By Winnie Gaturu 

When I was younger, my hair color was an enviable jet black color. As a matter of fact, people often asked my mother whether she had died my hair black and when she said no, many would still not believe her. However, over the years, I've noticed that my hair appears to be brownish in color. In fact, it seemed like I had brown highlights. To get on the same page, I've never colored my hair but it was relaxed at some point. Currently, I've cut it short but it's usually black in the morning and gets a brownish tinge as the day advances. If you've also noticed the same thing with your hair, here are a few possible reasons why this might be happening. 

1. Minerals in Water
Hard water contains minerals and metals such as calcium and sulphur. When you use this kind of water to wash your hair, the minerals stay on top of your hair shaft instead of penetrating inside. This prevents hair from absorbing enough moisture to keep it looking healthy. As a result, the hair might get dull and seem lighter than it actually is. Hard water eventually makes hair brittle which leads to excessive breakage.
Solution:
If you live in an area with hard water, make sure that you use filtered water to wash your hair. This will allow you to clean your hair and allow it to absorb the moisture it needs.

2. Sunlight
Hair has two melanin pigments; eumlanin (dark) and phaeomelanin (light). These two blend together in different proportions to create each person's hair color. The melanin is produced in specialized cells known as melanocytes. These cells are positioned on each hair follicle and release melanin to the growing hair strands. When hair strands get exposed to sunlight, the melanin in them gets bleached. Since hair is made up of dead cells, the affected part remains lighter. Exposure of hair to sunlight makes it lighter. If you have black hair, it might end up looking dull, lighter or brownish due to sun damage.  
Solution:
Protect your hair from intense sunlight. You can put on a hat or a head scarf to make sure that the sun's rays aren't directly reaching your hair.

3. Genetics
For some, it's simply genetics. The properties of your hair are genetically coded and that is something you can't change. You might notice a similar hair trend with family members where their hair tends to lighten or change color as they age. This is not a cause for alarm.
Solution:
You can't change anything about your genes, you just have to live with it. Check your hair from time to time to see whether you can find any changes. You might be surprised to see several brownish strands growing naturally from the root.

If your hair appears to be brownish or lighter from time to time, it might be one or a combination of the reasons stated above. But then again, it might be that your hair is naturally lighter, or brownish and you only tend to notice the real color when you're in proper lighting. However, if you're interested in dying your hair to make it darker, natural products will serve you best.  You can use henna or Cassia to dye your hair especially if you have a couple of grey strands. In addition to adding some color,  both strengthen hair and add a glossy shine to it.


How do you deal with your hair when it changes color? 
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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

By Winnie Gaturu

VapoRub is a common item in every household. It is a mentholated ointment that's used to suppress coughs and reduce pains in joints and muscles. However, people seem to use it for far more than that. As a matter of fact, some women are using it to stimulate hair growth and regrow thinning edges. So, Why Is Vicks VapoRub Being Used?

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According to Essence magazine, an Atlanta-based Youtuber, Just Jocq, posted about the benefits of Vicks in March 2016. After that, the trend started spreading widely with many women trying it out to see whether it works. The Vicks VapoRub ingredients that stimulate hair growth are camphor, lavender, eucalyptus and menthol.

Lavender – Serves as a great treatment for hair loss and improves blood circulation around the hair follicles.

Camphor – Improves blood circulation in the hair follicles which in turn boosts the growth of strong healthy hair.

Eucalyptus – Soothes an itchy scalp, prevents dandruff and stimulates hair follicles. Eucalyptus also improves hair elasticity and keeps it strong.

Menthol – Gets rid of irritants thus giving room for hair to grow easily.

Pros
Since Vicks VapoRub is also affordable and easily available, it is no wonder that women with both natural and relaxed have embraced it for hair growth. Some apply it directly on their scalp and massage it in while others mix it with another product or oil. Most of the women who've used Vicks VapoRub swear that it works.

Cons
Allergic Reaction
Vicks VapoRub is generally safe for use. However, it does contain ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin. So, if it doesn't react well with you when applied on other areas of your body, you probably shouldn't use it on your scalp.

It Contains Petroleum
Petroleum, one of the ingredients in Vicks VapoRub, creates a thick film on the hair shaft thus preventing moisture from getting out and most importantly from getting in. Because of this, some women prefer to stay away from petroleum-based products on their hair. If you're one of them, you might not fancy using Vicks VapoRub on your hair.

Alternatives
If you’re a bit skeptical about using Vicks VapoRub to grow your hair, you can make your own DIY hair growth product. There are many recipes out there to guide you through the process. Most of these DIY’s use essential oils and might also include herbs and carrier oils. Some of the most effective essential oils for hair growth include rosemary oil, Clary sage oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil. You might need to do a bit of experimenting to find out what works best for you.

What do you think about the use of VapoRub for hair growth?
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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.


P-Diddy & Naomi Campbell via PirelliCanlendar.com
By Winnie Gaturu

Over the centuries, human beings have always had the urge to track and measure time. In the past, this was done for various reasons such as predicting seasons for farming or hunting and planning for religious and cultural functions. The methods used to keep track of time revolved around observing the pattern and behavior of the sun, moon and stars. These methods have advanced over the years giving rise to our current calendar system. Although there are many calendars, the one that is most widely used is the Gregorian Calendar which was introduced in October 1582. Surprisingly, in this digital day and age, the Gregorian print calendar is still widely used and a common item in all households and offices. They also act as a convenient decor item especially if they have a photo theme.

With 2018 starting soon, here are two phenomenal calendars you might consider buying for the new year. Both capture black beauty perfectly and will make you feel proud of your roots! 


Pirelli Calendar Cast
The 2018 Pirelli Calendar
For the first time ever, the Pirelli calendar is featuring an all-black cast. The cast on the calendar consists of black people from different parts of the world and different professions. We have musicians, actors, models and activists. Some notable names include Lupita Nyong'o, Whoopi Goldberg, Ru Paul, Naomi Campbell and Sean Combs. With an Alice in Wonderland theme, the director of the photoshoot, Tim Walker, wanted to tell the Alice in Wonderland story from a different point of view. The idea first came to him five or six years ago when he had gone to take a picture of Alicia, Roald Dahl’s wife (the creator of Charlie and the Charlie Factory), and she told him that originally, Charlie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written as a little black boy. This had him thinking how different the story could have been if the original script remained, and it eventually inspired him to do a black version of Alice in Wonderland. As a result, he pulled off an amazing photoshoot and created stunning photos that we can all enjoy. This calendar is definitely worth having in 2018, if for nothing else, to have a good laugh at the characters depicted. Like the two Royal Beheaders, Sean Combs and Naomi Campbell. 

P-Diddy & Naomi Campbell as the 'Royal Beheaders'
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Photo via Creativesoulphoto.com
The CreativeSoul Photography Afro Art Wall Calendar 2018
This calendar is simply stunning. It features photos of young black girls, wearing baroque inspired clothing and jewelry, proudly rocking their natural hair. The photos used in this calendar are part of an Afro Art series which was done by the Atlanta-based couple that owns CreativeSoul Photography.
Although the photoshoot was done one year ago, it recently gained recognition due to shout-outs from celebrities like Taraji P. Henson. The photos were shot in different parts of the country and featured black girls from the age of 4-13. Each girl had her natural hair styled to bring out a specific theme. The end product was simply stunning. The husband-wife photography team, wanted to show that beauty comes in different colors and textures. That's why their photos include black girls with different skin tones and hair texture. For them, photography is a way of storytelling and their aim is to depict black children in a light that mainstream media has yet to show. You should definitely get this calendar, especially if you have young girls in the house.

Photo via Creative Soul Photography IG
Now that you have a glimpse of what these two calendars contain, it is up to you to decide which one you’ll get for 2018.  

Will you be buying either of the two calendars?

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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.
Photo via appforhealth.com
By Winnie Gaturu

It's holiday time, and you know what that means, LOTS OF FOOD! And it's not just ordinary food, it's the delicacies that make your mouth water just by the mention of their names. That's why most Americans end up gaining a pound or two during the festive period. Although this doesn't seem like much, most people don’t shed off the weight gained during the festive period. The pounds gradually keep piling up year-after-year. You don't have to fall for that trap any more. You can still enjoy all the delicious food without adding any extra pounds. Here's what you need to do.

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Photo flickr.com
Limit your Alcohol intake
Alcohol and weight management don't go well together. First of all, alcoholic drinks are full of calories which we often ignore. This means that alcohol has its own share of calories you should look out for. Secondly, alcohol lowers your self-control when it comes to eating. You might find yourself going for seconds and thirds when you're intoxicated. So stay away from alcohol or limit your alcohol intake during the holidays.

Focus on having fun
There's much more to holidays than food. It is time to catch up with friends and family and have some fun. This holiday season, focus on having fun instead of directing all your energy on food. Dance, talk, laugh and move around. Make sure you have a great time. Engaging yourself in many activities will automatically make you eat less food while also burning some calories. Simply enjoy yourself and have a great time.



Stay away from the food

Seriously! Stay away from the food especially at holiday parties. Your proximity to it makes it easier to binge eat. It's always safe to stay as far as possible from the kitchen or the table where the food is. To make this more manageable, ensure that you don't attend a holiday party while hungry. Always eat some food or a nutritious snack to make it easier for you to manage your eating habits. You can also drink a glass of water beforehand just to fill up your stomach a bit.

Balance in the proteins and fiber

Holiday meals are full of carbs which translates to a lot of calories. With this in mind, you should make a conscious decision to eat more protein and fiber rich foods. Good sources of protein include poultry, legumes, fish and red meat. You can get fiber from legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. For every serving of carbs you eat, ensure you eat a serving or two of proteins and fiber. Eating proteins automatically reduces the amount of calories you eat by increasing the levels of appetite-reducing hormones to reduce appetite and also increases your metabolism. On the other hand, fiber induces fullness thus making you eat less.

Pick a smaller plate

Always pick a small plate whenever possible especially at a buffet. This means that you'll need less food to fill your plate hence making you eat less. Choosing a smaller plate makes it easier to control your portions easily. You'll be able to enjoy your meal without overindulging yourself with the calories. If you can't find a smaller plate, use your best judgement to estimate food portions that are appropriate for you.



Manage your stress levels
Holidays can be really stressful, especially if you're organizing and hosting parties. You have to find a way to keep those stress levels down. Research has shown that stress prompts the increase of a hormone called cortisol in the body. Cortisol has been linked to triggering high appetite and cravings which lead to overeating and weight gain. Some of the things you can do to control your stress levels include deep breathing, meditation, yoga and exercise.

Make your own food

If you want to control the calories during the holiday season, make your own food as often as you can. Although it might be more convenient to buy boxed mashed potatoes and other processed holiday foods, they contain unhealthy fats and excess sugar. These are definitely not good for you if your aim is weight management. Instead of the boxed food, focus on making your own meals from scratch so that you can control the ingredients and stay on top of your weight.

Following these tips will help you avoid gaining extra pounds during the holidays. However, it is normal to slip up once or twice. The important thing is not to give up and get back on track even after you let your guard down.


What do you do to help you control your weight during the holidays?
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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.
Laetitia Ky's #metoo campaign
By Winnie Gaturu

Have you seen Laetitia Ky's amazing hair sculptures? If you haven't, head over to her Instagram page and prepare yourself to be amazed. Laetitia is a 21 year-old polyvalent artist and aspiring fashion designer from Cote d'Ivoire. She has made a name for herself through her stunning natural hair sculptures which she does on her own head. She creates elaborate up-dos to depict anything from a smiley face to a bicycle. Some of her most stunning sculptures are the ones where she has shaped hands doing different things like holding a phone, waving hello and playing guitar.

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Laetitia is an artistic individual and enjoys creating pieces of art. She says that her inspiration for this kind of hair art was from a photo series she saw on Instagram depicting the beauty and versatility of African Tribal styles. The styles she saw were stunningly. This got her thinking of how she could do the same with hair. Just like that, her amazing artwork was born. She started piecing together ideas from everything around her in order to create each amazing piece of artwork.

The time she takes to create each hair sculpture varies. It might take a few minutes for simple up-dos or up-to half a day for the more complex ones. The sculptures with the hands take the longest time. They usually involve the use of wires to shape and position of the fingers in order to achieve the desired look.

Laetitia Ky
Making these pieces of art doesn’t use up a lot of supplies. As a matter of fact, Laetitia normally uses working pins, fabric, wool yarn and a bit of wire only. All these are readily available materials which makes her work easier. Once she has her supplies, she is able to use them to manipulate her hair and transform it into a masterpiece.

#metoo
One of her recent hair sculptures was for the #metoo campaign where she depicted a man trying to lift a lady's skirt. She accompanied this image with a heartfelt message to all victims of sexual assault or harassment on an instablog. One of the things she highlighted was how society tends to blame the victims every time.  How the observers associate the unfortunate event with a victim’s dress code or behavior. She also mentioned marital rape and encouraged all victims to speak out. Laetitia goes on to let women know that it’s never too late to speak out even if the assault took place a long time ago. Since the weight can be too difficult for one to bear alone, Laetitia informed her followers that her DM was open to anyone who wanted to talk. Her parting words, “You are not alone”.


What do you think about Laetitia’s hair sculptures?
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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.