Hair Lately

I’m at this point where I don’t really know what to do with my hair, but I’ll work it out.

Having long established that I like to deal with my hair dry and stretched, my greatest challenge now is to figure out how to keep it so for like 3 days at least. In other words, I REALLY need to learn how to cornrow and flat twist. Anyhoo… Here’s what I’ve been up to since I took out the Nazuri Curls.

I really can’t remember how I wore my hair on Monday morning lol. Maybe I wore the struggle flat twists I was given over the weekend? Can’t remember.

Tuesday, I tried to convince my hair into some kind of updo lol. Plenty tuck in here, tuck in there action at the back, with twists in front.

IMG_8163

On Tuesday night, I braided and twisted my hair with a combo of the Curls Creme Brûlée Lotion and the Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste. Fine, my hair was super dry so I applied a bit of product (like 2 oz for the whole head) because I thought my thirsty hair would drink it all in before morning. Nope. I loosened all the senrenren on Wednesday morning to damp hair with zero definition, shrinking right before my eyes. Plan B? A puff.

DSC00421-001

Thursday? I had a better updo, I think. Similar to Monday’s but it needed less bobby pins. It was more like fold and pin. IMG_8259

On Friday, I went with le shrunken fro. I was so tired on Thursday that I slept off without twisting my hair at night. I woke up with serious bed head and I didn’t even bother trying to detangle. I spritzed the hair, rubbed a little conditioner, raised it with my Afro pik in many places and patted down for shape. This resulted in a lot of tanglesssss my days.

tears on tears on tears

tears on tears on tears

Still, your girl had no time over the weekend. NO time. It wasn’t being lazy, I just had to make a mental list of all the things demanding my energy and hair had to have a few seats. This is one of the times I say it’s just hair. Sure, I’m going to take time out soon and treat my hair to a nice relaxing spa day, but when you have a lot to do, it’s totally okay to do less. Your hair won’t fall off, lol.

I simply got in the shower and after wetting my hair, I saturated it with Hello Hydration. I detangled with my fingers and a wide tooth comb, chunky twisting each section as I went. Then I rinsed with cold water, but not entirely, leaving some of the conditioner in. Standing in front of the mirror after this co-wash shower, I applied slight dabs of my Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey pomade to each section to seal in the moisture. I untwisted the loose twists (loose because of the washing) smoothed the pomade in & loosely twisted back.

About an hour later, my mom helped me thread (I didn’t know she had such skills lol 🙂 ) For the sections that were too wet, I blotted them with paper towels. She’s a busy woman but I hope we can make this a regular thing ( ._.) I wore the thread till Monday morning.

See. The way Lagos traffic is set up, 10 minutes can make all the difference in the world. I wake up at 5am and I’m out the house most days, by 6. I refuse to wake up at 4:30 because of hair. And I can’t afford to stay till 6:30 either. So I do my best to leave the house early, and then I do my hair in the bathroom at work before 8 or before anyone else gets there. So. I’m not ashamed to be out in the morning with rods in my hair or a scarf tied in a funny way. Not sorry at all. No time.

My hair was dry, and super stretched. Loved it, loved it! Threading is nice o, but I don’t know how I feel about wrapping my head every weekend, because I’m rarely home. I don’t have that many scarves, and my head tying game is really not that strong.

You know, the next time I straighten my hair I think I’m just going to thread and give myself time to air dry in advance. I arranged it into my best style yet, and I really liked it.

DSC00439

DSC00441

IMG_8417

IMG_8412

This work or professional styling thing, I’ll figure it out. Yes I will. 🙂

In other news, my phone fell on Saturday and though there are no signs of breakage, my main camera has stopped working. The front one still works but what’s going on with the main? Where there is life, there is hope, abi? On the bright side of things, I’m getting my blogging mojo back!

I want to know what you’ve been up to lately with your hair, anything in particular you’re dealing with, talk to meeeeee. 

Love,

AB,

xx

Advertisements

Weave Off!

Hello people!

Long time no see! How is the going going? ^_^

My Tuesday started off on a slightly wonky note but I’m positive that it will end well. 🙂

I took my Nazuri Curls extensions down on Friday night, after wearing them for six weeks. 



I was ready to go even longer but I had really missed my hair. The extensions weren’t so much different from my own coils- let’s just say they are kinda close to what my hair would look like if it were a little longer and if I had a magic shrinkage defying product. I’ll do a post this week about how I tried my best to make the faux hair look as real as possible. So blending information and maintenance, you want to come back for this 😛 Seriously, I learnt more about manipulating this hair than I did when I wore it last year. Anyhoo, till then, remember that you can get 10% off your Nazuri Curls purchases if you use our special discount code: KINKANDI. Valid till October 12. 🙂

So. On Friday, I decided that I was going to take my ass to a salon on Saturday. Why? I have been sooo so busy, I have not been able to have any free days to myself, even on weekends. My wakabouting is just too much. I was determined that Sunday would be an easy day, and I did not want to do hair on Sunday. Washing my hair is really not a problem. It’s drying time that takes so long. I prefer to style my hair dry and stretched, so if I leave it to airdry in twists, it could be damp till Sunday night. So I decided that just this once, I’d go to a salon.

I got to the salon in the morning, because I had somewhere else to go. When I don’t have time to waste, I like to go with the tested and trusted. I don’t try new things, or new people. The only place I’ve had my hair washed at since I went natural, is the Nature’s Gentle Touch Hair Institute. I know, I know- their products are greenwashed, with mineral oil very present- but I was there in February and I really enjoyed it. My hair was nice and soft, and the blow-out was so bouncy. The creative updo Ruth styled me was pretty cute and lasted for like 5 days- so I thought I’d try them again. My first visit was on the house, so I called in advance to get a quote. The man I spoke to on the phone told me it would cost 4k to wash and do a simple style- not too bad, right?

Except that I did not get the memo. As a salon that does just real hair, no extensions, I didn’t know they put “virgin hair” in its own category. Also, I was aware that they don’t let people use other brands at the institute but it didn’t click that this meant that you should also bring their stuff if you have it. I have the Herbalblend line they use there, gathering dust in my house. Sigh. My stylist for the day, let’s call her T, informed me that because my hair is “long” (har-har-har) “virgin” hair, I was going to pay 5,500 to wash and dry. Wash/ simple style to hold body till I get to proper styling. Apparently if I brought my own products, I would have spent 4,000. And if my hair was relaxed, I’d have paid 2K pere. Just great. I got there an hour 30 minutes later than I had planned (it was raining and I was super tired) and they were already filling up so I was like whatever, mehn.

T must have thought I was being a bitch lol because I was NOT pleased. She shampooed okay, but I felt she was a little stingy with the deep conditioning treatment. I went with it, though. Time to blow my hair out, she was being a little rough with the comb attachment and I gave her a couple side-eyes through the mirror. Of course she was having a hard time putting a comb through my hair, when she had put so little leave-in/moisturiser in all this hair. At some point, I had to tell her she was being rough. And she was like “No, I’m not… What did I do? It’s because your hair is natural.” I told her I do my hair myself, so I know what I’m saying. Like you guys, I was there simply because my experience with Ruth was so amazing so you can understand my disappointment. I’m really bad at blowing my hair out myself (hand coordination not great!) so it pained me to see her give me a struggle blow out. It did. I touched the sections she had done and my hair was crazy dry. I didn’t say anything. Until…

Her: YOU HAVE DRY HAIR

Me: NO, I DO NOT HAVE DRY HAIR

Her: Yes, you do. I even used the moisturiser.

Me: Maybe you should have used more moisturiser? *side-eye*

Now, I know nobody likes being told how to do their job but- I do not “have dry hair”. In fact, my hair was drier than it was when I came into the salon- 2 weeks since my last wash, oily with coconut oil. That Saturday, I remember thinking how surprising it was that my hair felt soft. Coconut oil prepoos nicely but it always leaves my hair crispy by the next morning. After our small exchange, she was quiet till we finished.

All the time I was just thinking I should have stayed home and washed my hair myself. The salon where I got the weave done, maybe I could work with someone in particular- maybe we could work out an understanding.

I don’t think she has much experience with natural hair because when we were finally through, she called someone else to come style my hair. A multi-bun updo was the first thing that came to mind but, the blow-out wasn’t a good enough stretch. I asked that they did 2 braids or flat twists. Maybe it’s because my hair wasn’t stretched enough, the results of that were also kind of “meh”.



Long story short, I’m going to have to get a hooded dryer to speed up the drying process when I style. Or in the alternative, I need to learn how to blow dry. Threading is not for me because it takes 2 or 3 days to dry and fully stretch.

On the bright side though, T gave me a decent trim. It was good, but I didn’t appreciate the over-combing of the sections and when she trimmed a section, she didn’t throw the hair off. She would let it fall back onto my head, which bothered me because, my hair likes to tangle and form complex knots. I protested and she said it didn’t matter because she would still comb it afterwards. No, aunty. Like ehn ehn.

You know how stylists can bully you at the salon? I didn’t feel bullied by T.  She was nice, well meaning, but nope, I do not want a repeat experience. It’s just, if I’m going to pay for someone else do my hair, I want it to be awesome. It should be two relaxing hours, not me tense and eyeballing you through the mirror. It’s like going to eat out (and being disappointed by the food) when there is rice at home.

In other news, my hair isn’t growing o. Who have I offended? It is still the same length it was in February and I am SO over it. I’ve been protective styling a lot so I’m tempted to say protective styling may be overrated. I’m really really bored with my hair right now, and I want to do something. Cut it? Color it? Cut and color? Go through a phase of styling and wearing it straight? Something has to change. 😦 Please if you know anywhere in Lagos that does amazing dye jobs, let me know in the comments, thank you! 

And one last thing- I bought a satin bonnet in June, at the Game store at The Palms. It is being produced by Lolavita Hair, I believe. This bonnet has stained my pillow cases. 😦 I really wonder why. I didn’t want to believe it until I stained my friends’ own and she pointed it out. Have you tried this bonnet and experienced the same thing? If they have other colours apart from black, maybe you’d want to try them because, proper proper stains.

I’m not at all crusty on this blessed Tuesday, no. This post has been one long rant lol- but the only thing not cooperating in my life right now, is my hair. Life is good, and I’m thankful for that. We are working on making Naturals in The City 12 much more fun than all the others, so please save the date- September 26! More details soon!

Alright beautifuls. I want to know how you’re doing, how your hair is doing, what you’re up to. If you have any questions about the Nazuri Curls, feel free to ask away, so I’d put that in the post.

Love,

AB,

xx

Lazy Washday

Hello beautifuls!

How is your week going?

Mine’s going okay. Yesterday was Washday for me. You know how something feels like a long thing and you keep procrastinating until you have no choice? That’s what happened. I’ve been too busy on the weekends, to wash my hair. It was rather dull looking and my scalp was making it rain with them flakes yesterday lol so I knew I just had to wash it. Thankfully, I got off work early but I still wasn’t quite in the mood.

I tried something new yesterday and so far, so good. Hair looks good and my scalp is not revolting.

1. First, I sectioned my hair. Twisted sections of the weave track by track, and I also twisted my own hair left out. Continue reading

Washday: Rush Rush

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Really. Of all the times I’ve had to lose sleep in my life, I can only think of one time that it was worth it. Seriously. In uni if I stayed up the night before a test to read the two chapters that I hadn’t yet studied- it always happened that those chapters, or whatever material would not be relevant in the test the next day. So many small small things like that, but I can’t just keep calm, you can call me a “forcer”.

Now yesterday was Monday. I was supposed to be in court today so I needed a hairstyle that would not make it too difficult to wear my wig over it. A goddess braid or Celie twists would have been super cute solutions but your girl can’t cornrow or flat twist, and my brain wasn’t working too well, so I decided to do my go-to two-strand twists. Before the twists though, I had to wash my hair first. With small breaks, I was on this matter from 6pm till 1am.

Guess what. The judge could not make it this morning because she was stuck in traffic. I did not wear the wig. After washing I could have gone to sleep in chunky twists at 11pm and jejely worn a puff today. Never again should I put myself through this kind of struggle. The sufferhead I like to carry sometimes. And, cornrows and flat twists aren’t rocket science, I had better learn!

Normally, after a protective style, I make plans for a weekend, or 3 free days. Take hair down on Friday and pre-poo, wash on Saturday, style and dry on Sunday. This time, I was in a proper rush and as a result, I was not as gentle as I should have been. Ripped through some places, I was racing, just to finish. How is that for living life on the edge? (  ._.)

Here’s a quick run down of how that went:

1. I loosened my braids. First I cut them in a bob shape to see what that would be like. Not bad, but I’m thinking a longer bob may be it for me. I’m not sure.

I’m pretty sure though that I cut off some braids at the wrong points, losing some hair. 😦

2. After loosening the braids, I had mini-twists to take down too, thanks to the box braid method I used (see this post). I loosened those too, and as I did so- in sections of 8, 10 twists, I dry detangled with plenty coconut oil, and put my hair in chunky twists- about 10 in total.

3. I shampooed, Felicia’s way. I applied my shampoo (L’Oreal Ever Sleek Shampoo) directly to my scalp, before I wet my hair. I rubbed my scalp with my fingertips to lift the dirt, and I rinsed off with warm water.

4. Then, I applied my deep conditioner, the Nothing But Intense Healing Mask to my hair in four sections, and combed each section through. I wasn’t rough with the comb. Normally I’d use just my fingers, but I needed to move fast. I covered my hair with a shower cap and let it sit for 20 minutes, and rinsed with cool water. My hair wasn’t feeling as soft as it should have. I think this could be because I haven’t been deep conditioning every week. Because of the protective styles I’ve been wearing this year, Washday has been like once a month. I’ll need to step up the frequency or start using heat again, if I continue at this rate.

5. To save the day, I did an oil rinse with Hempseed Oil. This oil contains ceramides and it’s supposed to be really good for relaxed, or otherwise processed/damaged hair. I thought twice about “wasting” it (Ceramides patch frayed cuticles. They are best left-in, rinsing them away is a waste of their goodness) but it is the only oil on my shelf apart from coconut oil and my precious castor oil. I applied it to my wet hair, and 3 minutes later, rinsed off with warm and then cool water. Much better.

6. Finally. I moisturised and sealed with the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream & the Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey. 

7. I gave myself two hours to twist and made a run for it. I finished just in time. The result: slightly chubby twists. I expect them to get puffy at the roots and frizz even, but I’m hoping they last some days.

It’s a rainy afternoon in Lagos. Rainy season is here, and I’m contemplating protective styling again, this time a weave. Best weather for weaves, in my opinion- as long as you keep dry of course!

Still. I definitely need to learn how to do the flat twist thing, and find inspiration for more conservative natural hair styles on awkward length hair that would not require stretching first.

How are you today? How was your last Washday?

Love,

AB,

xx

My First Wash N’ Go!

Hello beautiful people!

How is the going going?

Last Washday was an interesting one for me. I tried two new products, and finally properly attempted a Wash N’ Go. Many people believe Wash N’ Gos cannot work on nappy, 4C hair. I used to believe this too, but I started reconsidering this year. Finally finally, I am a believer. As I do more of this, I will write about my experience but for now I’ll say, for a change, be open to challenging your expectations. “Manage your expectations” is good advice, but playing it safe can also mentally box you in. Don’t take yourself too seriously, take your hair as it comes, but also- don’t be afraid to try new things!

So. For Washday, I had 2 objectives:

  1. Clean, soft (well moisturised) hair and
  2. Finally do the Wash N’ Go.

Phase 1: Hair Prep

  1. First, I loosened my mini-twists. This was not so easy because I had started my small small twists with a braid. As you can imagine, the braided beginnings were really tiny and a bit hard to get through, so it took me a while.
  2. As I loosened, I misted my hair with water and finger detangled with coconut oil. I finished my detangling in the afternoon and I wanted to wash my hair the next day, so the coco doubled as a pre-poo.

    IMG_9090

    After Detangling

Phase 2: Wash Day Proper

  1. My hair was very dry and crispy to begin with, thanks to the Coconut oil. I shampooed my hair in chunky twists with the African Naturalistas Moisturising Black Soap Shampoo. It didn’t lather so much, but my hair felt clean. And super super soft!
  2. I applied the African Naturalistas Deep Conditioner and covered my hair with a shower cap. Two hours later, after making and eating breakfast (brown sugar pancakes) and forcing myself to exercise lol I rinsed the DC out. Interestingly, my hair was much softer with the shampoo than it was with the DC. On the lowest of keys, it kind of felt similar to hair post-henna. Not as much, but in the same category. Could this be because the DC contains some protein? Maybe.
  3. To hydrate, I mixed myself a mudwash (bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and the last of my grapeseed oil.) I applied it to my wet hair in sections and again, covered with the shower cap. One hour later, I rinsed out and hair was butter soft once more. Yes!

Phase 3: Wash N’ Go

I started off with 3 different styling products- Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls, Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls and Obia Natural Hair Curl Custard. These were sample sizes I was gifted last year (first 2 from MeeMee and the Obia from The Kinky Apothecary)

IMG_9142

However, it was basic cheapey EcoStyler that came through for me. The Obia custard was a bad choice on my part, because it isn’t really “gelly”. It sat on my hair like some kind of cream or leave-in, no bueno. The Multicultural Curls was more like a lotion, and the Jelly Soft Curls, though okay, did not do as well as the EcoStyler Gel in defining my curls.

Now, my theory as to why the Obia & Multicultural Curls did not work on my 4C coils is this- 4C hair clumps the least. If you aren’t doing the Maximum Hydration Method or the Curly Girl Method or any sort of “training”, it’s easier to make your coils clump and have definition when they are weighed down. My hair clumps when it bears henna, and clay, and the same is the case for gel.

How I Did It

It took me 2 hours to complete the Wash N’ Go for my entire head. I believe this time can be cut in half. However, as a newbie and because I was experimenting with different products, I spent longer.

I applied the gel/ styling products to sections of my freshly washed hair (one section at a time) in heavy amounts. In some sections, I briefly finger detangled, but I didn’t have to do much of this because after a mudwash, my hair is pretty much tangle free. So, I took the gelled section between my palms and rubbed down, smoothing the gel in. Hadassah over at Nappily Nigerian Girl calls this “Praying Hands” I hope you get the picture.

After doing this a few times, my strands had started clumping. And so, I separated the tiny clumped defined bits one by one just as I would do with a twist out. Here’s this quick video of how to separate curls:

By the time I was done with this massive arm workout, I was tired. I wasn’t really patient to do this process in the front, so I used a technique I’d watched Mo Knows Hair use on type 4 hair on YouTube. Basically, the method is- apply gel, pick a section and twirl it around your fingers like you’re doing a finger coil. Now, I did not like the outcome of Mo’s method on the model, but it worked okay for just the front.

I am really really happy with this Wash N’ Go. I had some hang time on Day 1, and it was pretty cool to shake shake shake my head and feel my hair move.

IMG_9177 IMG_9218

By Day 2, it was unshakeable lol because of shrinkage, but I quite like the more defined coily look.

View from the top: Day 2 hair

View from the top: Day 2 hair

It looks crazy but in a deliberate way. To go to sleep, I divide my hair into 5 mini puffs and cover with a scarf or satin bonnet.

Day 3 Hair

Day 3 Hair. I spritzed with water, and this reactivated some whiteness from the gel.

It’s interesting that if you pull my hair right now, you’d see most of it clumped into defined coily spirals, but as a whole, it looks generally poofy. I had thought that living with gel would be a horror story, but it’s really not. The gel dries. It only gets sticky again when I wet my hair. On Sunday, when I fluffed my hair with a little water and oil, I was left with quite a bit of flaking on my shoulders. I brushed it off, no wahala there. I also had some white bits at the back, my mom helped me pick them out.

My hair is dry and crunchy right now but, I’m not bothered. As I write this (Tuesday evening) it is Day 5. I will spritz it before I go out tomorrow, and co-wash my hair on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for another style. I will definitely be trying more Wash N’ Gos, aiming to improve my technique, find the right non-flakey product combo and figure out how to get this done in an hour.

No leave-in conditioner or oils were used in the production of this Wash N’ Go. I’ll incorporate them next time, to avoid the dryness and the crunch.

Alrightie guys. How did your last Washday go? Tell me about it!

Love,

AB

xx