Going organic- Diy coffee scrub

April 27, 2015 Naija girl next door 10 Comments

What's up people?
I made the most delicious scrub a little while back.
     Homemade scrubs are among the simplest and most effective of popular homemade products.
The usual suspects are sugar or salt mixed with a natural oil- olive, coconut, sweet almond etc.
We already know coffee hair benefits: helps with shedding and darkening if you have light-coloured hair, but coffee has some great benefits for skin as well. Read more
   I got the recipe from fresh lengths here but tweaked it a little to suit what I had available at home.

 My recipe
In a small glass jar:

  • 2 parts instant coffee 
  • 1 part granulated sugar
  • Carrier oil. I used olive and sunflower (heavier oils for my dry skin).
  • favourite essential oil (optional). I used rose

    I didn't measure the oil, just added carefully and mixed until it was the right consistency which is thick but spreadable, for a scrub.
Then I added a few drops of the rose essential oil.
The smell of coffee plus rose is simply divine ugh! I couldn't keep the jar away from my nose.

As a scrub, it was freaking awesome. I scrubbed my legs and shaved and I couldn't stop touching my legs. Even my knees! My knees were made of smoothness baby.
 I tried it carefully on my face. I say carefully because it's an intensive scrub and you don't want to hurt your delicate face. I got the same very smooth results, although my skin felt just a little tender. So remember, go gently on your face or not at all.

     I like that instant coffee dissolves in water so it goes down the drain, no mess unlike coffee grounds.
   Downside: Over time it congealed. My sugar/salt and oil scrubs don't do that. It got really stuck together and firm in the jar and I couldn't get it out. It's definitely the instant coffee; you know how Milo does this when it's left alone?
I recommend that you only make enough for one use at a time. Notice how I use ratios and not actual amounts in the recipe?

Would you try this?


Countdown to my Big chop

April 18, 2015 Naija girl next door 16 Comments

What's up people?
      I had this weird hair dream a few weeks ago, shortly after I had been threatened with a relaxer by my friend Bisi.
Someone was applying relaxer to my hair and I had just figured it out. It seemed so real- the strong smell of relaxer, hair plastered to my head... I woke up in a panic, looking wildly around for the culprit and wondering how in the world I would start this transition all over again!!!!
The prime suspect, my sister, was sleeping peacefully. The only foul play was by my satin scarf: it had come off and disappeared, and my hair was a right mess. I later found it on the floor and sistren, I don't know how it got there.

  On to the gist for the day. I finally made up my mind when I'm ending my transition.

    First let me tell you, I have had struggles and frustration. The tangles, the texture difference, trying to style my forever-post-relaxer hair... I probably would have grabbed my scissors on impulse and done this months ago if not that there are other shareholders in this my hair matter.

   One time I thought I was ready, I sent my mum a long essay email telling her why I was sure I was ready. If you're a regular reader you know why- Momma is my hair's keeper, she had her hands in my hair and got attached long before I knew my name. Plus, she's a natural hair champion and kept trying to get me to go back natural way before I knew I could do it.
   So anyway, I told her I had a lot of new growth; that a lot of the relaxed hair had either been trimmed away or broken off; it wouldn't even be like a cut; it would be more like a trim. Just so she would give me the thumbs up to cut our hair.
   Mom's response: "No. I can't bear the thought of scissors going through that hair (how do trims happen Mommy?)
 "I think you should wait for all the relaxed hair to fall off on their own."
 I huffed a bit, but I'm glad she stopped me then because a few days later I was totally sure I would be clueless with short hair. Length is my comfort zone, in spite of the craziness up there.

     So okay, my not-so-big chop date. I'm ending my transition at 24 months post relaxer. That's coming in November this year, seven months away. I'll probably have just tendrils of relaxed hair left by then if at all it's not over before then, with my frequent trims.
I have concerns. Will I have enough hair to show for two years of transitioning? I mean enough hair for my vanity. And what about styling? I don't plan on embracing shrinkage.
I also foresee an increase in protective styles for the rest of my transition because they make life a lot easier. So braids, twists, and maybe faux locs. A big maybe. That one takes forever.

     Meanwhile I'm going on week three with my box braids. Whoooop! I'm gunning for a month this time which will be a record for me.

They're quite long so this is LOAD to carry, but I have resisted all tempting thoughts of hot oil pre-poos, cool breeze on my neck and a light head in bed. *whimpers*
   No, I'm trudging on. I've washed my hair/scalp twice in these braids already and I will make it to four weeks so help me God.

What's up with you lately? Gimme gist in the comments. Mwah.



Porsch stores in Nigeria

April 11, 2015 Naija girl next door 5 Comments

This is a post I've been wanting to do since forever. If you've noticed I'm doing more non-hair posts lately because there are other stuff I like to share too, but there will always be hair talk here.

There's a new retailer in town: Porsch stores. Well, they've been on since 2013 but now have come to Naija.

I love online shopping. I go through entire sites searching for stuff I want, pick out some and then eliminate according to budget. Most times it's either I want basics or I want something very unusual. Basics is easy, unusual is hard so I asked for pictures to get a feel of their pieces and I was pretty impressed.
      I'll just leave you with pictures and quotes from their statement.

They promise "Impeccable service, an extensive selection of wears and attention to detail... competitive pricing, outstanding customer service."

 "Being an online retailer specializing in made order and off the rack designer wears and accessories, Porschstores is looking forward to supplying Nigerians with everything fashionable from shoes to  casual wears and much more."

 "One of our comprehensive lines of service includes an exclusive wardrobe/personal style and shopper option which was created to help customers find and compose their favourite looks at the best price."

 "Customers will be receiving a dedicated and experienced fashion professional whose aim is to save them time and money." - I am here for this.

For more information or to contact a representative, visit www.porschstores.com

What are your favourite pieces? I love the polka mini, everything about the outfit with the big striped hat especially the pink flats; and I want the beige hat. I'm also curious to see how I would look in the denim dungarees.



Wash day and the best darn box braid method for natural hair

April 01, 2015 Naija girl next door 33 Comments

I didn't take any pictures of my actual hair this last wash day because I wasn't doing anything different and frankly, my arm wasn't ready.
I have gotten to the point where I need to put my hair away before I go bonkers and chop it off.
    Box braids have been a craving for months. I have a zillion inspiration pictures on my phone and I finally got around to it on election day. This wash day was to prep for that protective style.
By the way, congrats Nigeria on our new president.  I'm so glad we kept the peace most of all.

  Wash day was almost a week prior. I kept it simple and short with a 2-in-1 wash and dc with Shea Moisture Purification Masque + a teaspoon of castor oil. I have a fancy new hair towel! But that's another post.
    Leave-in was Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner and I sealed with my oil mix (coconut, olive and jojoba now).

Even though box braids are pretty basic I went on YouTube just to see and I learnt a new trick! The key to box braid heaven- to get smoother, longer-lasting box braids on natural hair...
... start with two strand twists.
Yes lovelies.
  So three days to box braid day, I co-washed with Africa Naturalistas Moisturising and Detangling Conditioner, let it dry 80% and sealed with the Savvy & Chic Shea buttercup (Go Naija!)
Then did my regular medium-sized two-strand twists.

D-day. I got the extensions ready: Xpression braiding hair, two packs in 99J and one in 33 (because they had run out of 99J at the shop).
Left: 33- reddish brown   Right: 99J- wine

Had to "pick" the ends by pulling lightly to get them from a straight across cut to wispy and tapered.

  • Take some hair (amount depends on size of braids desired) loop it over the root of a twist, making sure the ends of the added hair are at the same level; such that you have two pieces of braiding hair with the twist in the middle; 
  • Braid using the twist as the third leg.
  • When the twist starts to thin out, create a new third leg by borrowing hair from the main two, and try to conceal the end of the twist in it.
  • Continue till you get to the bottom. You know how sometimes as you braid, one leg thins out before the others? Borrow as needed from the fatter legs as you go down. This even helps to protect the braid from unravelling. 
  • I finished mine with a two-strand twist at the very tip, but you can also tie it off.

    Extra tip- Take this from someone who learnt the hard way: If you don't want hair that is too big/heavy to manage, make it scantier at the back by doing bigger twists there so more hair is used in a single braid = fewer braids at the back. Don't worry the ones in front will cover them completely.

    It took me seven hours with breaks to eat, rest, etc; which is not bad at all for a first-time box braider (using extensions) in my opinion. Before now I had only done twists by myself.

   I'm in love with this method because:

  1.  I can rock my twists and not have to take them down before braiding. 
  2. I got smooth, even braids without having to blowdry or stretch my loose hair.
  3. I didn't need to part with a tail comb.
  4. No worries about breakage when the braiding hair tangled and I had to work through.
  5. I didn't have to deal with free hair finding its way into a braid halfway down, and then trying to figure out whether to loosen the braid and start again or just cut the stray strands. (don't you hate when that happens!)
  6. It's like a double protective style.
  7. You can go in twists to the salon/market, tell them what to do, and not have to worry about them battling with your kinks.
  8. It looks like it's going to stay smooth for quite a while because it's secure and won't puff up so much when exposed to humidity/water like stretched loose hair does. 
  9. Takedown is going to be a breeze.

I want to be more adventurous with styling this one than I've been in the past with box braids.
This morning-

   I'm thinking of doing different styles and compiling a how-to post on all the styles I do. Yay or nay? Please tell me in the comments. *slobbery kisses*


P.s. if you're new to The Wash Day Experience and want to join, start here. We want to see how you pamper your hair :)