Leaving Is The Hardest Thing To Do…

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“…but being left is harder, yes it’s true.”

Tell me about it. I have been left y’all. Or “jilted” as Nigerian newspapers like to say.

By the ones I thought had my back. The ones I thought were my ride-or-die. It’s a cold world, no snuggie. *sniff* Continue reading

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Nazuri Curls: A Study in If-It-Ain’t-Broke

I retired Wanda last weekend.

If you don’t know about Wanda, she was introduced about a month ago here. I had been searching for the perfect wig for me and in Wanda I found my perfection. Now, one of the qualities I love about the nazuri curls afro hair is the curl pattern. The nazuri curls custom wig, while being done to specification, also had the plus of having a very desirable shape and length. I never thought that I would be able to wear any length of hair down. I am the kind of girl that always needs to tie her hair up or back or something – I just cannot stand hair touching my skin for too long. With extensions, the biggest problem is the unnatural and sometimes greasy, itchy feel of the extensions. However, with Wanda, I did not care. I had her down most of the time and actually liked the way the curls felt when they brushed my shoulders or the side of my face. Needless to say, I was enjoying rocking my Wanda every second of every day. 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,  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. 

The Washday Experience: K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar

Hello lovers!

AB here again 🙂

As I told you in yesterday’s post, I outsourced washday last weekend. I was too tired to do it myself, so I took my kinks to Kemi Lewis’ salon- K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar. You probably already know her (you should!) but if you don’t, Kemi is a really great natural hair stylist. Follow her on Instagram to see her handwork @kemilewis. 

It was my second time there to do my hair. The first time was in May 2014 when I did this. My friend T lives in the Estate so I’ve had to pop in to the salon on a few occasions to see her. Kemi also helped her transition, I think.  Anyway, anyway. I know that the salon can be quite busy, so me deciding to go there spontaneously was a gamble. I texted Kemi in the morning to see if I could book an appointment. She replied to say she wasn’t in, and as such, she didn’t know what they already had set up for the day. 

I got there at 3pm, one hour later than I had actually planned for the appointment- thanks to stupid traffic. Luck was on my side though, I met a pretty quiet salon! I was dancing inside.  In about 5, 10 minutes, my stylist for the day, Tope was ready for me. 

I chronicled this salon experience on Snapchat & I remember saving all my snaps to my gallery at the end of the day. Appaz, they weren’t saved, so I don’t have the pictures for a play by play. 😦



This Washday took about one hour, from start to finish. I loved the way she handled my hair (and I told her so). Here’s how we did. 

1. My hair was super duper tangled. I mean. So tangled it made me think about my future Locs lol, that tangled. She detangled with the African Naturalistas Moisturising and Detangling Conditioner, using her fingers & a wide tooth comb. I felt no tugging or pulling. I said this when I reviewed this conditioner a few months ago here– and I’ll say it again. This is super awesome stuff. It’s quite light so you won’t expect it, but the slip on this thing! Super slip for detangling, great softness and so much moisture. One of my fave products this year and it’s only 1,500 don’t sleep on it!

2. She shampooed my hair with a sulfate free Shampoo from Keracare. 

3. Then, she conditioned it with a Design Essentials conditioner. Rinsed out after leaving it in for ten minutes. Washing done, my hair was wrapped in a cotton t-shirt. 

4. Drying time! She moisturized with a leave-in product from As I Am, and spritzed my hair with the Keracare Silken Seal Liquid Sheen, a heat protectant. She blow dried my hair on low to medium heat (it wasn’t hot at all), with a comb attachment. 

5. She added a little more of the As I Am as needed, and sealed with coconut oil. I asked her to put my hair in two braids (which I’m still wearing) and we were done. 

It cost me 2,000 naira to wash & dry, and an additional 1K because I used their products. 

Tope was nice and fast, and super gentle with my hair. I was extra impressed with the fact that they didn’t use anyhow anyhow products- just quality stuff. And, it’s worth mentioning that she wasn’t stingy with the products too. Unlike the last salon I was at *cough cough* ( ._.)

K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar is at 29C Ikorodu Crescent, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi. 08063650977.

Have you ever been here? Are you a regular? Would you consider going? Tell me about it! 

P.S. They’re closed on Mondays. 

Love,

AB,

xx

Hairspiration!: Jensine

Hey beauts! Happy Friyay!!! If you aren’t already, I hope today’s hairspiration will put you in the right mood for the weekend!

Hello! Tell us about you, girl!

My name is Jensine, aka Jungle Naps on Youtube. I live in California with my handsome husband and one very curious kitty. I’m a cycling instructor and I love to whip my students into shape! You can often find me yelling, “Sprint like you stole something!” during class.

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Have you always been natural?

I went natural at the age of 17. Almost by mistake really. I was going off to college in a nondiverse part of California. With no car and no motivation to keep up with a relaxer and high maintenance press and curl, I put my hair in box braids for 5 years. Looking back on it now, I’m so proud of myself. But I still had a looong way to go. I had no idea how to properly detangle or wash my hair in its natural state between braiding. Flash forward to 3 years ago, I came across natural hair tutorials online. I literally thought, “If they can do it, why am I paying all this money to braid my hair?” I wanted to embrace my natural beauty and leave behind the pressure of what society expected me to look like. I am so lucky that I had such a great support system. My friends and family embraced my wild and free hair with open arms.

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Tell us about your hair!

My hair is definitely a free spirit. A good hair day never happens the same way twice. If I had to officially categorize it though, I have 4C hair. My parents are both from Haiti, deep in the country, hence the name Jungle Naps. It has low porosity, so I usually deep condition under a hooded dryer.

How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?

I’m always switching up my regimen. Currently to effectively cleanse my hair, I use Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo. It smells divine and it’s free of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. I follow that up with a deep conditioning treatment under my hooded dryer for 3060 min. I alternate between: Giovanni Smooth as Silk, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist, and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. I like to mix my conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor oil. It literally gives my hair life! Afterwards, I apply my leave in (As I am Leave In Conditioner) and detangle with a denman brush. For styling, I love using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie for twist
outs and bantu knot outs. It gives my style hold while keeping it moisturized. Plus what’s not to like, when you smell like a tropical paradise afterwards.

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What are the things your hair cannot do without?

Water and aloe vera juice! I spray it on my hair every night before bed. Oh and shout out to my silk scarf! Can’t live without that one either.

What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?

Oh this is an easy one! My hair hates tight buns. I used to shoot for the “laid edges look,” but that left me with some balding spots around my hairline. Lesson learned.

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How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?

Twist outs and buns with a nice flat twist to frame my face are the usual for me. If I really want to get real fancy, I’ll do a curl former set.

How do you feel about shrinkage?

I love it and hate it. On the one hand, it’s part of what makes natural hair so beautiful. On the other hand, sometimes, I’d like to have a little more control over when it will happens.

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

Nope, no negativity allowed in my section! Haha but seriously. I went natural to make myself happy so no one can tell me how I should present myself. I find that those that feel the need to be negative are usually projecting their own insecurities on you. I just keep shining bright and come back with my hair wilder and bigger than before.

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

My challenge lies in developing the proper trim regimen. When I lax on trimming, my ends start breaking, but if I over trim, I don’t see much length retention. I’m experimenting to get it just right.

Do you have any hair goals short or long term?

Yes! I’m trying to grow my hair down to waist length (stretched). I’m almost at bra strap length currently.

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

If you’re not sure if you want to go natural, in the words of Nike, Just Do It! It will be the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself. If you’re newly natural, just know that there’s a steep learning curve. You’ll spend many wash days confused as to why a certain product hasn’t worked. You’ll even grimace after more than a few failed Youtube tutorials. Just know that you’ll find your way.

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You can connect with me on:
Youtube | Jungle Naps https://www.youtube.com/user/junglenaps
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/junglenaps
Instagram https://instagram.com/jungle_naps
Twitter https://twitter.com/JungleNaps

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

– MeeMee

xx.