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.


One year natural: Taking stock

01:01 Naija girl next door 22 Comments

I'm one year natural! Why does it feel a lot longer?
June 12 was my nappyversary - last year I ended a 19-month transition and chopped what was left of my relaxed hair. It's all here.
 I have been so excited since we entered the new month.
This was a week before said big chop anniversary
 You should see all the June pics in my library; all the random laughy-dancy blurry pictures.

How has it been?
Easier than I expected going in. A hair journey can be as crammed or as simple as you want it to be. What counts is following the basics and paying attention to what your hair responds to, and what suits your lifestyle.
I've been able to retain some length, let's hope that continues.
July 2015

June 2016

What has worked for me
  • Frequently moisturising - definitely a must for me because my hair tends to let go of moisture fairly easily. If my hair feels drier than usual, I'll make sure I moisturise and seal every night before bed until I can have a wash day; to keep the moisture up.
  • Low manipulation - the lowest. I used to style every other day or so but lately, loose twists and cornrows help me stay out of my hair for the entire week and I have fewer knots, fewer tangles, a lot less breakage.
  • Knowing when to trim - it saved my hair. Read about it here. I also keep my hair shears handy when I'm detangling, for stubborn knots. I got mine from Savvy & Chic at last year's Salon day out.
  • Staying comb-free. Finger detangling is so much gentler on my hair. Sometimes I'm tempted to just speed things up with a comb but that's rare. I'm thinking about getting a denman brush or a tangle teezer to help when I need extra help. Any advice?
   As for products, I haven't tried that many. You know I'm the furthest thing from a product junkie. I have some favourites, but it'll be a while before I have my staples down pat. So far, one I can beat my chest and testify for is the Shea Moisture Purification Masque.

What I should do more of.
  1. Scalp massages: They stimulate growth and for me, massaging my scalp with oil always translates to more manageable hair because it lubricates the strands, but it's been so hard for me to overcome the laziness. I'll try.
  2. Give my edges some attention. They are a little bit thinned out lately and usually I just ignore them and they fill out when they're ready, but I want to do things with more intention now. Castor oil was too heavy for my edges while relaxed, but I want to see how it goes this time. I just bought castor oil and eucalyptus essential oil. Let's hope I use them.
  3. Wash my hair in braids or twists. I did it recently. I kept the roots loose to help me get to my scalp. It was awesome. No tangles.
  4. Try out some more (organic) Nigerian products. I love that we have more options here now, and I fully believe in supporting home grown businesses. Still a Shea Moisture fan though. They seriously need to come and gimme products. 
I'll keep you guys posted.

Current length
Juuuust grazing below my shoulder blade at the back. 

I'll resume taking monthly progress pics. 

Thanks for reading! And thanks to you wonderful people that have been sharing my excitement on instagram. Hehe. Keezes.





The time cornrows saved me from the heat

14:15 Naija girl next door 4 Comments


    We had a terrible heat wave in Nigeria recently, remember? As if anybody could forget. While our friends abroad were putting up "I'm so ready for summer" and "need me some sun..." posts, Naija was serving us medium rare.
        We can laugh now because with the rains, the weather and our tempers have cooled some; but at the time, my humour evaporated and only returned like beads of condensation while standing in front of an AC at full blast.

     During all of this, my hair was the last, the LAST thing I would have had any patience for. It was like wearing a woolly cap in the heat, and everytime a twist left its bounds and touched my face, my neck, my ears, I wondered why my own hair would torture me like this.

One Saturday night in April, right after wash day and a shower, I was already starting to sweat. It just came to me to do something that would keep my hair entirely out of the way. I abandoned plans for loose twists and did cornrows instead.

      Before recent times, Secondary school was the last time I wore cornrows, and even then it was rare for me. We didn't call them cornrows then. It was just "plait" or "weaving" or in hausa, "kiso".
 In my secondary school, we wore berets and later, hijab, so no one really cared about your hair. You could have anything from your own plaited hair, to blond braids or a weave peeping out in a bun from under your beret.
For a child like me, it was freedom at last.
Quick story: From late in primary school, I had taken to loosening my carefully woven hair three days after my mother had taken her time to plait it. I still remember the first time she saw me halfway through. My weak response to her shock was "it's getting old". After three days? I'm in awe of the woman's restraint.
If any child of mine tries that nonsense with me...
        I did it a few more times and she gave up doing my hair. She would wash it at home and then send me off to those market women that would draaag your head back into position between their knees if you so much as flinched. So many customers waiting and you want to stretch your aching neck on her time? You must be joking. Mom's plan worked, because I started to let my head rest a full week, sometimes two - even after I found a nice lady.

So when I started at my secondary school, I was like, Yes, these people get me. They recognise I'm a big girl now. I usually had my natural hair in a bun; and from ss2, my relaxed hair. As a big girl.

         Now I've done a full circle back to the hairstyle I couldn't wait to leave behind and it feels so good I've done it twice already. The first time, it halved my frustration with the heat. The occasional breeze (that would usually occur right before we could get fully cooked) would actually get to my scalp and cool my head. That was how I survived that heat wave. The second time, it was just so convenient- to do and to wear. Maybe in time I'll try more complex styles like these:
Source: both pictures from thirstyroots.com

This one reminds of my favourite hairstyle while transitioning.  You can see all the hairstyles that helped with my transition here
       I thought with my cornrows I looked the best I had looked in a long time, but I was still expecting lots of negative remarks. Surprisingly, the opposite happened. Positive comments all around, even from guys.
The downside would probably be all the random people talking to me like a child. One young boy I'm pretty sure is not out of Uni wanted to walk me home.
   Note to self: Always wear cornrows with bold brows and red lips.
Go bolder, Sandra
How did you wear your hair during the heat? What other style do you find really easy to wear?
     I love to read your comments 😃