Wash Day: First Impressions of Cantu Deep Treatment Masque

01:07 Naija girl next door 17 Comments

       I tried the Cantu Deep Treatment Masque last week. It was my first Cantu product ever and honestly I only tried it because my sister bought it.

        I learned a lesson this wash day.
When you NEED your hair to bring it's A game, stick with what's proven to work.
       Last Saturday was the Project Loving You shoot (I'll post on the event in a couple days) so you can imagine, I wanted my hair poppin'.

Wash Day
   Detangle and hot oil prepoo: with olive and coconut oil mixed.
    Shampoo: Shea Moisture Yucca and Plantain Anti-breakage Strengthening shampoo. Also my sister's, also my first time using it. I didn't have high hopes for this one- Shea Moisture shampoo reviews are generally lukewarm. Just as I expected it just cleaned. No premium features like slip, moisture, etc. So vanilla.
  Deep Condition: Cantu Deep Treatment Masque. I applied it to damp hair, covered and wrapped up for heat, left in for almost 3 hours, then rinsed.

  • Very thick, no slip. I had hoped to get some detangling done but it wasn't helping.
  • It didn't sink into my hair easily. I was careful not to use too much and yet there was a white cast, like it was just sitting on top. 
  • Smelled scrumptious. At least that part was good. It smelled like pineapple, very yummy. I love pineapple.
  • The white cast was gone when it was time to rinse so it must have finally sunk in.
  • Unfortunately my hair didn't feel like it had gained anything when I rinsed. It was like spending hours on a movie and getting the credits instead of the climax. My hair wasn't any softer or moisturised.
I was too tired to try to do anything about it. I just used my leave-ins on damp hair and hoped for the best- Shea Moisture Superfruit conditioner mixed with shea butter; final seal with a drop of olive oil per section.

Style: Medium-sized bantu knots to stretch.
Bantu knots
I took them out the next morning and fluffed my dry 'fro with an afro pick. DRY hair the morning after wash day. A travesty!
After fluffing

Another thing I was reminded of: Read reviews. If I had, I would most likely have passed on the Cantu.
    While we chilled at the venue of the Saturday event, I shared my sob story with Ekene and Oyime. Ekene was not surprised, she's skeptical about other Cantu products besides their leave-in conditioner. Oyime has actually used the Cantu masque before and she noticed dryness and breakage until she stopped.

If you still want to try the Cantu, Konga carries it. i know I've seen it at Casabella as well.
By Saturday evening, my hair was breaking with reckless abandon. 
I did the LCO (Liquid, cream, oil) method with water, conditioner+shea mix, and olive oil. Then I gathered my protesting hair into six cornrows for the week.

Next wash day I'm sticking to what works for me.
For the cornrows, I love! but the volume of positive feedback on this style surprised me. I guess we all love simple.



A full wash day: DIY Everything and bantu knot-out

14:21 Naija girl next door 7 Comments

     I had the most extra wash day recently. I did everything- hot oil prepoo, shampoo, deep condition, leave-ins, style. It had been a long time since I did so much on wash day.
I get the best results when I assess what my hair needs before I start. This time it was a thorough wash because I had buildup in my scalp and hair.
 1.] Detangle. I had week-old loose twists I divided into 4 sections. Detangled gently with olive oil, and twisted up each section when I was done.
Untwisted sections waiting for prepoo

2.] Hot oil pre-poo. With black palm kernel oil heated over a bowl of hot water. I've had this oil for so long because I have to psych myself up for its strong smoky smell. I was desperate to use it all up so my hair was positively soaked. My shoulders too, oyel.
Hot oil in
It was late so I covered my hair, protected my bed, and left it in overnight.

3.] DIY Shampoo: I went through a lot of natural/organic soaps one time. I had half a bar of a particularly disappointing one, so why not make shampoo? I dissolved it in hot water over low heat and it made a wonderful! shampoo. It was quite watery at first, but after a day it had thickened to the perfect consistency.
My diy shampoo. I pinched my sister's empty face wash pump bottle
    It doesn't lather as much as it did as a bar but it now cleans beautifully without the drying effect, even without added oils and stuff.

4.] Deep condition- I was going to do the amazing banana masque I used here and here, but no light so I couldn't blend my bananas. I had to struggle with a manual blender and use more water, so after sieving I had an unimpressive watery filtrate.
I decided to thicken with rhassoul clay, and added a tablespoon each of honey, olive and coconut oil.
I didn't use an egg this time either because my hair didn't need the protein.

5.] Rinsed thoroughly. My hair was so clean and curly, my scalp too fresh for words; but my hair wasn't as soft and conditioned as it is with my usual banana recipe or say, Shea Moisture Purification Masque. Sigh.
Wet 4c hair

Wet 4c hair

6.] Leave-ins. Another diy step. My hair finds the Shea Moisture Superfruit conditioner too light as a leave-in. Inspiration struck to mix with shea butter and I did. 3 parts conditioner to 2 parts shea butter. The result was yum for my hair! I sealed with a drop or two of olive oil per section (6 sections).

7.] Style. I did bantu knots to stretch my kinks and unraveled them the next morning, sunday.

I did a side part and pinned down the front.
People really liked it so yay!

Bantu knot-out, roots gently fluffed.
By evening I put in my loose twists for another week.
This was two weeks ago. The week after I just did a quick co-wash.
My last wash day was friday and I tried out some actual bottled products, including the Cantu masque. I'll put it up tomorrow.

How did your wash day go?

The wash day experience


Join your favourite bloggers in a photo shoot for Project Loving You!

09:05 Naija girl next door 10 Comments

I'm so excited to share this. There's an event coming up on the 23rd that I am honoured to be a part of. 

A quick rundown
     The Girl Journey is an NGO that works on helping younger girls to build a healthy self image, and part of that is beauty- "love your hair, love your skin, love your flaws. You are beautiful just the way you are." 
*cue Bruno Mars theme music*
      So, they initiated Project Loving You, the first edition of which is this beautiful event here.
 It's a photo shoot and Meet & Greet with your favourite bloggers :p 
In alphabetical order:
Alexandria of nappyhaired
Chinomso of Shanyi organics
Ekene of The Kink and I
Ella of Natural Girl on a Budget
Nafisat and Oge of Coily Head of Hair
Oyime J of oyime's musings
Sandra of Naija Girl Next Door (c'est moi)
Tuke Morgan of Tuke's Quest
We'll be posing with our natural hair and our bare, makeup-free faces, to support the message and affirm that we are all beautiful, warts and all.
    Here's where you come in. Each blogger will be selecting on her terms, a reader who's interested to join in the photo session. So, keep an eye out for posts.

My terms

  • Follow @thegirljourney on Instagram. [You can follow me too while you're at it but it's not a requisite](@naijagirlnextdoor)
  • Comment below with your ig handle and why you would like to be a part of this shoot.

    As long as you can be in Lagos on the 23rd at Terrakulture, 12 noon; please enter.
   There'll be more going on, and free gifts too! See the official statement below. Spaces are limited so you'll have to register to attend, even if you won't be in the photo shoot. 
Oh and everyone is welcome; this isn't for just naturalistas at all. Lil sis can come too. All ages, all shapes, all kinds. It's a free, loving zone.
More details below. 


       The girl journey officially invites you to her maiden edition project loving you.
Venue: terrakulture
Date: 23-04-2016
Time: 12noon
Admission: Free

This project is an initiative of The Girl Journey, a Non Govermental Organization dedicated to setting a new standard of beauty in a world that has its own preformed ideas of what beauty should look and feel like. The Girl Journey is helping girls transform self-doubt into self-love by providing a safe space to connect and have honest conversations about topics that matter including but not limited to education, sex, beauty and empowerment. We work to help the girl child love who she is, to see all the positives in herself, how to harness these positives, shape her immediate environment and to empower her to inspire the same in others.

Everyone has flaws, even DIAMONDS have flaws. Nobody was made perfect, even those that seem perfect still have flaws and teaching young girls to see the beauty in that flaw is what LOVING YOU is about.
To achieve this and further spread our message of self love, we would be having a photoshoot with ladies(mostly bloggers) who are in support of this vision, with their natural hair (no added extensions) and no makeup on. The pictures would be unedited too.
After this shoot we would launch a social media campaign with the #PLY (project loving you) and reaching to more ladies.
We would have ladies from the ages 14-30 present at the event. This is a sophisticated event aimed at celebrating the beauty of the woman, tackling issues on self esteem and discovering what makes each of us beautiful not just the outward appearance.

For the event we would have;
- A photo session with each of the ladies
- Spoken word poetry
- Live musical performances.
- Round table discussions talking about feeling Unpretty and Loving You, self esteem issues in teenage girls and women, turning self doubt to self love.
- Meet and greet for the bloggers
- Games: secret hair Santa.

Come with two notes: 
-note one a list of things you do not like about yourself or things that make you doubt yourself.
-note two a quote about what makes you beautiful and a list of things you like about yourself.
Please these lists should be anonymous because it will be dropped at the door on entering the venue.

Thanks for being part of TheGIRLJourney.
We love and appreciate you.

"Raising the standards for how girls treat each other, themselves, and take on the world”
- The Girl Journey


Phone: Chinyere 07067597853, Jenny 08163268879.

Email: contact.thegirljourney@gmail.com


Drama at Owambe Mart Lekki [and Giveaway Winner]

01:58 Naija girl next door 22 Comments

So I have gist. This is a long one.
   Two sundays ago I went to Owambe Mart in Lekki with my sister and my friend Adaeze. It was my first time there as I had just read Tuke's review about the place. It was afternoon and we were primed, almost giddy at the prospect of small chops.

    I go to a lot of places I want to review, but can't because I get immersed in the experience and forget to take pictures. This time I made an effort to remember. The sun was HOT but I posed in front of the small chops station outside, valiantly trying to look less like a frying spring roll, while my sis tried to take a decent picture.
     We give up after 3 or 4 tries, still tickled pink. Adaeze says, "I wonder why that girl was talking about you taking a picture".
I'm like, huh? Sorry what?
"You didn't hear her? One girl that just got here, she kept saying 'ha. In front of small chops? In front of small chops. Ha'. And she was really loud. She kept saying it over and over."
I'm like "Really? Haha, I must have been really carried away."
My sis says, "is it her business really? Does she know you have a blog?"
The way I see it, the girl is trying to get a response and we didn't even hear her, so mission not accomplished. Happy sunday still in progress.

      She tries again.
We walk in with me taking pictures of the place. This time I can hear her. "How can she be videoing? What is that?!"
    I ignore because why would I answer someone that's not talking to me? I'm not about to. As I pass by where they're standing, her friend who appears marginally more reasonable says "um, sorry excuse me, please the video you're taking..."
    I say "No it's not a video, I'm taking pictures of the place see?" And I show her to reassure her that she and her attention-hungry friend (let's go ahead and call her AH for clarity) are not in my pictures.
She nods, satisfied.

 I take a few more and then three of us hang by the cash counter waiting our turn, talking about the place and reading the standing menu, trying to decide.
They sell foodstuff too
    The sales girl then gets to my sis who's decided to sponsor (oshey!), "what do you want?"
She starts to give her our order, but Adaeze and I are adding and subtracting stuff from the order, so my sister has to keep correcting a few things and the sales girl tells us to decide while she attends to a little girl. No problem, we need more time anyway. But the little girl is indecisive too so after a few seconds she turns back to my sis, "oya what do you want? "
My sis says, "why don't you just pick one person to attend to first?" That was all.

  A-H goes offff. "Look ere, go ahead and f*****g place your horder! We were even ere before you and we're letting you horder and you're giving hattitude! Who the F*** are you giving hattitude!"
At this point, me and my people are three dropped jaws. A-H is saying the same thing, over and over, not pausing for breath. Finally my sis finds her voice long enough to say "What? What did I say? Who was even speaking to you?"
      A-H continues "You were giving the sales girl hattitude! If you think you have hattitude let me tell you I am the queen of hattitude! Ask about me, you will ear! Rubbish. F*****g Bitch!"
 Ok. Receive your award.
    She never slowed down and she was SHOUTING. Might I add that she had injected some faux foreign accent of unknown origin into her h-factor.
Her friend was supporting what she was saying, but in her indoor voice, "yeah, it was how you said it. You said it with attitude".
     My sis is like "I answered the sales girl because she asked me to order. If you came first all you had to do was say so and I'd gladly have moved aside. We're not even in a hurry! I didn't even talk to her!"

        I start laughing, because I just can't believe it. Someone like this shouldn't be on the loose... I tell my sis not to say another word, "you can't be seen talking back to a person like this".
Adaeze could only manage "Whoa".
  Meanwhile A-H is still on a tirade, even threatening physical violence. "Yes you can't talk to me o, you can't try it. Bitch. Ma fun e blow".
I was just thinking, Ooh I wish you would. I wish you would get physical. You won't believe how far we'll take this. Wallahi we'll arrest and prosecute. But I'm focusing on getting my sis to ignore and even act like she's not the one being insulted. She tries, but every now and then (because e dey pain) she would go "WOW!"
     What's most shocking is not even the crazy girl. I concluded she's ill. The babe had been trying so hard since she got there to get our attention. The devil was pushing her. No, what shocked me was the reaction of the staff- women, not literate and could only speak yoruba. When they heard this girl go off and switch to yoruba, they practically embraced her. They were indulgent, and fanned the flames with their amusement. A-H was riding on that high, she was welcomed and endorsed. Not one of those women tried to tell her to stop, or even say something soothing to my sis, at least for the sake of business! They ignored three of us and hooted with laughter as the screaming girl threatened violence.

      The only other customer who had been there from the onset, said sorry and told my sis to overlook it.
We went out to retrieve our small chops and by now had found our voices and were talking about how the girl had been stewing from the beginning and was just looking for an opportunity. The calmer friend came outside too and was still trying to defend her friend. I had to turn to her.
"Look, even if AT ALL you thought someone was rude to someone else, you really think the way to tell that person is to behave like this? Which is worse? Your friend is out here screaming and swearing, calling someone a bitch, and threatening violence and you think that's justified?"
She backpedals "Ok she shouldn't have done that but..."

A-H joins us.
"yesss what is going on here? What are we talking about? Heee, and you people are just coming from church."
Adaeze retorts, "are you not coming from church? Acting like that?" A-H yells no, actually I didn't go to church today!
Adaeze points out her neck, "you are wearing a cross though."
And we get into the car and leave. My sister has lost her appetite for small chops and says she's never going back there, nor will she recommend them or hire them for any event.

       As for the small chops themselves, they were not as good as I had hoped. They were kinda greasy, the spring roll filling was too little and the puff puff had barely any sugar in it. I don't even like a lot of sugar but this was too little. Besides, no one eats puff puff for the health benefits. Put that sugar.
       Last sunday Adaeze and I went back in the evening. Only puff puff was left. This time it was good, and there were no lunatics in sight.
   I'll go back once in a while if the craving is great. But if another small chops place opens up in phase 1, bye Owambe Mart.

GIVEAWAY WINNER- By random selection, Diane. Congrats Diane! You've won a bottle of African Naturalistas Black Moisturising Shampoo. Please leave your email address in the comments and I'll be in touch.


Meanwhile, here's a poster of the event I mentioned. Post coming up!



Wash day files: Featuring New Products and a Braidout Fail

20:09 Naija girl next door 13 Comments

Hello there, you okay?
  I know I said in my last wash day post that I'll share my clay wash next, but I'll push it until I've used rhassoul clay a couple of times.  I want to compare it to bentonite clay which I have used a lot (Including here and here).

   Alright. So the wash day after: I was excited to use my new products from my latest haul [the giveaway is still on and ends on Sunday].
  My scalp was clean because I washed with Aveeno Naturals baby wash (not much to say about that really) before taking down my kinky twists.
So I-
  1. Parted my hair in four sections and detangled with water + oil in a spray bottle.
  2. Deep conditioned with Aubrey's GPB conditioner, twisted and covered with a processing cap for hours.
  3. Rinsed thoroughly and wrapped loosely with a towel to drain excess water. My hair was not soft unlike previous times I used this dc. Could be because it's a new formula, or because this time I needed moisture more than protein, but used it anyway. I'll know more with further use.
  4. Leave-ins: a spray bottle of water + Shea Moisture Superfruit Conditioner + olive oil; sealed with a few drops of coconut oil per section.
  5. I parted my hair into front and back halves, and did a few quick cornrows. I remembered halfway to try out my Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle. So only the front half got it. I used a pea sized amount per section. You want to use it this stuff sparingly.
     Now here's where the problem began. Power failure. If you live in Lagos you can probably relate. Heat, no light, no fuel to power the generators. Is this life? 

Day 2- The result of the power failure was that all my devices were dead the next day.     I didn't do all that to my hair to not have pictures taken! Thankfully I didn't have to work, so I spent the day safely under my satin scarf. 
Day 3- still no light. You have got to be kidding me. I didn't spend a whole day under a scarf just to give up now. I have a chiffon scarf that is too light, so I had to use a tank top to add volume to the scarf and go to work. The deepest hair struggs I've ever had.
Day 4- happily back in Lekki where the generator works at least.
Time for takedown. So rough now
 I finally got to undo the braids. Hmmm... Turn my head this way and that. No volume. All that time in tight braids made my hair refuse to rise. Plus, my hair seems a lot shorter since my very necessary trim, even my sister mentioned it. I didn't think I had taken off that much. 
Anyway I attempt to separate, which I'm not even good at. Mis.Take.
I end up with frizz and no definition.
That's Adaeze, having a fabulous hair day with her bob faux locs.
Hair acting up...        But who cares!
Adaeze and I went to Surulere and were thoroughly overfed by Abiakam, who is undeniably Bae. A fantastic day.
      By the time I was home, Lagos humidity had laid its hand on my hair and it rose. Oh it rose. And I loved it, but couldn't decide what to do to it.
    Then inspiration hit and I put in my loose twists that night. I'm still wearing that. 

  Next day was Sunday. Sunday, my people, deserves its own post. Drama smacked us in the face on sunday. The post is coming. 

How was your wash day? How was your weekend? Remember to join the Wash Day Experience



I style: Loose twists

14:35 Naija girl next door 16 Comments

    Hey guys! How's life lately? And your hair?
    Mine is in a new style, loose twists.
3-day old shrunken loose twists.
You might have seen the style on most famously, Cipriana Quann of Urban Bush Babes. She basically invented the thing. I had read a few of her interviews where she mentioned her hair was in twists, but they didn't look like any kind of twists I know. I didn't get it.
Cipriana (left) and her sister TK. Hurrrrr
Source: thecoveteur.com
But now, ha-haa! I do. As you would know if you follow me on Instagram (you don't?? Why? @naijagirlnextdoor. Go on, I'll wait).

     @flamellehair on Instagram posted her loose twists and in the comments she described how to do them.
  All my plans of cornrows and goddess faux locs flew out the window and on Saturday I did my loose twists after watching the video below. It was really helpful:

I wanted an even more deconstructed look so I didn't twist tightly at the roots, only at the very ends. I also made mine more loose  ie if she made say, fifteen turns per length of a twist, I probably did ten (Just for example. It'll differ according to your length) so mine look less like two-strand twists than hers.

    Guys, I'm in love. With loose twists that is. Too many reasons:

The Process
  1. Low manipulation to install, much less than regular twists.
  2. Fast. Quick twist, bam, on to the next. It was my first time and even with my loosening and redoing, trying to get it just right for me, I was done in two hours. I'll challenge myself to one hour next time.
  3. Easy. Regular twists require some technique to get them neat. Neat is not the goal here.
The style itself:
  1. Looks like locs! Without the commitment. 
  2. Gives the illusion of very thick hair. Like magic I tell ya.
  3. Can be styled like loose hair. They're more malleable than regular twists. 
    Day-old tucked in loose twists
  4. My hair stays moisturised for longer. I was pleasantly surprised. 
  5. Keeps my single strand knots at bay. Twists generally have the benefit of "united we stand". Strands just can't go solo and commit SSK suicide. 
      All of this is good news for my ends so they'll stay healthy and length retention will follow.

I'm feeling like I want to stick with this style and base my regimen on it. That may just be my initial excitement sha. I'll keep at it until I get restless. Even then, I'll take a break and go back.

 New Routine
Moisturise, seal, stretch.
Loose twists shrink too so you gotta stretch at night. I tried putting them in tight braids but I didn't like the curled look in the morning, at all. I prefer big bantu knots to stretch so my hair can hang, making me look like I can play the guitar. #stereotypes. 
 But ahmeanit, forget the smiley made up face in the pictures above. If you could see me at home, plain-faced and scantily-clad; wallahi you will buy my single.

Like the style? Will you try it?

In other news, there's something very interesting coming up really soon: an event with me and some of your other favourite bloggers, for a cause. One reader will get to be a big part of it. More info coming soon, you'll love it. Watch this space.