My Blog is Two! Product haul and Giveaway [CLOSED]

15:12 Naija girl next door 32 Comments


     Hey it's my blogaversary! NGND is two!
Sometime in March 2014 I decided to transition to natural hair and a few days later I started this blog. It is one of the best projects I've ever taken on.
   I share a lot about my hair here, a few snippets of my life and a little bit about my big foodie side.
   The best thing for me has been connecting with my readers and other bloggers. I have met and made friends with some of the most interesting people I know from blogging.

What I want? MORE. I have stuff planned, and I want more. I want a new theme, I want to get rid of the .blogspot... too long.
I want to do more here, write more, collaborate and have other people share their stuff here too- hair, beauty, style, whatever. God help me.

   I used up all my stuff one by one and made do for a while so when I NITC 14 came around, I was hoping to use the opportunity to stock up on hair and skin products with all-natural ingredients. My go-to brand is Shea Moisture. They have so much it's like they've thought of everything.    Unfortunately I couldn't get their stuff at the meet up but I had a good time still.
  You can read Oyime's take on NITC14 and a blow-by-blow account by Uzo of Dont Touch the Hair.
     The only thing I got at the meet up was 1.] Africa Naturalistas shampoo. I love this stuff. [Read Review]

From Beautifully Nappy:

2.] Rhassoul clay- For hair and skin masques.
3.] Red raspberry oil for my face.

From The Kinky Apothecary:

4.] Shea Moisture Curling Gel souffle
5.] Shea Moisture Lavendar & Wild Orchid body wash- on sale for N1700. The label was faded so I'm guessing that's why. It doesn't matter, what's inside is good.
6.] Aubrey's GPB conditioner.
   That's it. I was going to get the JBCO leave-in from Shea Moisture but they were out. Next time. I still have a leave-in and Kinky Apothecary has the best prices I've seen. If not, I won't be doing all this free advertising I'm doing here. #stayingfaithful.
Yup. And my money too lol

      I'm giving away a bottle of Africa Naturalistas Black Moisturising shampoo. Only open to those in Lagos, due to logistics.

    They've changed the formula since I reviewed it. It smells much better; a nice, mild, (slightly perfumey) coconut-y smell. They also changed the order of the ingredients as well which implies quantities have been adjusted. There are some additions like cocamide MEA, Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone. Euxyl has been removed.
    It is still free of sulphates, parabens, silicones and petroleum products. Still natural hair friendly, mostly natural ingredients. So unless you're a hard-core rigid, crazy must-be-only-organic person like me, you won't mind the additions. I did use it once and it's effect is just as good.
It costs N2000 now. I bought it myself and will always say the truth anyway, even if I didn't. But I did. :P

   To win this shampoo, all you have to do is comment below "I want it", and please tell me (1) What's your favourite kind of post on  this blog.  (2) What would you like to see more of: I'll always post about my hair but what else? Product reviews? More lifestyle posts? Sometimes I get up to a lot. Books? Food? Features? Anything I didn't mention? Go crazy.
Please comment even if you don't want to enter for the giveaway. I really need this feedback. Thank you for taking the time out to read my blog and drop comments and emails. I APPRECIATE YOU.



Wash day and style: sleek double bun and red highlights

19:42 Naija girl next door 32 Comments

Hey! Been a minute. Poor internet service is to blame.
   I love how lazy hair days force me to do something nice in five minutes. Is it just me or do those styles usually turn out the best?
   The wash day theme for this week is Lazy Day Hairstyles. Sooo my cup of tea.
     All my lazy hairstyles involve tucking away and bobby pins.

Let's start with the wash itself. My scalp was clean, but my hair wasn't soft. I was back home in Lekki without any of my products, and just the kitchen cabinets to create something.
     I did my milk and honey treatment. Guys, that was one of my very early posts two years ago. Whoop! I had even forgotten about it until I spotted honey and powdered milk in the cupboard. The recipe is in the link above.
     I left it on my hair for like 2 hours or so, then I thoroughly rinsed it out. It has zero slip so you can't detangle with it, but once it's out, hair so soft!

Curious- It left my curls elongated.
My banana deep conditioner  does this too. It's temporary. 
Following a banana dc several wash days ago

   Also, I kept catching faint whiffs of milk from my hair. The next day I did a clay wash to end it. That'll be my next wash day post.
   If you're using milk in your hair I think it's better to shampoo or co-wash it out instead of just rinsing.

I sealed my damp hair with EV olive oil and stretched with eight bantu knots.
For the style, I didn't take pictures of the process but I'll try to explain:
1. It's important to start any sleek style with stretched, properly detangled hair.
2. Use sections in the front, middle and back so at least three. It makes it so much easier and faster.
I started with the front section.
I pressed it back as sleek as possible, then secured it that way with a piece of hair fron each side like a headband. Bobby pinned the headband in place.
Twisted the ends of the front section and tucked into the middle section.

For the middle and back sections I just twisted the very ends and tucked in with a bobby pin. That makes the double bun.
That's all done in five minutes.

3. Sleek edges: You can take another five minutes if you want sleek edges. I used a bit of Argan oil ecostyler gel (red) over the front section and to lay my edges, then tied it down with my satin scarf while I quickly did my face.
   Take off the scarf: sleekness.

  This was all for a themed send-off party. We were all sailors for the day. Fun!

* A year and half ago I decided to give up most products with chemicals. My Ecostyler gel has been in hiding ever since. I gave out the gel after this style at the Naturals In the City 14 hair meet-up. It's a journey.

   I added a little pizzazz with this red hairspray from Superdrug.

I used it tentatively because my look for the day was far from wild. It's great, instantly deposits colour and doesn't transfer half as much as hair chalk does.
I'm giving it to my friend Olere who wanted the hair chalk but didn't get it.
  Ok what do you think?


Tangles, Splits and Single Strand Knots- How to know when it is time for a trim

01:29 Naija girl next door 25 Comments

    Hey hey!
     I recently got a trim. Trust me I didn't want to, but before my trim I had been dealing with an army of single strand knots, weak, split ends and detangling battles. Strugs.

It's like, my hair grew longer and just before I could celebrate I had to give it up. My ends were rough, dry, tangly.
Dry, knotted ends.
 The first thing I did was to put my hair away for two weeks in crochet braids to avoid getting impatient and rough. That's how I was feeling. 
   When I was ready to deal I had a proper wash day- finger detangle, protein prepoo, coffee on my scalp, wash, condition, detangle again. I even dusted my ends hoping that would be enough. But nah, I had to call it and break out the shears.

Signs it's time for a trim
   These apply to both relaxed and natural hair. 

1. Detangling suddenly becomes a nightmare. 
    To detangle, I usually need just oil (my fave is olive) plus or minus a little water spray. I work it in with my fingers and the tangles come apart. If at all there are any stubborn knots they get snipped off. No time.
    This time detangling became a struggle. I was spending too much time per section and not having much success with just my fingers. I resorted to the wide tooth comb that I gave up while transitioning. It helped, but then the hair would be tangled again the next day. 

2. Single strand knots
   They are unavoidable for kinky coily hair which naturally curves in upon itself. A single strand will literally just work itself into a knot. It's more a natural hair problem but if you're stretching your relaxer or transitioning you may get some too.
Single strand knot
The knots feel like bumps along a strand, and if you have a lot of them, you'll get a rough feeling when you handle your hair. SSKs are major tangle causers. They act just like the hooks on Velcro: they latch on to adjacent strands= tangles > you keep prying them apart > more mechanical damage to your ends= split ends and breakage. For as long as the knots remain, the cycle continues and you won't retain length. Plus, your hair becomes almost unmanageable.

3. Hair just won't retain moisture. 
  Split ends are damaged goods. The inner cortex is exposed and so it just leaches out moisture.
I kept moisturising daily, twice a day sometimes even. Still, dry hair.

4. Ends won't curl
Look at this bantu knot set I did. I promise you I doubly moisturised the ends, twirled and curled to the very tips and I still had this in the morning,

5. No shape
My fro strated to look uneven. It wouldn't cooperate and go into a nice roundish shape. I just had bits sticking out oddly. Meh.

When my hair was relaxed, a sure sign I was due for a trim was lack of volume. The ends would just hang down like a repentant sinner.

6. Timing.
The clincher- my big chop was almost nine months prior. I didn't realise. This was my first trim since. Way overdue.
   Of course having a schedule is great too. There are people who trim every four weeks to six months.

How I trimmed
Twirled each section round and round and snipped off the end.

Then I freed up the hair and took off some more above any knots I could feel.

 My hair is back! It's manageable again, doesn't feel rough and holds on to moisture better. I can tell I'm going to retain more length now.
  I braided up my hair when I was done, just to stretch. By morning it was curled to the very ends. *dab*

When your goal is longer hair it can be a little hard to give up some length, but holding on to damaged ends is more headache than it is worth, and is counterproductive in the long run.

Before trim

After trim

To prolong trim intervals I've learned important lessons.
1. Keep my hair stretched. Shrinkage is not exactly my friend. Remember that wash day when I let my hair shrink? It was fun seeing my coils but allowing my hair curl up so much started all those single strand knots.

2. Nighttime routine is important. I got lazy and started sleeping with my hair out some nights. I don't even sleep on a pillow so my kinky hair and my cotton sheets... NO. The result is hard brittle hair.
I'll make sure I braid/twist/bantu knot/thread at night and cover with my satin scarf.
If I'm feeling lazy I'll protective style. Like right now I'm in kinky twists. 
     All other usual hair care procedures apply. :)

So what about you? Have you had a trim lately? How do you figure out when you need one?