State of the Kinkdom: My Fro at 2!

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Friday 30 May, 2014 was the second anniversary of my big chop! 🙂

*whistles* *trumpets* *balloons* *confetti*

On my hairversary last year, I set the following goals for myself:

  1. Soft, way better moisturised hair without over-reliance on product
  2. Growth/length retention
  3. Cure myself of hand in hair syndrome

I’ve mastered #1. I’ve seen growth and retained some since then but I feel like I could have done better with #2. Now, about #3; because my kinks are awesome and still so brand new to me, I still put my hands in my hair, but definitely 70% less as much as I used to! So, allow me to give myself an A! ^_^

Before my first hairversary, I never styled my coils, and since then, I’ve put in some reasonable effort to change this. This is extra credit yo, so A+

LOL. How I love my hair! I’ve been annoyed, I’ve felt frustrated, but this second year of my journey has definitely been more fun than the first! With love and patience, we are making progress ❤ I’ve learnt A LOT about my hair in the past one year, and I’m still SO amazed at the versatility of it. How it can be big one moment and small the next. I’m coding and decoding. Shrinkage is an old friend of mine, but I’m still getting used to frizz.

HAIR OF THE DAY

For the D-day, I planned to wear a braid out. Two days before, I braided dry stretched hair with a little leave-in (Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream). I loosened the braids carefully for a braid out on Friday morning, and I got some decent definition, what do you think?

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But, I’d forgotten that I have a bit of shine problem with this leave-in. Hair wasn’t shining like I wanted it to.And I didn’t really appreciate my braid out right then because my mind was still attached to the unrealistic expectations of a braid-out on someone with curly hair 😦

It was only when I was done frizzing my hair in the name of trying to get a puff like Simply Cyn’s here, that I knew what I’d just lost. I had a small awkward puff because my hair wasn’t stretched like that from the braid out. I felt a little disappointed, but with more humidity and frizz, the puff flourished!

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It all worked out 🙂 I’ve got plenty of time to master the perfect braid out.

MOVING FORWARD

So many things I want to do now. I want to straighten, I want to trim, I want to colour, lol clearly I’m about to wild out! But I’m putting everything off till at least the end of the year.

Hair is healthy, happy, and for the most part, split-end free but I have one problem. My edges. My edges haven’t fully recovered from the Kinky Twists I wore in April. In fact, my front hair.

My edges are weak and a little scanty, and the hair in the front right after the edges isn’t as long as the rest. Short term goal is to grow my edges fully, and because different parts grow at different rates, I don’t know if my front hair should be a short or medium term goal.

I think my nape is doing fine, but because it’s a delicate area that could easily be stunted, I’ll be paying special attention to that as well.

Still keeping with my 2014 plan, I’m going to focus on healthy hair care, minimise my combing and try to manipulate my hair less. Sticking to low-manipulation is a little difficult because I get bored easily. I think working with stretched hair is going to be better for me, I will explain in later posts. 🙂

NEW HAIR GOALS

By my next hairversary, I want to see:

  1. Healthy thick soft hair
  2. Armpit length + more length at the nape.
  3. Full, healthy edges
  4. Healthy ends.

Thank YOU so much for your kind encouragement, helpful tips and for visiting the blog! I wish I could give you all some cake and ice cream, but you’re not here. 😦

Cheers to healthier, happier, longer hair!

Whoop!!!

Love,

AB,

Xx

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Do You Live In Benin City?

Source: Wikipedia

Yes? This post is for you! We’ve got a number of Natural hair product retailers in Nigeria, and the list continues to grow. However, at this time, most of the stores are in Lagos and Abuja. They do make efforts to deliver, but for circumstances beyond their control (i.e. the general lack of confidence in our national postal service), I know delivery costs can be more than a little discouraging when you’re not making a bulk purchase. Paying 1500 to ship a bottle of conditioner that cost you 2500 Just. Does. Not. Make. Sense. Odion from Benin City wrote me yesterday. She’d like to be a middleman, to help organise the pooling of resources for women in Benin who’d like to order hair care products (natural or relaxed) from stores in Lagos or elsewhere. Simply put, if you are interested in getting hair products from Lagos or Abuja or anywhere out of Benin, you can now consider doing it together with other people, thus spreading the cost of delivery, bringing it down to a minimum. Also, would you be interested in having a meet-up in Benin? She’d like to know.

Please help share this post, and send it to your friends in Benin. Remember, little drops make a mighty ocean! Let’s help each other! Thank you! 🙂

AN UPDATE: This arrangement worked for a while, until Odion had to relocate, and for this reason, I’ve taken her information off the blog. If you’d like to start a Benin group, or a group in your city, let me know. thekinkandi@gmail.com

Love,

AB

Xx

Hello, February!!

Hey guys!
Long time no post!
Two whole weeks! And 2014 isn’t here to play oh, January moved fast!
Between MTN & Etisalat, my internet situation was a little complicated but it’s all good now. I’ll be up to regular posting from Monday, but for now, this is a quick update post, just to check-in.

1. The Kink and I just reached the 50 follower milestone on Bloglovin’! Wow. Thank you everyone, for reading and commenting and subscribing! Thank you SO much 🙂

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2. I got ombre box braids (black, with brown highlights) and they only lasted 2 weeks.

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Or should I say, I could only stand them for two weeks. Before them, the last time I used braiding hair that wasn’t kinky was October 2012. And even then, it was alright. But these braids my friends, were looking really old and raggedy in such a short time. I was sad to see them go- good money and time and 5 packs of hair wasted- I hadn’t even been able to do shakara properly. It just seemed a little silly to have super long waist-hip length braids that were really untidy where it mattered. I’m still wondering if it was my fault or the hairdressers’? AND. Calabar doesn’t know it’s supposed to be Harmattan. No chill whatsoever, it is. so. hot! I’ll be back to this style in a few months, hopefully, with much better luck.

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3. My hair is super soft as I write this. I just co-washed and yes, it was super-soft albeit a little greasy before I washed. BUT. The Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner is truly worth the hype. There’s no difference between 700 naira Suave Naturals conditioner and the cheapey cheapey 250 naira Hair Fruits conditioner. But this. THIS is a moisturising conditioner!!

4. A Test of Two Leave-In Conditioners

Thursday was Wash day and after all the senrenren, I left my hair to air-dry in twists. But before the twists, I moisturised one half of my head with Jack 5ive Curl Activator and the other half with the Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream– to see which was better. I unraveled the twists today just before I went for a walk and voila, no side was more moisturised than the other. My hair was all nice and soft and fluffy. A little greasy though (I sealed with coconut oil and appaz, I used more than I thought I did!)

5. I’m very very VERY serious about length retention this year! I resisted the urge to comb today, and went out looking maybe a little crazy.

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no comb, don’t care!!

I walked a good deal of Marian road and Old Ikang this evening (any Calabar curlies in the building?). I can’t wait till my hair starts to hang. Shorter hair makes the absence of a comb much more obvious, but abeg. I didn’t die today, and I’d happily do it again.

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Why must the caption strip be in the middle? Anyhoo…

6. The Kink and I is on Facebook now 🙂 and Instagram too. 🙂

7. Going off now to moisturise & seal and beg my roommate to thread my hair in preparation for another salon visit tomorrow. I dare you ’fro, to not dry before tomorrow afternoon! ( ._.)

I’m getting my hair did, no extensions this time. I’ll keep you posted!

Goodnight!

Love,

AB

xx

Day 4: The ABCs of Creating Your Regimen!

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Hello lovelies, AB and Tolu here!

You are reading the 4th post in the ‘Going Back To Natural’ series. If you missed anything, you could catch up here. 🙂

One very important thing we’ve learnt on our hair journeys and we are pretty sure you’ll soon agree with is: It’s not about what you’re using, but what you are doing. Products are great and fun but the hair you want- that soft, manageable, ball of kinky candy floss is not in a bottle. It’s in the way you care for it, the healthy hair habits you adopt.

A healthy body is really the foundation for healthy hair, but as far as healthy hair habits go today, we’ll be looking at things directly related to your hair care, i.e. the good old regimen that natural girls are always talking about, and how to make one work for you.

If you still remember, Your Hair = Protein + Water + trace elements. Protein gives your hair its strength and structure, Water gives it elasticity. Healthy hair is all about maintaining a Moisture-Protein balance.

There are some basics that every natural’s regimen must accommodate. However, different strokes go for different folks. So it’s up to you to figure out how frequently these things will feature in your regimen.

  1. Moisturise & Seal
  2. Clarify
  3. Condition
  4. Deep Condition

MOISTURISE & SEAL

Your hair needs moisture.

Moisture = water*. Moisturise = to put water in.

If your hair isn’t well moisturised, it is dry and inelastic. As a result, it is brittle (that is, highly prone to breakage) and hard to comb. You need to moisturise your hair as often as necessary.

You can moisturize your hair with: Plain water or some people prefer to use natural Aloe Vera. You could also use a water-based moisturising cream or leave-in conditioner, or an aloe vera based leave-in. (more about products tomorrow)

It’s also important for your hair and skin that you drink lots of water!

AB: When I started my hair journey, I needed to use a leave-in conditioner every day. Now, I don’t. I use a leave-in every 3 days, and spraying my hair with water is fine for every other day.

As you must know, water evaporates when left exposed. This is where sealing comes in.

Sealing is the process of coating the hair to create some kind of barrier, to prevent moisture loss by evaporation. You can seal your hair with an oil e.g. Olive oil, coconut oil or a butter (shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado butter etc)

If you do more sealing than your hair requires, your hair will be greasy and you won’t like that. Also, the barrier created may be too thick, and this would make re-moisturising a little difficult.

How you moisturize & seal may depend on something very important, your hair porosity. Remember when I said hair is layered? Hair has three layers- the cuticle, the cortex and the medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer of hair. To work, most products need to get into your cortex, and they can only do this by getting past the cuticle.

Some people’s cuticles are very tight and difficult to get through.

Some people’s cuticles are very easy to get through, so easy they’re like a sponge, soaking in the moisture. However, because they are so sponge-y, they also lose moisture really quickly.

Some people’s cuticles have a sense of balance. They absorb moisture well and do really good at retaining it too.

From the three different scenarios I have described, are you beginning to see how we can’t all use the same products? And how your regimen has to be unique to you?

For more about porosity (how to find your porosity, and suggestions as to how to moisturize & seal for your porosity), when you’re ready, you could go read this post I wrote here.

Try not to over-do it though, there is such a thing as over-moisturising! Remember people, the mantra is balance, balance, balance! *lotus position*

CLARIFY

When you use products on your hair, little bits are deposited on your scalp and along hair shaft. You need to clarify to remove all the build-up from your product usage. There are quite a few ways to clarify, the most common being shampooing. This is necessary because build-up clogs up the pores of your hair so that moisture is not easily possible.

Clarifying shouldn’t be done too often as most clarifiers strip the hair of its natural oils and may also leave your hair and scalp really dry.

CONDITION

This, you are no stranger to. After every wash with shampoo, you use a conditioner (I hope!)

Because clarifying is such a thorough process, our hair tends to feel very dry afterwards. This is because it has usually been stripped of its natural oils and moisture. Instant or rinse-out conditioners help fix this by trying to replenish our hair. They are designed to provide a quick fix, to moisturise hair and smoothen the cuticles. However, once they are rinsed off, their yummy ingredients really are washed away, so you still need to moisturise & seal.

So, you may condition after a shampoo, OR you may skip the shampoo and simply condition. This is what is meant by the term Co-washing (yep, Conditioner Washing. Ohhhh)

The reasoning behind co-washing is simply this: Clarifying products like shampoos are great at cleaning. But your hair may not need that kind of intense rub-down on the regular.

I say “may” because again, this depends on you and your situation. Your hair may appreciate co-washing more than the usual shampoo + condition, but then again, it may not. So you try and you see if it works.

If your hair isn’t really dirty, conditioner may be enough for you on most days. But please be sure to clarify when your hair needs it, or say, as a preventive measure, once a month! Product build-up is not pretty!

DEEP CONDITION

Deep conditioning is a very critical part of a hair regimen. Deep conditioning helps to strengthen and improve the elasticity of your hair preventing breakage. It also leaves your hair softer and shinier.

Because Hair = Protein + Water, deep conditioning may be classified under two umbrellas: Protein Deep-conditioning and Moisturising Deep-conditioning.

Your hair may need a protein DC or a moisturising DC or both, depending on your porosity, and what your hair needs at the time. Remember, protein strengthens and moisture improves elasticity.

You can deep-condition with a commercial hair product, or make your own deep-conditioner in your kitchen, or bathroom. For more about Deep-conditioning and for some quick homemade DC recipes, you can read this post, here.

If you’re using a deep conditioner that you bought, please follow the instructions!!

To reap the maximum benefits of your efforts to deep condition, please DC on clean, product-free hair, after a wash. You can DC after a co-wash. And if you just clarified your hair with a shampoo, for instance, you don’t need to use a conditioner before you deep condition. You can just go straight to your DC.

We trust that you’ll soon find your rhythm and make up the perfect regimen, but just in case you still want a starting point, let’s see how this works for you:

  1. Daily- Moisturise & Seal
  2. Co-wash once or twice a week
  3. Clarify once a month or every two weeks
  4. Deep condition once a week
  5. BE CONSISTENT!

Simple enough, I hope? If you have any questions, please sound off in the comments! And we’ll be discussing products in the next post!

Love,

AB and Tolu!

xx