My Hair Stash (Feb 2015)

Salut, hello, howdy!

I am not a product junkie! I really am not. However I seem to have a lot of stuff for someone who basically uses mostly shampoo, conditioner, leave in and shea butter 95% of the time! I did not realize until I was taking pictures for this post that I had so much stuff that I don't use often! I had to dust some of them before taking pictures sef

IMG_9717 (Photo Cred: @thecreamycrackrehab on Instagram)

Without further ado,behold my stash

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CLEANSERS/SHAMPOOS

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-Bobeam shampoo bar in Shealoe (purchased from The Kinky Apothecary ). I have had it for over a year y'all)
-Dudu Osun- melted down and mixed with water and olive oil (Can be purchased from your local grocery/beauty store)

My staple: Dudu Osun

CONDITIONERS

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-Shea Moisture restorative conditioner (a gift from someone who went abroad but can be purchased on The Kinky Apothecary as well as Olori)
-V05 herbal escapes conditioner (purchased at NITC but can be bought at many local grocery/beauty stores. I mostly buy it at Bruno's Place opposite Silverbird at Ikeja City Mall)
-V05 tea therapy conditioner (purchased at Bruno's Place)
-Herbal Essences ignite my color conditioner (purchased at Maxmart in Accra but can be found at Casa Bella or Goodies)

My staple: V05 conditioners(any kind but I like the Moisture Milks line the most I think). Haven't had a chance to use the Shea Moisture much yet.

DEEP CONDITIONERS

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-Vitale hair mayonnaise (purchased at Spar but can be found at many local grocery/beauty stores)
-Coconut milk (purchased at Spar and can be found in most big grocery stores. You can also make yours)
-Shea Moisture purification masque (purchased at NITC but can be purchased on The Kinky Apothecary as well as Olori)

My staple: None. I haven't used them long enough but I like the purification masque. Still not sold on the Vitale. Coconut milk is something I've used a number of times and I like but I don't use it very often(I mix it with other stuff e.g conditioner before use). Usually I deep condition with my regular conditioner and don't use a store bought deep conditioner so these are relatively new(except coconut milk as I explained)

LEAVE IN CONDITIONERS/MOISTURIZERS

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-Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream-2 tubs. (One was a gift while the other was purchased on Olori)
-Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer (Purchased at Casa Bella but can also be bought on Olori)
-Water in a spray bottle (purchased at… Just kidding)

My staple: Cantu and water

STYLING PRODUCTS

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-Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie (won in a giveaway but can be purchased on The Kinky Apothecary as well as Olori)
-Eco Styler olive oil gel (purchased from The Kinky Apothecary at the same time as the Bobeam)

My staple: None. I don't really use styling products. Eco styler works well when I want a laid down sleek look.

OILS

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-Olive oil (Can be found at your local grocery store)
-Silverbird Eucalyptus oil (Can be found at your local pharmacy)
-Canola oil (Can be found at your local grocery store)
-Castor oil (can be found at your local pharmacy)

My staple: None. I'm using oils less and less. If you had asked me in the past I would say Olive oil but ever since I realized that it does nothing for me when it comes to sealing, I now only use it for occasional oil rinses, prepooing and deep conditioning mixes. Silverbird I use because it is so affordable compared to other essential oils and I like the menthol feel and smell. Castor oil I use mostly when I have a protective style on or if I see my edges vanishing. Canola oil I used out of curiosity and only use for oil rinses and prepooing occasionally.

BUTTERS

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-Nasheaba Shea body butter (purchased at Shoprite Accra)
-African Naturalistas hair butter in Sweet Rosie (won in a giveaway but I believe the formula has been revised. Can be purchased on African Naturalistas or Jumia)
-Shea butter (purchased at Game Accra but can be found at your local market)

My staple: Nasheaba or any Shea butter mix/whipped Shea butter really.

MISCELLANEOUS

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-Apple Cider Vinegar (purchased at Spar. Can also be found at Shoprite. The organic version can be found at Health Plus)
-Neem powder (purchased on Olori)
-Shikakai powder (purchased on Olori)
-Bhringraj powder (purchased on Olori)

My staple: Apple cider vinegar. I use it as a final rinse most times when I wash my hair(don't know if it makes a difference but I do it) and I use it to clean my scalp when I have a protective style on. Still haven't gotten the hang of Ayurveda though.

C'est fini.

What are your staple products? Is your stash less, similar to or bigger than mine? What products do you recommend I try? Please share!

 

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Big chop

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Dear world, I’m glad to announce that I’ve done the big chop! *moonwalks across your screen*. I did it at home, by myself(no one wanted to help just in case I regretted it and blamed them or just because they didn’t support my cutting my hair). I sat in front of the mirror and cut in sections. I used my spray bottle filled with water,a bit of olive oil and a bit of Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner to spray my hair so I could tell the natural hair from the relaxed ends.

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My spray bottle(I’m a cheapskate so I just used an old body splash bottle that I washed thoroughly but if u want to buy a spray bottle, you can get at Sizzelle,The Kinky Apothecary or The Hair City)

For the back parts I couldn’t see in the mirror, I just felt the hair with my fingers and cut where the relaxed hair started(didn’t spray since I couldn’t see the hair).

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20130615-130816.jpg Almost done

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My hair!

I found out that it’s advisable to use hair shears instead of regular scissors because regular scissors can cause damage and split ends but I threw caution to the wind and used regular scissors that I got for N60 at a shop that sells tailoring supplies in my neighborhood. If you don’t want to use plain scissors, you can get hair shears for around N1400 and above at Sizzelle, a Nigerian online store that sells natural hair stuff.
After I was done cutting, I rinsed my hair for about 2 minutes with just water then I put a mixture of about 2 tablespoons of my Giovanni conditioner,1 teaspoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of honey in my hair to deep condition it. I didn’t have a plastic/shower cap so I just put one of those small black nylon bags that most traders/shops put what you buy in for you, over my hair and tied 3 or 4 scarves over that to generate as much heat as possible. I went about my business(watching TV. Lol) and then rinsed it out about 3 hours later and put some more Giovanni conditioner in my hair,combed through with my wide-toothed comb and rinsed it out. I patted my hair with an old cotton T-shirt(it’s better to use this instead of a towel because a towel can cause breakage. It’s also better to pat and not rub). I didn’t totally dry it, I left it somewhat damp. I then put some more Giovanni in as a leave in, followed by a mix of castor oil and olive oil and then some Shea butter. By this time I’d noticed that my hair wasn’t very evenly cut so I had my aunt trim around a bit. And voila! My end result

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I think I look pretty good. I love it. Still getting used to it but I think it’s not bad at all. I got loads and loads of compliments and a few natural haired girls “welcomed me to the club” lol. As you would expect, I also got some why’s and I-don’t-like-it’s.

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This is how I usually wore my hair before- braids and weaves but I left it alone most of the time in just a ponytail.

In case you’re wondering why I decided to take the plunge and go natural, my reason is really not that deep. I didn’t want to “stop using the creamy crack” or have healthier hair(well, I kinda did but that wasn’t my main reason) or whatever deep reason there is out there to go natural. I simply wanted a different look and a fresh start(sound weird? Lol).
So, this is newly natural me signing out! Until my next post!

The Big Chop is tomorrow!

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.

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(Ignore how messy my hair looks). My sister was looking at me like I was crazy! LOL!

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

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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.

2)Castor oil

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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)

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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

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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

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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*