different ways to style a kimono
June 9, 2015

CURLS & KIMONO’S

CURLS & KIMONOSCURLS & KIMONOS CURLS & KIMONOS CURLS & KIMONOS CURLS & KIMONOS

I am so here for the kimono trend right now!

I know this is a personal style blog, so I’ll get back to the kimono later. But first, let’s talk about hair for a minute. I often get asked (like most black women do) a variety of questions pertaining to my hair. Is it real? What’s my ‘mix’? What hair products do I use? I thought this may be a great time to delve right in and answer all the questions in one place by sharing my hair journey.

I’d like to start by saying that I have always been 100% natural. I have never used a chemical treatment to straighten my hair and achieve the straight look from blow outs sans keratin. My heritage is Jamaican and Indian. Because my hair is quite fine, it is easily susceptible to damage and so I use as little heat as possible and refrain from full sew in weaves. I do however use clip ins for body but very rarely for length. I have worn longer weaves in the past but find it hard to maintain and very time consuming. As with my makeup I prefer a quick, easy and stress free routine. The less elaborate the better. I also get asked why I don’t wear my hair curly more often. Truth is, I wear my hair curly a majority of the time – however I do prefer a sleek straight look for special occasions. Also straight hair is low maintenance and my blowouts can last up to 2 weeks if I wrap my hair every night and keep out of wet and/ or humid environments.

I have been doing my own hair from around 7 years old and so know my hair very well in terms of what it needs, what it responds too etc. I have tried to go organic with hair care as much as possible including bicarbonate of soda and ACV rinses, natural oils and homemade hair masks. However, for convenience, I do still use shop bought products. I will always do a treatment once a week – some times oil, sometimes deep treatment and depending on the condition of my hair (and time) a combination of both. Below is my current routine-

Once a week oil treatment
Preferred oils; jojaba, wheat germ, amla, Rosemary, coconut

I tend to use various combinations but only ever apply jojoba to my scalp as its the only oil (except for coconut) that best mimics the natural oils found on your scalp. I apply the most oil mid to end of the hair shaft and wrap with cling film and then again with a headscarf before bed (I never steam with oil treatments as water repels oil so in my mind, I think it would be pretty ineffective). The next morning I shampoo and condition as normal (I only ever shampoo after an oil treatment otherwise I co wash). When wearing my hair curly I prefer a curl defining conditioner such as Umberto Gianni curl friends but for other days I will us VO5 Give me moisture range. (Although not always avoidable, I try to use products with zero sulphates and mineral oils)

Once a week deep condition and steam
I like to steam my hair for at least 15 minutes once the treatment mask is applied. I have a home steamer (not to be confused with a dryer) which I purchased on eBay for around £70 – a great investment. Hair masks I swear by for a deep condition are Kerastase Nutritive and Vatika. Alternatively, you can make your own using a combination of avocado, egg, mayonnaise, olive oil and honey. Do be careful of protein rich hair masks though as too much of it can damage your hair.

When curly: I set my hair with Frizz Ease and air dry upside down (or if in a hurry I use a diffuser on cold setting). I will then add a light oil such as coconut oil – and this is essentially my LOC method to go as my hair is moisturised sufficiently for the day. My curls only last a day so I tend to wet my hair in the shower each morning and repeat the setting process above. Some times I use a leave in conditioner like Mixed Chicks or Giovani (my absolute fave) – Just depends on how big I want my head of curls to be. Remember, the more product the less volume. I also use Obia Curling custard from time to time to help define my curls and find it to be quite light with zero residue.

When straight: I use very little product on my hair as it weighs it down and makes it oily and limp. I use serums such as Frizz Ease or Kerastase Elixir (which smells divine btw). For shine I love Bedhead by Tigi Olive Oil Sheen spray is awesome too but you have to use it sparingly if, like me, you have fine hair. To prevent my ends drying out, I seal in moisture with either coconut oil or a Pantene moisturiser.

At the moment the above seems to be working for me. I did a big hair chop in 2013 cutting it to just below my ear and have struggled to regain previous length of 18 inches. I think this is due to my poor water intake and lack of vitamin supplements (I used to take omega3 cod liver oil capsules, and skin hair and nails. I’ve tried biotin but not stuck with it long enough to see any real results). Currently my hair is now 14inches long and I hope to get back to 18 by the end of the year. I’m trying to reduce heat as much as possible and have set myself a goal of once a month but would love to go 3 full months without heat and do a nice blow out for my birthday. I do love the first press after a long period of no heat. It takes to the hair so well as if it were the first time! 😛

I’d be interested to know your hair care routine and products you would recommend especially for hair growth! So now we’ve talked hair, let’s touch on the outfit; Apart from my beloved Tom fords this outfit was only £50!!! You guys know I love a bargain! I managed to pick up this gorgeous kimono by Next in the sale for £9! The leather look pants from H&M cost £5 (so I bought them in chocolate and gun metal grey too). I’m loving the kimono trend at the moment as it’s so comfortable to wear and serves as a great cover up. Below are some of my fave kimono picks out right now:

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Next kimono // Missguided bralet // H&M leather pants // Tom Ford Heels

* Images courtesy of Jezreal Smith