Natural in Paradise Was a Blast!!

Hello lovelies!

AB here!!

After months of planning, postponing, going up and down, being that annoying girl invading strangers’ personal space to invite them to Natural in Paradise, the D-day finally rolled around. Though I was really excited, I was also super duper nervous right up until the time I had to speak. I’m VERY happy to tell you guys that Natural in Paradise was a success, and I’m sure our guests agree. :)

If you’re new to the blog, Natural in Paradise was a natural hair meet-up in Calabar, organised by Natural Nigerian and me. We convened at Bay’s Bar, Felix Nsemo Drive, Diamond Hill. It was a different experience being at the meet-up as an organiser.

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Sorry to disappoint you a little bit but long story short, I had camera trouble on that day of all days! :( Thankfully, NN took a lot of really great photographs. The few you see here are the photos I managed to take with my phone. Keep your eyes on naturalnigerian.com for the good stuff, and when she posts, I’ll update this post with a link to it.

A very special shout out to our vendors, our speakers, our giveaway sponsors Jessicurl & Midas Naturals, and every single person who helped spread the word, who helped to make this happen! The people at Bay’s Bar & Lounge were really helpful. Our beautiful attendees came through in their numbers, and were such a great crowd! It wasn’t one-sided at all. Thank you :)

We were ready to start at 1:30, but because we are Africans lol, and because it rained heavily for a bit, people arrived late and we started at just a little past 3. But from then on, it was good.

My girls Iby and F were stationed at the door, helping to take people’s contact information as they arrived. Every registered attendee got a sample bag from Jessicurl.

Each bag had 1 sample each of the Too Shea! Extra Moisturising Conditioner, Scalp Stimulating Oil and the Hair Cleansing Cream, and a special discount code sponsored by Olori.com.ng

Each bag had 1 sample each of the Too Shea! Extra Moisturising Conditioner, Scalp Stimulating Oil and the Hair Cleansing Cream, and a special discount code sponsored by Olori.com.ng

I keep telling my friend Lu that she should go to the Big Brother house and win $300,000 for us. She has this really special, warm, radiating personality, and she came to Calabar for the weekend to handle the mic for us. She was a great host and really helped break the ice. The meet-up kicked off with sharing hair stories. Runyi’s twist out got loads of compliments, so in addition to sharing her hair story, she explained how she styled her hair. Icheni loves the Maximum Hydration Method and her poppin’ curls were on display to prove it. The storytelling had to be interrupted, not because people had run out of stories, but because we had to start with the presentations.

I spoke first, about ‘Healthy Hair on a Budget’. Thankfully, this went well, because every time I tried to practice, I felt rather meh lol. Ama Ettetim of Jadhiel took the floor next, sharing some beauty tips, using one of our attendees Gracelyn as a model.

Then, we went on a break. We shopped, talked, and lots of selfies were taken. A crew from EbonyLife TV was there to cover the meet too. I don’t know when it’ll be on TV yet though. When I do, I’ll let you know. :)

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Ekor & Icheni

Ekor & Icheni

Me & the hostess with the mostest

Me & the hostess with the mostest

Straw curls on transitioning hair

Straw curls on transitioning hair

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Ajah, Eze, Ugomma & Ibum

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Curlfriends ^_^

At the SkinPlus Calabar stand

At the SkinPlus Calabar stand

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selfie!

Christabel came all the way from Uyo!

Christabel (R) came all the way from Uyo!

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my ladies :)

After the break, we went back up for Part 2. Asari Anam of Zaron Calabar gave a makeup tutorial, and she was very funny. Dr. Agility Ihesie all the way from Uyo spoke next, about Causes of Hair Loss. She’s a doctor, so she went IN. Really thorough. If you’re having any issues with your hair, like hair loss or scalp issues, don’t stop on the internet. Most bloggers are not experts, we’re just sharing our experiences. There’s a lot of science behind these things, and by seeking a medical opinion, you aren’t overreacting.

Natural Nigerian was our final speaker. She shared her regimen, her hair journey, and spoke about the natural life; about managing your expectations, and being ready to accept YOUR natural, however it turns out. She reminded all present that healthy hair is the aim, and that it is never okay to feel superior to others because of the way you’ve chosen to wear your hair. (We cannot say this enough!)

After her talk, by random number selection, we gave away tubs of the very lovely Midas Naturals Whipped Shea Butter to 4 lucky people and with that, it was a wrap.

Though I have now left Calabar, I’m hoping we could do this again next year! Let’s see how it goes ;)

Again, I apologise for the quality of the pictures. The “official” pictures will be up on naturalnigerian.com, soon!

Love,

AB,

xx

Reader’s Review: Aunt Jackie’s In Control “Anti-Poof” Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner

Hey Beauts!

So today, we have a review sent in by one of our awesome readers to share with you. I hope you enjoy and learn from it as much as we did.

aunt Jackie's

Source: naturallycurly.com


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I want to talk about the Aunt Jackie’s In Control “Anti-poof” Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner, and I’ll be sort of comparing it to other conditioners that I’ve used so far.

Saturday, October 4

I bought Aunt Jackie’s yesterday (€3.95 for 250ml), because I saw a shop in my city that sells hair products mainly targeted at black people. So they have weaves, natural hair products, etc. I walked in to see if there were any cheapish products that I could try, because I had run out of my normal Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner, and I thought, “well, let’s see if there’s something else that’s also nice”.

My staple products are Tresemme Naturals conditioner (~€4.00 for 750ml) and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner, (€2.99 for 250ml).

I started buying HH because it’s nice and can easily be found and I can’t find Tresemme in this country (except, as I discovered recently, I order from the British Expat online store).

Also, I think my hair had gotten a bit too used to Tresemme and so it was beginning to ‘go rogue’ on me. So I started buying HH, and my second bottle has just run out. HH just melts my hair as soon as I put it in, it’s such a nice feeling, and I think that’s what conditioners should do. Tresemme and Aussie Moist do the same, but HH goes one step further, it sort of arranges my coils such that they pop. And the hair smells and feels great after I wash out the conditioner. 

So, as you can imagine, I assumed Aunt Jackie’s would ‘melt’ my hair as soon as I put it in. Nope. It was as if I was rubbing my hair with bar soap.

What was my response? I added more and more product, but mba. I read the instructions, and they say to cover it with a plastic cap for 10 minutes. I didn’t follow that instruction, because that day was not deep conditioning day, and what I do on non-deep-conditioning days is I put the conditioner in and leave it, but I don’t cover it, and I don’t detangle afterwards.

Also, my hair was shedding as I was applying the conditioner. Maybe it was just already-shed hair, but because of the (I don’t know, cognitive dissonance) I had with respect to this conditioner, I felt like it was the cause of this shedding. Anyway, after 5-10 minutes, some parts of my hair started feeling soft, but my hair was still looking frizzy – and the jar says ‘anti poof’ on it! HH doesn’t make any such claims (or maybe it does, can’t read what’s on the bottle, it’s written in Dutch/German), but it eliminates my frizz, regardless.

After typing that last sentence, I stood up and went to look in the mirror and touch my hair, and it had softened but still looked like wool. So apparently this conditioner needs time to work.

Okay. But then that means I can’t use it as a normal cowash as is claimed on the jar, because if I do, I’d have to wait a while for the hair to soften, right?

Okay, so after washing out, my hair felt really really soft, but essentially looked like wool. Oh well. I went out (at 13:00) with my slightly wet hair, sans product, and stayed out till around 00:30, and it was still soft. When I got home, I was too tired to rub in my Cantu Leave-in, so I went to bed. But it was fine.

Wednesday, October 8

It’s sad, but I have to toss this product. I have some products which I do not deem necessary, but I keep them around because they don’t make me feel negative things the way this one does.

Today, I did an ACV rinse on my hair before I used Aunt Jackie’s, and then I tried to use Aunt Jackie’s as a cowash. Of course it didn’t work, so I changed course and left it on my hair as a deep conditioner. 1 hour later, I took off my hair cover, expecting my hair to be soft (because on Saturday, it was soft after a while). Nope. Straw.

I was in a hurry so I detangled as best I could, while apologizing to my hair for this poor treatment. Then I stepped into the shower, washed off this conditioner, and applied what was left of my HH. My hair was still pissed though, so it didn’t immediately melt. I took a shower, and then towards the end of my shower, rinsed off the HH. There was a teeny weeny bit of softness, at this point. Oh and, my coils were back to popping!

I scrunched the hair with a tee and went my way, as usual, then returned at night to use my Cantu Leave In. More importantly, I stopped at the drugstore and got myself a bottle of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner for €2.99.

I’m not experimenting again. I have behaved like a person who has the most beautiful/smart/everything spouse, but still wonders and tries to find out what’s out there. I still wonder, but I’m not* going to try to find out again. (Maybe I will, but only if I receive samples or something. I won’t pay to find out.) I wish I could meet someone who’s willing to take this product or do a product swap. Meh.

Thursday, October 9

My hair seems to have forgiven me. Coils are still popping. Fin.

Wait. I might need to experiment with shampoos. Do you know anything? I still have my bottle of Aussie Moist that I got on sale last year, but I’m looking for something a bit more moisturizing. I use Marseille soap right now but that’s really neither here nor there. It may be more drying, even. But I don’t really mind, because my hair isn’t complaining, and that’s because I only use it on my scalp. I’m looking for something that I won’t be afraid to use on both hair and scalp.

There you have it, beauts. Princess (@ms_denaro) has talked about many many things in this review, one of which was experimenting with products when you already have a staple or staples that work very well for you. What are your thought on this? Anyone tried this product and had their hair ‘melt’? Anyone tried this product and agree with Princess?

Hold up! Before you run away…

NATURAL IN PARADISE IS HAPPENING THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18TH 2014!!!

If this is the first time you are hearing about it, then slap your forehead. If you will be in Calabar this weekend, then you have no excuse. Go to Bay’s Bar & Lounge on Felix Nsemo Drive, Diamond Hill. It’s gonna be a deadly day!

Mee-Mee

xx

Product Review: Alberto Balsam Herbal Conditioner

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Empty, and Full

You see two bottles in that picture not because it was the bomb oh.

I liked using it to co-wash my weave, so I got another bottle to do more weave washing, and give it a proper run on my hair in its full kinky-coily 4C low porosity glory.

Ingredients:

Aqua(Water) Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance) Cl17200 (Red 33) Cl 18050.

Worth noting: this conditioner is silicone, sulfate and paraben free. Cetyl alcohol is a good fatty alcohol. And, water is its first ingredient Continue reading

Length-Checks ≠ Vanity

Hello beautiful people!

AB here! What’s good? :)

Natural in Paradise is in exactly 8 days! Bring a friend, tell a friend! :)

Today, let’s talk length-checks. Are you for or against? How often do you do a length check? Are they in your view, a healthy habit or an unnecessary one?

I came across this length-check collage from September 1, 2013 a few weeks ago, and I panicked because, I felt like my hair was still in the same place it was, over 12 months ago.

September 1, 2013

Most times I’m walking on sunshine, but I can also be a very creative worrier and over thinker. So I began:

Am I not doing all the right things? This year, I’ve been eating better. Until I fell off the wagon in August, I made considerable effort to exercise, didn’t I? I have my busted right knee to show for it. I will get back on but yeah, I did. My regimen has been better. Moisture – Protein levels? Check. Unlike last year when I combed and combed, not caring about breaking hair every day, this year I’ve made effort to protective style. If anything, this year beats wet combing for 20 minutes every damn day. Yet my hair appears to have fared better last year. Confusing. :(

My hair was under extensions at the time, so I couldn’t confirm if I was really stuck.

I read that people tend to plateau for a bit at APL (Armpit length) and BSL (Bra strap length) but I’m not even there yet! So I was worried. Every time I saw a post on Instagram or Natural Hair Babes Facebook- seeing a blooming big fro (8 months post big chop! 10 months post big chop!) I’d feel a twinge of emotion. Not envy, no. More like me wondering, what is wrong with me? Why is my hair not growing?!

I texted my friend D about this one day and then she tagged me in this picture LOL

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Yes Lord!! I say Amen!

So after I took the weave out, I did a length check and took photos, carefully comparing them to September 2013.

And there, I saw it. Some progress at least! Not at all impressive in the front or the sides, but the back is really trying! For the hair behind my ear, it looks like nothing has changed in over a year. I do know that when I tried the African Hair Accel Hair Vitamins in April, I grew one inch everywhere else, but only half an inch in that area, so clearly, I have not retained that half inch!

September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

On the bright side,

Asides length, my ends are doing great. I haven’t spotted any split-ends since I dusted my ends in August, and my edges are growing back, unassisted. I’ve been lazy, couldn’t keep up with rubbing castor oil on them. Also, my hair is still thick and shiny, accepting and maintaining moisture. I really can’t complain!

Length-Checks ≠ Vanity

After my length check in May, I told myself that I would not be doing any length checks till the end of the year.

Now, I feel differently. I will commit to doing length checks every three months. I feel like I put a lot of effort in caring for my hair, but I need to work on my length retention practices. And how do I know my work is effective if I don’t check?

Sure. We can find ourselves in a mental trap, going overboard with length checks, doing them every other week. Yes, as much time spent obsessing over length should be channeled into thinking about our hair’s overrall health.

But. What use is nurturing your hair if you aren’t retaining what you grow? Having your hair snap or break off “by accident” a lot can cause more problems- split ends, complex knots which lead to more tangling.

I limit combing to the days when I wash my hair, but I’m thinking that even this may be too much. Can I give up combing completely? Nope, not right now. Finger detangling has its own issues, I’ll talk about this later. I’ve been having slightly scandalous thoughts about hair care lately lol but this is a story for another day.

I still don’t know what expectations to have of my hair. Is my growth rate fast? Is it slow? Average? Not comparing it to others, but I feel like maybe I could be doing better? When I was transitioning, I went from one protective style to another for the entire eight months, and I had a decent sized fro post BC. Looking at this picture, isn’t it reasonable to expect that I should have grown as much (and more) in the last one year?

8 month old 'fro. Shrinkage and stuff :)

One month post big chop. 9 months of growth.

I had a major haircut shortly after and another trim before the year ended (the first one was a huge fail and the second was to remedy the horrible first) Sometimes I wonder what my hair would be like, without those cuts. Not dwelling on them oh, the photo is just making me think. My hair appears to be growing much slower than it was during my transition or maybe it’s just my poor length retention??

Anyway. Setbacks or nah, slow growth rate or not, we are going to waist length, come what may! :D

And if there’s anything you should take away from this post, it is this: Take photos of, or with your hair. It’s the easiest, most fun way to document your journey.

This is one of those Hair Diary posts. Not too whiny, I hope? Is everything groovy with your hair? Tell me all about it!

Love,

AB,

xx

About Last Washday

Hey guys!

It has been ages since I did a Washday post. My Washdays are pretty much routine: henna & moisturising DC every 4-6 weeks, Wash and deep condition every other week. Same routine, same products- but this time, I did a little extra extra.

The Warm Up

After I took out my weave, my scalp was itchy. So I oiled the space between the cornrows with coconut oil. Soothing an itchy scalp is the only thing I actually like to do with coconut oil that I don’t do with anything else. But, I like to oil my scalp at the beginning of Washday, itchy or not, with whatever oil I have when my hair is somewhat sectioned- easiest way to get to my scalp.

Then I loosened my cornrows, and spritzed the super dry hair with plain water. Then I held my hair in two puffs.

Four hours before I took the weave out, I’d mixed my henna and left it to set.

For this, I brewed some hibiscus tea. I put a handful of hibiscus or sorrel or zobo leaves to simmer in some water, on low heat for a bit. Then in my designated henna bowl, I poured the tea over 100g of henna, one dollop of conditioner and a generous drizzle of castor oil. I mixed it all with a plastic spoon and left it alone. For more about my henna process, you can go here.

Continue reading

12 Days to Natural in Paradise!

Natural In Paradise Natural Nigerian Calabar

It’s almost here!!

A natural hair meet-up here in Calabar, the capital of the Nation’s paradise!

Do join Natural Nigerian and I at Bay’s Bar on Saturday 18 October.

It will be a fun afternoon, everyone is invited. We will be talking about how to care for our God given tresses- chemically processed or not, this will be good for all of us! We’ll be having a makeup artist with us too, to switch the conversation up a bit. There will be a hair product fair outside as well, for you to buy your hair a treat.

Thanks to our friends Jessicurl, Midas Naturals and Hairfinity, there will be a lot of freebies to be given away. On this note, all I’m going to say is be early if you want to get lucky! ;)

We’ll be there from 1:30 to 5:30 pm, don’t be late! Bring a friend or two!

If you’re not in Calabar, kindly share this with your friends who are. :)

The venue is Bay’s Bar & Lounge, Felix Nsemo Drive/ New Secretariat Road, Diamond Hill, Calabar.

The easiest way for me to get to Bay’s Bar is from the Murtala Muhammed Highway. If you’re going on Highway from Mobil towards Stadium, immediately after the Navy Officers’ quarters, turn right. At that junction, I believe there are usually traffic police. Turn right again, and there you are. The bar is like behind the Quarters. Before you get to the quarters. you will pass the Secretariats (Old and new) and the Federal High Court.

You can just take a regular cab on Highway, stop at the first right turn and walk the rest of the short distance. Easy peasy.

Tickets will be sold at the door for 500 Naira.

For enquiries, email: nn@naturalnigerian.com

For an email reminder 48 hours to the event, you can RSVP on EventBrite over here.

Love,

AB,

xx

Nazuri Curls Detangling Update

Hey lovers!

Last week, I shared my experience with Nazuri Curls Afro Kinky Curly extensions. You can read it over here.

It was all rainbows and butterflies in that post, so after yesterday’s very teek struggle, it’d be unfair if I didn’t come to share this as well. It was a truly deadly day.

I took down my weave on Monday evening.

Right after take down. Looking good, eyy?

Right after take down. Looking good, eyy?

I threw it into a bag, planning to attend to it on Tuesday, Washday.

Tuesday arrived. Somewhere during my fro’s henna treatment, I washed the extensions with sulfate free shampoo. I generously rubbed my Deep Conditioner of the day (man shanu, more about this later) over the hair and wrapped it in two plastic bags, leaving it to deep condition overnight.

So, Wednesday afternoon, after waking up from my long off-and-on Independence Day sleep, I went to rinse the man shanu out of my weave with conditioner. Imagine my wonderment when I noticed all the meshing and matting going on. Man shanu has very good slip, by the way. Continue reading