I feel that the kinks, curls, or tight coils in Afro hair is beautiful and unique. No other race on this planet has hair like ours – that makes me proud. Monica Millner.
Hellooooooow Guys! Happy Monday! Let me say that this is not your usual Monday kinda post but your usual Ibukunwrites post ‘cos it’s gonna be long. . . so yaaayyy! I’m 8 months natural today! 2 days ago, I wanted to share a picture of myself on protective styling on my IG page and I was like no! why not make it a blogpost! ?Who says I have to wait till I’m a year natural to talk about my natural hair journey. . . 8 months is enough for me to figure out what works and don’t work for me. I just feel y’all or someone might be able to pick one or two things from this post
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On 25th December, I decided to put a scissors into my hair! I think one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make is going natural (hardest in the sense that I did go back and forth with whether to or not to for so long). . .I’ve always loved natural hair especially when I see certain people rock it online (Chimamanda, Sisi Yemmie, Tosin Alabi and someone I discovered along the line who I think probably has one of the longest and fullest hair I’m aware of so far is Chinwe Juliet of @igbocurls)
I don’t have much pictures of me on relaxed hair but the one above was the one I could find. Having successfully transitioned for 5 months (August – December) it wasn’t the easiest thing to do cos I wasn’t doing anything to the hair (no deep conditioning or using of transitioning kit) I just kept fixing and all ‘cause I wasn’t sure I would look lovely with the big chop (‘cause big chop to me sounded like ‘fa dan’ like gorimapa cut). I didn’t know what came over me that Christmas afternoon (maybe I was tired of transitioning and combing that hair); my mum looked at me like wawu! She was like so you want to go natural (my mum is natural) but you know an average Nigerian Mom encourages natural and some churches you know kinda attach one or two heresies to retouching of hair. . . So this what I looked like. . .
I wasn’t afraid of my look on low cut because I’ve once done ‘net gel’ while in University and I know low cut suits me well but you know, I had a little doubt because net gel isn’t like low cut.
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After the cut, I practically didn’t know what to do! I think I’ve been reaching out to Debs about natural hair before then. . . so I got busy with the blogs and one of the misconceptions I had about natural hair that even made me hesitated at first was the fact that it’s expensive to maintain!!! But maybe that’s partially true but not totally true! And I wasn’t the usual natural Nigerian girl because an average Nigerian girl on natural hair always looked forward to growth both in volume and length especially but I wasn’t – in fact, it was like I didn’t want my hair to be longer ‘cause I was really loving the low cut! The refreshing feeling of having water permeate my scalp and just combing and applying coconut oil was so cool! So from December 25 till now, I’ve only had a protective styling twice! Crazy right! And I’ve leveled my hair twice – meaning, I’ve trimmed it (like a mini low-cut again – once I see it’s growing wings and I can’t press it down to smoothness, I’d try the scissors a little).
So I’m not the usual naturalista – ‘cause if I celebrate one year and my hair still look like the body size of Tyrion Lannister and you want to use that to judge, OYO iz that pelzn’s case!
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Talking about the blogs, I finally found four that worked for me! First was Tosin Alabi’s blog Africanism Cosmopolitan second was Natural Girl On Budget while the third one was Eurekanaija and the last one was Chinwe’s Igbocurls but the three that encouraged me the most with expenses were naturalgirlonbudget, eurekanaija and Africanism cosmopolitan, but for growth and fullness, I use the last one a lot (Igbocurls) and it was easy for me to build a regimen for myself.
The first time I did protective styling was February while I was returning back to Kebbi for NYSC continuation, no one knew I had chopped my hair until March when I removed it and I went to CDS on low cut and everyone was like yeeeee! O ti gerun o
and Doyin was like since when, I said before we left house na; so after March even for POP in April and through July, I was leveling my hair and rocking it until August when I decided I was a little bit ready to let the short hair go. . . so I did braids!
Who send me. . . I had the braids on throughout the month and I discovered that my edges were really not friendly to braids and I know natural hair can be hard with the wigs and all (the lowest I know is 10k – iz nuh easy) so I cowashed alone and did didi in Abuja (N500 as in! kilode! but church is life or such is life). . . and then I wigged . . . you can’t believe I carried that didi from 31st August to 21st September (smh right! Debs lemme o!) so my friend (Janet – we work in the same school) decided she was gonna plait my hair, so I loosed the hair on Thursday evening, deep-conditioned and co-washed and by the time I was done, shrinkage came powerfully! I couldn’t get a picture of my hair before deep conditioning; so on Friday, I went to school rocking my TWA with my face made up and the hair looked so short!
It was shining kei! The power of deep conditioning! Luckily, there was no school, there was an Islamiyyah holiday like that; so we decided to enter one of the classes and she did weaving for me and it was cool to have a change! And I loved it! No one could believe it was my short hair that made this long hair! And I decided I wasn’t going to wig anything! Na so I go carry am till I no longer want to . . .?
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I never thought I was going to enjoy natural hair but I loooooooove the journey! I just love it! It taught me to own my hair; that my hair is my hair and like no one else! And I discovered my hair is this type that is full and rooted but it is soft all thanks to shea butter and when my hair starts growing, it is that kind of hair that will be fuller and with shrinkage!
So what do I do to my hair?
Number 1, I love natural products (like DIYs)
Number 2, I go easy with the products (helps me to cut the cloth according to my size – it’s not really the product that grows the hair)
Number 3, I do me! (I create my own routine; there are too much routines in natural hair and if care is not taken, you can get lost and you’ll start feeling your hair won’t grow because of that step that you missed. . . foul!)
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This is what I do!
When I was on low cut;
I co-washed in the bathroom almost everyday – like I put a little conditioner on my hair (VO5 – that thing is now expensive compared to what bloggers were saying; I think I bought it 1,200 if not more than), then I’d wash with water and apply LOC when damp (L-eave in, O-il, C-ream) which is Soft and Beautiful Natural Olive, Argan and Coconut Oils Leave In Conditioner (1,200) and then I apply my mix of Olive, Coconut, Peppermint and Palm Kernel Oil (I’ve not tried JBCO – Jamaican Black Castor Oil ko I ti sowo) – sometimes I extract coconut oil sef cos coconut is plenty and cheaper in the North but it can be stressful no ni but when I left home in April, I came with two jars of coconut oil so I’m in the clear for a long time! And my cream is Shea Butter for sealant.
When I’m on Protective Styling like braids, I’ll just spray in my oil plus leave in and shea butter mix and I’m good to go.
To Deep Condition;
1. I detangle/prepoo with olive oil and after like twenty minutes,
2. Apply shampoo (ORS Replenishing Shampoo) and let it sit for a while before rinsing out.
3. I apply my deep conditioner which is a mix of one egg yolk/mayonnaise, a tablespoon of honey, two capsules of vitamin e oil, a dash of olive oil and a teaspoon of ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). This mix is both moisturizing and protein-filled I do this once in a month cos I tend to carry protective styling for like a month. I leave it on for like 30 minutes covered with a black nylon and then my shower cap. It can be dripping but I try to put a cloth behind my neck.
4. I do an ACV Rinse
5. Sometimes I skip this one. . . Then I use my VO5 conditioner; dry a little with a t-shirt, apply LOC and let it air dry and that’s all!
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But the truth be told, I love what these does to my hair! I don’t have to break my purse to keep a healthy natural hair but there are products I would love to try like Cantu Leave In Conditioner and As I am products (both deep conditioner, moisturizer etc.) until then, I think I’m gonna be sticking to my DIYs and satin/silk scarf!
If you’re not natural, you should consider going natural soon!?
Kizzez. . .???
Have a fabulous week ahead?
~ ©2017. Ibukunwrites.