The Glam Hijabi: The incredible beauty tricks I learnt from my Somali mother

Tips and tricks.

17 May 2018

Hani Sidow is GLAMOUR HQ's 21-year-old beauty blogger. London-based Hani, who hails from Somalia, is breaking taboos about being a beauty-loving Hijab wearer, helping inspire other women on Muslim beauty, fashion and modesty. In her latest column for GLAMOUR, she reveals how her upbringing shaped her beauty regime - and shares her best-kept beauty tips handed down through the generations in Somalia.

The DIY beauty hacks my mother taught me

Growing up in a Somali household meant everything was pretty much DIY when it came to beauty, self-care and healing. In my house, my mother made sure that we all knew the cure for everything was the famous black seed oil.

If I got a cold, she would mix it in with honey and lemon for me, and if I got a pimple, I'd apply the oil directly on the spot with a cotton bud. Believe it or not, it worked. So it's pretty much become my answer to everything. Black seed oil may not smell the greatest, but I like to call it the miracle oil because it's yet to let me down.

From scrolling through Twitter, I was reassured that this was quite common in most African households. I’ve always looked into natural DIY products and their benefits before spending lots of money on products with unnecessary chemicals.

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The miracle hair treatments I swear by

When it comes to my cultural hair inspiration, during my first year of University, I met Chloe, a hair blogger who has pretty much given me all the best haircare tips for curly hair. In her blog, As told by Chloe, she shares many tips and tricks, which have definitely influenced my decisions in face, body and hair care.

So a little funny story for you, dear readers! One hot summer's day, I remember reading Chloe’s DIY post on the benefits of putting honey in your hair as a mask. After spending time reading it, I went home after our lecture and told my mum about the idea and said I wanted to try it. "Honey is perfect for your hair, it makes a great face mask, too", my mum told me.

So, I made my hair a little damp and brushed through it and then applied honey all over, focusing on the roots. I made sure not to go too overboard because I didn’t want to let it drip everywhere. I went to sit outside and completely forgot that I had honey in my hair. A few moments later and "buzzzzzzz" was all I could hear near my ear. Moral of the story: although the mask worked amazingly and my curls felt so much more nourished and shiny afterwards, never sit outside with honey in your hair!

Why going au natural is the best beauty hack

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was focusing on natural products from my kitchen cupboard. I would advise watching YouTube DIY videos, finding out more about the uses of the ingredients in your weekly grocery list and asking your parents or grandparents what their holy grail was. My mum always reached out for honey and black seed oil, and, oddly enough, that is literally what I turn to in my time of urgent self-loving.

Stay tuned for my next article all on my Hijabi beauty inspirations and icons.