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,  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. 

Weekend Chit-Chat + Slightly Unrelated Giveaway

Hello beautiful people! How goes it?

It’s a good day for me here in Lagos, not bad at all for a Monday morning!

My hair is in two cornrows- goddess braids abi crown braids, according to Youtube 🙂

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What did you get up to over the weekend? I spent Sunday resting and moving slowly lol, trying to recover from the busyness of the days before. Continue reading

In Gratitude

focus

Last week was kind of rough. I was in a very thick funk. Over the weekend, in my quiet moments, I was reminded that happiness is still a choice.

I wasn’t unhappy because I had malaria, or because the roads were extra extra stressful. It was because I was so focused on the bad.

A new week is here, and I’m determined to be happy in it, be thankful for it. Here are some of the things I’m happy about today:

  1. In today’s traffic, I got to watch the Lagos sky light up, and it was beautiful.
  2. Lagos traffic is theeee absolute wurst, (yes I said wurst!) but at least, I get to suffer it in some comfort.
  3. The gift of music. Another thing that gets me through. 🙂
  4. Good health is a gift, y’all. Last week I had malaria, but now I am well. When I was doing my chores on Saturday, my body was so happy to be moving, bending, doing things without feeling heavy, slow or woozy.
  5. Family. My house is a busy place. Always a lot of people coming and going, though the permanent residents of the house are actually just 3. I may not like it all the time, but I’m thankful for them. Some people’s family stories are like Nollywood scripts, and many are too scared to really be around their own relatives and family friends.
  6. Friendship.
  7. All the love I have in my life. ❤
  8. It’s my parents’ wedding anniversary! 24 years of marriage, and almost a decade before that! 🙂
  9. MeeMee got her work visa approved! This is particularly amazing because she studied (and has fallen in love with) one of those things that would be useless in Nigeria, 2015. Not useless o, Nigeria needs people like her- but have you seen any openings for Bio-ethicists on Jobberman lately? It’s really wonderful that she gets to work in her chosen field. This gift is one so many people take for granted.
  10. My cousin (he’s 13 months old) is finally learning to trust his own two legs and I’m finding it so amazing to watch. :’)
  11. My favourite song at the moment- Applaudise by Iyanya. I’ve played it so much, my CD will soon scratch, haha! 

Over to you. What are you thankful for?

You don’t have to share it with me, but I’d like you to make your own list too. 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

A New Journey?

Hello Beautifuls!

How is the going going?

We are okay. MeeMee just moved into the apartment of her dreams, and I’m the new girl again, at a new (and better) job! Happy times over here. 🙂 We hope you’re doing great!

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Yung Rapunzel

I’ve been in box braids for two weeks, I think I’ll carry them for one or two more.

I’ll be the third natural at work (whoop whoop) so I’m not worried at all about how my hair will be received.

I think my natural hair journey, or my idea of it, is taking on a different form- adding more layers. I did not think I’d get here when I started, but I’m changing. I remember seeing a tweet a few months ago, about how in the year 2035, every woman will be a beauty blogger, lol. It was funny, it threw shade on the surface- but there’s more under that. Maybe this is for a different day’s discussion, but one angle today. Beauty blogging in every form may seem superficial, but it’s definitely more than teaching or learning how to be pretty and ‘on fleek’, at least to me. I think it’s about self-care. And that at some point, it encourages you to look within. You start to ask yourself- does it really make sense to care so much about what you expose your hair to, and at the same time ignore what you do with your body? How sway?

I’ve been breaking out a lot in the last one year, and it’s getting to me, if I’m being honest. I’ve tried a few things, I’ve had people suggest SO much- and no, I will not be trying all the cures they propose. One lesson from all the advice I’ve been getting is this- skin care is really a very specific thing. If you expect something that works for others to work for you, you’re just going to be very sad. I’m drinking a lot of water (always have), I haven’t used a towel on my face in ages, I take off my makeup, I do not let my hair products get on my skin (I’ve always hated that), I change my pillowcase every week- and more. Trust me, I have used a few of the products suggested to me (before and after suggestions) and my skin is just not impressed. So. To paraphrase Ms Hill, how can you win when you aren’t right within? Instead, I’m going to do my best to focus more on nourishing the self- I think that’s a better plan than trying everybody’s solution.

I still don’t like to exercise. It’s harder now because I can only do it on weekends, and weekends I want to sleep in. And though I know it does make me feel better later later, I really don’t see me cherishing workout time, ever. LOL. But, I’m getting there. Hopefully, I get to a point where I make it a habit, whether I like it or not. I’ll let you know when I take the first step, haha.

I tried a DIY facial last weekend, and recently it occurred to me that since I ran out of lotion weeks ago, I have been using coconut oil. For months now, I’ve been using Hempseed oil on my face (2 drops), morning and night. Am I not a sheabutter carefree black girl already? JK JK. But really though. Whether they’re capable of being absorbed into my bloodstream or not, I’m just at a place where I’m trying to simplify things. Why use a lotion with a long list of ingredients that I don’t understand at first glance, when I could just use coconut oil?

I’ve flirted with the idea of going vegan or vegetarian once or twice but nope, not as a lifestyle. I love meat and you can’t really convince me that some animals do not exist to be eaten. (Hey, no offence meant to our vegan/vegetarian followers!) I’m trying to change my food habits though, it’s less about a diet, and more about changing my lifestyle- eat more fruit and veg, eat less processed food and sugar- the aim is to be as critical of everything as I am of hair products and practices. This part is not easy because I LOVE my sweets and my dairy. 😦

Altogether, eating clean can look like such a pain, but I’m beginning to see that it doesn’t have to be. I will be blogging more about food in the days to come. Sharing the ways I make this journey easier for myself. Raise your hands if you were already kickin’ it with The Kink and I in the beginning, when I did food posts? You were? And you’re still here, I appreciate you. We appreciate you all, new and old. 🙂

The lovely Kesia of Island Kynks featured me on her blog, please go see it and check her blog out here. Don’t forget that till October 12, you can get 10% off your Nazuri Curls purchases when you use our discount code: KINKANDI. MeeMee ordered a wig from them by the way, I can’t wait till she blogs about it!

Love,

AB,

xx