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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Length Check - I finally did it!

Sometime last year, I committed to not cutting my hair but to allow it grow. Well it has been tough because my fingers are itching to cut! However, I did a length check last October and did another one last December and noticed some growth. Yaaaay!!! Now the key is to retain the growth and have my hair grow some more. I have to thank Eki ( for helping me with the December length check.

So what did I do? Here are some tips that worked for me:
  • First, I resolved not to "chop" off all my hair;
  • I also paid more attention to the ends of my hair. Whenever I styled my hair I applied my Shea butter mix especially to the ends of my hair. Many times we forget to care for our tips when using conditioner after shampooing or during deep conditioning. The last few months, I have been ensuring that I apply conditioner properly to the ends of my hair;
  • I started adding some drops of Eucalyptus oil to my Shea butter mix. I read that it stimulates hair growth (and relieves itching);
  • I massage my scalp as often as I can, especially the areas I feel are not growing well. It helps blood circulation;
  • I paid more attention to my diet. I am a vegetarian and the last year has been an adjustment year for me. I have been taking more fruit, water, nuts and other non-meat sources of protein like beans and lentils;
  • One area that was and still is challenging for me is trying to reduce how often I manipulate my hair. For those who have met me, you know I like to change my hairstyles ... once in a while. I have to find a way to cut it down to weekly instead of 3 times (or more) a week!
So let's see how I fare the next 3 months and how much more growth I can get. I will most likely get a trim this weekend. Don't panic it will really be a trim and nothing more. :) Also check out and read her Hair 101 series. It is very informative.

Keep it natural!


Friday, January 27, 2012

20 Widows Get Makeovers courtesy of Omotola's Foundation OYEP

I got this story from Bella Naija.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is one of Nigeria's most talented actresses and has starred in many successful movies. She has now shown us that she also has a BIG heart. In honour of her Mother, who passed away 10 years ago, She gave 20 Widows amazing makeovers through her OYEP Foundation (Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme).

The businesses that donated resources to this are:  Fresh Look Spa, H and H Spa, House of Tara,  Every Woman, Civita and Mossy Ella Bakers. Hair was done by Ugo Igbokwe of Make Me Beauty and pictures were taken by pioneer photographer Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Check out some pictures below and see more on Bella Naija. 

Picture Source: Bella Naija

Picture Source: Bella Naija

Keep it natural (and inspired)!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

R-A-N-T - By Cabella

Really? Randomly experimenting on the multitude of ways to make my hair conform are no more my priority. Residing in the forefront of my brain are the pain and turture of relaxer creams. Relaxation was far from my mind when those jars popped open.

Attitude. Agonizing over whether my hair is straight or soft or curly enough is now in the past. Admittedly it took me years to shake off those thoughts. Affectionately loving my hair. And the beauty of it, and me, I no more doubt.

No way! No need to interrogate me about my hair choices. Neither you nor I have it all figured out. "Nice weave" I'll say to you and to me you'll say "Nice Fro". Now we can all have a nice day!

Time out. Trust me, I take a step back from all the stuff out there. To just care for me and my hair. Twists will do for now. Two weeks later, I'll try another ... or maybe the same hairstyle. This is no contest Darling! Teach yourself to chill and just simply do you.


Monday, January 23, 2012

"Having locs makes a lot of sense for me" - Interview with Bibi

My "Napp radar" went off one day while on a work assignment with a colleague. And that's how I accosted Bibi. Bibi allowed me to ask her some questions about her locs and her natural hair journey. And at some point Tinu, my colleague, also got into it! Bibi is a business owner and she owns and runs "Be Dazzled Events" in Lagos Nigeria. Her email address is: We had so much fun with her that we ended up being late going back to work! Ooops! Enjoy.

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your hair
My name is Bibi and I have had my locs for 3 years and 5 months. I decided to grow locs because I prefer natural hair and I don't like going to the salon. I don't do my hair myself. I am too lazy for that! I have a friend who has had locs for 8 years and she says I should do my locs myself and I say "Nah I am too lazy for that!" My hairdresser is really good. His name is Jato. He is in Surulere off Adeniran Ogunsanya. He is pretty good. But I hate that they put me under the dryer because I hate the dryer. But they have to put me under the dryer so that my hair can dry after re-locing. 

Bibi on misconceptions, starting locs, and hair growth
When I was in university, there was this stereotype that if you have dredlocs you must be un-serious and smoking weed. So I waited until I finished school. Just before I went to serve in the NYSC, I started my locs.

You see people get it all mixed up and wrong. There are places where you get your locs started and they put a lot of rubbish in your hair! You hear of toothpaste, Gulder, Stout. They mixed a lot of rubbish and put it in my hair and I hated it. There was no difference between me and a bum: my hair was smelling horrible! And then you have flies following you. It was horrible! And then you find out that the best things for your hair are the natural things. Shea butter that’s all. You don’t need all that rubbish. Just Shea butter. 

You know all these guys are always trying to tell you that they will make something for you. “It will make it grow faster”  and all that. Then you ask “What’s inside that stuff?” and he says “It is a special thing” and then I say “You know what? I am not in a hurry. I am enjoying it. It will grow when it is ready to grow." And I like short hair. It will grow when it is ready to. So it started growing by itself. 

Bibi on stages of her hair growth
The best part was when it started standing. Then it started falling because it was growing. Then it started dropping. 

Tinu, my colleague: But right now your hair is very long. I don’t know. I know it is full. I can’t see the back so I don’t know how long it is. I show her the picture of the back of her hair and she smiles.

You should have seen me when I started packing it. I was feeling so cool with myself when I could pack it in one! I would put it in a Mohawk. Sweep it up to the side and pin it. I had so many pins. I would put my locs in a Mohawk. I was so cool. Too cool for school!

Bibi on why she has locs
Having locs makes a lot of sense for me. People ask me “Don’t you get tired of it?” People cut their hair because they get tired of their locs. That’s not me. What’s my business with Yaki and Brazillian and Peruvian and all those things.

Tinu: You save a lot of money
I do my hair once a month. Do you know what that means? I spend money once a month, one day a month to do my hair! I can swim anytime. I can pour water on it anytime. I can do anything I want to do at anytime and I don’t have to spend N150,000 (approx. $900) per week, times two, for serum and all that. You women have wahala (wahala is Nigerian slang for problems/troubles/issues/difficulties)!

Bibi on products and hair routine
My friend says that there is a particular brand or product apart from Shea butter that I can use but I don’t pay attention to all that. I keep it simple. I use Head and Shoulders. She says I shouldn’t be using Head and Shoulders. But I use Head and Shoulders because that it the only thing I know that fights dandruff and that’s all. Head and Shoulders, Shea butter and maybe once in a while I put in some Organics hair spray.

Bibi on what her family thought when she started her locs
What did they say? They said I was mad! Then my cousin said she wanted to get locs too and then they said to her that one mad person is enough per family!

And one more thing
Going natural is a mind change more than anything else. Going natural or getting locs starts with a mind change first before a "hair" change. If you don’t want to play with your hair all the time get locs.

 Keep it natural!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gbadebo Street - Ojota Lagos

A small street in Ojota, called Gbadebo Street (off Ogudu - Ojota Road), is home to suppliers and retailers of plastic and chemicals for household, cosmetic and beauty products. It is not posh like some other streets. The road is bad, cars are double parked, and it can be dirty. Hmmm … okay sounds like many streets in Lagos! However, it is a gem for those who produce home-made items like hand wash, shampoos, conditioners, disinfectants and dish washing liquid; just to name a few. I had the honour of being a tour guide for NN and Screwy Hair on their first visit to Gbadebo Street. 

We met up and headed to Ojota to see what we would discover at one of my favourite streets in Lagos.  We had our shopping lists and so onward we went. The lady I buy plastic from did not have the jars Screwy Hair wanted for her oh-so-nice Screwy Hair Butter. Just as Screwy Hair was about to wear a frown I jumped in front of her and commanded her to “smell my hair!” I asked her what she smelt and with a big grin and hands raised she squealed “Peppermint!” I had purchased a jar of the peppermint scented Screwy Hair Butter.
Screwy Hair and Natural Nigerian shopping
Then we strolled down to purchase some natural ingredients like Glycerin and Castor oil. We went to my “Customer” Kemi  and she was glad to see us. And then NN gave us a quick tutorial on testing for the purity of the chemicals we were buying and the importance of your supplier knowing what he or she is selling to you. Plus these natural products have a shelf life which means they also go bad. So don't buy too much at once. These are things I really had not thought too deeply about. However, if you are making products to sell to other people you better start thinking about these things. I am sure NN would not mind educating you for a small consulting fee! *wink*

Candy coloured spray caps
Our adventure was not over yet. We strolled some more and found an inner street, off Gbadebo, where I found some yummy-candy coloured spray caps. NN and Screwy Hair saw me running back to the car. I had to get my purse! I made my purchase while the ladies kept “window shopping”. At the end of the 4 hour tour, we sure had contributed to the economy of the street. We waved good-bye to Gbadebo Street after what was definitely a good outing.

Keep it natural!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tips on accesorizing your daughter's hair

Thanks to  Beads, Braids and Beyond, here are some tips on accesorizing your daughter's hair. I have added my own commentary in italics.:

•Do try to limit accessories though. Don't use too much because they weigh down your child's hair and too much accessories can be distracting to others around. Imagine the "clanging" of your child's beads as she turns her head in class!

•Soak rubber bands or elastics in Extra Virgin Olive Oil or melted Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. If you do not have time to soak them, quickly dip then in and use them like that. Soaking them reduces the possibility of the rubber bands snagging on your daughter's hair.

•Do not make ponytails too tight and do not wrap the rubber bands around the ends too many times (when she has beads or barrettes in), wrapping them a million times is unnecessary. It also puts too much stress on your daughter's hair.

•Try not to keep rubberbands in her hair for too long. Whether they were soaked in oil or not.

•Try using hair snaps on the ends to hold beads in place instead of rubber bands. Check out these hair snaps

•Chose ponytail holders carefuly because: Ponytail holders are not created equal!

Here is a video on hair snaps.

 Then check out this video on how to make a party bow at home. Really easy and simple!

Keep it natural


Thursday, January 19, 2012

"It is the best thing ever!" - Interview with Fatima

Meeting Fatima was exciting. Interviewing her was really inspiring and shocking too! She seems to break a lot of "hair rules". She is pleasant and gentle and I guess she is a rebel in her own right! Enjoy.

What is your name? Fatima.

What state are you from? Kano state in Nigeria.

And Fatima you are a full Nigerian? Yes 100%. No mixture. Pure Nigerian!

You know there is this fallacy that Nigerian women and black women cannot grow long natural hair. That's not true! I don't have any foreign blood in my ancestry.

 How long have you had your hair natural? My whole life. I've never done anything to it.

Okay so you've never relaxed your hair? No.

How come? Well it started from my Mom not allowing me relax my hair. She had really long hair and she used to relax it and do other things to her hair and it went bad. She used to go on and off relaxers and then in her forties it stopped growing. It just stopped.


So she just banned me from doing anything to it. And I just never did. When I finished secondary school, she told me that I could now do whatever I wanted to do to my hair and I was so used to having full hair that I just decided that there was no need to relax my hair.

You said your routine is simple - you don't really do much. It is very very simple.
Okay so what do you do? I don't really do anything to it. Sometimes I don’t even comb for three days or maybe a week. Whenever I take out my weaving or braids I steam my hair. I always do a treatment.  I don’t use extensions on my hair for my braids or weaving because my hair is long enough. But if I don’t do a treatment or steaming, I just wash.

With what? Anything.

So you just pick any shampoo? Anything.

You just use any conditioner? Anything. I use any brand for my hair. There is this really nice one that I like. It has carrot oil in it.

Is it a shampoo? No no no. It is a whole range. I know my salon in Abuja use that brand a lot. 

Okay so you just go to the hair salon and get your hair done? Yes I allow them take charge. I don’t really have anything in particular that I do. I try and use leave-in conditioner  from time to time. And whenever I am straightening my hair I always use a serum to protect my hair from the direct heat. Apart from that really I am not too fussy.

How often do you straighten your hair? Really I do it about once a month o. I am quite regular. The thing is it does not last long because of the humidity. It lasts for about 3 weeks.

How often do you trim your hair? Once every three months because of split ends really. I take off about an inch.

How long do you keep in your hair styles? Emm … whenever I am tired … I don’t … I think the key to it is not being fussy with your hair too much. People tend to think natural hair is stronger than permed hair. But it is the other way around. Natural hair is very very fragile. So I was reading somewhere it is very important that you don’t tamper with your hair too much. So when I braid my hair or when I do weaving, or something, I keep them in for like 2 or 3 weeks. I don’t oil it, I just let it be. I don’t put oil on my scalp, I just use a spray on my hair and scalp. So I don’t really touch the hair at all, I don’t bother it. Maybe because I use a scarf as well, so it helps.

 I was going to ask about that! So it helps. It helps. The thing is I use a scarf and sometimes my hair shows. But still, I still have to maintain my hair and make sure that I have nice looking hair at all times even though I use my scarf. [Fatima covers her hair with a scarf during the day because of her religious beliefs]

At night you tie your hair with a scarf as well? No I don’t.

Do you sleep with a satin scarf? Silk scarf? No I don’t.

You just sleep with a regular pillow case? The thing is I can’t sleep with anything covering my hair. Wow! A lot of people advice me to do it but I just can’t.

So for you it is the other way around. During the day your hair is covered but at night … I let it breathe.

Whereas for some of us during the day we leave our hair out and and at night we now cover it. Okay. Wow. That’s nice.

Do you have any sisters? I am wondering if their hair is like yours or different. I am the only girl. I have brothers.  I am a cross between my mom and dad. My mom had really long, full and tough hair and my dad on the other hand, had really long and silky and very Fulani type hair. Very thin and scanty really. So I am somewhere in between.
Any final thoughts? I think people should just try being natural, having natural hair. Some people say it is tough but I say when you get used to it, it is the best thing ever!

 Keep it natural!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hair Conditioner Claims: Should you take them seriously?

This article was taken from Jc at Natural Haven and she addresses the formulation question: why do products within a brand have similar ingredients but claim to do different things?

She uses Herbal Essence products as examples and breaks it down well. She concludes by writing "In short, ingredients only tell you part of the story. The second part is the claim and the third and most important part is the actual test. Read the ingredients, read the claim and above all, TEST the product."

Read full article here.

I know we are not all scientists however, it is important to educate oneself and be better informed. When you are better informed, you make better choices.

Keep it natural!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Styled for a wedding

I attended some weddings some weekends ago and really like the hairstyle I wore for them. I achieved the style by putting my week old twists into Bantu knots. I sprayed my hair with my leave-in spray (combination of water, glycerin, and Eucalyptus oil). I also wanted my hair to be a bit damp and air dry my hair with the Bantu knots in. I find that I get better curl definition when my hair dries with the Bantu knots in.

The next day, I took out the Bantu knots and twists. I decided to sweep one side in and pin it with small bobby pins. I also pinned up the back of my hair with bobby pins because I did not want the back to hang down. Then I finished it off with a hair jewel on the side swept section. I really like the way the style turned out!

I kept the style in for 3 days. I did not take out the bobby pins to sleep. Before sleeping, I would lightly apply some shea butter mix then put on my hair net and sleep on my satin pillow case. The next day, take off my hair net, fluff lightly and roll out. Easy to maintain.

Keep it natural!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hairstyles of protest

What hairstyle do you wear when protesting a government decision?

Check out the Protesters on the bridge too!

Workers in Lagos, and most of Nigeria, were on strike from January 9 - 13. During those days rallies were held in Lagos (and in other locations) to oppose the Federal Government's removal of the fuel subsidy. So my brothers and I went to Ojota where big rallies had been taking place all week.

My 'Napp Radar" was on (of course) and I wanted to see how many natural haired ladies would be at the rally that day. I spotted 2 and got their pictures.

Locs of protest

I like the shape of her cut. Check out the Channels TV news truck: top right


Bantu knots for me! Protective style for the harmattan

Keep it natural!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Stuff Naturals Say

I watched a few of these and I think this one is the funniest. I know I have said some of this stuff ... Who am I kidding? I still say a lot of this stuff! "I've got 99 problems but a perm ain't one" Hilarious. Enjoy.

Keep it natural!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nse Ikpe Etim talks about her new movie, "Phone Swap", and natural hair.

In Kunle Afolayan's latest movie, Phone Swap, Nse Ikpe Etim plays the lead female character. Her character's name is Mary and this character wears locs in the movie. So I caught up with Nse Ikpe Etim on the set of Phone Swap to talk about hair and her new movie.

On the set of Phone Swap

Tell me about your natural hair journey?

It basically started with me not wanting hair. I would say that I always shaved my hair.I never really had hair and when I started [growing it] I would wear a weave. And then a year ago, Kunle approached me to do this movie, Phone Swap. Now I was wondering, [since] the character wears locks, how are we going to do this? You can't get locks in one year. Well, not a torrent of locks like was described in the script. But I felt, if I wanted to become the character, I had to become natural. It took a long time to make up my mind, because I realized it's going to be difficult. So I used to talk to a girl called Adedoyin. I would go on and on about it. She said, "Natural hair is beautiful". I was like okay.

So I started just weaving and wearing wigs and everything. And then I had to lock the hair with the fake locks. It's been very difficult. My hair would break. I would feel uncomfortable because sometimes you don't know what to do with the hair. And I just went on and on with the hair and before you knew it, right now I'm more comfortable in my skin.  
I'm sure I could have been able to pay rent with the money I've used to buy hair and the debts you incur from having to buy hair when you've got hair. It just doesn't make sense to me. And a lot of the money can be put into good use. If you don't have anything better [ to do with it] then give it up to charity. This is not me trying to be an activist for hair but this is me being as realistic as possible.  When you've got hair I think you should flaunt your natural hair -- the only thing that makes us truly African and truly beautiful. And kinky hair is beautiful. I would say that it was Kunle Afolayan that literally led me to natural hair.

Prior to this script, had you ever read a script where the character specifically has natural hair? What did you think?

First , it was wow, okay this is natural hair. And I'm wondering, well we can fix the locks, we can do this. I was looking for ways around it. But you know when you look for a way around something it is never that thing.  I decided to grow my hair, so even if I had to add an extension It would still be natural. If I take off my locs now you would find that my hair is natural. And I've got thick hair.  My hair is healthy -- you know when you have healthy hair that is really full and nice.

What do you think about the fact that Mary has locs? What do you think that says about her character?

Strong. A strong character.I think very few people can carry things that are their own. I don't wear a lot of extensions. I used to wear the hair, yes which, because of my profession, I might have to wear a wig or an extension but me as a person, Nse, I like my hair, a lot. Someone laughed at me when I had no hair and I said, "I am not my hair". And the person said, "No Nse, you are your hair". (She laughs)

Courtesy Bella

Going back to what you said earlier, why was it a struggle, going natural?

It would be a struggle because we are used to a perm. We are used to looking slick. Because you think natural hair can never look sleek. But what natural hair would look like is  beautiful. You can't explain it. There would be no description. There would be nothing to describe it. It would be a wow effect.

I remember when I did the Wow Magazine shoot and I kept saying I wish my hair were slightly longer. And the girl asked why. I said because it is natural and she said, "We can use it, your hair would work". But I said, "Not yet, the time hasn't come". But you know what, time comes when you want it to come. So I think the time has come.

So Are you looking forward to it? Looking forward to wearing your natural hair out?

I can't wait to finish the film, take off my hair and walk the red carpet with natural hair. I think I would do a movie with just my hair. Yes, I'm gonna do it.

When I look at our Nollywood films  I never see our [natural] hair and even when it is an epic movie, they have relaxed hair and then they put something on it.

I  remember when I did Black Gold I was meant to be an activist, a lawyer -- about two scenes or three scenes. And the makeup artist said, "Your hair?"  I said, " Cornrows" and she was like what?
I said, "Weave the hair go back."

They thought why would you want to appear like this in a movie?
But I am African. How else do you  appear?  I am an African lawyer;  I'm this and that. This is the only way the other people, the white man, or whoever is watching, would think, I'm connecting to my roots.
I think this movie in particular, yes Phone Swap might be a romantic comedy, might be anything you want to call it rom com, give it all the big names, the only thing I know it has done and it will do is connect us to our roots. 

First the clothes are very us, the hair is us. We have Lydia [Forson] carrying her natural hair. So it's like we are promoting us. It is a film by us for us. When I say a film for us by us, I mean for us comfortable in our skin... A film by us for the world. Yeah.

So finally what has the whole experience taught you in regards to natural hair?

I'm comfortable in my skin. I'm not worried about not being me. I am able to be me, as I was created to be. I do not need any thing, any additives -- yes maintenance. But I work with what I have; I am not looking for what I do not have. I'm not Caucasian. I am African and that's it.