Curly Hair With a Difference

April 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM (1)

If looked after very well, Curly hair can be healthy, versatile, great looking and easy to manage.

The two very best ways you need to have Curly hair retain its style are: the right hair cut and the type of care that your curly hair needs.

Curly hair is completely different from straight hair. Its structure is different and its needs are different.

Curly hair demands a different approach. It begs for understanding.   Curly hair is very forgiving. Maybe you’ve abused it all these years, trying to mould it into styles it was never meant to resemble. But the moment you decide to meet your curly hair half way, it rewards you with head-turning, breath-taking, beautiful hair styles.

Curly hair styles that look wonderful are the natural result of combining those two essential ingredients – the curly hair cut, and the curly hair care.

One ingredient is out of your hands, quite literally, and that’s the cutting.

You can’t cut your own curly hair.  It’s not recommended, anyway. But you can certainly choose who does cut your hair, and the choice you make is the key to your future success with curly hair styling.

A stylist who understands and respects your curls, and who also knows how to cut your hair in ways that flatter your face, is like gold.  Find a stylist who can handle curly hair and you’re half way home.  That’s the first ingredient.

The second ingredient for beautiful curly hairstyles is well within your control, and that’s the way you look after your curly hair.

That doesn’t mean you have to adopt some onerous routine, either, like brushing your hair a hundred times every night. Don’t brush! It’s fatal for curly hair! And don’t comb it either. Throw all that stuff away!

Taking care of your curly hair is more a matter of lifestyle and understanding.   It’s no harder to maintain curly hair than it is to manage other hair types. In fact, once you get your curly hair right it can actually be much, much easier.   And the styles you can achieve will blow your mind.  It’s worth the effort and understanding. The proof is in the pictures.

Winter Hair Tips


As the weather starts to cool down curly hair(already prone to dryness) gets even drier due to the crisper air.

Counteract this by increasing hydration hair therapy! Pump up moisture by giving your hair deep treatments more frequently than you normally do. Extremely dry textures can even do daily treatments.  We advise the use of KINGS & QUEENS Hot Oil Treatment. Please contact us for more information on this fantastic range of products.

It’s also not a bad idea to head to the salon for a professional steam hydration therapy. For an at-home recession friendly (but still spa-worthy) experience, towel wrap your deeply conditioned tresses for 20 minutes after at least every other shampoo before rinsing.

Good curly hair products enhance curly hair by adding more of what it needs most – moisture such as KINGS & QUEENS Products.  They work to keep your curly hair healthy.
Bad curly hair products simply hide the damage which they and other products have already done to your hair.

Curly hair, by its very nature, is drier than other hair.  It tends to stand away from the head so that natural oils from the scalp can’t easily be transferred along the hair shafts.

Products that decrease the moisture of curly hair are bad.  Products that enhance and maintain the natural moisture of curly hair are good.

Longer Lasting Styles

Cooler weather means that us ladies rocking the curls, kinks and waves like to spend less time washing our hair and having to let it air dry.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to “preserve” your style at night and refresh your look each morning.

For loose waves, twist hair in large (cigar size) or larger plaits/braids at night. For tighter curls and kinks use clips or bobby pins to secure hair close to the head or twist at night. Remove clips in the morning and fluff hair at the roots. Be sure to use a firm styling gel or styling cream (TRY KINGS & QUEENS LEAVE-IN MOISTURISER) on wash day to help preserve your look.

Is your hair prone to frizzies and fly-aways? For dry, loose curls spray a light refresher spray (Try KINGS & QUEENS COMB OUT SPRAY) that contains a balance of oil and water and twirl curls with finger to pull frizz together for a defined curl. Tighter curls and kinks need a heavier refresher blend of water and glycerin product (TRY KINGS & QUEENS GEL ACTIVATOR) to hydrate the ends and then simply finger comb curls to de-frizz.


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Hairy Stuff

March 12, 2010 at 4:29 PM (1, Hair advice)

Hair comes in diverse textures – from Kinky to Curly to Wavy to Straight.

Whatever type of hair you have, it needs TLC so as to stay healthy and luscious always. Healthy, great looking hair on people especially women exudes confidence and security in ones appearance. When people look great, they feel that they are on top of the world.


For healthy looking hair, you have to know your hair type, texture, strengths and weaknesses, what stresses it and what it can and cannot do. Knowing the true nature, structure and how to care for your hair, the healthier it will become.

Hair is made of a chemical substance called Keratin. This Sulphur-rich protein provides strength to the hair so it can withstand any treatment – Good or Bad.  The part of the hair that grows out of the scalp is called the Hair Shaft or Strand. Each Strand of hair emerges from a tube-like pit in the skin called Follicle. At the base of the Follicle is Papilla, this is hair’s source of blood, oxygen, other nutrients and new cells. As the cells in the papilla multiply to become an individual hair, they arrange themselves into three separate layers: the CUTICLE, the CORTEX, and the MEDULLA.

So what’s in a single strand of hair?

  • Cortex – the core of the hair shaft responsible for shape and elasticity.
  • Cuticle – the outer layers of the cortex which give hair its sheen.
  • Medulla – the hair’s innermost portion; it’s a small core of cells that run the length of the hair shaft.
  • Keratin – a special protein that gives hair its strength.
  • Melanin – a pigment that determines the color of hair.
  • Sebum – Natural oil released onto the scalp which is produced by the sebaceous glands.

We have at least two differing textures of hair on our head, this is common. Texture in the front differs slightly from the textures at the nape and crown; hence some sections of our hair are easier to manage and some respond more quickly to chemicals which can make them more prone to damage.


Your hair type is determined by the diameter of the strands and belongs to one of the three categories: FINE, MEDIUM AND COARSE

QUICK TEST: examine the diameter of your individual strands. If the strands look wispy and thin, you have fine hair. If they are medium or thick in diameter, your hair is medium or coarse.


Porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb moisture. Black hair especially needs moisture to maintain its health. As a rule, fine strands tend to be more porous, while coarse hair is usually not. The more porous your hair, the faster it absorbs chemicals – so you will need short processing time for relaxers and colours but for medium and coarse hair, it takes longer to process chemicals.

QUICK TEST : Separate a small section of hair at the front and back comb the strands as you do when teasing hair. If the hair bunches up immediately, it is very porous and damaged. If the hair bunches up a little or not at all, it is less porous and healthy.


Elasticity refers to the hair’s ability to stretch and return to its original length without breaking.  Healthy hair should be able to stretch about one- fifth of its length when dry and one-half of its length when wet.

QUICK TEST:  Select a hair strand and hold it between the index fingers and thumbs of both hands. Gently pull the strand. If it stretches easily and returns to its original length, you have got good elasticity. If the strand breaks and doesn’t return, then your hair needs lots more TLC. Poor elasticity is an indication of chemical damage and you may be overusing heated appliances, relaxers or colouring.


There are three stages in the life cycle of each hair on our body. A hair is born, matures and dies. The first stage is called ANAGEN phase, about four to six years. About 80 to 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is in this stage.   The second stage is called CATAGEN phase. Hair ceases to grow or “rests” for about two to three weeks. Then transitions into the final stage called the TELOGEN phase, where it sheds naturally (Not breaking), we lose 50 to 100 hairs per day.

We will talk about CURLY HAIR and how to care for it in our next issue.

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Cosmetics tips for Dark Skin

February 7, 2010 at 5:50 PM (1, Beauty)

Check out our article in Beauty Bible for tips and advice on cosmetics for Dark Skin.  Click on the image below.

Please leave your feedback on their site!

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Everyone Has a Story – What’s Yours?

January 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM (1)

Do you have a story to tell about your experience of not finding the right hair care,  skin care or cosmetics in NZ? – Please get the ball rolling; tell us!

I know the feeling.  As an African woman who arrived in NZ from the UK in 1990, it was a shock that there was nothing for us dark skinned people out there! It was very frustrating. I went to a salon to relax my nappy hair and the hairdresser almost had a fit; “Oh no! We don’t do this kind of hair!” she said, “We have no products for you!”
I felt like an ALIEN. Shame NZ! UK, US, and Europe have been treating Afro-hair for years.

As a trained teacher I wasn’t looking to do business but because of this awful experience and other frustrations, Amaka Beauty Care Ltd was launched in 1993. We import and distrubte Hair Care & Cosmetics for people of colour through salons and pharmacies nationwide.  I also opened a salon using all our products to help build awareness.  As a pioneer of the ethnic beauty business in NZ, I was featured in the Sunday Star Times in 1993.  As time went by many similar businesses emerged.

Can you believe the confidence it has given to all of us ethnic people, especially those of African origin?  People quite appreciated the introduction of these fantastic products.  My hair is actually soft, my skin is supple and the cosmetics match my skin tone.  What a relief!  Obviously New Zealand still has a long way to go with regards to Afro styles, hair & beauty products, but we have made a start and an impact.

This is my story.  What’s yours?

– Gloria Ozumba, Director Amaka Beauty Care Ltd

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