Hair: you say 4C i say Cotton Candy!

afropolitaine 4c hair

I have been in braids or some kind of “protective style” since January with very few chunks of days where my hair was out in between. For me yes protective styles are protective and what not, but more than that they help with my laziness over hair. For most of the last 4 years I wore my hair very short (barber for a trim, fade and shape up every 2 weeks type) for the most part because it’s way easier. Less time consuming and therefore allows for me to focus on keeping my skin baby smooth and maintaining an active lifestyle (occasional swims and runs).

Taking care of my hair is a labor of love – I often compare it to having a baby (not literally of course, but just go with it). I hate accumulating products because I tend to like products that double for multiple purposes. Admittedly, I got into the youtube videos for tips when I stopped cutting my hair and there is a LOT out there. I didn’t take ALL the advice, I picked and chose what was practical for me.

With that said, last week I took my braids I got done in Zim out after almost 3 months and my hair had grown a lot. Anyone who has ever had braids knows the struggle that is taking them out and getting your hair to where you want it. I cheated on one step and went to the salon to take them out. They sprayed a whole lotta detangler in it and I scarfed it up and came home. Next day scarfed it up again, went to work and came home to REALLY put in work on this hair.

Natural hair rules say don’t use shampoo and I totally understand why, but I did just because that buildup post braiding is real and NEEDS the strength of shampoo. I used these from Ulta:

organix shampoo300







Conditioned overnight plastic bagged, shower capped and scarfed up.

Once done I applied some whipped shea butter my cousin made and blow dried the hair. The curl was still tight and although I knew my hair had grown, I couldn’t see it what with tight curl patterns and all. So I looked around and found a hot comb:
Watch what happens:
Fully extended it’s a little over 6 inches long. A whole week, temperatures in the 150s and drowning in humidity (I also did not comb it), my hair looked like this:
From what I know/have learnt about my hair, but I concluded this week that in the summer my hair will act like cotton candy. Throughout the week it will shrink slowly as it absorbs humidity around it speak less of what happens when it gets wet.

*googles fairs in the DMV*

Anywhoo, from the picture below can you guess what time of the week it is?


afrofoto *day 20: open your afropolitan eye

Is there an option to skip? Any sick days?! No? Ok lol….

Well throughout this challenge and on this day I realized how much Africa surrounds us if we tune into it even in the Diaspora! This whole week was a little stretched as I had a conference to go to, but I remember in my morning grogginess going to the Starbucks to get some coffee and the guy who took my order and rang me up was Toure. He was very nice – not necessarily because he was African or he knew I was – it was just his nature. He could very well have been rude – we are all entitled to be whatever we want to be. Yes my Africans you can be rude too so long as your personal [negative] traits aren’t sweepingly generalized and applied to a stereotype about us collectively. We are all complex and unique individuals and should be free to do so :). Later on when I went for lunch there was a lady speaking Amharic animatedly [not necessarily because she is African] on the phone….

My cab driver later on that day was Eritrean…


I needed to get my regular $3 bottle of wine and dashed into Whole Foods before hopping on the train and saw this body wash  –>

The description on the bottle is a little better than the one on the shea butter from afrofoto day 7 

“In West Africa, authentic black soap is known by its Yoruba name, Osse Dudu. “Dudu” means the color black, which comes from the extensive “cooking” of the soap to the point of charcoal. Many cultures in West Africa use charcoal to detoxify and purify the skin, and this is an integral aspect of our true African black soap.” (<—as much as I was looking for an opportunity to roll my eyes i did not find one (: )

It continues to talk about other ingredients like shea butter and palm oil and the process in its entirety. I did have a little bit of an issue with the use of the word “authentic”, but didn’t want to get tangled in semantics.

It can be used as a body wash, facial cleanser, shaving soap, shampoo and more. I only use it for body so far and might try the hair, but not my face. I’m pretty rigid about what I put/use on my face and i try not to blur the line in body parts. It’s made by a “Certified Fair Trade Cooperative” in Togo.

In closing on this post, like how people who are gluten-free or vegetarian/vegan are deliberate about consuming only gluten-free products and tend to hang out with others like themselves, opening your afropolitan eye will make you see that although you may be removed from Africa, Africa, to any African, is all around you ❤