Can hair just be what it is: hair.

Sometimes the way people take hair so seriously baffles me to be honest.
I’m not talking about haircare here. Let me explain what I mean.

I’ve seen posts about how the natural hair community discriminates within itself based on hair type i.e looser, silkier curls are preferred to tighter kinkier coils. The posts said this is evident in the way women with looser curls(think Type 3a-4a) are featured more on hairspiration posts/Instagram pages and even on product containers/ads. They also state that people tend to want that kind of hair and refer to it as “good hair”. Some even say this is because the hair looks more like caucasian hair and they will begin to give you a lecture on slave trade in the post.

To be honest, I have pictured myself with looser curls and imagined how pretty they would look. This doesn’t mean I have low self esteem and I hate my God-given hair as some posts go on to state.

Then there are the ones who say that texturized hair isn’t natural(I actually have no opinion on this but would like to hear yours), those who do twist outs, bantu knot outs and co are trying to mimic looser curls and thus have low self esteem(na wa), those with dyed hair are no longer natural(Please oh, my hair has been dyed), those who heat style their natural hair aren’t proper naturals, those who don’t use only organic, all-natural products also aren’t proper naturals etc

You would think being natural is like having one invisible panel somewhere inspect your hair strand by strand then stamp on your forehead “Accepted” or “Denied”.

Another angle is the ‘war’ against Team Natural and Team Relaxed. To be honest this is the most ridiculous one.

The “natural hair nazi” as they are often called will say people with relaxed hair are relaxing their hair to be beautiful based on the white man’s standard of judging beauty or they are trying to look like the white man or they have low self esteem and hate their heritage etc.

At the beginning of my hair journey I was almost pulled into the natural-hair-nazi hole because most of the sites I went to for help looked down on relaxed hair. Later I came to realize that it was some form of hypocrisy if I did the same. I mean I had relaxed hair! To me it’s kind of like having an abortion then later becoming pro-life and then proceeding to vehemently look down on and bash those who are pro-choice. The fact that you’ve experienced it should make you understand and allow you to empathise(for lack of a better word). I was never relaxing my hair because I hated my heritage and wanted to be like the white man. So why would I, now being natural, turn around and say that those with relaxed hair hate their heritage and want to be like the white man.

Then there are the people with relaxed hair who think natural hair is tacky and rough and ugly and unprofessional and every other negative word in the dictionary. They are quick to comment on posts about natural hair and state their ‘opinions’. They will say stuff like “so you think because your hair is natural, you are closer to heaven abi. Please get over yourself” or “all of you claiming team natural don’t know how tacky and unkempt you look. Go and slap a relaxer on that ugly head of yours and shut up”.

I believe whether relaxed or natural, it is about one’s preference so please can we all park in our lanes and mind our own business. To each her own. Leave it at that.

Another new twist I saw recently was the opposite of the looser-curls-preference situation.

I recently joined this natural hair group on Facebook. Sometimes when I’m bored, I go there and read through posts and comment as much as I can. I also have a good laugh because there are some really funny posts I see there e.g “Please I am in the market right now. I need to know the Yoruba name of glycerine. Urgent answer needed”, “Av nor use realizer for 2 month nw because I use Protective kit but my hair is still strong. Which realizer can I buy for my hair to realize well”, “Where can I buy olive oil, egg oil, glycerine oil”, “what is BC and who are those that do sell it” etc.(Lord forgive me for posting these but I had to).

I digress.
So I saw a post on the group by someone and the person had a picture of their natural hair. She had loose curls like say 3c. And of course I knew she would be bombarded with at least 10 comments saying “hmmm this is not natural hair”(This happens on the group a lot when people with looser curls post pictures). Lo and behold the this-is-not-natural-hair comments poured in and the lady was patient and polite in replying them saying it was her natural hair. You see the problem is that there are a lot of Nigerian members and most of them only know natural hair as the kinky, 4c, thick, no-shine hair; they have never encountered 3b,3c or 4a hair and do not categorise those as natural hair.
So the comments kept pouring in and there was one who went on to say that the lady did not have the right kind of hair for the group and that she was jealous because she didn’t have kinky hair and that the group only celebrates proper natural hair. I’m thinking “errmmm but this is her natural hair”. The admin of the group tried to remedy the situation and explain that the group had members from different countries with diverse hair textures and that natural hair comes in textures besides 4c which Nigerians are used to.
Babe no gree oh. She finished the whole group with insults.
I don’t know if it was the same post or another but someone else said “this is not natural hair” then people explained that it was and that the lady in the picture wasn’t Nigerian and that natural hair comes in different textures. The person now came back and said “I know but this hair is not natural”. More people posted and explained further that she could be mixed or she could be African American and the person still came and said “I’ve heard but I say this hair is not natural”. LOL!!

Without digressing too much, I’m just showing you that there are actually people out there who consider natural hair to only be proper kinky hair. They don’t classify looser, silkier curls as natural hair.

The whole hair thing is a hot complicated mess.

I believe we should all live and let live. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences. To be honest you won’t catch me preaching the natural hair gospel to someone who didn’t first ask me about it or ask for advice(When last did I follow my church for evangelism that it is hair I want to be preaching).

No matter how your hair grows or how you choose to wear it, do you! Don’t let anyone bully or intimidate you. Don’t look down on your own self too; love the hair you have and rock it with confidence. The goal should be healthy hair because healthy hair will always look good.

It’s just hair. Don’t take it so seriously. There are more pressing issues e.g They have not still brought back our girls oh, I don’t have power supply half the time and PHCN is still bringing ridiculous bills, N50 rice at the buka you frequent is now too small to belleful a baby, when is Shea Moisture going to be affordable for the masses in Nigeria etc

Do share your thoughts; I would love to hear them.

P.s: Eid Mubarak in arrears to my Muslim readers; I hope you had a good one(even though you didn’t send me some juicy fried ram meat)

Jen

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.