Product haul- old and new products

July 31, 2014 Naija girl next door 8 Comments

Hello beautiful people,
Yes, this is a haul for me o. I am not a product junkie :|
    It happened that at about the same time, important products in my hair stash got entirely or almost used up.
     I ran out of all my oils except PKO, deep conditioner went poof, my homemade shea butter cream container was shiny and empty, and I was left pressing and shaking the life out of my cowash conditioner bottle.
     I have since whipped up another batch of shea butter, and I now have a fresh bottle each of pure coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. My skin and hair are singing with joy.
I went to The Palms, Lekki in search of vo5 conditioner which is my regular cowash conditioner. After an exhausting search through Shoprite, Game, Casabella and Medplus, I had to look for an alternative. I found this 750ml Beauty Formulas Apricot conditioner at Shoprite for N790 (about 5 USD).
   I liked the big size and simple ingredient list, no red light. There was the olive oil version which was green had the same ingredients as this, except for the olive oil included in that one.
The one with olive oil would seem like the obvious choice for a girl on a healthy hair journey, but I sniffed at both of them and that one smelled just like my sister's Febreze air freshener at home- which I now associate with bathroom, not my hair.
 The peach one smells like peach flavoured custard.
 I found the Eco styler gel at Ebeano supermarket, Lekki for N980 (about 6 USD). It was all I could do not to jump for joy. Ever since I saw online that i could get at Casabella, I've made several trips there both in Lagos and Abuja and never found it. Besides this red one (argan oil), they had the green (olive oil) and the pink.

 The ORS Replenishing conditioner is my long term hair lover. After I realised we should never have taken a break, I showed my commitment by getting this huge 1 litre bottle. My friend Kudi helped me get it at a store in Ikeja for N1500 (about 9 USD). I also saw it at Ebeano for an itty bit less (N1480, negligible difference unless you want to buy Tom Tom).
   I've been trying out my new products and and when I've used them sufficiently, I'll review.
What's new in your stash? Have you used any of these products?



The wash day files: happy hair and braidouts

July 24, 2014 Naija girl next door 8 Comments

Hey everyone,
I didn't have the best time with the Beautiful Textures conditioner I used for a while (read review here), so I haven't been inspired to put up a wash day post. This wash day however, I got reacquainted with hair that feels like butter.
     It started with taking down my ghana braids the day before. It was late afternoon on sunday, I was getting dressed to go to the beach with my baby brother and some friends when I suddenly decided I was done with the style.
   I quickly undid the nine braids, taking care not to rip my hair, and ended up with this big bohemian braidout. I didn't comb or anything. I just let it be free. I always get the biggest, fluffiest braidouts after taking down a long term protective style.
  I can't think of any hairstyle more appropriate for the beach. The wind was doing its thing and it was working for me and at some point your girl really began to feel herself. Can you tell?
We came upon an abandoned ship
  By the time I got home my hair felt dry (duh Sandra) and promised me tangles. I knew I wouldn't want to handle it while tired. I covered with my satin scarf and the next day, wash day began.

Hot oil prepoo: EVOO. If I ever again forget how much slip this oil gives, somebody slap me. It melted through my dry tangles and I got out the shed hairs easy peasy. Covered with a shower cap for 30 minutes.
Wash: Creme of Nature Argan oil shampoo. I washed in six sections with comfortably warm water. My hair was clean, not stripped. I wrapped a towel gently around my hair to catch the excess water.
Deep condition: on damp hair with ORS Replenishing conditioner + palm kernel oil+ the little olive oil left over from my prepoo. Yes my ORS is back and I missed it! Covered with two shower caps for almost three hours (I slept off). I rinsed with cool water.
Tshirt dried for 30 minutes.
Leave - ins : Used the LCO method
            L: L'ozrael Hair Rescue
            C : my minty shea butter cream
            O : coconut oil
Detangled : fingers and wide toothed comb.
My hair was the happiest it has been in forever. It was sooft and my new growth was purring. I enjoyed my big braidout so I did two big plaits. The next day I had looser, more defined curls than the beach braidout.
The wind was at it again

Thanks to baby bro for resuming his photographer duties. I shall reward you soon.
     I'm rounding up the eighth month of my transition and I'm figuring it out as I go along. It helps that I take it easy with styling. I like messy curls, fluff, blown-about-and-pinned-up-last-minute-hair. If I were about perfectly put together hair, it would be another story.
How was your wash day?
You know I love when you talk to me :)

Join the wash day experience link up with Jen and KLP


I style: ghana weaving

July 22, 2014 Naija girl next door 6 Comments

Hello everyone!
    Ever since I saw that doing my own hair hasn't (yet) resulted in me looking like a scarecrow as I feared, I've become more eager to try my hand at other styles. (what's the worst that could happen?)
    My most recent effort was ghana weaving aka ghana braids. This was my first time wearing this style. Ever. I was never brave enough to submit my head to hairdressers for this style. In my opinion nothing sends your hairline scurrying to the back of your head faster. Many girls have lots of front hair to spare or their strands are tenacious, declaring "odeshi" to all enemy forces. Me? No such luck. You pull, my edges follow.            I've always admired the style though, so when I realised I could try it and be in total control of my hair's fate, I couldn't wait.

To Prepare
    I had seen it done so I had a general idea, but I went on youtube for more pointed instructions. I watched demonstrations and gathered that they're also called feed-in braids because you begin each plait with your own hair for a natural look, and add/feed in extensions as you go along to increase the size.
I co-washed and deep conditioned, detangled with a wide toothed comb and stretched my new growth with big plaits the night before.

I used

  1. One pack of Xpression Rich Braid (the one I didn't use for my crochet weave) 
  2. Wide tooth comb to work through any tangles
  3. Tail comb for making parts
  4. Spray bottle of water to moisturise
  5. My shea butter cream for heavy sealing
  6. Eco styler gel to smooth down my edges
  7. Pins and clips to keep the rest of the hair out of the way

     I cut the extensions into three and feathered so that the ends wouldn't be a blunt cut but would taper.
I did this the day before to reduce the work on the actual day.
    The process of feeding in more hair makes it long. I was very happy with the length- it came down to my butt. I plaited until they got quite thin, then finished with two-strand twists. I trimmed flyaways from the point my own hair ended, then dunked it all in hot water when I was done. The hot water gets rid of stiffness so the hair hangs down and can swish from side to side. It also seals the ends to prevent unravelling.

 It took me about 5 hours to complete even though I had just nine to do. I blame it on my amateur status and on Homeland. I normally prefer tv series with a lighter feel (the world is serious enough) but this one was very engaging.
I think I did okay for a first timer. My sister came home and didn't belive I did it myself. "It's a lie you didn't, I die fighting!" she said.

Hair care
  I moisturised my hair most days of the week with a mixture of water, oil and a little conditioner in a spray bottle.
I slept in a satin scarf as usual.
   I thought I might be able to wait two weeks to wash but nine days in, I was restless. I cowashed with cold water focusing on my scalp and did a final rinse with cold water+ ACV. I wrapped a towel around my head and when it was just damp, I sealed with coconut + olive oil and rubbed some into my scalp.
I used my shea butter cream on my edges because they tend to be drier than the rest of my hair.

      I intended to wear it for two weeks which would have been up on Thursday but I got the frizzies. I took it out on sunday- 4 days shy of two weeks.
   It wasn't a perfect job but I totally loved the very simple look and it gets top marks for convenience. My fragile edges came out unscathed too *pops champagne*

 I'll most definitely do it again. It can only get better with practice.
Please tell me what you think below :*, and how have you styled your hair lately?


My Sunshine Blogger Award

July 17, 2014 Naija girl next door 10 Comments

Hello everyone! How's it been?
     This is a post for the sunshine blogger award, which is simply a way to let readers and other bloggers know a little more about me. It's my first and I'm glad.
     I was nominated by four bloggers that absolutely relax and educate me when I read their posts:
Abena of,,
The petite diva of,
Yvette at
      Thanks for all the love ladies.

     The rules don't specify what to do when you're nominated more than once. Even though I would love to answer all the fun questions asked, I think the best thing will be to answer the questions of the first blogger who nominated me; and that is the comely Abena of

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger with a link to the website. Thanks ABENA!
  • Share 11 random facts about myself by answering the questions the nominating blogger has created for me
  • List 11 bloggers I believe deserve some recognition (I can’t nominate the blogger who nominated me.)
  • Let the 11 bloggers know I nominated them.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate to answer
So, here are my answers to Abena's questions
1. How did you come up with your blog name?
I always knew that I would write regularly about anything as 'naija girl'- be it a column or a blog- because that is what I am, a Nigerian girl who loves being that.
   I also see myself as a girl next door. I think (and hope) that I am approachable and relatable (big pageant smile here). Turns out my friends think so too because I ran a couple of 'naija girl' combinations by them and they picked naijagirlnextdoor, which was also my fave.
2. Do you have a favorite quote?
A couple. One is presently my bbm personal message- "If two of us are the same, one of us is unnecessary" - Why you should embrace being an individual and not try to fit in. You're the best at being you.
From Shakespeare' s sonnet 94, "They that have power to hurt and will do none... they rightly do inherit heaven's graces"- Reminder to never retaliate. 
3. What is your favorite hobby besides blogging?
Can I mention more than one? Pretty please? ;;) 
Reading just about anything, cooking; especially food I've never tried before, playing my favourite songs and screaming along, or dancing in my room.
4. If you could live anywhere in the world other than where you currently live, where would it be?
Definitely near lots of clear, blue water where I would go diving often eg the Maldives. 
Also, the south of France for it's rich cuisine (in case you can't already tell, I love food). The southern coast also has diving destinations with clear blue water so win-win huh? One can only dream...
5. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl. I don't sleep much at night, early morning is when I do not want to be disturbed or else! (I'm a morning monster).
6. Favourite drink?
I'm also loving fruit-only smoothies right now.
7. Favourite food?
Hardest question ever. I like too many to have a favourite. I get mad cravings so if I get whatever I'm craving at the moment, it's pure joy.
8. If you could be a character from a book, who would it be?   
Hmmm, someone fun in a fantastical book... the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland perhaps? Or Catniss from The Hunger Games.
9. What celebrity would you most like to meet?
 It would be amazing to meet Emma Stone. She's funny and goofy on tv. 
10. One gadget you can't live without?
My Samsung Galaxy Note. I live on this phone. Besides the regular uses, I read, draw, write notes (in actual handwriting), watch movies, keep track of recipes. Now if it could only hold a conversation...
11. Who inspires you the most?
It's hard to find just one person who embodies everything because there's so much I want to do.
 When it comes to writing, J.K Rowling inspires me. To create another world that is so real to all us Harry Potter nerds, that's brilliant. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I admire for her mastery of storytelling and fearless honesty about being a woman.

I'm nominating (assuming they haven't already been):
1. Adeola at
2. AB at
3. Hadassah at
4. Candice at
5. Fola at
6. Adaora at
7. Yvonne at
8. Sandeey at
9. Khayla at
10. The lovely ladies over at
11. The lazy natural at

My questions for nominated bloggers:
1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
2. What's the most touching thing you've ever watched/read/heard/seen?
3. What genre of music do you listen to the most?
4. What was the movie/cartoon of your childhood?
5. When you're out, are you the sitting dancer or the queen of the dancefloor?
6. If not your present career choice, what else would you be doing with your life?
7. What best describes your style/fashion sense?
8. What's your dream car?
9. How many languages do you speak?
10. When someone upsets you, would you a) stew silently and later forget about it, or b) air it out quickly and be done with it
11. Would you compliment a total stranger?

I hope I get to read theirs soon.


Product Review: Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner

July 10, 2014 Naija girl next door 10 Comments

I got it for N1200 or so (approx. $8) at Ebeano supermarket, Lekki phase 1, Lagos. It's 15oz (425g). I have used it for about six weeks and it's all used up so I can confidently review this product.

First Impressions:
Packaging : I liked that it came in a tub, which makes it easier to get out all the product.
 It's very colourful with spirals and squiggly bits all over that I wondered if it was being marketed primarily to kids.
Smell: scrumptious! It has a tropical, mango scent that isn't overpowering.
Consistency: Thick, a little bouncy like custard or pap.

Aqua, Glycine Soja Oil/ Soybean Oil, Hyrdrogenated Vegetable Oil, Argania Spinosa Nut Oil/ Argan Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil/ Coconut Oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/ Olive Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit/ Shea Butter, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter/ Mango Butter, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/ Rosemary Extract, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract/ Aloe Vera, Phenyl Trimethicone, Panax Ginseng Root Extract/ Ginseng Extract, Polyquatemium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/ Dicaprate, Steareth 2, Steareth 20, Lanolin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Polysorbate 20, DMDM Hydantoin, CI 15985/ Yellow 6, Parfum/ Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, d-Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Lyral, Methyl Ionone Gamma.
             [   No mineral oil, petrolatum, sulphates or parabens listed. ]

Restore Hair’s Natural Moisture Balance
Control Damage from Transitioning, Heat, and Color Treated Hair
Restore Elasticity to Prevent Breakage

Get Gorgeous Tresses!
Dryness and breakage prevent healthy looking hair growth. To help ensure your hair has a fighting chance against daily styling stresses use Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner to help strengthen, rebuild, protect and hydrate.
Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner allows you to embrace more versatile styling options, while protecting your hair from the inside out.

"Saturate hair from roots to ends. Finger comb or use a wide tooth comb to ensure complete coverage. For thicker tresses use a detangling brush to ensure complete coverage. For deeper penetration cover hair with plastic cap and sit under dryer for 15 minutes. Rinse completely and style as desired. For tresses that are extremely damaged, over processed, or breaking hair, follow the steps above for 25 minutes. Can also be used as a leave- in conditioner".

How I used it: Every way

  • To deep condition on damp hair after shampooing, after cowashing, after protein treatments, after ayurvedic treatments. 
  • Dc on dry hair before cowashing or shampooing. 
  • As a leave-in conditioner
  • As a moisturiser: By itself followed by oil; or as the C when I do the LCO method (Liquid, Cream, Oil).

My Assessment
      I was psyched to try it after reading the ingredients, and after seeing that it was meant for mixed textures. My hair is a family of textures right now- straight, frizzy, coily, kinky.
     I really wanted to love this conditioner but sadly, I was left wanting more.

As a deep conditioner, it softened my hair but not as much as I'm used to. It had some slip but not enough so it didn't make detangling super easy, just ok. It was just average. I tried with heat, without heat; kept it on for a minimum of one hour, and for several hours. Still no wonderful results.
 I even tried mixing with oils in different sessions, even my super softening palm kernel oil and it didn't work. In fact, it was better on its own.
    Also, you need so much to saturate your hair. No use being lighthanded here. However, it's a big tub and doesn't cost a lot so I guess that's okay.

 As a leave-in, it was nice and creamy. On my last two wash days I followed the steps for deep conditioning but didn't rinse out. The results were slightly better.
   I liked it best using it to moisturise in the LCO method. It was light and creamy, not at all greasy and did not lead to build up even with daily use. My hair stayed more moisturised this way than when I used it to DC.

What I loved
That delicious smell. It lingers lightly and you get a whiff of it every now and then during the day. I don't have many great-smelling products in my (nearly tree-hugger) life so it was almost enough to make me forgive this conditioner anything. Almost.

Until I noticed A LOT of split ends I had to chop off some days ago. I don't think this product caused the splits, I just think it didn't do enough to prevent them. It looks like my hair just wasn't fortified enough by this conditioner.

Will I repurchase? Not likely. Unless I decide I want it for LCO, but never again as a DC.

 I'll miss the scent though, so I don't mind trying another product from this line.

  **note** This is just what I experienced with this product. There are ladies online who love it and those like me who didn't. You only know if you try.


My threading results

July 06, 2014 Naija girl next door 10 Comments

  Hey beautiful people!
For the past three wash days I have been stretching my hair, especially my natural new growth, by going back to a childhood style: threading.
Back then on our two-weekly wash days, my mum always gave me and my sister a choice- "plait or thread?"
If you replied "thread", more choices- "full or some gaps?"
      I still laugh remembering how we seriously used "some gaps" as the name of a hairstyle.
This is what we used to call "full"
Threading was something the sis and I dumped the instant we thought we were grown. I never imagined I'd ever again thread my hair willingly until threading started getting a lot of love from naturals home and abroad (they call it African threading).
       It was after reading blog posts and looking at pictures of how naturals have been using it that I remembered how straight my natural hair used to look after taking out a threaded style as a little girl.
 I bought a roll of rubber thread for N50 (just a little over 25 cents). The first time I did it was almost two weeks ago when I was getting my hair ready for my crochet weave. I threaded after I had washed, used my leave-ins and detangled. My hair was slightly damp.
Chinese thread behind,  rubber thread in front.

"Some gaps". lol
I did it at night before bed and took it out the next morning.
I absolutely loved how my new growth was so well stretched out. Threading has bumped bantu knots into second place for me as favourite stretching method.
New growth blending well with texlaxed hair

The next day it was very easy to put my hair into cornrows for the crochet weave because I didn't have to deal with starkly different textures.
    Second time around was last week. I threaded a day after wash day so my hair had dried. I did fewer sections and still got the same great results. I used the opportunity to snip off some thin ends.

    Third time- Friday. Same procedure as the first time.
I took out the thread yesterday and as usual,  hair was very well stretched. I wasn't satisfied with the mini trim I did earlier though, so I snipped off some more and then put it in a bun.
    I haven't gotten rid of all the thin, bone straight relaxed ends but for now the hair has quit being a nuisance with those dead ends. I still have enough out of that N50 roll of ruber thread for one more go.
The pros are obvious. The only con for me is that I usually have to break my no-comb-unless-detangling-after-deep-conditioning rule.    
    When you take out the thread, the sections hold the shape and stay in place so you have to take time to separate and fluff. My comb makes it easier but I really don't want to continue to use it like this.

I love how threading works and I will continue to do it when I want to see some of my length or get a smoother bun. Next time I do, I'll find a way to separate and fluff without a comb.
What do you think about threading? What's your favourite method of stretching your kinks? Holla.