Dry Twist & Curl

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Hey guys!

On and off, for three weeks now, I’ve been wearing my hair in this style, le Twist & Curl.

I got the idea from ‘Better Than Good Hair’ (love this book by the way!!) and it’s really simple.

What You Need

Twisting product (leave-in, butter, just oil, whatever you like to useI’ve been using Midas Naturals’ Whipped Shea Butter. Review soon)

Flexi rods (a.k.a. Bendy Rollers)

Bobby pins (optional) Continue reading

I Don’t Like My Hair

As I shared in this post, I got my hair done recently. I bounced out of the salon feeling very happy. I got into the car and Mr. E (my mother’s driver) said “ You don finish?” (Have you finished?) Ah. He had waited for more than 4 hours, how could he seriously be asking me that? So I said, “Ah ah, Mr. Emmanuel. Since that time? Do I look like I never finish?” And he replied, “Ehhhn, e look like say you never start.” (It looks like you haven’t started) Sigh. Did it sting? I’m not sure, but Mr. E is my homie and he’s 58 years old anyway.

Later in the day, I bumped into some guy that looked pretty familiar. We talked for a bit… small talk, exchanged names for the first  time, and then this familiar stranger (that turned out to be a classmate from Law school) said, “Yes, I know you. You have this really tall friend and you always had this shaggy…” I blinked. He continued, “…this shaggy hair do. I’ve never seen you like this with your hair done.”

At least he acknowledged my hair was done. But pause. My ‘fro? The one I would spend all of or more than 20 minutes combing? The same combing that I didn’t realise cost me a lot of length I could have retained if I knew better? That ‘fro was what this guy was referring to as… S H A G G Y?

me and my SHAGGY fro. :) NLS, February 2014.

me and my SHAGGY fro. NLS, February 2013.

Okay, I didn’t realise I was mad yet. After this encounter, I sent the mister photos of my new hair; one of the left side, one of the right, and then he decided to make a joke. No, sir! Wrong timing! It’s usually all fun and games, but I was sensitive from all the lowkey insults and I flipped. It escalated in little time to a small fight.

After having some time to think, I realised he wasn’t insulting my hair. If I wasn’t already burnt by the comments I’d been getting, especially as I thought my hair was all that and more, I wouldn’t have been so defensive. I would have seen that he was teasing me in his usual manner.

By the next day, I was in a state of zen, Dani Alves to the hair haters. My mom saying “Is this the hair? You paid money for this thing? Is this what you travelled all the way to Dolphin to do?” did not pinch me in the slightest. Balance had been restored.

I may not be team wash-n-go, but I LOVE my kinky coily fro!! ^__^

I may not be team wash-n-go, but I LOVE my kinky coily fro!! ^__^

That first day, though, got me thinking about the time on Curly Nikki, when I posted a comment about spending time combing my hair to look perfect (read as acceptable in a formal black/white environment). I got a bunch of replies, mostly people telling me I was living for others and that I needed to do me. Message received. But that’s not exactly how they put it. In some cases, the tone was almost accusatory. I know that their scolding would go into second gear if they heard that oh, I felt offended, a little angry even, at negative comments on my hair.

In this post on NikkiSho’s blog, she went over her hair journey; the things she likes and the things she doesn’t, asking for help with her issues. Someone came out of the blue, ‘Anonymous’ of course, accusing her of the usual. Haba.

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Na wa!

Many times, in natural hair forums or discussions, I observe that there is this “All or Nothing” mentality. Probably because the greater part of the black race views natural hair as stressful (I maintain that it isn’t), naturalistas feel like we have to show that everything is peachy. Some people make it look like you aren’t allowed to complain. And I don’t get that.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to like them all the time and I think the same thing applies to hair. It’s a journey, it’s a process. I LOVE my hair, you guys know I do, but does this mean I can’t complain? NO.

I understand that hair has always been a hot topic, but it’s still a part of the body. I love my body, but it was a tough journey for me in my mid-teens to get here. And even now, I don’t like my nose all the time. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes it just spreads. I don’t like that my eyes often look very tired. I’m not interested in getting a nose job even if it’s free & painless, but if I’m selecting a profile photo, I definitely don’t want the one where my nose and eyes are looking “somehow”. This is not your cue to preach to me about latent self-hate. If you like, quote Martin Luther King. NAH.

Insecurities. We all have them. But somehow, we naturalistas make it look like hair is immune from these feelings. You can encourage someone with positive energy, without coming off like you’re scolding.

I look forward to Washdays. I enjoy the time I take to baby my hair, but when I get a real job, and start working 12 hours a day, I know days will come when I’ll resent wash day.

I’m in love with my coils. I’m in recovery from hand-in-hair syndrome (70%), but sometimes my hair can be like a crying baby. Those times, I need to protective style to give me peace. I need someone else to cater to it, lest I cut it off.

I look at pictures like this (below) sometimes- and I’m like dang. My front hair too is about the same length when stretched, but look at her volume!

3c shrinkage

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to sometimes wish you had a curlier or more kinky texture, a faster growth rate, different hair porosity or maybe thicker hair if your hair is fine, as long as you understand why your hair is the way it is, and you accept that what you’ve got is beautiful. If you don’t love it yet, just remind yourself that as with good relationships, your feelings for your hair will grow. On this journey, I’ve learnt to accept and appreciate my own hair for all it can and cannot do. This appreciation is way deeper now than it was a year ago, cannot even compare to when I was transitioning! Just because I’m in this happy place doesn’t mean I must shove it down someone else’s throat.

Would you believe me if I told you that Curly Nikki did not like her hair for many many years? O_o It took years, and plenty of support from her boyfriend (now husband), for her to see her hair through the right glasses. She has since become a great source of natural hair info and inspiration for millions of women worldwide. Her hair story is over here.

This hair thing is a very personal journey. It is mostly rewarding with many ups, but let’s not forget there are downs too. With love and gentle encouragement, you can get another person to see the beauty in her hair.

My hair is mine, I do it for me. I know who I am. I LOVE my hair, but I don’t like it ALL the time. And in those moments, I reserve the right to complain, to feel how I want to feel.

Welp. This has been a long rambling rant. I hope you get my message. If there’s anything you don’t like about your hair, anything you find or found yourself sometimes wishing you could change (right now or in the past), feel free to share in the comments. No judgment here! 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

P.S. For more hair rants, whining and D’OH moments, see the Hair Blues category 🙂

And The Winner Is…

Last month, I put up information about the ‘Better Than Good Hair’ giveaway, and 15 people responded!

Thank you so much guys for your feedback about the blog. Your thoughts are much much appreciated!

Right now, I wish I were Ellen Degeneres so I could give everyone something, sigh- but as I have only one book, we can only have one winner. 😦

giveaway winner

Congrats, Fran! You’re getting a copy of ‘Better Than Good Hair’, the curly hair guide by Nikki Walton, better known to you as Curly Nikki!

I’ll be emailing you shortly to get a delivery address. I hope you like it!

Love,

AB

x

Giveaway! : Better Than Good Hair

Is there any natural that has ever turned to the internet for information and inspiration that doesn’t know Curly Nikki? I SERIOUSLY doubt it. CurlyNikki.com has been a great resource for naturals since its inception in 2008- I love it, and so when Nikki put out her book ‘Better Than Good Hair’ early in the year, I just knew I had to get it. I waited months, till I finally got it- and I wasn’t disappointed.

I should do a review of the book right? But I’m reporting at an NYSC camp in a few hours and the last few days have been hella hectic, I just haven’t had the time. It’s really good, especially if you’re in the first few years of your hair journey. It’s not exclusively for newbies, all stages are covered in the book- and there’s something in it for everyone natural or relaxed. Transitioning, creating a regimen, several illustrated styling tutorials, henna, natural hair care for kids… To say any more would be launching into a review, so I won’t. If you’d like to take my word for it, I’ve got ONE copy of ‘Better Than Good Hair’ for one lucky person! 😀

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So, the entire time I’m away at camp, November 5- November 26, this giveaway is open to anyone with a delivery address in Nigeria.

Here’s what you have to do to win:

Leave a comment answering all three questions:

A. Where are you based in Nigeria?

B. Tell me at least one thing you don’t like about the blog or something you’d like to see more of, or something that could be improved

C. How are you following the blog? Bloglovin’? Email subscription? WordPress reader? (I will check!)

Please, suggestions are welcome from everyone, even if you’re not in Nigeria! 🙂

At the end of the month, a winner will be chosen at random, no ojoro!

Thank you sooooo much for reading the blog!

P.S. I may not be able to respond to emails during this period at camp, so if you mail me and I don’t get back to you soon enough, maa binu!

Bye luvvies,

AB

xx