I was featured on: African Naturalistas 

 
Hi y’all,

I’m super excited to let you know that I’ve been featured on African Naturalistas!

This is a blog that I’ve been reading since… since!

So I feel ‘appy, I feel fulfilled because I never experredit.(Just kidding)

So yeah, go check it out here.

Don’t forget to show some love!

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What I wore: Stripes and Nude

This might come as a shocker to you but this is an outfit post! *jaws drop* LOL

Remember I’m dabbling and diversifying? It’s all in a bid to make me post more consistently.

I read a number of blogs: hair, makeup, fashion, food etc.
Of recent I think I have read one too many fashion posts so that might be the inspiration behind this post.

I am not a fashion blogger neither am I a fashionista but I think style is relative and maybe someone out there might find mine interesting.

If you ask me to describe my style in 1 word it would be ‘comfy’.
However, my sister and my good friend say I am boho/hippie(I do not agree though).

I wore this outfit to work sometime last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And because I see them do this on fashion blogs:

Top: Apt. 9 essential

Blazer: Dorothy Perkins (from Debra’s Grace, a cool store in Yaba)

Pants: Next (I’ve had them for years and have rocked the life out of them so much so that they are fading)

Shoes: I don’t know (long story)

Bag: Michael Kors (obtained from my mama)

Hair: Twists using Noble Gold (4 packs, uncut)

Oh and have you heard of Design Essentials? It’s a product brand that makes products for people who want healthy hair and has a line for natural hair. I first heard about them on Kemi Lewis’ blog.She uses their products in her natural hair salon.

Design essentials just launched a flagship store and training centre in Ikeja(yay for the mainland!) that stocks their products.

Their natural hair friendly products are silicone, paraben, paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil and sulfate free and include the:

-Curl cleanser

-Moisturizing conditioner

-Almond and avocado detangling leave-in conditioner

-Honey curl forming custard

-Honey and Shea edge tamer

and more.

I love the packaging and I also sniffed some of the products(they smell great!) plus Kemi Lewis speaks well of them so I’m looking forward to trying them out!

Store details:

LOCATION: Angels Super Store, 88 Awolowo way, Ikeja by Fadeyi, beside Holy Trinity Hospital.

TEL: 08033029107 or 08033264570

OPENING HOURS: 9-7, Mon-Sat

What do you guys think of outfit posts on the blog every now and then? Yay or nay?

Have an awesome week!

 

 

 

2014 final length check

2015 is here!!!!!

Without taking too much of your time, I just want to wish you a happy new year. May 2015 be filled with boundless joy, unending peace, unmeasurable success, heartwarming love & every good thing for you & yours!

I also want to show you my final length check pictures of 2014.

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Comparing these to my 1 year nappiversary length check, I’m pretty surprised at the difference because my hair was out most of the time(hardly any protective styling) and quite honestly also close to neglected half the time.

So that’s it for this very brief post. According to my stats for 2014, the blog had over 15,000 views and 24 new posts. Let’s see if we can triple that in 2015 ei? I’ll work hard to post more often.

Thank you so much to everyone who reads the blog, leaves comments, sends me emails, follows the blog, likes posts etc.
I love you guys!💗

Let’s have an amazing year, shall we?
If you’re not following the blog on Instagram I don’t know what you’re waiting for oh! Oya follow @nigerianandnatural

All I Want For Christmas

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Hello my people! How body?

Let’s overlook the fact that I’ve been MIA ‘kay? Okay

I’m here to share with you my unrealistic Christmas wish list. You know talking about hair 24/7 can get boring so sometimes we’ve gotta switch it up a bit, no?

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s what I want(so Santa take note):

1. An iPhone 6

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God said it and I believe it that 2015 is my year to be the proud owner of a gold iPhone so that I can also be taking mirror selfies or what do you guys think? So readers as you are reading, if The Lord is laying it in your heart, you can email me and I will receive the phone from you with great gratitude.
(P.s there is an iPad giveaway over at She Loves The Finer Things so don’t dull)

2. Man Candy

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Every girl has a/some point(s) in her life where she wonders if she is repelling the good guys and attracting the creeps(Don’t lie!). At the moment, it is basically creep central station for me. So this Christmas, dear Santa, I need me some man candy. Easy on the eyes and sweet too. Is that too much to ask for? I think not.

3. A DSLR Camera

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I’ve been wanting one since 2012! I even made a list of the possible options. The Canon T3i is currently topping that list with it being somewhat affordable in comparison yet really great. Hopefully I’ll get one soon *fingers crossed* and that would mean beautiful picture quality on the blog for you all to enjoy.

4. A Vacation

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I started a new job guys *fireworks*. But it has only been a little over a month and I am already so stressed out! I need to be on a beach somewhere sipping on a strawberry daiquiri and watching the blue waves rise and fall. Or perhaps in a 5 star restaurant somewhere saying “I’ll have the whole of page 1 and also page 3 and then give me page 6 for dessert”. You know! *sigh*

Of course I have to include some hair stuff too!

5. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner

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I can hear some of you saying “now she is being realistic”. I’ve read so many rave reviews of this product and I am dying to give it a go. As a matter of fact, I spotted it in Accra and purchased it with the speed of light only to walk out of the store and bring it out of the bag to sniff it and realize it was the shampoo! The Kink And I is currently having a huge giveaway which includes this product and you can be sure I entered(again, don’t dull people!)

6. The kinky Apothecary’s Whipped Batter

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So I won a giveaway hosted by The Kink And I and The Kinky Apothecary. They gave me Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie but I also found a cute little sample tub of the whipped batter when the package arrived. I’ve used it now and I love it so much. This stuff smells amaaaazzzing! I want it! I need it!

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The Kinky Apothecary is actually giving away 12(yes 12!) tubs of it to 12 lucky people on their Instagram page so do not dull oh!

So that’s it folks. I have loads more on my list but these are the basics.

So do you want any of the things on my list? What do you want this Christmas? Please share!

Hope you’re having a lovely week.
Bises! (‘Hugs/kisses’ in French)

Images gotten from Google, The Kinky Apothecary’s Instagram page and myself

Tag: Being Me

Hi there,
So I was tagged by Cassie Daves on my other blog, Jennifer’s writings, to do this blog tag. I haven’t posted on that blog in soooo long and I figured, why not do the tag here for you lovely people. So here it goes.

Are you named after someone?
Yes. My mum had/has a good friend named Jennifer so she named me after her and made her my godmother.

When was the last time you cried?
I rewatched The Notebook a few days ago. I didn’t even know when the floodgates opened.

Do you have any children?
Not yet. But I will have the cutest ones soon! Watch this space. Just need to find me a man. A fine one so the cute baby dreams can materialise.

If you were another person would you be a friend of yourself?
My first thought is to say “hell yeah!” cos you know, I’m the bomb.com! But on second thought, I can be quite annoying and weird so I’m not sure. Like, I don’t know if I’d have the patience to deal with my crap sometimes. *sends ‘Thank You’ message to all my friends* LOL. But as a whole I think I still make an awesome friend so yeah.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
But of course! If I could do without most of them I’d probably have hit my goal of size 10 eons ago! White chocolate, red velvet cake, french toast, cheese balls(don’t judge me!), strawberry daiquiri, Milo with plenty milk, Frappuccino, cheese cake, iced coffee etc etc etc(Had to stop before it turns into an epistle. By now you can tell that I love all things sweet and decadent). Oh and all my fave TV shows too.

Do you like handwriting?
After copying all those 31 page Government notes in secondary school? I’d rather type please. Plus my handwriting isn’t that pretty.

What’s your favourite cereal?
I love cereal. In the past I’ve been known to live on cereal. So it’s hard for me to pick a favourite but I’d say maybe cornflakes made with milo and milk or rice krispies/coco pops with loads of milk (I don’t eat cereal with sugar. Seems unnecessary). When I’m trying to eat healthy it’s whole grain cheerios, fruit ‘n’ fibre or weetaflakes.

What’s the first thing you notice about people?
Their faces, dressing and the way they speak. Lately, hair.

What’s the colour of your eyes?
Brown

Scary movies or happy endings?
Happy endings. I don’t watch scary movies except if forced to.

Favourite TV show?
Game of thrones, Grey’s anatomy, Scandal, Two broke girls, Modern family, Big brother Africa(Yes I’m one of the BBA watchers oh!), Glee, Orange is the new black, New girl, Community, Desperate housewives(now over), How I met your mother(now over), Gossip girl(now over), 90210(now over). I watch so many shows and I’m forever dropping and adding more.

Winter or summer?
It’s constantly summer in these parts and the heat can get overwhelming so I shall choose winter.

Hugs or kisses?
Hugs. The warm, cuddly, happy, hold-on-a-minute-too-long kind.

Special talent?
Yet to discover it/them. But I can sing(not special to me).

Where were you born?
Lagos, Nigeria.

Hobbies?
Reading African literature, watching TV, eating(yes, it’s a hobby), reading blogs, listening to music.

Do you have any pets?
My family has had 2 rabbits(Bugs Bunny & Snow Ball) & 5 dogs(Rambo, Rocky, Cody, Michaella & Kiara). We presently have 1 dog(Kiara). When I have my own house I’d like to have 1 or 2 cute dogs and cats(my mother hates cats as they are all witches in her opinion so we can’t have any now)

Favourite movie?
I have a horrible memory so I tend to forget what movies are about. Titanic, The Colour Purple, The Notebook, P.S I Love You maybe?

What colour is your car?
My Range Rover is white and my Mercedes G wagen is matte black… Amen. For now, it is yellow & black danfo (No, I’m not the driver) but one day *sigh*

What do you want to do when you grow up?
JAMB question. In a perfect world, I’m a radio/TV presenter or I write for an awesome magazine as my job while I pursue other lifelong dreams by the side e.g photography, travelling round the world, being filthy rich. (God please this is a sub oh). For now though it’s the polar opposite but I’ll take it one day at a time and someday, my dreams will come true.

I TAG
All of you reading this who are interested in sharing your answers! Be sure to tag me when you do so I can check it out.

Peace!

P.s: Happy independence day Nigeria! We pray for peace, progress and constant power supply.

Product Review: Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

Almost finished

Almost finished

Today I bring you a product review.

This product is pretty popular among naturals! I’d been hearing so much about this product and its awesomeness and I just had to taste the soup to know if it was indeed delicious.

Product Claims: “Provides intense moisture to leave hair soft and manageable. Formulated for damaged, dry or coarse hair… Mends hair breakage, repairs split ends and reduces frizz, protects hair from heat damage, hydrates and moisturizes with shea butter and natural oils. Great for relaxed, natural, texturized, coloured or permed hair

I can’t say much for it’s claims towards heat damage, split ends, frizz and breakage as those aren’t necessarily concerns of mine. But it lives up to its claims about dry, coarse hair becoming softer and more manageable. This product does not discriminate! It is for all! As a matter of fact, my sister and cousin(both relaxed) keep stealing out of it both for their hair and their weaves. So this product aims to accommodate you no matter your hair type.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Canola Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glycerin, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (kiwi) fruit extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) flower extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowfoamate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Pentaerythrityl Tetracaprylate/Tetracaprate, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, DMDM Hydantoin, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-4, Polyquaternium-32, Mineral Oil, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Sodium  Hyaluronate, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride

Thank you copy and paste! (But I had to go through to ensure it was correct so I did some work too).
As you can see, the first ingredient is water which is great(if not necessary) for a leave in/moisturizer. It’s also full of ‘beta beta'(great) ingredients! I tried to highlight the ingredients that I thought people might be avoiding. It has Glycerine in case you’re staying away from humectants (i.e things that pull moisture into your hair). It also has silicones and mineral oil but they are at the bottom of the list which means the product contains little of them. I recently learnt that some people stay away from Propylene Glycol so that’s why I’ve highlighted it in case.

How I used it: I used this mostly on freshly washed hair( As the ‘C’ in the LCO method. Tried it as LOC too but it worked better as LCO for me). Also used this on damp hair(lightly spritzed with water) during the week. Also on dry hair.

Out of all, my favourite is the freshly washed method. My hair stays moisturized for days and I can refresh it by spritzing with water alone or spritzing with water and sealing with oil/shea butter. My least favourite method is on dry hair as it takes time for my hair to absorb it this way(which may leave white patches for some minutes) and it leaves a weird feeling too(sticky? Squishy? Not sure).

PROS:
Moisturizing: Moisture that actually lasts! Someone told me my hair felt like a cloud! My sister loves this stuff because she says it makes everything soft; as I mentioned earlier she and my cousin tend to steal it for their relaxed hair and their weaves.

Good Scent: I know scents are relative and depend on the “smeller” but I love the smell of this stuff! It smells sweet and floral. I was really surprised when I saw that fragrance wasn’t among the first few ingredients. My favourite thing about the smell is that it helps me catch anybody at home who uses it without my permission *evil laugh*.

Value for money: This stuff comes in a big tub(16 OZ/ 453g). And a little goes a long way with it. So it lasts. If you are heavy handed sef, it leaves a weird feeling behind for you. So you best use it in moderation.

CONS:
Ingredients: There are some chemicals in it with names that they probably only use for spelling bees at Harvard. It also has mineral oil and silicones. On the flip side, it has some good ingredients as well and the good ones are higher up the ingredient list than the bad ones.

Price: Price of course is relative as one man’s 1 million is another man’s 1 kobo. But this stuff is not for team cheapskate. It ranges between N1800- N2500 depending on where you buy it.

Absorption: It takes a while to absorb into the hair mostly when used on dry hair and low porosity hair. Also leaves a weird feeling if used heavy handedly or on dry hair.

MY RATING: 5/5. It has lived up to the hype and attained staple status for me.

I’ve even gone on to tell my friends, both relaxed and natural, to try it.

Where to buy:
– Casa Bella outlets(Palms Lekki, Surulere mall, Ikeja city mall, Ajose Adeogun VI, Polo Park mall Enugu, Grand Towers Mall Abuja)
– Olori.com.ng
– thebeautyboon.com
– hairbeautyhub.com (they have the salon size)

I hope my reviews are helpful to you guys. I know I don’t really go into the sciencey stuff but I try to make sure I’m honest and I relate to you how my hair felt with the product.

I was in Accra recently and I picked up 2 or 3 things that I’ll share in a post soon hopefully. I’m also currently in self-made crochet braids (yay!) and I will post about this also. I’ve also opened a Youtube channel! I haven’t posted anything yet but I’ll keep you in the know. I’m also considering doing the blog’s first giveaway; it’ll probably be a small one though.

Anything eventful happening with your hair lately? New styles? DIYs? Products? Anything at all? Do share!

Stay safe guys!
Hugs & kisses.

Bantu knot out on short natural hair vs on relaxed/transitioning hair

Hey guys! Welcome to February! My birthday month *shakes booty* I’m seriously dying to get an Afro kinky curly weave( like the one LoveIfeyinwa has at her store ) just in case you’re wondering what I want for my birthday 😀

Anyways, about a month ago, my sister and I tried Bantu knot outs. I have natural hair(a twa) and she has relaxed hair with a good deal of new growth that’s why I wrote” relaxed/transitioning hair” in the post title.

So here’s what we did.
For my sister’s relaxed hair,
-we’d take a section(we started from the back)
-we sprayed it a little bit with water,oil and conditioner in a spray bottle(almost not enough to even make a difference)
-then we applied some Ecostyler gel mixed with our DIY sheabutter mix
-twisted it(two strand twist)
-knotted the twist around itself
-when we got to the front we made sure to make a parting where she would like it to be when styling the next day

C’est fini!

We did it at night and left it overnight. Next morning we took them down with a bit of coconut oil on our fingers(my sister insisted we go over it with a blow dryer first. I think this is unnecessary) and separated and fluffed.

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Forgive the picture quality

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Freshly taken down

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Separated and fluffed

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So for my own natural twa:
-I did this on freshly washed hair(damp but some parts dried as I twisted and I was too sleepy to spray them)
-I moisturized with Cantu creamy hair lotion
-I’d take a little section(since my hair is short) and apply Taaliah Waajid curly curl cream and then twist it with a little of my Shea butter mix
-I went to bed. Lol
-the next morning I knotted the twists around themselves

Took them down 2 days later with some coconut oil on my fingers.

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End results

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So that’s it! If you want to rerock the look the next day, I think you would have to redo the Bantu knots at night. I didn’t though cos I wanted a different style the next day was too lazy to redo the knots at night.

So till next time guys,
Sugar, spice and everything nice(LOL)

So what’s been going on since my last post?

Hey guys, it’s been a minute. I changed the blog address from naturalnappynigeriangirl.wordpress to nigerianandnatural.wordpress. The former was just too long. So what really has been going on with my hair since my last post? Well, not much as far as I’m concerned(I’m so boring).

I’ve been getting a lot of “why did you cut your hair?”, even from people who never met me while I had longer hair. The other day some dude asked why I cut my hair and I said “I want to regrow it”. He said “that’s a weird reason. I thought you lost someone in your family and you were mourning”. The one I get a lot and HATE is “did you comb your hair?” or “do you comb your hair?”. But I do get a lot of compliments too! So I’m not complaining too much! The other day, a salon owner said “I wish all ladies would cut their hair like you so we could see their natural beauty”. I replied “then how would you make money?” And he laughed.

Still getting to know my hair.

20131115-194132.jpg I don’t know what hair type I have but most of the strands that fall off are circular.

My dandruff has also significantly reduced, hallelujah! I don’t know what exactly made this happen(maybe more frequent washing and oiling) but thank you hair gods. I’m looking to get some tea tree oil though.

On another note, getting products in Nigeria can be such a pain in the behind. I wonder how I’m going to cope in the long run. I’m trying to find suitable products that can be readily available to me that is, products I can easily find/buy with no stress. Products you read reviews about are either impossible to buy here or overpriced. *sigh*.

I’ve tried a couple of new products so let me briefly talk about them

(NB: Remember that I’m a newbie so my advice isn’t professional or based on much experience; it’s based on how I/my hair felt after using said products)

Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut conditioner

I ran out of Giovanni(which I really like by the way)and I decided to try something new

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(I got the white one at Casa Bella in Ikeja mall for about N3000 and my mum got the green one at Ulta in the US for about $8)

So I decided to try African Naturalistas’ conditioner since it was pretty affordable(N1500). So cheapskate me found out that konga had it and their delivery was cheaper than that of the African naturalistas store so I ordered it from Konga. After waiting for my delivery for some days, I got an email from Konga saying that it was unavailable. I’m just confused, like ummm it said it was in stock when I ordered it?! Anyways, they said my money had been refunded into my “Konga wallet” and I could use it for another purchase(been trying to use it since and I’m never able to checkout. What a beautiful first impression of Konga).

After this, I decided to try Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut(one of their silicone free conditioners). I got it off Sizelle,whose customer service is good by the way. One major deciding factor was that it was cheaper than Giovanni(N2450 then an additional N500 for delivery) and over 2x bigger than Giovanni.

The first thing I noticed was the smelllll! So coconutty. Smelt it before I even got to the package(it was a delivery so it came in a sealed package. The bottle was also wrapped in nylon and placed in a Sizzelle bag. So basically I smelt it through 3 layers of nylon). I love the smell. I think it’s pretty great for cowashes. I also use it to deep condition mixed with oils,honey etc. I use it as a leave in sometimes and I put it in my spray bottle mix too.
I think it doesn’t have(or is it “give”? I don’t know the natural lingo well) as much slip as Giovanni does but it’s still pretty okay.

I would definitely repurchase especially if I find it in a supermarket.

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Bobeam Shealoe shampoo bar
Still cant wrap my head around how people use Dudu Osun to wash their hair. Even Americans are ordering it online? Nah! I can’t. That soap makes my face itch like crazy. I can just imagine my hair as dry as the desert if I use it.

Anyways, I’d read nothing but good reviews about Bobeam shampoo bars and the lady who makes them and her awesome customer service. They weren’t lying. I emailed her asking about delivery costs to Nigeria and she was so pleasant. (You can find her here) Unfortunately the delivery prices were a bit steep since I was only buying 1 or 2 bars(buying in bulk would be more sensible I think). So I decided to buy it from The Kinky Apotheacry (it costs N1400 but there’s an N800 delivery charge. U can also pick up if u want).
I must say, I like this shampoo bar! My hair feels clean when I use it. The bar has a light lemony smell. The bar will last long as far as you don’t leave it in water or you don’t go scrubbing it into your head excessively; it lathers well, in fact a little too well, so there’s no need to be excessively rubbing the bar on your head.

I would repurchase. Although I think this one might last a while + I still have some Giovanni shampoo.

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(I cut the bar in two. This is one half)

African Naturalistas leave in conditioner

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Got this off Jumia because they were doing a free delivery promo #TeamCheapskate. It was N1295 but now it’s N1595. (Quick rant: the Jumia delivery guy refused to leave it with my gateman so the gateman got angry and told him to come and look for me at work which is very close to my house. He actually did! The receptionist at work had to sign for my delivery. Since he ended up not giving me in person, I didn’t see his point. He could have just dropped it at my house)

I’d never bought a leave in so this was my first try.
It was rather watery; I expected something thicker but it makes sense that it would be watery.
I have likes and dislikes about this product.

LIKES
1. It offers me the opportunity to not have to wet/dampen my hair everyday. I can just slap this on and comb as easily as when I spray with water.

2. It’s affordable, silicone free and Nigerian made(Yay Nigeria!).

DISLIKES

1. The smell! I’m a bit used to it now but I absolutely dislike the smell. It smells like air freshener to me.

2. Doesn’t last so long. It’s 300ml and watery so… And this is from someone who has short hair. (However, I do use it fairly often and I put some in my spray bottle).

3. It can be sticky on hands and I noticed some sort of build up in my hair when I used it for 3 or more days in a row. It also takes some rubbing in for the whiteness/white residue to go.

I don’t know if my hair is any softer with it than it is when I use my spray bottle mix.

I would repurchase mostly because of the price but I’m on the look out for something better.

Ecostyler olive oil gel

Got this from The Kinky Apothecary with the Bobeam and a satin bonnet(yes guys, I’d been sleeping with my hair out on cotton pillowcases *weeps*).

I am not a fan at all! I don’t know if it’s that I’m using it the wrong way or something but it makes my hair stiff and white. Someone asked me why my hair was white and I said “it is gel oh! I don’t know who sent me to go and rub gel”. Funny thing is, I was messing around one day and I put some on my baby cousin’s hair and his curls were popping!

Anyways, the tub of gel is sitting pretty on my table, very full.

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I’ve also started taking multivitamins as I hear vitamins and minerals are good for your hair and skin.

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(Stolen from my mum)

I hear Biotin especially makes hair grow! Read some reviews and went to ask for the price of the 5000mcg Biotin pills in a pharmacy and they said N4500! My inner cheapskate soul died. I don’t know if I’m ready to commit like that and drop N4500. What if it doesn’t work for me(some people in the reviews said they broke out and The Lord knows I already have skin that is very acne prone- see picture below for evidence). I think I’ll just put the Biotin idea on the back burner for now. (My multivitamin tablet has some Biotin in it but it’s just 30mcg)

As far as progress goes,

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Slowly but surely 🙂

Fooled around and tried a “braid out” one day when I was bored.

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So till next time guys.

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).

20130615-130635.jpg Before I started cutting

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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*