Hairspiration! : Eki

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Hey everyone, I’m Eki and I’m a style blogger at www.thechameleonblogger.com. I’m natural and I love fashion.

How long have you been natural? What inspired you to return to your kinks?

I went natural again after 5 years of being relaxed because I realized I really wasn’t missing out on anything and mostly because I couldn’t keep up with the routine of having my hair relaxed every now and then.

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Hairspiration! : Demi

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Hey guys! Meet Demisola!

Hi! My name’s Ademisola, a student at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. I was born and raised in Ibadan. Naija babe through and through! I’m a professional photographer as well. I own and manage Avril Photography. You can check out some of my work on my IG page, demicarson as well as on facebook, facebook.com/avrilphotographyNG.

Have you always been natural?

I had natural hair all through my growing years. My mum was against us relaxing our hair till we were done with secondary school. I whined. I begged. She didn’t budge. She didn’t think it was healthy for me and she didn’t want it to ‘distract’ me (you too you’re wondering what it had to do with academics abi. Lol) I did my best to make it ‘work’. Quite a number of people admired my hair back then. It was reasonably long, full and soft. But shaaaaa, I still wanted to relax it by force by fire. Not like I was trying to fit in o (okay, maybe tintini small), but I cooked up ways to manipulate my hair to get it less nappy/kinky.

I must have burnt my forehead 2 or 3 times while using a pressing iron; you read that right, to ‘straighten’ my front hair to get bangs. Was I stupid or not? I mean, look at me now.

Fastforward to Wednesday, September 3rd 2008, the eve of my 16th birthday, I joined the league of creamy crack users. I relaxed my hair. I had the most beautiful roller set with big bouncy curls I must admit. All day the next day, all I heard was ‘omg! You relaxed ur hair’ ‘wow, finally’ etc. A few months down the line, I started to hate it. Freshly Relaxed hair was flat. Annoyingly so. The thing just used to gum to my big head and make me look bald.

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I started to stretch out my relaxers and do roller sets so I had a semblance of big hair. I just couldn’t stand the lifelessness of my relaxed hair. Then I stopped relaxing completely. I didn’t even realise there was a natural hair movement thing going on, I was just being rebellious I guess. A lot of people were begging me to retouch my hair, I refused. Though I didn’t know what I was doing till a little while down the line when I started learning about natural hair and its care, you could say I was transitioning. Let me just tell you people now, TRANSITIONING IS NOT BEANS. I was forming ‘oh. I’m going to transition for two years. I want to study my hair before I take the plunge. Bla bla bla’. Story.

I was travelling with my family one morning and having been unable to style my hair inside the house, I took all my stuff into the car thinking I’d figure something out. All the way from Ibadan to Abeokuta, I was fighting with the mop on my head. Frustration did not even begin to describe how I felt that day. I got a lot of ‘kini nonsense too gbe sori yii?’ ‘Make sure you make your hair when you get back to Ibadan’. I was angry ehn.

Immediately I stepped back into my room, I picked a pair of scissors and handed it over to my sister to cut the annoying thing off. First snip and I started screaming. It had begun. It was too late to turn back. I was NOT ready! I ran to the mirror and was afraid to look. I shed a tear or two before going back to have her cut the rest off.  And on that day, 9th of November 2011, I became fully natural. Still wasn’t sure if I’d made the right decision, was still somewhat scared but after sending a picture to my S/O and hearing him gush about how adorable I looked (not like he’d have had the mind to say otherwise sha. But still), all order was restored in Demi-dom. All was well. Lol. I was confident enough to face the world. 

Few minutes after my Big Chop!

Few minutes after my Big Chop!

Tell us about your hair! Does she have a name? how does she feel? How would you classify her if you had to?

Shaniquaaaaaa! Lol. I’m kidding. My hair doesn’t have a name. I really don’t humanify my hair but hey… She has a mind of her own. I love her to bits but she drives me nuts. You spend all night twisting and doing all you can to get a perfect twist out and she’s just there chilling like ‘oh yeah? We shall see. *evil laugh*’.

I’m not really into the hair science thing. I zone out reading those articles. 😦 My hair’s always been soft to touch so coarse wouldn’t qualify it.

Fine textured; less than the thickness of a thread. Full head of it so I would say dense. Length; my back hair which is way shorter than the front should be about APL (Arm pit length) now. Front/middle hair’s about 8-9 inches last I checked. I’m trying to concentrate less on the length and more on its health.

Curl pattern; I’m not sure about this typing thing but I would say 4b (circular, crotchet needle diameter curls), mostly with the hair at my nape being 4a( waAy looser than the rest of my head).

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

I try to give my hair as much moisture as I can. This weather can be very harsh on it. Nobody wants crunchy hair. When I had shorter hair, I used to cowash every two or so days. Stretched that out to a week or two when it grew. Wasn’t practical dunking it under the shower so often.

I deep condition at least once a month with an egg, honey, glycerin, olive oil concoction. I add other stuff from time to time cus I like to experiment. Except I need a very thorough cleanse, I stay off shampoos. I use regular Dudu Osun black soap to wash my hair when I need a little more than a cowash. I clarify often with an ACV rinse as well (Whatever you do, do NOT get that thing in your eyes! Devil’s piss in a bottle).                                      

Staple products:

Water! And water based leave in conditioners loaded with humectants (glycerin, propylene glycol mostly). For a long time I used Lustrasilk’s Right-on; heaven on earth. For reasons unknown, the company has discontinued the line so finding it in Ibadan has proved difficult.

I’m yet to find a suitable replacement. I tried Nature’s Gentle Touch’s Intensive Leave in, major no no. Hair was drier than usual. Was probably the dimethicone.

Another staple is my whipped sheabutter mix. I add EVOO, EVCO, castor and whatever other oil I have lying around.

The Jack 5 Activator gel. Is another blessing from God in a jar. Thanks to this, my LIC-lessness hasn’t been so bad.  Has all the humectants you need and extra. You should try it. I swear by it.

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What are the things your hair cannot do without?

Water and shea butter

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

Mineral oyel! Spray gel (no brainer), petals shampoo(literally SLS in a bottle). Lol. Ill go out on a limb and say dimethicone. She loves to be stretched as well . Failure to do so and she repays me in SSKs and split ends

How do you like to wear your hair?

Signature style is the puff. Easy come, easy go.

I love simple updos as well. The usual roll, tuck and pin types. Lately, I’ve been trying buns. The cinammon bun is pretty awesome. I think I’ve only ever had one perfectly defined twistout. Wrong products, wrong techniques? I don’t know. But my hair just doesn’t cooperate. Add the humidity factor and that makes it worse. Twist out by morning, chunky afro by midday.

Speaking of afros, my hair likes to play games with me. Just be shrinking anyhow. I have a mighty afro for all of 5 minutes. Two hours down, its gone down about 50 percent in size. Annoying!

I’m only starting to embrace weaves and braids etc. That trip to the salon and the hours sitting don’t top my favourites’ list. But I’m taking from the 3LR Challenge and trying the protective style thing now.

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I’ve had weaves, I’m thinking of doing regular twists soon. I just hope I don’t end up looking prepubescent.  

How do you feel about shrinkage? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it?

In the past when I was in that annoying in-between stage, I embraced it. Used to rub/pat my hair down to make it as small as possible. Found a way to wear it in a small afro/jheri curl style (achieved using activator on bantu knotted rope twists). Now, I stretch all the time. Bantu knots and/or flexi rods everynight. I’ve used heat a couple of times but wasn’t pleased with the result. From time to time, I still wish my hair was smaller. Who knows, I might chop it off again.

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

Lol. This is Nigeria. Everybody and their mama has something to say. ‘Ahn ahn, aunty your hair is too due won’t you retouch it?’. Ehn, is it your hair? Is it your head? Is it your undergrowth? Leave me alone fa!

Once, two of my consultants said it was not decent. In their defence, my updo had gotten a bit of frizz to it, but still.  Over time, I’ve learnt to ignore people and their comments. Its my hair.

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For those who are outrightly rude, I give them a piece of my mind. Taken quite a few people aback with that because I’m usually quiet. But hey, someone has to stand up for Shaniqua and her peers right?  I’ve also had to walk out of some salons because of the way the stylists were grumbling about my ‘vageen hair’. I won’t have you using vex to comb my hair and still have to pay more. No no.

Its not all bad though. A LOT of people gush over how awesome my hair is. Just this Sunday, my pastor’s wife came to ask me what she could do to make her daughter’s hair like mine. A lot of people in school admire my hair as well so I guess in all, its cool.               

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

Some nights I’m too lazy to twist/rod my hair. Some nights tying it up in a scarf sef is too much work. My silk bonnet gives me a headache. I have a satin pillowcase somehwere but I think its hiding from me. Can’t find it. *shrug* put all these together and what do I get , SSKs and split ends in tangled abundance. A lot of people outgrow their Hand In Head syndrome. I haven’t. Major problem. Not having a proper leave-in is a challenge too right?

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Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

Urm. SSK and split ends free hair is not too much to ask for is it? *sniff* I just want healthy hair. I’m not crazy about length anymore but hey, its an added advantage. (I think my inner-man just yimu-ed at me for that statement. But really, I used to measure my hair like every two days. Now, not so much. Sometimes, SOMEtimes o, I envy those with hair down to their boobs. I see twist outs on long hair and I just side eye my own hair. Its all patience though. Ill get there someday by God’s grace. ) So yeah, goals. Healthier, *ahem* longer hair. (._. ) ( ._.)

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

A.Its just hair. Breathe. Relax.

B. Be sure why you’re going natural. Be sure you want to for yourself. Natural hair is very easy to give up on. The creamy crack will always be there staring you in the face so be sure you’re not doing it just cus its the ‘in thing’

C. Love your hair whichever way it comes. Your hair won’t be the same as the next man’s. @MisscookieGT once wrote that sometimes she wishes she had kinkier (class 4) hair. I almost died. WHATTTT! She has the most beautiful class 3 (I believe) curls ever. Me I’m here envying her hair, she’s wishing she had hair like mine. There’s no perfect hair. Your hair is your own. Love it. Nurture it. Your hair can and will be beautiful if you treat it right. Someone out there loves that exact same thing you hate about your hair. Never forget that.

D. Patience. Natural hair is a lot of trial and error. Just relax. You’ll figure it out. 🙂

Demi tweets: @Demi_Carson! She’s on Instagram: demicarson and you can also like her Photography page on Facebook: Avril Photography.

Whoop!

A very BIG thank you to you Demi for sharing your journey & your gorgeous fro with us this Friday! 🙂 I’ll definitely put Jack 5 Activator on my To-try list!

If you’d like to be our hairspiration too, just email: thekinkandi@gmail.com or drop a note in the comments. Tell your friends! We’d be more than happy to feature you!

Have a lovely weekend guys!!

Till next post,

Love, Peace & Healthy Natural Hair!

AB

xx

Going Back To Natural? Let’s Go!

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Hello lovelies!

We have come to the end of the Going Back To Natural series. Every single day of this week has been dedicated to enlightening, encouraging and inspiring everyone considering reclaiming their kinks, going back to natural hair.

This has been an interesting week. We’ve looked at what hair is and how relaxers work, how to transition from relaxed to natural hair, creating a healthy hair regimen and choosing hair products. You can catch the entire series here.

I’m still here for you- always an email away thekinkandi@gmail.com, but as this series comes to a close, I thought I’d say some last words:

1. Start Now.

Whether you’re transitioning, or you’re happy remaining on #teamrelaxer, I want you to be on #teamGoodHair, because good hair is healthy hair. Your healthy hair journey starts now.

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Yaya of life!

2. Be Ready.

Before you go, I’d love for you to be ready. Have a few basic products and tools that you’ll need. Also have an idea of what your regimen is going to be. So you don’t freak out after.

3. Natural hair does not equal healthy hair.

Being Natural is best for hair, but just because your hair is in its natural state doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to keep your hair happy and healthy with gentle appropriate TLC.

Aevin Dugas and her fro- the world's biggest fro.

Aevin Dugas and her fro- the world’s biggest fro.

4. Going back to Natural doesn’t mean you’re on your way to a full head of Bohemian curls.

It doesn’t help that in the media when natural hair is represented, it’s all about loose curls and clumped spirals. These are beautiful, yes but the whole point of going back to natural is going back to YOUR natural. It may be really curly and it may not. And that’s great. Because that’s YOU. You leave relaxed hair to be free only to become a slave to the perfect curl definition- that’s not freedom, love. Be ready to embrace your hair, your curl pattern as it is.

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Natasha of Mane Moves TV

5. There’s no hair genie in a bottle.

The (long) healthy hair you want is not in a bottle. The products will tell you what they want, and some of them may help but the real factors that affect your hair’s health are in your hands. Healthy hair practices make all the difference. Be ready to develop a regimen and the consistency to stick to it.

6. Your hair is primarily your responsibility.

If you’re a female like me living in Nigeria, chances are, you have no idea how to care for your own hair. You know how to brush and roll that Brazillian but I’m guessing you don’t know a lot about your own hair- relaxed, let alone kinky-curly. Fact is, most of our hair stylists know how to beautify our heads with extensions, but they know little or nothing about what our own hair actually needs. They don’t know how to deal with natural hair so guess what? You’re about to become your hair’s main stylist and caregiver. Don’t be scared, you can do this. As am I. And many many women around the world. If you have a stylist you can trust, please don’t turn your back on them now. With or without a stylist, you need to be in tune with your hair.

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Loc’d hairspiration: Synethia!

7. Listen to your hair.

Sounds like crazy talk? I know. Your hair is unique, hair speaks. If it likes or hates a product, it will show it. You just need to pay attention. 😉

8. Please Study.

As you listen to your hair, you NEED to do a little bit of studying to be able to discern what it’s saying. Read blogs, subscribe to newsletters, join forums. There are tonnes of information available on the internet (Thank Goodness!) and amazing resources. The Natural Hair community is a very open one, people are very eager to swap hair stories and experiences.

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9. Document your hairscapades!

It’s important that you document your experience, take a lot of photos! Keep a hair journal, start a blog! On your down days, you can look at old photos or old entries and see how far you’ve come. 🙂

xchrisette

10. Stay positive!

There’ll be days when you’ll hate your hair, days when you’re wondering what the point is, days you want to just rush back to the creamy crack. Stay positive, put your relaxer and texturiser out of sight- give them away, trash them! I had Hairspiration folders when I was transitioning. On my phone, on my computer- I became a fro spotter. I also had a board on Pinterest. On my lowest days, these people that don’t even know me gave me life.

On the blog, many naturalistas have shared their hair journeys and their hair pictures, very beautiful real life natural hair inspiration. Go meet them here. More hairspiration, you could check out these tumblrs- Le Coil, Klassy Kinks for starters- and on facebook, Natural Nigerian and the Kinky Apothecary.

You can do this. At your own time, on your own terms. You are beautiful, you can be fierce, you can own those kinky curls! 😉 And best believe that when you do wear your hair out, you are encouraging other people to do the same!

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Elle Veezy!

Nigerian curlies, if you need help finding hair products or a hair salon in Nigeria, this here could help.

Till next post,

Love,

AB

xx