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, May 30, 2012

Naturals on TV

I was watching cable TV and noticed that the ladies in the non-Nigerian soap operas were most likely to wear their natural hair than the ladies in the Nigerian soap operas. More specifically I think these soap operas are Eastern or Southern African soap operas. I saw afros, afro puffs, twist outs, and locs.


Then I watched Tinsel. Tinsel is probably the most popular Nigerian soap opera on TV right now. The episode I watched did not have any women wearing their natural hair, not even a natural hair weave. Why do you think this is the case? If you guys on Tinsel are looking for someone to style natural hair for your show come and talk to me o! I can hook you up! #justsaying

Here are pictures of some of the ladies with natural hair in the soap operas I watched. Pardon the quality *sheepish grin*

Keep it natural!


Monday, May 14, 2012

A fade to remember

We were out and about and kept looking over at a lady sitting next to us. It was her cute fade that caught out attention. And she carried it with a simple, unintentional ... swag. (Read our quote of the day on swag here). At the end of the event we asked if we could take her picture, she hesitated and I think she thought we were lying about the blog at first. But she later agreed. Meet Jane Oriaku.

Keep it natural (with a hint of swag)!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

AMAA 2012 - Nse! Nse! Nse!

I was at AMAA 2012 (Africa Movie Academy Awards) and saw some natural haired ladies there. Read our blog posts on AMMA 2012 here and here. I did not see Nse Ikpe Etim. It was after the event that I was told that she showed up and SHOWED OFF her natural hair! I am so proud of her! It is the Didi hairstyle and her stance in the pictures that just make you go "Wow! She did it." And she did it very well I will add.


Of course there are the "Detractors" (I used big grammar there) who have said her hairstyle was not "red carpet hair". What does that mean? American actress Viola Davis wore her TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) for the Oscars in March. Talk show host Wendy Williams' comment? She said she does not want to see it on the red carpet. (You can read an article about this on Madame Noire) *Sigh* "They" do not want to see natural hair on the red carpet, "they" do not want to see it at the office etc. So I ask, where do "they" think is the appropriate place for natural hair to be worn or shown? Oh sorry I know the answer! Hide natural hair under something ... anything but not out in the open and "they" will be happy. Newsflash: You will be seeing more and more women wearing their natural / un-relaxed hair in various hairstyles. So here's a tip: Get used to it!

O'Naturals interviewed Nse in January (read the interview here). In response to the question: are you looking forward to wearing your natural hair out? Nse answered "I can't wait to finish the film, take off my hair and walk the red carpet with natural hair." She did just that on Sunday 22nd of April 2012 and she did it very, very well. Here's to you Nse.


Keep it natural!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Don't try to be a cheap imitation. Be original" - Actress Lydia Forson's interview (Part 2)

This is the concluding part of O'Natural's  interview with Lydia Forson

You talked about the fans recognizing you. But what are the reactions of the directors, the producers, the costumers, when they see you?

I will give an example. On this set [Phone Swap], the plan was for me to have a weave. Now in my heart, I wanted to do something with my hair. But I understood where the character was coming from and I respected the director's point of view. But then I took out my hair and I have to thank Nse. (See our interview of Nse here) She said, “You know what? Do you, let's see what you look like". I had twisted my hair, I took it out and I put it up like how I do it.  And everyone looked at me different. Like okay this is what she really looks like. So on several occasions I get on a set and people see my natural hair and the assumption is, what can we do with natural hair? And I am forced to teach them how to treat my hair, because they are so used to doing the weave. So I become my own stylist at that point, when I'm given permission. I try not to impose that [natural hair] on any director or producer. When I'm given the freedom, I ask what is my character? I will be able to do something amazing with my hair.

So every time I get on any set, they want to force the hair to go in a certain direction, because the assumption is if you are playing this character you are in a long weave or with a curly weave. And I love this story [Phone Swap] because Nse's character has dreadlocks, and the only reason why they did not want me to use my hair was because they did not want the characters to clash. After I did my hair, they realized that you can have ten people with natural hair in a movie and they will all look different and will suite their character. So I don't blame the world, they just don't know. So when I go anywhere, it's my job to educate them, that listen, I can do this. I can play a mom with my hair. All I have to do is dye it back to black. I can be a feisty woman, up it up. Even if I want, I can use a curling thong and it will be like the perm that they want…

And I'm very humble when it comes to working with people, because you don't want to tell them to do it like this. So I let them do their own thing, then I say let me do it my way and it almost always works.

What's so amazing about what you are saying now is that there are different types of characters and natural hair is versatile enough to be interpreted for that character. That's an amazing thing to say.

Because when people say natural hair, all they see is Afro and I've never worn an Afro with my hair: it's always a punk or I've dyed it or I've twisted it. And these are stuff I do on my own... if you are not creative, you can't work the hair. Creativity is a big thing. Most women do not even know how to treat their own hair. That's why they would run to do a weave because when they put it on, all you have to do is comb it. I like to take care of my own hair. So I dye my own hair. I twist my own hair. I wash my own hair. I have my own hair products. So it's easy for me. But the major issue we were talking about is the stereotype of natural hair that you can't do anything with it. And when you have natural hair, the only character she can play is that she is a house girl or good girl then she has the natural hair but they never see you do anything feisty with the natural hair, but you can. But it is not entirely the crew, its lack of knowledge. And then some people with natural hair have no clue on how to take care of their hair. I like to read, I like to experiment.

Picture Courtesy of

Do you have a regimen? What’s your routine?
Weekly shampoo, conditioner... Because I put so much colour in my hair, I always try to moisturize. Again, I don’t like grease; I always like moisturizers that are not too greasy. And then occasionally, once in a while, I will treat my hair. I will buy maybe a cholesterol treatment or I can even crack two eggs and put it in my hair. It will smell for a bit but then when I finish, I will wash my hair. That’s protein for my hair. So that’s all I do, I don’t do anything fussy.

I have a very simple approach to life. I don’t believe in rules you know, do this a certain way. Everyone wants to hear "Okay Lydia Forson does this to her hair, she wakes up and she does this". Then you think to yourself: when I do the same thing I will get the same result. Find what suites you.

Would you like to see more natural hair in our African movies?
It’s not even a matter of hair. I think I would like to see people be more original. People try desperately to look like certain people. Be yourself. I’m not one to preach. I am not a hypocrite, I don’t go about saying everyone should do natural hair. But I would like to see more originality. People wear weaves up to their butts… I really have a big problem with those weaves… and I will tell you without any fear.

We can’t compete with America or the U.K by trying to be like them, they are already there. We can compete with them by trying to be like us, because there’s something new. It’s like African print and then silk. There’s a contrast. Some people will have a taste for African print or a taste for silk. But you have silk and then there’s imitation silk. What do you think people will go for? So don’t try to be a cheap imitation. Be original… I’m not saying go natural, I’m just saying be original.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Actress Lydia Forson talks to O'Naturals about natural hair.

This is a two part interview with Lydia Forson. Tomorrow, we'll post the concluding part of the interview. Do enjoy.

Lydia Forson is a top Ghanaian actress but it doesn’t mean that she’s only seen in Ghanaian movies. She was in Nigeria, last year, filming Kunle Afolayan’s Phone Swap, which is currently in theatres across Nigeria and Ghana. Lydia who started acting professionally in 2008, won an AMAA in 2010, for her role in the Perfect Picture.

Was it the Perfect Picture that gave you your first AMAA nomination?
No it was called Scorned. It gave me my first AMAA nomination. I think I was nominated for best upcoming actress. Yes, I've been around for a while. But I think because I am very selective about what I do. I wouldn't say its unfortunate, because there are people I know people who got into the industry years after me and they are a lot more popular than I am. Well In Ghana, I would say almost every body knows who I am. Not everybody, but almost everybody. When I come to Nigeria, it takes a while. People will be wondering who's she? Until maybe they go and google me up and say, “oh wow.” I think  it’s because I am very selective about my productions.

Courtesy of Bella

So how long have you been natural?
I've been natural for I think, four years now.

Why did you decide to go natural?
Actually it wasn't a decision. It was a very funny story. I was dating a very interesting guy. I never talk about any relationship in any interview, but this is relevant to the story. It was my birthday and he was coming into town. And for about three months, I had not done a retouch…[my hair] was half natural, half permed and I said, I want to do a perm and a cut. I just really wanted to look good.

I went to a very popular salon in Ghana. And they gave me a lot of nonsense about the time and appointments. So I went to three different salons and nobody was prepared to do my hair. So I went home and my cousin and I cut my hair together with scissors and that was it.

So I enjoyed the look, because I had wanted to go natural. And you know going natural is a tough decision. You have to be prepared. It's like the whole world is going to see you naked. You know, you are cutting your hair short. You have nothing to hide who you are. This is the real you. This is how God brought you into this earth. So it was a huge decision. So I just cut my hair and I loved my hair. I felt like I had just taken a weight off my shoulder and I haven't looked back since. I actually cut it and I cut more and more. My hair was so short…But I came to love it.

I came to really understand that most African women don't go natural because they think they won't look good in it and it’s sad…I have no problem with people wearing weaves. I mean, I colour my hair. But wear it [weaves] because it is a way of enhancing yourself. Don’t wear a weave because you think without it you are less beautiful. That means you are really insulting God, because you think God doesn't know what He is doing. So I think wear a weave, braid your hair just because you [want] a change. I know women who have never let anybody see their hair before. From one weave to another to another braid to another weave. The insecurity.  And it's sad.

I think it was a process for me. I didn't go natural because: O yes, power to the African people. But then I came to learn more about myself. That really all my life, how many times have I worn a weave, how many times have I braided my hair? That was just not me. And I was living up to this image of beauty. But for once I feel this is me and this is how I'm comfortable. And I'm happy. And I came to discover myself.

For all the years I was in the industry, yes, people knew me,[but] when I went natural, all of a sudden people recognized me. And yet people still don't remember some of my early works, because I was with permed hair. So it made me stand out. I don't know if that makes any sense. So I’m not saying everyone should go and do their natural hair. I think, you have to get to a point where we don't do things to please the world, we do things to please us and what makes us comfortable. I'm not just that kind of person with a weave up to my butt. And being honest with myself helped me with my career and helped me in my personal life. I just became a totally different person. Power to the people..!(Lydia laughs)
Lydia Forson with Kunle Afolayan. Courtesy

Do people ask you about your hair?
This is the first interview [about my hair]. I know people have talked about my hair before but not to me. But this is the first interview that has asked in depth and I have actually spoken about it. And I'm really excited because, it's a totally different angle. I'm enjoying it because I'm passionate about it. It's not just about the fact that I am natural. It is who I am. Like I'm not trying too hard to live up to this expectation. People have told me, " Okay you know what? You are too African, so then if you are able to make it to Hollywood then all they will give you is African roles.” And I said, first of all, Dani Devito is not cute, he's short but he does as many movies as even some so called handsome people in Hollywood. Do not let the world define who you are. Tell the world who you are. And they will accommodate you. So it’s not just hair. It goes beyond the hair. It's me telling people this is me. Take me as I am or leave. And people will be forced to like you.

The second part of this two part interview will be posted tomorrow. 

Quote of the day

"Swag is mandatory with natural hair. You just have to know that you know you look good. Even when your twist out failed, your curls plopped and you are having a bad hair day ... you still are on point. "

Read the full article here: Viola Davis Says Natural Hair Makes Her Feel "Powerful"
It's from the blog

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Natural hair is freedom you cannot buy" - Interview with Actress Kate Henshaw

I met Kate Henshaw at the Kinky Apothecary's birthday event (Check out the blog posts here and here) and she graciously agreed to chat about her natural hair journey. Kate Henshaw is a popular Nigerian actress who has featured in many successful Nigerian movies. She won an AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Award) for best actress in 2008 and she also writes a weekend column for the Vanguard Newspaper. I enjoyed Kate's humour, honesty and her excitement through out our chat. Enjoy!

When and how did you go natural? I stopped retouching my hair on the 10th of September 2010. I cut off the last relaxed bit of hair about a year later and started doing this (points to her twists). I decided to go natural because I was tired and I wanted my hair back. I had really healthy hair before I ever started using Ultra Sheen relaxer which was the very first relaxer I used. I remember it very well because my mom was a hairdresser.

My hair was long, full and, healthy and then I started relaxing, which made it look nice, but then I started loosing my hairline. Then they said retouch every 2 weeks; retouch every 6 weeks; retouch every 8 weeks. It was crazy and my hair was falling off even with all the advanced products I was using. It was getting limp. My hair stylist and I tried everything. And then I decided that I would just cut everything off and have a change when I turned 40 even if it had to be a low cut: I was prepared to do it.

Wow! So what was the reaction of your family and friends? One of my friends said "Ah you are a celebrity, you cannot be carrying this type of hair"  I asked "Why?" Why can't I carry this kind of hair? It is my hair. I am tired of all this Oyinbo culture. We are black people! We should be proud of how our hair is: kinky, fun, healthy, rough. We like it like that! You know, I was just tired of trying to make it look like their's because that's basically it: for me to fry my hair to look like Oyinbo hair. It is not Oyinbo hair. The kinky will always come out you know?

So since your mom is a hairdresser what did she say? My mom. (Kate smiles widely) Oh when she saw it she said " It suits you. It makes you look younger". I said "Yeah, I know right?"

It is just so much fun! Oh! I cannot explain the feeling I had when I went to the gym and came back for the first time and I put my hair under the shower and the water just hit my head and I was like "Oh!" It felt amazing! Amazing!

I always hated the hair dryer. Each time I had to fix a weave-on, I needed to sit under the dryer for maybe an hour and the heat made me angry. It is just so exhilarating having this hair. And it is not for anybody. It is for me! I have chosen it for me. If I need to style it into something else, I will wear a wig, at least then I have the freedom of taking off the wig.

So it sounds like it is freedom for you. It is freedom you cannot buy! You cannot pay for it! Everybody should go natural o!

(I start laughing)

I know it is hard. Some people say it makes them look like a house girl. Trust me that is who you are: Natural. Not a house girl but Natural. Having your own hair and making it work. You have to make it work. You have to try. I am one that always looks forward to challenges. I want to try out new things and I do not care what anybody thinks. It is for me. You can never please the world so you do what makes you happy.

So how did you learn? I took part in a stage play alongside Tosin Otudeko and she had natural hair and it was long hair. I thought she was a girl of 20 only to find out that she is married with 2 boys! I asked her a few questions and she introduced me to Kinky Apothecary and to Nibi (owner of Kinky Apothecary. See Nibi's interview here). I went to her house and asked her what products I should be using. She told me that she cannot tell me what products to use but that I should try various products  to see which works. She said look out for products that do not have silicone in them and this and that. I was like "Just tell me what to use! That is too much work!"  Then I went to her blog and learned about co-washing and so many other things.

Do you twist your hair yourself? No, no my hand cannot reach there! I go to the salon and pay them for that.

Do you find anything frustrating about having natural hair? Styling can be frustrating. This (she points to her twists) is about the only style I have been doing since I went natural. I am loving it but I would like to do different styles.

As an actress, how have the directors, producers and film makers approached you having natural hair? Funny enough, I have used this hairstyle in a movie which is yet to be released. I played a high powered executive. The producer said "Oh I think you will have to use a weave-on" and I said "No! A high powered executive can carry this type of hair" And I was looking slamming in my suit!

The movie Kate mentioned is titled "The Meeting". Check out the trailer below.

Keep it natural!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Over sabi nearly ruined my hair!

A few days ago, I had been in the sun for a long time without covering my hair. By evening, I could tell my hair was really dry and needed a moisture boost. Instead of simply wetting my hair and applying some rinse out or leave-in conditioner I decided to do over sabi. I put some coconut oil on my hair and covered it with a shower cap and went to bed. The plan was to rinse it out the next morning then seal with some hair butter. Instead I left the coconut oil in my hair all day the next day because I figured that since it is coconut oil and it softens hair there is no harm leaving it in my hair with my hair covered with a shower cap the whole day - 24 full hours.


When I was ready to rinse my hair in the evening, my hair was hard! I mean hard like thin cardboard. No joke o! *insert horror movie multiple stabbing scream here* My heart was pounding and I kept thinking "I am in trouble!"

If you think that was bad just add another thing to the equation. During the day my head was itching more than normal. I have some peppermint essential oil in the house. I reasoned that I would put some in the rinsing water and rinse my hair. Omozo now decided to POUR (don't know why my wrist was so loose sef) about half a cup of it into the bucket of water because in Omozo's mind it was a big bucket. Then I rinsed out  the coconut oil using the water with excess peppermint EO. My hair felt even harder and much dryer.

Solution? Do what should have been done in the beginning. I:
1) Twisted my hair while sectioning carefully. I noticed my hair was really matted while sectioning so I had to detangle with a comb. I did not expect the matting to happen. *More horror movie screams and music*
2) Washed my twisted hair once with a little shampoo to get out as much of the coconut oil and peppermint EO as possible.
3) Applied rinse out conditioner. Waited five minutes before rinsing it out.
4) Applied a creme based leave-in conditioner especially to the tips of my hair.
5) Sealed with some of the hair butter I made that day.
6) Trimmed the ends: my hair was due for a trim anyway! (And I did a length check too :D)

The result? Better feeling and looking hair! *dropped to my knees thanking God* The shine was back and my hair truly felt softer. Phew!

Bowing my head in gratitude while humming "The storm is over ..."
Moral of the story: I need to practise what I preach and "KEEP IT SIMPLE SIS!" If you do something or use a product that your hair does not accept, just wash it out and condition as usual. Don't go and do over sabi* because it will most likely not end well. Feel free to share your own "over sabi" stories.

Keep it natural (and simple)!


*"Over Sabi" is a Nigerian slang used to describe over doing something because you feel you know too much. I think it can be used as a noun or adjective or adverb.