Weekends in Lagos; A review of Heartbeat: The Musical (a stage play)

00:19 Naija girl next door 7 Comments

                 Two weeks ago on a friday night I went to see Heartbeat: The Musical at Muson Centre, Onikan. It was my first time at Muson Centre (whaaaat) and my first time at a stage play in Lagos (whaaaaaaat), which is weird because it is exactly my kind of entertainment. Shoutout to D for taking me. The play ran from November 10 to December 18 and I saw it on December 9.

I love Lagos because there is always something to do, and not just late night drinks and dancing. That's OK and all but I find it a lot more enriching to be entertained by art. Remember Asa's concert?
 If you feel like there's nothing to do in Lagos, you're probably just not getting information about it. A good place to start is Dealdey because not only do you get to see when there are tickets to something like this, you get them at a discount. I also like nothingtodoinlagos.com for info.

Ok, Heartbeat. It was produced by Lufodo, a company owned by Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva so I knew it was going to be good. They were the first people I spotted when we walked into the ticketing area by 6:30pm. Kate Henshaw was there too.
So we sorted out our tickets and sat down to wait for 7:00pm when it was supposed to start. I was so impressed when just before 7 we were ushered to our seats and the play started exactly on schedule. No African time. We were allowed to take pictures without flash, but no videos. Phones were to be silenced of course.

The set was really simple, but the performances were so good you would think it was constantly changing. The story was layered, with a couple of flashbacks and turns that were very well executed so it was impossible not to follow every bit. At the centre was Grace House, a shelter in the heart of Lagos for the disadvantaged. It starts with the owner and its residents planning the 25th anniversary of Grace House, and then things start to happen outside the home and we are gradually shown just how much they affect the home and the lives of all the people that are somehow connected to it.

It was entertaining and it was real too. I felt like every Nigerian would relate; corruption, politics, family, riots, love, romance, betrayal and of course power failure (I wonder if there's light as you're reading this). It was a feel-good play though, last last.

  Since it was a musical I expected a lot of singing, but it was even better than I expected. There was very good dancing too. The songs were all original, and were performed along with a live orchestra. I couldn't even imagine the amount of rehearsing they'd had to do, in addition to their obvious talent, to have done it so beautifully.
The humour was on point too. they had everyone in the audience laughing.

 The one person in the cast I recognised was Femi Jacobs and I loved his portrayal of JD Dacosta, the ruthless politician.

There was someone who voice gave me chills and captivated D. Unfortunately I don't know her name and I can't even remember the name of her character (If you went to see this play, I mean Grace's daughter who became Fileoluwa's love interest).

Maybe some scenes were a little drawn-out, and maybe at some point the end was a little bit predictable, but that didn't make it any less captivating. There were times when a scene was over before I realised I wanted pictures of it. At the final curtain, I was on my feet applauding because they deserved it.
 Heartbeat; the Musical was a wonderful experience and I just may become a stage play junkie. If you ever want to go see one, holla at your girl and we can make a small group outing out of it.

my hairstyle for the day was a braidout. I used an afro pick to lift the roots

Enjoy the rest of your week!



My Black Friday Product Haul for 2017

05:28 Naija girl next door 2 Comments

    Hello beauts!
How's the long weekend going?

I want to share my amazing product haul today and how much I saved did not spend on them.

From Sizzelle Store
            A bunch of Nigerian brands were offering discounts for Black Friday, but Sizzelle.com literally broke the internet. They took a massive 70% off almost everything in store and online. I caught on a few days after they started which was quite late. By then, all my beloved Shea Moisture stuff were out of stock but there were still a lot of good products on sale. I tried not to overthink things, picked what I wanted and tried to check out. Then... the site went into maintenance mode. All the fast fingers and sharper shoppers than me had ordered so much they had to take the site down to deal.

My heart actually sank. Lol. I waited, called the next day and they said to wait so I did, but the site didn't come back up. I made a decision to go to their store before awoof passes me by and it was the best thing I did. Even while I was there, things were getting sold out. I picked the last two bottles of Macadamia oil a second before someone on the phone asked for it; and a lady picked the last pack of bentonite clay before I could make up my mind.
The store was a riot, with massive cartons ready to ship out, full of products I had wanted. *sob*
And I mean massive. I was shocked to learn that each one was going to one person! Then I figured they must be salon owners.

Here's the kicker- everything I bought was less than N2000, and some were even less than N1000!

Hairveda Whipped Creme Daily Hair Oil Moisturser.
Original price N3500 (x2)
 I tried a drop on a little hair at my nape and it felt really good so I picked up 2 bottles.

Hair Trigger Explosive Growth Elixir 8oz
Original price N4600
I struggled with this one because "explosive growth". There are things that can improve your growth rate but "explosive" might be overstating it a bit. I sat in the store and read reviews from bloggers I trust, and Jen of Just Grow Already said it really reduced her shedding. For 70% off, why not? I chose the Lavendar lemongrass scent because everyone online said the smell of the original is too much.

Apricot oil 
Original price: I would say N1500-N1600 because I got it for N460 or so.
 The reviews said it is light and smells nice.

Sunny Isle JBCO with ylang ylang 8oz
Original price: N5000

Simply Organic black seed oil 1oz
Original price: N3400
That's a lot for 30ml of an oil but with the sale, yay! I came across talk of this oil as a potent remedy when I had my recent acne attack, but I couldn't find it. People even drink it. I'll keep it for a rainy day.

Simply Organic Argan oil 1oz
Original price N4000 I kid you not.

Rhassoul clay 227g
Original price N2800

Not pictured: two bottles of Silk Elements pure macadamia oil 30ml
Original price: can't remember exactly because it is out of stock now but I think somewhere around N2000 each. This was for a friend with caucasian hair who asked for help finding it because it is the only oil his hair likes.

   At full price, I would have paid around N32,300.
My actual bill: N11,415 - about a third of the actual cost!
I am definitely covered for 2017 in the oils department.

From Beauty Boon
The sale on thebeautyboon.com is actually still on. I think they're clearing stock. They still have a few Shea Moisture, Trader Joe's, Aunt Jackie's, Miss Jessie's, Taliah Waajid, Creme of Nature and other products on sale so maybe check it out. I found out by accident just looking through  their site at makeup.
I bought three Shea Moisture products: the Raw Shea Restorative Conditioner and African Black Soap Balancing Conditioners for N3000 each. Original price: N4500 each.
Third was the Coconut & Hibiscus Co-wash for N2500. Original price: N4000.
I paid N8500 as against N13000 I would have at full price. Not bad.

Natural Nigerian also had a 15% off sale in the Ahia, which was really neat but I was passing by Yellow Sisi's salon in Lekki and picked up the NN deep conditioner at full price: N3800. The shipping cost for ordering online would have negated the discount for me anyway, since I was buying only one product.

The last two products in the picture are from Holland & Barrett. I was in London when they had their sale and I picked up a 10ml bottle of lemon essential oil for and a  natural crystal deodorant for a little over a pound each. I've been using the crystal instead of my homemade deodorant. So far I really like it and I'll find time to do a review/comparison post. Natural Nigerian occassionally sells a similar one if you want to try out a natural deo for a change.

All my hair products joined my near-empties in this plastic box, and some are not even in here- which reminds me of all the reviews I'm owing. Slow and steady.

Were you able to get any good deals this sale season? Please share in the comments.

Enjoy your holiday!


I'm back! (And why I've been away)

14:28 Naija girl next door 9 Comments

Making promises about blog posts always comes back to bite me in the tooshie. I said on instagram that I would post about my product haul before the end of the weekend. That was last weekend. I forgot my passwords, had my usual share of internet wahala. Sigh. I think I'll stop making promises for as long as I have third world internet. Too early to make resolutions? No?

  I'm back!
I'm so happy. I needed to take some time off not just this here blog, but social media in general and even my phone entirely. For the people who reached out to me while I was offline, you have no idea how much that means to me. I appreciate you. I have loads of unreplied emails and a couple of features on other blogs I haven't sent in answers to. I apologise and I can't wait to get to every single one in the next week. I also need to catch up on all my favourite blogs.

My last post was three months ago so I feel like I need to explain.

1. Exams: I had to prepare and sit for professional exams. Normally I'm able to juggle during exams and I never had to take time off before; but I decided late, registered and started studying really close to the exams. People take months to prepare and I barely gave myself four weeks. Lots of prayers went up, it's all in God's hands now and I'll know how it went in two weeks.

2. Honestly, my posts were already slowing down before the exam thing. Earlier this year something was up with me. My face was breaking out in a way it never has; I felt tired, bloated and unhappy, and I couldn't stop focusing on all the things I wanted for myself that I didn't yet have. I wanted to blog about it but I didn't have the words so I just did a few hair posts and kept quiet. I later figured out why all that was happening and now I'm over it and my skin is finally clear again. I will share details soon in a post about dealing with adult acne.

3. I started freelance writing for a popular wedding site. It has taken a while to adjust to writing so frequently so my personal blog suffered a bit. I think I have figured out a schedule to accomodate both now so yay! Expect posts. Maybe a Cassie Daves blog planner to keep me on track?

Next post: My product haul for 2017.



Wash day ×2: Twistouts and Big Hair

00:00 Naija girl next door 11 Comments

      Twists are so convenient. They keep my sectioned hair out of the way for wash days and when I take care and make them neat, I can get two styles- the twists as a style in its own right, and a bomb twistout. I have a set of failsafe rules for a defined twistout. However, I like to switch things up to keep things interesting and find different ways to do my hair.
      So, I’m sharing two different wash days with different products, slightly different methods and different results.

Wash Day 1: featuring Shanyi Organics and Darcy’s Botanicals
Detangled with a light spritz of water followed by some olive oil. I washed with Shanyi Organics shampoo, a home grown brand #buynaija. Deep conditioned with Darcy’s Botancals deep conditioning masque. You can find out about my first impressions here. Leave-in: Shanyi Organics Moisturiser, sealed with coconut oil.
 I put in medium-sized twists and bantu-knotted the bottom half of each twist. I should have gripped the roots a little firmer.
Next morning, first thing I noticed was the softness, then I let daylight in and saw the shine; and then a gentle breeze blew and I realised my hair was giving off whiffs of a tropical paradise. Instant mood lift and hand-in-hair syndrome!

 I really should have kept my hands out of my hair and kept separation minimal but nooo, I had to mess it up and create frizz. Sigh.

Wash Day 2: featuring rhassoul clay and Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle
Clay masques are the ultimate wash day cheat because you get to cleanse and deep condition in one step. This time I used rhassoul clay. I’ve also used bentonite clay in the past. I made a spreadable paste of rhassoul clay, water, apple cider vinegar, honey and olive oil. I rinsed after am hour and Fam, the curls were POPPING. As I’ve said, my phone camera is hopeless at night. Who wants to dash me a DSLR camera? I’ll cook you the meal of your life.

 I used my sister’s Darcy’s Botanicals Peach Kernel leave-in and sealed with a little coconut oil. Styled with my Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle. 'Til then I had only used it to smooth my edges.

I twisted my hair and bantu-knotted only the very ends.
 The next day, my twistout was smooth and the definition was on point. I didn’t separate.
 I took a cue from Jen of Just Grow Already and simply pulled each one down gently to increase the volume a little. It helped but I still had to fluff the roots a little because I don’t like scalp showing.

No frizz this time and I was glad, but as the day wore on, my hair started to expand in volume and shrink in length.
Twistout after two hours
The classic effect of humidity. I looked at the ingredients of the SM Curling Gel Souffle and I wasn’t surprised to find glycerine there. It’s a potent humectant ie it draws moisture into the hair shaft. Ah well, I took out the bobby pins and let my hair do its thing; and I wore a choker for that alternative chick vibe.
Twistout after 6 hours- big hair. See that vertical one in the centre? That’s my most gravity-defying section
That’s how I went for Mente de Moda.

At Night, my hair looked nothing like my morning twistout but it stayed soft and very moisturised. I count that as a win.
Twistout after 9 hours
I’ve been keeping up with loose twists as my go-to protective style for the week. All this styling is for weekends only.

 How has your hair been?



Product Review: Lex Satin Sleep Cap

01:52 Naija girl next door 5 Comments


One of the first tips you'll get at the beginning of a hair journey is to always, always go to bed with a silk or satin scarf.
I've been using the Lex Satin Sleep cap for a couple of weeks now and this is my review.

Quick back story first.
        When I started my hair journey, I was a student in Edo state and I didn't know anyone else doing it, so I had to figure out by myself how to get what I needed.
 My first satin "bonnet" was a piece of hot pink bridal satin I had gotten from my tailor's shop. I lined the inside of my hairnet with it and hand stitched it in place. It wasn't cute, but it did the job. 

        Since then I have used a lot of packaged satin scarves and bonnets. You know those ones from supermarkets that are mostly black?
Here's one.

  This one is an improvement on a cotton scarf because it's not as abrasive but it's certainly not the best satin. It's not completely friction free. Satin scarves are not all created equal.
I really didn't want to have to go to the market in search of bridal satin so I just managed. 
        When @Lexmall on instagram said they were sending me their satin sleep cap, I hoped it would be what I had been looking for. 

      It was. This satin is the real deal. As soon as I received it I was moved to give them instant feedback: "The quality is 👌👌❤" I said.
 It is SO smooth to touch. It glides around my hair with zero friction so my hair can't even rub up against it. The best indicator is that when I take it off in the morning, my hair is as I left it - smooth as ever and moisturised. No dryness or roughness.
        It's so fun that it is reversible. Who else gets excited by reversible stuff? I have since I was a child. Like, you have something you can wear and then it turn inside-out and wear that too? Gawshhh. I had this top... Please tell me I'm not the only one.
    I love my sleep cap, it is the royal blue/starry night one. 

The reverse
The sleep caps retail for N1500 and are available in a number of places.
  • Online: www.lexmall.com Same day delivery
  • Invivo, Leisure Mall Surulere
  • Make Me Salon, 40 Bode Thomas Surulere
  • YemYem store Unilag
  • Patrick Beauty Zone, Ikeja
  • Chic & Style Salon Ikeja
  • Call to order: 07032020063 
  • I saw them at Casabella, Palms Shopping mall yesterday. They cost more there though.
  • Adols Hair 29 Ajayi Aina, Ifako, Gbagada
  • Yanga Pro Beauty, 103 Victory Plaza, Marian road Calabar.
Please feel free to add to the list in the comments. 

Would I repurchase? Most definitely. As soon as this one needs to be replaced.
   * I was not paid or otherwise compensated for this review. I will always give only my honest opinion about products.



Faking an afro: Crochet with Noble Kinky Bulk Hair

01:29 Naija girl next door 24 Comments


     Hello my people! Been a while right? I think I burned out. Anyway...

      Noble Kinky bulk hair has been around for a while. It looks like natural hair- tight curls and kinks, with frizzy areas too.

       It is commonly used for twists and they turn out very bouncy and springy. In fact that's what I bought it for. When I took out the twists, I kept the hair for faux locs but then I got another idea.

      A stretched, undefined afro has to be my favourite way to wear my natural hair. It's not the best for the health of my strands though. The ends are left exposed and unprotected, and shrinkage inevitably happens. That equals dryness, knots, tangles and breakage. Nehi.

      Hence, crochet with kinky bulk hair. An afro without the consequences. Having my cake and eating it.

 I bought two packs in colour 1b/30. One by Noble, the more popular brand; and the other by Ladystar, because there was no other 1b/30 from Noble in the store.
       Because I had used it for twists before, the hair was tangled and tough.

A lot of it was lost during detangling (I almost gave up and dumped the whole thing), but eventually it was ready.
      I braided my hair in what looked like a beehive pattern- like the picture below but with a centre part, and I left out my hair at the parting and all around the entire perimeter so I could put it up.

Source: justmiblog.com
 Mine was so rough the pattern wasn't clear enough for a picture. When I cornrow for crochet, I do it more loosely than normal so it's not pretty. Welp.
When I was done, I trimmed it into shape.

       How I styled it
Mostly out as an afro, parted down the middle.

 I didn't like the difference in colour between the extensions and my real hair, so next time I'll try to match it more closely.

 I also wore it in a puff a number of times and the colour difference worked.

Ombre puff. Heyyyyy
 I did an updo once with bobby pins but I didn't love it.

About the hair
I got it for N800 or N900 per pack after much haggling at Waterside market, Apapa. Amazing, cos it used to be half that price . It's available in the hair section of most markets and supermarkets in Nigeria.
          I used two packs, minus hair lost during detangling.
   The hair is nowhere near as soft as real natural hair. It also tangles, so everyday when you let it out of the twists/braids/bantu knots you slept in, you need to have a pair of scissors handy to cut out tangles.
That was how I cut a section of my leave-out one morning. 😒
I kept it in for only 10 days even though I really liked the style.

      Would I repurchase? For kinky twists, yes. For a 'fro, maybe. I'd like to try something softer. I once used Janet Noir collection kinky hair and it was really good. I re-used it many, many times.

Would you try this style?



Black girl, natural blonde hair

14:47 Naija girl next door 11 Comments


 This little cutie is a full Nigerian girl from Chibok, and she's a natural blonde. Little Franca is also NGND's first feature, heyyyy💃

   Mom, Dad and Franca's twin brother all have dark brown hair, but Franca is Nigerian Goldilocks. Her mom washes and re-braids it with regular hair pomade every two weeks or when she's able. That's all.

Ombre ♡♡

    Her hair has never been chemically processed. Her mother is relaxed, but says she has no intention of relaxing her daughter's hair.
      Mom was quite tickled by my interest in her daughter's hair and helped her stay still for the pictures. I tried to make it fast, didn't want to keep her from her cheese balls.

       I had of course seen unusual hair on Nigerians before Franca. Starting from home:
My sister and one of my brothers have hair the colour of red earth (my brother dyes his black sometimes and my sister's is usually covered by weaves and wigs. Sigh)
I have a number of cousins with blonde hair as well - their hair colour matches their skin and eye colour.
My lil stunner cousin Jedd. He gets it from his Mama

My cousin Crystal, Jedd's momma. Her hair was very pale when we were little but years of relaxer have altered it. She is now transitioning and it's starting to come back.

      What struck me about Franca is she has glowing dark skin in contrast to her golden hair. She is well melanated (I've been itching to use that word).

       Kind of reminds of the Melanasians of the Solomon Islands; they have really dark skin and 10% of their population have very, very blonde hair. Some people thought it was due to some European ancestry but neauxp, scientific research was done and the experiments showed that it is their very own genetic heritage. It's the result of a mutation in a single gene and is a recessive trait, so both parents must carry the gene to have a child with blonde hair.
photo: SuneWendelboe/TrekEarth
You can see more about them here.

So much beauty in this world. All the skin and hair types and colours- so much diversity, it's amazing.

       I love blonde hair but I was hesitant to try it because I felt you have to be super light-skinned to pull it off. Seeing my little melanated slayer Franca in her blonde curls gave me the guts to do these styles last year:
Read here and here
These are extensions but maybe one day I'll actually dye my hair. Maybe.


I would love to feature you! Just send an email to hello@naijagirlnextdoor.com with "Features" as the subject. You will receive a reply with questions to answer.


Wash day: feat. Darcy's Botanicals DC + Savvy Chic Shea Butter Cup

17:55 Naija girl next door 9 Comments

Hey hey,
Wash day post coming through... did you miss them? I missed posting.

     My hair was due for a serious injection of moisture (without protein) but I had run out of my usual dc for this: Shea Moisture Purification Masque. My banana masque  (sans egg) would have done it but I wasn't in the mood for a whole production. I just wanted something good in a bottle. No, tub; something good in a tub.

      Anyway I put my hair up and away and followed my sister for her salon appointment at Tresses salon, run by Koyin Vera-Cruz. Koyin is a trichologist, but she's also a hair care guru, so she goes beyond fixing actual hair and scalp conditions. (@koyinvc on Instagram)
It's always a treat to talk hair with someone who knows, so before you know it we were exchanging experiences and opinions about the products she had for sale.
    She really wanted me to try Darcy's Botanicals Deep Conditioning Masque, but she didn't have any for sale so she scooped from her own jar into a plastic container for me to take home. She's a real G. Koyin 👊👊👊

     So I tried it. I shampooed my scalp with Shanyi Organics Shampoo, and then worked in Darcy's DC into my damp hair in four sections. I didn't add anything because I really wanted to see what the product could do.
Before wash

It's white, thick but not heavy when you apply, and has a very mild(barely there in fact), pleasant scent. It has a good amount of slip- not the best ever, but good. It rinsed out easily too.
Results? Loved it. It left my hair very moisturised, juicy and weightless. My ends felt really good too.
After rinsing out DC
 I'll have to use it a few more times to determine how it measures up to the Shea Moisture Purification masque, but unfortunately Koyin doesn't know when she'll get new stock.
    Get this though, she tried to give me more for free. I didn't take it because I didn't feel right not paying for it, but Koyin is a gem and she can take my money whenever the DB conditioner is back in stock.

I used my Savvy & Chic Shea Butter cup in strawberry to seal my damp hair and as a styling aid to braid. Remember when I used the Honeysuckle one? It smelled nice, but this strawberry one is so yum! Of course regular shea butter works as well; me I just want to smell yummy.
Smooth braids. A successful curly style depends on a smooth install.

 The next day I carefully took down the braids with a bit of coconut oil on my fingers.

   I really loved the results. It definitely helped to:
1. Start with damp, freshly conditioned hair
2. Use a styling putty to help smooth the kinks
3. Keep all three 'legs' of the braid equal and separate, and not 'borrow' hair from any one.
    Later in the day the humidity had puffed up my hair. Lagos humidity is not a joke.
It might help to use a styling gel you like. You should get longer-lasting definition.
  How was your wash day? Have you used any of the products mentioned?


P.s: I wasn't compensated in any way for anything said in this post. These are my honest opinions and I believe in sharing.