

4) Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner: Will try it as a pre-poo and a deep conditioner and see which works better for my hair.

5) Aphrodite heating cap: During deep conditioning treatments.

Have you used any of these products and what do you think of them?


Product Review: Creme of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatmet

Price: 650 KES/ 7 USD  

Purchased at: Nakumatt Stores, Nairobi

Size: 354ml


"Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment is an intensively deep conditioning treatment that strengthens, revitalizes and gives hair Exotic Shine. It prevents hair breakage and deeply infuses moisture from the inside out. Ideal for all hair types, including relaxed, natural and color-treated hair, this treatment can be used after every shampoo as a quick conditioner, or every week as a reconstructor."


Aqua (Water) (Eau), Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-37, Lanolin Oil, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polyquaternium-10, Amodimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isopropyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Isostearyl Ethylimidazolinium Ethosulfate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mel (Honey) (Miel), Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone


After shampooing with Creme of Nature Shampoo, apply a generous amount to hair and comb through for even distribution. Place a plastic cap over the hair and sit under a warm hooded dryer for 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and follow with any Creme of Nature with Argan Oil styling product.

My review:

I have DC'd with this product about 4 times. It smells like all the other products in this product line, abit of a sharp but acceptable smell. I am abit sensitive when it comes to smells, I can easily fall sick if a smell is too overpowering. The smell does linger after washing it out, but by the time I am detangling my hair it is minimal.

The consistency is relatively thick given that it comes in a bottle. It is a creamish colour. I usually pour some into a bowl for ease of application, I like using my hands to scoop the DC and apply to my hair.

The ingredients of this product say it all. All of those fatty alcohols really do convert to moisture: Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol & Behentrimonium Methosulfate.

My hair always feels soft after washing out this conditioner. I really can feel the moisturizing impact, which is really great especially for my unruly new growth. The only problem with this product is that the softness does not last long, after about 2 days my new growth is back to dryness, which is not cool.

I have mixed it with oils once or twice, but it did not give a significantly improved effect.

I do not know if I can attribute less shedding when detangling to this product, but every time I use it, I do not shed as much as with other deep conditioners.

I also think it is good value for price, as I can get about 6 uses from the product, and I do apply it liberally to my hair.

Overall I like the product, and will also be mixing it with other DC's to see how it works. I have not tried it as a pre-poo so next time I am doing a pre-poo I will try it out. This is probably the first deep conditioner that I have bought since starting my hair journey that will become a staple in my regimen. 

My rating: 4

Rating scale:

1/5 - Never again!
2/5 - Below par, not for my hair
3/5 - mehh, might try it again to be sure its really not good
4/5 - like it, good buy
5/5 - when am i going to buy the next one!! need to stock up for dayzzz

Product Review: ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner

Price: 750 KES/ 8 USD  

Purchased at: Beauty Options, Nairobi City Centre

Size: 142g


"Deep penetrating conditioner. Helps restore moisture and rebuild damaged hair. Stimulates the root of your hair. It leaves hair moisturized, soft, and healthy."


Water , Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean) , Glycerin , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive) , Hydrolyzed Collagen , Quaternium-80 , Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil (Orange) , Citral , d-Limonene , Linalool , Polyquaternium-37 , Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate , Dicaprate , PPG-1 Trideceth-6 , Panthenol , Silk Amino Acids , PEG-9 Dimethicone , Anthemis Nobilis Extract (Chamomile) , Salvia Officinalis Extract (Sage) , Urtica Dioica Extract (Nettle) , Rosmarinus Officinalis Extract (Rosemary) , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Achilea Millefolium Extract (Yarrow) , Actinidia Chinensis Fruit Juice (Kiwi) , Dimethicone , Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans , EDTA , Triethanolamine , DMDM Hydantoin , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , CI 15985 (Yellow #6) , CI 19140 (Yellow #5) 


After shampooing with the Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo, apply a generous amount to hair and comb through for thorough distribution. Place a plastic cap over the hair and sit under a warm dryer for 10-15 minutes or leave on the hair for 45 minutes to 1 hour without heat. Rinse thoroughly. 

My review:

I have DC'd with this product aout 3 times. It has a citrusy smell, but does not linger after washing it off. It's consistency is not runny but it is abit light in texture. One of the cons with this product is that It comes in a bottle which makes it hard to apply to your hair.

As the ingredients show, it does have a collagen relatively high up in the list. However, I would rank this as a light protein treatment.

On its own, I do not feel that it does an awesome job, so I usually have to help it by adding some oils to it or mixing it with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

However, I will buy this treatment again, because:

1) It is one of those protein treatments that do not leave your hair feeling straw-like. My bottle is about halfway now, so I suppose you could get up to 6 uses, which is good for its price.

2) It contains some good moisturizing agents such as glycerin

Regarding the "stimulates the roots of your hair" promise, I do not know how/ if it does that, and in any case I usually steer away from applying conditioners to my scalp.

My rating: 3.5 (good with other products but not on its own)

Rating scale:

1/5 - Never again!
2/5 - Below par, not for my hair
3/5 - mehh, might try it again to be sure its really not good
4/5 - like it, good buy
5/5 - when am i going to buy the next one!! need to stock up for dayzzz

Product review: Mizani H20 Intensive Night Time Treatment

Price: 2850 KES/ 25 USD  

Purchased at: Super Cosmetics, Nairobi City Centre

Size: 142g


"A 'dermatologist tested' night-time treatment with Shea Butter, Vitamin A derivative, Vitamin E, Pro Vitamin B5 and patented ceramide strengthening technology designed to increase hair strength, reduce the formation of split ends, enhance moisture retention, control dryness and frizz without weighing the hair down. This concentrated crème dramatically strengthens & conditions as part of your night time regimen."


Aqua/Water, Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Petrolatum, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Paraffin, Ceteareth-20, Dicetyl Phosphate, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Parfum / Fragrance, Methylparaben, Panthenol, Triethanolamine, Ethylparaben, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Laureth-4, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Coumarin, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linalool, Retinyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil / Sunflower Seed Oil, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Chamomilla Recutita Extract/Matricaria Flower Extract.


Use at night, 2 to 3 times per week, as needed. Apply a small amount into hands and massage through hair.

My review:

I have been using this product for about two months. It has a unique smell, but not overpowering and it does not linger, which is great. This product has a creamy consistency and is white in color.

I only use it twice a week and not more often, because of 1) the instructions on the product and 2) it has mineral oil as second ingredient.
My hair really loves this product and always feels moisturized after using this product. I usually cross-wrap my hair at night after using this product, and the next morning my hair is soft and without frizz. 

However, it does not do as good a job on my new growth, my new growth is usually as dry as it was before I applied the product.

Overall I like the fact that it does moisturize my hair, my new growth is just very difficult to keep soft so I am still on the lookout for a good product for it.

Also, a little goes a long way so I will probably have this tub for another 6 months.

My rating: 4

Rating scale:

1/5 - Never again!
2/5 - Below par, not for my hair
3/5 - mehh, might try it again to be sure its really not good
4/5 - like it, good buy
5/5 - when am i going to buy the next one!! need to stock up for dayzzz

New Protective Style: My box braids #1

I decided to put in a new protective style: box braids. I am glad that my hair will have a break from combing and manipulation, it deserves a break from me :)

This is the first time that I put box braids into my hair, by myself! DIY'd it all the way. Halfway through it, I felt like going to the salon to get it finished but I remembered that one of the reasons I started this hair journey was because most of the time I left the salon disappointed and sad about how my hair was treated.

It took me about 20 hours in total, but I spread this time over 4 days! I think the next time I do box braids I will make them shorter, and I will do all the prep work a day before I start braiding.

The prep work included:

1) Twisting my hair into the sections in which I put the braids. I saw this method on youtube, and I think its really great, because my hair is protected, and I did not have many fly aways (you know that hair that the salon cuts when they neaten your braids, yes, that is actually your hair!): 3-4 hours

2) Tapering the ends of the braided hair: 1.5 hours

I used 2 packets of Ultra Light X-pression braids by Darling in color #2. Each packet costed me 300 KES/ 3 USD, and each packet comes with two pieces of really long extension (like tail bone length).

So I cut each extension piece into two, but for the back I cut the piece into three, I really did not want any braid to be beyond waist length.


I am so proud of myself and how these braids are looking, given that it is the first time that I did them. I had to keep reminding myself that I am only putting them in for practical reasons, and not so much beauty and neatness reasons. So yes they are not perfect, but I think they will be ok for me to have for the next 4 weeks.

The braid extensions are so lightweight, they do not pull down, which is good for the roots of my hair.

So here is my revised regimen for the next 4-6 weeks:

Daily: Moisturize once a day, alternating between Elasta QP and my homemade mix. My mix is made up of Tressemme Ultra Moisturizing conditioner, water and some glycerin and olive oil.

Seal with Olive Oil or Dr Miracles Intensive Spot Serum.

I recently bought pure Shea butter which I may use to seal my moisturizer, together with the oils. It is so dry here in Nairobi, so I want to keep my hair moisturized as much as I possibly can.

Three times a week: Scalp massage with castor oil

When I am feeling itchy: Scalp massage with Dr Miracles Intensive Spot Serum

Every 7-10 days: Shampoo my hair using a spray bottle to apply the shampoo to the scalp. I will be alternating between Mega Growth Stimulating Shampoo and ORS Herbal Cleanse Dry Shampoo. To the length of my hair I will use Creme of Nature Moisturizing Shampoo (not in pic, oops!).

Deep condition as usual, mostly with moisturizing DCs

Apply leave-ins: ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer and Creme of Nature Leave-in Conditioner

What do you use for your long-term protective style regimen?

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