The hair tips, advice and recommendations given on this blog are given based on the experiences of the authors. These tips may not work for everyone and every hair type and it is important to acknowledge this since we are neither hair specialists nor trichologists.

Also many pictures on this blog belong to the authors but there are others that we do not have ownership for and thus we do not claim ownership of the ones that do not belong to us.

Friday, October 30, 2009

O shea! O shea O!

First, let us give thanks to God for shea butter!

Shea butter is called: “Nkuto” in Ghana; “Beurre de Karité” in French; and “Ori” in most places in Nigeria. If none of these names mean anything to you – Welcome to the wonderful world of Shea Butter!

Shea Butter comes from the Shea tree which is mostly found in West African countries like Ghana, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso & Nigeria. Traditionally, the nuts from the tree (called Shea Nuts), are picked, roasted, and pounded. They are then boiled for several hours to extract pure unrefined shea butter. Pure shea butter is yellow or ivory in color and does not smell unpleasant. By unpleasant I mean it does not have an offensive “get this away from me or I am going to vomit now” type of smell. Having said that, I guess the issue of smell might be relative in this case. *sigh* It is advisable to use products made from pure shea butter rath

er than those where chemicals such as hexane are used.

The main question is this: Why does it seem like shea butter is the “product” of choice for black natural hair and black hair in general? It is because shea butter has moisturizing properties and it is an emollient. As a result, it adds to and maintains moisture in dry brittle hair, in addition to retaining softness and preventing breakage.

The key words are moisturizer and emollient:

1) Moisturizers: make the external layers softer and more pliable by increasing its hydration (water content) by reducing evaporation. Moisturizers prevent and treat dryness, protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections.

2) Emollients: are substances that soften and soothe. They are used to correct dryness and scaling. Emollients have three basic properties: occlusion, humectant and lubrication.

a. Occlusion - providing a layer of oil on the surface to slow water loss and thus increase moisture content;

b. Humectant – increases water-holding capacity;

c. Lubrication - adds slip or glide.

To put it simply, shea butter is great for black hair in general and especially natural/nappy/non-relaxed black hair because it increases the water content in our hair; it also slows water loss in our hair thus increasing the moisture content in our hair.

General benefits of using shea butter on hair include: returns luster and shine to hair; absorbs quickly without leaving greasy residue like petroleum, beeswax or mineral oil based products; doesn't clog and block hair shaft; great moisturizer; protects against harsh weather and; revitalizes and prevents breakage.

**Side note: Shea is also edible, used in cooking oil, chocolates and cocoa butter.

Simple whipped shea butter recipe.


*4 tablespoons shea butter

*2 tablespoon cocoa butter

*4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

*A few drops of your favourite essential oil for fragrance


Melt the shea butter and cocoa butter over low heat until melted and add the olive oil. Pour the oils into a bowl and at this point, add a few drops of the essential oil. Put bowl over another bowl filled with ice to allow the oils to set faster. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is light and fluffy (you may want to use an electric hand whisk for this). Spoon into a jar and enjoy!

This recipe makes an excellent hair moisturizer and sealer for both natural and relaxed black hair. It also makes wonderful body butter.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hair typing system

A popular hair typing system is Andre Walker’s system. Andre Walker is Oprah's hair stylist You can read about his hair typing system here 

I spent a few years wondering what my hair type was. I think it is a 4b. But honestly it really does not matter what my hair type is as long as I know how to take care of it properly. Perhaps the hair typing system allows women to be more deliberate when they are choosing hair products. I dunno. But I would encourage people with afro textured, kinky, nappy, tightly curled hair not to be too hung up on what their hair type is. Instead concentrate on finding out what works for you and your hair and stick with it.

Leave a comment and tell me what your thoughts on hair typing systems are. Do you find hair typing useful? Or is it just a waste of time? Has figuring out your hair type helped you on your hair journey?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interview with Miss Fizzy from Leave in the Kinks


My blog moniker is Miss Fizzy (a nickname given to me by some friends) but my name is Ofe. No it does not mean soup or free.

Blog urls:


Where are you from?

I was born in Nigeria but have lived in a few other countries since then. I am presently in the UK.


What do you do?

I am a graduate student.

Why are you natural?

Hmmm... let's see. I'm natural because it is more representative of who I am. I am a no frills type of girl when it comes to clothes and makeup, yet with an afro, everything I wear is just made fabulous. Natural hair is beautiful and should be the norm and I believe I am a walking advert for this. It can be cute, glam and professional. Anything relaxed hair can do, natural hair can do better. I got tired of bad hair days and running from water and having my hair dictate my schedule. I didn't go natural for a deep political reason or in an effort to find myself. I liked the way it looked and when I did my research, I found that it was easy to handle.


Tell us about your natural hair regimen.

My hair regimen is very simple. I wash once a week if my hair is out or every other week if it's in twists. I use Tiens aloe vera herbal soap to clean my scalp and condition with Suave naturals or Alberto Balsam. I deep condition every two weeks with either Organics hair mayonnaise or a mixture of Alberto Balsam strawberries and cream conditioner and an oil (coconut, jojoba, etc). I stretch my hair after washing, with braids or twists and then I either rock a fro or twists. I moisturize with products from the CURLS line or I use a mixture of shea butter, coconut oil and aloe vera gel. I put shea butter on my ends every few days to keep my hair from drying out or I spray my hair with a mix of water and the shea butter mixture, with a little conditioner thrown in.


So you were recently in Nigeria visiting tell us what was the reaction you got from people about your natural hair?

I've been told I'm not approachable (arrant nonsense) so nobody outside friends and family actually came up to me to say anything about my hair. Most people assumed I had extensions or a weave and asked me where they could find the type of hair I used lol. Mostly the reactions were positive. When people asked me what it took to be natural and I mentioned big chopping and growing out "due hair" they promptly lost interest. I got lots of stares, but I imagine it's either because I'm sooo hot (lol) or because they were trying to figure out if I had a wig on or not.


If you could give one piece of advice about natural hair, what would it be?

Do a lot of research so that you know how to style and care for your own hair. No one should know how to work with your hair better than you.


What is the most ridiculous question you were asked about your natural hair?

Lol. That would have to be "Where did you buy your weave from? I want to do my hair like that."

Taking care of your total self.

Hello Folks,
I was thinking... hair thrives in a healthy body so while you are taking the time to take care of your hair don't neglect your body. I have been neglecting exercise and eating right. So last week I put myself back on an exercise schedule. I actually get really bored with monotony so exercise can be pretty boring for me. Anyway, I decided to try aerobic dancing and skipping as a form of exercise and so far it is working for me. But it has only been two weeks so... LOL

If you feel like you can't exercise because you don't have a gym membership, you should consider doing simple exercises at home. Get inspiration from this article

Anyway, has anybody else come up with a plan for maintaining total body health. Let me know what your plan is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Natural hair and moisture.

Dry hair can lead to breakage. To combat dry hair you need to make sure that you are moisturizing properly.

About moisturizing.

Are you currently deep conditioning your hair regularly? If not then I would recommend that you add deep conditioning to your regimen. You could also add a prewash treatment to your regimen. I do my pre-wash treatments by combining coconut oil, castor oil, and essential oils together and applying it to my hair. I let it soak in for a while then I wash my hair.  Then condition.

Moisture, moisture, moisture. This is soooo important. The ends of your hair are the oldest part and most fragile so they need the most moisture. Many naturals apply some hair oil (e.g. coconut oil) or hair butter (e.g. shea butter) on the ends of their hair before they go to sleep. This helps to keep the hair moisturized.

Are you using a lot of heat on your hair? Like curling irons, straightening combs. Heat damages hair and that’s no joke. Make sure you are not combing and combing your hair too much. Over combing can also lead to breakage.

How are you sleeping? Are you sleeping with a satin scarf or pillowcase? While satin is not necessary, it is important to keep your hair protected while you sleep. Sleeping on cotton pillowcases without having some adequate protection on your hair can lead to dried out hair. Cotton saps moisture from our hair. When your hair is dried out it becomes more fragile and it can break off.


I hope these few tips help.

And you can read more about moisture on BGLH



Monday, October 19, 2009

10 benefits of wearing your naturally kinky, nappy, napptural, curly, afro hair

1.)Strangers will randomly put their hands in your hair.

2.)You could become a product junkie.

3.)On the other hand you could save loads of money when you live in a town with no salons that cater to afro textured hair and you are forced to make your hair by yourself.

4.)You will experience Hand in fro disease. If this is your first time going natural since you were a kid. You will usually end up being so fascinated by the kinks and curls that you will not want to get your hand out of your hair.

5.)You will not run away from the rain. You may end up singing in the rain when you realize that your hair will not revert cause it’s already reverted.

6.) You will be given a fitting stereotype or you may as well create one for yourself. Options include:

Soul sista

Revolutionary sista

Conscious sista

Health conscious sista

Spiritual sista

Pan-Africanism sista

And many more

7.) Your hair will become other people’s bizness. Everyone will always want to know what you did to your hair and how you did it to your hair and they will have opinions on your hair all the time. That is the part that I personally love.

8.) No bad hair days. Many naturals report that since they went natural their bad hair days have reduced drastically. If it even threatens to be a bad hair day, just add water and puff it or fro it. The afro and the afro puff work all the time. Yep, they do.

9.) In order to learn about your hair you will prowl sites, blogs, and fotki albums spending hours in front of your computer. Thus you will gain loads of knowledge and may eventually memorize the diagram of a hair strand as well as chemicals used in hair products along with their definitions.

10.) Your social life will become more interesting as it will include Natural Hair Gatherings, trips to the theatre to watch hair movies and attending natural hair shows and workshops.


You will become a mixtress in your home, whipping up shea butter and aloe vera concoctions just for your hair.

You may begin to smell like food as a result of using natural products and kitchen ingredients on your hair like eggs, coconut oil, olive oil.

Tell me what are the benefits you have experienced since you stared wearing your hair natural.



Friday, October 16, 2009

How to survive a day at the salon in Lagos, Naija

“Aunty you no go relax your hair?” “Aunty, ah! Your hair too hard oh!” “Aunty you kno’ say you go pay double for this hair oh.” Yes, you have heard it all before and it just gets you maddddd! Because you are thinking, just do my hair and keep your opinions to your self.

Well here are a few tips to survive your visit to the hair salon in Nigeria especially when the salon is not natural hair friendly.

1.)  Know what you want and how you want it. Do not count on the opinion of your hairdresser if she knows nothing about how to handle natural hair.

2.)  Know about your hair and know what it needs (e.g. products). When I go to the salon, I am prepared to take control of the situation. I let the hairdressers know how to handle my hair. For example, I could ask them to spray my hair with water before combing it or not to use petroleum jelly on my hair. I tell them to comb from the tips and work their way to the roots. I also choose what comb they use on my hair.

3.)  Make sure you are communicating your needs.  Also ask them questions e.g. “What kind of spray is that?; Can you use this or that instead?”

4.)  Be ASERTIVE. It’s your hair so don’t feel like you are offending them by asking for what you want. Just remember to be polite about it and smile as you speak.  Make conversation and be friendly about it so they feel comfortable but make sure you do not let them talk you into doing what you do not want to do. Think about it, you have spent 2 years or three years or even months getting your hair to a healthy state do not let someone mess up your hard work.

5.)  If it looks like it is not going to be all right, do not be embarrassed to tell them to STOP. Pack up your hair and go home. At least you will leave with your hair on your head instead of a mishap.

I was at the salon last month to get my hair plaited in single braids. I made sure I combed out my hair myself and I directed the lady on how to comb my hair as she was sectioning it. She wasn’t offended at all because I did it politely.

I sometimes go to the Hausa women in my area to weave/plait/ twist my hair. They are used to natural hair and do not complain. And they do not charge me as much money as the salons would charge me.

Two stylists that I think may be natural hair friendly in Lagos are:
Angela who has a column in the Sunday vanguard
Bobbyz just cause I heard he makes TY Bello’s hair


Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Hair Regimen with Braids

Hello Blogworld J
I hope everyone has had a fulfilling week, I most certainly have. If you are in Canada, or in the Ontario area to be exact, you will know fall has hit us without any warning and with a Big Bang (pow) lol. I went to bed last week and it was still summer, woke up the next morning and I was shivering outta my pjays lol.

Why am I ranting? Take a guess, common guys you can do it, just one guess. Ok, ok I will let you have it: my hauuuurrrr. Yeah, I have had in braids for about a month on the 5th and though it is a protective style, I hate braids. I don’t know why I can’t keep my hand out of my hair. I am always fidgeting with it, pulling and twirling and tugging at it. Arrrggghh! I am working on it though. Whenever I feel the need to tug at my braids, I take a deep breath and count to 10. Does it work? Nope but there I said it!

I am determined to take this style for 2 months. Between us, this hair is super rough. My folks say it isn’t and I need to stop fidgeting with it and braids are much finer when they are old yaddi, yadda (rolls eyes).

Anyway, my regimen for my braided hair includes:

-Chemical strip with lemon and a little bit of baking soda (2ce this month)
I do not wash my hair; I do the chemical strip instead. Soaking a small warm towel into the lemon-baking soda solution. Layering my hair in sections, I go gently on my scalp. I DO NOT SCRUB. I apply a little pressure and just clean scalp. You can do a scalp massage afterwards. I usually do a chemical strip on, Friday or Saturday evening, then in the morning do the scalp massage.

-Scalp massage oil (every week say Sunday)  - Shea butter, half teaspoon of olive oil, 2 drops of castor oil and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil –OR JUST GET CAROLS DAUGHTER’S HAIR BALM . It smells delicious by the way and it works for me. Now I am very stingy with my Carols daughter’s products and when I have extensions in, I don’t really use it as much.

-And loads of hair bonnets, scarf’s (silk) and warm head nukes (almost like mittens for your hair).

Below are pictures of some of my hair accessories, I love, love fall, you can have fun bundling up with layers and layers of lovely stuff all in the name of keeping warm J In my next post, I will let you all know where I get most of my stuff from to give you a hint, I LOVE VINTAGE, I am a vintage freak and I have not explored all that Toronto has to offer yet.

That is all for now, stay warm and moisturize your hair people. Fall is here already.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Joys and Pains of transitioning

I have been natural for 2 yrs now or is it 3? My mind goes back to September 2007. I was super stressed from school; was in an abusive relationship (emotional) and I was just fed up. I remember clearly, I was watching TV with little sis then I got up, went into the bathroom, scissors in hand and chopped off a big patch of hair. I waited a few seconds for the tears to flow but nothing so I went on and cut my hair really close to my scalp. I stepped into the shower and for the first time in a long time, felt free, totally free and light and I could feel the pores of my hair open and soak up water (ok maybe I have a vivid imagination :)

Today, I have fulllllll, healthy, JET-black hair and I love every part of its kinkiness. Woohooo! Prior to my drastic cut, I had contemplated going natural, my number 1 reason was because I was in Halifax, NS Canada, which at the time was not as diverse as Toronto, so I couldn’t get my hair braided or professionally retouched. I had done a lot of research, joined a few natural blogs, toyed around with home made products for my hair type and asked the people around me who were natural a lot of questions. So September 2007 did not come as a shock to me, I felt it was coming.

Now transitioning was hard, as I struggled to accept the “new” me while trying to grow out healthy hair and just get used to the criticisms and the questions (trust me I got loads of them). I had long relaxed hair before “ruining” my crown of glory as my mum says.

While transitioning, I felt like retouching my hair. But going on the blogs of some “die-hard” naturals and seeking advice helped a lot. One advice I swear and live by is covering your hair by doing braids, plaits, or weaves (yes I did and still do weaves) . It helps a whole lot because, you don’t see your own hair and the urge to retouch it isn’t there or at least minimized.

I wear braids for 6- 8 weeks at a time with 2 or 3 weeks interval in between. So I kept telling my self, 8 weeks of braids and it will be almost a yr J plus seeing that extra length when I took the braids out sure motivated me. In between my braids and weaves, during my 2-week rest, I moisturize like crazy, coconut oil, Dudu Osun, Shea butter, almond oils, grape seed oil, castor oil, became close friends of my hair. I started adding proteins to my hair- eggs or egg whites. I took loads of vitamins and I swear by Biotin. For me that is, because not everything I use will work for you and vice versa for me.

This is getting long so I will continue it in my next post.



I have a problem. Is anyone losing hair around the temple area and what
have you done to combat it? I am using organic root stimulator temple and nape balm but I don’t see the results yet, this is my 6th month, religiously, morning and evening and yes I do a lot of braiding but try to avoid my temple area and no I don’t gel it down.

Please help 


Monday, October 12, 2009

My Girls and their natural hair

I have 2 lovely daughters......Samantha and Stephanie.  Samantha, the female version of Samuel, means God has hearkened. And Stephanie, the female version of Stephen, means crown. Lovely names!!!

My daughters have natural hair. Their hair regime is really simple. It’s imperative to know how your children react to weather. Some children sweat a lot even if all the sun does is to give us a peek of its golden rays while some do not sweat much. But remember kids will be kids...i.e. they must run, jump, fall, fight e.t.c. So regardless of anything they must sweat and get dirty.

If they tend to sweat a lot; for boys you have to wash the hair daily and you can keep it low. While with girls you have to wash weekly and do very simple styles such as single big braids or simple cornrows. With my daughters I wash their hair once in 2 weeks usually during their evening bath. I use a leave in conditioner and then comb it when the hair is damp. The following morning I use hair oil or very small amounts of Shea butter. These don’t leave any residue on their scalps.  For children hair products should be simple and mild nothing complicated.

Then I either braid or just weave. Instead of beads I use coloured rubber bands at the tips of their hair. I really like the beads but my daughters are small and they still put all sorts of stuff into their mouths. So I can just imagine when either one sees the coloured beads on their hair, that they are thinking ‘’oh my .........those look like sweets on my sister’s hair. I am sure she won’t mind if I take 1 or 2 and eat.......’’ Then I start hearing this gurgling noise and I am wondering what is it again? Then I am on my way to the nearest hospital for removal of a foreign ingested object or the same in her nose.....brrrrrrrr......scary!!!  Rubber bands and beads are ok accessories to use as decorations for hair. Try not to use them too much as they can put a strain on the hair. Sometimes it is okay to just let the hair be or use the usual hair clips. 

I know some of you will be wondering what if my daughters’ hair is like Olumo rock i.e. tough/strong/difficult to comb. You could finger comb the hair when damp. Perhaps even not combing the hair with a comb - try using a brush (when damp) like the Denman described in the products article or even sectioning the hair with the fingers and putting the hair in twists. We really don't have to comb our hair all the time. I know many of you will revolt when I say this..........but why not just keep your daughter’s hair low until she’s older. I can assure you between ages 0 - 5/6 years children are not really looking to surpass their fellow companion on the looks''O''meter.......they are more about having fun........So keep the fun rolling and less on their looks........

Would really like to know any more insider gist from you mothers on your children’s hair male and female alike.

Prof Mom.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How I trim my hair

I confess that in the last three years, I can count on one hand how many times I have trimmed my hair.  This was not the case when I first went natural. Back then I used to trim my hair once in 1 to 2 months.
Some people say that it is a must for you to trim your hair regularly. Others will say that there is no need to trim if you don’t have split ends. I think if you maintain healthy ends then you won’t have to trim so much. I am trying to get into the habit of trimming my hair often. I am not sure what often means to me yet. LOL. Maybe that is once in 3 months?

But I decided to trim my hair at the end of last month because my ends looked raggedy with a few fairy knots in them (link). I washed and conditioned my hair then I put it in a few twists and then clipped off the ends with a pair of scissors.

Also I make sure that the pair of scissors I use for my hair is only used for my hair and nothing else. Make sure your scissors are sharp. A blunt pair can cause more split ends.

There is also a method for trimming hair that I’ve heard about. It is called search and destroy. LOL. I love that name. It basically consists of you looking for hairs that are spilt and trimming those hairs only. It takes time of course and may only work for longer hair since when it is longer you’ll be able to see it better. I find that if I’m looking at my hair and I see a split end, I immediately bring out the scissors and clip it off.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Take a picture

This is kind of a retro look, I think. Sparkled side puff. Accessories and hair jewels can add pizzazz to any hairstyle.

Omozo's "Home done" curly-doo

This is the follow-up to the post on Lauren’s Curly-Doo. My hair texture is much different from Lauren’s and I wanted to see what my hair would look like after my home done Curly-Doo. Keina, the hairdresser at Curl Ambassadors, suggested I twist my hair with the curling custard since my hair texture is different from Lauren’s. I decided to use the shampoo I have at home (it is a store brand shampoo). I was also overdue for a deep conditioning treatment and added that to the process. Here is how I did my Curly-Doo at home.

1) Clarifying wash using baking soda and store brand shampoo. Mix shampoo with equal amount of baking soda and apply to wet hair. I washed twice.

2) Section hair and apply the deep conditioner (Queen Helene Cholesterol) to each section. I applied the conditioner from ends to roots with focus on my ends. I combed through, placed a plastic bag over my head for about 45 minutes with an additional 5 minutes under the dryer (medium heat). I washed out the conditioner and did not dry my hair and left it soaking wet.

3) Section hair and apply the Knot-today leave-in conditioner to each section. Again my focus was on the ends of my hair.

3) Apply the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. I applied the product to each section of hair that I twisted. Twisting took me about 1 hour because I made bigger twists than I usually do.

4) I used a regular towel to mop up excess curling custard and sat under the dryer (medium heat) for about 20 minutes. I decided to let my hair air dry overnight.

I think the process (washing, deep conditioning, applying leave-in conditioner, twisting while applying the curling custard and drying the hair) took me about 3 hours.

After taking out the twists the next morning, I noticed better definition to my twists compared to when I use only shea butter to twist. It had some shine also. I did not notice any excess product on my hair. I put some shea butter on my scalp. I also applied some Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Oil to my strands. My hair did not feel hard at all which was great! I still had some elasticity and there was no stiffness to my hair. I like the result of the process and products and I will definitely do it again. The only thing I would do differently is make the twists smaller.

During the week, for maintenance, I spray a moderate amount of leave-in conditioner and then apply the Tui hair oil to my hair. I also put some shea butter on my scalp every other day. Remember that these are products to help you manage your hair. Try this process out at home if you can or go to Curl Ambassadors for your own $15 Curly-Doo and let us know your own results.


Monday, October 5, 2009

I’m frustrated! Why isn’t natural hair working for me?

I hear these words all the time:

 "I’m frustrated and I want to get a perm." 

"I can never get my hair to look nice." 

"I don’t know what to do." 

"My hair is not growing."

I have a confession to make, sometimes I get frustrated with my hair as well. But here are some tips that I hope will help you get through those frustrating moments:

1.)  Keep inspired. Look at pictures of natural heads and admire their locks. Remind yourself that if you exercise a little bit of patience then you too could have fly hair just like hers. I also like to look at pictures of natural haired ladies for inspiration. I really like Tracee Ellis Ross and I confess that sometimes I watch past episodes of Girlfriends just to  stare at her hair. Visit lecoil for inspirational photos of naturals.

2.)  Change it up. Try doing something new with your hair. I generally wear twists almost all the time. I once told a friend that I hope  twists will become my trademark style eventually and she replied: “Are you kidding me? They already are!” But sometimes I get soo bored with my hair that I have to try something different. Try going on youtube to find a hair tutorial you can do by yourself.

3.)  No two fingers are equal. So as a rule ditch the comparism game. Stop comparing and envying other people’s curls or length or shine or, or, or. Instead practice contentment. It will do more for you. Thank God you have a head of hair and it is growing.  Re-examine your expectations. If when you first went natural you believed that your hair would look like person B's hair and you realize that it doesn’t, then this is the time for you to accept what your hair can and will do and live with it.

4.)  Be patient. You hair will grow just take it easy.

5.)  Commit to finding out what works for you and your hair. Don’t spend hours trying to imitate the hair regimen of somebody whose texture is not close to yours. Instead focus on finding out what works for you.

6.)  Read some blogs, learn something new, try a new hair spray recipe, deep conditioning treatment e.t.c. And if reading blogs and viewing others fotki albums causes you anxiety over your hair then stay off them for a while. Relax instead and purge yourself of the anxiety.

7.)  Have a spa day and invite some girlfriends over. Do each other's hair as you watch a movie. Do a facial, manicures and pedicures. You know, just pamper yourselves.