Silk

What is Silk:

Silk is a protein fibre produced by the mulberry silkworm’s cocoon. This natural fibre (thread) has a triangular prism-like structure which deflects light at different angles to help produce different colours. Sometimes silk is referred to as Mulberry Silk in reference to the leaves the silkworm feast on (less valuable silk are from silk worms that feast on Osage Orange and lettuce) for about 6 weeks to support its development and growth. Silkworms are caterpillars that descended from the Bombyx Mori moth. Once they reached their full potential growth of about 3 inches, they are then ready to spin their cocoons in a figure of 8 movements by raising their heads. They spin their cocoons around 300,000 times and the process can last anywhere between 3-8 days. A silkworm can produce a single strand of silk of about 100 meters long which is held together by sericin (Sericin is a natural produced gum).  It takes around 2500 silkworms to produce one pound of silk.

History of Silk:

It is believed that the Chinese discovered silk around the 27th century BC (Before Christ) when the Chinese Princess Xi Ling Shi was the first to roll a cocoon of silk which had accidentally dropped into her cup of tea (allegedly). Since that incident the Chinese studied the life cycle of silkworm and became the biggest producers of silk whilst controlling the silk market (and keeping the silk making a secret) for 3000 years. There is evidence that silk does date back as far as 3000 BCE (Before the Common Era). The Chinese exportation of silk in the 3 century BC between Asia (where the Romans first discovered silk), Europe and Japan (by sea) is known as the silk roads.

The Chinese only allowed the women to farm silkworms and many women walked on silkworm farms. Silk was (and is still is) considered a luxurious item and was very popular amongst aristocratic and high society. The popularity of silk grew to a point where it had to be regulated for over a millennium for the use to only members of the imperial family. Silk had many uses outside of clothing, such as it was made into a luxurious paper where it was used to pay the governmental officials.

Around 500 AD (Anno Domini), Byzantium hide some silkworm in his walking stick made of bamboo, where the Byzantines were able to cultivate their own (this action marked the start of the silk Industry in the Eastern Roman Empire). The production of silk started to spread in Western Europe. Over time the Koreans and then later on the Indians were able to discover how making silk therefore making the Chinese lose their monopoly on producing silk.

Italian silk was far so expensive and the French started to make their own silk locally as they wanted lighter and less expensive materials. King Francis first of France approved a domination for silk production in the City of Lyon and so Lyon became Europe’s capital city of silk trade. By 1845 the European silk industry declined when the silkworms were hit with their first diseases and this increased the price of silkworm cocoons. Fashion was also changing in the aristocratic and middle-class circle which mean that the demand for silks in garment decreases. With all the mishaps happening in Europe, Japan became the world’s biggest silk producers up until the second world war. Today, China has regained their control and are now the largest producers of silk in the world.

The Making of Silk:

Once the silkworms have spun their cocoon and eventually enclosed themselves inside. To extract the natural silk thread, the cocoons are then placed into a boiling water. This softens the thread and dissolves the sericin. This step ensures that the full length of the thread remains intact and undamaged.

The threads are then unwind from the cocoon in individual long threads which are then wined to make a reel.

Once the threads are washed and degummed, they are then bleached and dried to prepare them for the dyeing process.

In the past silk dyeing techniques took dyes from nature and the local environment such as fruits and plants (like the indigo leaves) where the threads were placed and soaked in a boiling hot water of whatever fruit or plant, they want to extract the colour from. This process to repeated few times over days to get the desire tone and quality. However, in today’s most advanced technology, manufacturers opt to dye the threads with dyes such as acid dyes and reactive dyes. These dyes offer a far greater choice as well as to produce silk in a highly commercially demanding market.

The threads are then unwind on to a bobbin so that they lay completely flat to get ready for the weaving process. The process is call spinning and there are many different types of spinning such as: hand-spinning, mule spinning and ring spinning.

Weaving is where the silk comes together. There are many different types of silk weaving such as plain weave, open weave (most common weave), crepe and satin weave (please note there isn’t such material as satin and many materials/threads can be satin weave. Best to get silk woven into the satin weave).

If designers require special designs or pattern, then the Printing stage. Printing can take place as screen printing (this is traditional printing) or digital printing.

The silk is then treated using different chemical treatment which provides the lustrous sheen silks are known for as well as adding valuable properties such as crease-proofing and fire resistance. This final step is a most and it is known as the Finishing.

Benefits of Silk:

Silk is one of the softest, shiny, comfortable and breathable materials on the planet and it have many benefits to the skin and Hair.

Silk thread is very similar to human hair- It is 97% protein, 3% fat and wax and contains 18 amino acids, this makes it very kind and supportive to human skin.

Silk contains natural cellular albumen- this helps to speed up the metabolism of the skin cells.

Silk support the moisture in the skin and can support in the prevention of moisture loss in the skin or hair. This promotes the skin to rejuvenate, slow down the aging process (of the skin), relieves dry and/or flaky skin by locking in the moisture. It also encourages moisture balance in the hair.

Silk keeps the skin cool in the summer and preserve body heat during winter. It supports the body to regulate its temperature and provides thermal balance.

It can absorb moisture up to 30% its weight, it is very absorbent and dries very quickly by allowing good air circulation simply by the thread increasing in size. This property of silk makes the fabric great for perspiration whilst promoting the skin to breathe.

Silk keeps the moisture in the hair and doesn’t tangle up the hair as the hair simply glides over the smooth materials. Experts in the beauty field believe that it helps to keep the hair soft (it does this through the ability to balance the moisture in the hair).

Silk doesn’t create static electricity, so easily, so it keeps the hair strands in place, doesn’t cause frizz or breakage, doesn’t cling to the body and is very easy to iron.

Silk is very durable and will maintain its appearance and quality time.

Silk is very versatile and can be used for anything such as clothing, accessories, rugs, parachutes, beddings, just to name a few.

Silk is hypoallergenic, so it is a natural fungal repellant and doesn’t attract dust mites. Medical experts believe that it rarely causes allergic reactions.

Studies have shown that silk doesn’t cause the face to get wrinkled (on one side) at night when lying on silk pillows and beddings.

Reference

Balasa, O; Accessed on 05 November 2020; Great Benefits of Silk Fabric; https://www.ageberry.com/great-benefits-of-pure-silk-fabric/#:~:text=Great%20Benefits%20of%20Silk%20Fabric.%201%201.%20Silk,degree%20effects%20of%20aging%20and%20…%20More%20items

The Ethical Silk Company; Accessed on 05 November 2020; Benefits of Silk; https://www.theethicalsilkco.com/about-silk

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Table Display at Ilford Exchange Mall

Last Saturday (24 October 2020) we had the opportunity to trade at the Ilford Exchange Mall where we debuted our very own handmade 100% silk lined African print hairbands/accessories. This will be launched soon on the website along with the new wedding ranges (ready for you to order) and early next year we hope to also launch our own wedding range of accessories that are not only kind and gentle to the hair but are also Ec0-friendly. For now, enjoy this brief video of our table display.

FC Table Display at the Ilford Exchange Mall

Ilford Exchange Shopping Centre

This Saturday we will be at Ilford Exchange Shopping Centre (Ilford, East London, UK), pop down and come and support local small independent businesses. There will be many small businesses there from Thursday but we are there on Saturday ONLY, so we hope to see you there.

 

Picture from Ilford Record

Different Types of Water for Hydration

Just like the rest of the body, water is very important for the health of the hair and for hair growth. The right water balance for the hair is dependent of your hair, your health and your diet; but the main important thing is the hair needs to be hydrated at all times by getting regular moisture (water).

Many believe it is best to use distilled water as this water doesn’t contain harsh minerals, chemicals and elements such as calcium. Cities like London and New York (for examples) have very harsh elements in their water. If you are unable to get distilled water you can get water filters to remove some of the harsh elements or (worst case) boil the water before using.

We look at the benefit of three different types of waters for the hair which are ordinary (distilled) water, rose water and rice water.

Benefit of Water:

Water makes up about 60-70% of our body, so maintaining the right level of water in the body is very important for ultimate health and functionality.

Intake of water is important to flush out harmful toxin from the body, aid in digestions and supports the flows of oxygen and nutrients around the body and hair. Water makes up about 80% of the lymphatic system which helps to lubricate the joints and cartilages in the skeletal system and aids in warding off infection; through sweating, water helps to regulate the body temperature when the body overheats (in hotter climates, sickness and during exercise). Water can help to regulate the blood and the blood pressure, as water is made up about 90% of the blood. The more water the blood has, the more the blood is diluted and this can lower the pressure, and less water means the blood is more concentrated and may increase the pressure. Water is excellent for brain function as it is a key component of the cerebrospinal fluid, as it is an important element for the neurotransmitters and hormones. A long period of dehydration may decline in brain functionality and can cause a headache.Water can lower the protentional life-threatening risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), aid the health of the kidney by lowering the risk of kidney stones, bladder infection and other chronic kidney diseases. For those looking for youthful, plumping, collagen filled and elasticated skin; drinking plenty of water will help you stay looking young and youthful for longer and help prevent premature ageing as it slows down the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. Mineral water helps to keep the skin hydrated, distribute the oil in the skin and build a barrier on the skin that is harder to break through by the sun, hence reducing sun damage.

 

Hair 

Water carries (through the blood) essential nutrient to the scalp, hair root and follicles which nourishes the hair. A dehydrated hair can dry out the hair shaft and a dry hair shaft can lead to split ends, breakage of the hair and dry and brittle hair. Water can remove toxin from the hair and scalp through sweat and hair wash. Water also helps to carry and distribute sebum (the natural oil the scalp produces for the hair) to the hair strands which helps to reduce frizz, tangles and knots on the hair.

 

It provides the hair with flexibility and elasticity which provides movement and decreases breakage

Best, easiest and cheapest way to provide moisture (as water is moisture). Moisture then keeps the hair hydrated. Hydrated hair means that the hair is not dry as dry hair causes brittle breakable hair.

Rose Water

Rosa damascene is the scientific name for rose. Roses can be found all over the world in different varieties and colours and the flower tends to be the symbol for love. The petal can be used for many different things such as food, beautiful bouquet and be pressed, boiled to make oil, essential oil and water.  The water has been know to be use for cosmetic practices back to the ancient Egyptian times.

Rose water is distilled water with the benefits and the scent of roses. You can either buy rose water or make it yourself.

To make rose water, all you need is fresh scented rose petals (washed under water) placed in a pot of distilled water. Boil on medium heat until the colour of the petals changed, let it cool and poor in a bottle or a jar. Store it in a cool dark place.

If you buy rose water make sure that you check the ingredient for any harsh chemicals and preservatives.

Benefits of Rose Water:

Helps to reduces dandruffs as rose water is a mild astringent

The scent from the water is soothing and calming which may help left your mood

Leaves the hair softer, bouncier and fuller

It has antibacterial and cleansing properties which are beneficial to hair, scalp and skin (helps to heal cuts burns and other type of skin wound). This is great as rose water can be used on any hairstyles especially braids/plaits and twists (this helps with those busy days when wash day can be delayed by a day or two).

Rose water helps to stimulate the scalp and follicle cells which promotes hair growth and reduce hair loss.

Contains vitamin A, C, D, E, and B3, these strengthen the hair.

It fights against again for the scalp, the follicle cells and overall skill conditions (such as: eczema) as rose wated is packed with flavonoids, tannins, and antioxidants.

PS: When I was sick I was unable to wash my hair  for about 2 months (I wash my hair at least once a week or twice a week if I swim or exercise- this is every often) after undergoing a major surgery. Rose water was my hair saviour as my scalp never itched and the rose water helps to freshen and hydrate my hair (please remember that this was an emergency measure and not a permanent solution as hair and scalp needs frequent cleansing to provide the ultimate atmosphere for growth and health) 

Rice Water

Rice water treatment for hair is a practise done in Japan, China and Southeast Asia since around the 794CE (the Heian Period) and has now grow in popularity in the West.

Rice water is the starchy watery left over from cooked or soak rice.  This water contains many vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamin E, antioxidants, amino acids and the B vitamins.

Benefit of Rice Water

It is believed that rice water helps to detangle the hair whilst providing shine

Rice Water makes the hair smoother, stronger whilst promoting growth (due to good blood circulation to the scalp). Inositol is contained in rice water; a Japanese research facility suggest that inositol have a strengthen effect of the hair. It creates a coat around the hair strand.

Adds volume and repairs damage hair especially split ends.

PS: When I worked at a sixth form college in North London, a young lady asked my opinion on what products to use to help grow her natural hair. As we were discussing this, a young Chinese student decided to interject himself to our conversation, to highly recommend rice water. He informed us how his female family members uses rice water and how long and beautiful their hair grew. 

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the juice from a young green coconut (mostly, however, mature coconut can also contain the juice) which is growing on a palm tree. Palm trees can be found in tropical climates and areas such as the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. The Latin name for coconut is Cocos Nucifera and it is considered a fruit rather than a nut despite its name. Pure coconut water contains about 94% water and very little fat content. Coconut can take up to a year to mature and coconut can be considered young from around 6 months of growth.

As well as having most of the benefits of normal water for the body listed above, coconut water is also boosting the immunity and the metabolism which can aid in weight loss. For pregnant women, it can help with hyperemesis gravidarum (morning sickness) and heartburn. Coconut water can help to reduce stress and anxiety when consume before bed as the sweet fragrance slows down your heart rate and reacts to your psychological senses. Also, coconut water contains antioxidants, which help to regulate free ridicules and helps the body fight against diseases and organ damage especially of the liver. Coconut water can aid in reducing the glucose, insulin and haemoglobin levels in the blood, which can help to regulate prediabetic and diabetic patients (type 2 diabetic) sugar level; it is rich in magnesium which can lead to sensitivity to insulin.

Coconut water reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels and therefore aiding in the health of the heart. It also contains arginine, which is great for a healthy heart and aiding in the healing of the body tissues after exercise. Cytokinin is a hormone that helps to fight cancer and have anti-ageing properties; cytokine is found in coconut water, but there haven’t been any significant studies that support coconut as a good source of fighting or reducing cancer or cancer cells.

Hair

Coconut water contains many minerals and vitamins such as amino acid which helps to keep the hair cells strong, promotes growth (due to the antibacterial fatty acid of lauric acid that moisture the hair strands) and gives the hair a thicker appearance. It also hydrates the hair, which helps to soften the hair and keeps it silky and helps to tame the frizz. Coconut water is a lightweight Hydrator that helps to nourish the hair without its weight the hair down. It also has antiseptic properties that help to fight dandruff and dry scalp. Due to coconut water containing potassium, it means it can nourish the hair and prevent hair loss.

 

Reference:

Whelan, C (2019); Rose Water Uses and Benefits for Hair; Healthline; https://www.healthline.com/health/rose-water-for-hair#recipe

Haupt, P (20.05.2020); THE BENEFITS OF ROSE WATER FOR NATURAL HAIR; Natural Hair Queen; https://naturalhairqueen.net/rose-water-benefits-natural-hair/

Healthy Focus (20.05.2020); The Benefits of Rose Water for Hair; Healthy Focus; https://healthyfocus.org/rose-water-for-hair/

Dr Heben’s Team (20.05.2020); 21 Benefits of Rosewater For Beauty, Skin, Hair Treatment; Dr Health Benefits; https://drhealthbenefits.com/herbal/herbal-plant/benefits-of-rosewater

Samuel, S (2019); 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Rose Water for Hair; The Urban Guide; https://www.urbancompany.com/blog/beauty/rose-water-for-hair/

Burgess, L (2018); What does rice water do for your hair? Medical News Today; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321353

Spring 8; Development of Hair-Care Products from Rice Water; http://www.spring8.or.jp/pdf/en/indu_appli/p10-11.pdf

Ladin, B (2017); Can Rice Water Make Your Hair Stronger and Shinier? Healthline; https://www.healthline.com/health/rice-water#1

Morse, R (2019); Does Washing Your Face with Rice Water Help Your Skin? Healthline; https://www.healthline.com/health/rice-water-for-skin

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/244681499_On_the_dielectric_breakdown_of_water_An_electrochemical_approach

 

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25% Off Everything

We are please to announce that we are now open from 01 August 2020 and to celebrate our opening (back in business for the very first in almost 3 months), our 2 years start up anniversary (August 2020)  and 1 year trading anniversary (July 2020) we are offering 25% off everything including new products (excluding postage and packaging). This deal is for ONE DAY ONLY (from 01 August 2020 at 00:00 BST to August 2020 at 23:59 BST). Shop NOW and enjoy shopping

Black Seed Oil

History of Black Seed Oil

Black Seed comes from the fruits of a small plant with pale purple, blue, or white flowers that can be found in Eastern Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East. The plant is called Nigella Sativa, but the seed has many different names such as Black Cumin, Black Caraway, Black Onion Seeds and Kalonji. This seed is also mentioned in the bible in Isaiah:27

Black seed has been used as remedies for thousands of years as well as used to spice food and drinks such as pickles, curries, salads, vegetable dishes and bread. The high quality of black seeds is used for food and drinks.

Black seeds have many benefits for the skin, hair and overall health of the body and form part of the ingredients for many beauty products, for example; Shampoo, Massage oils, fragrances, etc.

What is it?

Black seed oil is obtained from the seed using a cold compression method This allows the purest and highest potency nutrients from the seed retain in the oil; the darker the oil, the higher the purity. Black seed oil contains thymoquinone. Thymoquinone is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may have tumour-reducing benefits.

Black seed oil is also high in fatty acid, but low in Omega 3 and rich in polyunsaturated fat, which means it is great for the heart.

Benefits for the Hair

Studies have shown that black seed oil helps to grow and strengthen the hair shaft diameter (fight against thinning hair) as well as adding shine to a lacklustre and lifeless hair. Black seed oil reduces dandruff, soothes itchy scalp and help fight against greyness.

Benefits for the Body

Black Seed has many health benefits both in the application and when indigested (capsule).

Skin

A 2013 study shows that black seed oil reduces the severity of eczema compared to prescribed medication. It can also help with acne according to different research because black seed oil contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

General Health

According to recent studies, black seed oil may help with treating cancer as thymoquinone found in the oil may be able to kill off cancer cells found in leukaemia, breast and brain cancers. These researchers didn’t conduct on human, but on cancer uses cells. A research conducted on rats in 2013 shows that the oil may reduce liver and kidney disease complication and improve these organ structures. An article from the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that black seed oil may contain anti-diabetic properties and improve blood sugar. This sounds great for diabetics- but remember that these researches happen with animal participants and not humans. There is great news for men who want to have children but finds it hard. Research conducted in men found that the oil increases sperm mobility and sperm count. It may also help with Rheumatoid Arthritis and muscle spasms. The oil may aid in lowering Cholesterol (and supporting the health of the heart) as well as easing toothache

Side Effects

Black seed oil may cause a rash in some individual, so it is very important to do a patch test before using it.

The oil should not be used near the eyes, nose or other sensitive areas of the body.

Consuming black seed oil may cause stomach problems such as constipation, stomach upset and vomiting.

If you are pregnant or breastfeed, please seek medical advice before using.

 

Reference 

Naturally Curly; Berley, S (2019); Natural Hair Growth Remedy: Black Seed Oil; https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/hair-growth-remedies-black-seed-oil

Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322948#takeaway

Natural Food Series; Jessimy, M (2019); Black Seed Oil Benefits: For Health, Skin, Hair and Side Effects; https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-health-benefits-black-seed-oil/

Healthy Hubb: https://www.healthyhubb.com/black-seed-oil-benefits/

Beauty Best Care; Smith, J (2020); How To Use Black Seed Oil For Hair Growth; https://www.beautybestcare.com/black-seed-oil-for-hair-growth

Fresh, Body Mind; Ellie (2019); The Amazing Black Seed Oil Benefits for Hair; https://freshbodymind.com/black-seed-oil-benefits-for-hair/

Naturally Daily (2019); Black Seed Oil For Hair: 10 Benefits of Kalonji Oil; https://naturallydaily.com/black-seed-oil-for-hair/

Healthline; https://www.healthline.com/health/black-seed-oil-for-hair

Organic Facts; Staughton, J (2020); 5 Amazing Benefits Of Black Seed Oil For Hair; https://www.organicfacts.net/black-seed-oil-hair.html

NCBI; Yousefi, M, et al (2013); Comparison of therapeutic effect of topical Nigella with Betamethasone and Eucerin in hand eczema; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23198836

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D’Akins (show some love and support to this great small business)

Who are D’Akins? 

Here they explain who they are and what they do.

At D’Akins our services include Makeup, hair-styling and Gele (Nigerian Head-wrap/tie). we currently have 3 artists working for D’akins. We provide services to a wide range of occasions such weddings (inc bride, bridemaids, Mum of bride/groom, bridal-showers), birthdays, baby-shower, christening/naming ceremony, fashion shows etc. All our artists are mobile therefore providing you the best service at the comfort of your home. we also have our range of lashes that are available for  purchase (Over 10 styles to choose from, FREE P&P, min order of 2 lashes per purchase). We also work with different team of photographers(@tosyn_studioofficial and @mra.shot.it), DJ (@djcaf_), dance entertainment (@team_survivals) and catering services (@dakinscatering).. Booking any of the above team with our service comes at a discounted price.

Sample of their Work

Pictures

Videos 

Contact Information

Snapchat : @dakinsgele