The Natural Hair Industry Convention 2015

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Such a serious name, for what promises to be seriously educative, seriously fun, and seriously worth shlepping over to Maryland on Sunday, Nov 1, 2015.  It is a shame for me to say this, but I have been to a total of ONE hair meet-up. However, in recent months, I have been itching to educate myself more about this industry that we are immersed in, just by being; this industry that AB and I are so interested in. What better way for me to show my zeal than to go all out and be a part of this convention!

According to Mintel, as at 2012, the black hair industry was worth $684 Million! Did you see those numbers? MILLION! And it is anticipated that by 2017, this figure will rise to $761 Million. Side note: It is so fascinating to me when I walk into a local beauty store to find that it is run by Asians. With the rapid move and consciousness to natural hair and natural hair care, this industry is growing even more and dare I say that there is room for interested parties to pick their niches.

I am looking forward to hearing the big players in the industry speak and best believe that I shall be reporting back to you in detail. The line up of speakers include Diane Bailey of Shea Moisture, Essence China, Sabrina Boissiere, Tanya Wright (she plays Laverne Cox’s wife, Crystal, in orange is the new black!), and more!

There are only so many ways that I can express how truly excited I am to be able to attend NHIC 2015. Heck, I’m setting out at 3am to make this event! I shall definitely keep you posted and if you will be in the Baltimore area and have the money to spare, you should check this out!

– MeeMee

xx.

Keeping It Simple: ‘Brush’

Hey guys!

I have a question. How do you wear your kinks to work?

This has been a problem of mine for a while. Not because I’m struggling to be professional or acceptable or any of that, but because I really don’t know how!

In Nigeria, to appear in (Superior) court, lawyers must wear wigs. Nothing about your person is supposed to be distracting. Ideally, your hair should be tucked neatly under the wig. I hate that finding hairstyles, I have to keep this leftover colonial practice in mind. Though there aren’t any fashion police for strict enforcement, I think the wig as annoying as it is, has a certain dignity to it. If you’re going to wear it, you may as well wear it right. Lawyer wearing a wig over here.

Because of the wig, the ideal hair style should be something you can easily flatten, or pack to hold it together, like a low bun. Twist outs and braid-outs are okay, but wearing the wig smooshes them and I don’t like this. The slightest disturbance to my twist outs = frizz. Last week, I wasn’t in the mood to disturb my hair, and I knew plain fro would be too big for the wig to sit properly. My low-bun is so not there yet, trust me I’ve tried. 😦

My hair was nicely stretched one Monday morning from threading over the weekend, that I wrote about in Monday’s post here. I asked my lovely roomie F to help me put my nicely stretched hair in two big cornrows. Do they still call this ‘Brush’? 🙂

I tucked the ends in and secured them at the base of the braids with two bobby pins.

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Smooth and Silky, from my heatless stretch with African Threading :)

Smooth and Silky, from my heatless stretch with African Threading 🙂

I wore my hair like this for 3 days. I didn’t get any compliments, but no complaints either. I like this, and it may be one of my go-to styles (when I learn to cornrow or flat twist). It’s simple, very functional, quick, easy and I think it’s cute. It’s also a low-manipulation protective hair style, your hair and especially your ends are on holiday.

For more fabulous options lol I think you can check youtube for the Goddess braid, Milkmaid braid, etc. It’s prettier with flat twists though.

Short term goal: learn to flat-twist!

On the (temporary) bright side to my styling dilemma, I change departments in 10 days, and I won’t need to go to court in my new place.

How do you style your hair to work? 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

New Hair x Salon Review: K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar

New hair guys, new hair!! ^_^

This is old news if you follow thekinkandi on Instagram, but as always, I save the juice for here. 😉

On May Day, I got my hair did at K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar, a Natural Hair salon in Ikoyi, Lagos.

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I got there at 12-ish, to meet a full salon. The owner Kemi was there, and two more stylists. I considered going home to return at opening time the next day (9am) but they worked very quickly so I maintained. I met my friend T there as well. She’s transitioning, and she got mini-twists done, twists later curled with perm rods.

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Kemi and T

The salon was well ventilated and neat, and for the first time in my life, I actually engaged in general salon bants. You know how they talk about female bonding at the beauty shop, male bonding at the barber’s? I only go to salons when I have to, and all my life, it’s just something I never thought necessary, group chitchat at the salon. But I admit, it was nice. 🙂

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While waiting, I watched them work. I like how they cleaned up after they finished with each customer. I HATE hair flying, or stepping on hair at the salon. Chances of that irritation are way less at a natural hair salon but, still. People got their hair washed, deep conditioned and dried, shuku with extensions, and a very pretty halo braid. Someone got twists and I loved how they looked, so I knew I had to do something with twists.

After like 2 hours, it was finally my turn to sit in the chair. Again, I went back to the style I saw on Ijeoma, a nice girl I met at the Kinky Apothecary’s Great Kinky Hair Christmas Affair. I tried to get it done in Calabar and that was a bit of a fail. Not everybody that can braid can do it creatively. You can see that attempt here.

My friend T: mini twists on transitioning hair, curled with perm rods.

My friend T: mini twists on transitioning hair, curled with perm rods. foundation for a bomb twistout!

I think twists get better with length (just a personal opinion) My hair is longer than it was the first time I tried to do twists all over, so I told the stylist I’d prefer to do single twists, as I have more hang-time now. She really wanted me to do Ijeoma’s style, and suggested she could use perm rods on the twists later to recreate her exact look, but we kind of decided that we’d do the intricate cornrowing on one side, and twist the remainder. My hair was treated with loving care. Mostly finger detangled, and twisted with leave-in conditioner. And we were done in 90 minutes.

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view from the top

view from the top

side

side. Bobby pins used to hold the point where the cornrows meet the twists

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Maybe I should have let her do both sides cos I really love these cornrows! :)

Maybe I should have let her do both sides cos I really love these cornrows! 🙂

I was quite happy with my hair and actually, I’m still feeling myself. Went to the market last week and the woman I buy potatoes from loved it so much, she called her friends to touch lol, and she also said she would stop relaxing her hair! When my hair grows a few more inches, I KNOW twists are going to become my staple. Supreme what? Noble WHO? Can’t wait to start wearing long twists with my own hair! 🙂

Oh. Oh. Oh. How much did my hair cost?

I know you really want to know! 4k guys, four thousand naira. It would’ve been 3 if I didn’t have the fancy braiding on the side.

Actually the most I’ve ever paid to get my hair done in my short life (yes oh, I’m a small girl!) but I do not regret it. Hair is 11 (12?) days now, I just need to focus on making it last at least 10 more days, making 3 weeks.

Maintenance

So far, my maintenance routine has been as follows:

I spritz with water when I feel like, and oil my scalp lightly with coconut oil.

I keep hair wrapped at night and I try my best to keep my hands off my head!

If you have any more tips for maintaining styles like this in this humidity, holler at a sister in the comments! Thanks and God bless! 😀

Hair Products Also Available

You can also get natural hair products at K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar. Brands they stock include Aphogee, Tropical Isle Living (JBCO), Shea Radiance and Carol’s Daughter. They’ve also got Ayurvedic herbs and various oils. To see the products they’ve got and how much they cost, go here.

butterflies :)

butterflies 🙂

Find them!

K.L’s Natural Beauty Bar is located at 29C Ikorodu Crescent, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. Come in through the gate, turn left, and then take your 2nd right turn, and follow the Crescent till you see it 🙂

Opening hours: 9am to 6pm. Tuesday- Sunday.

Phone: 0806 365 0977

Email: k.lsnaturalbeauty@gmail.com

Website: www.klsnaturals.com

Kemi also blogs about hair at www.klsnaturals.blogspot.com

Have you been here before? What was your experience? Let’s talk in the comments!!

Love,

AB,

xx

For more Natural Hair Friendly salons in Nigeria, see our growing ‘Where To Find’ page.

#ThrowBackThursday!

It’s Thursday, my favourite day of the week!

And I’m not throwing back very far, just going back to two, or has it been three weeks ago?

In this post about the short-lived ombré braids, I mentioned that I would be getting my own hair styled, sans extensions.

Let me tell you about this Styling Adventure. I washed my hair on Friday, to let it dry well in advance of Sunday, intended hair making day. So on Sunday, I set out for the salon (the same one I did my braids at), but I got there and it was closed. So were the other salons on Akim road. So I started walking back towards Marian, down down down, and most of the salons were closed. It was like Ghost town, everywhere was deserted. Which was a little weird for me because well, Lagos is always on the move and since I was a kid, I’d always thought Sunday was hair making day. Saturday was wedding/party day, and Sunday was church then get your hair ready for school/work day. (If there was a party or something to go to, it just meant I’d wear my hair ‘Calabar’ that week, that is, big single braids, the only thing mom could do. I loved ‘Calabar’!) On Sundays, salons are very very busy (all the procrastinators I guess)

But I guess that’s just Lagos and Abuja and Kumasi. Not Calabar.

Anyway, I did find 3 open salons though, so I went in, showed them the style I wanted, and they said they couldn’t braid my hair. It was at the third salon that I was advised to go to Watt Market. The idea had already formed in my head before they suggested it sef, so off I went to Watt.

Watt was the opposite of Calabar Municipality though. It was aliveeeee, with many braiders jostling for business. And interestingly, quite a number of men in the business of doing nails. I settled in with the first girl I met there and showed her the picture. I thought we had an understanding, until I asked for a mirror and saw that she was giving me some very very basic patewo-shuku fusion. And we were almost halfway. So we had to loosen everything and start over.

She could braid alright, but she couldn’t appreciate the creativity in the picture.

Ijeoma's cute style. She got her hair did at KL's Naturals

the picture. [Ijeoma!]

After several do-overs, here are photos of the final outcome:

[My iPhone camera has deceived me oh. Because it is so much more awesome than a BB camera, I’ve been doing a lot with it, and pushing good old Simon to the side. Well, it’s nice but it really isn’t Simon. So I apologise for the picture quality. I applied the HDR Filter just so you could see the cornrows and stuff better.]

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does this hair look fresh? just the morning after

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What I got was not exactly what I wanted so I wasn’t crazy about it but after a while, I started warming up to it.

I only wore it Sunday-Thursday though. I was seeing NatMane that weekend so I had to get my hair ready for that. The hair frizzed pretty fast, and I strongly suspect(ed) that this was because I used the super-moisturising humectant-packed Jack 5ive Leave-In. I’ve done a bit of Googling and blog trolling and it seems I am right. So the next time I style my own hair, I think I’ll only use a butter or oil or pomade.

In other news, the HDR filter on Picasa is something of the devil. I applied it to one photo that will never be shown and it almost depressed me 😦 The thing magnified and amplified every single scar or spot I’ve ever had in my life! Bluddy acne be damned!!

Oh Protective styling. With God and Pinterest and Youtube and the general Internet on my side, I must not fail!

Till next post,

Love,

AB

Xx