Blending My Nazuri Curls: Step 1

Hi guys!

Apologies for the post that went up earlier in the day. I had to take it down as it wasn’t quite finished yet. Blogging has been a little less convenient in recent times but there’s so much we have to share with you guys so please hang in there with us!

I’m wearing a sew-in weave at the moment. The hair is from Nazuri Curls, in their Afro texture (formerly known as the Afro Kinky Curly). I loved it last year and I still love it now. Last year I wore it really big for the most part as I was pretty much my own boss. But now, I have to look “professional”, “fit and proper” and as a rookie in the game, the last and truly the least (for now) I just have to respect myself and conform. So instead of fixing two and a half (or more) bundles as I did last time, I used under two bundles.

Courts officially go on vacation today, so in celebration, I added a little more hair to the front. Let the shakara continue! lol

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I’m not sad, I promise lol

But in the first two weeks, I tried to keep it real, and make the weave look super ordinary, like it were my hair.

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Elevator Selfie!

More about this later.

Blending is an art, sisters and brothers. Not always easy but definitely worth the trouble. This hair originally came in Color 4.

While Color 4 was the colour of my hair when relaxed, it has become darker on my natural hair journey.

Because I was leaving a lot of hair out, I decided to dye the curls. I used 2 boxes of the Creme of Nature with Argan Oil dye in Intense Black.

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My natural hair is dark most times but it is not Intense Black. I later saw a Soft Black shade of the same dye, maybe that would have been closer to home. But whatever, really- this sha brought the extensions closer to my hair colour than the previous Colour 4.

So. The dye job. How did this go?

1. I laid old newspapers on the floor, and then polythene/plastic bags over them.

2. The hair was already nice and clean and mostly detangled. Remember I made a wig with it that didn’t turn out perfect? I dismantled the wig and laid the hair out on nylon bags.

3. Mixed the dye according to instructions. Pretty simple. I poured the Creme into the applicator bottle containing the developer. After shaking well, I was ready to apply immediately. 

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4. I applied the dye by streaking the extensions with it like so:

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5. After doing this, I used my hands (gloved) to smooth it into the extensions. When I was satisfied, I put the hair into a Ziploc bag.

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*repeat till all hair covered*

6. The instructions said to leave for 30 minutes, but I had to leave the dye on for one hour. Why? I originally bought just one box of dye lol and had to run out to buy another when I Realised my mistake. It was all good, after all it’s not like the dye was anywhere near my scalp. 

7. Still following the instructions, I shampooed the hair. This stops the bleeding. At first I just rinsed the dye off but the colour kept running. 

8. Then, I conditioned the hair with Hello Hydration and returned it to another Ziploc bag to soak in the moisture for thirty minutes. 

9. Rinsed conditioner out with cool water, moisturised and sealed with my Cantu leave-in & Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey (a pomade) 

10. Hung hair on hangers to dry. Fin. 

End result: black curls! IMG_5070

This took me about 3 hours in all (minus air drying time) though I’d definitely have been faster if I didn’t have to leave to go buy more dye.

I got the dyes from a supermarket in my area for 1,200 naira each. This particular brand I’ve seen retailing between 900 and 1200. It’s pretty common, don’t let anybody swindle you.

Remember. From now till October 12, 2015 you can get 10% off your Nazuri Curls purchases with the discount code: KINKANDI

Love,

AB,

xx

Mini-Twists: Fight The Frizz!

Hello beautifuls!

What’s good with you & your tresses?

I take my mini-twists down tonight. It has been a very good run, 5 weeks and two days. My 7 year old cousin called me out on Easter Sunday for wearing the same hair for as long as he could recently remember. I asked him to please sponsor my next hair and he really said he would if he could, LOL

This is a big deal for me because last year, I would not have thought this possible. I called mini-twists my Love-Hate Thing. I make some very nice twists if I do say so myself, so I enjoy marveling at my handwork when I’m done and my arms are protesting. I really wasn’t comfortable with wearing mini-twists because:
1. I don’t think wearing them at this present length does anything for my shape of face.
2. The frizz!! I know frizz is a big part of the natural life and while I do embrace it sometimes, it’s annoying to put a huge effort in styling and have your hair frizzing so soon after.

Before this, the longest I’d been able to wear mini-twists was 2 and a half weeks, let’s approximate to say 3. And even then, I wasn’t so happy about it. I felt like I needed to compensate with makeup.

This time around though, I fell in love LIKE with my twists. I still maintain that this length isn’t doing anything for my face shape, but they have kept well and aged well.

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Day 1. Almost done.

Week 3

Week 3

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Week 5

Week 5

I was determined to wear my twists for four weeks with no excuses, in a minimal-frizz condition that I would be comfortable rocking. If you’d like this too, here’s how:

1. Start on Clean Hair.

I always style on clean hair. Always always. Because if I don’t, I feel like my hair is already stale. Plus, my scalp WILL itch and I’d be tempted to wash and I did not want to give myself any excuses. At all.

2. Dry Stretched Hair For The Win!

I prefer to style when my hair is dry. Shrinkage is inevitable but I try to stretch my luck anyway. Also, with curly styles I’ve found that I have less frizz when I style dry, so I decided to apply that to my twists as well. I washed my hair, moisturised & sealed and put it in about 10 chunky twists. When the hair was completely dry the next day, I began to twist.

3. Sections & Small Twists. 

I took down one chunky twist, twisted all the hair from that, and moved on to the next. I sectioned my hair slightly smaller than usual, and twisted that way.

4. Start With a Braid. 

Typically, I like to start twists as twists. If I go to a salon and the stylist starts twists (with extensions) as a braid, I’m judging her. And I will complain. Invisible root method please. However, with twists with my own hair, the base easily gets puffy, even if I start my twists very tightly. So this time, I decided to start by braiding. Because it’s my hair and not extensions, except you stare at my scalp (and how would you do that?) you won’t see the braided base. I didn’t do it for long, just enough to keep the twists anchored. I think they’re the reason my roots stayed intact for longer.

5. Satin Bonnet DO & DON’T

I covered my twists at night with my satin bonnet. However, in the day time, when I was home, I kept it off. Just like wearing a hair net, if you wear a satin bonnet all day, for a few days, your scalp will protest and start to stank. Yes. Let it breathe!

6. Keep Your Hands To Yourself!

Self explanatory right? Too much touch-touch = frizz

7. Abstain from Moisture

LOL did you just pause to give me the side-eye? I did not spritz my hair with water at all. To go into the shower, I always wore a shower cap. I prevented my hair from enjoying the nice juicy steam, but I believe it was for a good cause. A few times in the last 2 weeks though, I used my lovely Shea Moisture Mousse to moisturise.

Why No Water?
Moisture keeps our hair supple and elastic, but when it comes to maintaining styles, it can be a frenemy. Moisture helps hair to be nice and soft and easy to manipulate, but it also brings frizz. Plus, I wasn’t wearing my hair loose, so elasticity wasn’t my concern.

To make up for this, I will most definitely give my hair a super super super Washday tomorrow. Starting with an overnight pre-poo with Coconut Oil.

8. Secure Your Ends With a Twirl!

To keep the ends of my twists from unraveling, I always twirl them around my finger like a finger coil. It’s a nice finish, and serves its purpose. For this, may dab a little more product (a pomade or butter) to my ends.

9. Scalp Massages!

After 5 weeks guys, my hair doesn’t smell bad! It’s odourless. Last week, I tried cleaning my scalp with witch hazel astringent on cotton wool & the wool didn’t return dirty. It was like cleaning my make-up free face at the end of the day. Just a liiiiittle bit dirty. How was I able to keep my scalp relatively clean? Scalp massages. I did them frequently with castor oil. A few times each week just because, and also for when it was really hot and sweaty & my scalp itched. I simply poured a little oil into the centre of my palm, and greased my fingertips with it. Then I rubbed it on my scalp very seriously with fingertips only. No nails!

When I was done massaging, I passed my oiled hands over my hair for shine. Castor oil is a humectant so I’d like to think it helped me absorb a little moisture.

10. Mental Preparation, VERY Key. 

This should have been the first thing I said. Nothing I tried with these twists was new to me but I wasn’t inspired to apply myself until I was determined to stop complaining and see the mini-twists through this time. What’s the point of protective styling or putting all this effort into twisting if you take down your style after a week or two?

So that’s all from me guys. How do YOU fight frizz? What are you struggling with? What have you recently overcome? Any more questions about these twists, feel free to ask! 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

Frequently Asked Questions: Kinky, Marley, Havana Twists

Hello lovelies!

I hope you’re doing great.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I love my kinky twists. (We both do) The chunkier the better, but Kinky, Marley, Havana, really anything with Kinky extensions is right up my alley. Because I’m asked about my twists a whole lot, more than I can count, I thought I’d just share what I always share, put it in the public domain. 🙂

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  1. Where can I get kinky twists done?

If you’re in the NYC area, holler at our girl MeeMee. She has a good heart and won’t charge you like the braiding places. You can book her on StyleSeat.com/thekinkandi *shameless plug*

As long as you’re in Nigeria, honestly, I think anywhere. Walk down your street for a salon, or if you live in a very residential area, go out to a busier neighbourhood. If all else fails, just go to the market. Yes, I said the market. No AC, probably no fan but you’ll get your twists, and if you price right, for cheap too 🙂

P.S. All the salons on our list of Natural Hair Friendly Salons can hook you up!

  1. Where do YOU get your twists done?

When I got kinky twists in Calabar, I went to Watt Market. Back to base now, in Lagos, I go to Sara’s. This has been my mom’s salon for years now. Sometimes the AC is on, and of course you can watch AfricaMagic lol. The stylists are really great with braiding, and very fast. My last Marley twists took 30 minutes. 5 people on my head because I was early, and I tell you it did not hurt. The most I’ve paid is 3k. Sara’s is on Bola Street in Anthony Village. It’s on the first floor of the building beside King Solomon Hospital, walking distance from the GTBank.

  1. What hair can I use?

There are several brands, I’ve tried just three- Supreme, Noble, and Sublime. Is there any major difference between them? In terms of texture, not quite, but they are at different price points. Supreme Royal Silk Afro-Twist Braid goes from 1300-1700, depending on where you buy. Sublime is 650,700 but you aren’t saving, it is half the size of the Supreme. Noble Afro Twist Braid is also half the price of Supreme, but it’s about the same size. Almost.

  1. Where can I buy the hair?

Your local weave-on place, the market, your salon (check first), and you can also order online from Sizzelle, Olori, The Kinky Apothecary, Tunmise Naturals, and so on. See the Where to Find Directory for their info 🙂

  1. How can I care for my hair in twists or braids?

I shared my regimen for braids here, in this post. Your hair will be happy if you follow it, but to be honest, since I started washing my hair in braids, I’ve become lazy about spritzing. I do it like once a week now, or when I feel my roots and they are dry, but the washing & deep conditioning takes care of most of my moisture needs. And I’ve found that because my hair is locked away, I don’t actually NEED to mix water with leave-in conditioner to spray 3 times a week. Spraying 3 times a week with a water and oil mix, or water and then sealing, works okay. For best results though, follow the original braid care regimen. 😀

With scalp care, I’ve found that prevention is better than cure. Keeping my scalp happy from day 1 is better than letting it flake and then trying to remedy. Once my scalp starts flaking, I start itching to take the hair off. I oil my scalp once a week, and I spritz plain water on the scalp sometimes before I oil. Also, right after my braids are done, or if it’s a weave, after the cornrows but before the sewing, I always oil my scalp with a natural oil or butter. Washing helps too.IMG_4650-0p

  1. To use yarn or kinky braiding hair?

It’s down to personal preference. The only yarn thing I personally object to is yarn wraps/ faux locs in black or brown. Again, it’s personal. 🙂

  1. Salon finishing or nah?

I used to think that immersing kinky twists in hot water took away a little of the Rasta beauty. This I have learnt is not the case. Now I let them dip, so my hair isn’t so stiff. However, what I do not let them do is trim along the length of my twists. You can trim below the point where I don’t think my hair has reached, but before this, no. If you have a good braider, this won’t be necessary. And, kinky hair is perfectly imperfect, so I just roll with it. The rougher it gets, the more I love it.

  1. How can I stretch my hair or prepare it for twists or braids?

Wash well, deep condition and detangle well, moisturise and seal. It’s easier and saves time, to go to the salon with stretched hair. You can stretch it heatlessly by threading, twisting, banding, whatever your method. You can blow dry if you want, but you really do not have to. With sealing, try not to over-do it. Handling greasy hair is not fun for your stylist. And if your hair is still a little damp, don’t worry. Go on and braid. It will not smell.

  1. Now, nobody has asked me this but it’s still good to know 🙂

Hair is not supposed to hurt. This kind of beauty is NOT pain. Accept this as an absolute,unwavering principle. I had 5 people twist my hair the last time and I did not leave with a headache. Don’t let anyone pull your hair too tight, and remember that these beautiful extensions are actually heavy on our hair. When you’re in the styling chair, be assertive, speak up. I handle my hair myself most of the time, so I mentally prepare myself for battle whenever I’m braiding outside my regular salon, Sara’s. Is it an introvert thing, I don’t know… but if I’m not ready to fight, I don’t usually go to the salon.

Also, it helps to show your braider how to handle your kinky hair. I always show them how to finger detangle, and use a wide-toothed comb from ends to roots. I don’t let anyone use a rat tail comb on my kinks.

10. P.S. Your Extensions Could Be Hurting You

Some people break out when they wear synthetic extensions. It’s not an Ajebutter thing. We don’t know much about how these things are made, but the chemicals left on them can sometimes irritate the skin and scalp. Before I got used to braiding a lot, my ears would heat up in protest every time I left my hair down. So, if you’re sensitive, prepare your hair in advance. Put a little Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water, and soak your hair for like 30 minutes. A second rinse is optional. Spread it to dry, kinky braiding hair dries fast.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about kinky twists, just holler in the comments and I will reply.

Love,

AB,

xx

Love-Hate Thing: Mini Twists

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Ah. Mini twists.

In the last two, three weeks I’ve asked myself- Am I really about this life, this mini-twist life?

I just learnt to twist properly this year so, I’m still very excited about the fact that the fact that my hands can make these salon standard twists. Love.

I know this is unrealistic but, I like my hair looking like Day 1 Hair all the time. Ko poss. Impossicant. Not possible. And by day 3, I’m hating them kind of over my twists, not wanting to be seen with them. ( ._.) To my eyes, they look rough but then I reassure myself that to other people’s eyes, they look fine.

Day 5 hair.

Day 5 hair.

More often than not, I go about makeup free. But at this length, I feel like I need makeup. Something to say, no I’m not a kid- yes, my hair is deliberate! Compensating? It be like that sometimes.

Mini-twists are great for when you just don’t have the time and can’t be bothered to do your hair. I have the time, but man, I’m not in the mood to fuss over my fro. Very low maintenance! Mini twists are a very protective style, and make for super defined twist outs that last when you untwist them after some days. Like my twist out yesterday was SO bomb!

My twist out was 7 hours old in this picture. Look at that definition!

Loosened my twists after a week. My twist out was 7 hours old in this picture. High Definition!

I’m whining about it now, but I know that when I wash my hair at the end of the week, there’s a 90% chance that I’ll put my hair back in twists. LOL.

Oh well.

As I said, it’s a love-hate thing.

Over to you. What’s your love-hate thing?

Love,

AB,

xx

A Picture Tutorial- Crochet Braids with Kinky Extensions

Hey guys!

Twice on the blog, I have said that crochet braiding is super easy. To prove it, here’s this picture tutorial showing you how.

It was a bit of a battle making this sha so I hope you get it 🙂 Camera quality, lighting and the fact that I was trying to capture working with black extensions and a black bobby pin on dark hair but I think I succeeded. I did 3 different shoots for this on 3 different days, and this was the best day, so I hope it’s a good enough illustration.

These photos were taken by my brother.  🙂

ALL I USED:

Extensions- 2 packs of Noble Afro Kinky (or was it Afro Twist?) Braid. Same ones you can use to do kinky twists.

Big bobby pin. <- you can use a small pin, but it’s stressful.

PREPARATION

On clean well conditioned hair, do your cornrows. I got just 5 or 6 cornrows. If you’re wondering why, it’s because kinky extensions are bulky, and for this reason, making 12, 13 cornrows is a waste of time.

2 packs of hair got me this fullness and the hair came already separated in strands, and I worked with about 50 something in total. I was able to crochet 10 strands onto each cornrow.

Get your hair braided in the pattern that you think would best interpret the look you’re going for. Do you want a leave-out? Closed side parting? Centre parting? Let that be your guide. You can also flat twist if you like.

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Ready? Let’s Go! 🙂

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