Making The Most of Your ‘Poo!

When I started my hair journey, I hated shampoo because it made my hair feel like a scouring sponge. I discovered alternative no-poo methods which were great and have written about before.

Now, 1 year and 7 months later, I can say that Shampoo in the bottle as you know it, is not the enemy. I love to Poo after my hair has been in a protective style for weeks and just to be on the safe side, when my hair is out, every four weeks or so to keep Product Build-up away.

Yes, most shampoos are harsh on hair because they contain detergents/surfactants called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These chemicals cleanse deep, and for this reason, your hair may be left very brittle and dry.

Sulfate-free shampoos contain milder surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine in place of SLS/SLES. I’d especially recommend them to people who need to wash their hair often, like swimmers.

You don’t need to shampoo every three days or every other week, but no matter your preference, these pointers will help you make the most of ‘Poo days- with or without sulfates. 🙂

How cute

Source: Pinterest

Dilute It!

You can reduce the harsh effects of your shampoo by diluting it with water. Get an applicator bottle or even a regular bowl. Put in a little amount of shampoo and add water (not too much!) and shake the bottle or shake up with your hands (if you’re using a bowl)- and you’re ready to wash!

Gently focus on your scalp

Have you ever heard- Shampoo is for scalp and Conditioner is for hair?

When you’re shampooing, the focus should be on your scalp. If you focus your application on the scalp, it will be well cleansed and the shampoo will still get to your hair strands. You don’t need to scrub your hair as it lathers and you definitely don’t need to scratch your scalp in the process.

Pre-Poo

This is simply the act of applying oils or conditioners to your hair before shampooing to prepare it for the harsh manipulation to follow. I vouch for plain oil pre-poos.

Science says coconut oil is the best for pre-pooing because of its ability to be absorbed into the hair shaft. 8 hours is also said to be the optimum time for your coconut pre-poo. I use coconut oil when I have it, and when I don’t- olive oil. And except I’m pre-pooing overnight, 3-4 hours is just good for me.

Add Oil

If you haven’t got the time to pre-poo, just add oil to the amount of shampoo you’re ready to use. You don’t have to dilute it with water. My favourite oils for this are Castor and Olive.

Make sure you Deep Condition!!

This is a MUST! The cleansing process strips your hair of its moisture and natural oils. Some people prefer to Deep Condition their hair before shampooing, to add a little more moisture so that the hair feels less stripped afterwards. Others prefer to DC on clean hair after a wash, to replenish lost moisture. Either way, both methods work. So choose what you like, and make sure you do!

So guys. How do you make shampooing worthwhile? What works for you and what doesn’t? Feel free to have your say in the comments!

You know you could always email: thekinkandi@gmail.com

Till next post,

Love,

AB

xx

P.S. The focus of this article is really on the regular SLS/SLES Shampoos. If you find that your sulfate-free shampoo or even conditioner strips your hair, you could follow the pointers too. But if they work fine, doing their jobs without stripping your hair down, you’re fine using them alone.

Advertisements

WASHDAY!: Mud wash

Yep. I said Mud. I washed my hair with clay. Mud. Now isn’t that… Counter-intuitive? That’s the word you’re looking for. I knowww. But it was amazing. Let me tell you alllllllll about it! 😀

Last Sunday was Washday. True to my word, I took down my twists when I got home as soon as I’d rolled my luggage to a corner. I had a little help from my little cousins who were visiting, and eventually, my baby brother.

My hair is naturally very dry, so I do not care for Shampoo at all. It leaves my hair all dry and rough and tangled. I do not own a bottle of Shampoo. Since my Big Chop, I don’t think I’ve shampoo’d more than 5 times. What do I do instead? I clarify my hair with no-Poo methods like this one, or I simply wash my hair with Black soap. And when I do shampoo, I pre-poo by saturating my hair with oil first.

So Sunday, as a no-poo clarifying alternative to Shampoo, I did a mud wash. I was very pleased with the results and I’ll definitely be doing this again!

DSC06747

WHAT I USED

Bentonite Clay (About 4 spoons)

Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)

Carrier Oils: Castor, Olive

A few drops of Tea-Tree Essential Oil

Honey

Plastic bowl, plastic disposable spoon

(please, feel free to use the oils you want to. I used what I had. Though, Castor & Olive are good oils for conditioning)

I got my Bentonite Clay and AVJ from Ahia Natural Nigerian (through Natmane in Abuja) but I’m pretty sure you could find Aloe Vera Juice at any decent health shop or pharmacy.

WHAT I DID

1. I really didn’t do much measuring. My hair is short and I figured 4 spoons of the clay would be okay. I added enough AVJ to mix the clay to the consistency I wanted. Let’s say I added two spoons of honey & one spoon of Castor and Olive oil each (I just poured straight from the bottles), and 3-4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil.

DSC06748

2. I mixed all the ingredients in the plastic bowl, with the plastic spoon. They say you shouldn’t use metal utensils, I’m not really sure why. I’d love to find a small wooden spoon. My mother would not take kindly to me using her wooden spoons to mix my concoctions lol. I ended up using 2 plastic spoons. They were really flimsy disposable spoons so one broke half way. I didn’t have the patience to mix it to a perfectly smooth consistency but it didn’t matter in the end.

DSC06750

3. Satisfied with the mix, I spritzed my hair with water for it to be a little damp, and then got the gunk all over it.

DSC06757

4. I wore a plastic bag (again, life is too short to be washing shower caps) and wrapped my plastic-wearing head round with a warm towel. I’d put the towel in to microwave for about 30 seconds, and let my body heat do the rest.

DSC06758

5. 30 minutes after, I was ready to wash but decided to give it another 30 minutes just because I felt like it.

6. I washed my hair over the sink. I prefer this to washing in the shower because it’s just easier for me to gather my shed/broken strands from the sink drain than the shower. By wash, I mean I rinsed the clay out of my hair with clean water, just a little warm, that’s how I like it. All done!

RESULTS, RESULTS!

My hair felt great yo. So clean. It didn’t feel dry or stripped! Detangling was a breeze. Here’s what I lost in the process of finger-detangling x twisting.

DSC06800

Now, my hair was still all clumped together because I hadn’t combed it out. Look at the coil definition! Coils be poppin’! Haha. I attempted to capture it on camera, I hope you can see what I see!

DSC06779

DSC06782

Then, what I did next? I towel-dried my hair, yep, with an actual towel I designated for the purpose. Frizz is SO not my problem at this stage in my hair journey so, I’m just happy with gentle towel-drying with my towel. My hair towel is nowhere as thick as my body towel. It’s one of those ones that come in a tiny compact package that you have to put in water to release it for the first time.

Then I moisturised with a leave-in, sealed with olive oil, put my hair in chunky twists and left my hair alone. I’ve been indoors since then, so my hair is still in the twists.

Time saver tip (something I realised): it is easier and faster to moisturise the entire fro first and then section & twist after, than to moisturise & seal each section. If you do the first method, you can pay more attention to sealing the ends when you’re done.

Another great thing about this method, it is an absolute time saver for Washday when you’re very busy. Why? Because, your mud wash = Clarifier + Conditioner + Deep-Conditioner rolled into one! True story!

Maybe, just maybe, Washday can come earlier to this girl’s fro. Rather than every 4 weeks, I could do this every 2 weeks, alternate with my regular deep-conditioning routine on weekends. We’ll see!

So, my loves. Have you tried a Mud wash before? What were your results? Will you be trying one out soon?

Love,

AB

xx

HOW I COMB MY TWA (TEENY WEENY AFRO)

Hey guys, in this post I’m going to be sharing with you how I comb my kinky twa. 🙂

My hair is such a forest.

And I love it! :p

And I love it! :p

I’ve been asked a few times how I manage to groom my kinky hair. Does it hurt? Isn’t it painful? The answer to this is NO. It isn’t painful when you comb the right way.

Yes sistas, there is a right way to comb natural hair. The wrong way brings you pain and way more breakage. Breakage is bad, real bad, especially if long hair is one of your goals- like yours truly.

You cannot comb your kinky hair the same way you would if it were relaxed. I mean you can, but you shouldn’t. Don’t! It does not look the same. It does not feel the same. While relaxed hair is straight and the strands are easily separated, Natural hair is not straight. It’s all curly and twisty- some people’s strands are more tightly curled or coiled than others. Yes, like little springs or squiggles. Springs that get intertwined with each other, squiggly strands that love to stick together.

So, the right way to comb natural hair is really simple:

  1. NEVER comb natural hair dry! Not combing dry doesn’t mean it should be soaked o. A little bit of the science is explained in this quote below from BGLH. If your hair is as kinky as mine, I think you’d be happier not combing dry. My hair is about 4,5 inches long.
    Comb wet or comb dry?

    Breakage is likely to happen whether hair is combed wet or dry and the method you choose is really a question of preference and ease. Breakage during wet combing is because although hair is very flexible, its strength and ability to resist the force applied from combing is at its lowest. Conversely, when hair is dry, it is at its strongest but it lacks flexibility and therefore is likely to snap. The ideal condition for combing would therefore be when hair is mostly dry (about 80%) so that it is strong and pliable.  However, no matter what your preference, consider using some hair conditioner to increase slip and help reduce damage.

    Spritz some water on it, put in some moisturising cream or lotion, conditioner is your best friend! When you are shampooing on washday, comb with some conditioner to do your detangling before you shampoo.

  2. Wide toothed combs only! Here, this is what I mean by a wide-toothed comb.

    IMG-20130214-01148

    Anything smaller than this is not meant for your curls!

  3. ENDS TO ROOTS IS THE MOTION, NOT ROOTS TO ENDS. Say it again “Ends to roots, not roots to ends”. With relaxed hair, you could freely run your comb through from front to back, that is, roots to ends. (Your roots are just above your scalp, where your hair starts to grow- and your ends are yes, where it ends) Natural hair isn’t the same. If you start combing from the roots, you’re going to meet some resistance. You can’t just move up freely, because of all the curls and kinks. That’s when it hurts. That’s when you put pressure on your hair and make it want to break.

So instead, you start from the ends. Comb the ends, and like that, gently move lower and lower till you get to the roots. You’re detangling and moving down step by step. By the time you’re done, go in the opposite direction and you’ll see you’ll have no problems. This is just to show you how it works. You don’t need to do that, but you can if you want- after the first combing the right way.

        4. OF COURSE, COMB GENTLY. You might not always have the patience or the time but as much as possible, try to wake up early  enough so that you have enough time to comb. It takes me about twenty minutes in the morning for me to spritz, moisturise, seal and comb. The combing takes me about 13 minutes, but it could be less for you. I tend to over-do.

I made a video of me combing for a little bit, just in case anyone doesn’t really get it yet. It’s my very first video (took me four attempts) and I was SO not the best I could be, but please forgive me, I’ll do much better videos in the future. Shoutout to my very own Clara Peters, my videographer, Iby!! And DJ Dilys for my previous attempts!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

X

*the background music in the video: White Nights- Oh Land, Pizza & Burger- Sarkodie x Jayso, Disparate Youth- Santigold.

CAPITAL NATURALS II: WHAT I LEARNT YESTERDAY :)

I promised to share what I learnt yesterday, here it is. 🙂

You read blogs, or watch vlogs and one really awesome product is being reviewed, and then another. You’re here in Nigeria and you know that 99% of the products in the regular stores have silicones, or SLS or any of the bad stuff you’ve been warned about. Shampoo is shampoo. Dye is dye, hair colour, simple. Nobody really cares if this product has silicones or SLS or any of the bad stuff you’ve been warned about. You can’t blame them though- few people are actually curious about what really goes on inside, and to them if you’re worrying about these things, you clearly have too little on your mind. But you do care, and this is a good thing! You don’t have to sweat it though. God has got your back. There are quite a number of natural remedies for your hair cravings. Managing your natural hair can be easy (on your curls, your mind and wallet!) for you here too, much easier than you think!

TIDBITS FROM YESTERDAY

Courtesy: NatMane. If you want to know more, you could swing by her blog here, leave her a comment or something. 🙂

  1. Want a natural hair dye? Try Henna (a.k.a. Laali- not sure if this is Yoruba or Hausa) Henna darkens the hair. If blacker hair isn’t what you’re going for, mix Henna with tea for a brown tint, or Henna with hibiscus for a reddish tint.
  2. Did you like me just wonder whether you’re supposed to grow a hibiscus bush, or where you could possibly buy hibiscus leaves? Worry not, sister. Hibiscus petals = Zobo leaves. Yuuuup. I was so shocked by this information. I reaaaaaaally love zobo. Bar 1, I used to drink it like every day. I’ve even brewed my own before, but never did I think that zobo leaves were dried hibiscus petals! I think somebody suggested that once and I just brushed it aside without blinking like “haha, right.” So you could get to mixing that red dye asap!
  3.  Henna loosens tight curls. Mixing henna into your deep conditioner could temporarily loosen your curl pattern, if that’s the look you want to go for. Wonderful henna!
  4. Olive oil softens the hair. You could use it on the daily, or make it a part of your deep conditioner. Apparently, there is Olive oil and there is Olive oil. NatMane recommends Goya, from her experience.
  5. Mai Shanu is great for deep conditioning too, and it’s also a good pre-poo treatment. It’s supposed to be available at Wuse market and maybe any market really. Fresh mai shanu is supposed to look and smell like yoghurt. Saw a picture though, I will be going to a market to find it soon enough.
  6. We live in Nigeria. If you’re going to pick a product, try to pick one that you know is stocked at a store easily accessible to you- except you travel a lot, or know someone that could always get it for you. This is just so that when that awesome product that you feel was specially designed for your hair finishes, you won’t be stranded. Consistency is important.

———————

DOING IT WRONG!

I also learnt that I’ve been doing it all wrong, with my daily regimen. I gleefully set out my wrong steps in this post here. I learnt yesterday that my steps haven’t been in order, so this is going to change.

My daily hair regimen was this-

1. WET WET WET my hair.

2. Seal with Coconut oil

3. Put in my Cantu leave in

Do you see the problem? The P is supposed to be MOISTURISE and SEAL. My leave in is a water based moisturiser, so I’ve been breaking the moisturising process up- sealing in the middle. It really should be-

1a. WATER

1b. LEAVE-IN (definitely water-based) and then

2. OIL

———————

HMMM, GOT ME THINKING: OVERMOISTURISING

Too much of everything is bad, they say. I read somewhere that there really is such a thing as OVER-MOISTURISING. I’ve read some naturalistas say that they wet their hair only once a week and each time I wondered how they manage to comb. I also read somewhere that you can never be too generous with the water you wet your hair with. Confusing.

Sha sha, I’ve been really dedicated to wetting my hair in the morning, sitting with it for 15 minutes, letting it drink it in. But on Friday, I gave my hair this wet wet treatment twice. In the morning and at night. I let it air dry for a bit, and covered it with my satin bonnet when I was ready to go to bed. I woke up Saturday morning and my hair was SO dry. Like I noticed. I was surprised cos it was supposed to be SO not thirsty after the day before, or so I thought.Even when I was wetting it again, I felt like it took a little longer than usual to open up, and get soft again. It sounds weird, perhaps I was imagining? O_o

So I asked about this at Capital Naturals, and I was advised to not let my hair soak all the time. Instead, I should sprinkle some water with the assistance of a spray bottle, and then put a water-based leave-in conditioner. Apparently, though type 4 looks really coarse and dry, it doesn’t mean that that’s actually how the hair feels inside. Someone called my hair soft sef (I almost laughed out loud). I’m going to try this, and see how it goes. Only going to wet wet wet on Wash day (Sunday) and mid-week co-wash day (Wednesday), for obvious reasons. Let’s see how my hair responds to this.

Have you ever experienced over-moisturised hair? How did you get there? How often do you wet your hair? As always, I’d love for you to share.

xx