Lazy Sunday

Hey guys!

How are things?

AB here! It’s a very lazy Sunday for me in Calabar.

Earlier today, I co-washed and finger detangled Big Betty. She’s crazy soft, and her curls are poppin’.

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I didn’t wash in twists which wasn’t a good idea now that I think about it, because I couldn’t give my scalp a good rub. I’ll fix this next week. After washing though, I finger detangled some more with my trusty Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Cream and put her in 15 twists, and then massaged my scalp as best as I could, with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I moisturised my leave-out with Cantu, sealed with JBCO and twisted it up too. I intend to leave the twists in till tomorrow.

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To co-wash, I used the Alberto Balsam Sun Kissed Raspberry Herbal Conditioner. I bought this on Wednesday at the Valuemart on Marian road, 500 naira for 400ml. I was hovering in the beauty products aisle, feeling the need to grab something. It was the cheapest and the best size value for money, plus it smelled really familiar so I just took it. It was good I did sef because I’m almost out of Hello Hydration and I didn’t want to use all my conditioner on this weave that’s over 3 times the volume of my hair.

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Supermarkets aren’t my go-to place for hair products. I’m often disappointed when I read through the ingredients, but still I hover in the hope that I’ll find something good, and nice and cheap. This time, I think I struck gold with this conditioner.

On getting home, I smelled it again, and took to Google. Alberto Balsam is an Alberto Culver brand. And so is V05. No wonder it smelled familiar! Alberto Balsam and V05 are pretty much the same product marketed under different names in different countries. So if you’re a V05 lover, when you’re running low, if this is available instead, you could get it. (and FYI, Alberto-Culver brands are Unilever brands. Unilever acquired the Alberto-Culver company a while ago)

And the ingredients? No silicones, no mineral oil, no sulfates, no parabens! Yuup.

I’ll do a proper review when I’ve got to use this some more, but for now, from this co wash, I think it’s nice. It was good to my weave and the little hair I left out as well. For 500 naira, this isn’t a bad addition, and I already know I’m going to buy at least 2 more bottles (yep, opportunistic product junkie!)

Also at Valuemart right now are cute 200ml bottles of Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioners, for 500 naira each. I was about to bust a move when I saw that familiar blue Hello Hydration bottle, but on getting closer, I saw it was the Moisturising Shampoo instead, not the conditioner as I’d hoped. They’ve also got Tresemme, but not Tresemme Naturals. If you’re in Calabar, you might want to stop by.

Moving forward, I’m going to be making more hair buys from supermarkets. Not huge hauls, but one interesting thing now and then. The ingredients may raise brows but all those things- can they really be all bad or all useless? What’s the worst that could happen? If my hair feels like hay after, I can always reset with my staples. And they’re relatively more affordable, so it won’t pain me so much if I buy something and it turns out to be actually skreps.

P.S. if you sent me an email, please don’t eye me lol I promise to reply all emails by the end of tomorrow. 🙂

Love,

AB,

Xx

WASHDAY!: Mud wash

Yep. I said Mud. I washed my hair with clay. Mud. Now isn’t that… Counter-intuitive? That’s the word you’re looking for. I knowww. But it was amazing. Let me tell you alllllllll about it! 😀

Last Sunday was Washday. True to my word, I took down my twists when I got home as soon as I’d rolled my luggage to a corner. I had a little help from my little cousins who were visiting, and eventually, my baby brother.

My hair is naturally very dry, so I do not care for Shampoo at all. It leaves my hair all dry and rough and tangled. I do not own a bottle of Shampoo. Since my Big Chop, I don’t think I’ve shampoo’d more than 5 times. What do I do instead? I clarify my hair with no-Poo methods like this one, or I simply wash my hair with Black soap. And when I do shampoo, I pre-poo by saturating my hair with oil first.

So Sunday, as a no-poo clarifying alternative to Shampoo, I did a mud wash. I was very pleased with the results and I’ll definitely be doing this again!

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WHAT I USED

Bentonite Clay (About 4 spoons)

Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)

Carrier Oils: Castor, Olive

A few drops of Tea-Tree Essential Oil

Honey

Plastic bowl, plastic disposable spoon

(please, feel free to use the oils you want to. I used what I had. Though, Castor & Olive are good oils for conditioning)

I got my Bentonite Clay and AVJ from Ahia Natural Nigerian (through Natmane in Abuja) but I’m pretty sure you could find Aloe Vera Juice at any decent health shop or pharmacy.

WHAT I DID

1. I really didn’t do much measuring. My hair is short and I figured 4 spoons of the clay would be okay. I added enough AVJ to mix the clay to the consistency I wanted. Let’s say I added two spoons of honey & one spoon of Castor and Olive oil each (I just poured straight from the bottles), and 3-4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil.

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2. I mixed all the ingredients in the plastic bowl, with the plastic spoon. They say you shouldn’t use metal utensils, I’m not really sure why. I’d love to find a small wooden spoon. My mother would not take kindly to me using her wooden spoons to mix my concoctions lol. I ended up using 2 plastic spoons. They were really flimsy disposable spoons so one broke half way. I didn’t have the patience to mix it to a perfectly smooth consistency but it didn’t matter in the end.

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3. Satisfied with the mix, I spritzed my hair with water for it to be a little damp, and then got the gunk all over it.

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4. I wore a plastic bag (again, life is too short to be washing shower caps) and wrapped my plastic-wearing head round with a warm towel. I’d put the towel in to microwave for about 30 seconds, and let my body heat do the rest.

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5. 30 minutes after, I was ready to wash but decided to give it another 30 minutes just because I felt like it.

6. I washed my hair over the sink. I prefer this to washing in the shower because it’s just easier for me to gather my shed/broken strands from the sink drain than the shower. By wash, I mean I rinsed the clay out of my hair with clean water, just a little warm, that’s how I like it. All done!

RESULTS, RESULTS!

My hair felt great yo. So clean. It didn’t feel dry or stripped! Detangling was a breeze. Here’s what I lost in the process of finger-detangling x twisting.

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Now, my hair was still all clumped together because I hadn’t combed it out. Look at the coil definition! Coils be poppin’! Haha. I attempted to capture it on camera, I hope you can see what I see!

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Then, what I did next? I towel-dried my hair, yep, with an actual towel I designated for the purpose. Frizz is SO not my problem at this stage in my hair journey so, I’m just happy with gentle towel-drying with my towel. My hair towel is nowhere as thick as my body towel. It’s one of those ones that come in a tiny compact package that you have to put in water to release it for the first time.

Then I moisturised with a leave-in, sealed with olive oil, put my hair in chunky twists and left my hair alone. I’ve been indoors since then, so my hair is still in the twists.

Time saver tip (something I realised): it is easier and faster to moisturise the entire fro first and then section & twist after, than to moisturise & seal each section. If you do the first method, you can pay more attention to sealing the ends when you’re done.

Another great thing about this method, it is an absolute time saver for Washday when you’re very busy. Why? Because, your mud wash = Clarifier + Conditioner + Deep-Conditioner rolled into one! True story!

Maybe, just maybe, Washday can come earlier to this girl’s fro. Rather than every 4 weeks, I could do this every 2 weeks, alternate with my regular deep-conditioning routine on weekends. We’ll see!

So, my loves. Have you tried a Mud wash before? What were your results? Will you be trying one out soon?

Love,

AB

xx

A LITTLE EXPERIMENTATION: Rinse-out Conditioners As Leave-Ins

I’ve been away from the blog and school work. A lovely restful week I had, doing nothing. I did not realise how badly I needed a break until school closed for the Easter holiday. I’m mentally and physically refreshed now and ready to get back to work. And yessss, the kinky twists are back. Yay. 🙂

So the last two weeks before the break, I tried something- using rinse-out conditioners as leave-ins.

FIRST OF ALL…
I think everyone is familiar with what conditioner is.
Generally, we could categorise conditioner into two-
Rinse-out conditioner and leave-in conditioner.

Rinse-out conditioner is designed to be rinsed out and leave-in conditioner, to be left in (haha. I’m sorry, no other way to say it)

So now, let’s consider the “design”. Rinse-out and leave-in conditioners are formulated differently. Chemistry is not my thing, so let me just put this as I understand it.

Rinse-out conditioners are heavier. They are used after shampooing to smooth the hair cuticle and restore moisture to the hair. A good rinse-out conditioner should have fatty acids, fatty alcohols and surfactants.

Leave-in conditioners are much lighter. The basic leave-in ingredients are water, and humectants. The purpose is to provide moisture to the hair.

INSPIRATION
In a video, vlogger Mahoganycurls mentioned that she had been using a regular rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in. I’m almost out of Creamy Hair Lotion (ugh) and I was particularly interested because her conditioner of choice in the video is the Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner. My rinse-out conditioner is the Suave Naturals Aloe & Waterlily conditioner, so I thought I’d give it a try. But first, I did a little reading. Here’s what I got.

1. Using a rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in is not an absurd hair practice.
2. Some people do it because their hair is super-thirsty and needs extra moisture.
3. Using a rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in can increase the likelihood of build-up so clarifying is necessary.
4. Using a rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in can cause itchiness. Particularly if the conditioner has any proteins or some quaternary ammonium compounds or quats for short.

Wait, wait, wait.
It’s easy to tell if your conditioner has proteins (kinda) but not so easy with the quats. Quats aren’t exactly listed like “x-quat and y-quat” so this is another thing to watch out for.
Leave-in conditioners have quats too but because rinse-out conditioners are designed to be rinsed out, the quats therein may be present in larger amounts than your hair should be left in long contact with. As a consumer, you might not be able to easily identify these compounds and even when you can, you do not know how much is present in your conditioner.

SO, MY EXPERIMENT
Week 1: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturising Conditioner.
Week 2: Suave Naturals Aloe & Waterlily Conditioner.

The Aubrey Organics was basically Aqua + Natural ingredients + fatty alcohols. Not a single ingredient to flag or Google. The Suave on the other hand had a lot more chemicals on the ingredient list (I was able to identify one quat) so I was particularly wary and tried to use as little as possible.
However, the conditioners have two things in common. Both conditioners are silicone free. Both have humectants (Suave has Propylene Glycol and Aubrey Organics has Glycerin) but I mixed the conditioners with a little glycerine anyway.

WHAT I DID
– I put the conditioner on like the top 75% of my hair, avoiding the roots because I didn’t want to risk any irritation.
– I sealed with olive oil (I’m out of Coconut oil and SPAR is out of stock >_< )
– I refreshed my hair with a light water spritz in the afternoons and sometimes an hour before bed.
– I co-washed twice a week.

CONCLUSION: I SAY.
I finished my two-week experiment with no itching or other irritation.

Yes, rinse-out conditioners can be used as leave-ins.

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturising Conditioner looks perfectly safe enough to be a leave-in. I’ve had this since May 2012 but I haven’t really enjoyed it as a rinse-out conditioner. I prefer it as a leave-in but it’s not the cheapest of the lot (in this Nigeria anyway) and It’s definitely not cheap enough for me to put it to daily use. It was noticeably more moisturising than the Suave.

I was really not comfortable with all the strange substances in the Suave conditioner and it wasn’t very moisturising for my hair. My hair got dry and crispy quicker than it got with the Aubrey Organics in Week 1.

I don’t intend to make a habit of using rinse-out conditioners as leave-ins BUT If I’m ever in a fix, without any leave-in conditioner- at least I know I won’t be helpless.

At the end of the experiment, I clarified with baking soda. We don’t want no build-up!

Do you use a rinse-out conditioner as a leave-in? Have you ever tried? Tell me about it.
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Let’s Talk About SLIP

My hair is really kinky and it tangles pretty easily so I detangle once a day and sometimes, once in two days.

One of the first things I learnt on this hair journey is that conditioner is my friend. Some naturalistas say that all they need on the daily is water (for moisturising) an oil and maybe a butter (for sealing). I’ve tried it but too bad, I’m not one of those people. In addition to not combing my hair when it’s dry or when it’s too wet, I must also not comb my hair when it has not been visited with conditioner in recent times. And by recent times, I mean 24 hours (sometimes 48)

To detangle, you need:

-your fingers and/or a wide toothed comb +
-a conditioner or a detangler with slip.

Q. What is Slip?
A. Slip is short for slipperiness. It is a term in Natural Hair lingo describing the slipperiness of a conditioning or detangling product.

Q. Why do you need products with slip?
A. The more slip a product has, the better it coats your hair strands and this makes it easier for you to detangle.

Q. What does a product with slip look like?
A. Conditioners or detanglers with slip are often of a thick and creamy consistency. Oils can condition your hair too, and they aren’t thick or creamy. It’s really not about how a product looks but how it makes your hair feel. Conditioner and Shampoo are similar in consistency yet one has slip and the other does not.

Q. How do you know a product has enough slip?
A. You know a product has good slip because detangling is really easy when you have that product in your hair.
Shampoo hasn’t got any slip. When you shampoo (even with relaxed hair), detangling is done at the conditioning stage.

SO THE OTHER DAY, I FORGOT ABOUT SLIP…
In my last Wash day post I mentioned that I made a big mistake. Through my no-poo, I barely lost any hair only to lose a lot after.
I didn’t detangle my hair when I did my conditioning ACV rinse. Why? Because my water + apple cider vinegar mixture had no slip.

However, when my hair was dry and I was ready to re-moisturise and detangle, guess what I did? I mixed my leave-in with water in my spray bottle (same mix I’d used for my hair in kinky twists). I spritzed my hair, sealed with coconut oil and then the struggle started. Combing/ detangling was crazy difficult. My hair was so tightly knotted in a few places that it would not budge. After some minutes of struggle and misdirected energy, I had an awful lot of hair on my comb and my hair didn’t even look right. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was staying in so I just put my satin bonnet on and napped.

When I woke up, it all came back to me, a real FML moment. Maybe not as serious but yes, it was one of those moments when you realise that you did something you knew not to do! Of course the spritz could not detangle my hair. It had ZERO SLIP! >_< I used the spritz because I figured I was using less product and avoiding product build-up. Apparently, my kinks need their slippery conditioner so I’m trying my best to strike a balance and not be heavy-handed with the stuff. I’ll deal with product build-up when I get to that bridge again.

Okay, I’ll say no more. I hope you and I remember that to detangle, a product with good (great) slip is required.

Till next post
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