Quick, Light, Very Realistic Faux Lots



I found the best faux locs ever. Seriously. They are light, realistic, fast and EASY to install. 
They're crochet locs but I installed them as individuals so no cornrows required, and you don't even need a crochet pin! Just your hands, hair and some elbow grease. This is my best protective style yet. 


 We've come a long way from the faux locs that required a long 2-stage process. Click here and here to see what I'm talking about. 

My friends made me order the hair for them too so right now I have all these packs of hair in my apartment until lockdown is over and they can get free hairstyling from me. Sigh. The things I do for love. 

The hair is none other than Freetress Gypsy Locs. 


Freetress has a few similar faux locs, most notably their Bo locs which has a slight wave to it. That was the one I actually wanted but I just couldn't get it in the UK. Why does America have to have all the fun? Anyway I found the Gypsy locs on Ebay and Amazon and it's pretty similar, only straighter.


In terms of installation, I didn't take pictures while I was doing my own hair because I would need an extra pair of hands for that. Thankfully, I was able to borrow a friend's head. They owe me big time for regularly doing their cornrows so I wasn't about to take no for an answer.

I can’t take credit for this method. It’s the popular #Jazznicolemethod on Youtube. The process quite simply is that you braid your own hair and wrap it in the loc. You only need to know how to do single braids to do this hair. You don't even have to be neat because your hair will be wrapped up anyway, and if you're like me, you don't want very clear parting. Having your roots a bit fuzzy just adds to how realistic it looks- another reason why it gets better as it gets older. 

1. Take a medium-sized section of hair 



2. Divide it into 3 as you would with any braid



3. Do the very first cross over to start the braid as above, then take one of the three "legs" of the braid through the loop of the faux loc and guide the faux loc to the root. 






4. Complete the braid with your own hair. You can even switch to a two-strand twist halfway down and that just 
Now you have a single braid with your faux loc attached at the root. 



5. Each loc is a spiral (which is why it's so light- it's hollow!) so you want to unwrap the loc and then tuck your hair in the middle, and wrap it over your hair. 
It's so easy because the loc snaps back into it's spiral shape, keeping your hair in. 




             
       


That’s it! Repeat all over your head. 

 Here’s The Jazz Nicole Method on YouTube. It’s very helpful to watch. 

If you just want to cornrow and crochet, you can absolutely do that too. If you want to use your crochet pin to attach the locs to the root of your braid and then wrap, that’s great too. 

I bought two packs of colour 2 and ended up using one and half. There are 36 locs per pack so I had 54 locs in total, and that's my perfect density. 
I don't like my hair unmanageably full or to have a big piece of extension attached to an itty bitty piece of my own hair, hanging on for dear life. We're still all about healthy hair practices and that just puts unnecessary tension on your follicles. 


Important tips
*ALWAYS start any protective style with your hair in the best condition: clean, deep-conditioned, moisturised and detangled. 
You want hair that can withstand the manipulation you're about to do.
 Because your hair is fully wrapped in this loc, it can be amazingly protective so you want to make sure you've locked enough moisture in your hair and you may not need to re-moisturise for a good week or more even. 

 *Another thing, please spare your edges. 
Again about the follicles, there is really no reason to pick every strand of hair at your hairline. It's not worth risking hair loss. I prefer to let natural edges do what natural edges do, especially with this sort of hairstyle. Your hands and a bit of hair butter will groom them okay. If it really bothers you, a little bit of edge control or gel can give you a sleeker look.



I kept my locs long for four weeks, then I cut them short and held on for another week. You can see all the styles I did on my Instagram reels and IGTV. They still looked good the day I took them out. 
If you’re one for long protective styles, this will LAST. Me, I’m a bit restless so five weeks is very long for me.

I hope you try it. Tag me, I’d love to see. I’m @naijagirlnextdoor on Instagram. 



Xx
NGND

Why The Afro By Nature Curl Maker is the Best Thing for Curling 4C Hair



 I had promised that I’d post this review and giveaway of the Afro by Nature Curl Maker by weekend but here I am, hat in hand, late again, hoping all at once that you noticed and didn’t notice. Also, I didn’t specify what weekend. Could have been December, lol. I’m joking, please don’t stop reading. 

Afro by Nature is proudly Nigerian and their Curl Maker has been a staple in my stash for a couple of years. The first time, I received this (and the banana conditioner) from the owner who wanted my opinion. I loved the results so much that I repurchased the large size. Yet somehow I still didn’t do a review or Instagram post about it. Kind of like that artist you love, whose every lyric you know, but you keep them to yourself? How bad of me. Here we go.

 The Afro by Nature Hi Definition Curl Maker comes in a white pump bottle, it’s a thin clear gel and smells... milky, like milk sweets. Unexpected, but not mad at it.

Ingredients: Aloe vera gel, marshmallow root extract, flaxseed gel, slippery elm, coconut oil, extra virgin avocado oil, optiphen plus.

Stellar list. Clean. 

How I used it: braidouts and twistouts. 

On the bottle it lists every kind of curly style possible. If you’re on the brand’s Instagram, you’ll have been tantalized by videos of single coils. With what looks like a quick flick of the wrist and a slick of the curl maker, it transforms even the wildest, undefined fros into tame springy curls. 

If you have the patience for this, try it. Me? Never have. You see wash & go, straw curls, finger coils, any kind of tiny curl- I have neither the patience nor the desire. If I were to try any of the above though, it would be because of the Curl Maker. 

My Results

I’ve had many successful braidouts and twistouts in my life, but the results from this product amazed me. I couldn’t believe it. Looook. The twists above became this the next day:

Twistout:

Even my bangs laid down. That never happens! There’s a reason I’m called Afro Medusa ūüėĄ

 Usually I have to be extra careful separating sections with any curly style because my hair loses curls easily. One wrong move and boom, my fresh curls default to an afro. The difference with this product is that I can separate my hair freely without losing the curl. Do you know what it means?? To touch and pull and fluff my hair and still have defined curls. 

Braidout:     

 

This was the result of 9 single braids. Oh and not a single crunch whatsoever. My hair remains soft, yet defined as heck.

It won’t replace your favourite detangler but it definitely helped me with the process, which is no surprise considering it has marshmallow root and slippery elm.

Where to buy: afrobynature.ecwid.com in Nigeria. It costs N3500 for a 250ml bottle. 

Psst! They’re coming soon to the UK!

Giveaway Time!

I’m giving away two bottles of the Curl Maker to two people who read my blog. It’s limited to Nigeria only, sorry. All you have to do is follow me on Instagram and leave a comment below on this post, with your IG username and what style you want to try with the product. If you don’t use Instagram, fair enough. Just say so in the comments and complete the rest. C’est tout! I will announce the winners on September 1st.

Affordable Nigerian Hair Products: Shanyi Organics Review

First Post of 2020! I'm laughing at how excited I am to be back in my space.
This is a review and I’m doing a giveaway too so please read through okay?
Photo: Shanyi Organics instagram: @shanyiorganics

 Shanyi Organics is a Nigerian brand of hair products.
They've been making affordable hair products since the earlier days of the natural hair movement in Nigeria. They've rebranded twice, I think, and each time they’ve improved quality and packaging.
 They unveiled their new line and spoiler alert, I'm impressed. The ingredient lists make me so happy. It shows real work. I'm a diy-er and none of them is something I can throw together in my kitchen. More than that, the products work. So proud of them because I've watched them grow and now their products can compete internationally.

Let's do this in the order in which you might use the products:
  Shampoo: The Deep Cleanse 2-in-1 Conditioning Herbal Tea
First of all, it's not black soap based. This is me leaping up and punching air because our prayers have been andsweredt! Finally, a Nigerian brand breaking away from black soap. We'll talk about all the whipped shea butters another day. No hate on either one, we just need more options fam.
Ok, back to the review. Tea is the right word because of its consistency- it's quite thin and clear, not cloudy or creamy.

Ingredients: Deionised water, sugar beets, soap nuts, coco betaine, glycerine, decyl glucoside, PQ 7, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, botanical extracts, essential oil blend, citric acid, preservative.
colour: golden amber
smell: peppermint.  In fact the entire line is Lavendar and mint so that's what they smell like. I like minty stuff so this is right up my alley.
Action: Lathers gently, enough suds to clean without stripping. If you decide to pour half the bottle on your head, then you may get barrels of foam. Believe me, that is not necessary.
 I don't ask too much of shampoos so it upsets me when they cause dryness and tangles. Just clean and go your way. This one delivered and added the bonus of a tingle, thanks to the essential oils. Brownie points Shanyi, because tingly shampoos are a joy to my scalp.
Since cowashing has fallen out of favour with the natural hair oracles, this shampoo is mild enough for those who wash frequently but don’t like to cowash.
For a simple weekly wash, one lather was enough.
When my hair had buildup + lots of oil in it, I rinsed and repeated twice.
Results: Clean, smooth hair + a happy scalp.

Deep conditioner: Goodbye Breakage Deep Restorative Smoothie

Pink, thick, minty. You can see the herbs in this DC and in their other conditioners, but they’re all very smooth so you can’t feel them on your hands or see any residue in your hair.

Now it's thick, but still quite water-based so it sank into my hair quickly and felt light, like a leave-in. I was doubtful at this stage because most of my favourite DCs go on creamy and heavy so I thought this won't work well. Boy was I wrong.
Ingredients: deionised water, manshanu butter, chebe powder, psyllium husk, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera extract, D-panthenol, lanolin, biotin,hydrolysed silk proteins, PQ 47, BTMS, Cetyl alcohol, botanical extracts, essential oil blend, preservative.
Results: When I rinsed off, my hair felt soft and fluffy and hydrated. I noticed less breakage too. Colour me impressed.

Leave-in conditioner: Knot-Free Moisturising Milkshake

This is supposed to moisturise and detangle.
Ingredients: Deionised water, coconut milk, aloe vera gel, shea butter, lanolin, botanical extracts, sweet almond oil, vegetable glycerin, cetyl alcohol, BTMS, essential oil blend, preservative.
Again, pink and minty. Medium thickness, pourable. Reminds me a lot of 'pink oil' from childhood, but much better quality and ingredients.

Results: I found it properly softening and hydrating, whether on damp hair after deep conditioning, or on dry hair during the week.
I detangle at every step of wash day, starting from the pre-poo stage so I can't speak much on its detangling properties by itself as my hair is already detangled at this point in wash day, but this entire line easily made my hair tangle-free.
Really happy with it.

Syler: Curls Delight Curl Sculpting Souffle

Thickest girl in the crew. pink. Minty.

Ingredients: deionised water, shea butter, cocoa butter, flax seed gel, aloe vera gel, argan oil, almond oil, glycerin, Cetyl alcohol, botanical extracts, essential oil blend, preservative.
Results: Made it easy to twist my hair smoothly. Very hydrating. VERY. My hair felt soft for ages and stayed moisturised for days. Fixes dry hair right up.
The downside to all this moisture? Hair that takes forever to dry. I've used it twice on wash day and my hair was still damp the next morning so my curls did not form. Next time, I'll use this on dry hair and see how it works out. Or I’ll use my hooded dryer.
A+ for moisture. Missing script for definition. I will update.

Oil: Growth Magic Hair & Scalp Elixir
Ingredients: palm kernel oil, castor oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, cayenne pepper, neem extract, amla extract, onion extract, ginger, garlic, horsetail extract, henna, stinging nettle, liquorice, essential oil blend, vit E oil.

 It's pale yellow, liquid at room temp and semi-solid in the cold because palm kernel oil has similarities to coconut oil.

Semi-solid because it’s the middle of winter
It smells herby and minty so don't be scared of the onion, garlic and ginger in the ingredients. It doesn't smell like food. The ingredients floored me I tell you. Premium scalp stimulating agents in a blend of quality oils. With a lineup like this I don't need several different bottles of oil. It contains more than I could ever mix. I can't recommend it enough. my friend who's Indian praised the ingredients as well.
Use it for all the things oils do: scalp massage, seal in moisture, pre-poo/detangle, stimulate edges, did I leave out anything?

Daily Moisturiser: Moisture King daily Hair Juice


Ingredients: Deionised water, aloe vera juice, lemon grass extract, sunflower oil, vitamin E oil, castor oil, glycerin, preservative.
So wash day is over. This one is for keeping hair moisturised until next wash.
It's in a nifty spray bottle, pink, minty but also a bit lemony and you can smell the aloe I think. it comes out like a very light liquid jelly and it sinks in quickly.

Results: soft, moisturised hair with no buildup. Exactly what I want. Maybe it's the cold but these days I don't like to use straight water to moisturise. I want something a bit thicker that won’t spray on my neck or shoulders. This checks all the boxes.

There is not a single bad product. I'd repurchase every single one of these proudly Nigerian products.
To buy: shanyiorganics.com
The entire range costs N15000 ($42). The shampoo, leave-in and hair mist are N2500 ($7), the DC and styling soufflé are N3000 ($8.40) and the oil is N3500 ($9.80) which I think is great value.

These are my honest thoughts. I received the products courtesy Shanyi, but I have received no payment or compensation for reviewing them.
   I'm hosting a giveaway on Instagram from Shanyi Organics. They asked me to give away two of my favourite products but it's been tough choosing, it took me weeks to give them an answer. I eventually decided on the Deep Restorative Smoothie and the Growth oil because I think they're essential.
The rules are easy as pie (I hate giveaways with too many instructions).
I am @naijagirlnextdoor on Insta. Thanks for reading and participating!

XX
NGND


Hairstyle Inspiration: Silver / Grey Box Braids


My first time doing grey box braids, they were short and crocheted in. This time, I went for full on silver box braids. I was going on holiday to Istanbul and in the spirit of hot girl summer, they are long; down to my bum. ayyy!


I used two different brands of grey braiding hair. The first brand is African Dream. Believe it or not, I’ve been holding on to two packs of this hair for four years. They were left over from my first grey box braids in 2015. Got it from Pak Cosmetics in Finsbury Park, London. They have a website now, pakcosmetics.com

Colour codes for the grey extensions I used are 51 and 44.
44 is darker, it's a steel/gunmetal grey mixed with silver. 51 is my favourite. It’s lighter, with more silver in it.
For reference, colour 60 is pure silver, almost white. The jury's still out on 60.


Source: ikickshins.net
From left to right, 51, 60 and 44

I actually wanted to do all 51 but I had one colour 44 of African Dream, so I ordered two more packs of colour 51 from Jazzy Hair, for £2.49 each, making a total of four packs of hair.
Both brands are quite scanty so and I had to compensate by making very big sections at the back. Next time I'll do six packs. If you go for a much fuller look normally, I suggest eight packs.


I ended up loving the dimension that the darker grey added so I think I'll add one or two colour 44 packs again the next time I do these silver braids.

The colour completely changed my look and sometimes my personality even. Lol. If I don't have all silver hair when I get old, I'm going to be so mad. Haha.


I can't believe how much attention this hair got in Istanbul. I lost count of the people who told me they love my hair. It was described as original, authentic, so nice, beautiful.
They’re so generous with compliments. I got countless “you’re so beautiful” everyday. My confidence is flying right now.


Some wanted more information, "Is it extensions?" Yes.

"Which part is your hair?" The black bit.

"Who does it for you?" I do it myself.
"Really?!" Yeah, mhmm.
"Will you braid for me too?" I laughed.
 "No,  I'm serious." His beautiful face was serious.
Unfortunately I was leaving for England the next day so I promised to braid his hair on my next trip.
Next time you see this face, he'll have beautiful braids framing it.

It was an exciting trip to Istanbul. I have a post in the works with lots of tips and valuable info to share if you plan to visit that beautiful city.

So, would you try grey / silver braids? What's your go-to holiday hair?
Please like, share and let's talk in the comments. <3

xx,
NGND.



The Best Places to Visit this Summer



London, Summer '17
Sponsored

It’s summertime! My favourite time of the year because it’s the best time to travel; when all the best summer destinations are warm and sunny. I love sunshine and bikinis and sunglasses and ice cream. What can I say, I’m biased. I’m Nigerian okay; I was born in the heat, I can’t stand cold and I’m certainly not going to fly halfway across the world on holiday for teeth chattering and hiding under blankets. Everyone else thinks this way, so travel costs tend to skyrocket during summer. Except now it’s so cheap! There are Cheap Flights to all the best places worth travelling to this summer.
Travelstart is doing a Summer Sale. The last time they had a massive sale on flights was Black Friday. Everything was sold out before noon the same day. I know because I tried to buy a dirt cheap ticket to London and it was all gone. *Cries in Pounds sterling*

The best places to travel to this summer:

LONDON


It’s my favourite city because I’ve been there a bunch of times, had a blast each time and it’s like a second home. Like most Nigerians, I have lots of family and some close friends there so guess who doesn’t have to pay for accommodation? Hehe. If you want to shop, this is the best time to go because all the stores are on sale and you’ll get clothes you can rock year-round in Nigeria. I’m about to cop one of these cheap flights from Lagos to London before you people finish everything.

London, Summer '15


NEW YORK


Everyone has to visit New York at least once. In the summer it’s even more alive and pulsating. There’s so much to do: concerts, festivals, food trucks, outdoor movies, ball games, tennis games, theme parks… My mom and my sister were together in New York last summer. I was so jelly. I haven’t been yet, but my friend Adaeze keeps telling me how we need to go to New York and explore hundreds of food spots because apparently New York is a food mecca and she knows that food is the way to finally get me. I just want to get on one of these cheap flights from Lagos to New York. I’ll come back fat and happy; summer body be darned.

DUBAI


Dubai has been on my radar for years, but money. My friends and I have been talking about a girls’ trip since forever. A couple of them have gone on their own (traitors) and they won’t let us hear anything else. It’s hard for all of us to be buoyant at the same time but with flights from Lagos to Dubai this cheap, I’d say we’re running out of excuses.

JOHANNESBURG


South Africa has kind of been aggressively promoting travel to their country and to be honest I’m sold. The tourism there is live. It's like a merger of the big city experience in places like Jo'burg and prime wildlife in the parks. Sisi Yemmie has gone a number of times and always shares what she gets up to. Johannesburg is different from the other places I mentioned above. Because it is in the southern hemisphere, it’s actually colder from June to August and not crowded; unlike December to February when it's hot and more people are visiting. So if you want to escape Lagos heat, there are unbelievably cheap flights to Johannesburg. Room rates are lowest this time of year too.

I’m getting serious wanderlust. I must do my own Summer ’18 too. Are you in?

XX,
NGND