Hairspiration! : Ije

Hey hey hey! I know, I know, it’s coming late today. Somebody (*side eye somebody) is technologically challenged and only just figured out how to not put up an empty post for you. I leave you now to enjoy Ije’s hair ije (I just wanted to do that. :). Ije can also mean journey.)

Tell us about you! :)

My name is Ijeoma and I am a 23 year old Nigerian living in NYC. I graduated with a business degree and currently work for Pepsi. In my free time, I enjoy running, graphic designing, and styling my hair of course! :)

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What inspired you to return to natural?

I returned to natural because I was tired of hiding behind damaged hair and wanted a fresh start. A few close family members and friends inspired me to big chop when I was in college.

Tell us about your mane. Does he/she/it have a name? How many years have you been growing?

My mane is unnamed, but she definitely has a personality of her own. (She even gets the most attention from the opposite sex). She just celebrated her 4th birthday in July!

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Let’s talk hair care!

How would you classify your hair if you had to? (length, porosity, texture, density, curl pattern, (if you’re into hair science)

My hair is pretty long, although it’s hard to tell because of all of the shrinkage. The longest pieces in the back pass my armpit and the pieces in the front reach my chin. My fro is high density,  medium elasticity, and low porosity. It is also super coarse, thick and dry.

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Are you a less-is-more person when it comes to your hair or do you go all out?

Less is definitely more. I usually wear my hair in simple styles during the week. If I am going out on the weekends and want to make a statement with my hair, I go all out.

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Do you follow a regimen? If yes, do share!

I follow a simple regimen that consists of pre-pooing, shampooing, conditioning, and deep conditioning. I try to wash my hair weekly or bi-weekly.

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What are your staple products?

My staple products are Tresemme Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner, Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/ Detangler, coconut oil, Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk, Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter, and Tropical Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

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Shrinkage and you. Do you fight it or have you embraced it?

I fully embrace shrinkage. I love the look of a dense, tightly packed fro… except, lately I’ve been wearing my hair stretched to minimize tangles.

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Tell us two things your hair cannot do without.

Water and moisture!

Does your hair have any dislikes?

My hair does not absorb raw products (like Shea butter) well in its raw form unless it is diluted.

How do you like to wear your hair? Fave go-to hairstyles, protective styling…

My hair changes with the seasons. In the spring/ summer, my go-to hairstyles are two strand twist outs, braid outs, and afro puffs. In the fall/ winter I usually wear my hair in protective styles like box braids, Senegalese twists and pinned up-dos.

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Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?

Definitely! My crown is the densest area on my head where I always experience the most breakage.

What is your hair to you?

My hair is my best accessory. Going natural has taught me so much about self-love and feeling comfortable in my own skin… I love it.

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Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

When I first went natural, I received mixed reactions in Nigeria, but that has definitely changed. I ignored the negativity because how I choose to wear my hair is my own personal decision.

Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

For now, my main focus is growing a healthy head of hair while retaining as much length as possible. I’d love to wear my hair naturally for my Igbo traditional wedding, but right now, there are no prospects in sight… so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there! J

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Before you go, could you share a tip or trick or a remedy you’ve tried & tested in your journey so far- be it about retaining moisture, making styles last, keeping knots away, itchiness, whatever- just a hair secret you want to share.

My favorite hair remedy to retain moisture in the spring/summer is spritzing my hair with water and glycerin. It keeps my hair feeling soft and also clumps my hair in a way that prevents tangles. A little goes a long way!

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Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?

Natural hair is a journey, not a destination. You should take the time to learn your own hair and remember to enjoy your hair in all of its many beautiful stages!

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Do you have a blog, twitter, instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?

I recently started a blog on www.curltivate.com, where I’ll post about my natural hair journey and thoughts. You can also find me on instagram: @curltivate. I love connecting with other Nigerian naturals abroad and in the diaspora, so feel free to reach out! :)

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Love, love, Ije’s hair!

Enjoy the weekend, people!

Mee Mee

Hairspiration! : Sandra

Tell us about you!

My name is Sandra Uzuegbu, I’m a doctor, with very strong glasses to show for it. I also love food, fashion, the arts, I love to try new things and I love to have fun. And oh yes, hair too.

When did you decide to transition? What was your inspiration?

My mum has always egged me to go natural but I thought I would have to cut off all my hair to do so. The fear.
I was researching black hair care one day and the search turned up not just relaxed hair, but many gorgeous natural heads of hair and some didn’t even have to chop it all off to get there. I knew then I would go natural but I wanted to grow my relaxed hair first. I decided in March 2014 after I reached my goal of waist length.

Relaxed hair. L- April 2013, R- March 2014

Relaxed hair. L- April 2013, R- March 2014

Tell us about your mane. Does he/she/it have a name? How would you classify your hair if you had to?

No name o. It already has a mind of its own, if it gets an identity who knows what will happen. Right now it’s midback to waist length, I don’t know for sure cos I won’t straighten it. It’s medium porosity, quite dense with a mix of thick and thin strands. I’m not really into typing but I would say 4b, 4c.

How long do you plan to transition for? How far have you gone?

Last relaxer was November 2013 so I’m 10 months into my transition. I don’t know when I’ll end it, I’ll just keep on trimming gradually and maybe one day it’ll feel right to cut.

New growth! :)

New growth! :)

Are you a less-is-more person when it comes to your hair or do you go all out?

Less-is-more with hair products definitely. With wash days it changes. Sometimes I go all out and give my hair a treat, other times I just do the basics.

Do you follow a regimen? If yes, do share!

Oh yes. I deep condition and wash weekly, sometimes co-wash midweek. I moisturise and seal daily or every other day, I keep my hair up mostly and try not to manipulate it much between wash days. I do everything in sections.

What are your staple products?

Olive oil, Coconut oil, Shea butter. ORS Replenishing Conditioner is an old faithful but sadly it will be dropped when I use up this bottle as I’m going for more organic products now.

Tell us two things your hair cannot do without

Water and oil. Finish

Does your hair have any dislikes?

Flat ironing! Me and my hair fear the thing. If I want sort of straight hair, I stretch my hair with thread. My hair also dislikes black tea, tail combs, other people’s hands…

Hair stretched by Threading

Hair nice and heatlessly stretched with thread

What has been the hardest thing about your transitioning journey? How are you coping?

The hardest thing is dealing with two textures especially when the new growth shrinks. It causes breakage. I’m coping by not combing, by being patient when detangling and by doing styles that can last all week.

What do you look forward to in your kinky hair journey? Are you afraid of or concerned about anything?

I’m not afraid at all. Just looking forward to having a big, intimidating afro and doing fluffy, curly styles.

How do you style your transitioning hair?

Twist and tuck, roll and tuck, twists. Buns too- they’re no longer the easiest since my hair now puffs up, but it helps to flatten it overnight with a scarf. For curly styles I use flexirods (bendy rollers), bantu knots and braidouts.

Curly Styles!

Curly Styles!

What is your hair to you?

My hair expresses most clearly my individuality. It’s one thing that’s 100% my prerogative. I do what I want to it and it stands out.

Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

I don’t get much negativity because people focus on the length at first. Then they’re like “oh nice, nice. So when will you relax your hair? Never? Like never?” Then they give my hair a doubtful look. I just let them know I’m ready for it and no, never going to relax again.

Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

Short term- Minimise the inevitable breakage that happens when handling two textures.
Long term- A full head of big, healthy, all-natural hair

Before you go, could you share a tip or trick or a remedy you’ve tried & tested in your journey so far?

Throw on a headband or some other cute accessory like a scarf. No matter how crazy my hair is acting, an accessory makes it look chic. It’s my cheat code.

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Protective Styles, Fun with Accessories

Are there any resources- blogs, books, anything- that you’ve found particularly helpful?

Natural hair blogs like thekinkandi, nappilynigeriangirl, glamlushhair, klassykinks, africanaturalistas give me the assurance that I can rock my natural hair with pride and sass.

A couple of my fave relaxed bloggers are also transitioning – justgrowalready, hardmashonatype. It’s encouraging to see them soldiering on.

Any last words to other transitioners in the building?

1. Be sure it’s what you want
2. If at any point you feel frustrated with your hair, just stop. Don’t do anything rash. Put it away in a protective style and do the basic moisturise & seal until you miss your hair again (and you will).

Do you have a blog, twitter, instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?

Yes please :D naijagirlnextdoor.blogspot.com, and my personal Instagram account: @sandalily

Thank you!
:)

Thanks Sandra!

Have a great weekend guys!

Love,

AB,

xx

The Kinky Apothecary x The Kink and I Shea Moisture Giveaway!!

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That’s a mouthful, we know! :P

Many many thanks to our good friend The Kinky Apothecary for sponsoring this Shea Moisture Giveaway! :)

Entry is open to Nigerian residents, and the Giveaway closes in two weeks on Friday September 26. Just follow the instructions on the flyer!

And if your Instagram or Twitter account is private, don’t forget to unlock it on the closing day, September 26.

This isn’t the 200k giveaway we promised, watch out for that in October ;)

Love,
AB,
xx

Maximum Hydration Method: My Experience so Far

Hey beauts!

I had so many ideas for how to present this post to you. They excited me, these ideas. I was going to show you every day, with pictures, how my curls were evidently approaching maximum hydration. I was going to give you pictures to ooh and aah over of how day 1 hair was way different from day 5 hair.

But…

There was no difference. I’ll let you have a quick look before I go off on a rant.

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Day 1

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Day 3

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Day 7

There you go!

In case you missed it, there is a post on the Maximum hydration method (MHM) here.

How did I go about my MHM?

I began with the Cherry Lola Caramel treatment.

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The best way I can describe my hair after this treatment is that it felt stripped of everything. The smell of the aminos was very overpowering in the mix. At a certain point during the treatment, I began to smell ammonia coming from my hair. Ugh.

Mistake Numer Uno:

Apparently, on day 1, after the Cherry Lola Caramel (CLC) treatment, the ACV or Baking Soda rinse should NOT be done. Somehow, I skipped this part of the instructions and after my CLC treatment, I did an ACV rinse. In hair science, what I ended up doing was opening up my hair cuticles with the CLC treatment in readiness for moisture and then closing it straight back up with the ACV rinse. Bad bad bad.

After the ACV rinse, which I kept on for about 30 minutes, I co-washed with Tresemme naturals nourishing moisture conditioner. This was my first time of using this conditioner and I have to say that I quite like it. Product review in the future? I then DC’d overnight with this conditioner as well.

Now, I have a feeling that perhaps I was wrong for DC-ing with just a conditioner and not a product created specifically for use as a deep conditioner? What do you guys think?

The DC option I opted for was the overnight option. So basically, I began each day of my MHM treatment at night, close to bed time.

Come morning, I would rinse out the deep conditioning treatment and then do a bentonite clay rinse for 15minutes. From day 1 – 5, I did the clay rinse for 15 minutes. On days 6 and 7, desperate for results, I did clay rinse for up to an hour.

After rinsing out the clay, I sprayed my damp hair with a mixture of Tresemme naturals nourishing conditioner and water. I then finished with ecostyler gel.

As explained in the MHM post done previously by AB, there are certain approved products for use in the MHM treatment. I admit, before commencing on this journey, I did not do an extensive homework. I made a number of assumptions, one of which was that Ecostyler gel was definitely on the list of acceptable gels. Afterall, most people swear by Ecostyler. But alas, I was wrong.

Another assumption I made was that by day 7, my hair was definitely going to look like the ‘after’ pictures I had been seeing around hair blogosphere. Wrong! I won’t even lie, it kinda hurt. Mainly because I religiously went about this treatment, excited for results.

Will I say this was a total waste of my time and resources?

No no no. Infact, I have made a decision to stick to the MHM treatment. Why? I got results that were not physical.

- My hair felt softer each day, without any products in it.

- I experienced very minimal or no breakage. By day 2, I stopped seeing loose curls lying all over the bath tub after my hair wash.

- My hair also felt stronger.

- My dry twist outs were super-defined, without any products. This was the result that amazed me the most. Unfortunately, I have no pictures because I am yet to learn how to wear a twist out so I end up destroying it after careful unravelling.

For these reasons, I would definitely recommend the MHM treatment. AB asked me a few days ago how keen I was on ‘finding my curl definition’. I believe my reply was something like “2 out of 10″. I am happy with the way my hair looks at the moment. I was just fascinated by the results this method produced for other women. I shall continue the MHM treatment and if anything changes, I will definitely report back to you and let you know how I may have altered the regimen.

This is is from me for now.

I hope the new week was off to a brilliant start.

Be good to your hair!

- Mee Mee

xx.

 

Get Ready! Natural in Paradise!!

Natural In Paradise Natural Nigerian Calabar

Hello people! AB here!!

I know, I’ve been unusually silent since I first posted about the meet up. We had some planning to do, and changes to make.

If you’re going to be in Calabar on Saturday, 18th October, please come join Natural Nigerian & I at Natural in Paradise!

It’s the first natural hair meet up in the city and everyone is invited- natural, relaxed, transitioning, just plain curious!

Entry tickets will be sold at the door for 500 Naira only, we hope this does not discourage you.

It will be a very fun afternoon of hair talk, shopping, lady bonding and things to be won!

If you’re wondering why you should bother to come out, here are valid reasons. :)

And if you’d like an email reminder days to the event, RSVP over here on EventBrite. I promise not to spam you!

Natural in Paradise

Saturday 18 October, 2014

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

1:30- 5:30 PM

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P.S. If you’d like to join us as a vendor, or sponsor a giveaway, kindly email nn@naturalnigerian.com

Bring a friend or two! ;)

Love,

AB,

xx

Hairspiration! : Dika


dika

Heyy, tell us about you! 
My name is Dika Aligbe and I’m an 18-year old college student. I live in New Jersey for the most part but Lagos, Nigeria is my home :)

What inspired you to return to natural?
I like really full hair so I didn’t want my hair to get flat after a perm. So i decided to go natural when i started growing my hair out after secondary school.

Tell us about your mane. Does he/she/it have a name? How many years have you been growing?
LOL. I haven’t named her yet. I have been growing my hair for approximately 2 years.

How would you classify your hair if you had to? 
Thick, full, really kinky and soft Continue reading

Did you Know…

… that we have twitter?!

Of course you didn’t know! It’s new and I don’t know why I’m excited about it but I am, so yay!

Follow us @thekinkandixx 

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We also have… FACEBOOK!

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We are The Kink and I on facebook, so please like us (literally and facebook language-wise).

And finally, Instagram where AB keeps showing us all these lovely and colourful pictures of all things hair, food, life, and her beautiful face. Follow @thekinkandi on instagram.

We have a surprise for you soon, but I won’t say anything. Shhhhh…

Thank you so much, beauts, for always reading, always commenting, always sharing. You lot are amazing! A kiss for you and you and yes, you!

You know you can always email thekinkandi@gmail.com.

Bye for now!

-Mee Mee

xx.