Last Saturday at the Nigerian Natural Hair & Beauty Show!

Hey guys!

How was your weekend?

I spent my Saturday at the Kinky Apothecary’s Nigerian Natural Hair & Beauty Show. I was there for six, seven hours and it was busy, busy, busy! Beautifully organised, a job well done by Nibi and her team! All six of our special guests were really lovely on stage and in person. I met new people, met some people I already knew for the first time (hi, Chinwe Igbo Curls!) and there were plenty old familiar faces as well. For a recap, and for the many interesting tips I gleaned that could be helpful to you, keep your eye on the blog this week. You knowwww, you could subscribe to the blog by email so you don’t miss a thing!

I took A LOT of pictures, and that’s why we are here today. Continue reading

On My Mind: Bob Box Braids

Last year, I fell in love with these bob box braids on Whitney Madueke (above)

Inspired by Cleopatra or the 90s, depending on your point of reference, this is a different, very pretty,  retro-chic way to wear box braids.IMG_0160

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The good news is, anybody can look good with this + it’s pretty easy to achieve. I tried getting it done at my braiders’ on Monday, and it was a big big flop, I took it out the next day. After much reflection on the experience and YouTubing, I think I have it figured out, hear hear!

Bob Box Braids: What You Should Know

1. Your braids should not be thin. Medium sized – fat braids are the way to go.

2. The length of your bob should be carefully determined by the shape of your face, for best results. (I love all the pictures in this post, but the first girl’s face is shaped like mine. I could be daring and cut it lower, but I’d begin with cutting it at her length)

3. When preparing your extensions, do not measure them for the exact length you want your braids. This is what spoilt my attempt. Measure them for longer braids, and then cut off when you’re done. Why? Because the thickness is everything, without it, you have no shape, no bob. You know that as you braid hair normally, it tapers down and gets thinner toward the bottom of the braid. The point at which you cut your braid should be just as thick as the point you started- meaning, your bob braids should be uniform in thickness from top to bottom.

4. Seal the ends of your braids. You can burn them individually with a flame from a candle or a lighter. Very 90s I know! After burning, smooth with your fingers. You can also band the end of the braid (with tiny rubberbands) when you get to your desired length, and cut off the rest of the extensions, as Whitney did. See below:

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5. Don’t sacrifice your hair at the nape! This is a bob right? What about the back of your hair? If you have a very teeny weeny afro, you don’t have to worry about this. For me though, in my awkward length phase, I’d definitely end up chopping off my hair at the back, following this process. For the back, what my hairdressers did (and which makes sense, really) is that they braided the back of my hair up into one zig zag cornrow, for about three lines- and made the rest of the box braids long enough to cover that space. The braids stopped at my neck, and did not expose the cornrow beneath. Got it?

Still not convinced?

Here’s an idea- the next time you get box braids, when you’re ready to loosen them, cut them in a bob shape first and see how you like it.

I was really unhappy with my hair- so upset. So upset that I can’t show you the pictures I took LOL sorry. Let me just put it this way- when done wrong, “bob braids” can have you looking like you’re in A-Levels, or like you’re a certain kind of 40 year old. Make of that what you wish ( ._.) I showed them what I wanted over and over, and they assured me they knew what to do. I was visibly upset after it all so, they offered to redo it for me. My poor fro suffered. All the manipulation! Still not convinced about letting them do it, I decided to get long braids instead. After a few weeks, when I’m tired, I think I will do the cutting myself.

More about box braids soon, but this is all for now.

What do you think about this look? Have you tried it? Will you be rocking it anytime soon?

Love,

AB,

xx

Pictures of Whitney Madueke were taken from her Tumblr and YouTube

All other pictures in this post are from Pinterest.

 

Hairspiration! : Esther Tom

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Hi, I’m Esther Otomi, although I usually am called Esther ‘Tom. Proudly Nigerian from Delta State. I’m a professional photographer, a postgraduate student majoring in Media Studies and an evolving hair stylist. Continue reading

Product Review: Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard

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Hello lovelies,

How is the going going? Today I’m reviewing the Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Curl La La Defining Curl Custard. Such a mouthful! For the purpose of this post, let’s just call it the Curl La La. It’s the first product I’m trying from the Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils line, and I got it simply because I’d been admiring the labels on this line. They’re so simple and beautifully designed! Since I got it in October, I have used it twice.

First Impressions:

The Curl La La comes in a cute tub, and the product itself is light purple. It is colourless when applied to hair, though. It has a light artificial mixed fruit scent, like a sugary fruit “juice” not made from real fruit. Think Fumman Tropical or Kalyppo Mixed Fruit. It has the consistency of a light custard.

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Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil,Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cetyl Alcohol,Parfum (Fragrance), Dimethicone, Lanolin Oil, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Stearalkonium Chloride, d-Limonene, Hexyl cinnamic aldehyde, Linalool, Amyl cinnamic aldehyde, Lilial, Benzyl alcohol, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Cinnamic alcohol,5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one, 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one, 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1)

Woah there, this list!

Worth noting: Water is the first ingredient. Propylene Glycol a humectant, is the second ingredient, so this definitely packs a moisture punch. It contains a silicone, Dimethicone. It doesn’t have sulfates, parabens or mineral oil but a bunch of long long chemicals are in this, I probably would have had second thoughts about it if I’d read the ingredients first.

What My Hair Is Like

Tightly coiled, very kinky 4C, low-porosity hair.

My Experience:

The Curl La La can be used on damp, dry or wet hair. Wet styling is NOT my thing because of the 2 days my hair would take to dry, so I didn’t even bother trying. I’ve used this product on damp as well as dry hair and I’d say damp hair for the win.

When I used it on dry hair, I was really surprised. My hair was dry, really dry from a failed blow-out so I applied it generously without spritzing with water, and braided up in preparation for a braid-out. I did this before 9pm on a Saturday night. Imagine my surprise when the next morning before mass, I loosened the braids at 7am and my hair was WET. LOL. Not dripping, but very heavy with product. I had little definition with the wet, not-done look, so here’s how that looked:

Not the best picture, but here's how it looked right after loosening the braids

Not the best picture, but here’s how it looked right after loosening the braids.

The bangs were the most defined (compared to the rest of my hair) at this stage. They looked ready in this pic but they weren't dry either, so I later pinned them into a mini pompadour.

The bangs were the most defined at that stage. They looked ready in this pic but they weren’t dry either, & were definitely going to swell & frizz, so I ended up pinning the front into a mini pompadour.

On the bright side, my hair was super moisturised and remained so till my next Washday. ^.^

Two days before Naturals in The City 9, I applied the Curl La La to damp freshly washed hair. On the day of the meet-up, I waited till I was at the venue to unravel the braids and I quite liked my results.

How Would You Rate This Definition? MeeMee gives it a 7

After loosening the chunky braids. I did not separate. How Would You Rate This Definition? MeeMee gives it a 7

It was a very humid day though, so before I could even say anything, in like 5 minutes my braid out was already beginning to swell! I don’t like not being able to predict the way my hair is going to hang, & I knew I had a busy day ahead so I pinned my hair back so that I wouldn’t have to worry. Frizz & swell it did. Again, like the first time my hair stayed soft & moisturised all day and for like two more days after.

Does The Curl La La Do As It Says?

It claims to “…Define, shape and control curls, waves, coils and braid-outs, while adding moisture, shine and natural conditioning” and for me, it delivers. Plenty moisture and unnatural conditioning lol (can’t forget those ingredients please!), nice shine, and decent definition though I don’t think I’ve mastered this bit yet!

I like this product, I do. I didn’t experience any residue or flaking. All the times I’ve used this, I didn’t use a leave-in conditioner first, that’s how moisturising it is. It isn’t a go-to product for me though because of drying time.

I really want to experiment with Wash n’ gos on my 4C hair, so I’ll definitely be using this for that. So far, the Shea Moisture Frizz-Free Curl Mousse is my current favourite in the styling category, for twist-outs, and braid-outs. Mousse because of its composition, is faster drying than creamy products, and still does the job. Definition on fleek, as I will show you in a post soon. MeeMee reviewed it here, and I think I may do a mini additional review too.

If you ever see the Curl La La, I say yes- consider giving it a go. Everything doesn’t work for everyone, so please don’t come for me if it doesn’t work for you! 😛

I’m only halfway through mine, and when it finishes, I’d be happy to repurchase. It cost about $7 for the 15 oz tub. I’ve seen the Aunt Jackie’s Detangler and Shampoo at Poise, Ikeja City Mall, but not the Curl La La. I’m not sure how much it is sold in Nigeria, or where exactly it can be found. If you do know, holler in the comments, thank you! 😉

Have you tried this product or anything else from Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils? Are you a fan? I’d like to know!

Love,

AB,

xx

Hairspiration! : Lola

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Hey Lola!

Hey Guys. I’m Lola (African Remy) and I’m a 24 year old Tax Consultant (trust me, it’s not as boring as it sounds). I’m based and was born in the UK – London to be precise but I’m originally from Ondo State, Nigeria and visit when I can (although I much prefer Lagos. Shhh… Don’t tell my dad).

What inspired you to return to natural?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a big, tear jerking story about a horrendous experience with a perm or breakage – I just missed my natural hair. I first relaxed my hair when I was 14 and kinda always missed the volume, the curls and just the feeling that I had lovely hair. So after university, with a little help from a beloved friend, I took the plunge. Continue reading