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.





  1. Happy nappyversary to you.

  2. Love the new look of the blog! and well done with your progress!

  3. Congratulations NK, I have always admired your hair. Like you rightly said, managing natural hair can really be easy if only we get our priorities right.

    All the best in achieving your new set hair goals.

    1. Hi Tochukwu😃 thank you. I'm sure more people will give natural hair a go if they could just see it's not difficult.
      That NK typo

  4. Happy Hairversary!!!
    How did you stretch your hair in the last photo with the length check?

    1. thanks AB ! That's from threading. I took out the thread that morning and then did the twisty updo I wore for the salon day out. Then I took that down for the pictures

  5. Well done Sandra! You take great care of your hair.

    That pic where you stretched out that lock of hair got me thinking "Gosh! Shrinkage is such a hater" Lol

    1. 😂
      Yes, shrinkage be hating on my a**
      Thanks Nedu.

  6. Your hair growth game is stronggg lol. Although trimming my hair is one of my greatest fears, I'll have to get down to it one of these days. Love your jumpsuit btw..

    1. Hey Ella, thank you 😘 it's a two-piece set😉
      That trim ehn, I didn't even consider it until it became impossible to manage my hair. It made me.

  7. #AnonymousIgbogal...congrats on your BC anniversarym. love your outfit and your glow.

  8. Happy Anniversary!! Your hair is just amazing!!!

  9. Thanks Nafisat😄
    Your hair is #goals

  10. Happy Nappivesary...
    Love how dark your hair looks:)

    1. Hey Ugo,
      I wish it were always that way. It has these brownish hues in the sun that I'm only beginning to accept

  11. No no no! I am so jealous of your hair right now. Too bad mine is simply the opposite of yours: thin, scanty and all that lol. I seem to see so many beautiful natural hair these days, it's making me thin of cutting mine...

    Sorry But I Can't Go Out With My Natural Hair

    1. Just see this as your starting point. You'll be amazed where a lot of people with lush healthy hair started from. With proper care, your hair will flourish. I'm off to read your post