Monday, February 28, 2011

Ethiopian Hairstyles

I had an idea during our recent trip to Ethiopia. I'd take photos of all kinds of hair styles while there and save them as a sort of catalogue to choose from in styling the girl's hair as she gets older. Ethiopian hair is gorgeous, and a lot more diverse than I had previously realized. I did notice some straightened hair on women, but mostly it seemed Ethiopian women where we were wear their natural hair pulled back or braided to the back of the head with the back either being pulled into a pony tail or left loose. I saw loads of very intricate cornrows and braids. I just didn't have the nerve to approach everyone I wanted to and ask to take their pictures. I did get a few, and here they are.

The next three photos I took of a sibling set of girls who had just been adopted, and had their hair braided at a salon. They were adorable! The first sister has a middle part from forehead to nape, on each side of the part her hair was braided into cornrows leading to a ponytail on the left and one on the right.

This second sister (below) has rolling twists from forehead to nape ending in two puff ponies at the nape of her neck. She also has a headband around her hairline. I love this style! Looks like she has type 4 hair, while her sister has type 3 hair. Their new mom is going to have a lot of fun!

This is straightened hair that has been colored black. It is simply pulled back and held in place with a head band.

Here's one of the intricate designs I was talking about. Wow wow wow. I saw plenty of styles like this and wish I had more photos. Amazing!

Finally, these are micro braids, a little on the large side, with colored extensions braided in. I don't know if you can tell but Fasika's lips look like they've been tatooed. Fasika is a beautiful woman - we met her at the guest house we stayed at.
I know a few of my readers have been to Ethiopia too. What did you guys think of the hairstyles you saw?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Travel Style Update

We're back!! It took several sessions over 3-4 days to finish those box braids. I just hate subjecting my girl to hair sessions longer than about 20 minutes or so. She is so good about tolerating me styling her hair, that I like to reward her by keeping sessions short.

The style traveled VERY well and lasted about a week before it was just too fuzzy. I bet it would have lasted longer had we used a sleep cap. All I did daily was spritz with water in the morning and scrunch some leave in conditioner or coconut oil in her hair. I also oiled her parts once during the week to keep her exposed scalp from getting dry. Her braids didn't hang straight, they curled up which I thought was super cute. Here are some halfway there, and fully styled pics.

While we were in Ethiopia I took a handful of photos of some really pretty hairstyles we saw there. Next post I will share those.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Half-way There

This weekend I started what I think is going to be our travel style for our next trip. I'd like my girl's hair to be in a 'do that will not require much taking care of while we are away from home. That cuts down on products and accessories that need to be packed, and gives us more time during our vacation to enjoy ourselves.

I started what I hope will end up being a full head of box braids. The boxes are diamond shaped, thanks to this post at Beads Braids & Beyond and this post at Happy Girl Hair. I think they look way more interesting shaped like this - thanks, gals, for the inspiration!

The girl has gotten very good lately at sitting and letting me manipulate her hair. We do this mostly on the changing table because while she can still play up there, she can't escape, and I can work around the little bit of wiggling that happens. Still, it's best to keep the hair sessions as short as possible.

This last hair session began impulsively when I popped her up on the changing table before her nap. I started parting her hair and braiding and lost track of time. 45 minutes later (yikes, sorry baby!) my girl starts asking "Night night, mommy?" Here's how far we got, we'll finish the rest little by little:

It actually looks cute just like this, and I love the side-swept "bangs" cornrows. I'll be back to post how it turns out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Organic Coconut Cream...or...Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose?

A few weeks ago I tried a sample packet of a Darcy's Botanicals product, NEW Curling Gel Cream. It was so new it wasn't even listed on their website yet. Now it is, as NEW Curling Cream Gel. (slight name re-ordering)

When I tried out the new product, I got very similar results to their Natural Coils Curling Jelly. So I thought I'd compare the two. Darcy's has a very cool feature on their site that allows you to compare products. Click here to see these two products' details listed side by side.

I got a bit of a shock when I read the ingredients list for the Curling Cream Gel. After water, and before you get to the cool sounding organic wildflower honey-type ingredients you've got quite a few daunting words like hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. WHAT? I looked them all up - they turn out to be ingredients that blend the oils and water, or thicken the product, or smooth the texture. Okay. But the Curling Jelly works just as well on my girl's hair and its ingredients list looks a lot more friendly to total amateurs and non-chemists like me.

If I had a choice between putting organic coconut cream or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose in my girl's hair, well, guess which one I'd choose? Just sayin'.