How To: Washing Braids (Updated Version)

Hey Beauts!

How is everyone doing? Happy April to you and you and you! This year does not seem to be lingering one bit.

So remember one of my first posts on here? I think it was probably my first post. It was about caring for your braids. That post was written a little over a year ago and it should come as no surprise that in the last month, I discovered an updated method to wash braids without having to create frizz prematurely. What do I mean? In the method described in the old post, I described how I washed my hair under running water from start to finish. This new method is pretty much the same, except with a tweak at the start of the process.

1. Shampoo


To do this. Fill a spray bottle with some water and pour in shampoo.

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Shake the mixture. Spray the cleansing mixture onto your scalp, along the parts of your braids.

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Scrub with your fingertips. This is very important because using your nails may cause your roots to frizz and get old very quickly.

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2. Rinse

Now you can step into the shower and rinse out under running water. Smooth the braids from root to tip as you rinse the shampoo out.

3. Repeat 1.

Depending on how filthy your hair is, repeat the first step until you are convinced that you have a clean scalp.

4. Oil Rinse

I have added this to my routine just because I love the results I get, especially when my hair is protectively styled. I use olive oil because it is always available in the kitchen and I don’t have to have a heart attack about literally pouring it down the drain. Put some oil in an applicator bottle and run it along your scalp until your hair is saturated.

5. Deep Condition.

Yes, people, you can deep condition your hair when it is hidden in braids. You can either choose to dilute your conditioner/ deep conditioner a little bit such that it can be dispensed via a spray bottle or an applicator bottle head. My reason for saying this is that you do not just want to slap on thick conditioner all over the length of your braids and scalp. What might end up happening is that you will not saturate your head of hair with the product. Using a spray bottle or an applicator bottle helps to direct the product where you want it to go. So just as was done with the shampoo, apply the conditioner/ deep conditioner along the parts. Also apply it along the length of the braids to wherever your hair stops. Put hair in a bun or pony tail and hide it underneath a shower cap or a heated DC cap, if you have one of those. I am looking to invest in one of those pretty soon.

6. Final Rinse.

You can now return to the shower for the home stretch. Rinse your braids as before underneath running water. Remember to smooth your hair with your palm as your rinse. And fin!

Personally, I have found that I get a lot of product build up and itching within the first week of any protective style. However, after the first wash (which I usually end up doing in that first week), I can go two or even three weeks without feeling the need to wash the hair again. The oil rinse tends to keep the hair shiny for an elongated period of time, and the dryness I feel in that first week which makes me use more and more products, is usually absent in the subsequent weeks, post-wash.

Have you found a hack to wash-day when you have a protective style on? Please share!

P.S: All the pictures in this post are screenshots of a video tutorial by JourneyToWaistLength. See below for the full video:

– Mee Mee

:* :* 

Oil Rinsing

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If you love protective styling let me hear you say “heeeey”

If you love twists let me hear you say “yoooo”

If you love twists so much that you leave them in so long until they look like you were born with them, make some noooiiissseee!!!

Yeah so it’s almost been three months since I’ve had these Marley twists in. Sigh. I admit, part of the reason is that I’m afraid to deal  with my hair what with everything that I have going on. At first the reason was that it was simply too early to take them out. I am still not used to having to pay so much just to get my hair done. So when I do get my hair done, I like to utilise my money. But now, winter is upon us and I just don’t see the point in taking out my twists and letting my hair out. I have redone the twists twice now just to refresh them. However, in recent weeks, I have noticed that my hair care habits have deteriorated. Heck, I cannot for the life of me figure out where my spray bottle is. So you know what that means. The most moisture my hair has been getting is stray drops from my overactive shower head and tiny showers from when it rains. Bad bad bad. So basically, I was tempted to take them out today. But I did not have time to deal with take-down plus post-take-down care. Not today, not this week, not ever. And then it came to me. Oil rinsing! (this has been a lengthy journey of words to get to the point of this post. Forgive me)

I have only known about oil rinsing for about a month and some now. I stumbled upon it when I fell into the dark unending vacuum that is youtube. Oil rinsing. I see those words and I think of oil just dripping down from weighed down hair and onto one’s face. Ugh. Some of that image might be true… especially in the process of doing oil rinsing.

What is Oil Rinsing?

It is basically saturating your hair with any oil(s) of your choosing before your condition your hair after a wash. It should not be confused with pre-pooing. Pre-pooing requires certain oils that need to be left in hair for an extended period of time before washing is done?

How do I oil rinse?

Simples. Get some oil that you like. For my first experience, I used Taliah Waajid African Healing Oyl. It smells divine, this oil (or oyl as the product prefers to be called. Fancay). After shampooing or first cowash, pour oil generously onto hair and scalp. Leave for about 5 minutes, as you would a conditioner while in the shower. I reckon that having warm water running in the shower may allow the process mimic a hot oil treatment for a little bit. Now there are two variants of the next step. Some people rinse off the oil and then condition as normal. Others add conditioner and then rinse both a while after. I did the latter (because, longer time for oil to be in hair). And that’s it really. Nothing elaborate.

What oils are best for oil rinsing?

So you read this post and it turns out today is washday for you and you want to try out oil rinsing. You’re good to go if you have an oilsaid oil is liquid and will continue to be liquid at all temperatures while in your hair, and you like said oil. That’s really it. Even melted shea butter can be used as an oil for oil rinsing.

So what are the benefits of oil rinsing?

  • It rescues dry hair. Especially after a protein treatment or henna.
  • Increases hair moisture and softness
  • Aids easy hair detangling because the extra oil you will get in your hair adds slip to hair.
  • Can help reduce frizz
  • Hair shine

Having said that, if you do not like shiny hair, if you never shampoo your hair and if you have a problem feeling the presence of oil in your hair, then mayhaps oil rinsing is not for you. With oil rinsing, you have to remember that because there is a tendency for the oil to attract dirt and what not, it is necessary for you to wash hair occasionally.

So as I started to blab about in the beginning, I tried oil rinsing on my twists and I have to say I’m ready to have these on for another year week. It completely rejuvenated the twists and the undergrowth.

While I have no before pictures of the dull, dry, brittle mess my hair was this is what it looked like after oil rinsing:

Ignore that bald patch. That's the result of a bad decision to get ghana braids done.

Ignore that bald patch. That’s the result of a bad decision to get ghana braids done.

I will definitely be doing this again and I am  interested in seeing the effects it will have on my beautiful fro when I decide to let it free.

I hope this was helpful to somebody. Has anyone else tried oil rinsing? Any advice? Testimonies?

Take all the positivity for the week. I wish you lots of good hair days!

– Mee Mee

By Lumo Naturals : My First UpDo

Hey guys!

Let’s play a game called ‘Name The Style’ ? 🙂

Here are photos of how I wore my hair at the Call ceremony two Fridays ago and for a week after.

Braids up the sides that ended in twists, and twists in the middle.

Then the braids and twists were married with some more twisting and held up with several bobby pins, to make an updo that I at first described as a mohawk, but now that I’m looking at it, the front looks like a flat-top haircut.

Anyway, I loved it. If you have a name for my updo, holler in the comments!





Maintenance: I simply oiled my scalp with coconut oil to prevent itching and dandruff, every two days or so.

Tip: If you’re considering recreating the style, it’d look even nicer with longer hair. Look at this photo of a natural with longer hair wearing almost the same style:


And one of my favourite styling tutorials from Laila-Jean (youtube: FusionofCultures) – Channelling Johnny Bravo.

Her hair is much longer of course, so add kinky extensions to the middle as much as you need; a lot for a more dramatic top or if you aren’t a fan of the flat-top finish, just a little.

The Credit

My hair was styled by NatMane at Lumo Naturals Salon,

Suite G8, Mbouty plaza, Marcus Garvey street, behind emirates hotel, 5th avenue, Gwarinpa.

Call 08094823173 to book an appointment and make enquiries.

Quick Review

I had to call the salon in advance to set up an appointment.

Nat has been natural for many years now, and as expected, she handled my hair like a pro.

She helped me choose the style; this was very much appreciated because I had no idea what to do. I needed to keep my hair off my face and a hair band was definitely not an option. In my mind, there was no way a braided style could fit a suit or an adult. ( ._.) But she definitely changed that! I’m looking forward to my next braided style 🙂

Lumo Naturals is a new salon and the owner Farida was interested in getting feedback.

At Lumo Naturals, customers are given a consultancy form to fill. There you state your hair concerns, any issues you may have. I filled mine out and Farida talked me through the points raised. She also promised to email in a few weeks to see how my hair is doing. 🙂

The service was great and I was very happy with my hair.

It’s an awesome protective style because my hair is totally out of my manipulative reach, and my ends that need the most protecting, are further tucked in.

How much did my hair cost? 2000 naira.

Would I visit again? Yes.

Oh and for the Abuja natural, Natural Nigerian products are sold there.

For more information about where to find Natural Hair Salons and Products in Nigeria, visit our growing directory here.

Have you been to Lumo Naturals? How did you like it?

Till Next Post,




Hair Rant: How I’ve Been Coping Post-Chop.

Hey Hey Hey!

It’s been ages since I blogged, I know, I know, I pledge to be better (this won’t be like the last time, I promise) It’s not like I forgot about the blog completely oh- it’s just that I have been going through a tough time! With my hair, I mean. So many downs meyn, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t share my frustrations, and let you know what I’ve learnt.

My first lesson today is- DON’T BE SPONTANEOUS!
Okay, at the end of June, I was getting ready to start law school, so I was worried about how my haircare might fit into the schedule there- I wasn’t doing a lot, but rubbing my moisturiser into the fro, from the scalp to tips, trying to make sure almost every strand got some, took me about twenty minutes on the average. So I got lazy, and those twenty minutes seemed like such a long thing. I started using a moisturiser (Kids Organics Extra Virgin Oil + Shea butter moisturiser) because
It smelled great- much much nicer than my coconut oil. I’m going to try fractionated coconut oil next- I hope it smells better than this version, or that it really has no odour at all. The smell of my coconut oil is a little too nutty for me. And I mixed it with some drops of lavender oil as well- which I really do not like as well. Having the lavender around me makes me feel like a bluddy air freshener, and I hate it.
The moisturiser was light enough, and it made my hair soft enough to comb. It lasted longer, so I didn’t have to carry a spritzer around to wet my hair with.
So you see my friends, it was an easy road!! It was good enough, but I decided to go for an even easier road- I opted for a trim!

Well, going for the trim wasn’t exactly a decision motivated by laziness and impatience. I mentioned in a previous post how after my Big chop, I didn’t feel scared of the scissors anymore, and I was thinking about going even lower in the future- ya know, Amber Rose and ting.
Went for the trim, and nah mehn, I wasn’t pleased with the results. I’m one of those people that you could call babyfaced, and immediately after my cut, I was reminded why. I looked like a child! I could be in high school, and get the children’s ticket at the movies, with no questions. I mentioned already, that I was starting law school- I didn’t want to be going to class and have people wonder if I’m sixteen or anything- and I didn’t want to feel the pressure to put a lot of makeup on every morning, so low cuts are ruled out of my future, until I’m thirty or forty or something. Maybe then, I wouldn’t cringe.
The low cut wasn’t the big problem. I just assumed that I could walk into any barbershop, since it was just a trim, what could go wrong? Any barber should be able to do that right? WRONG. I was so wrong! It didn’t look perfect to me, but I thought it was just typical me, worrying and imagining the “imperfection”. Every time I do something to my hair, it never looks good for like the next three days, I have to get used to my new face. So I went back to my place, and the gravity of what happened dawned on me when I hit the shower to wash my hair. I realised the hair was all chop-chop, different bits in different levels. Like some were high, some were low, and some bits were actually so so low that I could easily feel my scalp! Gasshhhh. Imagine my horror!! After my eight months of suffering, in a few minutes, some useless barber had set me all the way back! I was so upset, but what could I do? No amount of ranting or crying could get me my hair back! L
So the next day, I went to get my hair braided- I have braided three times since my chop, and it has been a totally different encounter from what I experienced with my relaxed/transitioning hair.

When I got lazy, I didn’t just rush to chop. One of my lovers, L, had really nice looong fat loose box braids so I loved em, and rushed to get mine done. BAD IDEA. In three, five days, my hair was all out, struggling to be free from every space possible. It was after I took em out that I went for the disastrous trim. After the trim, I went for box braids again, but this time, not as big. My hair still showed itself strong- I had to take the braids out after two weeks. Then I rocked a fringe, and then I did an invisible part.

What is it with the craze for invisible part in Nigeria though? I mean, I only tried it cos I wanted to hide my hair for a while- even they couldn’t wriggle out of that!! But so many people I saw with invisible partings, all of them with relaxed hair. IMO, Putting a little of your own hair over a weave is still the neater, more natural-looking way to go. No No No to the invisiblessss!!! And I’ve still not gotten over the fact that mine was done with bonding glue- glue on my head, will never feel right. And the parting got really dry, so dry and flaky, despite my attempts at oiling it with coconut oil. It didn’t just feel right abeg. Anyway- back to the matter:

After all else had failed, I decided to go to my tried and tested, trusty kinky twists. I felt that if my hair wanted to be rebellious and squeeze through, it wouldn’t be so out of place in kinky twists. Right? Wrong again.
My hair I realise, is squeezing out, not just because it’s kinky/curly/nappy, but also because it’s short. I don’t know if this makes sense to you. Until my hair is longer, I’ve been advised to stick to small sized braids.

This has been a long long rant, so let me just recap my lessons for you today.
Not to be obsessive or anything, but you always have to do a little research, ask a few questions. Don’t get giddy off what you see others doing, especially when they don’t have the same texture as you do.
Not many people know how to cut hair, it is quite an art, this, I have learnt the hard way. So please, even if you have to cross the seven mountains and seven seas, or wait a while, don’t trust just anyone with your hair. If you have a steady hand, and you’ve done it before, you might do a better job than just any person who calls himself a barber or a stylist.

It might seem like a lot of work, but that’s why this is a journey, that’s why it’s between your hair and you- learning what it likes. The next time you’re in a fix, rather than trying to go the hasty road, think about how you can learn something from this. For instance, I’ve realised that if I got an afro comb, I would probably find combing my hair slightly easier in the mornings.
5. LEARN!!!
From your mistakes, from other people’s. So please don’t do the sme-sme I’ve been doing.

My hair’s been growing though, since my poor poor trim in July. It’s not doing too badly, but I’m trying to keep it under for a while. It doesn’t look as bad as it did in the beginning, but the fro’s a little too one-sided. It sways to the left. Lol. Would go get a proper trim by a proper stylist, when I go home for the holidays, so I can really get this journey started!!!
Ah well. Better hair days ahead. I believe this! I can do this!!

P.S. Has anyone had any bad experiences, or discovered any good ways to manage their hair post big chop? If yes, please sound off in the comments! x