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

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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.

Reader’s Review: Aunt Jackie’s In Control “Anti-Poof” Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner

Hey Beauts!

So today, we have a review sent in by one of our awesome readers to share with you. I hope you enjoy and learn from it as much as we did.

aunt Jackie's

Source: naturallycurly.com

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I want to talk about the Aunt Jackie’s In Control “Anti-poof” Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner, and I’ll be sort of comparing it to other conditioners that I’ve used so far.

Saturday, October 4

I bought Aunt Jackie’s yesterday (€3.95 for 250ml), because I saw a shop in my city that sells hair products mainly targeted at black people. So they have weaves, natural hair products, etc. I walked in to see if there were any cheapish products that I could try, because I had run out of my normal Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner, and I thought, “well, let’s see if there’s something else that’s also nice”.

My staple products are Tresemme Naturals conditioner (~€4.00 for 750ml) and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner, (€2.99 for 250ml).

I started buying HH because it’s nice and can easily be found and I can’t find Tresemme in this country (except, as I discovered recently, I order from the British Expat online store).

Also, I think my hair had gotten a bit too used to Tresemme and so it was beginning to ‘go rogue’ on me. So I started buying HH, and my second bottle has just run out. HH just melts my hair as soon as I put it in, it’s such a nice feeling, and I think that’s what conditioners should do. Tresemme and Aussie Moist do the same, but HH goes one step further, it sort of arranges my coils such that they pop. And the hair smells and feels great after I wash out the conditioner.

So, as you can imagine, I assumed Aunt Jackie’s would ‘melt’ my hair as soon as I put it in. Nope. It was as if I was rubbing my hair with bar soap. Continue reading

Product Review: Alberto Balsam Herbal Conditioner

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Empty, and Full

You see two bottles in that picture not because it was the bomb oh.

I liked using it to co-wash my weave, so I got another bottle to do more weave washing, and give it a proper run on my hair in its full kinky-coily 4C low porosity glory.

Ingredients:

Aqua(Water) Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance) Cl17200 (Red 33) Cl 18050.

Worth noting: this conditioner is sulfate and paraben free. Cetyl alcohol is a good fatty alcohol. And, water is its first ingredient. Though I missed this earlier, it contains a silicone, Cyclomethicone. Continue reading

Product Review: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturising Conditioner

Happy Independence Day, my fellow Nigerians!

Like play like play, we’ve entered the final quarter of year 2014. Can you believe it?

In two weeks, I’ll be done with NYSC. It’s nice to move on but, where did the year go?

Anyway. This is not why we are here!

Today, I’m here to sing the praises of my favourite conditioner (for co-washing), the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturising Conditioner. This is probably not the first time I’ve talked about Hello Hydration on the blog, and I actually thought I’d reviewed it before, but I hadn’t. So here I am now. 🙂

herbal essences hello hydration 1 liter-360x360

I started using this in January to see what the hype was about. Since then I have restocked twice so I can tell you from my experience that the hype is well deserved. MeeMee agrees, and so does my roommate. Continue reading