Slay, Lupita!

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Hate it or love it, you cannot not know who Lupita Nyong’o is today, in this year of our Lord 2015.

If I ever get to meet her, I must ask- “What’s your secret, Lupie?”

“How do you glow? HOW?”

These pictures of her in the October 2015 issue of Vogue are giving me life on this average day.

Enjoy and be blessed!

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I love all of this. The black and white one is my fave. Followed by the one in the blue dress.

It’s her second Vogue cover, guys. I’m happy she isn’t fading away as some people said she would.

You can read her interview over here, on vogue.com

Love,

AB,

xx

An Aha! Moment : Comb-Free Fro

Helluurr babies!

You know how they say “Necessity is the mother of invention”? Recently I was reminded of the truth in this statement.

Last Thursday, I just didn’t know what to do with my hair, but I needed to go out and I didn’t even have a headscarf to match my outfit. I had no choice but to get in there like a true gladiator.

How I Set Myself Up

See, the day before, I had lost a lot of hair trying to brush my hair into the perfect halo. After 20 minutes of brushing, I still didn’t achieve “perfection”, so please ask me why I even bothered! For the rest of the day, the lost hair kind of haunted me. After doing all that damage in the day, at night I still had the mind to be too lazy to twist (on the bright side, I wore a satin bonnet!) so Thursday morning, I woke up with a flat, very shrunken, super DRY and tangled mess.

I was conflicted. Whenever I don’t know what to do with my hair, I just ‘fro it. I could have shut my eyes and let Wednesday repeat itself, but I could not BEAR to even look at my comb or brush. Any comb activists in the building? *In Stacy Dash’s voice* Combs and brushes don’t cause breakage, kinky girls cause breakage when they use combs. Meh. So, after standing in front of the mirror for minutes waiting for a sign, I decided to tackle the dryness first.

How I Made It Out

In sections, I spritzed my hair with water, applied a lot of my Cantu leave-in, chunky twisted, and went into the shower- to let it soak in [like seasoninggg]

By the time I was done getting dressed and doing a little makeup, my hair was super soft again. Yay!

I just stood there. I still couldn’t bring myself to reach for the comb. Next thing, I saw myself using my fingers. Like I actually didn’t know when I processed the thought, it was super spontaneous. When I say I saw myself, I really mean it. I was already putting my fingers through each section from ends to roots, detangling as I went, in a shingling motion (the way people do Wash N’ Gos) before my consciousness caught up with the girl in the mirror like ohhh that’s what we are doing! I did this over and over until I was happy with the outcome. I held the left side back a little with a styling comb.

Filter of life LOL

Filter of life LOL

[I’ve said this before: Youtube videos aren’t helpful to me when I need them right away. So I’ve taken to watching them for entertainment, as I’d watch the Food Network or any other How-To channel or even Telemundo sef, no pressure. I’m not trying to study these girls but somehow, their lessons are embedded in my mind, and come to the surface when I desperately need them. Isn’t it amazing how the brain works?]

It was my first time ever shingling and I loved the result. Honestly I was in disbelief for a while. Like, my fingers did this? So why the heck do I keep using combs and brushes? I even noticed some curls in the back standing out, they were clumping! Clumping! Few things give my 4C curls natural definition, so maybe I should look into this shingling thing? Wash N’ Go next, like the curlier girls do? I wish I could have taken photos but, it was a super busy day and I had to be out the door.

This is the end of the story guys. I happily went about my day, comb-less. Few strands were lost. The lesson from this is, Maybe I SHOULD ditch my comb and dear detangling brush. Because the truth is, I usually use them when I’m in a hurry and you know how that goes. Unnecessary breakage.

P.S. If you’re going to try this sometime, know thy leave-in. My good old Cantu is very moisturising but it takes a while to absorb. When I left the house, my hair was white, but I knew it would dry before I arrived at my destination, 20 minutes away.

And oh, here’s a quick Shingling tutorial below. It’s really simple, you just repeatedly rake your fingers through slightly wet hair with product in it. Most tutorials have the naturals working with soaking wet hair, but as I said, I simply spritzed with water, didn’t soak my hair in it.

Alright guys. Have you had any Aha! moments lately? Do you shingle your hair? Tell me about it in the comments! 🙂

Love,

AB,

xx

Hairspiration! : Afoma

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Hello!!

Hi! My name is Afoma. I’m a medical student in Ukraine and I also like to write short fiction and a bit of poetry, most of which are featured on my blog ihundasmusings.com (garra advertise, ya know *insert sloppy wink*) My family splits time between Abuja and Port Harcourt and I go to school in Ukraine so it’s hard to say where I live right now.

What inspired you to return to natural?
I was inspired to return to natural by bloggers like Ekene and all her hairspiration Fridays. For me, honestly, it was mostly curiosity; I had forgotten what my curls felt like and I wanted to rediscover. I was also immensely bored by relaxed hair and I just wanted something different and then I discovered ‘fro love on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr and my mind was made up. Continue reading

Introducing: Meemee’s Kinks

Hey beauts!

Forgive me. One of the comments on my Being me blog tag confirmed what I had been thinking. I really never introduced myself, neither have I ever talked about my hair! Sacre bleu. Unacceptable, right? Today, I plan to right all my wrongs.

As AB said in her reply to Fola, AB and I, together… “WE. ARE. THE KINK AND I!” (Read in a This-is-Sparta way). Who are we, you ask? AB and Meemee, we are best friends that have been going through life’s journey, and now hair journey together for many many years. AB was my hairspiration and the springboard from which I launched the courage to finally do my big chop. This is my hair story, so far.

Posted by Funmy Kemmy on Friday, August 02, 2013

What matters is how you see your hair! This is my hair’s alter ego.

After wearing my hair short and natural for 7 years, because, secondary school (I cut my hair before I started my last year of primary school. I was 9. My cousin had cut her hair for secondary school and I really disliked having to weave my hair every week with those women that treated your head like it was a phantom head. So I cut it.), I put the creamy hair crack in my hair before my hair had even made any growth progress. I think this is what killed my chance to have any growth at all. But I quickly realised that I do not like relaxers. They sting, they leave scalding burns on my scalp, they smell, they make my hair too flat on my head, ugh. So I made the switch to texturisers. I liked texturisers because they never actually made my hair straight or thin. They just made it easier to comb. Then they started to burn my scalp as well. That was when I made the decision to just stay off any of these chemicals altogether.

At this time, AB has started transitioning and she made it sound oh so fun. I wasn’t doing any research the way she did, I wasn’t taking any special care with products and protective styling either. My hair began breaking so much. It irritated me a lot such that one day, after doing a wash, I put the hair in a ponytail, took a pair of scissors and chopped the tail off. Stupid move! Of course it looked very raggedy. But I was quite happy about it. I had a stylist cut it into a nicer style after that and began to treat my hair a little nicer. wp_ss_20140719_0003   And then on Monday, September 30, 2013, I woke up, looked at my hair, got annoyed and walked to the saloon down the street and watched whatever was left of my straight, permed tips fall to the ground around me! October 4, 2013 was when I had my hair cut with a clipper, so that’s the first official day I started nurturing my natural hair.

My 'Big chop'

My ‘Big chop’

As you can probably tell, I have 4c hair. And if I’m entirely honest, for the longest time, I only thought of girls with 4c hair as having natural hair. Of course I was naive about other textures. But I would say that when I get envious of someone’s hair, it is usually because of their length, rather than their texture. After my big chop, I fell into the trap of expecting my hair to grow as fast as other people’s did, or to act the same way. So of course, I got frustrated when after 3 months, this is all I had:

Clearly not amused...

Clearly not amused…

You see, every time I would put my hair in a protective style (which is usually 90% of the time), I always imagined that my hair would look like this after take down:

Hair so big, can't even fit into the entire image

Hair so big, can’t even fit into the entire image Source: zestyfashion.com

But no matter how much I stretch after washing, this is what I get:

Super shrinkage or no?

Super shrinkage or no?

So my hair had a talk with me. And the outcome of that talk was to give it tlc, and focus on just that. It promised to grow, as long as I continue to give it unconditional tlc (well, I’m waiting for it to keep its end of the bargain). In the last few months, my hair has taught me something that I have also began to implement in my life. Enjoy the process. Results are good; good results, brilliant. But what’s the fun in living life from result to result? What happens to the in-between? And if the result is not desirable, one should be able to say “well at least it was a fun ride”. Ok, I’ve exhausted my deep talk quota for the week in this paragraph.

TWA forces into a faux bun.

TWA forced into a faux bun.

Anyway, the moral of this post is that I have oh so many hair goals and I have oh so much to learn. This blog has been great with providing me with lessons and sources to learn more from (thanks AB!). And now, novice as I am, I hope to work with AB to continue to do that for you guys and to share the process of my hair journey with you.

Fake it till you make it.

Fake it till you make it.

And so concludes my hair story… for now.

Have a brilliant new week, beauts. Till next time.

– Mee mee 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!

🙂

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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)