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Natural Hair faves from Benin Republic

Natural Hair faves from Benin Republic

Bonjour! Ca va? I recently went on a tour with a couple of friends to the ancient city of Ouidah in the Republic of  Benin. It was a good opportunity to take some break from work, relax & test the strength of my spoken French language. Comprendre? We visited the famous python temple, the point of no return, the sacred forest & slept two nights at Casa del Papa. On our road trips, I came across some natural hair items.

Shea Butter:

On returning to Lagos, we decided to do some shopping at the Dantokpa market in Cotonou. While walking the streets of the market, I saw a young lady hawking shea butter. The ivory color of the shea butter was not to miss. It was well timed as I remembered that I was actually running out of shea butter back at home in Lagos. It was super affordable. I never expected the price she told me. The shea butter was molded in small oval shapes.  Each one was sold at 50cfa. I bought 4 for 200cfa.

We know shea butter is loaded with benefits. However, I prefer not to use shea butter on my hair as I noticed it was too heavy for my hair & it weighs it down. However, shea butter is great for my skin. Now that Harmattan is here, it is the perfect moisturizer for my hands, elbows, knees & feet.

Natural Hair faves from Benin Republic

Wooden Hair Divider/ Accessory:

On the second day of the trip, we stopped by craft stalls where a lot of Benin Republic arts were sold. I was going through the wares of the Beninese woman when I saw the hair divider comb, It looked very similar to the ilarun we have in Lagos, only that it had a single point unlike ours that has four points. It was made of wood and had a spiral design on its head. Looks like an item that will double as an ilarun & also a stylish hair accessory.

Natural Hair faves from Benin Republic

Ever traveled  & discovered some natural hair faves? What did you find?

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Flax Seed Gel Tutorial + Gel Twist Out

Flax seed gel tutorial - long Nigerian hair

Having tried two styling products in the past which were not pleasant on my hair, I decided to go the natural route. There has been a lot of buzz about flax seed gel. I then watched Naptural85’s video on how she used it for her perm rod set which turned out really great. I also read about how to make the flax seed gel as well.

How To:

Step 1:  I put small amount of water in a pot and added one cap of flax seed to it.

Flax seed gel tutorial - long Nigerian hair

Step 2: After boiling for two minutes, I stirred it with a wooden cooking stick (omorogun) because it had started to thicken. I added some water to make it lighter.

Flax seed gel tutorial - long Nigerian hair

Step 3: I then tried to strain it when it cooled, but it was too thick for the sieve. This could be because the holes in the sieve were too tight.

Step 4: I added more water and put it back to boil. The gel was lighter time. I put the content in a bigger sieve and used a spoon to spread it so that the gel can come out.

.Flax seed gel tutorial - long Nigerian hairv

Flax seed gel tutorial - long Nigerian hair

How to use flax seed gel for twist outs

I applied the gel on my nearly dried hair. I then sealed it with olive + coconut oil mix and Shea butter.  I did this in small sections before twisting my hair.

Results: The curls of the twist outs were firm and not crunchy and dried out. It lasted for a week.

Flax seed gel tutorial - long Nigerian hair

 

Have you tried flax seed gel before? What were your results?

 

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Dandruff Versus Dry Scalp – 4 Differences

differences between dandruff & dry scalp

A lot of us have battled with wither dandruff or dry scalp, but we do not know exactly which one it is we have. Your scalp would have itched you so badly that when you finally scratch it, you noticed some flakes. It is important to know the differences between these two so that you will know how to manage them effectively. Let’s check out dandruff versus dry scalp.

Dandruff is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection such as psoriasis. For those that have dandruff, the skin cells on their scalp are being renewed faster than they die. So the skin cells shed more frequently and clump into flakes. Dry scalp on the other hand is caused by extreme dehydration, cold weather, stress, harsh shampoos, etc.

Another dandruff versus dry scalp point to note is that dandruff’s flakes are larger than dry scalp flakes and are harder to come off the scalp . They are usually accompanied by an odor as is a result of a fungal infection.

Dandruff is usually greasy and yellowish white in color while dry scalp has whitish flakes that fall off when you comb your hair.

dandruff versus dry scalp
Dry scalp

One of the differences between dandruff and dry scalp is that dry scalp can be treated by drinking lots of water to keep your body hydrated. A well hydrated body can also make your scalp well hydrated too. Moisturize and seal in moisture to your hair regularly. Wash your hair with lukewarm water instead of hot water which can strip your hair of its natural oils. It is also important to eat a healthy diet too.

Dandruff should be treated with a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo. You can also reduce the oil you apply on your scalp as it can worsen he dandruff. You can also mix some tea tree oil with your shampoo or mix it with some coconut oil for pre-poo. Tea tree has anti-fungal and antibiotic features that can help to treat dandruff.

NB: Information provided here is very basic. You may have to visit a health practitioner like a dermatologist if you have a scalp condition.

References

http://healthresearchfunding.org/difference-dry-scalp-dandruff/

http://theboah.com/dandruff-or-dry-scalp-theboah-read-part-1/

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Hair Growth Lessons from Mbalantu Women

hair lessons from Mbalantu women - long Nigerian hair

I was surfing the web on the Himba tribe of Namibia when I stumbled upon a photo of some African women with floor length hair. Their hair was touching the floor. I could not close my mouth for several seconds. I am usually fascinated by stories of African tribes. I went ahead to find out how the women of the Mbalantu tribe of Namibia were able to grow such long hair. I found some exciting things I believe we all can learn from. We can adapt some of these hair growth lessons.

Protective Styling: By the time the Mbalantu girls become teenagers, they cover their hair with a thick layer of finely ground tree back of Omutyuula tree. This was usually mixed with oil. After a couple of years, the thick fat will be loosened so that the hair becomes visible.

By the time these young girls reach the age of sixteen, their fruit pip headdress is discarded and replaced with one of sinews. The style is again changed once the girls reach their Ohango Initiation ceremony. The hair is then styled in 4 long thick eembuvi braids.

 

hair growth lessons from Mbalantu women - long Nigerian hair
Source: The eembuvi-plaits of Mbalantu women. Photo: CHL Hahn, Collection Antje Otto

This means that their hair is protected for a period of time before being loosened. This is one of the  hair growth lessons we can all learn from. Manipulating your hair too much in the name of styling it can cause hair breakage. You can do protective styles like Senegalese twists, braids, and even wear wigs. These are styles you can carry for 3 weeks or more.

hair growth lessons from Mbalantu women - long Nigerian hair

Applying oil to your Hair: Research done did not reveal to us the kind of oils the Mbalantu women applied to their hair. However, we know that there a lot of natural oils that improve the growth of our hair.

For example, coconut oil prevents hair breakage and split ends. It also adds luster, shine and softness to the hair. Olive oil is can be used to prevent and even cure hair loss. Shea butter restores hair follicles ad the scalp giving birth to healthy and fast growing hair.

References

https://gondwanatravel.wordpress.com/tag/omutyuula-tree/

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0401/feature2/map.html

 

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4 Hair Benefits of Agbalumo Fuit

Hair benefits of agbalumo - long Nigerian hair

Hello ladies! Guess what is back in season? Our beloved agbalumo is here! Every year, I look forward to the arrival of this fruit. It is seasonal, usually occurring just after the harmattan. The English name for it is white star apple or African star apple. The Ibo tribe calls it Udara while the Yorubas call it Agbalumo.  It has a sweet and sour taste probably due to the amount of citric acid in it. There are a lot of hair benefits of agbalumo.

Of course, we all know that healthy hair begins with the nutrients we take in from the foods we eat. According to this source, Agbalumo contains more vitamin C than guava or orange. It is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals.

Hair benefits of agbalumo - long Nigerian hair

Hair Benefits of Agbalumo

So here is how these nutrients help us with hair growth:

  1. Agbalumo contains magnesium which can help create strong hair follicles. Deficit of magnesium in your body will affect your hair growth and can prompt hair loss in an abnormal manner. This could be because your hair follicles needs magnesium in order to create strong hair follicles.
  2. According to this source, tyrosine is important for the maintenance of the structural integrity of hair strands and the cells of hair follicles.
  3. A property of Vitamin C which can contribute to its ability to encourage hair regrowth is its action as an antioxidant. This is important in promoting skin health and preventing oxidative damage to the cells of hair follicles.
  4. One of the hair benefits of agbalumo is that the Vitamin C can also actually stimulate regrowth after hair loss.

Hair benefits of agbalumo - long Nigerian hair

In addition to the agbalumo fruit, eating other fruits and vegetables helps to promote the general well-being of our health as well as that of our hair.

So, who has eaten agbalumo recently?

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46 Weeks Post Relaxer Hair Update (Pictures)

46 weeks post relaxer - long Nigerian hair

It’s been 46 looooooong weeks since I last applied some relaxer to my hair. I decided to do a post relaxer hair update before I hit the one year mark! I also wanted to take pictures of what my hair really looks like. Most times, I wash my hair in the early hours of the morning, so I barely see it  as clearly as I would in broad daylight.

My hair showed me “pepper” about 3 months after I stopped applying relaxers to it. It was soo hard to touch and style. I used Marley extensions to  do braids most of the time back then in order not to manipulate my hair.

46 weeks post relaxer  - long Nigerian hair

By the time it was six months of my post relaxer journey,  I reduced my visitation to hair salons. I decided to learn how to manage my own hair myself. I then started buying lots of wigs. These wigs came in handy for bad-hair days and also helped me to reduce manipulation of my hair.

I am still learning to manage my hair. Over time, I have to realise that my hair prefers coconut oil for pre-pooing and not as a sealant. My hair loves overnight deep conditioning as well.

Hair Assessment:

My new growth is softer and the back of my head. It is more coarse in the middle part. The front part of my hair is quite delicate.

She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.”

 

My hair is longer at the sides of my head and at the middle too . It is shorter at the back and the front too.

46 weeks post relaxer  - long Nigerian hair

46 weeks post relaxer  - long Nigerian hair

 

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February Schedule + Valentine’s Day Hairstyles

Valentine's day hairstyles - long Nigerian hair

Happy new month ladies! It’s the month of love. It is also time to share & receive love. Our hair is not to be left in this show of love as well. Would be on a date this Valentine? Or would you spend some time with friends? You can try out some of these Valentine’s day hairstyles suggestions.

In January, I wore a couple of protective styles like wigs and buns.  This was because the harmattan was still present.

This February, I intend to search for ways to retain moisture in my hair for longer periods of time. At 40 weeks post relaxer, my hair dries out easily. No matter the amount of leave in conditioner and oil used, once it is exposed to air, it dries out quickly.  Luckily for me, my wigs have been helpful for me to retain some moisture.

Schedule for February:

  • Week 1: Inversion Method
  • Week 1-4: Application of Jamaican Black Castor Oil on edges as part of the #GrowYourEdges hair challenge
  • Week 1-4: Do Green House Effect (GHE) every night, 5 days a week.
  • Week 1-3: Protective style with my newly acquired wig
  • Week 4: Protective style my hair in a bun

If you want to celebrate this Valentine’s day, here are some hairstayles you can try out. They vary from weaves to wigs, natural hair to relaxed hair and even braids. And they are from our favourite Nigerian female celebrities. Enjoy

1.Genevieve Nnaji

Valentine's day hairstyles - long Nigerian hair
Source

 

2. Tonto Dike

Valentine's day hairstyles - long Nigerian hair
Source

 

3. Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde

Valentine's day hairstyles - long Nigerian hair
Source

4. Rita Dominic

Valentine's day hairstyles - long Nigerian hair
Source

 

5. Yemi Alade

Valentine's day hairstyles - long Nigerian hair
Source

 

Feel free to share your own Valentine’s day hairstyles.

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