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!!

By Lumo Naturals : My First UpDo

Hey guys!

Let’s play a game called ‘Name The Style’ ? 🙂

Here are photos of how I wore my hair at the Call ceremony two Fridays ago and for a week after.

Braids up the sides that ended in twists, and twists in the middle.

Then the braids and twists were married with some more twisting and held up with several bobby pins, to make an updo that I at first described as a mohawk, but now that I’m looking at it, the front looks like a flat-top haircut.

Anyway, I loved it. If you have a name for my updo, holler in the comments!

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Maintenance: I simply oiled my scalp with coconut oil to prevent itching and dandruff, every two days or so.

Tip: If you’re considering recreating the style, it’d look even nicer with longer hair. Look at this photo of a natural with longer hair wearing almost the same style:

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And one of my favourite styling tutorials from Laila-Jean (youtube: FusionofCultures) – Channelling Johnny Bravo.

Her hair is much longer of course, so add kinky extensions to the middle as much as you need; a lot for a more dramatic top or if you aren’t a fan of the flat-top finish, just a little.

The Credit

My hair was styled by NatMane at Lumo Naturals Salon,

Suite G8, Mbouty plaza, Marcus Garvey street, behind emirates hotel, 5th avenue, Gwarinpa.

Call 08094823173 to book an appointment and make enquiries.

Quick Review

I had to call the salon in advance to set up an appointment.

Nat has been natural for many years now, and as expected, she handled my hair like a pro.

She helped me choose the style; this was very much appreciated because I had no idea what to do. I needed to keep my hair off my face and a hair band was definitely not an option. In my mind, there was no way a braided style could fit a suit or an adult. ( ._.) But she definitely changed that! I’m looking forward to my next braided style 🙂

Lumo Naturals is a new salon and the owner Farida was interested in getting feedback.

At Lumo Naturals, customers are given a consultancy form to fill. There you state your hair concerns, any issues you may have. I filled mine out and Farida talked me through the points raised. She also promised to email in a few weeks to see how my hair is doing. 🙂

The service was great and I was very happy with my hair.

It’s an awesome protective style because my hair is totally out of my manipulative reach, and my ends that need the most protecting, are further tucked in.

How much did my hair cost? 2000 naira.

Would I visit again? Yes.

Oh and for the Abuja natural, Natural Nigerian products are sold there.

For more information about where to find Natural Hair Salons and Products in Nigeria, visit our growing directory here.

Have you been to Lumo Naturals? How did you like it?

Till Next Post,

Love,

AB

xx

The Month That Was

Hey guys,

How is the going going?

I know it has been a while since I did a proper post.

My Novembers are usually pretty unremarkable, but this year, November was FULL. Yep, that’s why I was M.I.A.

There’s a lot coming up on the blog, we’ll get to everything pretty soon. 😉

I woke up November 1 to hear that results were out! We had been waiting 2 months! It was a great way to start the month, to learn that I had passed the Bar, on my own terms!! I went back to stare at the result page like 20 times after the first time I checked because I somehow couldn’t believe it! Of course, that was the aim- but when it happened, I found myself wanting to keep looking, to keep checking just to be sure.

Shortly after that, I found my way to NYSC Camp. I took out my Havana twists two days before camp, washed & deep conditioned my hair and had the twists re-done. Camp was quite an experience. I had never been in such a huge disorganised mess in my life! To welcome us to camp, they made us hoist our luggage onto our heads and do frog jumps! Just imagine. I have a picture of this that may not see the light of day for years after I put it away! LOL.

I was so angry about everything at first, but after a few days, I decided to embrace the struggle and life got so much better after that. I fell madly in love with the military marching drills (THE BEST!!!) and I met many new people. At the end of the day, I had to admit that it was a good way to begin the service year in a foreign state 🙂

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dead ( ._.)

the sun was a ghen-ghen

the sun was a ghen-ghen

during lectures. I was a little jealous of this guy yo.

during lectures. I was a little jealous of this guy yo.

why are they squatting in a circle?

why are they squatting in a circle?

still during lectures. The seats could barely take 20% of us. I was jealous of this guy too.

still during lectures. The seats could barely take 20% of us. I was jealous of this guy too.

Obubra winchhh. Skirt & blouse bite.

Obubra winchhh. Skirt & blouse bite. Thankfully, it was a small one!

beautiful :)

Simon tried his best, but he couldn’t really do this view justice. Beautiful 🙂

After camp came preparation for the Call ceremony and it was unexpectedly hectic. Between all that admin business and trying to find a suit and the right pair of Law school approved ugly court shoes, I felt drained. But all was forgotten on the D-day, last Friday!

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5 years after I started the journey to the wig, I finally got to wear it! In Nigeria, lawyers wear black robes and special wigs in court. On another day, I may look into how the hairs are obtained from the horses, but not that day. I was too excited! All my girls passed the Bar too so imagine how happy I was! My uncles and aunts came all the way to celebrate with me and my parents, I was walking on sunshine *slide* 🙂

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Iby, Abi mama, Me

my mommy and my girl, Deeva!

Mom and my girl, Deeva!

Later at lunch: Lu, F, me, Iby & Dilys. Lu isn't a learned friend though :p

Later at lunch: Lu, F, me, Iby & Dilys. Lu isn’t a learned friend though :p

Lu & F

Glowing: Lu & F

Iby's surprise at dinner :)

Iby’s surprise at dinner 🙂

It was a perfect day in every way. I felt very special and much loved! A few months ago, I’d think to myself wondering about the last time I felt truly happy, but lately, its been the very opposite.

Another phase is now beginning, and I’m so grateful to God, my wonderful family (near and far) and my awesome awesome friends for helping me pull through in the journey so far!

Did anyone else make it to Le Revitalize Rendezvous? The sun was so hot on Saturday, I kept waiting for it to go down. When it became clear that the sun had no plans of going anywhere till sunset, I headed out to the event at about 4:30, I think I was one of the last to get there.

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Cheesin': Farida of Lumo Naturals & I

Cheesin’: Farida of Lumo Naturals & I 🙂

Last month, I think I clocked more time on my feet than I have throughout the year or maybe the year before that! Thank you, NYSC! Mscheew. My poor feet were in dire need of a pedicure, so I got one! I also had my big toenail taken out lol TMI? Please learn from me. Don’t commit yourself to long hours wearing a new pair of shoes that you haven’t broken into.

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And the next day, I got to see the baby brother! ^_^

Shout out to NatMane and Lumo Naturals for my special hairrrrr! You need to see it properly- you will soon, in a post of its own! ^_^

November was great, December is definitely going to be better! May the Lord bless and keep us all!

I’ll be back to regular posting tomorrow. I just thought I’d check-in with you guys, share a little, let you know what’s been going on! Maybe I should do this more often?

Love,

A very happy bunny

xx

Lumo Naturals + Lifestyle Spa = Le Revitalize Rendezvous!

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*Town crier gong*

Listen up, my ladies in Abuja. Something special is coming to you this month!!!

Lumo Naturals
&
Lifestyle Spa
Presents…

“Le Revitalize Rendezvous”

A day for women to feel refreshed,renewed & relaxed.

We will be offering 20% discount for;
– Facials
– Manicure & pedicure
– Full body massage

Also, FREE mocktails & goody bags for your hair & skin.

Venue: Plot 49, Lake Chad crescent,off IBB way,Maitama,Abuja

Date: 30th/Nov/2013

Time: 10am-6pm

To register, call/text
Spesh: 07032122173 or
Edu: 07067197319
Registration costs N1500 only.

How exciting is that? If you are in Abuja on the 30th of November, this will be a very good opportunity for you to pamper yourself. I mean… there will be FREE mocktails and goody bags! Who doesn’t like a goody bag?

My Lagos ladies, don’t you get jealous now. Remember Naturals in the city 7 is on the same day! Eeek!

For more info on Le Revitalize Rendezvous, email lumonaturals@gmail.com

P.S.: Don’t forget to enter the ‘Better than good hair’ giveaway here. E fit be you oh!!!

Love,

Best Fran for AB

xo.