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!

🙂

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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)

Product Review: Dark & Lovely Au Naturale

Hey you guys!

At Naturals In The City 6, a number of us got samples from the Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Line, to test and give feedback. I was hoping to post this when the line was officially launched here but it’s been close to a year and Dark & Lovely has recently come out with the Au Naturale Anti-Breakage Line in the obodos. Still no news of an official Nigerian release, but I did see it at Casabella, Ikeja- so I’m just going to let my thoughts out now.

Yes, Dark & Lovely- a line you know and probably once loved is making moves in the business of Natural hair now. Dark & Lovely Beautiful Beginnings- the orange one for Coarse hair was my relaxer of choice. I was pretty excited when I learnt about this development because, Dark & Lovely is no stranger in Nigeria, and so the products may be relatively cheaper, because they already have a strong presence here. [let’s hope we don’t have to wait till 2030 lol]

So here they are:

The full Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Line

The full Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Line

6 different products make up this line but what do they have in common?

The yummy scent of mangoes. They also claim to have “No mineral oils, no parabens and no petrolatum.” Technical science aside, aren’t petrolatum and mineral oil in the same category?

Fancy ingredients Bamboo milk and mango oil that together claim to be part of an Anti-Shrinkage Formula. It is also worth noting that these two ingredients being greatly advertised are way down the lists of ingredients.

My hair type: Kinky, Low-Porosity 4C hair. High density, but my individual strands are quite thin.

This is a 6-in-1 review, long enough already, so you could refer to the ingredients and official product descriptions over here.

1. Hydrating Soak Shampoo

I did not pre-poo or mix any oil in before using this shampoo so I could experience the strength of it. There’s nothing hydrating about this shampoo. It’s just like every other shampoo I’ve tried with sulphates [It has Sodium Laureth Sulphate. (SLES)] It super cleans, it strips. Fear not, you can still make the most of it with these tips.

2. Knot Out Conditioner

I think this is my favourite product from the line. I enjoyed co-washing with it because my hair did not feel stripped afterwards. It felt soft and I finger detangled with ease. I really like it, and I think it has the best smell!

3. Coil Moisturising Soufflé

This product is described as a gel but there’s nothing gelly about it. It is of a creamy consistency. This is a decent leave-in conditioner, made “For Coily Hair”. My hair was soft and well moisturised for most of the day. I like it as well.

4. Curl Defining Creme Glaze

This is a leave-in “For curly hair”, an alternative to the Coil Moisturising Soufflé for coily hair. Though I have no “curls” to define, I tried it anyway, and well, nothing happened. LOL. It’s pink and pretty though, but not as moisturising as the Soufflé.

5. 10-in-1 styles Gelee

The definition I had after I loosened my twists was something! Something good! I used this with the Coil Moisturising Soufflé, and my hair stayed moisturised. As I took out the twists though, I experienced some flaking. It wasn’t clear whether this was from my hair or scalp. (Definitely the product though, not me. I have no scalp flaking issues now, or at the time of testing this product)

6. Sheen Sealing Nectar

This one is described as a leave-in but I don’t see how. It is an excellent sealant, use as little as you can, but so are natural oils. I may reconsider this product on the day I finally decide to straighten my hair with a flat iron or something. I think I may prefer it as (part of) a heat protectant, or as a substitute to hair spray. It is recommended by them for use on scalp but considering the silicones and other inorganic ingredients in this and how thick this is, I think this is a horrible horrible idea!

Is Dark & Lovely Anti-Shrinkage really Anti-Shrinkage?

This line claims to have a special Bamboo milk and Mango seed oil formula in each product that helps you defy shrinkage.

I remember a few people were complaining about this at the meet-up, wondering why Dark & Lovely should be Anti-Shrinkage if its really here to care for curls. Because curls = shrinkage. True, true, very true. But I’m the type of person that likes to watch/study Advertising for fun, so I really wasn’t bothered in the least.

I didn’t notice any less shrinkage with my hair sha, and I can say from an objective unemotional standpoint that this is just a big FAT lie marketing gimmick. #WeSeeRightThroughYouLoréal!

If you’re looking to try anything from this line, Casabella is a good place to start. Where to Find deets in the Directory.

Bloggers Acharacha and Ifeyinwa also gave Au Naturale a run. You can read their reviews here on Acharacha by Nature, and Love, Ifeyinwa.

Have you tried anything from this line? Would you be trying? What are your thoughts? Would you trust natural hair products from a relaxer company? Let’s talk!

Love,

AB

x

PH Naturals Stand Up!

Hello beautiful people!

I come to you today with good news for the sistahood in Port Harcourt!

You can now get your hair product fix at Fros and Cornrows Natural Hair Hangout!

Visit the Hangout at 45 Evo Road, GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt.

A wide range of Natural hair Products and accessories awaits you:

1. Essential oils,

2. Base oils (Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Coconut, Olive, Avocado, Jojoba, Grapeseed)

3. Natural butters- shea butter, cocoa butter

4. Ayurvedic Oils and Clays

5. Natural hair brands including Cantu, Shea Moisture, Giovanni, Oyin Handmade, Eco Styler, As I Am, Aubrey Organics, Elasta QP and Kinky Curly!

6. More specifically, Wild Growth Hair Oil, Body Art Quality Henna, and the famous Luster S-Curl Activator!

7. Satin bonnets, Hair accessories, and Hair tools.

And get this, a salon is in the works!

Sounds like you guys have it made!! Keep your eyes on the Hangout, and go see if they don’t have what you need.

Don’t keep this to yourself, share this, spread the word to fellow PH Naturals and if you aren’t based in Port Harcourt, share with the PH people you know!

For more information about Where to Find natural hair friendly products and salons in Nigeria, do visit the Directory.
If you’re a Natural hair friendly business and you’re not on the list, just leave a comment or email thekinkandi@gmail.com & you’ll be putting yourself out there for the people that need you to find you!
If your favourite shop or salon isn’t on the list, let me know too. This is a collective effort, we are helping each other! 🙂

If you’re in a city or town with no products, don’t fret. We’re planning a little something to help you out too. 😉

Love,
AB,
xx

Shop In The Name of Loveee

Hello my good people!

Valentine’s is this Friday, how do you feel? 🙂

I do not have a Valentine, but I’m excited because well, I like the idea of Valentine’s Day. Woo!!

Valentine’s day should totally be a public holiday- but since we can’t have a public holiday, we can do with a little osho free.

In a show of Valentine spirit, Konga.com is giving you lovely The Kink and I readers special discounts on any purchases you’ll make this season. Why you ask? Because of love. Because I love you, and so does Konga.

How do you claim these discounts? Just make sure you enter the code “AFKONGA” at check out.

Here are some of my picks to get you started: Click the titles or the images for direct links to Konga.

1.      Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine

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Jane Carter Solution is definitely one brand on my radar, and I’ve read nice things about this pomade.

2.      African Naturalistas Moisturising Butter Cream- Minty Jazz

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Buy Nigerian!

The Moisturising & Detangling Conditioner is sold out at the moment, but you can still grab the Moisturising Butter Cream in Minty Jazz. This particular butter promises to improve the health of your scalp, and promote hair growth.

3.      Kids Organics Gro Strong Triple Action Cream

gro_strong_34071

My girl F loves this yummy smelling hair lotion. At only 945 naira, what more motivation do you need to give your next best leave-in a go?

4.      Profectiv Growth Renew Root Recovery Temple Moisturant

profectiv-growth-renew-strength-recovery-temple-moisturant-balm_cropped

My hair is yet to try any thing from this brand, but if you’re looking to heal or protect those tender edges, at N1650, it may not a bad idea to try this balm.

5.      Fela: This Bitch of A Life

FELA

Do you ever wonder about Fela, our legendary afrobeat king? Who he really was, how he functioned? How he became the man we remember today?

This book is the only proper authority on the maestro’s life. Penned by American writer, Carlos Moore, the man himself signed it and approved it as his life’s story. One of my favourite books, I’ve had a little trouble keeping it super safe since 2011. The last time I gave it out, someone wanted to pay me for it. Mehhh. So I was really happy to see it on Konga. You can get it there for 2000 Naira.

6.      Lippie!!

kurlyken

Not like you ever need an excuse to wear lippie.

Anyone who says dark skinned girls can’t wear bright lips is just, plain, wrong. Tell them all ASAP Rocky I said so.

You can find my favourite red- Ruby Woo. Or if that’s too mainstream for you, try Riri Woo (hello RihannaNavy!), or ‘Rich Red’ this matte lip from Elf. If you’re more of a violet gal, you could try the classic M.A.C. Rebel.

Nude lips are great too. I like this soft shade from Nigerian brand, Zaron. I’m still a little confused as to the actual colour (is it coral? is it nude?) but I love this moisturising lippie, Mystic!

If you’d really like to get into some Valentine shopping for your him or her, visit the Konga Valentine Store, here.

And one last thing, keep up with Konga on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@shopkonga)– for a chance to win weekend getaways, spa dates and other good goodies, all being given out in the name of love!

Okay guys.

Have a little fun shopping in the name of love. Don’t forget to use “AFKONGA” at checkout.

From my heart to yours,

Love,

AB,

xx 

Product Review: Africa’s Best Kids Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Shea Butter Moisturising Detangling Hair Lotion

Hey guys!!

Today I’m reviewing the Africa’s Best Kids Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Shea Butter Moisturising Detangling Hair Lotion. Yes, I’m thinking what you’re thinking- why so long though?? 😦

This is a leave-in conditioner I’ve used at different times since I went fully natural last year. It isn’t my Holy Grail leave-in, but it gives me good slip and decent moisturising. Also, it is relatively cheap and very very accessible to me, so it’s definitely a constant presence on my shelf. Like my back-up leave-in when I’m between leave-ins.

detangler

Ingredients

Aqua (Water) , propylene glycol , PEG-150 Distearate , Cetyl Alcohol , glycerin , Polyquaternium-37 , Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate , Dicaprate , PPG-1 Trideceth-6 , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil , DMDM HYDANTOIN , CyclopentaSiloxane , Cyclohexasiloxane , phenyl trimethicone , Lanolin Oil , glyceryl Stearate , Peg-100 Stearate , Acrylamide Copolymer , Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride , MEthylparaben , propylparaben , Stearalkonium Chloride , fragrance , Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive) , Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter , Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot) , Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit (Shea Butter) , CI 19140 (Yellow 5) , CI 16035 (Red 40) , CI 42090 (Blue 1) , Hydrolyzed Glycine Soja Protein (Soybean) , Mustela (Mink Oil) , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Tocopherol , Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil , Ovum (Egg Powder) , Lactis Proteinum (Milk Protein) , Mel (Honey) , Silk Amino Acids , Cholesterol , Zea Mays (Corn) Oil , Bht , BHA , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed OiI , Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract , Urtica Dioica Extract (Nettle) , Equisetum Hiernale Extract (Horsetail)

Worth noting:

  1. Water is its first ingredient
  2. No petrolatum or mineral oil.
  3. It’s got glycerine and propylene glycol (humectants)
  4. And it has a silicone (phenyl trimethicone) & parabens (methylparaben, Propylparaben)

Smell: I like it. Not strong, not too sweet, it’s just right.

Consistency: creamy. (it’s a lotion)

How I Use

I spritz my hair with water first. It’s easier for me to apply product on damp hair.

Then I apply the lotion and seal with olive oil.

Absorbency: this lotion doesn’t just sit on my hair. It disappears lol but for some reason (porosity perhaps), my hair doesn’t take it all in. Like by the next day, when I spritz water on my hair, there are still traces of it. So let’s say there are 3 days between washes, I’m heavy handed on day 1 and lighter with my application on days 2 and 3.

Cost:

I’ve seen it go for 800-1000 naira. Not bad at all for a 12 oz/355ml bottle.

One last thing:

The best thing about this leave-in has to be its accessibility. It’s available at 3 shops in my area, within walking distance. It’s really good to have one product I know I could always find.

Overall:

Good slip for detangling, and fair moisturising. This combined with the fact that it’s the cheapest and most available leave-in I have used yet, YES I will continue using.

By fair moisturising, I mean that my hair may still be soft at the end of the day, but I still need to reapply a little more lotion by the next day. Unlike with the Cantu leave-in for instance that I use only once in 3 days, with water spritzes in-between.

The Kids Organics line has a presence in Nigeria, so I’m sure this detangling lotion shouldn’t be difficult to find at your end if you’d like to try. 🙂

Oh and I almost forgot to mention- it’s for all hair types- natural and relaxed!

Have you tried this leave-in? Would you consider it now? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

AB

xx