12 Lessons in 12 Months

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It’s only been a day and a half into the new month but your girl here is ready to wrap things up. I feel like I have lived out 2017 already and want to hop into the new year. So desperately as Arsenal wanting to win a title. As much I am an advocate for living in the moment, there are a few lessons that I feel have been quite valuable this year.

1.Learn when to say NO

People tend to take advantage only when you let them. You don’t have to be OK with everything. Speak out and speak loud. No is just a two-lettered word.  How hard can it be?

2. Know your worth

God made you into a beautiful and wonderful being and He expects no less from you. Stop over-compromising for people who don’t deserve it. Do not lower your expectations to fit someone’s needs. There is quite a fine line between compromise and being taken for granted.

3. Do random things

There’s no greater joy than making positive change from your daily routine. Go for that hike, visit that orphanage, gatecrash a party, say hello to a stranger, dance the night out with your friends, scream at the top of your voice.

4. Not everyone on your team is your cheerleader

As you grow older, it will be harder for you to find genuine friends. Not everyone has your best interests at heart. Learn to separate grain from the chaff.

5. Spread Love, but be selfish with your heart.

Ever heard the saying love with your mind and not with your heart? Spread your love out to people who need it and guard your heart against those who want to rip it off your chest :p

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Melanin Poppin’

6. Tell your parents you love them. (Before it’s too late)

Stop reading. Pick up your phone, ring your parent(s) and tell them that you love them. If you are blessed to have both parents alive make it a habit to show them affection every now and then. They will not be with us forever.

7. Take Care of yourself

Honestly, go pamper yourself because you deserve it. Take a day off and relax. Sleep in one morning, get a facial, trim your nails, scrub your feet, visit a dentist, eat a balanced diet, have a healthy routine.

8. Learn a new skill set

With the ever-changing world trends, it’s very important to be multi-skilled. Your papers alone will not get you anywhere. Take advantage of the multitude of resources we have at our disposal. Make hay while the sun shines. Have fun while at it too.

9. Show Gratitude

I have ever met one person who says thank you for almost everything. Appreciate the small things around you. Say thank you to every little deed, even to people who are mean to you. Kill them with kindness. It never hurt nobody to show gratitude even in our worst moments.

10. Moisturize your hair often

I’m not even joking with this one. Most of you complain to me that your hair is not growing, that it’s genetic, and all that s**t. Honey, that hair won’t get past ear length because it’s thirsty! The grass is greener where you water it.

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No excuses!

11. Be proud of your achievements

I can never over-emphasize on this. There will ALWAYS be someone better than you. Take your little strides and give yourself credit for whatever little you achieve. Pat yourself on the back for knowing you were better than yesterday. Learn from those ahead of you but be your own competition. You are unique.

12. Put God at the center of everything

It’s almost the end of the year and what a journey it has been! You probably have seen the best and worst moments this year. Experienced many ups and downs. You are still alive. Still living, still breathing. All thanks to Him. Get down on your knees and praise Him each day. Call unto Him. Let God take the wheel. Let Him guide you.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”

Lots of Love,

MG.

xx

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How to Use Henna for Hair Growth

One of the major causes of stunted hair growth is due to breakage. Aside from genetics, ever wondered why Asians have long lustrous hair? You are now filled in their little secret! Henna is widely known to strengthen and repair damaged hair and has natural properties that heals the scalp.

Nupur henna has been highly recommended as it contains 9 natural herbs all in one packet. Amla, Shikakai, Neem, Brahmi, Methi are just some of the ingredients in this product; definitely giving you value for your money.

All ingredients
All ingredients and tools needed

What You Need:

  1. Henna (200g) for medium sized hair.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Mixing bowl (plastic or glass)
  4. Plastic spoon/fork
  5. Gloves
  6. Water (optional)

Step 1:

Add the powdered Henna to the mixing bowl.

Henna in bowl
Nupur Henna

Step 2:

Add the apple cider vinegar and mix using the plastic fork/spoon until you achieve a yoghurt-like consistency. Apple cider vinegar restores hair pH balance and also hastens the henna dye release.  Add water if apple cider vinegar is too harsh for you. Don’t let the mixture be too thick or too runny for ease of application.

Henna ready for application
Henna for Hair

Step 3:

Tightly seal the mixture and cover with aluminium foil or plastic bags (Kenyans you must have some hidden in the house despite the ban). Place the bowl in a warm place and let it sit preferably overnight to release the dye.

Tip: Make sure to prepoo hair overnight with coconut oil to prevent it from getting stripped of its moisture.

Step 4:

The following morning, co-wash hair. This allows you to cleanse hair without drying it out completely. Put on your gloves to avoid staining your nails and apply henna from root to tip making sure each strand gets coated.

Step 5:

Cover with a shower cap and add a scarf on top just to heat up the process. Stay with your henna for at least 4 – 5 hours.

Step 6:

Rinse off henna thoroughly with warm water, wash it off with a moisturizing shampoo. Follow up with your normal wash day routine ensuring to deep condition to restore moisture back to your strands.

Henna rinsed off
Look at the shine!

Pros:

  • Soft shiny sparkly hair.
  • Stronger strands.
  • Promotes hair growth by reducing breakage significantly.
  • Reduces scalp itchiness caused by dandruff.
  • *Loosens curl pattern (can be both a pro or con).

Cons:

  • Can get a little messy during application and can stain cloths, sinks and tubs.
  • Strong lingering smell on hair.

 

This was my first time using henna on my hair and I immediately saw the results. My hair was extremely strong, smooth and silky and I didn’t experience much breakage as I normally would during wash days.

I’ll incorporate henna to my hair regimen and use it at least once a month as a strengthening treatment for the next few months to improve the health of my hair.

Have you ever used henna before as a hair strengthening treatment? Do you plan to? Share your experience/thought below.

 

Connecting The Dots

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By the time you reach your mid-20’s most of you would have trodden through the journey of self-discovery. You will learn a lot about yourself and will evolve to a ‘new being’. Many will say you’ve changed but only you will know that you have discovered yourself.

Ever had that Eureka moment when life starts making sense? Bits and pieces picked up from different stages begin to show a pattern that leads you to self-discovery. I’ve always held the belief that we do not meet people or situations by accident whether good or bad. Every person we meet either for the long or short term has left a lesson to be learnt.  These lessons come out to shape and carve out the best in us. I have experienced major disappointments in life and it took me a while to understand why things happen as they do.

Immediately after my graduation I expected to get a really nice job instantly. I applied to several companies and was not called for a single interview. When one interview from a renowned company came through after several months of trying, everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong that day. I had to travel to a different city for my job interview. The transport system I was using broke down in the middle of nowhere for several hours rendering me 2 hours late for my interview. Luckily my interviewers were very understanding. Being in a new city, I was confused, overwhelmed, got rained on a cold night and worse, did not get the job.

I could write a book of the several instances where I have questioned my purpose in life. I have cursed, rebelled, broken down, healed, laughed, transformed, grown. I realized I had the power to control my emotions and stopped beating myself up over things I had no control over. I took responsibility for the mistakes I made and worked towards mending my faults that could have contributed to my failures in life. At the time I didn’t comprehend that moving to a new city meant new responsibilities, new challenges, new people that I wasn’t quite ready for.

Where you are in life right now is not because of your inadequacy. I believe everyone has a bright light inside them. I for instance thought I’d end up in med school. My father infiltrated this thought in me since I was in my mother’s womb. He always talked about Ben Carson and how I should emulate him. He would give me the statistics of how many neurosurgeons are in Kenya. Basically it was drilled in me that I had to become a doctor. In high school I was appointed the Health/Dispensary Prefect. My teachers trusted me to treat my mates when the school’s nurse wasn’t available.

Now as a grown up, I understand that being trusted with such a position was not about scoring As in Chemistry and Biology. It’s the compassion they saw in me. God didn’t want me to become a doctor. He was preparing me to heal emotional wounds.

With such I always found myself joining clubs and societies revolving around First Aid, Red Cross, Peer Counseling etc. Despite not making it to med school I still found myself participating in humanitarian activities. I became engrossed in learning human behavior. I picked an interest behavioral psychology but never pursued it as a major and ended up with a Communications degree.

I have been thrust in a field that I typically enjoy. Maybe if I made it to med school I wouldn’t be blogging. I wouldn’t have the time to sit and counsel people. I’d probably be too tired to even make anyone feel comfortable telling me their deepest secrets.

Finding purpose and direction is quite fulfilling. Surround yourself with people whom you share similar goals with. People who value having real and honest conversations and are not afraid of the truth. People who challenge you to take new steps each day. Have a support system and always be their support system.

Everywhere you’ve been, every person you’ve met has made a mark in your life. Life doesn’t come with a manual. Connect YOUR little dots. It could be straight or crooked, curving up or down. What matters is what you make from it. Donge?

Wishing you the very best in your journey of self-discovery.

MG.

 

 

6 Easy Natural Hairstyles

Maintaining a neat look with natural hair can be a daunting task. Most women find it difficult to wear their natural hair to work or social places because of the ‘unkempt’ nature of type 4 hair.

While I agree that styling natural hair requires patience, some styles take lesser time and are quite eye-catching. Our hair is very versatile and can be worn on any occasion while still maintaining a professional chic look.

 I compiled some of the easiest hairstyles you can achieve at home sans heat.

  • The Twist Out

Neat twist out

This has to be my all time favorite and go-to style for most weekends. While it is not your typical protective style considering your ends are not protected, I wear this style for a maximum of two days.

How to achieve this look: After freshly washing your hair, seal using your preferred curling cream or Shea Butter. I used Shea Coco which is easily available in Mombasa. Twist your hair into medium twists and air dry. Unravel the twists only when they are completely dry. Carefully separating each twist to avoid frizz. Fluff to your desired size.

  • The Pineapple/High Puff

The Pineapple

This is the easiest hairstyle and takes just two minutes to pull. I mostly wear this style when my twist out gets old. This though should not be done consistently as the stress on the edges will cause a receding hairline. However you don’t have to pull your band so tight. It should just be secure enough to hold your hair into place.

How to achieve this look: Spritz water lightly along the perimeter of your hair and apply coconut oil. Brush it using a soft bristle brush. You can optionally apply ecostyler gel around the edges of your hair to achieve a sleek do.

  • French Flat twist

French Flat Twist

This is a classic modern look and can turn heads if done well. It is a protective style and can last up to 4 days. You can add hair extensions to increase the length of the pigtails. For a person who can’t cornrow, this is definitely the style for you.

How to achieve this look: It’s easier on stretched hair. Part two pieces and twist as you would any normal twist but grabbing hair as you go along. It’s quite hard to explain but you can watch tutorials online especially from Margiey Akinyi on how to flat twist.

  • The double bun

Double bunning it

This 90s style is back with a bang and is currently very fashion forward. It will minus several years to your age so be careful with the crowd you want to attract with this hairstyle. It is best achieved with medium – long hair but if you have short hair you can add clip-ins to give it a bulky look.

How to achieve this look: Part your hair in the middle, moisturize and sleek down the edges using gel. Tie each side with an ouchless hairband and secure the buns with bobby pins so that they don’t fall off. You can position the buns either high on the head or lower like I did.

  • Wash n’ go

Wash n' go

This is the easiest hairstyle with little to no effort at all. As the name suggests, it’s literally washing your hair and off you go! I tried this style at least twice and despite the massive shrinkage I love how it naturally shapes itself into a cute fro.

How to achieve this look: Wash hair and loc using products of your choice. Whip your hair back and forth in all directions to fluff it and also allow the curls to clump together. Let is air dry for best results.

  • Rugged fro

Wild n' Free

This hairstyle is only for those who dare to be different. It has quite a rebellious touch to it. There are neater ways to do it but I like it looking rough and rugged just to show my edgy side.  To give it a softer look, you can add a flower crown and you turn from rebel to cute.

How to achieve this look: On a very old twistout, moisturize and shape as desired, You can pick your roots using an afro pick to make the fro bigger to your desired size.

There you have it. 6 effortless hairstyles that can be worn on a daily basis. And if you haven’t noticed, no comb and no heat is required for any of these styles therefore maintaining healthy hair while looking amazing. Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section below.

Lots of Love!

MG

METAMORPHOSIS

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July is one of my favorite months just because. It’s a month that transitions to the second half of the year. I love the cold and the rain July brings in this Southern Hemisphere. The fruitful blossom and harvest this month brings is undeniable. July is also full of lies.

As a kid growing up, our Sunday school teachers would encourage us to lead in praise and worship songs, and as always yours truly did not shy away from being selected. I cannot sing to save my life but overconfidence is another thing.

One July morning during a skit rehearsal where singing was involved, the director of the skit sat me down in front of the rest of the class and told me I’m off key and cannot be the lead. I was laughed at by my peers and was humiliated . My adolescence hormones were hurt and I became a very shy person since then.

In retrospect, this incident made me realize that the stage was not meant for everyone. Katerina (aka mama) always taught me that the five fingers on our hands are not equal but they each serve a very important purpose. I still sing with the loudest voice when I’m alone because it makes me happy.

We are not equal, we can never be equal. There are better writers than I. Someone will always be better than you. Their edges will be more laid than yours (just had to insert a hair anecdote) and such is life.

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I write today not because I’m the best at it, but because I feel the need to fulfill my passion. My desires are satisfied when my fingers glide through the qwerty keyboard joining words to sentences. This feeling is innate. There are things that wake the inner creative in me that I cannot ignore.

While we were all given a purpose in this life, everyone is tasked to find out what theirs is and implement it. You cannot live in this world as a passerby. Do what you are supposed to do to make the world better for everyone else.

You know how to stop corruption or mitigate global warming? Let your voice be heard! So you can fix a leaking pipe? Do your part. We cannot afford to have joyriders in this world. Your contribution matters no matter how little it is.

There is nothing as unattractive as quitters. If there is something July has taught me is to never give up. Situations will throw you over the edge of a cliff and submerge you into the deepest waters. You will lose a loved one unexpectedly and wish you could die along with them. People closest to you will betray you and you will find no will to keep on living. But while all these negative thoughts run through your mind, remember you have a purpose in this life. There are people who look up to you. Stay strong for them.

Change is inevitable and learning to cope with the hurt and pain that comes along with it is what makes us stronger. I find it very encouraging to see people live to tell their stories. If they did it, why can’t you?

We are accountable for all the decisions we make today. One day I will have a beautiful family. I will have my own kids and I want them to know that I am changing for them. I will not live like it’s the last day of my life. I will live to enjoy all that life offers. I will not throw away my hopes and dreams. I will not falter. For them, this I promise.

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Unapolegetically me

Some day my daughter will ask me why I wore my hair the way I did in the millennial and I will tell her because I am Miriam Galugalu and you will never get any version of me anywhere in this world. You can google if you don’t believe me 😀 . I will tell her that I morphed into an independent confident being and it made me happy.

Be the change that you want to see in this world.

Do what makes you happy. Stay positive. Keep Calm. God is in Control.

MG.

 

 

 

 

Transitioning to Natural Hair: What You Need To know.

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My photo editing skills though…

Natural hair care is probably one of the most tiring and fulfilling things you’ll ever do in your life. There is always a satisfying feel to seeing change and growth in anything you put effort to. Be it losing weight, starting a business, or even moving away from bad addictions. So you’ve decided to return natural and have no idea how to start or maybe you do but still do not have the courage to. Going natural is totally a personal decision and let no one (including me) shove it down your throat. But once you are ready to swallow…

Decide if it’s a big chop or transition

There’s actually no formula for going natural. If you are bold enough to rock short hair, you could chop off all your relaxed ends and start on a clean slate. This is actually the simplest option because it’s so easy to care for short hair. The other alternative for the faint at heart is transitioning. You will stop applying relaxer and after a sufficient amount of growth that you feel comfortable with, your relaxed ends will be begging to be chopped off and you will happily let them go because dealing with two textures would have driven you nuts.

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Trying to pull the one-eye lol

Do a thorough research

Now before you stop putting relaxer on your head, you need to be well informed on what you are getting into. The internet should be your bestfriend. There is so much out there on how to care for natural hair. Read blogs, watch YouTube videos and essentially be armed with information that is going to suit you. Start with the basics as you move on instead of trying each and everything you see/read on the internet. Remember knowledge is power.

Get a curlfriend

You need someone to hold your hand in this journey. Someone who has been in the game for years and understands the struggles. Along the way, you’ll encounter setbacks and even feel like quitting. Get someone who can challenge you and encourage you to maintain your hair. Hey there Georgina!

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Must have swallowed blue ink jeez

Use the ‘right’ products

You will probably have to dig deep into your pockets if you want to maintain healthy hair. Natural hair products are quite pricey and you probably have to turn a blind eye when purchasing. Don’t turn into a product junkie, I always insist on starting with the basics. Get a good co-wash, sulphate-free shampoo, deep conditioner, essential oil, butter/styling cream. As you feel more confident and generous with your wallet, start investing in protein treatments, leave in conditioner, apple cider vinegar, henna, bentonite clay, aloevera juice, and all good things that make the natural hair world go round.

Your wash days will never be the same

My Sundays are sacred because of two reasons: A day to spend time in the house of the Lord and secondly washing my hair. Wash days take time and require a lot of patience. I noticed weekly co-washing and deep conditioning ensures my hair is moisturized 24/7. Some people can go up to two weeks, it’s all a matter of understanding your hair’s needs. Those who go a month without washing, I honestly cannot speak for you.

Practice protective styling

Twists, braids, weaves, wigs, crotchet braids etc might just save your hair as you are growing it out. Hair tires. Constantly touching and combing  is one of the main reasons we have hair breakage. PS is meant to protect your ends. Look for the style that will make it easy for you to protect your hair underneath. Ensure the PS is not too tight or too heavy and also does not stay on your head for too long if you want to retain length.

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My twist out on point though

Heat will become an enemy

I have a confession. A few weeks ago I flat ironed my hair after staying heat-free for over a year. Despite following almost all the rules of the book, the front part of my hair got heat damaged. Sigh. I made a few mistakes knowingly and I now have to live with the consequences. Heat will not become an enemy if you :

  1. Minimize usage or completely remove the word bone – straight hair from your vocabulary unless it’s a wig or weave.
  2. Use it in the right way. Indirect heat like steaming during deep conditioning sessions actually help to open up your cuticles. Direct heat like flat irons, curling irons are just a no-no.
  3. Do not allow the stylist to flat iron more than two passes on each section. Your hair will probably never enjoy a straight sleek finish without damaging it.

Natural hair is beautiful and versatile if you accept it. There is no right or wrong way of doing it and what I’ve shared is mostly out of my own experience. Embrace it and love it and it will love you right back!

The Other Side

Last weekend I turned a new leaf. I changed – I loved- I hated – I chose -I let go. I didn’t become new, I became me. The me that is liberated, sloppy, care-free. I never cheated, I just wanted to see what the other side looked like. I wanted to feel it, touch it, smell it… I sold my hair to the devil. I straightened it.

The Process

Despite swearing off heat, I knew a day would come I’d be too curious not to.  A month before the D-day, I gave it extra TLC. I deep conditioned weekly. With two protein treatments incorporated to the session.

Tip: Hair has to be in its best form before you choose to subject it to harsh elements like heat because it dries out the hair completely and breaks the protein bonds that are responsible for the curly nature of your hair.

Mimi Shy shotThe night before

I was tensed. You can never be prepared enough psychologically. Anything could go wrong and heat damage is one of them. I kept second guessing myself. I made excuses. It only took one person to discourage me from doing it. I did the exact opposite. I went for it. I’m a very rebellious Pisces.

What I did:

Step 1: Prepoo with coconut oil for 30min (I didn’t have time). Otherwise for best results, do it overnight.

Step 2: Wash off the coconut oil with warm water to open the cuticles and apply a clarifying shampoo to remove residue and build up. ALWAYS wash your hair in sections to avoid matting. If you do not cleanse your hair well, you will be in for a disaster when the iron burns your hair. This step will probably strip your hair of all goodness but oh well, we are already set for battle, no retreat. Rinse shampoo.

Step 3: Apply your favorite conditioner for detangling purposes. It should provide enough slip to make the whole process seamless. Try as much as possible to finger detangle. Rinse out conditioner after you are done.

Step 4: Apply your favorite deep conditioner to all sections of the hair. Put on a plastic/shower cap, a scarf on top to heat up the process and let the moisture infuse in your hair strands.

At this point, you can choose to stay with it for 30 min – 1 hour -2 hours -overnight. It was midnight at this point, I went overnight. Was it uncomfortable? Not the slightest.

Mimi Diagonal shot

The D-day

That morning I kept hoping my hairdresser would cancel on me. She didn’t. I rinsed off the deep conditioner with warm water and final rinse with cold water to close the cuticles. I squeezed of the extra water using an old t-shirt. (Don’t use towel please- it causes friction & eventually hair breakage).

I let my hair air-dry and applied a dime size of leave in and sprayed my favorite heat protectant all over my hair. You really want to use as little product as possible if you are preparing your hair for heat.

 

Mimi Backshot

 

Arrival at the lion’s den

I was a nervous wreck! Last time I straightened my hair was December 2015. I timidly walked in and asked for my hairdresser. I had never met her before since this was a referral. When I saw her, my nerves were calmed by the fact she was a natural! I felt safe. What I liked most about Irene is she listened to my preferences and took direction from me. I could tell she was a little intimidated by my bossy nature but after I cracked a few lame jokes she loosened up and did my hair perfectly.

After I was done with my salon visit, I realized my hair was bulkier and healthier than before and of course a few inches of considerable growth. I like how the results turned out. Save for the fact that my morning routine has been reduced by 15min, I’m not completely blown away by this look. I like my hair in its curly coily kinky state. It gives me my identity. But for now, let’s enjoy it for as long as it lasts in this hot humid coastal weather.

 

PhotoGrid_1489481029044.pngMy secret? Maximum finger detangling, using heat only once a year, and most importantly, following a consistent regimen. Believe in the process and you will get there.

PS: Apologies for the many months of silence. Juggling between sleep, eating and more sleeping  has been real. lol! What matters most is I’m back.

Stay encouraged!