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

Blending, Blended- More About Faking It With Nazuri Curls

Hi guys!

Eku Tuesday!

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As you know, I recently took down my sew-in weave with Nazuri Curls extensions. This last time, I didn’t actually wear the weave to “switch up my look”. That’s one of the things I like about extensions, though. Currently eyeing a purple and grey wig on Shop Zlanche, but where will I wear it to? Christmas is coming, maybe I should look foreign for Christmas? JK JK. Seriously though. As soon as I can get my makeup skills to match such exotic hair, I’ll be good to go. Lagos get ready! Def can’t wear it to work, so- weekends. Anyway, back to the post.

I was saying that I didn’t put on my Nazuri Curls to look different this time. I was effectively protective styling, but in a manner pretty close to my own hair- so close that I really didn’t know what to answer when people asked “Is this your hair?” “This really can’t be your natural hair right?” It was like people were convinced it was so natural, but they didn’t want to believe because of how thick or full it looked. I always wanted to add “but my hair is pretty close to this!” after I smiled and said no. Because people gotta know that African hair can flourish and prosper.

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With blogger boos Titi & Sandra 🙂

To successfully fake it with extensions, your options are as follows:

Plan A: sacrifice a West African twin chameleon (amongst other things) to TY Bello, the Chief Priestess of the blending gods. If you don’t know where to find a chameleon or TY Bello, then listen to Plan B! 😛 Continue reading

AB Loves: Jack 5ive Curl Activator Gel!

Hello lovelies!

Eku Keresimesi! Merry Christmas! I know I’m late, but I do hope you’re enjoying the holidays! 🙂 🙂

My hair is in a protective style at the moment (sew-in, Pro-10 Bohemian weave (like before, here) which seems to be ackin’ up in the Harmattan weather but I’m coping just fine). Yes, hair is hidden away under a weave but I’m here today to testify to the goodness of Jack 5ive Curl Activator!!

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Hairspiration Demi mentioned that this activator gel was a staple for her, and I made a mental note to myself to try it. I did get around to using it for the last 2 weeks before my weave. I was out of leave-ins so I got the activator from Favourite Supermarket on Marian Road in Calabar (for 1,100 naira. I’m pretty sure you could get it for 800 naira elsewhere though!).

Ingredients:

Deionized Water, Proplylene Glycol, Glycerin, Acetamide MIA, Carbomer-940, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Fragrance, FD & C Yellow #6

Worth noting:

Water is the first ingredient, and two humectants follow to complete the top 3- Propylene Glycol & Glycerin.

Panthenol is another humectant on the list.

This product is mineral and sulfate free, but it does have one paraben- Methylparaben.

Jack 5ive and Me

I tried this on wet, damp and dry hair and I have to say it works best on dry hair.

This Activator instantly melts away knots yo. Good slip for detangling and grrrrrrreat moisture! My days! Using it every three days between co-washes was enough. SOFT, well moisturised, easy to comb fro. No water or glycerine spritzes needed in between. I am in loveee!

In applying this product, try to achieve a balance. Too little may not be enough and too much may leave you feeling like it’s too greasy. I managed to find the right measure in between that was just right, after a few uses. With this gel though, I haven’t styled my hair. I’ve simply worn it in a fro- so I can’t say anything about this as a styling product.

It is a light gel, yellow-golden, but it’s transparent on your hair.

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Possible cons: I’m not crazy about the smell. It’s not overpowering though, so don’t let it blind you to the positives.

Most importantly, this activator gel is cheap and widely available here in Naij. As Demi says, Hi-5 for Jack 5ive! Whooop!

So, what do you say? Trust me, it’s definitely worth a shot!!

One last thing: for me it was simply moisturising. I have no visible curl pattern, so nothing was “activated”, just in case you’re wondering. The fro was just the same as usual.

one Jack 5ive morning

one Jack 5ive morning

In completely unrelated news, I was featured on Trials N’ Tresses last week. It’s a really cool hair blog, do check it out! 🙂 🙂

Have you tried Jack 5ive or any Curl Activator Gel? Are you a fan? Would you try one now? Holler in the comments!

May joy and peace, love and light be with you this season and always!

Love,

AB

xx

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