For The First Time, Kinky Hair at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Pageant!

Jegzy 2014!

Jegzy 2014!

Hey guys!

Remember Leslassa? Last year, I was excited because Leslassa Armour-Shillingford represented her country Dominica at the Miss World pageant, probably the first woman of African origin to contest on the Miss World stage with her naturally kinky hair!

This year, one of our very own past Hairspirations on the blog Jegzy, is representing us with her big ass fro, at the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant!! She is a psychologist, contesting as Miss Ebonyi. To learn more about her, see her MBGN Profile over here!

I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to see how she styles her hair for the big day!!

Now, online voting is open and please we HAVE to see Jegzy (real name: Sarah Jegede) go all the way at MBGN 2014! The winner of the Online Vote will be fast tracked to the Top 15!

jegzy

 

HOW TO VOTE:

1. FOLLOW @SilverbirdMBGN on twitter, and RETWEET this tweet!

2. LIKE her photo on the Pageant’s facebook page- facebook.com/SilverbirdMBGN

3. VOTE on the Website, every 24 hours: Silverbirdmbgn.com/vote

4. LIKE her photo on the SilverbirdMBGN Instagram page.

(You can go the extra mile by commenting and sharing and reposting!)

5. Share this so other people can vote!

Remember, you’re voting: Miss Ebonyi, Sarah Jegede.

You can see Jegzy’s Hairspiration feature over here. 

#pleaseVote! #teamNatural #teamJegzy #TeamChangingThemStandardsOfBeauty #OpenUpTheDoors!

Love,

AB,

xx

Natural in Nigeria & On A Budget

Hello AB, How are you?

I am an aspiring naturalista. 

The thing is, most of the products are alien except ones like Dudu Osun, Honey, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil. Please how can I use the local products around me? Thanks in anticipation of your reply.

xoxo

-Eucharia

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Natural hair can look a little discouraging because of all the senrenren as seen on the blogs (guilty) and other media but it’s really not complicated. Trying assorted products from far and near is a great hobby of mine mostly because I’m on a quest to find my Holy Grail faves but the real reason I try and try and try is, it keeps things interesting.

In all this though, I never forget that to survive and thrive, I don’t NEED a 5kg basket full of products. I’m going to suggest some basics you could easily find in Nigeria, to get you started on your hair journey. As you go on, you’ll find others that suit you better, don’t be afraid to try new things!

1. Shampoo- most shampoos contain sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS/Sodium Laureth Sulfate SLES) and though they clean well, they also strip your hair of natural moisture and oils, so they can be too harsh for regular use. Dudu Osun or any other African Black Soap is a good alternative. Take the soap, and shake it in a bowl of water till it lathers. Then use the soapy water to wash your hair. Rinse out, that’s it!

Sulfate shampoos are as drying as they are effective. You don’t have to chuck them in the trash though. You can prevent them from drying you out if you try these tips.

2. Regular Instant/Rinse-out Conditioner

Conditioners help to restore the PH balance in your hair after shampooing, and to smooth your hair cuticles. They can also be used to wash your hair, this is what we call co-washing. Though this is their primary work, not all conditioners are equal.

I use the Hair Fruits Conditioner to co-wash when I don’t have anything else. It’s just 250-300 naira. Though it isn’t very moisturising and contains mineral oil (bite me), it is okay for the purpose, always within my budget and readily available.

V05 Moisture Milks Conditioner is nice, without the mineral oil. It’s within the 450-650 price range. Suave Naturals is usually stocked at SPAR, the Aloe + Coconut one, for about 650 or 750.

3. Deep Conditioner: for before OR after you shampoo, to fortify hair in advance or replenish lost moisture- whichever you like. I’m only just beginning to work with packaged DCs. Homemade ones work well for me. You can easily make your own.

Honey and Olive Oil DC- for moisture & shine

Edible mayonnaise + 1 egg + olive oil – Protein & shine

Coconut Milk DC packs a SERIOUS Protein punch. Beware of this one if you’re protein sensitive. If your hair feels weird after doing this, just leave it yeah?

For more about these ones and other homemade treatments and deep conditioning in general, kindly go here.

4. Leave-In Conditioner:

Water is hydrating & moisturising BUT not all naturals can rely on just water for their moisture needs. Now I can moisturise my hair once a week with water & seal, but it hasn’t always been this way. You need a leave-in to nourish your strands, draw and keep moisture in. Depending on how dry your hair is, you may use it once or twice a day or every 3 days… Depends on you.

Leave-ins you can easily find in Nigeria-
I. Africa’s Best Kids Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Shea Butter Moisturising Detangling Lotion. About 800-1200. Depends on where you look
II. Jack 5ive Curl Activator Gel- pricing range and availability similar to Kids Organics.
III. Natural Nigerian Moisture & Shine Detangling Leave-In Conditioner. This goes for 2500 but is my favourite product of the 3. To get it, email orders@naturalnigerian.com

I’ve reviewed all 3 products on the blog in the past, you could find them here.

5. Sealants-

You need to seal in moisture after you moisturise. This one is easy. Look for natural oils & butters like- shea butter, olive oil (be it for anointing, cooking, whatever). Park & Shop (SPAR) has the best prices for coconut oil I’ve seen, with the blue Parachute bottle they carry. Just check the food section. Our indigenous Atili oil (African olive) and Palm Kernel Oil are also highly rated.

Honestly, any vegetable oil can be used to seal. It’s just that different oils have different characteristics so some carry way more benefits than others. But if push comes to shove, don’t be shy to use that soybean or canola oil in your kitchen. 😉

TOOLS

6. Wide toothed comb– you know, because your coils are too springy and full of life, too much for a fine tooth comb to handle! 😉

7. Spray bottle (You can buy one, or improvise with an old body spray bottle) to refresh your hair when dry.

8. Cotton T-Shirt- Microfibre towels are tipped to be the best for drying hair after a wash. If you have one, great. But you don’t need one when you have a cotton tee. Cotton t-shirts are more gentle on your hair than regular towels. No need for a heavy wash towel, just keep your old tees handy. 🙂

9.Satin/silk scarf or bonnet or pillowcase- Cotton is super absorbent which makes me love it for a few reasons such as the one I just stated above. However, when you aren’t trying to dry your hair, cotton is NOT your hair’s homie. Satin and silk fabrics make good hair coverings, because of their characteristics, they are able to protect your hair from friction, and from drying out at night.

You could go to the market to find satin to make your own bonnet, but be careful. I tried that in January & what they offered me was not it at all. It was a very THICK, not breathable material. To be on the safe side, try getting a satin bonnet for starters- usually for 500-600 naira, so let me know where you are so I could tell you where to look.

For some people, anything goes as long as it looks and feels like it, but some people feel that not all satin is made equally. There are different opinions. Not all satin is made the same- some are made from cheaper materials and for this reason, some people call them ineffective. You can read this article here– but right now, at this point in your hair journey, just worry about getting something as close as you can. The cheapey-cheapey satin bonnets I’ve been buying so far have been doing me well sha!

Too unsexy for you? Go for a scarf or pillowcase (Source)

10.Vegetable Glycerine

This is a pretty good moisturising aid, especially for Low-Porosity naturals like myself. Your hair may not be a great fan, but it’s definitely worth trying. If you mix a little with water in your spray bottle, you can use it to refresh your hair whenever its feeling dry. Glycerine is a humectant, it draws moisture into the hair. It seems to be a little less common than it was when I was growing up but its out there. Check pharmacies and supermarkets & some beauty shops. I know some girls like to mix it with their body lotions. If you need any help knowing where to order from though, just holler.

I hope this helps!

🙂

————

So ladies, did I miss anything? Any simple essentials for natural hair care that are easy to find and cheap too? If you live in Nigeria, it’d be helpful if you share where you get some of your favourite things in your neighbourhood. Let’s keep this simple for Eucharia’s sake! Thanks guys ❤

Love,

AB

xx

🙂

P.S. All the naturalistas pictured in this post are Nigerian. Source: @kinikinks (instagram)

Naturals DEY!

Hellooo beautifuls!!

How is the going going?

I was at work this morning when notifications started trickling in. Facebook, Instagram, WordPress. I was a little puzzled because I hadn’t recently posted anything on the interwebs. So I went to my stats to help me understand, and they led me to Bella Naija. Yours truly was mentioned by KlassyKinks in her article ’12 Natural Natural Hair Bloggers You Need To Follow’! You could go see it here. I felt excited, happy, fulfilled, I truly never hesperred it! ^____^

klassykinks

A very BIG thank you to Ijeoma for the love!! and also for prompting my procrastinating ass to put out my own list. This is something I’ve had sitting in my drafts for a while.

Sometimes in your natural hair journey, you could feel lonely. Afro-textured sistas may not be as easy to spot on our streets as you would in say, Brooklyn- but I’m here to let you know that in our Nigeria, you aren’t alone. To borrow The Kinky Apothecary’s slang/ hashtag, #NaturalsDey.

Nigerian hair. Nigerian Naturals, Living right here, in Nigeria. We are here. Very happy, and we are thriving.

So this is a shoutout to all my Naija-based natural hair bloggers. You should get familiar with them 😉

This is by no means a conclusive list, but here in no particular order:

1. The Kinky Apothecary.

Nigeria’s first one-stop shop for your Natural hair needs has been here from the very beginning of this ‘movement’ so to speak. Actually, in anticipation of my Big Chop, my first product haul ever, was from the Apothecary! Visit the blog for hair talk, and follow the Apothecary’s FB and Instagram (/kinkyapothecary) for a steady stream of well-curated natural hair inspiration.

2. Rachel of Beautifully Nappy’s enthusiasm for keeping her kinks and body healthy & beautiful as naturally as possible is contagious!! For natural hair growth, organic skin care & healthy living, visit her blog– and keep up with her on Instagram (@rachelasakome) & Twitter (@BeautifullyNapy)

3. Natural Nigerian brings you “Natural” from a holistic point of view. It’s not just hair, she’s very very committed to living as naturally as possible. For healthy hair care, clean eating and generally healthier living, you want to bookmark NN’s blog. And just so you aren’t the last to know when next NN organises another hair meet-up, you should do the same. Between blog posts, keep up with NN on Facebook.

4. She whose face must not be seen! NatMane blogs about her hair journey at Deep Brown & Kinks. She’s a super talented stylist, I can personally testify. If you’re in Abuja, tweet her to make an appointment: @NaturalMane. You will not regret it.

5. Hadassah is a proudly Igbo girl, living it up in the ‘Buj with her very healthy, bouncy, curls. She writes at Nappily Nigerian Girl, and she instagrams too: @NappilyNigerianGirl. You could also tweet her: @NappilyNigerian.

6. Fola is a Natural Nigerian living in Lagos. She was on a healthy relaxed hair journey before she decided to embrace her kinks. She blogs about her hair (and fitness and healthy eating) at Fola’s Oasis.

7. Fellow 4C sista Acharacha blogs about her hair journey at Acharacha By Nature. With Acha, it’s simple straight to the point haircare, and she makes youtube videos too.

8. Beautiful Ifeyinwa is the Brain behind handmade skin care product line Ajali. She is a beauty & lifestyle blogger, who writes about hair, and other pretty things at Love, Ifeyinwa.

9. Kemi Lewis runs her own Natural Hair Salon in Ikoyi, Lagos. Visit her blog KL’s Naturals and you can just tell the woman KNOWS hair. That post about her laid edges? Paradigm. Shift.

10. African Naturalistas is the greatest collaborative blogging effort in the Nigerian natural hairsphere. Several bloggers write about African hair and all things related for AN, so you’re sure to see something new every time you visit!

11. The Mane Captain, Adeola lives in Toronto- but do visit her blog and see if that makes any difference. She blogs about the true basics of hair care- techniques and tips- things we can all implement, regardless of what we have or what we are using.

12. Sandeeey has been natural for several years. Her luscious locks (of life!) have even been featured on Curly Nikki. She’s on Instagram: @hairoflife and she writes about her hairscapades at HairOfLife.

13. Ore a.k.a. Ms. Cookie is a full blooded Yoruba girl with beautiful big curly hair. She talks hair on her blog Cookie’s Real Hair Care. If you’re in Lagos & need a little help with your real hair- natural or relaxed, hit her up to schedule a salon session. Tweet her: @thecurlycookie

14. Jan blogs about her healthy relaxed hair journey at Today’s Naira. She is also well invested in the maintenance of her nieces’ natural curls. Definitely a blog you should see for you, and the little curlies in your life.

15. 17 year old Nafisah is an aspiring architect. On her blog, Coily Head of Hairshe chronicles the ups and downs of being natural (in Nigeria) and from time to time, you can catch her doing some DIY too! 🙂

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On Tuesdays, Natural Nigerian shares photos of other Nigerian naturals on her facebook page. You could share your photos with her too. On Instagram, you could search the #NigerianHair and #NaturalsDey #NaturalNigerian tags.

For information about where to find Natural Hair Friendly products and salons in Nigeria, do visit the Where to Find Directory. Healthy Hair Awareness is growing like crazy, and in good time, I’m positive every state will catch the bug. But for now, most stores deliver. If a store isn’t in your city, don’t be shy to contact them. They may be able to accommodate your request or customise a solution for you. 🙂

From time to time, hair meet-ups are organised and from my experience, they’re full of great fun, warmth and kinky-curly inspiration!

If you live in Benin City, please please, read this short announcement.

Woah. This has been a super long post. I hope I’ve been able to convince you and not confuse you that… Naturals Dey! We are here!! If I didn’t mention your natural hair blog or your favourite hair blog, please bless us with a link in the comments!

Shout out to new The Kink and I followers! I’m always an email away- thekinkandi@gmail.com. I’ve only had my ‘fro for a little under 2 years, but I’m here to help as best as I can, and I always respond.

Till next post,

Love,

AB

Xx

October is Natural Hair Month!

Because The Kinky Apothecary says so!

THE KINKY APOTHECARY LAUNCHES NATURAL HAIR MONTH

Kicking off on October 11th in Lagos, The Kinky Apothecary, Nigeria’s first one-stop natural hair shop, presents Natural Hair Month; a series of events designed to celebrate the essence of African women in their natural beauty.

The Kinky Apothecary was established in May 2010, with the aim of fostering knowledge about natural hair care in Nigeria. In just a short time frame of 3 years, The Kinky Apothecary has helped thousands of Nigerian women embrace their natural selves. Their customer base also includes a growing number of relaxed ladies who are beginning to realize the benefit of following a natural hair regime.

Natural Hair Month kicks off on Saturday October 12th at The Wheatbaker, 12pm sharp, with a workshop by Felicia Leatherwood, Hollywood-based hair expert and stylist to Jill Scott, Viola Davis, Will Smith and a number of others.

Image

The workshop will cover:

  • Maintenance tips for all hair types
  • Protective and other hair styles
  • Scalp issues
  • Styling and products advice & demos
  • Q & A session
  • Giveaways and goodie bags
  • …and one more surprise!

Tickets to the workshop are only available in advance, none shall be sold at the door. You can get yours from:

Sacred Creative Artistry, 2 Abiola Close, Shonibare Estate Maryland. +2348076767676 OR

L’Espace, 19A Olosa Street, off Karimu Kotun, Victoria Island. +2347028028960 OR

Online, on Afritickets here

Activities continue on Sunday October 13th, with a screening of the much talked-about movie by revered filmmaker Regina Kimbell titled “My Nappy Roots”. The Kinky Apothecary then takes up residence at Whitespace for 2 weeks with an exhibition on hair organised by artist Temitayo Ogunbiyi.

“In a country where everyone’s hair is naturally kinky, I’ve always found it interesting that there is such a stigma against people who choose to wear theirs as it grows out of their heads. Although it is not our intention to make any sort of political statement, we wanted to create a focus point where our natural hair could be celebrated, and to take a step towards changing ideals of beauty.” Says Nibi Lawson, Founder, The Kinky Apothecary

Find The Kinky Apothecary on social media!

Facebook: The Kinky Apothecary; Twitter: @kinkyapothecary; Blog: www.thekinkyapothecary.blogspot.com

Whoop! I’m excited! Cheers to Natural Hair Month!! Everyone’s invited! You’ll be hearing more from me! 🙂

Love,

AB

xx

P.S. Additional venue information:

The Wheatbaker, 4 Onitolo (Lawrence) Road, Ikoyi. 

Whitespace58 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi. 01 736 8094