Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hair growth challenge - Relaxer day tips

Hi Ladies,

Some of you may have taken out your protective style and have seen some new growth. Your hair has grown and you can't wait to touch up so that you can really see the length. Well, growing is the easy part, hair always grows. Retouching on the other hand, that's the difficult part. improper relaxing is the No 1 cause of setbacks with women trying to grow their hair out. So getting this process right is critical.

In a lot of cases, you experience so much breakage during the retouching process that your hair becomes uneven, you end up having to trim off the inches that you accumulated between touch ups and your hair ends up right back where you started.

The key problems to look out for and avoid when relaxing:
- Breakage from improper combing. This typically occurs when parting your hair to apply the relaxer or while combing the relaxer through the new growth
- Breakage from overlapping relaxer on previously relaxed hair.
- Improper conditioning and detangling after washing out the relaxer. People often lose gobs of hair during this step of the process.
- Over processing i.e. leaving the relaxer in your hair for too long

To reduce the chances of any of these happening:
- Make sure your hair is totally tangle free before starting. Detangling requires patience and can be time consuming and hairdressers generally try to attend to as many customers as possible so the chances of a hairdresser spending one hour detangling your hair is slim to none. I therefore strongly suggest that you dangle your hair thoroughly before going to the salon
- Insist on proper conditioning and gentle detangling after washing out the relaxer. Tell your hairdresser to use a generous amount of conditioner to ensure that your hair has slip and can be easily detangled.
- Communicate clearly to your hair dresser and be assertive. I know it can be uncomfortable micro managing your hair dresser but it's your hair and you are a paying customer so if he/she is doing something you are not comfortable with, tell them.

Let us know how it goes. Especially if you have a good experience. We are in dire need a list of the good salons.

Thanks for stopping by and best of luck!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

My hair today.... High bun and 1 inch of new growth.

Hi Everyone!

Today, I decided to take a break from my wigs so I moisturized my ends and put my hair up in a bun: My ends are safely tucked away. I haven't relaxed my hair since february so I have about an inch of new growth. This is my do for the week.

Remember you should keep manipulation to a minimum so even though I will be taking the bun down daily to moisturize and seal my ends, I will be very careful not to comb roughly (if I even comb at all ;).

The rules are to keep your ends protected and to keep manipulation to a minimum. That said, how are you wearing your hair for the week?


Monday, 22 April 2013

Dealing with setbacks

In the course of my hair journey, I have had no less than 5 setbacks. Ranging from bad relaxers to heat damage to bad products. Unfortunately, experiencing setbacks while on a healthy hair journey is very common. It is in fact the norm because a healthy hair journey is a learning process where a bit of trial and error is often required. Sometimes you learn from other people's mistakes and sometimes you have to experience it yourself to realize the lesson. When you have a setback, the important thing is to learn from it. What caused it? Was it a bad relaxer? A product that you used? Something you did or something you failed to do? Once you have figured out what caused it, determine how to prevent it from happening again. Then decide on how to address the current situation.

Several years ago, I had my roots relaxed by a random hair dresser in Lagos. When she was combing the relaxer through my new growth, she kept pulling so hard on my hair with her fine toothed rattail comb, I am convinced that she obliterated some of my hair follicles. Anyway, the result was a massive headache and enormous damage to the back of my head. I didn't want to cut all my hair off so I grew it out for several months before trimming it.


First trim

Second trim

Needless to say, that was the last time I ever went to that hair dresser. Other causes of setbacks for me include heat damage from weekly flat ironing, knotting from washing tangled hair and thinning from overlapping relaxers. 

While we are doing everything we can to avoid a setback, if you do find yourself in a situation where you have sustained damage to your hair, I suggest you take the following steps:

- Remain calm, try not to be frustrated, anxious or overly emotional
- If you are emotional, leave your hair alone. Wear a scarf, a wig, hold your hair up in a bun and take a break. Go to the movies, cook something, read a book... anything to keep you from having to deal with your hair.
- When you feel less agitated, inspect your hair to assess the damage
- Do not reach for the scissors! 
- Put your hair in a protective style for a week or two to give your hair time to recover  before making a decision on trimming. This is because sometimes your hair will recover on it's own and the trim may not be necessary or may still be necessary but not in the magnitude you thought.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no one suffers a setback but if you do let us know your experience in the comments below so we don't suffer the same fate!

Peace, love and light!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tutorial - The bow bun

My sister had this super cute bow bun. It's so adorbs and really easy to do, I thought I'd post a quick tutorial for you ladies on how to achieve this.

Step 1 & 2:

1. Using a scrunchie, put your hair up in a high ponytail.
You can use extensions if necessary. You'll need about 10 inches in length to make a nice looking bun

2. Fold the ponytail forward and secure with the scrunchie, leaving out about 2 inches of hair (this will form the middle part of the bow)

Step 3 & 4
3. Part the folded ponytail in the middle

4. Take the piece of hair you left out, fold it backwards in between the 2 sections and secure with a bobby pin.

Step 5
5. Fluff out either side of the bow to fill it out and make it look nice and full.

That's it!

Just like that, in 5 short steps you have added some oomph to your everyday bun.

Check out her instagram here
Follow her: kokoeka


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How to restore your tangled, matted extensions (bleach bath)

Some of us have saved and invested our hard earned money in "high quality" brazilian, indian, peruvian hair extensions. After spending all that money, we fix/install the extensions. The first month, the hair is bouncy, shiny and swinging. By month 2, it is sort of shiny, not as bouncy and not quite swinging. By month X, the shine, bounce and swing are all gone. With all the money we spent to get these extensions, we expect it to last for ever. Surely, that is not too much to ask? Is it?

Photo credit: 

OK, here is the thing:

Even high quality extensions if not properly cared for will tangle and trust me, it is not that easy to care for extensions. The weekly conditioning, heat free styling, treatments etc. Who has time for that? So you may find yourself in the situation where you brush your hair in the morning, it looks nice and sleek, but by the time you get to school or the office, it is big, puffy, tangled and out of control. If this happens, don't throw it away and start saving for a new one, don't call the girl that you bought it from and rain abuses on her. All you have to do is bleach bath the extensions and you can restore its shiny, bouncy, swinging form.

Here is how to go about it:

What you'll need:

Household ammonia (if anyone knows where to find this in Lagos or Abuja please let us know in the comments below, gracias)
Clorox bleach (regular, no fragrance)
Hot water
The hair extensions
Rubber gloves
Wide tooth comb (for detangling)
3 Basins (Or you can use your kitchen or bathroom sink)

The procedure:

1. Wear the rubber gloves

2. Detangle the extensions as much as possible using the wide tooth comb and your fingers

3. Pour some water into the first basin and add a few drops of shampoo. Mix it till there is a bit of a lather

4. Pour one gallon of hot but not boiling water into the second basin and add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of clorox bleach to the water

5. Submerge your extensions into the bleach mixture (2nd basin), then using your wide tooth comb, comb the extensions continuously for 3 mins while keeping it submerged in the mixture

6. Remove the weave from the mixture, squeeze and dip the extensions in and out of the water and shampoo mixture that you prepared in  step 2 for about 1 min

7. Rinse with water

8. Pour out the shampoo and make a fresh one

9. Pour 3 cups of hot water in the 3rd basin and add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the household ammonia

10. Dip the weave in and out of the ammonia mixture continuously for 1 to 2 mins, while still combing through with your wide toothed comb

11. Dip the weave in and out of the fresh shampoo mixture that you made in step 8

12. Rinse and condition with your moisturizing conditioner (silicon mix, hello hydration, Vo5 etc)

13. Rinse

14. Airdry

With these short steps you can take your tangled extensions from this:

To this:

- DO NOT let the ammonia and bleach come in contact with each other, the resulting fumes could be fatal

- When bleach bathing your extensions work in a well ventilated area.

 You can get clorox bleach from pretty much anywhere park and shop, goodies, dream plaza etc. Try to get the regular unscented one. Household ammonia is a cleaning agent so you may find it in the cleaning area of the supermarket.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Trend alert - Box braided top knots

Going through the recently updated display pictures on my phone this morning, I spotted and fell in love with the hair style my cousin had on her dp. See below:

Check out her facebook page here

I am generally not a fan of spending more than 30mins at a time doing my hair so while I love how braids look, committing to the 4-8 hours needed to get box braids put in is a challenge for me. However, I think I am inspired enough  to make this commitment. I definitely see box braids in my near future.

Check out box braided top knots recently spotted on Beyonce, Janet Jackson and Solange.

I will probably go with lighter braids and a smaller knot. I'll do a lot of things for fashion but not  at the risk of breaking my neck! 

How do you style your braids? Are you wearing them down, flat or rocking a bun. Either way don't forget to MOISTURIZE!


Thursday, 11 April 2013

My deep conditioning routine

Deep conditioning is a very important part of any hair care routine especially hair that has been chemically treated. What is the difference between a deep conditioner and a regular instant conditioner? Well, while an instant conditioner is applied and washed out instantly (hence the name), a deep conditioner is left in for a few minutes to several hours (sometimes even overnight) before being washed out. For a more intensive treatment, you may apply heat to your hair while conditioning. This opens up the cuticle and enables your hair to absorb more nutrients.
Currently, for my deep conditioning treatments, I use the macadamia deep repair masque. I apply the conditioner on towel dried hair, wear a plastic/processing cap and then put on my Gold and Hot conditioning heat cap. 

Gold and hot conditioning heat cap

Gone are the days when I had to drag out my very bulky babyliss hooded dryer (see below), go through the cumbersome process of setting it up and then have to bear it's noisiness for the 20mins I sat under it. I now use the gold and hot heating cap which is portable, fits easily in my suitcase, is easy to set up (actually, there is no 'setup' needed, you basically just put it on, plug it into a power outlet and wait for it to heat up). It is also silent, so while conditioning your hair, you can watch tv, have conversation, listen to music and generally engage in any activity to requires you to use your ears!

My babyliss hooded dryer

Gold and hot conditioning cap

I am not sure where you can get this heating cap in Lagos and/or Abuja but I am on the look out and once I have some info on where you can get it, I will update this post and let you know. That said, a good alternate to using a heating cap is using your body heat. To do this, wear a processing/plastic cap (see below) and then wrap your towel over it. This will trap your body heat and will have the same effect as a heating cap. Leave for 30 - 45mins and then rinse out.  You can also get some additional heat by dipping the towel in hot water before wrapping around your head.

If you don't have processing caps, you can use a plastic bag. Those little black ones work well. Just tie them around your head to prevent any dripping and then wrap a towel round it.

Notice how soft and pliable your hair is after you rinse out the conditioner? That's the best part.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know in the comments.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013


What is a hair growth journey without some hairspiration? Here are some hair bloggers with gorgeous hair to inspire you...

Relaxed/Texlaxed hair:
MsKibibi of http://coarsehairlonghair.blogspot.com

See her regimen at the time here

Sunshyne of http://www.hairliciousinc.com

See her regimen here

Natural hair:

Geri of http://geraldinethegreat.blogspot.ca

And Desiree of http://xodvf.tumblr.com

Knowing that the end result could be this fabulous makes all the deep conditioning, heat free styling, protective styling, air drying, black tea rinsing, product junking etc all worthwhile, doesn't it?

Happy growing!


My hair today - RPGShow wig

Hi Everyone!

Just showing you all how I am wearing my hair today. It's a wig I got from RPGShow. I drew inspiration from Ms Olivia Pope. (Yes, I'm a 'scandal' addict! :)


Hope everyone's journey is coming along nicely. How are you all wearing your hair at the moment? What are your favorite protective styles? Are you having any challenges protective styling and if so, how are you overcoming them? Let me know in the comments section.



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