2013: The Year In Hair

2013 was a grrreat year! ^____^

2013 Year in Blogging

January wasn’t like just yesterday. Time flew, but a lot happened in real life- and hair/blog life was just as eventful! I had a lot of fun getting to know my hair better, and sharing with you guys. So far, so good. I can say I’m thriving in my kinky curliness. I am very happy with my hair.

2013 saw me blogging consistently for all twelve months, something I wasn’t sure was possible. Thank you for the encouragement 🙂 A FAQ page is due- I’m working on it, but for now, the highlights of 2013 in blog & hair.

Here’s how I started the year.

IMG-20131101-WA000

This is how I’m ending it.

one Jack 5ive morning

See? Growth! 🙂

See? Growth! 🙂 From the TWA stage, we are now in the in-between phase. When stretched, hair is about the same length I had relaxed. Collar Bone- Shoulder Length tins! B-)

Random Tip:

I found out that SPAR regularly stocks Coconut oil for cheap.

SPECIALS

This year, we had two Blog Specials:

1. The Understanding Hair 101: Hair Basics Series and

2. for the would-be and newbie naturals, Going Back To Natural

WASHDAY

I used to despise Shampoo. But a Clean scalp is important. I’ve learnt how to get the most out of my ‘Poo days.

I also tried No-Poo alternatives for Clarifying- the BSV method (Baking Soda x Apple Cider Vinegar) and my favourite, the Mudwash!

MOISTURE

At first, moisturising was a fruitless chore. My hair was good for a few hours and then I ran back to leave-ins. No surprise I had a confusing brief episode with Product Build-Up.

Then I learnt about Hair Porosity, and the fact that my hair is Low-Po helped me adjust accordingly.

I also started Deep Conditioning and after a few weeks, my hair became softer, and much more receptive to products.

STYLING

Mostly, I wore my hair in what I like to call Le Shrunken Fro.

I know ‘Fros look fierce and all, but combing is a piece of cake, if you know how 😉

Recently, I discovered Tangle-Free Fro!

One time I tried a Straw Set. And another time, mini twists.

And for a week, I rocked a Mohawk type braided updo.

For Protective Styling, my GO-TOs were Kinky Extensions and a curly weave- Pro-10.

Oh. And I discovered I could do Havana twists!

PRODUCTS

I’ve experimented with a lot this year.

Now I know that it is possible for rinse-out/instant conditioners to double as leave-ins

Natural Nigerian- Nigerian naturalista, blogger and businesswoman, released her very own Leave-In Conditioner.

I tried this- and more. For product reviews, go here.

I also went to two Natural Hair Salons this year, and reviewed both experiences.

HAIRSPIRATION

This year, SIXTEEN naturals of varied lengths and textures- fros and locks- female and male, shared their hair stories in words and pictures on some special Fridays. My personal favourite part of the blog 🙂 If you missed any, you could catch up here!

If you’d like to be featured next year, just holler in the comments or email me: thekinkandi@gmail.com 😉

FUN STUFF

This year, we had not 1 but 2 Blog giveaways!

And I had fun meeting other curlies at Naturals In The City 6 in July and The Great Kinky Hair Christmas Affair this December.

I celebrated my First Hairversary!!

And I gained/retained some length, thanks to the Kinky Curly Coily Me Summer Castor Oil Challenge!

DIY Coconut Milk & Coconut Oil

It hasn’t been all hair on the blog- I also got in a few restaurant reviews! 😀

In this year alone, quite a few Natural Hair Salons and Retailers popped on the Nigerian scene. We have a growing Directory of Natural Hair Friendly Salons and Shops on the blog which you can view here.

Oh, and this year, Ms. Leslassa Armour Shillingfield was the first kinky-curly chica to contest in the Ms. World pageant, in Indonesia- with her natural curls!

For my favourite picks through out the year, you could go see posts with the AB Loves tag here 🙂

Thank YOU for reading the blog, and for connecting with me; leaving comments, and emailing! I’ve been greatly encouraged and inspired to press on in my hair journey, and always find time to write.

I wish you love, joy, good health and Happy Hair Days as we step into the New Year.

See you in 2014!

Love,

AB

xx

Advertisements

Tangle-Free Fro!

Remember when I wrote about Shrunken Fro?

The Afro is still my favourite way to wear my kinks but the knotty tangling that shrinkage brings was beginning to become a burden.

Combing my hair became a special occasion and I wore chunky twists so much that my dad suggested I got a perm lol.

I stumbled on light, easy to comb, run-your-fingers-through (almost), Tangle-Free Fro by accident. On my fourth day of rocking Tangle-Free Fro, I decided I was onto something and I thought I’d share.

HOW

One Saturday night, I did a mudwash. This is one of my favourite treatments because it’s an all-in-one deal. I LOVE mudwashes. So much I want to give everyone I love a mudwash! That good. If you’re too tired to follow your washday plans, just try a mudwash. It’s a time-saving cleanser, detangler and deep-conditioner all in a few simple steps. For how-to, go here.

So my hair was soft, awesomely conditioned and well detangled after my mudwash.

I applied a cocktail of Natural Nigerian Moisture & Shine Leave-In Conditioner and Taliah Waajid Curl Sealer.

DSC00106

The Curl Sealer describes itself as a light conditioning gel. I got a sample in a goodie bag I won from the Kinky Apothecary.

DSC00108

A proper review will come when I get a full size sample of this product and use it in different ways- so for now, tangle-free fro.

I’d planned to do a bantu knot out for church the next day.

My friend Lu did my bantu knots.

DSC00112

I wrapped up and went to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up 45 minutes late and in my rush, I decided to wear a turban instead.

Hours later, I unravelled the knots and twists and voila, I didn’t really have any curls to speak of LOL.

DSC00116

Maybe I should do more knots next time? But on the bright side, my hair was stretched.

So I combed out lightly, fluffed and patted le fro and I was good to go.

By nighttime, when I was chunky twisting my hair, I noticed that my hair was much much easier to do. It felt so light and finger detangling was a breeze.

At the end of the next day, hair was still light and not knotty! A little dry though, so as I twisted at night, I added just a little more of both products. This I repeated four more nights till I was out of product. As you can see from the size of the sample, considering the fact that I used it 5 times, clearly, a little goes a long way.

Here’s my conclusion:

Light leave-in + light gel = tangle free fro

Also, I moisturised at night and didn’t spritz water in the morning as I used to. In the mornings, my hair was soft and well moisturised and easy to comb- no water spritzes needed to refresh.

It was my first time working with any styling product or soft-hold gel, so I think I give the gel the credit for the lightness of tangle free fro. And I had a little less shrinkage than I normally would.

To test the theory, I carried on doing everything without the gel (moisturising & twisting at night, no moisture in the morning) and I had similar results but fro was definitely lighter, and remained more stretched out with the Curl Sealer.

Plus, I’ve observed I lose less hair when I comb my hair dry. Dry as in, soft dry well moisturised hair. More about this later.

For now, I’m keeping an eye on The Kinky Apothecary. Need to get Curl Sealer as soon as they restock. You are welcome to try my tangle free fro theory with any light soft hold gel though. Let me know how it goes 😉

Have you tried this Curl Sealer? How do you fight knots when you wear your fro loose? Holler!

Love,

AB

xx

AB Loves: Jack 5ive Curl Activator Gel!

Hello lovelies!

Eku Keresimesi! Merry Christmas! I know I’m late, but I do hope you’re enjoying the holidays! 🙂 🙂

My hair is in a protective style at the moment (sew-in, Pro-10 Bohemian weave (like before, here) which seems to be ackin’ up in the Harmattan weather but I’m coping just fine). Yes, hair is hidden away under a weave but I’m here today to testify to the goodness of Jack 5ive Curl Activator!!

DSC07770

Hairspiration Demi mentioned that this activator gel was a staple for her, and I made a mental note to myself to try it. I did get around to using it for the last 2 weeks before my weave. I was out of leave-ins so I got the activator from Favourite Supermarket on Marian Road in Calabar (for 1,100 naira. I’m pretty sure you could get it for 800 naira elsewhere though!).

Ingredients:

Deionized Water, Proplylene Glycol, Glycerin, Acetamide MIA, Carbomer-940, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Fragrance, FD & C Yellow #6

Worth noting:

Water is the first ingredient, and two humectants follow to complete the top 3- Propylene Glycol & Glycerin.

Panthenol is another humectant on the list.

This product is mineral and sulfate free, but it does have one paraben- Methylparaben.

Jack 5ive and Me

I tried this on wet, damp and dry hair and I have to say it works best on dry hair.

This Activator instantly melts away knots yo. Good slip for detangling and grrrrrrreat moisture! My days! Using it every three days between co-washes was enough. SOFT, well moisturised, easy to comb fro. No water or glycerine spritzes needed in between. I am in loveee!

In applying this product, try to achieve a balance. Too little may not be enough and too much may leave you feeling like it’s too greasy. I managed to find the right measure in between that was just right, after a few uses. With this gel though, I haven’t styled my hair. I’ve simply worn it in a fro- so I can’t say anything about this as a styling product.

It is a light gel, yellow-golden, but it’s transparent on your hair.

DSC07772

Possible cons: I’m not crazy about the smell. It’s not overpowering though, so don’t let it blind you to the positives.

Most importantly, this activator gel is cheap and widely available here in Naij. As Demi says, Hi-5 for Jack 5ive! Whooop!

So, what do you say? Trust me, it’s definitely worth a shot!!

One last thing: for me it was simply moisturising. I have no visible curl pattern, so nothing was “activated”, just in case you’re wondering. The fro was just the same as usual.

one Jack 5ive morning

one Jack 5ive morning

In completely unrelated news, I was featured on Trials N’ Tresses last week. It’s a really cool hair blog, do check it out! 🙂 🙂

Have you tried Jack 5ive or any Curl Activator Gel? Are you a fan? Would you try one now? Holler in the comments!

May joy and peace, love and light be with you this season and always!

Love,

AB

xx

The Great Kinky Hair Christmas Affair!

Hello lovelies!

How una dey? 🙂

I’m home for the holidays and this Christmas is definitely shaping up to be a grrrreat one! I am SO excited! ^_^

Yesterday, my girl Lu and I had a good time at The Great Kinky Hair Christmas Affair!

Organised by The Kinky Apothecary, the Affair was hosted by hair bloggers Geraldine the Great and Ijeoma of Klassy-Kinks, at The Social Place, 33 Sinari Daranijo Street, Victoria Island.

Geri talked to us about Staying Natural, and Toughening Your Technique for Length Retention, and soon enough, Ijeoma got into Protective Styling. Afterwards, she asked for volunteers and I stepped forward. Without the aid of a comb, she did a quick flat-twist updo that I wore to church this morning. I’m definitely upping my styling game in 2014, so help me God!

It’s always a pleasure to meet other curlies, and talk hair! 🙂 Before and after the workshop, there was food, drinks and shopping. We got freebies with our Kinky Apothecary purchases, and Geri gave out stuff as well.

Old boy Simon was with me, and Lu helped out with the photos- so here’s my yesterday in pictures:

DSC07670

DSC07713

DSC07671

Girls-Girls ^__^

DSC07712

Wildly Refreshing. They make smoothies, froyo and soup :)

Wildly Refreshing. They make smoothies, juices, froyo and soup 🙂

DSC07678

Us posing with Ijeoma of Klassy-Kinks

Us posing with Ijeoma of Klassy-Kinks

Republic of Foreigner

Republic of Foreigner

DSC07692

Kinky Apothecary

Kinky Apothecary

Zaynab :)

Zaynab 🙂

DSC07701

Lu + Ijeoma

Lu + Ijeoma

Ijeoma's cute style. She got her hair did at KL's Naturals

Ijeoma’s cute style. She got her hair did at KL’s Naturals

the back. Mini-twists in the middle

the back. Mini-twists in the middle

LOVE her weave!

LOVE her weave!

DSC07715

Geraldine the Great, ready to speak

Geraldine the Great, ready to speak

Waist length for real

Waist length for real

Ijeoma working on the volunteer

Ijeoma working on the volunteer

DSC07753

side view

side view

the back

the back

Nibi Lawson, founder of The Kinky Apothecary

Nibi Lawson, founder of The Kinky Apothecary

Close-up: Geri

Close-up: Geri!

The End.

What did you do this weekend?

Till next post,

Love,

AB

xx

Warning: Curly Cuteness Overdose!

Three year old Heaven has got moves!!

Watching her move and whip those curls just made my morning.

So to start you off on your day, or lift your spirits at whatever time this meets you, I want you to meet Heaven! 🙂 🙂

How coordinated were you at 3? She. Is. Amazing.

And that smile? TOOO CUUUUTE!

Have a great day loves,

Love,

AB

xx