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Disclaimer

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, December 30, 2011

Hairdos: Lice - Abi's Loc

Hairdos: Lice

Saturdays came fast! My hair was loosened and washed every other Saturday. I really liked this hair time because the water cooled my head and I loved the smell of the shampoo. My happiness was always short lived because it also heralded the painful process of having my hair weaved. Grandma had given me a sample of her hair making skills two weeks ago and I knew I was in serious trouble!

At 4:45PM, Grandma called out my name. She had the adiagbon, the ilari and iyari (coconut oil, one toothed comb and hair comb) by her side. I put my stool down and reluctantly sat on it. And just like the first time, she clamped my head between her legs and started weaving my hair. As if this wasn’t painful enough, intermittently, she would release a foul blast of wind straight into my face and no matter how hard I wiggled, she would hold my head down and keep weaving.

I cried and cried till I was weak. My mother came out several times to ask her to be gentler but Grandma ignored her. The third time my mother came out, Grandma admonished her: "Look Mama Tope, if you come out one more time, I will leave her head alone and if you like carry her to those who charge you! I know you will look for any excuse to spend my son’s money but no one can say I didn’t try to curb your reckless spending!". At this my poor mother rubbed my back and went back into her room. 

And so by the time Grandma finished my hair, my face was swollen and I looked defeated. I staggered to my parents’ room where my mother, on seeing me, grabbed me to herself. I begged my mother to cut my hair, but she said she couldn’t as it would only give Grandma another excuse to complain about how she disrespected her. And so the torture continued. At 4:30PM every other Saturday, just before Grandma weaved my hair, my mother would leave to attend the officers’ wives meetings she never used to have time for. The pain never got better and there wasn’t a time that Grandma didn’t pass wind. I thought it would never end.

Salvation came in the most unlikely way. I had moved into a new class for a new term when a little mixed race girl, Lucinda Ramos-Whyte, joined our class. I was the smallest in my class but when Lucinda arrived, I became the second smallest. Mrs Okondore, our class teacher, put us to sit together at the very front of the class so we could see the blackboard. For a couple of days, Lucinda didn’t speak to anyone and Mrs Okondore would sit with her at break time and go through the lessons with her. One day, Mrs Okondore asked us to share a book and read from it together. So we had no choice but to put our heads together and look at the book.We smiled at eachother, I offered her sweets and by long break, we had become firm friends. I taught her all the games I knew like ‘ten-ten’ and ‘my mother told me’ and she taught me hop scotch and single Dutch skipping.

One week to my appointment with Grandma, Lucinda’s dad came to our class to speak with Mrs Okondore. He was very tall and skinny and he spoke very slowly. After he left, Mrs Okondore went around the class inspecting us and telling us what she had discussed with Lucinda's dad. Lucinda looked at me sadly as she asked me if I still wanted to be her friend. I threw my arms around her laughing: of course I would still be her friend! 
As soon as I got home, I ran up the stairs into the kitchen where I knew my mother would be and announced proudly "Mommy, I have lice!" I didn’t care about shaving my head to gorimapa and hearing the gorimapa song being sung for me because Grandma would never have to weave my hair again. I could almost sense the relief in my mother’s eyes. That evening my hair was loosened and a scarf tied around my head. Mom bought some head lice medicine and took me to Oga Barber whose shop was down the street. 

I felt no sadness when he cut my hair to a short comb through. He applied the medicine and combed the lice out. I sat waiting for him to give me gorimapa but he just smiled and asked me to stand up and go with my Mom. I looked up at her as she led me back to the car. "This should be easier for you to manage abi?" I nodded happily. "Thank God!" She exclaimed. "Why don’t we go to Apapa Amusement Park next Saturday?" We both laughed happily as we returned home: lice free, hair free and definitely pain free.

Abi

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Hair


Hello beautiful people!
Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. 

I wanted to quickly share a picture of my holiday hairstyle. 



It is a twist and bantu knot out.  

I confess that I had completely neglected my hair in the last two weeks leading up to christmas. Very very bad. So I decided to wash and do a deep conditioning treatment at the salon. I went home and put my hair in twists and bantu knots on Christmas eve. The style you see was the result after I unraveled it on Christmas morning.

The hair style has been holding up nicely. I think it is partly due to the weather in Jos. I'm in Jos right now and it is cold and very dry. No humidity whatsoever! And I am on day three of this style. Amazing!

How did you wear your hair for christmas? We'd love to see your pictures and share them on the blog. Send us an email if you would like to share your hairstyle with us.

Huggies!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kinky Apothecary's Birthday Bash - More Pictures

On Sunday December 18 2011, Kinky Apothecary celebrated their 18 month anniversary. It was great! And as promised, here are some more pictures. Read our previous post here. Enjoy!


Nibi & Ms. Fizz: Organizers of the event


Accessories galore

Twists

Puffs

O'Naturals Guest Blogger, Ibhaze, and her micro-braids

Natmane and her signature braid-out

Is this your hair? Yes it is!

Creative hairstyles

He likes women with natural/un-relaxed hair.

2 year old Locs!


Cheesing for the camera

Natural Nigerian is camera shy but not her hair

We were all there!


Keep it natural!

Omozo

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tips For Your Holiday Hair Styles


It is holiday time and many parties are scheduled for attendance! And as always, we wonder what to wear and what to do to our hair. What style will be “holiday” or “Christmasy” enough for the events to be attended. Don’t fret or worry. Unless it is a hairstyle contest, I am sure whatever style you come up with will be F-A-B! 

Here are some tips to help you:
  
(1) First decide how you want to look and then decide the style that will help you achieve this look. For example do you want to look glamorous or simple and chic or fun and ready to party? 

(2) Up-dos of any kind are usually considered glamorous. Buns can accomplish your simple and chic look while curls can make you look fun and ready to party.  Hey how about combining curls and an up-do? What would that give you? Glamourously ready to party! 

Twisted bangs with a corn-rowed out back

Corn-rowed out back

Roller set curls

Front of roller set curls with pinned sides



Bantu knot-out up-do


(3) Accessories help a great deal in giving a style a festive look. Try adding some hair pins that glitter when the light hits them. 





(4) Finally, do not neglect the basic principles of good hair care during this festive season. You don’t want to start out next year lamenting about how you did not take care of your hair properly during the holidays. So moisturize properly, pay attention to the ends of your hair, sleep with a satin or silk bonnet or pillow case, do not over manipulate your hair, and do eat healthily and drink lots of water. And do have a happy and memorable holiday period. 

Twisted Bantu knot-out: side swept. Ready to boogie!


Merry Christmas!

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Natural Nigerian offers some hair products too!

There is a lot of growth taking place in the natural hair community in Nigeria, especially in Lagos. One of the growth areas is the availability of hair products. Natural Nigerian, who we interviewed here, now sells those natural products we love. She has sent us her price list so our readers can order what they need.

Natural Nigerian offers hair loving ingredients and a few more things.

All Prices are in Naira

Herbs
• Horsetail Powder (0.5lb/227g) ____________________ 1,500
• Nettle Leaf (Organic) (0.5lb/227g) ____________________ 2,000

Oils
• Hemp Seed Oil (8oz/237ml) ____________________ 2,100
• Flax Seed Oil (8oz/237ml) ____________________ 1,600

Soaps
• Pure Castille Soap
o Tea Tree (12oz/354ml) ___________________ 1,800
o Peppermint (12oz/354ml) ___________________ 1,800
o Lavender (12oz/354ml) ___________________ 1,800
o Almond (12oz/354ml) ___________________ 1,800

Clays
• Bentonite Clay (0.5lb/227g) ____________________ 1,700
• Rhassoul Clay (Micronized) (0.5lb/227g) ____________________ 2,200

Essential Oils (not recommended for pregnant women or children)
• Holy Basil (Tulsi) (0.5oz/15ml) ____________________ 1,700
• Carrot Seed (0.5oz/15ml) ____________________ 2,000
• Tea Tree (0.5oz/15ml) ____________________ 1,550
• Rosemary (not suitable for hypertensive individuals) (0.5oz/15ml) __________ 1,750
• Lavender (0.5oz/15ml) ____________________ 2,000

Others
• Organic Aloe Vera (8oz/237ml) ____________________ 1,400
• Flax Seeds (0.5lb/227g) ____________________ 1,600
• Vegetable Glycerine (4oz/118ml) ____________________ 1,200
• Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (8oz/237ml) ____________________ 1,200
• Tom's of Maine Beautiful Earth Deodorant Stick (Aluminum ' Free) 2.25oz ____ 1,450
• Tom's of Maine Deodorant Stick Unscented (Aluminum Free) 2.25oz _______ 1,450

Tools
• Huetiful Portable Hair Steamer with Facial Attachment __________ 33,000
• 8oz/237ml Spray bottle with trigger sprayer __________________ 650

Book
• The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy ___________ 7,700

Orders and Contact Information
Want to place an order? Write to orders@naturalnigerian.com. If you are wondering how these ingredients/tools will benefit you or how to use them, please send an e-mail with your questions to: info@naturalnigerian.com . We can also be found at http://www.naturalnigerian.com/.

Delivery
Delivery to most parts of Nigeria is available. Just write to us with your location.

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary Kinky Apothecary!

On Sunday December 18 2011, Kinky Apothecary celebrated their 18 month anniversary. It was great! The energy was super (or was it my energy?), the venue was cool, the champagne was bubbling and the cupcakes were yummy! The cupcakes had surprise cookies in them: how fabulous is that?! Everyone was happy to be there and I felt a sense of unity among the people in attendance.

The men who attended were supportive and we had a male speaker who came up to say why he prefers women who have natural/un-relaxed hair. Not sure how many ladies took his phone number *wink* but he got a thunderous applause when he was done!

One thing that caught my eye was the array of hair accessories worn by the ladies who came to the event. It showed boldness, creativity, versatility and ladies just having fun with their hair!

Hair Accessories Galore!



I'll post more pictures later.

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Curls allowed?

This article is from the Guardian UK. They quoted Natural Nigerian who we interviewed in November of this year (read it here). I wonder if this is true or if it is a bit exaggerated. I guess it depends on who you ask. What do you think? Read on!


In a world of dramatically contrasting poverty and wealth, it's a rare common denominator: the one social status symbol of choice that cuts across Nigeria's vast class and culture groups is hair extensions. And the longer and straighter, the better.

They are so popular that few women in the buzzing commercial cities of Africa's most populous nation openly wear their hair in its natural, curly state. "We're never taught to look after our natural hair, and it's something you're supposed to learn as a child, the way you learn to tie your shoelaces," said Yemi Akinrede, 28, who struggled to persuade her own hairstylist not to straighten her curls on her wedding day.

Another woman, a blogger known as Natural Nigerian, said women stare at her open-mouthed in salons, where Nigerian stylists usually try to drag their combs through her hair saying "sister we have to control this!"
Some Nigerians have reported that they have been warned to "do something" about their hair at work. Black women in the US and South Africa have pursued successful workplace harassment cases in similar incidents, saying it amounts to discrimination.

In Nigeria, that puzzles many. "South Africans like natural hair because they're not fashion-conscious," said a Lagos salon owner, Abogo Ugwokeghbe. "But Nigerian women like the latest fashion," he added.
Scores of them visit his popular DSalon Downtown chains to straighten their hair. Sodium hydroxide, the key ingredient used in the bi-monthly process, irons out even the toughest afro curls — but burns the scalp if left on too long. It's considered a worthwhile risk, with some perceiving it as a necessity in a hyper class-conscious society. "No rich man will marry a girl with village [unstraightened] hair," declared Esther, 18, a rural migrant to the capital, Abuja, as chemical fumes wafted off the cream smothered on own scalp in the Natural Beauty salon, a four-seat outfit in a crowded market.

Another popular practice is the application of extensions known as weaves. Strands of hair are attached in a weave-like pattern. Market vendors generally claim to sell genuine versions of the most popular weave, known as a Brazilian — and made from real human hair.

Nigeria's love affair with human hair extensions emerged, via the US, back in the mid-1990s. Then, a handful of boutiques such as Aunty Funmi's sold imported extensions priced in dollars, highlighting those wealthy enough to afford them. Locals still call expensive extensions "Funmi" hair. Now it's no longer reserved for the rich, extensions are worn by market women and students, part of Africa's growing middle class. But not all hair is equal, as customers who live in penthouse suites and shantytowns jammed into DSalon Downtown testified. "At the moment, the fashion is to have Beyoncé's hairstyle," Ugwokeghbe said. "But it's like buying rice. You can buy rice in the market, or you can buy rice in the Sheraton."

That's where people like Sehomi Bellow come in. "There's no sign advertising my shop is because most people can't afford the prices," explained the owner of the exclusive Lagos-based hair boutique, Silkalyn, before reeling off the qualities of dozens of extensions displayed for sale. "Malaysian hair is similar to Chinese, very strong," said Bellow, who branched out into neighbouring Ivory Coast and France after opening his shop three years ago. Costs vary from $300–$800 (£194 –£515) and beyond – a third of the average person's salary — and depends on the origins: Russian manes are particularly sought after for their blond hues but "only celebrities can afford it", while Peruvian hair is catching on quick. The most expensive, remy, is hair that's been "remitted" — offered by Indian women at temples. "It all comes from one person's head only and it's the most valuable thing that Indians have, so they give it to God as a thank you," said Bellow.

Such hair is always retailed in long bunches, increasing its price as it's sold by the inch. "If your hair is short and you go to the temple, they will just take a razor to it — [it's] no use. God isn't interested by this short hair. God wants the one that takes two years to reach your bum-bum, that is well looked after and strong," said Bellow.

So, apparently, do millions of Nigerian women with money to spend. But for some, the translation of breakneck economic growth into designer hair is little to celebrate. "It's like a hangover from the colonial days when the ideal was a woman with long straightened hair, the black woman's equivalent of a blond bombshell. And it's like the further away we move from that ideal, the less beautiful we are," said Akinrede.
Natural Nigerian points out exceptions: "Black American women can wear their hair natural in Nigeria. They'll be forgiven for it because they're seen as exotic creatures."

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh, Baby! An Interview with J'odie


How long have you had your hair natural?
~I don't have accurate records as to exactly how long I've been natural, because at the time, it was an emotional decision of "out with the old and in with the new"...but I think it should be about three years now. Plus, this is the second, but permanent kinky journey I'm going through. I went kinky around 2005, jerhi curls in 2007 and back to kinky after a while! I turned back to jerhi curls, because I didn't know how to care for my kinky hair (as I do now) and because someone told me my hair would bounce back to being kinky once I stopped...that's a lie!!! I had to cut my hair and start afresh!

Who or what inspired you to go natural?
~ I believe it was a soul search. I was in Unilag then, and no one around me, apart from certain religious sects (which I wasn't part of) had their original natural hair. Everyone in my family that I knew permed their hair, fixed weave-on, no one influenced me or dropped the idea, so it really was from "within". Here are some questions I was trying to answer: Do I have to perm my hair to be termed "beautiful"? Is something wrong with African hair? If nothing is wrong with it, why does it seem we are being programmed to change the texture? If something is wrong with it, nature/God must have made a major error, but I doubt - is there something we are missing? What are we missing here? How can I find out?..... So, one of the ways I chose to find out was to go on a kinky pilgrim.
Here I am...each phase, making discoveries. It's been interesting, yet I believe I haven't even started yet!

What inspired the song, Kuchi Kuchi(Oh Baby)?
~ After my producer laid a zouk beat, on one of our sessions, he gave me to write a love song or something. He wanted us to try a different procedure and style, because we had been working, from other angles. For about a month, I couldn't write to it, because I wasn't in love :) I actually write best when I "feel" what I'm writing about. Love for one's baby was the only kind I could relate with, even tho I'm not a mother yet. But God just did it for me! It all starts, flows and ends with God! So, inspiration for the love of one's baby came at about 2am one morning and for that period, I almost could see through the eyes of a mother. The picture will be clearer when I become one.




I really like your music video for the song Kuchi kuchi (Oh Baby).
~ Oh, thank you ;)

I noticed that even your singers in the video are wearing traditionally inspired hairstyles (thread). What inspired that video?
~ I don't take credit for that one... My video director actually thought that up. At the time I even did the video, there were so many challenges, I couldn't even think. Didn't even think I would have a video then. Didn't think it was possible. God!!!

What type of freedom has natural hair given you?
~ though I'm still searching, natural hair has given me the freedom to be more innovative and expressive in the most organic way. Like I said, it's not just a surface thing - that is "hair style" in itself. I believe there's an energy behind it. I used to care too much for my own good. Now, I still care, but I'm more at ease. Apart from some basic privileges of not having to buy expensive hair extensions, or going under the heat (at the salon); I've come to realise that I'm more in touch with my Africanness.



What do you enjoy most about being natural?
~ Uniqueness! It's strange how "fellow Africans" say "wow...is this your hair? It's lovely!!" And I'm like "thank you, but you'd have something like this if you don't perm"

Do you feel like your natural hair makes you stand out in the entertainment industry?
~ it sure does. How many females in the entertainment terrain can dare not-fixing? It may look "ordinary", but it takes guts!

What is your hair regimen?
~nothing yet so special.
I wash with a hair conditioner (just a normal conditioner - not the expensive type)
Dab my hair, then apply a little leave-in conditioner, some coconut oil and castor oil - I do all these while it's damp.
I comb my hair damp, as well - it's softer.
I usually pack in a bun, or pin it up or plait "calabar"...
When I want to give it a break, and one should, I either make a wool-inspired style or really chunky braids to avoid breakage.
I have a fanpage on facebook (I Love My Kinky Hair) with some pictures, as well as hair care systems.

Do you have a hairdresser or do you do it yourself?
~I know how to style my hair. I only employ the services of a professional when it's something I can't do.





What are the hair products you cannot live without?
~ I can live without all of them :)
Honestly, haven't found that "magic product" yet...maybe it's out there though!
The most important things to my hair, right now, aren't hair products (company-made - if that's what you mean), they are natural substances. Like I said, I use coconut oil, sometimes, shear butter. I don't have a particular conditioner that I can't do without. If one isn't available, I buy another that I can use to wash my hair - instead of a shampoo, which is said to be harsher on kinky hair.

What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
~working on new songs that I believe are from my soul. The album isn't coming right now, because I'm not satisfied with the present result, meanwhile, will be releasing more singles, God being my strength!
U can check on progress from time to time on www.jodie.com.ng

What can we expect to see from you in the near future?   
~ expect evergreen music...
Also expect more accurate kinky hair care systems that will make kinky more manageable than even perms. Nothing is Impossible!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finally The Kinky Apothecary's Birthday Bash

We interviewed Nibi (read interview here), the founder of The Kinky Apothecary, and she hinted that they would be celebrating their birthday on December 18th. The time has come! Yaaaaay!!! You know it is going to be another natural hair meet-up in disguise. So for those who missed the meet-up organized in November here is another chance. The event is titled: Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk. Check out the invitation from Nibi:

Hello,


The day is fast approaching, and we're getting very excited here at Kinky Towers. The program is being finalised, the cupcakes are being baked, and all the last little bits are coming together.

Please find the flyer attached with all the event details. Tickets will be available from Thursday from Colours in Africa, and Bogobiri House. To reserve tickets before this, either call one of the numbers on the flyers, or dropmailto:kinky.apothecary@gmail.com) or Miss Fizz (missfizz87@leaveinthekinks.com) a line. A limited number will be available on the day.
Don't forget to send the flyer out to all your friends. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Nibi xx





There you have it! I am also looking forward to seeing you there too!

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beautiful Model becomes bald after using hair relaxer

Although this is an old story; it is a reminder that relaxers can be extremely dangerous. O'Naturals does not advocate the use of relaxers. However, we are not naive and think that everyone will stop using relaxers. So if you do choose to use relaxers, please use caution and the utmost care. The majority of us who have used relaxers can narrate a similar story to this one even though it may be on a less disastrous scale. You know, that story of getting burned after getting a relaxer.

This link was sent to me by Natureal Rox in response to the post "Mommy is my hair fine?" (Thank you Natureal!). Read the story of Isabella Broekhuizen who was once a Model but cannot do that anymore because of the damage to her hair from using a relaxer.


Isabella before going bald (Courtesy: thankgodimnatural.com)



Isabella: now bald (Courtesy: thankgodimnatural.com)

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Why did you not comb your hair?

I went to work like this one day.





A colleague asked why I did not comb my hair. So I went home and combed out my hair and it looked like this.




So my dear colleague: which would you have preferred that I showed up to work with?

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Mommy is my hair fine?"

While chatting, swapping stories and laughing with my sisters, my older Sis (Prof Mom) told us that her older daughter had asked her "Mommy is my hair fine?" Of course Sis immediately told Little Niece that hair is fine. After some time, Sis thought about the question and felt it was a bit odd. Little Niece is four years old. Sis asked Little Niece a series of questions and discovered that Little Niece's teacher had commented that her hair was not fine.

As Sis was telling the story, I was putting on my gym clothes and sneakers while removing my rings, prepping for the invitation to head over to Little Niece's school and give her teacher some 'education' on natural hair. Thank God Sis is mature and was in her "church mind'! Sis said she would ask Little Niece's teacher about the comment.

Sis went to the school and spoke to the teacher. The teacher said that she told Little Niece that her hair was "rough" and that she should tell her mommy to make her hair. Then Teacher proceeded to give Sis some advice. "You should relax her hair. It will make her hair nicer". Gun shots in the air!!

Sis, still being mature and in her church mind, carefully explained to Teacher that the locs she had on her head were not extensions but REAL locs. Little Niece's Dad has an afro, Little Niece's Aunties have natural hair, Little Niece's sister has natural hair, Little Niece's Grandma has natural hair. "You see where I am going with this Teacher?" Sis asked. "NOBODY is getting their hair relaxed. So remove that from your mind. Plus, her hair is not rough. It is curly and frizzy. When did curls and frizz become bad?" Sis educated Teacher some more about natural hair. Finally, Sis told Teacher to give Little Niece notes instead of telling her things that make this little four year old feel unsure of her God-given beauty.

Prof Mom and her family

*Still in my gym clothes just in case someone needs some more education*


Keep it DEFINITELY NATURAL!

Omozo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Treasure by Cabella

I stroll over to the bed and smile at my Friend's wedding shoes and handbag. There are a few things scattered around the handbag: handkerchief, lip gloss, sample size perfume and a small card. I pick up the card and open it. I sit on the chair in the corner and smile.

Ogechi and I were assigned to carry out a transformation project at a small company. We met all the employees except one: Hamza. When Hamza was introduced to us, he shook our hands, briefly muttered something and walked away abruptly. I looked at Ogechi and arched an eye brow. Ogechi rolled her eyes and shook her head.

We spent time with the employees at their desks, shadowed them on their jobs and ate with them at their cafeteria. But our interactions with Hamza were always so awkward. One lunch time, Hamza came to our table and asked if he could sit down. We said yes and he did. He ate his lunch without saying a word to us. When he was done, he got up, looked at us, wished us a good day and left. I was sure he was playing a psycological game with us to wear us out and frustrate our work.

Hamza was a man of no words. So imagine our shock when he said "I respect that you keep your hair natural." Ogechi choked on her water and I fainted! Well ... Ogechi did choke on her water. We were having after work drinks and somehow got into the topic of hair. I am not sure how it got so heated but it did. Ogechi and I were the natural hair advocates and everyone else was not. Eyes were blazing, tempers were on the brink of exploding and voices were raised high. We were out-numbered and unless one of us was Rambo, it did not look like we would escape alive. Then Hamza took a sip of his drink and said "I respect that you keep your hair natural". That was when I fainted. 

I woke up in the cab taking us home. "What Hamza said was nice" I said to Ogechi. She hissed. "I am not sure why he behaves as if he is too much. He does not talk to anyone. Very snobbish" she finished. I thought about it. "Maybe you make him nervous" I suggested with a grin. "Me? Is it not two of us that go there? I beg, he is a snob!" Ogechi said as she turned to look out her window. I stared at the back of her head for a while. "You like him o!" I squealed. "Ogechi likes Hamza!" I started to sing. The cab driver let out a loud "Ha!" Ogechi glared at me but offered no denial. 

I had guessed there was something up when Ogechi started wearing lip gloss to work after we started the project. She made her hair once a month but now, it was every two weeks. She said she was on a "hair growth mission". I did not argue because I could not figure out why she was making all these changes. Now it was clear: my friend had a crush on Hamza. And Hamza's behaviour gave no indication that he was interested.


Six months had gone by and we were packing up to leave the small office we had been given for the project. Lunch was full of "thank yous" and "we'll miss you" from the staff we had worked with and grown to like. As always, Hamza was there and said nothing. As we packed up our laptops and other equipment, Hamza walked in. He nodded at me and walked over to Ogechi and handed her a card. She opened it and kept her head down for a while. She looked up at Hamza with the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face and said "Yes". I thought Homeboy did not just ask her to marry him! "I will not be able to go home and change" Ogechi said. Hamza smiled and said "You don't need to change. You are perfect as you are."

Eighteen months later, and for the first time, I see the card Hamza gave Ogechi that day. Ogechi walks out of the bathroom to put on her wedding dress. She has tiny diamond and silver pins in her hair and when she moves, they glitter. She looks perfect. I get up to help her into her dress. I pick up the card and hand it to her. She smiles exactly as big and as brightly as she did the day she first got it. "You kept it" I say. Ogechi runs her fingers over the card gently and holds it to her chest. "Yes I did" she answers.

This is what the card says:
Ogechi
You take my breath away
When you smile
You disarm me
Your confidence inspires me
And I see beauty in your hair
Please have dinner with me tonight
Adoringly, 
Hamza




Cabella


Friday, December 9, 2011

Body scrubs and soaps made in Nigeria

There are many teasures in Nigeria. I think the hair and body care tips and regimens used by people all over the country can be counted as treasures. There is a gap when it comes to cataloguing these things and so effective ingredients and beauty tips are being lost.

Natural Nigerian (NN) caught up with a young woman who commercially manufactures skin care products using Nigerian grown ingredients and recipes. NN met Maryam formally at the natural hair meet-up. Maryam recently launched a line of skin care products called Nature Zone. Check out the link below for NN's interview of Maryam (interview here). I have already emailed Maryam to order some products to try for myself.

Maryam is also the sister of "Stella" who was interviewed by Ibhaze for our Nigeria Fashion Show blog post (read it here). Both women have long natural hair. Hmmm ... Maryam may have to look into selling the products they use for their hair. I would buy it!

Keep it natural!

Omozo


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From Bantu knot-out to a French Braid - My hair in 2 weeks

I started out last week with a hair-do that I was enjoying. I corn-rowed the front and back then joined them together with one big braid to get an Alice band look. I twisted the rest of my hair and put them in Bantu knots for curls then took out the Bantu knots in the morning.



 
As the week rolled on, I started getting bored with it. Am I saying that one week is now my tolerance for hairstyles? Hmmm! That may be a problem o! So from the earlier style, I allowed my hair get a bit "wild" for an event over the weekend.



I fought with myself when I thought of going to work like this. Since I was not looking for an excuse to get fired, I quickly french-braided the back to make it less scary and less confusing *wink* for my colleagues at work.




 I will keep this style till Friday and then change it to something else. I may have a new style in mind - we'll see.

Keep it natural!

Omozo

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Interview with J'odie (Oh Baby!) Coming soon

We are sooooo excited! We will be featuring our interview with Jodie. The singer of the popular "Kuchi Kuchi" (Oh Baby!) song. This song has been topping the Nigerian pop charts. Jodie also won Best Highlife Video and Video of the Year at the 2011 Nigerian Music Video Awards. My 3 year old niece loves this song and even has a dance for it!

 Jodie has natural hair and we were able to catch up with her ... You'll learn more from the interview. Till then, enjoy the video. 



Keep it natural!

Omozo

One of the best decisions I've ever made - Interview with Dana

Dana is such a breath of fresh air! I was really excited when I noticed she had natural hair. Ready for a laugh, straight forward and loving every day with her natural hair: meet Dana.



Name? Dana Alexander.

Where are you from and where do you live? I was born in Canada (LaSalle, Quebec to be exact). I currently live in Mississauga, Ontario. My parents hail from Trinidad and Tobago.

What do you do? Consultant at a software company.

What is your passion? I love working with kids. I currently teach step at Church (Kingdom Covenant Centre - KCC - in Canada). The group of girls on the step team are between the ages of 9 and 16.

How long have you been natural? Almost 2.5 years!

At one time you had your hair relaxed. Tell us why you decided to go natural. I could no longer stand the burning sensation of relaxer left too long on my scalp followed by the agony of having the hairdresser haul and pull my hair with a flat iron because the relaxer didn't work to get it straight enough. I realized that my hair just was not meant to be straight. When I was young I had very long hair (it was halfway down my back) but over the years the relaxer, and my ignorance when it came to taking care of my hair, worked together to leave me with a slightly thinned out, brittle, flat mess. Also, at one point, I had a bald spot in the middle of my scalp. That was my lowest point but it was years before I understood what it meant to be natural...and I'm so thankful I know now!

How did you go natural? Did you transition or did you do the big chop? Did anyone help you or encourage you? I had initially planned to transition but then on July 1, 2009 I decided to bite the bullet and just chop it all off. I got a bit impatient. I didn't tell too many people what I'd planned to do and those I told were not sure it would be a very good idea.

Did you have any challenges when you were transitioning or trying to decide to go natural? If so what were they and how did you overcome them? Actually the hairdresser I went to for the big chop tried to persuade me to not cut it off. She was really horrible actually. She told me that I'd look like a man and look terrible. She wasn't very nice at all and I haven't been back since (not even for a trim).

Do you have a “hair mentor” or “hair crush”? I love Janelle Monae's signature style and actually tried it myself once or twice. Other than that I love seeing beautiful curls, coils and large afros on anybody! You can get a lot of inspiration all around you (even while traveling to work). ;)


What’s your hair regimen? No real regimen to speak of (this is bad I know!). I currently co-wash with Garnier Fructis conditioner and when I'm behaving myself, I deep condition with mayonnaise. I moisturize with Rose water and Jamaican black Castor oil. I sometimes put a few drops of Jasmine oil in the Rose water or Castor oil.

Products you would wait in line for? Castor oil, my hair loves it! I had to experiment a bit as I quickly found, after going natural, that I react to Jojoba oil and Coconut oil and I already knew that my skin didn't like aloe vera (all the good stuff!). The other thing I cannot live without are bobby pins: lifesavers!

How do people react to your natural hair? Positive, or negative or just odd? At first when my hair was very short I received a comment or two that were not nice. Someone just looked at me and said "I don't like your hair". You would think it would have been someone from my workplace where I was the only black employee but it was another young black female that I guess just was not down with the curls.

I haven't gotten negative comments in a long time thankfully. In fact I tend to get compliments even on my worst hair days now! LOL. But back when my hair was short I had to just ignore the negativity and remember why I went natural: no more burnt scalp!

Comment about natural hair in your place of work. Do you feel awkward about wearing your natural hair to work? Everyone at work seems to love my hair. I have to start training some people to stop putting their hands in my hair though. :( I'm the only black person in the company and it is a professional environment but I don't feel awkward about my hair in the office. I think part of it is because of how I wear my hair and the fact that I am very comfortable that the styles I choose suit me well.

What hairstyles do you usually wear? I almost always rock a twist out pinned into a fro hawk. It's such an easy style because you just twist the night before then spend a few minutes the next morning untwisting, fluffing and pinning! Just this morning I tried a dry twist out for the first time and loved it!!!




What do you like best about being natural? On my worst hair days I receive compliments. Thank God for bobby pins!

What do you hate most about being natural? Ummm...nothing comes to mind.

Have you ever had an “Ooops!” or “OMG!” moment with your hair? Oh yes! Before a fancy event (with THE PERFECT dress) I decided to try mini twists. They weren't actually mini but were a lot smaller than my usual. Unfortunately, I'd made the twists on wet hair so when I finally untwisted just before the event it looked as if I had no hair on my head because it was all shrivelled! Bobby pins to the rescue! They salvaged the look a bit but though my hair was shoulder length by that point, it looked like I had short hair. :(

Why are you still keeping your hair natural? Being natural helped me to realize how important it is for me to take care of myself. It was a concept that I didn't get before. But when I became natural and I couldn't quickly apply some cream or heat to "make it all better", I learned that it takes time to take care of myself and that time is worth it. There are days when I REALLY don't want to twist my hair or take the time to deep condition it but I know I'm happiest when I've done everything I must to give myself the hair I deserve.

What do you say to people like you about going natural? DO IT! It's one of the best decisions I've ever made. There are so many resources online to help guide you. For a while I was practically addicted to YouTube as I learned how to care for my hair and looked up tutorials on how to style it.



What's next for you on your natural hair journey? I have a couple of goals. 1. Go Rihanna/Sharon Osbourne red (love it!). 2. Have hair so long that it lays down by itself. :)

Dancing or singing? I love them both!



Keep it natural!

Omozo

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hairdos: Mother, Grandmother and I - Abi's Loc

Hairdos: Mother, Grandmother and I


I’m sitting on my little stool, in the living room, my heart beating just a little bit faster as the long hand on the clock creeps up. Somehow my armpits feel a bit wetter. I know that the door will creak open and ... and the door starts to creak open. I shoot off my stool and race into my parents bedroom and go under the bed. I had been planning this hideout for a while and I was certain that this time I won’t be caught.

"Tope"! My name rings out and I unknowingly shiver. "Why must we do this every time? I know you are hiding somewhere and sooner than later, I will find you, so why not come out and just let’s be done?" The voice fades off and I start to relax but the voice comes closer. "Honestly I don’t have time for this. When I catch you, it will not be funny!" The voice bounces all over the room until it bends over to my hideout and a hand shoots out and grabs me by the leg. Grandmother pulls me to the living room while rivulets of tears fall down my face.

Going to the hairdressers always took so long and ended unsuccessfully because I have a tender head. It had become a bi-weekly nuisance. One day, my mother snapped when she came and found me screaming like a lamb while being held down by one hairdresser as the other tried to weave my hair. She paid the woman and marched me into her car with my hair uncompleted.

We got home and my Grandmother, who lived with us, looked at us with a smirk on her face. Mother and her were not the best of friends and mother tried her best to keep out of Grandmother's way. "So you have given up?" Grandmother beamed at my mother. My mom shook her head and said forlornly "I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should just shave her hair." I trembled at the thought and whined a big "no". I knew what happened to children who had shaved hair in my school. Everyone said they had head lice and teased them with the ‘gorimapa’ song.

Grandmother came to my rescue. ‘Let me finish it up for her and I’ll do her hair from now on. At least you will not have spend my son’s money needlessly." Grandmother ended somewhat triumphantly. Mom looked at her and let out what sounded like a grunt. I followed Grandmother willingly. Grandmother sat on the big chair and I sat on my little stool in between her legs.

Grandmother’s fat thighs suddenly clamped down on both sides of my head; holding my head so tight, I couldn’t hear anything. Her hands came over my head and like little needles poking at my head. It took me a while to find my voice because I was in shock. She finished up the weave just as my mother came out to see what was going on. "There! You see! Straightforward hairdressing. Done. All that money wasted when you had a true professional at home. And you, shut up!" Grandmother pushed me towards my mother, stood up re-tying her big wrapper around her waist and walked out of the living room.


"You see what you’ve caused now? Hmm? Mama will have something to say anytime you have to get your hair done! Left to me, I’ll just shave your head!" Mother said as she pulled me to herself and wiped my face.  At that, I shouted "no". She echoed my voice. "No?! But every time you get your hair done, it is drama and disaster. What am I to do with you?" She scooped me in her arms and carried me into the bedroom where she gave me some paracetamol for my rising temperature and a cold orange Tree-Top drink. So I lay in my mother’s arms wondering how the next hairdressing time with my Grandmother was going to be. I didn’t have long to wait, it was two weeks coming.

Abi

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kinky Apothecary Price List

We got lots of queries about the products and pricing for the products that The Kinky Apothecary (read interview here) carries. Nibi has graciously provided us with a price list for the products they carry. All the prices are in Naira.  Contact details: Phone: +01-765-4546 ((Mon-Sat, 10am-8pm) or Email: kinky.apothecary@gmail.com


CLEANSERS

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo (325ml).………N2,800

Aubrey Organics White Camellia Shampoo (325ml)…………N2,800

Giovanni Smooth-as-Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo (250ml)…N2,800

Giovanni 50:50 Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo (250ml)…….N2,800

Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap (237ml)…………………N2,000

- Unscented

- Peppermint

Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap (474ml)………………...N3,000

- Tea Tree

- Peppermint

- Almond


CONDITIONERS

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (325ml)……..N3,100

Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra Smoothing (325ml).....N3,100

Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner (325ml)………………..N3,100

Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner (1l)……………….N7,500

Giovanni Smooth-as-Silk Deeper Moisture (250ml)………..N2,800

Giovanni 50:50 Hydrating-Calming Conditioner (250ml)……N2,800


LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS

Giovanni Direct Weightless Moisture Leave-in (250ml)………N2,800

Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodyfier (237ml)…………..N2,800


MOISTURISERS

Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream (117.5ml)…….…………..N3,000

Kinky Apothecary Whipped Shea Batter

- 250ml………………………………..…………..N1,800

- 100 ml ……………………………………………N1,000


100% PURE UNREFINED OILS

Organic Castor Oil (100ml)………………………………N1,800

Jojoba Oil (100ml)………………………………………N2,200

Avocado Oil (100ml)…………………………………….N1,800

Grapeseed Oil (100ml)…………………………………...N1,500

Sweet Almond Oil (100ml)……………………………….N1,500

Fractionated (liquid) Coconut Oil (100ml)………………….N1,500

Vegetable Glycerine (100ml)……………………………….N1,500

Rosemary Essential Oil (10ml)……………………………N2,000

Lavender Essential Oil (10ml)……………………………N2,000

NB: Essential Oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Rosemary Essential Oil should be avoided y those with High Blood Pressure.


STYLERS

Fantasia IC Olive Styling Gel (591ml).……………………N1,500


TOOLS

Spray bottles………………………………………….…..N500

Satin Bonnets………………….…………………….……N500

Conair Shower Comb.……………………………….……N1,000

Hair Dryer Diffuser……………………………….…….N2,000


DELIVERY INFORMATION

We deliver on Wednesdays and Fridays, provided you have placed your order before 5pm the previous day.

Delivery is free within Lagos for orders above N3000. Orders below this attract a N500 delivery charge to Ikoyi, VI and Lagos Island, and an N800 charge to Lekki and The Mainland.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to arrange a delivery outside Lagos. We might be able to accommodate this.



Keep it natural!

Omozo