Wash Day: With Green Tea

02:07 Naija girl next door 15 Comments

   When I saw this week's wash day theme I was skeptical- Tea for two. You may have read my post on my experience with black tea. I had long given up on tea rinsing.
 Coffee has been bae for shedding so I was just going to skip the tea and offer my hair a Starbucks instead (as if)...

Until I discovered there was no coffee at home.
My sister had accused me a week earlier of not properly closing the jar of coffee. I went, "I don't even drink coffee!"
"You use it on your hair!"
Fair point. I probably didn't tighten the lid. Still mumbled a denial. Hissss.
 It was on wash day I was informed she had thrown out the coffee. Le sigh. Tea it was.
I'm a tea drinker. Mostly herbal and fruity infusions, black tea occasionally. But green tea? Ugh. Tastes like despair. I bought a grapefruit flavoured one but it was even worse. I literally gagged when I had it. It's been sitting in the cupboard and I finally found a use for it.

The Wash
I started with a dry, matted, old twistout

  • Poured the cooled green tea brew into a spray bottle and with my hair in sections,  spritzed my scalp.
  • Because black tea hardened my hair badly I restricted the green tea to my scalp initially, but I noticed that where it touched my hair there was no hardening, so I misted my hair as well.
  • Applied the last of Shea Moisture Purification Masque + honey + olive/coconut/soybean oil on top- softness and slip followed [my review of the masque here]
  • Finger combed and twisted up the sections. 
  • Covered with a shower cap for three hours (laziness), then rinsed thoroughly. 
  • Wrapped in a cotton tshirt for thirty minutes to soak up excess water. 
The green tea worked just as well as coffee for shedding. I'm so happy I have options, and that I get to use up my tea.  
  • Leave-ins: very important because I was going to thread my hair which tends to dry it out. Shea Moisture Replenishing Conditioner and diy Cocoa butter cream to seal.
Before threading

  • Threaded each section then used flax seed gel on my edges and tied down with a satin scarf.
See the stretch compared to the twists? 
Takedown: the next morning. The thread still sucked out some moisture from my hair, but did a great job of stretching my kinks.

How was your wash day? 


Wash day: Something old, something new...

23:40 Naija girl next door 17 Comments

    Hey people, how's it all going?

   Wednesdays have been wash day for a while now and this is actually last week's wash day. I haven't washed my hair this week because yesterday I moved to the barracks in Apapa.
Next wash day will be tomorrow when I get home for the weekend. That'll be the new routine; wash day on Fridays or saturdays. Another facet of my service to my country. *snips split end*

The Wash Day Experience this month is themed. Last week's theme was Something old, and this week: Something new. I realised I did both on my last wash day.

Something old
I needed a protein treatment. It had been six weeks since my last but I had none of the key ingredients from that wonderful treatment.
I remembered I had a bit of my sample size Aubrey's GPB conditioner left. It wasn't going to be enough for my whole head so I mixed what was left with mayonnaise and milk from the fridge, coconut oil, olive oil and honey. The scent of the conditioner overpowered the other stuff. Goody.

   I left it in overnight and rinsed out in the morning.
Cowashed with Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 conditioner.
Lush, soft, breakage-free.

Something new: technique
  This was totally new: instead of stretching my hair, I wanted to see how it would look with little interference: at full shrinkage, no leave-in. Also wanted to see my curl pattern.
Method: For my cowash, I put the Shea Moisture Superfruit conditioner into each section from scalp to ends, ran trough gently and then twisted the section. Covered with a shower cap for 5 minutes.
I rubbed on my scalp to release any deposits, then rinsed with my twists intact. Squeezed out the excess water gently.

Took apart the twists gently  with my hair still soaking wet. Then I shook my head side to side, up and down to encourage my curls to clump.
Before the shake

Before the shake

And after:
After shake no. 1

After shake no. 1

Did it again vigorously (I do not recommend this. I got slightly nauseous. Take it easy)...
After shake no. 2

After shake no. 2

As my hair dried, it shrunk up and got fluffier.

Slightly damp, almost full shrinkage:

Full type 4 shrinkage glory
I'm sorry they're blurry but daylight was fading.

By night time, I moisturised with a spray bottle of water, sealed with my cocoa butter cream, and did two-strand twists.

Day 1
Day 5
Wore them for five days and did a twistout just like this. Currently on twist-out Day 3.

How was your wash day? : )


Hair progress pictures

09:50 Naija girl next door 17 Comments

   I promised I was going to scrounge up progress pics so I could share how my hair has been doing since the chop.
     I've never flat-ironed my hair to do a length check. When my hair was relaxed I would just wear it straight and take a picture of my back. It may not have been as accurate as flat ironed hair, but I was able to see the length I worked with daily.
    With natural hair, it's not so simple. Because of shrinkage you can take two pictures on the same day and look like your hair has grown a mile. You can take a picture so much shorter than your actual length it looks like sorcery.
  While trying to gather the pictures for this post I tried to pick ones where my hair was stretched some way. There's still some shrinkage so these are more comparison shots than length check pics.

Big chop June 2015 to December 2015

    From now on I'll use a standard procedure so I can really see my hair's progression. I'm thinking, threading to really stretch out the kinks. If I want to see the actual length I'll do the usual pull down- like in October above. How do you take progress pics?



How to get the best twist-out on natural hair

11:56 Naija girl next door 14 Comments

   Hey hey,
How's every? How are you, family, kinks?
   If you've ever struggled with getting your twist-out right, this one's for you. Some time around November I figured out how to get the perfect twist-out. I have it down to a science now and it's fool-proof. Just a few simple rules.

1. Wet the hair
Some people have noticed they get their best results when they start with freshly washed, very damp hair. That's one way to go.
   Another way is to twist hair whenever you like; even dry, stretched hair, and in the process of wearing the twists do a quick wash or co-wash so the hair gets wet while in twists, and then dries. That's what I usually do.

2. Technique- never borrow hair.

  Let me explain. You take the section you want to twist, detangle, divide it into the two usual halves for two-strand twists. Make sure they are equal. Twist from top to bottom without ever borrowing hair from one half.
Making sure they're equal pays off because you don't run out of hair in one half and then have to borrow to complete the twist.

3. Leave the twists in for days

It's a proven fact. The longer you leave in your prep style, the more defined your results will be. So make your twists nice and neat, accessorise and rock them for a few days before takedown.

4. The takedown
Make sure the twists are dry now.
If you follow step 2, takedown will be cake. Because you kept the halves separate throughout your twist, you can put a lightly oiled finger through the loop at the top and just run it down in a single movement. No tangles, no frizz, just definition.

Like so
Blurry but...
Results after 6 day-old twists and one co-wash in between. The flat twisted sides won't let me be great
Remember my Brazilian wool faux locs? This was the result after 4 weeks in twists and three washes in that period.

And that's it. When I do all this it doesn't even matter what product I use to twist. Definition every time. I just fluff the roots with my fingers to encourage volume and hide any scalp. I like to pin up the sides and leave the back and front sections loose.

This hat is obviously my favourite accessory
At night, I pineapple my hair ie put it in a loose puff and cover with a satin bonnet or scarf.
Day 2
The style lasts for 3-4 days and then starts to look like locs, which is cool, but then dryness begins to set in and I'm due for a wash.

    Do you have any tricks for your twists/twistouts?

An Inlinkz link-up


2015 in a post

23:14 Naija girl next door 22 Comments

What. A. Year.
  I think 2015 was my fullest year yet. I went back to blog posts, pictures, messages and I'm surprised how much I did and how much happened.
It was also the year of my big chop and so will always be an important year in my hair journey.
  I don't believe the new year "brings" some kind of change as if by magic. Just a euphoria that passes quickly as people realise the same old things are still there. God's blessings aren't bound by time of year.
     January is my favourite month of the year though;
 Everyone calms down, no turn up. It amuses me how much people regret having spent too much, as if they had forgotten there's life after the holidays. Everyone counts the minutes till payday and grumbles "this January no dey finish?". Oh and the rude awakening- back to work, back to school, don't even dream about public holiday until March/April. Buhahahaha. I love dark humour. It's also my birth month.
Anyway, a look at 2015.
Work and career

I changed in 2015.
For the first time in my life I felt like a grown-up.
Most of my housemanship happened in 2015. I think the job, all that responsibility and accountability made me into this serious person. I learned so much, settled into my profession, fell more deeply in love with it as a whole but fell out of love with what I had thought might be my chosen specialty. I wrote a bit about it here.
   Financially, big paradox. I earned the most in 2015. I also got to my most broke in the same year. I started thinking about investment, business, practical career steps. I think more now. I'm no longer a free spirit. Darn.


It's been the time of my life.
 I have had FUN. I've been hurt. I lost my grandad and I'm still not over it.
I've realised how much I love the people I have.
   Thank you Gbemi for being there ALL THE TIME and for trusting me with everything.
   Thank you Tope because you can make anything seem small and funny.
   Thank you David for all the good you bring out in me.
   Thank you Solomon for the million ways you make me laugh silly.
   Thank you Ojay for making me run more than I ever thought I could. #fitfam
    Thank you Jayne for allll the no-occassion gifts, those are the best; and for dashing me money at this age when that never happens! This growing up thing is a problem.


    Can I let you in on a secret?
I'm kind of scared of my blog. Of planning too much and then losing the fun and dumping it. It's happened with novels I started in the past.
 My blog had a spur of the moment start in 2014 and I had no clue if I would continue to write. Now I can't imagine I'll stop. I'm comfortable, I just let it flow; no schedules, hardly any blog goals except to buy my domain name.
I want to step out of my comfort zone and start taking it more seriously, one step at a time so I can still have fun with it. I also want to do collabos with other bloggers if possible, online and offline stuff.

I can't tell you guys how thankful I am to you all for reading this lil blog... As Uzoma of Dont Touch The Hair said, I have a blog family now. Amazing. Thank you. Thank you. To those who actually take the time out to comment, I appreciate every single word you drop for me. And you who do so repeatedly, I see you. You're part of this blog family I just mentioned.

   The posts that turned out to be favourites, based on views:
Faux locs with Brazilian wool
The best darn box braid method for natural hair
Crochet braids with invisible parting
Wash day: A big trim and the heavenly homemade dc
Crochet braids: Tapered cut and colour
Short kinky twists and the shortlived crochet weave
   Hmmm. Posts on my protective styles got the most views, followed by wash days. Message received.
  What other kinds of posts would you guys like to see? Please please comment and let me know so I can work on it. Hair, non-hair, anything. Go crazy.

Have a wonderful weekend.