Hair update: Wash day, Grey Box Braids and a Giveaway [CLOSED]

October 22, 2015 Naija girl next door 19 Comments

     Hey my people,
Let me warn you; this is a long post.
   I've had this post brewing in my head for almost two weeks and I keep "intending" to type it but, holiday. I'm swinging between two extremes: when I'm indoors, any muscle twitch must be absolutely necessary (helping out with the minimum I'm allowed to by my aunts). When I'm outdoors I'm superwoman doing everything and going everywhere and WALKING my butt off.             Actually no, my butt is quite intact. Growing even. As my biggest aunt said "you can't go back dry o, they have to know you came to your aunty's house". So y'all hurrrd? I have been fed to stupor. I'm well buffered against the machinations of Youth Service orientation camp.

Wash Day
     Two weeks ago I had the only real wash day I've had in quite a while. I mean, I washed weekly when I had my faux locs in, but all I did really was lather my scalp and rinse, then use my cocoa butter cream on my scalp and length of my locs.
   When I took them out I had a proper wash day. My scalp was clean from washing a couple of days earlier so I focused on deep conditioning. The goal was a strengthening treatment to help my hair withstand all the protective styling I had done and those to come. This was before I did my blonde crochet tapered 'fro.
I took out the faux locs by cutting off the burned ends and unraveling the Brazilian wool, then undoing the twists underneath. I enjoyed a few moments with a bomb twist-out before detangling.

Homemade strengthening treatment: Nothing makes me happier than using food for non-food purposes. I made a masque in the kitchen out of:
  • 1 avocado 
  • 1 banana
  •  honey 
  • olive oil 
  • Coconut oil 
  • 1 spoon of my cocoa butter creme 
  • 1 egg and 
  • half a cup of peppermint tea.

I put the avocado and banana in a blender, with peppermint tea instead of water to help it blend well, then sieved it to get out any bits that might want to lurk in my hair.

 Mixed in the other ingredients and it was done.
   I misted my hair with water in a spray bottle and then applied the masque in sections.
Covered with a plastic cap and then a towel for heat, for about an hour then rinsed thoroughly. Both egg and avocado are very strengthening for my hair so there's no softening, hair-like-butter feel. It felt strong and ready to take on any protective style.
   I applied some honey and worked it in to get out any remnants of the masque, then rinsed again thoroughly. There was no hint of banana or egg smell in my hair. Score.
    Wrappped a towel around my hair and let the excess water drain.
Leave-in: my cocoa butter creme and then I let my hair air dry without stretching it. The only reason: I had missed seeing my hair and what it can do.

  As usual I didn't comb, just did a little more finger detangling. I was surprised to see my hair form into a lot of tiny springs.

We're growing baby!
   Generally when you stretch your hair you've worked out the kinks so you don't see a curl pattern. I honestly didn't think I had any visible curl pattern. No hangups, I love my hair either way.
After this I did the cornrows I used for my crochet tapered cut.

Hair Update
So I took out the style after two weeks. I was getting really uncomfortable not washing my hair and because of the thickness of the extensions, I wasn't sure I'd reach my scalp easily.
So. I did a quick wash with my cornrows in place, just so I wouldn't have to do much to stretch my hair. I didn't DC because I wasn't feeling up to spending much time on hair.
When my hair was 60-70% dry, I took out the cornrows, worked in my shea butter creme and put my hair in twists to complete the drying process stretched.

Grey box braids
  I put in yet another protective style right after.
   Come o, I've managed to have three hairstyles on this six-week trip. I mean I knew I would protective style all through but I never planned to change it up so much.
Anyway, I did grey box braids! Yay! I've wanted grey extensions since forever.

They're rare at home and when you do find somebody's mother's daughter-in-law that sells on bbm, it's for an arm, a leg and seven teeth.
     I didn't braid the traditional way, I didn't even do it this nifty way, I crocheted it in. I read that it's faster. From my experience it is much much faster, and also easier on the arms since you spend more time braiding with your arms down, not on top of your head.
All I did was prepare the hair by cutting and braiding it first. I cut in two lengths: in half for the centre and front, quartered for the back and the sides near my ears. I didn't really feather the ends because I wanted the look of a blunt cut, not tapered. The idea was to get a shaggy bob. I love the bob box braids that have been in style and I wanted to get that length without having to burn the ends.
 I decided to do a more boho-looking one than the clean, precise bob that's popular.

Pre-braiding leaves a loop at the top that's perfect for crocheting.

Ready to braid. Lol
I braided my own hair straight back, then attached the braided extensions with a bobby pin once again since my latch hook is chilling in Lagos.
When I was done, all I did to seal was level the ends with scissors then dip in very hot water. The result is a light seal that lets the ends unravel just a few cm.

I love, love, love! I was able to get the look I was going for. I wanted all grey but my very conservative friend Alex vehemently discouraged me so I bought black as well. I used 51, 44, 1b and 280 (black with very few strands of grey).
   That night she buzzes me when I'm almost done braiding, sends a picture of Rihanna with grey/silver hair and goes, "you can do the all-grey. Sorry"
Trust issues. Rihanna had to step in to convince my friend I wasn't crazy to want grey braids.

I'm still loving it with the black anyway so no harm no foul. Love you Lex.
So, that's my hair lately.
   This method is fast, easy, my hair is well protected and my kinks won't make my braids fuzzy and rough. Also, because my hair isn't in the braids I get the full effect of the grey without my dark hair toning it down. The only disadvantage is, kanekalon hair is kind of silky so the knots slip sometimes and I have to pull on the braids to tighten. So yeah, I'm not retiring my twist method just yet.

GIVEAWAY TIME [CLOSED]: Just to say a big Thank you, I love you to all of you wonderful people that take the time out to read my blog, I'm giving away two packs of braiding hair to one fortunate reader in colour 44 and 51. 51 is lighter than 44.
Colour 51
It's open to residents in Nigeria. Yes, not just Lagos.
For a chance to win, just leave a comment below saying what style you would like to do with the hair. Pretty simple yes? If you're a guy and you want it for a woman in your life- mum, sister, significant other- just say what style she would want to do, or what style you'd like to see her wear with this hair. The giveaway closes in two weeks, November 8th. The winner will be selected randomly and announced on November 9th.

Peace, love and protective styles,
P.s- wash day experience over here


Crochet braids: Tapered cut and colour

October 08, 2015 Naija girl next door 25 Comments

   Hey you guys, how far? What did I miss?

  If you follow me on Instagram or are on my bbm then you probably saw my new blonde cut before this post. Maybe you sent me "Sandra!" And three bbm emoticons expressing suprise, shock, disbelief. "You dyed your hair??!" Lol. I guess after my big chop, cutting is much less shocking than a dye job. At least one thing was unanimous: everyone loved it. Not counting those that said nothing at all sha.
      I didn't mean to deceive you guys but the reactions were fun, I won't lie. Hehe. This is not my hair. It was made possible by the ever-evolving crochet braids. Don't worry I'll explain.

   I've been aching for some colour in my hair for quite a while. Remember my one day stint with hair chalk? I really don't want to process my hair with permanent dye, I fear damage from the bleach and the dye itself. Plus the results are well, permanent. I don't have that level of commitment to hair. I have been searching online for months and reading reviews for temporary hair colours and haven't really been excited about any option presented. Having dark hair is another obstacle to temporary colour.
   My ideal hair colour will;

  • Be semi-permanent: come out gradually in 6-8 or more washes
  • show up on very dark hair without bleach,
  • Not transfer to my clothes and sheets once it's in
  • Won't damage my natural kinks. 

    Meanwhile I have been taking screenshots of beautiful, coloured, tapered cuts for months with no intention of actually cutting. I figured I would do like the Youtubers and fake a tapered cut with my own hair (it's a thing o. Seriously) and temporary hair colour.
Inspiration from Pinterest. It's their own hair.

   Then I went into Pak's hair store at Finsbury Park in North London, looking for coloured marley hair for twists and so on, and I found kinky bulk hair from two different brands. Lightbulbs went off and I bought 2 packs of Sensationnel Afro Kinky Bulk Hair- in colour 4 and 27, 12 inches. They come in 3 bundles per pack.

One bundle of colour 4 12". This is the full length. Installing halves this.
Braid pattern was inspired by, but not exactly this:
She's HairbyGlenna on YT and she used this pattern for short kinky twists here. I felt it'd be perfect for what I was going for. 

I was working with freshly washed and deep conditioned but fully shrunken hair, so it was difficult. Next time I'll work on stretched hair.
 I didn't have to bother about being neat because they get covered anyway. Crochet braids- so forgiving.
Yikes. See how you don't even have to be able to braid to do this style?
 I couldn't even get a decent picture without contorting myself.
     I started out with the back and sides in colour 4 and that's when I realised how SHORT this hair really is. I intended to cut the sides after because it says 12 inches on the pack but that means when STRETCHED. I had to go back to the store and exchange the blonde in 12" for one in 20" for the top and middle or I would have had a twa, not the tapered look.
   Even the 20" is short but it was absolutely perfect for the look I was going for. I used two bundles of the colour 4 and all three of the colour 27.
   To show you how short it is, I didn't even have to cut when I was done. I just trimmed off a few bits to shape it up. It took me four hours after braiding to install the hair. I watched tv and I had my friend Alex for company.
    If you want to see how to crochet, there are a zillion YouTube tutorials. Really, just search. My latch hook is in Lagos so I used a bobby pin.

    Thanks for all the love. In return I really want to do a giveaway of this hair. Is that a good idea? I'll let you know when I'm ready with the details if you guys think it's a good idea.
  If you want to rock a twa- two 12". If you want a tapered cut like mine- 12", 20". If you want a nice full afro- two 20".
   Let me know what you think okay?