This Lazy Natural’s Confessions

Hello people!

Before I go into today’s post, I’d like to apologise. On this blog, we try hard to keep things simple, to show that this natural thing isn’t as hard to do as people think it is but sometimes I do a lot. So, if I have ever made you feel discouraged like natural hair is super high maintenance, I’m really sorry. I like to play with my hair, but as I’ve said time and again, I know my hair doesn’t NEED all that attention. 4C hair actually prefers to be left alone.

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Pamper your hair when you can, as often as you can, but your hair won’t leave you if you don’t have time to baby it. I’ve been a very lazy natural lately. This is quite interesting for me because I am (or I used to be) a major planner. Lists for days. Shopping planned wayyyyy in advance. Between the end of last year and the start of this one, I amassed a great haul that saw me through most of 2015. I don’t have as much free time as I used to, so I have had to prioritise. If I’m stressed during the week, the last thing I want to spend my weekend doing is installing mini twists, or even washing my hair. And it’s nothing to feel bad about. Continue reading

Healthy Hair Will Grow!

Natural Hair Collage

Source: Pinterest.com

Or not?

I came across this caption on pinterest. It was right underneath an image of stretched bum length 4c natural hair. Oh this was not my first time of coming across a version of this caption where full, long natural hair was the object for the ogling. In very recent times, I have become very fond of browsing through images of natural hair – my insta feed is proof. Of the hair images that I come across, I find that I am particularly drawn to the look-how-much-my-hair-has-grown-in-just-3-months cohort. Why? Perhaps because I cannot entirely relate. Which brings me to why I am here today.

There seems to be a widespread conviction that as long as your hair is healthy, it will continue to grow, grow, grow and grow, lengthwise especially. And so if your hair is not growing, say after 3 years of visible growth, then well you must be doing something wrong, right? I am here to say that I disagree strongly. And yes I have growing resentment for images of flourishing, enviable hair that preach the if-you-love-it-it-will-grow gospel.

Shall we bring in a little Biology into this matter? Sadie and Kanmi were born on the same day, in the same hour, of the same parents. Sadie and Kanmi have had the same meals, played in the same environments, and visited the same physicians since they were born. It is Sadie’s wedding in a few months and she is trying to convince her maid of honour, Kanmi, to wear smaller heeled shoes because “she is already giant adjacent”. Lol see the digression! But, stay with me. Do you see the picture I am trying to paint? Ok let’s go closer to home i.e. the topic we are discussing. We like Sadie and Kanmi already and so we shall stick with them. Now Sadie and Kanmi decided at the age of 18 to both go natural. Sadie and Kanmi walk into the babershop at the same moment and big chop simultaneously. Heck, like a rehearsed musical, both barbers switch off their equipment and dust off the girls en meme temps! Now because our favorite twins are so close, wash days, protective styles, every aspect of hair TLC happens together. Yet, at said wedding, Sadie’s puff can very well make up for the height difference between them, while Kanmi’s puff looks like she had her big chop 9 months before.

Do we see my point yet?

The equation is not as simple as if A, then B, Β when C, D, E, and Z are fighting to have influence as well. One of my girls could not be more neglectful of her hair. Sometimes, I believe the only reason she makes the little effort she does into pampering it is because she is afraid to lose her length. She is the only person I know, personally, with back length relaxed hair. It is oh so beautiful. And then you have me, with my weekly and daily rituals; with regimens that have now become second nature, still struggling after 2 years of nurturing to create a decent puff. Yes, it is paining me. Do I think my hair is healthy? Honestly, I do. I really really do. I have found what works for me and I am being religious about it and I can see that my hair looks healthy. But is it growing? Hmmm. If it is, then it is growing in snail years cos I ain’t see nothing. Now, my hair right now is longer than it was when I was relaxed. However, I belong to the school that believes in peak length i.e. your hair length stops increasing after a certain length. If my genes missed out on the long hair juice when it was being shared, my keeping my hair healthy is not going to suddenly override that to give me back length hair a la pinterest girl. Yes, I’m still jealous of that picture.

I can keep ranting but I think that you get the point I am trying to get across. Do I get hair envy when I log onto social media and see these beautiful, full and high halos in my face? Oh yes, yes, I do. Am I still in the process of accepting that my hair will never look like my nazuri curls fro? I am! (Seriously, guys. I am internalizing my nazuri wig so much that I might pineapple it one night, satin bonnet it and go to bed with it like it is growing from my scalp!) But I am learning in this journey that it is the health of my kinky strands, the health of my scalp, the health of the cluster of dark cotton-like balls that crowns my head that matters the most. And I need to accept it and love it for what it is. I don’t believe that if you love it, it will always grow but I firmly believe that if you love it, it will definitely glow.

So beauts, what do you think? Are you a believer in the “healthy hair will grow” mantra? What has been your personal experience?

– MeeMee

xx.Β 

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. πŸ™‚

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

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ο»ΏI 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 πŸ˜› 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. πŸ™‚

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”.

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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

Learning to Accept the Kinks: My Mother and I

Hi guys!


This post is dedicated to every girl out there who wants to go natural but is experiencing a lot of resistance from her mother. It’s a little long, but because of the emails I get now and again, from girls who don’t want to fight their mamas over hair, I decided this is something I should share.


A few times in the past, I have mentioned my mom’s opposition to my decision to go natural. I’ve been natural for three years and it finally hit me recently, that not only has my mom come to fully accept my hair, I can say she loves it, like really, she is a fan.


I talked about going natural with almost everyone important to me. Yes, even my dad! I remember calling him one evening when I was experiencing PEAK stress of transitioning, telling him I wanted to cut my hair. He convinced me to calm down- a good decision because I was SO not mentally ready at the time and school must have probably been too stressful for a yung thug that weekend. Having half my wash and set (roller set) revert on me in no time felt like THE worst thing that could happen- a betrayal on top of everything I was dealing withand I was so done. The point is, going natural was a very emotional decision for me. I mean, I talked about it for like two years before I finally took the plunge. 


To everyone else I talked to, it was mostly bants, or to get a feel of how the world would react but talking to my mother was a different story. I told her, and kept updating her at intervals of my decision to transition to natural because I KNEW she would not be happy about it AT ALL. 

 

Flashback Friday. Happily Relaxed :)

Flashback Friday. Happily Relaxed. Don’t look at my arm lol!

Continue reading

Kinky to Straight and Back

Two Sundays ago, I straightened my hair. Just like that, because I felt like it.

I had 8AM mass so I woke up at 5:30 to handle my bidness. It was already raining before I started at 6am, yet- like the stubborn grasshopper that I am, I committed to two hours of straightening, knowing that the slightest rain would most definitely revert all my hardwork. Commonsense eludes me sometimes.

So. The day before, I decided that Sunday would be the day I brought out my flat iron. I washed and deep conditioned my hair properly on Saturday, moisturised and sealed before chunky twisting my hair. I used the Carol’s Daughter Chocolat Blow Dry Cream as my heat protectant, and the instructions say to apply to damp hair. Later at night, I undid the chunky twists, put in the Blow Dry Cream and retwisted.

Safely straightening natural hair is one of the things I research every now and then. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen like 20 videos on the subject and read soooo many blog posts. Every girl has her own method, and because of the fear of heat damage, some straightening regimens I’ve seen can make you a little weak. Having applied my heat protectant on Saturday, all I did on Sunday morning was straighten. I didn’t blow dry first, I simply used a flat iron on still damp hair, that’s all.

Beloveds, I went to church late, and the two hours spent on my hair were not enough. The second hour was quite rushed.

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