#NHIC2015: What Happened Here

Screenshot_2015-10-29-14-38-16-1

On Sunday, November 1, 2015, professionals, leaders, veterans, aspirers, enthusiasts of the natural hair industry came together in Baltimore for what I believe will historically be the first natural hair industry convention! It was AWE-filled and I spent 9 hours and everyday since feeling very inspired. Beauts, we DO have an industry that is alive and the goal now is to sustain and grow this industry into its full potential. This is not a passing fad. Continue reading

Hairspiration!: Sophea

It’s Hairspiration Friday!!! ‘Nuff said…

Hey girlie! Tell us about you!

My name is Sophea… I like to spell my name with an ea…lol… I’m a student of University of Lagos studying Zoology. I hope to become an Environmental consultant. I live in Lagos.

 Have you always been natural? If not, when did you go natural?

I decided to go natural in December 2013. I was making my “Christmas” hair and I saw how limp and lifeless my hair was. I didn’t know what to do, so I started researching on the internet about how to take care of relaxed hair and I saw some articles on natural hair and decide to read them; curlynikki,blackhairinformation, britishcurlies, thekinkandi, to name a few. I saw beautiful pictures of girls who were natural not because it was a religious law but because it was what they wanted to do and in January 2014, I started the journey. I couldn’t big chop so I transitioned for the whole of 2014 and in December 2014, I cut off all my straight ends myself. It felt surreal and liberating but most of all I was happy. So I have been fully natural for 3-4 months now.

7

Tell us about your hair! Does she have a name? How does she feel? How would you classify her if you had to?

The name of my hair is Vivian and I call her that because Vivian means ‘lively’. My hair is a mix of all the 4 hair types, but I feel I’m a 4c with some 4b and 4a scattered in front and the middle. I don’t know about length because my hair shrinks 100% no chill but when stretched it gets to the nape of my neck. But she’s just 4 months old… No biggie.

How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?

I wash my hair with dudu osun black soap (shampoo is too drying for my hair) and then condition with Palmolive naturals milk and honey conditioner when I’m feeling fancy, but for cowashing I use Vo5 or Gentelle hair fruits conditioner, DC with mayo,egg(if I need an extra boost of protein) olive oil, honey. These are my staple Deep conditioning products but from time to time, I add avocado,banana,yogurt… whatever works. If I don’t have the strength to be a DIY queen, I use ORS hair mayo and some olive oil heated up, then I do a hot oil treatment also. For three weeks, my hair is in a protective style majorly a weave then i take down and wear my hair out for a week treating my hair then covering it up again. My staple hair product is my Africa best kid’s styling gel. Shea butter is another staple.

1

What are the things your hair cannot do without?

My hair cannot do without water, deep conditioning and a satin scarf.

What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?

My hair hates gel on it when not wet – I tried it once and Vivian turned to a giant ball of cotton.

How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?

I like protective styling – marley twists, weaves and braids –  but when I’m not wearing a protective style my go to style is a bantu knot out on damp hair. Sometimes I do a wash and go or I just wear my fro in all its shrunken glory.

5

How do you feel about shrinkage? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it?

Shrinkage is a sign of healthy hair so I don’t fight it or hate it, but when I want to do an out style like a twistout or bantu knot out, I stretch my hair by letting it dry in six braids on my head and when loosened it looks stretched. Sometimes I stretch with a blow dryer but that is just sometimes because I hate heat on my head so much.

Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

Ah yes! When I was doing my internship one woman asked me to go and comb my hair. I was wearing a flat twist out style and I thought I looked nice but she said that she doesn’t like my hair. I told her I’m a natural and this is how my hair is; it can’t be controlled. She gave me this bitchy look. My friends think I’m crazy for not using a relaxer. This reaction was worse when I was transitioning though.

Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?

I, like many naturals, have the hand in hair syndrome. Apparently I’m still fascinated by my hair.

6

If you had one hair regret, it would be…

Not going natural sooner.

Do you have a hair philosophy? What principles are you determined to live by on this hair journey?

If you take care of it, it will grow.

What is hair to you? Has going natural changed anything about you?

My hair is like my baby for now. Yes it has made me a patient person. When I do twistouts, bantu knotouts or a washday, I need all the patience in this world. It has also given me a self esteem boost just when I needed it.

9

Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

No hair goals, but I plan to loc my hair when I’m 40 or 50.

Damn! Talk about long term plans. I like! Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?

You must have a tough skin. If you don’t have one, grow one. Enjoy the journey because it’s a fun ride. Don’t look for what is wrong with your hair but rather what is beautiful about it.

2

Preach it Sophea! Where on the internet can you be found?

I have a blog – vogueandkinks.wordpress.com. Such a mouthful. It’s about my hair, definitely, but other fun things about life and love. You can also find me on IG: @sopheaposh Twitter: @_Sopheeyah

Thank you Sophi…Sophea! Thank you for sharing with us today! Have you been hairspired, beauts?

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’.

IMG_8317

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.

IMG_8346

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.

20140828-132158-48118331.jpg

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

Introducing: Meemee’s Kinks

Hey beauts!

Forgive me. One of the comments on my Being me blog tag confirmed what I had been thinking. I really never introduced myself, neither have I ever talked about my hair! Sacre bleu. Unacceptable, right? Today, I plan to right all my wrongs.

As AB said in her reply to Fola, AB and I, together… “WE. ARE. THE KINK AND I!” (Read in a This-is-Sparta way). Who are we, you ask? AB and Meemee, we are best friends that have been going through life’s journey, and now hair journey together for many many years. AB was my hairspiration and the springboard from which I launched the courage to finally do my big chop. This is my hair story, so far.

Posted by Funmy Kemmy on Friday, August 02, 2013

What matters is how you see your hair! This is my hair’s alter ego.

After wearing my hair short and natural for 7 years, because, secondary school (I cut my hair before I started my last year of primary school. I was 9. My cousin had cut her hair for secondary school and I really disliked having to weave my hair every week with those women that treated your head like it was a phantom head. So I cut it.), I put the creamy hair crack in my hair before my hair had even made any growth progress. I think this is what killed my chance to have any growth at all. But I quickly realised that I do not like relaxers. They sting, they leave scalding burns on my scalp, they smell, they make my hair too flat on my head, ugh. So I made the switch to texturisers. I liked texturisers because they never actually made my hair straight or thin. They just made it easier to comb. Then they started to burn my scalp as well. That was when I made the decision to just stay off any of these chemicals altogether.

At this time, AB has started transitioning and she made it sound oh so fun. I wasn’t doing any research the way she did, I wasn’t taking any special care with products and protective styling either. My hair began breaking so much. It irritated me a lot such that one day, after doing a wash, I put the hair in a ponytail, took a pair of scissors and chopped the tail off. Stupid move! Of course it looked very raggedy. But I was quite happy about it. I had a stylist cut it into a nicer style after that and began to treat my hair a little nicer. wp_ss_20140719_0003   And then on Monday, September 30, 2013, I woke up, looked at my hair, got annoyed and walked to the saloon down the street and watched whatever was left of my straight, permed tips fall to the ground around me! October 4, 2013 was when I had my hair cut with a clipper, so that’s the first official day I started nurturing my natural hair.

My 'Big chop'

My ‘Big chop’

As you can probably tell, I have 4c hair. And if I’m entirely honest, for the longest time, I only thought of girls with 4c hair as having natural hair. Of course I was naive about other textures. But I would say that when I get envious of someone’s hair, it is usually because of their length, rather than their texture. After my big chop, I fell into the trap of expecting my hair to grow as fast as other people’s did, or to act the same way. So of course, I got frustrated when after 3 months, this is all I had:

Clearly not amused...

Clearly not amused…

You see, every time I would put my hair in a protective style (which is usually 90% of the time), I always imagined that my hair would look like this after take down:

Hair so big, can't even fit into the entire image

Hair so big, can’t even fit into the entire image Source: zestyfashion.com

But no matter how much I stretch after washing, this is what I get:

Super shrinkage or no?

Super shrinkage or no?

So my hair had a talk with me. And the outcome of that talk was to give it tlc, and focus on just that. It promised to grow, as long as I continue to give it unconditional tlc (well, I’m waiting for it to keep its end of the bargain). In the last few months, my hair has taught me something that I have also began to implement in my life. Enjoy the process. Results are good; good results, brilliant. But what’s the fun in living life from result to result? What happens to the in-between? And if the result is not desirable, one should be able to say “well at least it was a fun ride”. Ok, I’ve exhausted my deep talk quota for the week in this paragraph.

TWA forces into a faux bun.

TWA forced into a faux bun.

Anyway, the moral of this post is that I have oh so many hair goals and I have oh so much to learn. This blog has been great with providing me with lessons and sources to learn more from (thanks AB!). And now, novice as I am, I hope to work with AB to continue to do that for you guys and to share the process of my hair journey with you.

Fake it till you make it.

Fake it till you make it.

And so concludes my hair story… for now.

Have a brilliant new week, beauts. Till next time.

– Mee mee xx