All Na Packaging

Hello my beauts!!!

Allow me to wish you a brilliant new year! During my reflecting on 2015 and gazing into 2016 with new eyes, one sentence has stuck with me. Mother says it is a message for me, dropped into my heart for a purpose. I have decided to wish this to all who care to accept it. And so, for you and you and you, today, I say, May your path be yours!

Ok. Ok. Ok. Why have I brought you here today?

DSC02138

For the Nigerians here, how many times have you heard the expression “all na packaging” and dismissed it as bull? I know I am guilty of doing that. Translated directly, all na packaging is pidgin for “it is all in the packaging” or “it all lies in the packaging”.

Well, I have come to realize, in the spirit of introspection, that I am a very visual consumer. Mmmm, MeeMee, but who isn’t?! Right? Who isn’t? Continue reading

Advertisements

Naturals in The City 13! Organic Living

Hey guyssss!

Naturals in The City 13 is around the corner and I can’t believe it either!

Next week Saturday, 12th December, 2015, we will gather round as we always do, and on behalf of the team, I promise you, it’s going to be good.

First, a few changes.

Our access fee is now 1000 Naira. It used to be 500 Naira.

Are you really asking why? ( ._.) Since you have asked, let me go with everybody’s excuse these days, the dollar is high lol. I don’t know how exactly, but the dollar is almost at $1 to 241 Naira and since the dollar started its climb this year, life has been somehow. On a  more serious note, things are expensive, have BEEN expensive and we need to cover our costs. Can 500 Naira even take you to see a movie with no student ID? Exactly. This is a necessary change we have had to make, and I hope it does not change anything between us. Kiss kiss.

Also, we aren’t going to be at the Social Place this time. We’ll be at Cafe Neo, the one on 6, Agoro Odiyan Street, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island. Cafe Neo has quite a few outlets now, so please don’t go to the one on Akin Adesola or Alfred Rewane, or any of the others and then get mad at us. NITC 13 is at the Cafe Neo on Agoro Odiyan Street.

How To Find our Cafe Neo

Coming to Victoria Island from the mainland, if you go through Ikoyi/ Alfred Rewane Road, when you climb that bridge at Falomo heading towards VI, you have two options. Akin Adesola if you stick to the left side and go straight, or you turn onto Ozumba Mbadiwe road if you slide to the right. Stick to the left and go straight, to Akin Adesola street. When you’re on Akin Adesola, keep going straight till you get to the first major right turn. Taking this turn will put you on Adeola Odeku. While on Adeola Odeku, keep your eye on the left side of the road, read the street signs. The third left or so should be Agoro Odiyan. Just read the street signs, you’ll be fine. Agoro Odiyan is the very next left sign you’ll see after you pass the one that says Eletu Ogabi. Pretty easy, you won’t get lost 🙂

What To Expect

The theme is Organic Living.

We are going to have hair talk as usual (Ade Balogun of Locitude will be back with us, whoop whoop!) so more details on that will be announced as we get closer to the meet-up. We are more than hair, our goal at Naturals in The City is to encourage you to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle, so we are going to be having our organic veggies as we had last time. If you’d like to learn about gardening yourself, growing your own stuff, come and listen to a pro.

As usual, we’ll have many vendors for you to shop from. Kitchen Butterfly was such a hit last time! I kept saying I would eat later. By the time I was ready to eat, all the food was gone, and I mean ALL of it. She’s going to be back at NITC 13 and I do not intend to miss out- neither should you! She’ll be catering for the day. If you’ve ever wanted to sit at her table, here’s your opportunity to do so (in a way). If you don’t feel like eating proper food, we are at Cafe Neo, so you can get coffee- and try the Naija Starbucks’ experience. There’s free wifi!

#ChristmasOnTheStreetz

Finally, this is the Christmas edition. We should be generous at all times, but if you aren’t, what better time to be than at Christmas? I mean- it’s Christmas! At NITC 12, we collected donations for the Save Mirabel Centre. This time around, we are supporting the #ChristmasOnTheStreetz initiative. No matter how small you think you are, your donations can totally mean the world to many this season.  Please come prepared to donate something, be it cash, gently used clothes & shoes, provisions, rice, diapers, baby wipes. Every little counts. 🙂

Alright guys. Keep your eyes on the blog for more info in the days to come, or better yet, follow @thekinkandi on Instagram.

Come learn, eat, shop, network, and donate! Bring your boo, your kids, and a friend, or three! Everybody is welcome! 

We’d love it if you could share this post, spread the word, share the flyer on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all and sundry!

See you there!

Love,

AB,

xx

Naturals in The City 12!

Last Saturday, September 26 was Naturals in The City 12 and it was awesome!

The sun came out for us in full force, and the energy at Social Place that day was super. (Read “super” in a French accent)

Thank you to all the lovely ladies, and gents, and little ones that came to gather with us. Thank you Ebun, for helping us with registration. Thank you to our vendors, our speakers, and our ghen ghen caterer, Kitchen Butterfly. My friend Anu was our MC for the day, shout out to her for holding it down. And a special shout out to my wonderful fellow organizers, Natural Nigerian, Sherese (Carib Health) and @Ms_Isioma 🙂

It was a beautiful day. We started on time, people were actually early! And I think we recorded our biggest number so far- about 200 people! So amazing! I cannot give you a play by play of what went down at the meet-up since I was busy running around, but I’ve got about 50-something thousand words in pictures! Continue reading

Felicia Said…

Hey beautiful people!

How goes it? We are happy and kicking at The Kink and I.

So. You may wonder what the point of hair meet-ups is, especially if you’ve been natural for a while and you’re happy with your hair, your regimen, all that. Well, apart from connecting with other naturals, I believe every day is an opportunity to learn something new. May 30 will make it 3 years since my big chop (whoop whoop) and sure I’ve been immersing myself in hair knowledge during this time, but I do not know it all.

Stylist to the stars, Ms Felicia Leatherwood & Obia Ewah (of Obia Natural Hair) had the more “technical” workshops at the Nigerian Natural Hair & Beauty Show on Saturday. Technical is not the right word, but theirs were the presentations about hair care (what to do, and what not to). Obia’s workshop was about hair science- the importance of pH balance in products. More about that on Friday.

During Felicia’s workshop, I was texting MeeMee and even after that on Sunday- telling her what I had heard. Felicia said… Felicia said… LOL Hence the title of this post.

Alrightie then. Felicia said many things. Some new to me, some I already knew- all important. I took notessss (not everything) but here are some things you could think about:

1. Deep conditioning once a week is ideal. But, if you’re too busy, twice a month should be good. 25-35 minutes, with moderate heat.

2. Not rinsing shampoo out completely, and rinsing hair when you wash with water that’s too hot could cause dryness.

3. However, it is good to wash your hair in twists and rinse out your conditioner with hair still in twists. This means you retain some of the conditioner, and this helps your hair retain moisture while you style.

4. While you should rinse shampoo out with warm water to open your cuticles, rinse out your conditioner with cold water to seal your cuticles, reduce frizz and encourage shine.

5. Product junkies in the building? A faster way to test or compare products. You can try multiple products in one wash. Section your hair. You can deep condition half your hair with one product, and do the same on the other half with another DC. When you’re done, you can tell which section of your hair you like better, and as such, which product you prefer.

6. For more effective cleansing, especially if you have dandruff, “grease” your scalp with shampoo, before wetting your hair. By wetting your hair before applying shampoo, you can easily just lather lather lather and still not get most of the residue off.

7. Many people that think they have dandruff don’t really have the condition. Their scalps are just flaky for a bunch of reasons (this I can relate to. In my relaxed days I thought I had dandruff. Now, I don’t. I take better care of my hair now- oil my scalp, wash more often, all that.) So. If you have dandruff or your scalp is flaking a lot, it could also be because you have too much sugar/ starch/carbohydrates in your diet. Rice, yam, garri, soda, all these things break down to sugar. Reducing the amount of sugar you eat could turn your scalp around.

8. Colour treated shampoos & conditioners are best for coloured hair. They help maintain the colour, so it doesn’t fade fast. Felicia recommends Joico K-Pak & Ion Solutions. 

9. She prefers cutting natural hair dry because of shrinkage. And also because different parts of hair grow at different rates.

10. With kinky hair, it’s better to blow dry with a comb attachment than with a brush.

On Hair Trimming:

11. It’s best to go to a stylist but you can DIY with dusting. Dust your hair by two strand twisting (uniformly) and then cutting off what’s thinner at the ends. Then, do a blow out and if your ends still look a mess, please go to a stylist!

12. At your stylist’s, don’t be afraid to communicate. If your stylist makes you uncomfortable, feel free to leave! Trim the hair small small. You can start with one inch, and then when you see how that goes, do another. Till you’re done.

13. Hint hint: look at your thumb. The distance from knuckle to fingertip is one inch.

14. If you want to give yourself a proper trim (not dusting) good luck but please concentrate. Don’t be on the phone, don’t be talking to anybody or chasing any children.

15. Women of Colour have so many issues with our edges not necessarily because we are genetically indisposed. It’s because we start styling our hair so early! Yes guys- even the cute afro puffs and styles with hair baubles count. Can haters see why Blue Ivy will flourish? 😋

16. Now this is one thing I always always do- and it’s good to hear it from a stylist who knows. Hold your edges while they’re being braided. Put your phone down and put your hands at that base. With cornrows too, hold it down and push forward.

17. To rejuvenate lost edges, try using Castor oil every 2-3 days. ORS Temple Balm is good too. Use twice a day for 6-8 weeks.

18. When you wear twists or braids, do a retouch every 2-3 weeks. Here, retouch means- take out the twists or braids at your hairline and redo them.

19. Nature Tint is a vegetable dye she recommends. Safe enough for use every 4-6 weeks.

20. When you start having more than just a few grey hairs, dyeing your hair will make your hair rebel & the greying will intensify LOL. So, for just a few stray greys, it’s better to use mascara or hair chalk (as long as you stay dry!)

21. Some people’s hair grows faster when it’s warmer, in the summer. (I don’t know if this applies to us here where it’s almost always warm.)

22. It’s best to use products 8 months to 1 year after opening.

23. Transitioning? Start doing curly wet sets to blend both textures. As your hair grows, you can trim off your relaxed ends now and again.

24. Curl Wax by AmPro is one of her secrets! It makes hair resistant/ impervious to changes in the weather. You can be great even in humidity. This product can help preserve a curly style for 10-20 days. Yep, new product on my list!

25. Create updos in sections, start from the back.

26. When applying styling products to your hair, start with a dime size amount per section (tiny as it is) and massage it into your hair. You can add another, and another as needed. This way you can build up to the required amount without using too much.

27. Someone in the audience asked and she confirmed, yes Cayenne Pepper can stimulate growth. Don’t go and pour the pepper on your hair raw o. Oils infused with cayenne pepper can rejuvenate. I’ll go research how, and let you know what I find out soon enough.

Okay guys. What new tips did you learn lately? Were you already familiar with all 27 tips? If you were at the show, what points in particular did you go home with?

Till Friday!

Love,

AB,

xx

P.S. Pictures from #NNHB2015 over here. 

My First Wash N’ Go!

Hello beautiful people!

How is the going going?

Last Washday was an interesting one for me. I tried two new products, and finally properly attempted a Wash N’ Go. Many people believe Wash N’ Gos cannot work on nappy, 4C hair. I used to believe this too, but I started reconsidering this year. Finally finally, I am a believer. As I do more of this, I will write about my experience but for now I’ll say, for a change, be open to challenging your expectations. “Manage your expectations” is good advice, but playing it safe can also mentally box you in. Don’t take yourself too seriously, take your hair as it comes, but also- don’t be afraid to try new things!

So. For Washday, I had 2 objectives:

  1. Clean, soft (well moisturised) hair and
  2. Finally do the Wash N’ Go.

Phase 1: Hair Prep

  1. First, I loosened my mini-twists. This was not so easy because I had started my small small twists with a braid. As you can imagine, the braided beginnings were really tiny and a bit hard to get through, so it took me a while.
  2. As I loosened, I misted my hair with water and finger detangled with coconut oil. I finished my detangling in the afternoon and I wanted to wash my hair the next day, so the coco doubled as a pre-poo.

    IMG_9090

    After Detangling

Phase 2: Wash Day Proper

  1. My hair was very dry and crispy to begin with, thanks to the Coconut oil. I shampooed my hair in chunky twists with the African Naturalistas Moisturising Black Soap Shampoo. It didn’t lather so much, but my hair felt clean. And super super soft!
  2. I applied the African Naturalistas Deep Conditioner and covered my hair with a shower cap. Two hours later, after making and eating breakfast (brown sugar pancakes) and forcing myself to exercise lol I rinsed the DC out. Interestingly, my hair was much softer with the shampoo than it was with the DC. On the lowest of keys, it kind of felt similar to hair post-henna. Not as much, but in the same category. Could this be because the DC contains some protein? Maybe.
  3. To hydrate, I mixed myself a mudwash (bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and the last of my grapeseed oil.) I applied it to my wet hair in sections and again, covered with the shower cap. One hour later, I rinsed out and hair was butter soft once more. Yes!

Phase 3: Wash N’ Go

I started off with 3 different styling products- Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls, Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls and Obia Natural Hair Curl Custard. These were sample sizes I was gifted last year (first 2 from MeeMee and the Obia from The Kinky Apothecary)

IMG_9142

However, it was basic cheapey EcoStyler that came through for me. The Obia custard was a bad choice on my part, because it isn’t really “gelly”. It sat on my hair like some kind of cream or leave-in, no bueno. The Multicultural Curls was more like a lotion, and the Jelly Soft Curls, though okay, did not do as well as the EcoStyler Gel in defining my curls.

Now, my theory as to why the Obia & Multicultural Curls did not work on my 4C coils is this- 4C hair clumps the least. If you aren’t doing the Maximum Hydration Method or the Curly Girl Method or any sort of “training”, it’s easier to make your coils clump and have definition when they are weighed down. My hair clumps when it bears henna, and clay, and the same is the case for gel.

How I Did It

It took me 2 hours to complete the Wash N’ Go for my entire head. I believe this time can be cut in half. However, as a newbie and because I was experimenting with different products, I spent longer.

I applied the gel/ styling products to sections of my freshly washed hair (one section at a time) in heavy amounts. In some sections, I briefly finger detangled, but I didn’t have to do much of this because after a mudwash, my hair is pretty much tangle free. So, I took the gelled section between my palms and rubbed down, smoothing the gel in. Hadassah over at Nappily Nigerian Girl calls this “Praying Hands” I hope you get the picture.

After doing this a few times, my strands had started clumping. And so, I separated the tiny clumped defined bits one by one just as I would do with a twist out. Here’s this quick video of how to separate curls:

By the time I was done with this massive arm workout, I was tired. I wasn’t really patient to do this process in the front, so I used a technique I’d watched Mo Knows Hair use on type 4 hair on YouTube. Basically, the method is- apply gel, pick a section and twirl it around your fingers like you’re doing a finger coil. Now, I did not like the outcome of Mo’s method on the model, but it worked okay for just the front.

I am really really happy with this Wash N’ Go. I had some hang time on Day 1, and it was pretty cool to shake shake shake my head and feel my hair move.

IMG_9177 IMG_9218

By Day 2, it was unshakeable lol because of shrinkage, but I quite like the more defined coily look.

View from the top: Day 2 hair

View from the top: Day 2 hair

It looks crazy but in a deliberate way. To go to sleep, I divide my hair into 5 mini puffs and cover with a scarf or satin bonnet.

Day 3 Hair

Day 3 Hair. I spritzed with water, and this reactivated some whiteness from the gel.

It’s interesting that if you pull my hair right now, you’d see most of it clumped into defined coily spirals, but as a whole, it looks generally poofy. I had thought that living with gel would be a horror story, but it’s really not. The gel dries. It only gets sticky again when I wet my hair. On Sunday, when I fluffed my hair with a little water and oil, I was left with quite a bit of flaking on my shoulders. I brushed it off, no wahala there. I also had some white bits at the back, my mom helped me pick them out.

My hair is dry and crunchy right now but, I’m not bothered. As I write this (Tuesday evening) it is Day 5. I will spritz it before I go out tomorrow, and co-wash my hair on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for another style. I will definitely be trying more Wash N’ Gos, aiming to improve my technique, find the right non-flakey product combo and figure out how to get this done in an hour.

No leave-in conditioner or oils were used in the production of this Wash N’ Go. I’ll incorporate them next time, to avoid the dryness and the crunch.

Alrightie guys. How did your last Washday go? Tell me about it!

Love,

AB

xx