Going Back to Natural: A Throwback Post

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Hey beauts!

For those of you who have followed The Kink and I from way back when, you will notice that the content has evolved as AB’s (and my) hair has evolved. We do not want our darling newbies to feel out of their depths, though. Below are top 10 tips for you to keep in mind as you go back to natural that AB had posted back in 2013! Continue reading

All Na Packaging

Hello my beauts!!!

Allow me to wish you a brilliant new year! During my reflecting on 2015 and gazing into 2016 with new eyes, one sentence has stuck with me. Mother says it is a message for me, dropped into my heart for a purpose. I have decided to wish this to all who care to accept it. And so, for you and you and you, today, I say, May your path be yours!

Ok. Ok. Ok. Why have I brought you here today?

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For the Nigerians here, how many times have you heard the expression “all na packaging” and dismissed it as bull? I know I am guilty of doing that. Translated directly, all na packaging is pidgin for “it is all in the packaging” or “it all lies in the packaging”.

Well, I have come to realize, in the spirit of introspection, that I am a very visual consumer. Mmmm, MeeMee, but who isn’t?! Right? Who isn’t? Continue reading

Meet Wanda, Big Betty’s Cousin

Hey beauts!

Have you ever got a new do that just instantly transforms you into Beyonce’s biggest competition? No? Then you probably probably need a Wanda in your life!

Remember Big Betty? Well Wanda is Big Betty’s cousin from the same mama (doesn’t make sense, just go with it). I finally received my much anticipated custom made wig (aka Wanda) from Nazuri curls, last week and I was so quick to ditch my crochet braids like it was garbage.

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Reaching into the yellow purse that held Wanda and feeling the softness, definition, and volume of her curls, I was immediately smitten. Honestly, I have never felt anything like it (I don’t do a lot of touching of other people’s hair, ergo, I have never owned hair that feels like this one). Now, because I have only rocked this hair for all of 5 days, you are free to dismiss my gushing as new love syndrome. But hey! It is real new love and it feels so damn good.

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Feeling maself, feeling maself

The volume of this hair is one of the most surprising things to me. I had incorrectly said on instagram that the wig was done with 3 bundles of hair and 1 side part closure. Apparently, Wanda is just 2 bundles of hair (12″ and 14″) and 1 side part lace closure (12″). Fin. As mentioned earlier, providing the wefted hair is not the only service that Nazuri curls blessed me with. You see, I have sworn off weaves. I love the look of a well done weave. Oh I absolutely love it. However, by no fault of mine (my mother will disagree strongly and point fingers at the full jars of hair cream I always brought back home at the end of every term in boarding school) I have dandruff prone scalp. Which means that when my hair is hidden away, if it is not cared for properly, it begins to snow from my scalp. This is such an embarrassing and frustrating battle that I have been fighting for a long time now. And so one of the things that I have had to give up are weaves, for no reason other than they are a nightmare when it comes to caring for the scalp underneath. So how can I get the weave look without ruining all the progress I have made with my scalp health? Wigs! So I sought the service of Nazuri curls and added their custom wig to my order.

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I’m feeling mah, feeling mah

I can tell you now that I do not regret shelling out those extra dollars for this wig. After placing my order, I received a form where I could detail how exactly I envision my wig. Nazuri definitely delivered my vision. The wig cap feels sturdy and is breathable. There are combs, there is an elastic band that goes across either side of the head, and there is a clasp. Talk about triple protection! Let me see the force that will throw this wig off my head.

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I can gush continuously about my new love, Wanda! If you have been looking for a ride or die wig or even just wefted hair or clip-ins, then I definitely recommend Nazuri curls. It does not hurt that you can also get 10% off your purchase order when you use the code THEKINKANDI. They ship worldwide and having contacted them mid-order period to change the delivery address, I can attest to their customer service being very present and impressive. I am a very happy customer and I shall go on to spread the word about Nazuri. I am looking forward to sharing Wanda with you and to finding new ways to show her off!

Oh Nazuri carries different hair textures as well. In the future, I might be adding their straight wig to my collection. We’ll see.

Until next time, beauts!

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– MeeMee (and Wanda)

xx.

Product Combinations: A Lesson in pH Balance (1)

Hey beauts!

Do we remember when AB took us back to school with her Hair Basics series? I actually liked those posts. Personally, it helps for me think in a logical sense, especially because I have a love for all things human biology. (I was that person that dreamed about anatomy class and spent all my free time in the dissection room, peeking into open body cavities).

Last week Thursday, I was one of the ladies that were treated to a pre-valentine’s dinner with Obia of Obia Natural, organised by Jullian R Addo of Bella Kinks. The highlight of that entire evening for me was when Obia came up in her beautiful red dress, and held up cards as she taught an entranced room of naturalistas all about pH and why it matters. I am going to attempt to do a recap for you. Please, please, don’t get put off just yet. You WANT to have this information and I promise you, it’ll be one of those ‘Aha’ moments!

WARNING: No pictures ahead :(.

What is a pH, anyway?

Potential Hydrogen. Potentiation of Hydrogen. Power of Hydrogen.

Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. What we need to know is that pH is a measure of how much Hydrogen ions are contained is a solution. The more hydrogen ions that a solution has, the more acidic that solution is. The less hydrogen ions, the more basic that solution is.

Remember how when we learnt about H2O, we went around referring to water as H2O? That’s because water is the most common example of when a solution is neither acidic, nor basic. It’s just right; it’s neutral. So usually, when we talk about pH balance, we mean a solution that is synonymous to water.

Solutions (because we think of them as liquid), usually have both hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxide ions (OH-). So an acidic solution = more H+, less OH-; and a basic solution = less H+, more OH-.

Is this making any sense so far?

Now, there is a pH scale that is used to measure how acidic, or basic a solution is.

1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9       10       11       12       13       14

most acidic                                Neutral                                                        most basic

What does this have to do with me and my hair though?

Hair has a pH that ranges from 4.5 – 5.5. This is the pH at which your hair is its healthiest. Of course, because you and I are different, some people might have a hair pH of 4 or 6, but typically this is the expected pH of healthy hair. For those of us who took some classes in agricultural science, we know that one of the characteristics of good soil for plant growth is that it should have a good pH that will promote growth. The same thing goes for our hair.

Ooookaayy… Now what?

The products you put in your hair have pHs too! And these alter the pH of your hair, and the structure of your hair!

As a general rule of thumb, bases open your cuticle and acids close your cuticle. Just like hot water opens your cuticle and cold water closes your cuticle.

Pause. This cuticle thing, I can’t see it. Why should it matter? Well, you actually can. The cuticle is the outer covering of your hair shaft (or strands). It’s what makes our hair strong and protects it from damage. But it is water resistant. So in order to get any moisture in, those cuticles have to be opened (or raised). So this means that in caring for your hair, you want to begin with products (and water) that open up your cuticles. Then, you want to end with products (and water) that close your cuticles i.e. locks in the moisture.

Ok. I’m going to let you sit on this for today. Tomorrow, we will look at our common household and store brought products, and determine if we use them in a pH balanced manner.

– Mee Mee

xx.

Introducing: Meemee’s Kinks

Hey beauts!

Forgive me. One of the comments on my Being me blog tag confirmed what I had been thinking. I really never introduced myself, neither have I ever talked about my hair! Sacre bleu. Unacceptable, right? Today, I plan to right all my wrongs.

As AB said in her reply to Fola, AB and I, together… “WE. ARE. THE KINK AND I!” (Read in a This-is-Sparta way). Who are we, you ask? AB and Meemee, we are best friends that have been going through life’s journey, and now hair journey together for many many years. AB was my hairspiration and the springboard from which I launched the courage to finally do my big chop. This is my hair story, so far.

Posted by Funmy Kemmy on Friday, August 02, 2013

What matters is how you see your hair! This is my hair’s alter ego.

After wearing my hair short and natural for 7 years, because, secondary school (I cut my hair before I started my last year of primary school. I was 9. My cousin had cut her hair for secondary school and I really disliked having to weave my hair every week with those women that treated your head like it was a phantom head. So I cut it.), I put the creamy hair crack in my hair before my hair had even made any growth progress. I think this is what killed my chance to have any growth at all. But I quickly realised that I do not like relaxers. They sting, they leave scalding burns on my scalp, they smell, they make my hair too flat on my head, ugh. So I made the switch to texturisers. I liked texturisers because they never actually made my hair straight or thin. They just made it easier to comb. Then they started to burn my scalp as well. That was when I made the decision to just stay off any of these chemicals altogether.

At this time, AB has started transitioning and she made it sound oh so fun. I wasn’t doing any research the way she did, I wasn’t taking any special care with products and protective styling either. My hair began breaking so much. It irritated me a lot such that one day, after doing a wash, I put the hair in a ponytail, took a pair of scissors and chopped the tail off. Stupid move! Of course it looked very raggedy. But I was quite happy about it. I had a stylist cut it into a nicer style after that and began to treat my hair a little nicer. wp_ss_20140719_0003   And then on Monday, September 30, 2013, I woke up, looked at my hair, got annoyed and walked to the saloon down the street and watched whatever was left of my straight, permed tips fall to the ground around me! October 4, 2013 was when I had my hair cut with a clipper, so that’s the first official day I started nurturing my natural hair.

My 'Big chop'

My ‘Big chop’

As you can probably tell, I have 4c hair. And if I’m entirely honest, for the longest time, I only thought of girls with 4c hair as having natural hair. Of course I was naive about other textures. But I would say that when I get envious of someone’s hair, it is usually because of their length, rather than their texture. After my big chop, I fell into the trap of expecting my hair to grow as fast as other people’s did, or to act the same way. So of course, I got frustrated when after 3 months, this is all I had:

Clearly not amused...

Clearly not amused…

You see, every time I would put my hair in a protective style (which is usually 90% of the time), I always imagined that my hair would look like this after take down:

Hair so big, can't even fit into the entire image

Hair so big, can’t even fit into the entire image Source: zestyfashion.com

But no matter how much I stretch after washing, this is what I get:

Super shrinkage or no?

Super shrinkage or no?

So my hair had a talk with me. And the outcome of that talk was to give it tlc, and focus on just that. It promised to grow, as long as I continue to give it unconditional tlc (well, I’m waiting for it to keep its end of the bargain). In the last few months, my hair has taught me something that I have also began to implement in my life. Enjoy the process. Results are good; good results, brilliant. But what’s the fun in living life from result to result? What happens to the in-between? And if the result is not desirable, one should be able to say “well at least it was a fun ride”. Ok, I’ve exhausted my deep talk quota for the week in this paragraph.

TWA forces into a faux bun.

TWA forced into a faux bun.

Anyway, the moral of this post is that I have oh so many hair goals and I have oh so much to learn. This blog has been great with providing me with lessons and sources to learn more from (thanks AB!). And now, novice as I am, I hope to work with AB to continue to do that for you guys and to share the process of my hair journey with you.

Fake it till you make it.

Fake it till you make it.

And so concludes my hair story… for now.

Have a brilliant new week, beauts. Till next time.

– Mee mee xx