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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

RE: Real Coconut Oil Versus Fake Coconut Oil

So I wrote a post about coconut oil a while back saying that the coconut oil we get in Naija was fake because it does not solidify in cold temperatures. Our resident guest blogger Omozee, made a comment regarding this. Her comment was:

No you have "isale" Agbon which is different from the coconut oil (Adi Agbon), the isale does not solidify, sigh I cant describe it but I will get the info from granny and post it. The isale is the runoff of the oil ... But you dont have the fake one you have "Isale" which is a lot less dense than the coconut oil. I find my coconut oil does not solidify in Nigeria, it will solidify in the fridge-freezer but thats that!
Another thing is your oil may be very old and our people add paraffin to keep it runny (I can go into the organic chm of the thing if you want regarding breaking of hydrogen bonds of the coconut oil due to dipole moments of the paraffin) I digress sorry...

So I stand corrected. The coconut oil is not fake. Sorry for the misinformation and thanks for the correction Omozee

O'Naturally Nappy Canadians

The 2010 Winter Olympics have begun! Gooooooooooo Team Canada! I watched the opening ceremony last Friday and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There were various highlights for me. One of the highlights was seeing Measha Breuggergosman sing the Olympic Hymn with one of the BADDEST afros I have ever seen on TV!. Wohooo! When she came on stage, I stood up and clapped for her afro. After she sang the song, I stood up and clapped some more for the afro and performance. Measha is a classical Soprano and honestly she is loved here in Canada. Check her out here.

The other highlight was seeing the Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, arrive in the stadium with her own afro also. So cool. She looked really nice. I have seen pictures of her with straight hair. I am being objective when I say I prefer her with her nappy, natural kinky curls. *wink* She looks great in napps! You can also read about Ms. Jean here.

It is refreshing to see nappy, kinky, curly, natural hair on the international stage. I give these ladies (and all you natural haired ladies out there) kudos for wearing their hair natural.It is not always easy because there is still bias, and in some cases hostility, out there over our lovely kinks. Keep rocking your oh so lovely and oh so natural kinks, napps and coils!

Be inspired. Keep it O'Natural!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The thing about shrinkage

Often time’s non-naturals ask me how I cope with my natural hair. They really just want to know if my head hurts when I try to comb it. They often exclaim: “Ehn, you are natural? That means your hair must be soft. My hair is hard o.” Combing your natural hair does not have to be torture. You only need to learn the tricks of the trade. First, learn not to comb your hair when it is dry. Really, it’s a recipe for disaster. You will probably loose more hair than you need to and it will hurt you more than it has to. Comb your hair when it is damp with water or when it is soaked in conditioner.

Now I read somewhere that natural hair can shrink up to 70%. So this brings me to the second tip. I’ve learnt that the longer my hair gets the more I should make sure that I do not allow it to shrink up unnecessarily. Imagine if your hair reaches down to your back and you let it shrink up to 70%. Imagine how painful it would be to comb out such hair?

Now that my hair has grown longer, I try as much as possible not to let it shrink up too much. So when I wash my hair I make sure that I wash it in about 4 braids so that it doesn’t get tangled up while washing. After I rinse out the shampoo and conditioner, I use an old T-shirt to soak up excess water. Afterwards, I take the braids out one by one, put some Shea butter in it and comb my hair through. Then I put the combed out section into a twist. I usually wash at night so that I can go to sleep with big twists (about 8 of them) in my hair so by the next morning my hair is dry and the twists have enabled my hair not to shrink up again. This makes my hair easy to manipulate the next morning.

Now this brings me to my dilemma. My favorite style to wear are small twists. I put them in and wear them for about 3 to 4 weeks. This means I wash them about 3 times then wear a twist out. So they always shrink up to almost half the length of my hair. Now this shrinkage means that detangling (combing) my hair after I take out my twists is a strenuous task now that it is longer. When my hair was shorter it was easy peasy And now I am thinking of sacrificing my small twists because detangling my hair after I take them out is just too much wahala for me. So what do I do?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Curl Assault - An Experience

I looked back and saw him

He smiled at me

I nodded my head and looked away

He walked up to me

"I like your hair" he said

"Thank you" I said

He asked if it was mine

I said "yes"

He asked if he could touch it

I said "ummm ... no"

He smiled

I stared

He said he likes my curls

I said "Thank you"

He said he could give me something to make them ... silkier

I said "Huh?"

He said the product had no lye in it

I knew it was a lie

He said my curls need to be tamed

"Tamed?" I asked

"You know ... more manageable ... neater" He said

I stared

I opened my phone and started to dial 9-1-1 slowly

"What are you doing?" he asked

"Calling the police" I said

"Why" he asked

"You are harassing my curls" I said

He ran


Friday, February 12, 2010

Vegetarian Saga

In June 2009 I made a decision to "try" being Vegetarian. SURPRISE! I have several friends who are Vegetarian and I got interested decided to try it out. As my friends found out that I was not eating meat anymore, they asked various questions. They asked "Are you fasting meat?" "Did your doctor recommend you stop eating meat?" "Is this forever?" And the best one was: "I hope this is not all because of a man o!" No, No, Maybe and Noooooo.

After people got over the initial shock of finding out that I am now Vegetarian, they wanted to know what type. Even I did not know the classification I fell into. More research. I eat eggs and dairy products (cheese and yogurt mostly) and that makes me "Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian". You can read more about Vegetarianism here. The things I eat have not really changed. I have added some new things to my diet like chick-peas, lentils, quinoa, couscous (like the picture below on the left), squash, almond nuts and lots and lots of mushrooms. Mushrooms are basically the "meat" of the vegetable family.

I have noticed that I am not bloated anymore, I don't get headaches as much, I pay closer attention to what I eat and what nutritional value each ingredient provides. My grocery budget is pretty much the same as it was when I was eating meat. I have not seen any tremendous change in my hair. I still use the same hair products and hair routines. It feels the same and looks the same to me. A few friends have said my hair has grown much longer in a short period - but I am not sure.

There are 2 nutrients I have to ensure I am getting enough of and they are calcium and iron. I have increased my intake of broccoli,

cheese and yogurt for calcium. I take more egg noodles, spinach and chick peas for iron. Some Vegetarians take iron and calcium supplements to boost their intake.

So far, this has been interesting with a lot of learning for me. Like anything new, you have to go through a learning curve. I look at it as learning a new skill and do a lot of reading so that I get as much information as I can. You have to also be observant to how your body responds to these changes. If your body is responding negatively, stop what you are doing and re-assess. The same applies to your natural hair and life in general. You have to pay attention to what is going on in your body and life.

I was at an event and the stewed meat smelled and looked delicious so I tried some. BIG MISTAKE! I spent the next day bloated and in the bathroom. So I may be off meat for a looooong time. It is a good idea to involve your doctor if you plan to try vegetarianism. You want to be sure you are not putting yourself at risk.

Happy eating and living!