Our Gorgeous November Bride!

 Saturday 28th was the monthly environmental sanitation and while normally I'd have an extra couple of hours sleep before heading to work, this time around I had to leave the house around 6am so I could get to Anthony before 7am and not be caught on the road due to the restrictions (I still don't understand why we have to be coerced into cleaning our environment, what does that say about us?!! Don't let me even start - that's another topic for another day)

Somehow I missed my turn when I got onto Ikorodu Road and was almost having a panic attack - luckily this nice security guard at the building I turned into, showed me an alternative route and I was able to get to my destination before 7 am. :)

Simple Heatless Stretching For My Wild And Free Afro.

Like every naturalista, I like to have my hair stretched out now and again but would rather do it without any direct heat. I've tried a number of heatless methods and so far, the best method has been threading. The thing with threading though is that it takes a bit of time and my arms start to ache and I start to get cranky!

I was watching a YouTube video from 'TheChicNatural' and I saw her do something which seemed so easy and effective and I was determined to try it out! In her video, she washes, conditions and then puts her hair into 4 ponytails, twists them and then pins each twist across her hair in an opposite direction so the hair stretches while it dries.

I tried it the first time a couple of washes ago and I loved it!! I initially did what she did which was use bands to hold the ponytails tight at the base but because my strands are so fine and the hair in my crown is very coarse and dry, I noticed I had some tenderness there and breakage! Err no that was not going to be happening!

So I decided to increase my portions to about 8 and instead of using a band to get the base stretched, I would braid the base and then twist the rest. Another trick to getting the most out of this is not to use too much product in the hair while it is still damp and to make sure the hair is THOROUGHLY detangled.

Faking an Afro With Bulk Marley Hair.

Sometimes you just want to wear a fabulous Afro and not have to worry about whether you have enough volume, the shrinkage that is bound to come and over manipulating your hair. At times like that, Bulk Marley Hair is an absolutely fantastic go to!

It creates a voluminous afro (you can make it as big or as small as you want) and you can style it in various ways while keeping your own hair away.

Bulk Marley Hair comes in different lengths (the more popular ones being 24 and 36 inches) and you don't have to worry, these measurements mean when the hair is stretched and not when it's in its shrunken state.

Got Me Some Goodies From Nubian Roots And Brazen Curls.

I love what I do!! Apart from the fact that I get to create lovely hairstyles for equally lovely ladies, I also sometimes get free stuff to try out on myself and my wonderful clients. My latest haul is two fold; the first from Nubian Roots and the other from Brazen Curls : with the respective brains behind each brand being Nigerian Female - can I get a whoop whoop!!

I am absolutely thrilled with the stuff ladies here are doing. Quite apart from the bold enterprenuerial spirit; is the creativity and innovation that you find. I mean there's Lolade Cameron Cole of Namaste Organics ( I looooooooove her black soaps and body butters!!!!) Toyin Oniru of Inner Beautee,  NN of Natural Nigerian, Atilola of African Naturalistas, Toyin Odulate of Olori Cosmetics and more that I probably haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet.

Nubian Roots is the baby of Ibilola Sowemimo while the Founder/ CEO of Brazen Curls (same Company as Midas Naturals) is Dr. Somi Dokpesi - Igbene.

When you speak to them and/or read their stories, the common thread you find running through their respective reasons for producing the products they do, is a desire to bring to African women, products more suited to and healthier for our skin and hair.

Rocking Some Temporary Colour.

So I got hit by the 'color bug' again but just like the last time, I wanted to rock some color without the full commitment to a permanent (or even semi permanent) color. What else was there to do but to buy some more of the High Beams Intense Temporary Spray - I love this stuff!!

Previously I'd used Auburn but this time I wanted something even bolder so I bought 2 different colors - Rock Star Red ( Yeah Baby!!) and Honey Blonde. I literally sprayed the entire contents of the rock star red on my head lolll. I added a bit of the honey blonde and this is the result.

Some Disturbing Things Some Unscrupulous Stylists Are Doing To Unsuspecting Naturalistas.

source: jawbreaker.nyc

You know, I was totally gobsmacked a few days ago when I was having a little tete a tete with some of my colleagues in the industry. We were talking about our challenges, issues and customer care when 2 of them spoke about a few clients of theirs who they noticed had considerably changed textures to the point of straightness.

While probing their clients, they found out that these clients at some point, had visited other salons and were told that a 'special conditioner' can be mixed and applied to their hair which will make it very easy for them to comb their hair while 'softening' the hair considerably.

Has anyone guessed what this 'special conditioner' really is made up of yet?

My Gorgeous September and October Brides

Soft side swept curls
Here I was, going through my pictures and realised I hadn't put up my brides in the last 2 months.

Forgive me

While I have 3 brides to showcase/talk about, I only have pictures for 2 of them - if you've read any of my blog posts on my brides, you will automatically know why I don't have proper pictures of the 3rd bride. Yup - mad dash at the end!

Anyways, first up is my bride Tolu - she was very very clear about what she wanted - soft curls swept and pinned to the side of her face. Her trial was very quick - I put in some clip ins and held it to the side and she was like 'yes!! That's it!' and that was it! :)

So with her Clip ins (Heat Free For Kurls) I conditioned and blow dried, then using my curling wand, created soft curls and loosely pinned up on the side. That was it!!!

Absolutely loved it!

Second up is my bride Ada - we tried a few things but settled on a simple side do with detailing in the back. For Ada, we crocheted some marley hair in to the back of her hair and then created this 'Flower' in the back for her.

The Why's And How's of Detangling.

Lol! Okay of course this meme is just an exaggeration of what naturals have to do when it comes to caring for their hair but truly detangling is such an integral part of our hair care routine.

Last weekend a customer came through and wanted wash her hair, get a treatment and get some crochet braids in. No problems I said. When it was her turn, I uncovered her hair and got my trusted detangling conditioner (African Naturalistas Moisturizing and detangling conditioner - if you haven't tried this, mehn, you are missing out on some good stuff!!) and put it through her hair, then proceeded to do what I assumed would be a basic detangling session. After about 3 minutes, I had to ask her why her hair was so tangled.

Apparently she had just taken off small braids and without combing or detangling or doing anything, she had shampooed her hair!!!! My brain just started going OMG because I knew this was not going to be a basic detangling anything.

Let's Talk Length Retention.

Source: blacknaps.org

I'm revisiting this topic because I still get a lot of  worried 'my hair is not growing' pleas from a number of ladies. The concerns include:

- I'm using all the 'right' products but nothing is happening
- When I first went natural my hair grew very fast in the first year and now it's stuck
- My hair has stopped growing

First thing I'll say is - hair is always growing. Everyone's growth rate is different and sometimes your rate may slow down (due to hormonal changes, age, diet etc) but typically hair will always be growing. What determines whether you'll see this growth is how you treat your hair (particularly the ends which are the oldest and most fragile).

I'll address each concern listed above and then throw in a few tips afterwards: