It’s Not You, Maybe It’s Your Products!

Hello beautiful people!

How are you today?

Did you press ya hand over the weekend? Before we go into the day’s post, can I just say how proud I am of my fellow Nigerians? Sure I can.

Round the country, we came out in our numbers and stood up to be counted. Patiently, and with great determination. Through the glitches in the system, the long queues, the heavy sun & finally the rain… We could have turned back but we didn’t.

As we await results, I am cautiously optimistic that there will be no drama. No matter who wins, I think we have all won something. For the first time, we the 200 Million Mumus are finally beginning to wake up and our leaders know it too!

Okay. Let me bottle this excitement right now, and move on to the business of the day. 🙂

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“And you- and you- you’re gonna love me!!!!!!!”

When a hair product is acting funny with me, Jennifer Hudson saaaanging her heart out as Effie in ‘And I Am Telling You’ (Dream Girls) often comes to mind.

Because it’s by force oh. I like to buy hair products but this doesn’t mean I’m quick to toss them. No way, no way. I will try and try, study it, read/watch other people’s reviews to see how best to use it. I am determined to make it work for me. It’s not often love at first use, but after 3, 4 uses, I finally get the hang of it. A product you hate in harmattan could be your favourite in the rainy season. Sometimes a product isn’t bad, but it sucks at the purpose for which it is advertised. It’s all so very interesting. This is why I reserve my reviews until I’ve almost finished a product or I am at least half way through.

Do Practices Really Matter WAY More Than Products?

You hear it said a lot that your hair care practices matter way more than the products you use. I think the real lesson is for you to have some balance, and not get hung up. These companies don’t hold back with the beautiful labels, interesting names and fancy advertising. Because of this, and also our previous orientation, so many of us tend to err on the side of PJ-ism and let our regimens suffer, but products matter. A lot. Sure, if you see someone with hair that you like, I think it’s better to ask her what she DOES, before you go to what she USES. BUT the truth is, the wrong products can render your regimen useless. Consistency is a virtue needed to get the most out of BOTH your products, & your hair practices.

It’s Okay To Want More

Even with our supposedly safer or more natural products, everything cannot and does not work for everyone. Two products can have similar ingredients and yet work differently. Different chemists, different formulations. What works well for your twin sister may not work well for you. Everything cannot work AWESOMELY well for everyone.

So my dear, as even the greatest of “forcers” know, there comes a time to give up. Doing the same thing 10,000 times over and over is madness. Isn’t that what they say?If everybody is raving about how OMG AWESOME a product is, I hold it to that standard. If I use it and I can only rate it an EH, 5 or 6, why should I continue using it? I want awesome too.

Why Are We Talking About This Today?

I got an email from someone last week. Her regimen is on point. She has been consistent for a year, using the same products for most of it.  She deep conditions every week, moisturizes & seals pretty frequently, the whole shebangbang. Yet her hair shows no signs of this loving care.

The products she uses- the ORS Replenishing Conditioner and the Cantu for Natural Hair Creamy Hair Lotion come highly recommended. They are loved by many. But they aren’t giving her the results she needs. My suggestion was simple. Ditch them. Sometimes it’s not you, it actually is the product. Again, not everything can work for everyone. If your hair is super picky, keep trying, but don’t bang your head over it.

A product can knock your socks off in the beginning, but after your hair gets too used to it, it’ll start misbehaving. This was my experience with the Cantu for Natural Hair Creamy Hair Lotion. It’s in your best interest not to complicate your hair affairs, but there’s no shame whatsoever in moving forward and trying new things until you find your Holy Grail.

A Few Things Before You Move:

  1. Address your regimen first, to be sure your practices aren’t the problem.
  2. Before starting a new product or a new set of products, I like to have really clean hair- I clarify to eliminate any possibility of build up, so the new product has a clean slate to work with.
  3. If you use 5 products in your regimen, don’t change them all at once. This is important so you can readily identify what’s working for you and what isn’t.
  4. Give your products deadlines. I give new products 1 or 2 months of active use, (translate: 4-8 uses, or the time it would take to finish a full size container of the product, whichever happens first) With hair products, I’ve learnt that first impressions aren’t always accurate.
  5. If a product isn’t working for you and you can’t bring yourself to let it go, allow it gather dust until the season changes. Different products work better in certain temperatures.

So, ladies. What’s your take on this matter? How do you deal with new products, or the products you use in general? What’s your approach? Have a great week ahead!

Love,

AB,

xx

HAIR BLUES- CRYING BABY HAIR.

Heyyy

How’s the going going?

We are two weeks into the Hair Basics series and I hope that this isn’t too boring so far and has been helpful to at least one person. If you missed (any of) it, you can catch up here and next week, we’ll be learning some more till the end of the month.

The Hair Basics series is something I’d been wanting to do here so I’m happy it’s finally underway.  After four weeks of the same regimen, I felt like nothing new was going to happen with my hair for a while, so I decided to stop thinking about it and actually do the posts about the fundamentals. It was also at this point that my hair decided to show me a little something.

This week and the last were a little something sha. My hair was acting up, it was so annoying. Like a crying baby! You know when a baby is crying and cannot be calmed down. Try to get him to sleep and he screams louder. Is food the problem? Screaming. Does he want me to carry him standing? Throw him in the air? And in those moments, you just know life would be so much easier if the child could just speak to you, and communicate what he wants!

My hair was just not cooperating. It wasn’t absorbing my moisturiser (Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Creamy Hair Lotion) like it used to and combing was such a task! It took a lot more tension to comb and I probably lost more hair than usual. It was also kind of dull looking.

Then I noticed that when I spritzed my hair with water, my hair looked dirty. This was new and didn’t happen with this lotion until like 6 days after my last wash- as I said in this post. The dirt was really disturbing.

Co-washing didn’t make any difference. So one night, I shampooed and conditioned, and didn’t put in any moisturiser. I only sealed with coconut oil. Imagine my horror the next morning when I put water on my hair and it looked like this!

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Sigh. I was frantic- reading, reading and consulting with NatMane of DeepBrownKinks . I wondered if I was experiencing Product build-up. My hair was dull-looking, difficult to moisturise and comb- three of the signs of product build up- but there was one sign I read everywhere- flaking and I wasn’t experiencing any flaking. Okay. Was it the weather? Harmattan hadn’t made up its mind whether it was leaving yet and the hot hot dry season was coming in anyway.

So after a few emails back and forth with NatMane, I decided to do as she said- she suggested that I was probably using too much moisturiser, and she also said that it’s possible for your hair to like one product in one season and hate it in another.

So I shampooed again- this time with Dudu Osun- and conditioned and cut down the amount of moisturiser I was putting in. I did this and the next morning, I still had clean hair. Yayy!

Note to self: I should probably use Dudu Osun from now on instead of my Clay bar.

Observation: I also noticed that my hair combs better when moisturiser has been in it for a few minutes, not right after. So I started putting in my moisturiser as soon as I woke up, and doing the combing after my bath.

The battle was not over though. My hair is naturally really really really dry, so I am really crazy about the Hair lotion because it made my hair so soft. Applying less lotion didn’t make my hair soft. It was in fact really dry. But clean hair trumps soft hair so… I had to suck it.

I knew I wanted to get kinky twists done, and before you do any protective style, it’s important that your hair is in really good shape. Clean, healthy and moisturised.

So yesterday morning, I tried one of the DCs I came upon on Deep Brown Kinks. It’s a really simple one- Mix your conditioner with olive oil and apply to your hair and let sit there for a while. I let it sit for about forty minutes and then washed out. My hair didn’t feel as dry as it usually does when I co-wash. Hmmmm maybe I could do this every time I wash.

Then I put in my moisturiser and sealed with coconut oil. I didn’t have enough time to air dry anyway, so I had my hair blow dried shortly after.

Look how well my hair is doinggggggg  ^_^

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It’s growing! This is something I notice when I pull my hair but I had not blown it out since October so it made me really happy to see it this tall! I love working hard at something, for something, when I’m getting feedback and seeing results. So far, so good. My hair journey is rewarding! ^___^

I’m wearing kinky twists now, giving the little nice baby fro a break from the daily manipulation. Hair Basics continues on Tuesday.

Be good, loves.

X

Note to self: I have to get my moisture right. I really can’t be depending on products for this.