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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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!

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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*

First of all, introduction

And so the blog was born! Welcome to Natural Nappy Nigerian Girl! (Could be Triple NG for short but I don’t know if that will catch on. Lol)
Hello there, my name’s Jen and I’m a newbie natural. Well, almost! I’ve got my big chop coming up in about 3 weeks. I’ve marked it in my calendar, June 14th.

Anyone who knows me well knows that Google is my best friend in the whole world. So, as you would expect, I have done loads and loads of research on all things natural. There is surprisingly a whole lot of info out there; I was pleasantly surprised( I even picked up some natural hair lingo e.g referring to the cutting of your relaxed ends leaving just your natural new growth as the big chop). People are becoming more and more accepting of their natural hair. Even more surprising to me was the fact that I found Nigerian blogs about natural hair! They are not a lot, but they are there and I’m proud, today, to count myself as one of them. And I hope that this blog will help others the way the blogs and websites I found, both Nigerian and non-Nigerian, helped me.

The big chop is a scary thing, I won’t even lie. Maybe we should start calling it the big bad chop(like the big bad wolf). Even after you decide, you may find yourself second guessing every now and then. I know I do. What makes it so much worse is that almost nobody supports the decision(if everyone supports you, you are truly blessed my friend). I’ve even stopped telling people about my plan to cut my hair and go natural because hardly anyone is ever in support. They’ll just have to see it for themselves when it’s done. Maybe they’ll love it, maybe they won’t. I’ve decided that it is my hair after all and I don’t really need anyone’s validation. People have told me I won’t look good, I don’t have the right face/head shape to pull it off etc. At some point, you may want to back out, but don’t. I wanted to big chop some months ago and I told my mum about it and managed to convince her. She agreed but went ahead to report me secretly to my aunt and both of them formed a team hellbent on discouraging me. I caved and put the idea out of my head but when it came back, it came back in full force and so, here we are.

The last time I put relaxer in my hair was in February but in March, I used some relaxer just for the front part of my hair. I’ve been a little worried, therefore, that I don’t have as much new growth in front so my hair will be too short when I do the big chop. I’ve also worried about looking like a dude, looking ugly etc. I’ve thought about the fact that I’ll have to wear makeup/earrings even when I don’t want to because I can no longer rely on long hair to distract from that. I’ve thought about how natural hair will be hard to maintain; I’ll have to religiously wash, moisturize, deep condition etc. I’ve thought about how it will take a while to grow and I’ll have to wait a while till I can style it however I want. I’ve thought about how I may be walking around looking crazy and messy headed. I also thought that short hair looked better on slimmer people so maybe I should lose a little more weight before I do the big chop(I’ve been on this weight loss journey since January and I’ve lost 11kg so far but I’m not yet at my goal. I’ll see if I can share about that on this blog as time goes on).
I almost talked my self into waiting till the end of the year so I’ll have loads of new growth but then I said to myself, ” It’s a big chop. It wouldn’t be called ‘big’ if it were easy”. So, I’ve decided to stop worrying and just do it.

I plan to do the big chop myself at home. Hopefully, my sister who currently is one of my many discouragers about the big chop, will lend a hand in cutting the places I can’t see in the mirror. So guys, let the countdown to le big chop begin! 18 days to go! I was going to start the blog when I actually did the big chop but then I realized that sharing my experiences and how I felt before the big chop would encourage or help someone who is contemplating doing the big chop.

My aim is that this blog will chronicle my journey and be helpful to people considering going natural, newbie naturals, natural enthusiasts and even people with relaxed hair who are just looking for good products or healthy hair tips.

I’ll leave you with a picture I found of a beautiful girl rocking her big chop for some motivation ūüėČ

Welcome, again, to Natural Nappy Nigerian Girl!

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