Hairspiration! : Aboyowa

PhotoGrid_1419357594859 (1)Hiii my name is Aboyowa Wood! I’m 20 and I currently reside in Chicago IL. I was born and raised in Nigeria though I’m also partly Ghanaian, best of both worlds! I’m an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Illinois.

Have you always been natural?

I decided to start growing my natural hair in 2012. I was predominantly relaxed prior to that. I say predominantly because for 6 years in secondary school they made us cut our hair in its natural state but I really don’t count that as part of my natural hair experience because I always relaxed my hair once we were on holidays and I didn’t even know anything about taking care of my hair. Anyways, I’ve always loved afros or any style that looks like an afro, I guess that comes from my strong afrocentric side. Continue reading

A Picture Tutorial- Crochet Braids with Kinky Extensions

Hey guys!

Twice on the blog, I have said that crochet braiding is super easy. To prove it, here’s this picture tutorial showing you how.

It was a bit of a battle making this sha so I hope you get it 🙂 Camera quality, lighting and the fact that I was trying to capture working with black extensions and a black bobby pin on dark hair but I think I succeeded. I did 3 different shoots for this on 3 different days, and this was the best day, so I hope it’s a good enough illustration.

These photos were taken by my brother.  🙂

ALL I USED:

Extensions- 2 packs of Noble Afro Kinky (or was it Afro Twist?) Braid. Same ones you can use to do kinky twists.

Big bobby pin. <- you can use a small pin, but it’s stressful.

PREPARATION

On clean well conditioned hair, do your cornrows. I got just 5 or 6 cornrows. If you’re wondering why, it’s because kinky extensions are bulky, and for this reason, making 12, 13 cornrows is a waste of time.

2 packs of hair got me this fullness and the hair came already separated in strands, and I worked with about 50 something in total. I was able to crochet 10 strands onto each cornrow.

Get your hair braided in the pattern that you think would best interpret the look you’re going for. Do you want a leave-out? Closed side parting? Centre parting? Let that be your guide. You can also flat twist if you like.

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Ready? Let’s Go! 🙂

Continue reading

Crochet Braids Again

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Hellurrrr guys!

Just a quick hair update. I’m wearing crochet braids again. This time, I used 2 packs of Noble Afro Kinky (or was it Afro Twist?) Braid. The hair cost me 750 naira a pack at Marian Market.

My ever helpful roommate F did my cornrows and I attached the hair myself, with the aid of a big bobby pin. It took me 3 episodes of Once Upon A Time,that is, about 2 hours to do my crochet braiding. Continue reading

Styling Adventures: Crochet Braid Extensions

Hey guys!

How is the going going?

On Saturday I typed up a long ass tirade about how Protective styling has been a drag, but now that I think about it today, it’s only February the 17th. Keep calm AB! You drama queen, you. I blame my hormones ( ._.)

Yes, I’ve had some challenges, but things are looking up. At the risk of getting too comfortable or lazy about styling again, I am happy to announce that I may have found my new default style!

See, I was really upset that I had to take out my braids so soon, so I desperately trolled the internet for a magic trick, any secret that would let me braid in peace and ensure my kinks don’t wiggle their way out. And that’s how I found out about the wonder of crocheting!

What is Crochet Braiding?

Crochet Braiding or Crocheting in hair speak is basically a technique of installing extensions (with braiding hair or weave) that requires you to cornrow your hair (you can flat twist too but it may not last as long), and then attach your extensions directly to the cornrows, by braiding. Stay with me now…

It’s like fixing your braids (or weave, but in this case, no thread or glue is needed). Yes. Don’t go, Hang in there.

The benefits?

Less pressure on your hair, it’s much easier to access your scalp and moisturise, and it’s definitely more natural looking! There’ll be more about crocheting on the blog in the near future, because I’m SO ready to go in!!

Right now, I’m wearing hair inspired by Jouelzy. You know “pick and drop”? That’s really what I have on now, only crocheted.

I got my hair done by very talented nashura hair stylist NatMane, but crocheting is actually super easy, you could totally try it on your own! NatMane isn’t resident in my city though *sob, sob*, so the next time I do this, I’ll be doing this myself.

This is usually done with a latch hook, but as we had none, she improvised with a bobby pin, with the aid of this Jouelzy tutorial I showed her. (Jouelzy’s tutorials are the bestest!!) You could also use improvise with a beader, but I’m sure you’re more likely to have a good old bobby pin. 🙂

What you need:

A bobby pin. Yes, just one.

Kinky extensions (I used Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid, the same old ones I used for my Havana twists)

How-To:

Watch this quick Jouelzy tutorial and you’ll be feeling like Superwoman.

And that’s really it, friends. Easy peasy. I didn’t leave any hair out, but you totally can, if you feel like, if your hair is long enough.

As you can now see, this is a very simple style, but it was complicated by one thing- the extensions!

Wahala and Crisis Management

Before then, I didn’t realise that Supreme extensions are so bluddy stiff! I noticed when I was prepping them for my Havana twists but it didn’t really register. SO SO stubborn a material. Ha!

This wasn’t actually the original plan. I planned to have Marley/Havana twists crocheted like fellow wordpresser NaturalHairFanatic has here, but the hair was much too coarse, so stiff and so bulky, we could only crochet one single strand at a time. The end result? Crazy big hair. Which I love, but given the inflexibility of the extensions may have been too much of a burden.

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what would you do with this much hair?

So the only thing left to do was to do skinny loose twists with the crocheted single strands. NatMane had another appointment and I had things to do myself, so we just pulled out some of the braiding hair, and then she styled the rest.

Still. The hair wasn’t ready to be styled as it was.

Oh I forgot to mention that to work with the hair at all, before it was crocheted, NatMane had to spray it with a water and oil mixture to soften it a bit. By the time we were ready to style, the softening effect of the water-oil spritz was already gone. So, she had a bright idea. She attacked the hair in sections with Aloe Vera Gel (Fruit of The Earth), and very firm finger detangling. The hair was weighed down a bit by this and it was pliable enough to style.

Styled by NatMane!

After the battle was won, Styled by NatMane!

In the past week, I have done the gel and finger-detangling thing 3 times and I was left with like a handful each time. I wonder what will be left after 3 more weeks, we’ll see.

Anyhoooo. I’m enjoying my new big hair very much. Getting compliments left, right, centre. X_X LOL. To think that this is a super easy, and relatively cheap look to achieve! No fancy kinky weave from Mongolia or anywhere.

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On my way to a wedding on Valentine's Day

On my way to a wedding on Valentine’s Day

Is this an updo? Southern bun, work-formal and stuff

Is this an updo? Southern bun, work-formal and stuff

And I love how it blends in perfectly with my own hair!

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No need to struggle with Edge Control or anything. Love it!!

If you’re going to do this, to save you the stress, I strongly advise you find softer kinky extensions than Supreme Royal Silk. I hear Noble Dreadlock is softer, but I’m yet to try. If you’ve tried and tested any brands of soft kinky braiding hair, please be a darling and leave me a comment, tell me!

Okay luvvies! That’s all for now.

Till next post,

Love,

AB

Xx

P.S. If you’re in Abuja and you want your hair styled, make a date with NatMane at Lumo Naturals Salon. Tweet her: @NaturalMane. Contact deets for Lumo Naturals are in the Where To Find Directory. For more of NatMane’s handiwork, see this post, and also visit her blog Deepbrown & Kinks!!

Self Maaaade! : Havana Twists

Hey guys!

Last Monday, I decided to get my hair did. Havana twists had been on my mind since March, so I knew just what I was going to do.

Rather than go to the salon, I got my tools together and set up a mini salon at home, in front of the TV. I had seen Jouelzy’s invisible root Havana twist tutorial (below) like 10 times and it looked so easy, I really wanted to try it.

I had also seen another Havana twists tutorial by youtuber, GodCallsMeBeloved using a different technique, and this infographic on Finger Comber. I decided to go with Jouelzy’s.

Hair prep: I co-washed my hair, moisturised with Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Repair Cream, and sealed with Olive Oil. Then I put my hair in chunky twists.

I blow-dried one section- with medium heat, but I didn’t do this when I got to subsequent ones because I felt the twists stretched my hair well enough.

For this, I used my usual Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid extensions. To be as thick as I wanted, I needed 4 strands of the extensions for each Havana twist. And to be as long as I wanted, I didn’t cut the extensions in any way. Before twisting, I fluffed each strand of the braiding hair.

My progress in pictures:

My usual kinky extensions, Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid Hair

My usual kinky extensions, Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid Hair

1, 2, 3, 4 strands

1, 2, 3, 4 strands

my 4 strands picked out

my 4 strands picked out

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the very first twist

the very first twist

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Invisible roots

Invisible roots

All done! 😀

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Well, no. Not really.

My 3 packs of braiding hair could only do about three quarters of my head. I was able to do about 21 twists. The whole process took me 4 hours (1pm-5pm) and I was not in the mood to take a walk to go buy more hair as I was definitely in no mood to continue working that day! So I chunky twisted what was left of my own hair and tucked it in. My own twists blended in nicely with the Havana twists.

I was pretty pleased with my results, especially as it was my first time twisting or braiding my own hair or anyone else’s for that matter. I’m not very good with my hands- but I’m trying to be.

The next day, I was with my mom doing some rounds, and 4 different people complimented my hair. When they asked, “Where did you make it?” it felt really good to say “I did it myself!”  ^__^

My excitement and gloating aside, I know my twists weren’t perfect:

To my eyes, the first twist was the best. The others were slightly poofier because I just couldn’t keep my twisting firm. Also, when you twist, you’re supposed to twist in the same direction all the way but I got confused or forgot myself on quite a few.

Finally, because of the poofiness, the hair seemed a little heavy. I do like big hair, but I was worried about this because I still needed to add at least one more pack of hair- and if the additional twists looked like this, it would definitely be annoying to manage.

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Have a look at my sleeping situation Monday & Tuesday nights 😦

I had no hairnet to squeeze it into and my bonnet was much too small.

I had no hairnet to squeeze it into and my bonnet was much too small.

So, on Wednesday- I got my fourth pack of braiding hair. I had to decide whether to add it to what I had or start all over. Wednesdays are my DC days and my hair LOVES its weekly dose of Honey and Olive Oil. I only had 20 twists to loosen so I just decided to go on and take them off. I washed, deep conditioned, moisturised & sealed, chunky twisted, and then I went to the salon. Between all the typing I had to do in preparing Going Back To Natural, and trying to function with a BB missing some keys (the struggle!), my fingers had cramps! I couldn’t commit my hands again to twisting for hours.

I showed my stylist the pictures and she looked like she meant it when she said I shouldn’t have loosened the hair, I should have just brought it as it was for her to finish. ^_^ Also, I was a little smug about the fact that she didn’t know how to do the Invisible roots method. Ha! #JouelzyTaughtMe!

I learnt a few things from watching my stylist, and I’ll be trying this again one day. Hopefully, I’ll be better. 😀

I’m happy wearing my salon-made twists, but I’m not totally over myself yet and the fact that ‘I Can!’. These photos of my own twists make me mentally do the Rozay grunt! Okay, I’m going to stop now.

Self-maaaaaade! *haughn*!!

Till next post,

Love,

AB

xx