Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What your hair says about you {Part 1}

Whether you 'shave it off', 'get in on the lock' or 'rock it straight', the hairstyle you choose has everything to do with defining who you are. David Coplan, a professor in anthropology at Wits, reckons hairstyles are a way of expressing identity. "We judge people by appearances and, to an extent, hairstyles signify something about you, so it's natural for people to make assumptions about you based on the way you've styled your hair," he says. "Hair and identity are inseparable – whether you're consciously making a statement or not, your hairstyle does express something about you." So if you've been thinking your hair is making no declaration to the world, think again.
What your hair says about you The language of liberty:
"We choose hairstyles as a way of distinguishing ourselves from, or grouping ourselves with a particular crowd," says Johannesburg clinical psychologist Jenni Avidon. And because hair is such an important tool in expressing our identity, Prof Coplan agrees that every society has created a hair vocabulary to convey various identities. In South Africa, for example, long straightened hair is loosely associated with being Eurocentric, dreadlocks with Rastas and natural hair with being proudly African. Where do these associations come from? Largely from the people seen wearing these styles most often. They determine the cultural connections we make between their hairstyles and the clothes, cars, jobs and music they seem to prefer. But black hair also has a struggle history and a political vocabulary. Jo Bodiba, a 22-year-old industrial psychology student, part-time bartender and Yvonne Chaka Chaka's personal assistant, is proud to have been part of the 'hair revolution at Roedean' in the 90s. Rules at this posh girls' high school included a ban on braids, plaits and dreadlocks. Only natural hair was allowed for black girls, until JoBo led a group of nervous schoolgirls to challenge this rule. But the principal's shocking assertion that 'braids breed lice' stunned them. "As you can imagine, our eyes grew wide, our mouths dropped open and we were all breathless," JoBo remembers. "Well Ma'am," I ventured, "actually they don't. It's easier and cleaner for us to keep our hair like that, otherwise we have to relax it," I explained. "Relax!" she said. "What do you mean relax?" "Ma'am, as black girls our hair naturally grows hard and curly," I persisted. "For our hair to be soft and presentable, we have to straighten it with a chemical that smells like sulphur at least every six weeks at the salon, and we can't wash it every day, or it goes back to its natural state." A month passed, during which the principal researched the intricacies of black hair maintenance, before braids finally became respectable at Roedean!
What your hair says about you ...or oppression?
But policing the way black people wear their hair can be equally oppressive when hair becomes an instrument of liberation. So says a paper published by the University of Michigan, which quotes from the Hair stories of liberation told by writers Alice Walker and Gloria Wade-Gayles. Walker wrote about a connection between her 'spiritual liberation' and the delightful discovery (after an experiment with long braids made from Korean hair) that her own hair had a will of its own and a sense of humour – and she went as far as calling processed hair 'oppressed'. Wade-Gayles didn't stop there, saying 'an activist with straightened hair was... a lie. A joke.' So it's not enough that maintaining black hair is an expensive, time-consuming business, with good products hard to find here... Now our hair also has to do community service? The paper worries the root of the debate when it asks, "Does wearing your hair natural prove that you love yourself and black people more than someone with processed hair?" Babe examines some hair-raising stereotypes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How to get extraordinary hair

Want to know what the Samy range is all about and whether it can fix your hair? Check this out...
1.Q: Can Samy rehydrate my dry, frizzy hair? A: Samy Smooth products are specially formulated with fine silicone molecules and an advanced system of vitamins and proteins to smooth, calm and re-hydrate extremely dry, frizzy and distressed hair without adding weight, residue or build-up.
Samy cosmetics2.Q: Can moisture, body and shine be restored to my hair? A: Samy Moist products are specially formulated for dry, damaged, dehydrated hair. These unique products re-hydrate, strengthen and restore incredible moisture, body and shine to hair without depositing wax, residue or build-up.
3.Q: What about curls? Can Samy make my curls look healthy? A: Samy Curls hydrates, defines and separates curls as it cleans, conditions and de-frizzes curly hair without dry-out. They are the best way to maintain manageable, beautiful healthy looking curls.
How to get extraordinary hair4.Q: Does Samy have finishing products to protect hair after styling? A: Samy's The Hairspray leaves hair soft and manageable. The fast-drying, weightless and anti-frizz formula provides hair with a high shine. This unique hairspray adds extra volume without sticky build-up or flaking, perfect for holding your style.
5.Q: Are there any Samy products to add volume limp hair? A: Samy's Mucho Mousse is specially formulated to add fullness and body to fine, limp, lifeless hair, while offering shine and flexibility without wax, residue or build-up. Think big! This alcohol-free formulation adds incredible body, volume, fullness and shine and is specially formulated with humectants and conditioning agents to nourish and strengthen hair. It also protects hair from the sun with a special UV light absorber.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Your hair after winter

With the onset of cooler temperatures comes a new set of haircare demands. Adding moisture is especially important at this time of year, and something many women neglect to do.As we spend less time in the sun, the natural highlights nature paints into our hair become less noticeable and hair loses its healthy, shimmering look. The cold air of winter is more drying and less humid, causing more damage than at other times of the year. Indoor heating devices create a dryer climate as well. Your hair after winterAll of this leads to duller-looking hair. Master hair designer and salon owner, Greg Amparan, offers some suggestions to keep your hair vibrant, well-moisturised and looking its best throughout the winter season:

People tend to apply more colour and highlights, and have more frequent perms in the winter. Colouring is one effective way to combat dull-looking winter hair, but highlights can look equally good. It's a sure-fire way to liven up your appearance and boost your morale!


Your hair after winterMoisture is essential for your hair, especially after it's been subjected to any chemical treatments. Look for a conditioner with cetyl alcohol. This is the best moisturising agent and is derived from coconut. Another ingredient to look for is cetearyl alcohol, which is an excellent hair moisturiser. A good moisturising conditioner is sufficient for many people. However, if your hair is very damaged or dry, look for a moisturising shampoo as well.

Lock in the moisture
Hair is much denser than skin, with cuticle layers that are difficult to penetrate. Once you've found and used a good product that moisturises your hair, you need to be sure to lock that moisture in. A cool rinse helps close the cuticles down, sealing in the moisture. Try this extra hair cocktail to lock moisture in: To flatten the cuticles, rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar. It's highly acidic and leaves hair with a fresh, clean fragrance. Let it sit on the hair for a few minutes before rinsing with cool or cold water. Apple cider vinegar contracts the cuticle, locking in not only moisture, but colour well. A vinegar rinse reduces the chances of colour fading.

Hats and hair
While wearing a hat is one of the best ways to stay warm in winter, these fashion accessories can be bad for your hair. "Continually wearing hats can lead to overworked sebaceous glands, resulting in limp, greasy locks," says Jan Przemyk, academy director for Toni & Guy salons. He advises women to make sure their hats fit correctly and also to dry-clean woollen hats regularly.