A Very Hairy Weekend

14:01 Naija girl next door 12 Comments

Hello people,
  How was your long weekend? Mine was utter bliss. Can we do this more often?

     Besides the fact that it was a full one- I was out every day- my hair was on a roller coaster, finally ending up under that wig in the picture above.

Friday: Afropolitan Vibes at Freedom Park
   I'd been getting psyched for this one all week. Every third Friday of the month it goes down at Freedom Park with a live outdoor music concert. MI took it home this time and it was an amazing experience. I rocked OUT with my people.
     Meanwhile, Freedom Park is the natural habitat of afro hair- afros and puffs of all sizes, locs etc...
    My phone camera is pretty useless in the dark so I didn't even bother.
My friend Emmanuel took this pic when I wasn't looking
     I let my respectable-sized 'fro out for this one and surprisingly, it started more convos with guys than girls. All said they loved it. One guy even pleaded to touch it (I let him, he was really polite, and tipsy.)

Spotted: Yagazie herself with the mother of 'fros. We sidled up for a picture.
Me, Ada, Yagazie, Ezinne
There was a Pulse party going on in one of the buildings and we went in for a bit, then on home.

Saturday - Speedy wash day, Chinese and Ice cream
   Friday had taken its toll, seeing as I'd been on call on Thursday, home by noon friday, gym, then out at night... I just wanted to sit still and have a long wash day on Saturday. It was not to be. Ada and Ezinne met me pre-pooing with palm kernel oil and honey. I was only on my second section when I was bundled off to the bathroom.
      I ended up washing my Nubian Heritage bar soap (more on that later) and quick conditioning with Shea Moisture Purification Masque, then sealing with castor oil and undoing my quick twists for a damp, more shrunken afro. I put on a burgundy hat...
Pop pop
...and happily relinquished my keys to Ada so I could take selfies at the back.


    We went to Yin Yang for lunch. I have to review it, it was my first time there even though it's just above Ice Cream Factory, my regular haunt.
  Speaking of which, I had ice cream there later at night in another group of four.
I started out my crochet braids at night before bed.

Sunday- Art Exhibition
   Finished up the crochet braids quite early.
    Ooo, so in the evening I went for an art exhibition by the African Artists' Foundation at the Ford Foundation HQ in Banana island.
     I don't claim to know art in terms of brush strokes, shadow etc, but I do know what touches me and what I find beautiful. I'm most drawn to art depicting the female form... oh never mind.
My look for the evening
The burgundy hat made a reappearance

Add caption

  There was also a video by Akwaeke Emezi, a short film. It took my breath away.

Maureen and Ada, caught duck-lipping

Watch out for Maureen Madu, she's a talented artist
Monday- Cooling down
    Took out the crochet braids. I'll explain why in a proper post on it. My scalp was sore from all the manipulation by the time I was done so I let it rest and tried my first puff!
    I cooled my spirt with ice cream with a group of friends at yes, ICF again. I think I go there too much. Or not.
     Evening found me at Ikoyi waterside watching the water and drinking in the cool breeze and making peace with the end of a beautiful holiday.
       Unfortunately, my hair wasn't at peace yet. I wasn't sure what to do when I got home so I put it in four cornrows with the intention of wearing a puff to work. Tuesday morning I was NOT in the mood to talk to my hair so I left the cornrows in and finally put to good use one of the wigs my mom got me.

    That's been my hair for the rest of the week. Been moisturising my cornrows nightly with a spritz of plain water, and sealing with my diy cocoa butter cream.
Till next post :*


Loves and Lessons from the First Half of 2015

09:34 Naija girl next door 7 Comments

  Like play like play, half the year has gone by. Unlike usual, I'm not getting that "where did the time go?" feeling and I think it's because so much has been crammed into this time space of six months (I think you can already tell this will be a very introspective post).
      I either changed a lot, or I got to see myself from a different perspective. It ranges from stuff as trivial as my hair, to handling the death of a loved one; and everything in between.
   Some of the loves and lessons below are recycled from the past and just recently rediscovered, others entirely new to me. Coincidentally, they're six. :)

1. Frilly books

 Recycled from my teens. I've always been a reader. If you can name a popular book or book series from childhood, chances are I've read it (meanwhile with movies, you may be shocked at the ones I haven't seen).        Somewhere in between the ridiculous romance novels of pre-teens (yikes!) and getting caught up in serious books, I forgot about funny novels...
Until I found a bunch of pre-owned books at CMS, Lagos Island at insane prices: I bought three for N400 after haggling.
Oh the joy of laughing out loud by yourself! (As long as you trust your family and friends not to bundle you off to Yaba Left)

2. Good conversation with new people
    I forgot how good these can be. Reason: you form a small, tight circle of friends as you get older. Others fade to just pleasant acquaintances and it's okay, everyone can't fit together.
It's these friends-turned-fam that I'm sure inspired all that #nonewfriends #youcantsitwithus business on social media. That's nice and comfortable, but sometimes you meet new people and have the most scintillating, thought-provoking, challenging conversation...
#Yes to those people.

3. Goodbyes
  I used to avoid them but they can be very good for you. It might be sad but if you get the chance to say goodbye, take it. I got to be at my grandpa's funeral last month even though I couldn't get time off work and had to travel the day of... it was therapeutic to be there.

    I think it applies to everything- romantic or platonic relationships, school, habits, even cutting off your hair (lol), say goodbye for closure and set your mind forwards. You'll be okay.

4. Old Songs
   Ughhhh the feeling I get when a song I loved and forgot comes on! When nostalgia mixes with excitement, nothing compares. Especially these days when half the songs on tv and radio are chaff, I find myself downloading more and more songs from the past.

5. Tea
I developed a taste for tea sometime last year and it surprised me. It started with the black tea I couldn't use to rinse my hair (caused terrible tangling so I might as well drink it); then I switched to herbal infusions and love was born.

Rooibos, red berry, hibiscus tea (please, this is just hot zobo and I'm not buying it in teabags again) are my loves so far and they're caffeine-free which is important to me. Drinking tea is one of the most relaxing things ever. I feel like I'm pampering myself.
Experiment but beware. I tried one grapefruit-flavoured green tea and immediately had nausea. I retched so much. Yuck.

6. Freshly Pressed 98.1
I love this show! It's part of the Morning Drive on Smooth 98.1 that I started listening to on my way to work after I stumbled on it. It's now part of my daily routine.
Do you listen to this show?? Who's your fave? Mine is Cheta! His matter-of-fact take on things cracks me up even when he's being serious.
Love them all though; Sope Martins, Ma'zino, Tunji Andrews... have added spice to my mornings.
Ma'zino. I love how he says "Good morning Lagos" :) :)

Ok that's that. Anything here resonate with you?  What has the first half of 2015 taught you? Any loves lately? I always love to hear from you. 




Wash day files: styling my new 'fro

02:04 Naija girl next door 19 Comments

      Hi everybody *kisses*
Wash day rolled around with my hair still in kinky twists- more on that soon- and I took advantage: shampooed with the twists in to let my kinks stretch out while drying.

      I washed my scalp only with Bobeam Shealoe shampoo bar and let the warm water and runoff clean my hair.
    Dried by wrapping gently in a towel then air drying until damp.
    Sealed in the remaining moisture with a cocoa butter cream I recently made- more on that soon too.

The next day I took out the kinky twists with oil on my fingers for lubrication and to minimise breakage.  I worked in sections and put each one in a two-strand twist afterward.
   Conditioned my hair with Shea Moisture Replenishing conditioner in the sections, finger-detangled and sealed with the Diy cocoa butter cream, replacing the twists with braids as I went along.
    Took out the braids when I was done:

Does this already look bigger than my post big-chop hair 3 weeks ago? 

 I find that braids give me a better stretch than twists.
I played around in my hair (symptom of hand in hair syndrome?) and decided that the pic below would make a great style for the next day:

So I made smaller, firmer braids to get a bit of curl in; put on my satin scarf and went to bed.
By morning I was taught a natural hair lesson: you can have the nice curls, or you can show your length- never both.
What do I mean? My hair had curl to it but was nowhere near as big and bold as the pic above.
Style had to change.

Gotta love updo's

Process is similar to a roll & tuck

Basically all I did was part my hair into four sections from back to front, fold each under and bobby pin in place. To slick them edges: flax seed gel, tie down with a scarf.

      How I wore my hair to work today:
Three sections this time: rolled my hair over instead of under as before, pinned in place. Edges slicked with flax seed gel and satin scarf from the night before.

Laid edges
At night I moisturise & seal, then braid to stretch out my hair for the next day.
I've decided that's quite a bit of manipulation so a protective style is coming soon. Tryna grow out this baby y'know.
   How was your wash day? Did I describe well enough or do we need how-to posts? Join the Wash day Experience link-up right here.


My Big Chop at 19 months post relaxer

04:29 Naija girl next door 35 Comments

It was a bright, clear morning. The crisp air held the promise of new beginnings and even as she lazily uncoiled underneath the covers, she knew she was going to do something great that day.

     Ok I'm being uber dramatic. But I big chopped! That was three weeks ago after 19 months of transitioning. Don't mind my silly intro, I didn't wake up knowing I was going to. I woke up with kitchenlust (you know how some people have wanderlust?) and cooked+baked up a storm that day.
    I finally finished and got bored. My hair was in 5-day old two-strand twists, I twirled my hair for a minute and decided it was as good a day as any to cut off the relaxed hair.
 My hair wasn't dirty so I went ahead and did something I've been wanting to try.

Honey wash
  You know I use honey to wash my face yeah? It won't remove gunk like makeup but it's an amazingly mild cleanser for my sensitive skin. I figured why not for scalp that's not coated with buildup but needs freshening?
It worked. *wiggles* It's like a natural cowash, not much slip though. I left the twists in so I didn't need slip, but I'm not making the honey wash a regular because I loosen my twists while washing.
Afterwards I let it dry in twists to stretch.

Big chop
I always pictured my big chop would be in the daytime, with someone filming and cheering me on. I would have liked to  have a video to reminisce. But nah, spontaneity hit me at night, alone with my phone cam.
    Part into sections, saturate with water then flax seed gel to delineate relaxed from natural, cut at the point of demarcation, twist up section. That's what I did.
Just before cutting that section

Clearly demarcated textures

Relaxed, texlaxed and any tangled natural hair

    I had to go over again and dust off any remnants of texlaxed hair.
I had somewhere to be right after this so I did my usual faux-hawk by pinning up the sides. Some things never change.

The next day I did a clay masque (milk instead of egg this time) to deep clean and condition and as a proper induction to all-natural hair.
My hair didn't dry properly in the cornrows I did before I had to take them down and go out, so I pinned up the back and plopped on a hat, leaving the front out.

Honestly it was surreal. I couldn't stop touching my hair like "I actually did this!" I know I said I would battle shrinkage till I die but erm, I found myself spritzing water and patting down my fro for these styles. Hmmm.
    It's been three weeks but I really have only two days' worth of natural hair experience in my adult life as I've been in kinky twists since then.
     Now that I'm fully natural, I'm finally back to having length as a goal in my hair journey. Let's do this!
Any thoughts? Bits of natural hair wisdom for me? Please drop a comment below, I love those.

Join the wash day experience here.