So my big chop is tomorrow! *happy dancing* I’m so excited! It’s the kind of excitement that gives you a funny feeling in your belly because it’s mixed with little doses of fear,anticipation,doubt and anxiety. So 5 minutes ago, literally, I decided to snip a small part of my hair to kind of prepare my mind a little bit plus I wanted to get a picture of what my length would be like.
In the time since my last post, I’ve been trying to find as much info as I can get on everything natural hair related from hair porosity(how well your hair absorbs and maintains moisture) to recommended products to hair care regimens.
From my research, I found so many product dos and don’ts and so many rules; even the rules have rules under them(LOL). Some examples of the rules I found are:
-don’t use shampoos with sulfates(they dry out your hair and are harsh. Find more info on sulfate in shampoos here)
-don’t use conditioners and other products with silicones(usually things in the ingredient section that end with -cone, -xane and -conol) but you can use products with water soluble silicones because they will be washed away when you wash your hair.(To find out more about silicones, check here)
-if you use conditioners with silicones(not water soluble) you have to use a shampoo with sulfate to get the silicones out of your hair if not you will have build-up(basically the silicones will coat your hair and scalp and create build-up making your hair dull and drab) but you might be able to get rid of the build-up using baking soda or apple cider vinegar.
-don’t use products with mineral oil, petroleum jelly and paraben.
-wear a silk/satin scarf/bonnet to bed or sleep on a silk/satin pillowcase because cotton can cause damage to your hair and suck out moisture.
-don’t comb your hair when it’s dry. Comb it when it’s wet and apply your products when it’s wet as well.
-always use an oil or(and) a butter to seal in moisture.
These are just a few of the numerous rules you will find. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to follow every single natural hair rule you see because there are some conflicting rules, there are too many rules and we don’t all have the same kind of hair and what works for one person may not work for another. So what I’ve decided to do is to try as much as possible to follow the basic rules that are more common or that almost everyone follows as I try to find out what my hair likes and build my own regimen.
The major problem for me so far has been choosing products to use and where to find said products in Nigeria.
So far, these are the products I’ve gotten:
1) olive oil
With Olive oil, you need to get Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil to get the best results out of it. This brand, Goya, is widely available in almost all grocery stores and supermarkets in Nigeria. There’s always a bottle, if not more, of this at my house because we use it in church and I use it to cook(I’ve been on a weight loss journey and it’s one of the healthiest oil options). This brand comes in small, medium and large. This is the medium bottle and I got it for N500 at a small store in my neighborhood. I will be using this(mixed with castor oil) as my oil to seal in moisture, mixing it with some water to spray my hair when it needs a pick-me-up, mixing it with other things to deep condition my hair etc. There are so many uses for this so it wouldn’t hurt to get a bottle.
With castor oil as well, you need to get cold pressed/cold drawn. You can get this at almost any supermarket or pharmacy(because it is usually administered orally for constipation) in Nigeria. I got this for N450 at a pharmacy. Castor oil is great for sealing in moisture, can be used in a deep conditioning mix etc. It is also rumored to make hair grow, it reduces breakage and it makes hair stronger. It’s a thick oil so it’s highly advisable to mix it with other oils so it doesn’t weigh down your hair. I washed an old relaxer activator bottle and filled it with a mixture of castor and olive oil(1 part castor to 2 parts olive).
3)Shea butter(locally known as Ori)
This is one of the greatest blessings God gave us in this part of the world as far as I’m concerned. It’s very cheap and available locally. You should choose the unrefined kind. You can get it in markets and if you don’t, some salons sell it as well(if you don’t find it, you can always ask around or ask the market sellers or the salon workers where you can get it). You can use this as your butter to seal in moisture, soften your hair etc. You can use it alone or you can mix it with oils. It’s great for your hair and if it doesn’t work for your hair, you can always put it in your body lotion or use it as a lip balm.
From the picture above, you can see that the ones I have aren’t the same colour. I’m used to the colour on the left so when I bought the one on the right and saw the colour, I was worried because it looked odd to me. I asked around and the general consensus was that nothing was wrong with it(my mum even said the regular one has that colour because it’s bleached so the one on the right is the unbleached version. My friend said maybe they mixed something in with the one on the right). Anyways, I decided to stop fretting and I just mixed the one on the right with some of the one on the left. When I bought them, they were in nylon bags so I transferred them into these cream containers that I’ve washed and decided to repurpose. I don’t remember how much the one on the left cost(I’m guessing about N100) but the one on the right was N100(this is about half of it because I shared it with my brothers so I would say what’s in the container is actually like N50’s worth of Shea butter).
4) Giovanni smooth as silk deeper moisture conditioner
I read several reviews about this online and it seemed to rank high in the natural community. It’s silicone free and free of many other chemicals. I really like it. I’ve used it once to cowash my hair(cowasing or conditioner washing is washing your hair with conditioner only; no shampoo) and I’ve also been using it as a leave in conditioner(haven’t gotten a leave in yet and I read several reviews of people using it as a leave in and loving it). I also mixed a very small amount of it in a spray bottle with water and olive oil to spray my hair with whenever it needs a little more moisture or a pick-me-up as I said earlier. A little of it goes a long way(which is great because it’s kind of pricey) and it makes my hair soft and easy to detangle. It’s not so common in Nigeria. I got this at Casa Bella in Ikeja City Mall, Alausa for N3010. It is also available at Casa Bella in The Palms,Lekki, Casa Bella in Shoprite, Surulere and Casa Bella in Shoprite(Grand towers), Apo in Abuja. You can also buy it at this Nigerian natural hair store: The Kinky Apothecary
Casa Bella also carries many natural haircare products as well so you should definitely check them out. This is a picture of the numbers on my receipt in case you want to call them for enquiries
I also bought a wide toothed comb and a few hair accessories from a store in my neighborhood. I’m ordering shampoo and hair gel and I will keep you posted when I get them and anything else.
Tomorrow is the big day!!! *dances into the sunset*