The Cruellest Cut

In some parts of Africa, the clitoris it’s believed is poisonous. A baby, its thought will die if it comes into contract with its mother clitoris during birth and even a man can sicken or die if his penis touches it.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure that is performed on girls before they reach puberty and sometimes on women after marriage and/or childbirth. FGM sometimes is delayed until two months before a woman gives birth. This practice is based on the believe that the baby will die if it comes into contact with its mother’s clitoris during birth. Although there has not been any medical evidence to support this belief. Some girls undergo the procedure alone, but more often the mutilation is done in group i.e. sisters, close relative or neighbours.

Usually mothers request the ritual genital procedure for their daughter as they believe that it will promote their daughter integration into their culture, protect their virginity and thereby guarantee their desirability as a marriage partner.  The girls alone are unable to give their consent on the matter and, if the parents refuse for the girl to be circumcised, the girl is kidnapped and has the procedure forced on them either by relatives or community members.

The most severe form is infibulation (also known as pharononic circumcision). It is believed that an estimated 15% of all mutilation in Africa is infubulation. The procedure consist of clitoridectomy (where the entire clitoris is removed), excision (removal of all, or part of the labia minora) and cutting of the labia minora to create a raw surface which are then stitched together in order to form a cover over the vagina when they heal. FGM is widely practiced in Africa, where it originated, it was and remains, a cultural, not a religious practice. It usually happens in small villages where they are isolated and without any contact from the outside world, often in places where it is male dominated and men wanting to take control of women inside and outside of marriage.

The procedure can be carried out in a girl’s home, a hut or a heath centre. It is mostly practiced in a hut, although those who are financially better often request the procedure to be done in a health centre. The person who performs the procedure is usually an older woman, a midwife or a healer. In severe cases, the girl is taken to a dark hut, blindfolded and ordered to strip naked. Once naked, the girl is pinned to the floor, with usually three women holding her down. One sits on her chest to prevent her body from moving, the other two hold her arms and legs. Sometimes a cloth is put over the girl’s mouth to stop her screaming and the operation takes place.  Part or the entire clitoris is surgically removed. Because of poverty and lack of medical facilities, the procedure is frequently done under less than hygienic conditions, and often without anaesthetic. On the odd occasion the girl is told to sit in cold water in order to numb the area before the operation is to be performed.  Razor blades, knives or scissors are usually the instruments used and after each operation the instruments used are simply wiped with a piece of cloth, sometimes rinsed first with water before used again on another girl. The use of the same instrument on several girls without sterilisation can cause the spread of HIV and other known medical conditions.

After circumcision, the female legs are lashed together for   1 – 6 weeks while she heals. Any sort of drinking liquid is refused to discourage urination. She is sewn almost completely shut, leaving an inadequate opening for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. FGM is not only the beginning of a woman’s suffering but also of a lifetime of endless labour, early arranged marriages often to older men and few basic rights. After circumcision, the girl is officially considered to be a woman.  The side affects resulting from the operation includes; shock, painful scars (both internal and external), fibrosis, difficulty during childbirth and lack of sexual pleasure.  FGM is performed mainly to reduce feelings of sexual desire in women so that they cannot get involved with anyone else other than their husbands.  Women who have not been circumcised living in countries where FGM is done often have difficulty in finding a man or getting married because they are considered to be impure and more likely to be unfaithful.  The reasons given to justify FGM are numerous and it has not been possible to determine when or where it originated.  The reasons citied generally relate to tradition, power and inequalities or women and their communities.  These reasons include:-

  • The clitoris is dangerous and must be removed for health reasons. Some believe that it is poisonous organ, which can cause a man to sicken or die if contracted by a man’s penis. Others believe that men can become impotent by contacting the clitoris.
  • The milk of the mother will become poisonous if her clitoris touches the baby during childbirth.
  • Bad genital odours can only be eliminated by removing the clitoris and labia minora.
  • An uncircumcised clitoris can lead to masturbation or lesbianism.
  • If FGM is not done, older men may not be able to match their wives sex drive and may have to resort to illegal stimulations of drugs.

 

The importance given to virginity and an intact hymen in these societies is the reason why female circumcision still remains a widespread practice. Behind circumcision lies the believe that, by removing parts of girls external genital organ, sexual desire is minimised.  This permits a female who has reached the dangerous age of puberty and adolescence to protect her virginity and therefore her honour with great ease.  Similarly female circumcision is meant to preserve the purity of young girls by reducing their desire for sexual intercourse.

 

It also creates a bond in the community as all women who have gone through the procedure share the most important experience of their lives. The girl will never have her conscious troubled by lustful thoughts and they also believe that it makes the marriage stronger because the relationship between husband and wife is motivated by love instead of lust and there will be no physical drive for the woman to cheat on her husband.

Whatever reasons given for this practice, FGM is no doubt the most barbaric experience that can happen to any girl; there is no reason why the procedure should be forced on girls.

A Christmas Makeover

End the Year with Glamorous Hair


           

Christmas is almost upon us, amid all the excitement of shopping for gifts for family and friends, there is one important person you mustn’t forget. You.

Have you ever noticed when you have a bad hair day, nothing falls in place, your whole day seems to suffer? As women, our hair is a big part of who we are, it is the crown we never take off. Your hair can change the outlook of your face and give you confidence you never knew existed. It is easy to achieve that sexy, glamorous and fuller hair without spending a fortune. If you find yourself being unhappy with your hair a lot, it’s time for a new look.

A lot of make overs involve cutting, colouring, styling to achieve that big impact look. However, not many people have length and volume they desire, this is where Hair Extensions comes in.  The great thing about hair extensions, you can try for a new look for a short period and if you decided you didn’t like it, you can change it. In short there is no commitment. Thanks to the celebrities who have made using hair extensions glamorous, you too can achieve that red carpet ready look.

It is important to choose the right hair extensions, cheap does not always mean good. Invest in Flowbella Hair to get the red carpet worthy look.

 

Your Hair is a statement of Style, an Affirmation of Beauty and an expression of Self-Love.
 

Choosing the Right Hair Extensions

Hair extensions is another craze that we have the celebrities to be thankful for making it famous. If your hair doesn’t grow to your desired length do not despair help is in hair. Whether you are looking for long, luscious locks with volume, you can still achieve that look with the right hair extension to achieve that sexy natural look.

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Choose the right look:

  • Talk to your hairdresser to decide which you look would like: long, straight hair, curly, etc.
  • Think how this new look will adapt into your lifestyle.
  • Synthetic hair, no way, don’t touch it! They may be a lot cheaper but 100% natural yarns guarantee results a thousand times better.
  • There are many methods of applying hair extensions to name a few:
  • The best kind of extension for curly hair is sewn in (weave). Avoid using glues in your extensions because when the hair begins to grow, frizzy strands break easily.
  • When the hair stylist IS braiding your hair for a weave, make sure it is not too tight. Weaving should be firm but comfortable.

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Maintenance on a day-to-day

  • Keep your hair clean by washing weekly.
  • Try to avoid shampoo with sulfates and alcohol or with PH balance higher than 7
  • Too many styling products may cause build –up
  • Avoid the use of too many products like grease and heavy oils
  • You can colour the hair, but not too frequently and it is best done by a professional
  • Treat your Hair Extensions as your own
  • Avoid oils, creams or sprays that can dry out the extensions.

Are you feeling beautiful and powerful with the luscious big hair? Remember that after three months, it is best to remove all extensions and let your natural hair breathe for at least two days.

This procedure is essential to avoid the so-called alopecia fountain or traction. Our FlowBella hair extensions have not been over chemically processed. Our hair is healthy and will last for very long time.

We believe that all woman can have great hair and that’s why we provide you with the most natural, 100% high quality, and ethically sourced human hair.

8

St Lucia Adventure

After 12 months of waiting finally the time has to come to go on my summer holiday for a glorious 10 days. The flight itself was smooth, we had a few bumpy moments but overall it was fine.

Hello Beautiful St Lucia

HOW HOT?

When I got off the plane, I felt like someone had thrown into a 100 degrees OVEN, I have been to St Lucia before, however the contrast of coming from a mild temperature weather to extremely hot it’s always a shock to the system. Customs clearance and baggage claim was actually very quick (so far the best I have experienced, the worse one was in South Africa Johannesburg where I waited for over an hour to go through customs alone).

The first two days of the holiday I didn’t do anything, I was jet lagged despite staying up late and trying to get my body adjusted, I found myself going to sleep and waking up on London time, which left me extremely exhausted. By the third day I was ready to start exploring I wanted to do try a few new things, sailing, waterfall abseil and the hardest of all of them, hiking up on the Piton Mountain.

Unfortunately hurricane Matthew was heading our way and for two days we couldn’t do anything or leave the resort. Despite all this, I have to say the staff at the hotel went beyond the call of duty to ensure all the guests were ok, the hospitality was second to none.

Hiking – Piton Mountain

I decide to conquer my fear of heights (again), today I’m going hiking at the Pitons Mountain.  The Gros Piton rises to a height of 786 m (2619 ft). It is the second highest peak on Saint Lucia, after Mount Gimie. Situated between the towns of Soufrière and Choiseul, Gros Piton and its smaller sibling, Petit Piton, are easy to spot from many points in the southwest.

We started at 9.30am, it takes approximately 2 hours to get up and 2 hours to get down. Although our tour guide said there was a local guy who climbed the Pitons in 39 mins, I would love to meet him and ask  ‘how did you do it’??

After an hour of hiking my heart rate was shooting through the roof, also there was so many rocks, I found myself using my hands more to help with the hike, on our way up, we bumped into a couple who decided to give up, the lady said to me: ‘Life is beautiful and short and I don’t intend on going back home in a box, so I gave up’. That worried me, but we can all this way and were so close to the top, the thought of giving up now wouldn’t make any sense. We marched on, we used everything we had in the tank, but our guide kept us motivated and when we arrived at the top, it was just WOW WOW WOW, you have to see it to believe it! Check this out

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The Piton Mountains

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The Pinton Mountain

Overall the Pitons was worth every single bit of it. I’m so glad when we got down there was a cold beer waiting for us. I couldn’t actually walk properly when we got down, I was limping, and my limps were absolutely killing me. Next stop we had the mud bath which I was told is going to help (I very much doubt that I said).

 Hot Springs and Mud Baths at the Sulphur Springs

 Soufriere Volcano  in St. Lucia is considered as the only “drive-in” volcano in the world! It is locally known as the Sulphur Springs.

Thinking about it, I have never been to a mud bath, this my very first time. The hot springs and mud baths  are hotter than the average bath. These bathing pools are blessed with volcanic minerals and health-giving properties, which are reputed to have therapeutic qualities for the skin.  I have to say I was very doubtful that it would help with the aches and pain from the hiking, but after staying in the springs for a few minutes, my skin was glowing and so soft and the aches in my limps went away. I was lost for words. I was so impressed I bought a lot of soaps/sulphur powder etc. to use as part of my everyday beauty regime.

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Hot Springs and Mud Baths at the Sulphur Springs

The adrenaline of the hiking has left me wanting more activity to conquer my fear of heights. What do I do? I signed up for ‘Waterfall Abseil’, what was I thinking???

The drive to the waterfall in Dennery was around 2 hours, when we got there we walked through the forest and found ‘start fruit’ tree, which we tried some together with cacao fruit look at this, can it be more beautiful?

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Cacao Fruit

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Star Fruit

After safety briefing and demonstration, I was the first one to go. You had to go backwards and DO NOT LOOK DOWN! My legs felt like jelly they couldn’t move, and my heart was beating to fast I’m surprised it didn’t come out of my chest!

A few deep breaths later, I decided it’s now or never! Slowly I went one step at the time, halfway through the guide downstairs was encouraging me ‘you are almost there’ oh that’s not bad I thought, well i found out later he as lying I was nowhere near it was a long way down. My arm was aching and just when I thought I couldn’t go on anymore I reached the bottom, what a great feeling. I cannot believe I did it.   Believe it or not I wanted to go back up and do it again, but I couldn’t as we had to get back to the resort, i needed to pack and head for the airport……..

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Watefall in Dennery

Overall St Lucia has been a very active holiday, I enjoyed every second of it and cannot wait to go back again.

Now my hair extensions has been through a lot in the past 10 days. As autumn approaches I feel it’s time for a change. I’m seeing my hairdresser on Tuesday to put new hair extensions in, I will be using the FlowBella Hair straight 18/20 inches.  I will of course keep you updated.

And time to go back to Barrys Bootcamp next week, i cannot wait.

Let Your Hair Do The Talking-As Seen in Black Hair Magazine

Nothing is better than changing your look, would you not agree? If you have short or medium hair but desire that fuller, longer voluminous hair, this can easily be achieved with hair extensions.  It is important to invest in good hair extensions, why? Well its quality versus quantity, there is no denying we all love a good bargain from time to time. But, there will come a time when you must look at whether you would like a quality product that will last you a long time or a cheaper version that has less longevity.

There are several methods of applying hair extensions that can make you achieve that glamour’s look that you desire with very natural results. If you are unsure as to which method of ‘hair extensions application’ is best for you, you can discuss this with your hair stylist.

Personally I love the ‘strand by strand’ also known as ‘fusion’ hair extensions because:

  • It is easier to maintain
  • Lasts up to 6 months (with monthly visit for maintenance)
  • Hair extensions are very well concealed
  • They can be installed in various ways
  • Offer natural results

With autumn on the way, why not change your hairstyles to get that fuller, longer and beautiful hair. This can easily be achieved with one of our flowbellahair extensions, pop into our shop to place your order. www.flowbella.com/shop

If you need a hairstylist, don’t worry, we have it covered, contact us with your query and we will be more than happy to help.

The Party Season is nearly upon us, get some hair styles ideas with our Flowbella Hair Extensions – As ‘Featured in Black Hair Magazine October/Nov Issue’ Styles Desire

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Invest in your hair because it is the crown you never take off.