Tuesday, June 10, 2014


There is nothing as tiring -and sometimes painful- as detangling your kinks after 1-2months of protective styling. You take down the extensions/plaits looking forward to seeing what little length you must have gained during the period, but then you notice a lot of build-up at the roots. So what do you do? You pour lots of conditioner and/or oil on your hair and begin taking apart hair strands that are clumped together. Not only does the exercise feel like life is forcing you to learn divine patience, but you are disappointed by all the short hair strands that are falling off as you work through all the knots.

2 weeks ago, I bought a bowl of manshanu from wuse market for N500. The plan was to use it as a dc protein treatment after washing with a shampoo but detangling a small section of hair took 2 days and I decided, in frustration, to try something new.



I smoothed on some manshanu to a little section of hair until it felt soft and then loosely twisted it. A few minutes after saturating all my hair with the product, I noticed that it was really easy for my fingers to pass through the knots without much of a problem (nice!). I then went on to take out the shed hairs with a wide tooth comb which was just as easy. No pain, no time wasted.
If there is one thing I love about manshanu is that it has got SLIP. This makes detangling so much easier and faster!!
I left the product on for another 30 minutes and washed it off afterwards.
Detangling has never been so easy and breakage was minimal

  Hair is soft and manageable one week after  treatment
On Sunday I tried the same process on my Mom. If there's one thing I know about her regimen is that she never washes her hair or puts anything liquid on it without properly detangling it first. When I offered to try manshanu on her hair using this method I could tell that she wasn't really buying my 'gist' but fortunately she let me work my magic.
During the process, not one "careful!'' was uttered. Instead I got a "what exactly is this?" and "how did you find out about it's uses?"
Answer to question 1:It is magical manshanu.
Answer to question 2: Out of frustration and I'm still learning about it.
The major lessons I have learnt during my hair journey are that one should never be afraid to try new things and short-cuts do make life easier (not all the time sha *_^).

NOTE:A little goes a long way. Apply too much and your face and neck will be full of oil in no time.
Storage: Manshanu should be stored in a refrigerator
Ready for use? If your manshanu is solid and sweating as seen in the picture opposite don't use heat to melt it. Rather, let it seat for 30-45mins (depending on how hard it is) and it would return to its original state.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guess What I found...

...a picture of my crazy hair line back in the day.
 I never knew how bad my hair line was until after I went natural...throwing away that last  relaxer pack was a very good decision
                          JazzWife was right, I do have good hair *_^
My sister and I had a good laugh at the first picture but trust me when I say that 4 years ago, it was definitely not a laughing matter. I'm sharing these pictures not to show off growth but to encourage all the ladies who have shared their hair loss frustrations with me.
Please keep on with your new hair techniques and ignore all the negative energy. One day soon your hair line would be back to normal :).

Friday, March 21, 2014


Recently, I came across a Natural who I had met during one of our meet ups. My hair was up in a bun and she was excited to finally see it loose. (I'm almost always in loose twists or braids with my ends tucked in)
As she came closer, she noticed my thin hair line and I could see the confusion on her face.
 "You too?" she said and I smiled.
 "Yes o, haven't you seen my improved iya iyabo on my blog?" I asked. And she replied with a "NO''. Lol... I took down my hair band and she saw that there was a huge difference between what grows in front and the rest of them.
After giving her a brief history of my hair, she was shocked to hear that my hair line was much thinner some years ago.

Going through my blog I see that I never fully discussed my hair and its short comings. So if you are a  reader and you have not noticed what I call my improved-iya-iyabo hair line here's what it looks like.

A Little History
 For the most part of my life, I have been natural. Mom, my precious Aunty E, and a few other ladies (I cant remember all of them now) took care of my hair until I got into secondary school. My first year in boarding house saw me taking care of my hair myself because I had not yet found a plaiting patner. In JSS3 (Junior Secondary School) I permed my hair and almost everything in front fell off. In SS1 (Senior Secondary School) I transitioned and by SS2 second term I had my hair back. After graduation, I decided I was going to relax my hair just to show that 'me sef, don age"  and by my 4th year in University, I was back to where I started from but with a difference...
  Ms Natural Hair with no edges.
By the time I started growing my Natural hair again, I noticed that my edges were nearly gone. I worried about it for a while but then I started ignoring it. Every now and then a natural would tell me what remedy she found,I would salute her but never follow up on her advice. I might start applying whatever oil she asked me to use but after a week I would get bored and stop.
Hair Blogs,my favourite places to be when I started my journey, sort of encouraged me to take care of it but then I found that if I left it alone, it 'seemed' to get better.

During my NYSC it improved but then I passed out and life happened.
The picture to the left was taken during my NYSC...look at my hair line can you see the difference?

Last year was a transition period for me. Fresh out of NYSC I started to see that life after school was more adventurous than I expected. Finding myself in the midst of all the well meaning advice I was getting plus all that I wanted to do was not easy. Juggling a job and my many other interests left me exhausted with little time to care for me as a person not to talk of my hair. There was a month when I could not get myself to eat even when I thought I was hungry. The crashing point was when I had to close my nose to force food down my throat. But before it  got to my stomach, I was running to bring it back out. With goose bumps all over my skin I fell down sobbing. I knew then and there that some things had to give.

I am still learning to find balance and I'm getting better at saying N-O. Farida of Lumo Naturals has also been very supportive. I have added and deleted some steps in my regimen as my hair is sort of longer and my ends tend to get dry very fast.
My poor diet and neglect caused me some breakage early this year but fingers crossed, things would get better. 12 months is how long I have given myself to see if I can solve the problem that 4 years of relaxing and tight braiding has caused me. If my edges get fuller, fine, if not...we continue as we began-with scanty edges :)
All in all, I am very grateful to God, that I did not end up bald after all the damage that relaxers caused me... but now you know, I don't have a perfect head of hair.

2013...shrinkage is your friend :)


                        Style name: My hair must pack :)

                                                 Hair pins save the day

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Picture from CN2

After reading the first Part I some of you might ask...
What exactly is my hair care responsibility? 
The fact is that most of us grew up with other people taking care of our hair. In Nigeria where labour can be cheap, getting someone to wash and style your hair can be easy. Our mothers might have been the ones to wash our hair  but most times than not the responsibility of styling and maintenance was someone else's job. This sort of slipped in as a habit and now that we are  older, a lot of us are still over dependent on hair stylists who sometimes know very little about afro-hair care. 
I have met women who think it is tight fisted or broke ladies who wash their hair by themselves. Its no wonder why a lot of us actually rock severe 'iya iyabo' like it is a style that has always being in season.
If you can give yourself a bath each day, then please work up liver to take some responsibility for your hair. 
Since we all know that a lot of our hair stylists know next to nothing about kinky or permed hair it is our responsibility to:
1. Educate them or direct them on what to do with our hair, and
2. Take proper care of our hair first before letting them style it.

To elaborate more on this, two extremely laid back naturals have given me the permission to share the error in their ways. 

ELN #1: Ms P

I met Ms P in 2012 and we have stayed in touch since then (you know how naturals connect easily). 
Three weeks ago, she called me to come style her hair. We agreed on a date, which was tight for both of us, but knowing how our schedules where we decided to stick to the plan. On our appointment I was so disappointed to find her with damp hair that was tightly coiled at the roots because it was not properly stretched. We met at 12:00pm and she was to go to work by 2:00pm!! Her excuse was that she came back very late from work the previous day and could only wash her hair early that morning. Harmattan had gone so there was no way she could have air dried her hair and be ready for our appointment by 12:00pm.
We attempted to quickly blow dry her hair but when I started braiding, the
roots did not look neat at all (sorry, I forgot to take a picture)

Instead of braiding and leaving her with rough hair, as it was not my fault (na so our hair stylists dey reason na) I decided to smooth her hair and thread it so that when next we meet styling would be easier on both parties.

Ms P wanted the style I had recently done for EnKay so we did hers with a slight twist :)

ELN #2: My Sister

Believe it or not this really is my sisters hair. Yes, all four of us seem to have different hair textures but that is no excuse for why her hair looks the way it does.
Now, this yeye girl  decided to wear her hair out like Resane Babalwa of Sisterhood. When she got back home, she did not moisturise and braid or even thread to keep the kinks protected....no....not my sister, she went straight to bed like that. I refused to wake her up because I have this suspicion that I make my sisters hair lazy. They take care of their when in school but when they are around me, its like they don't even try. Its seems like my 'hair talk'  is only to be applied in school and never at home.
Back to my madam, by the next morning, I had to restrain myself from telling her what to do but by evening I couldn't take it any more. I sat her down, sprayed on some water, patiently detangled, and braided her hair. The funny part is that detangling was not as difficult as I expected. I then proceeded to give her the LumoNaturals henna mix treatment I had promised her. 
This child needs to start paying me, because she keeps saying "when you are here nko? why should I bother?" 
No be her fault sha, there are dishes I do not eat until she is around:)
Why are my stressing both ladies?
Simple, I have told them times without number to take care of their hair before sitting down for me or anyone else to style their hair. Why?

1. Time: When we refuse to take proper care of our hair, we spend a lot of time trying to smoothing out kinks that could have taken us a few minutes to stretch.

2. Knots and Breakage: The results of poorly maintained natural hair. Keep the knots away by properly detangling and stretching natural hair after washing and before sleeping (when you wear the fro out)

3. Slow growth: Your hair would take a longer time to get to your desired length if it keeps breaking off due to neglect.

4. Wastage: I had to take four trips to Ms P's, no thanks to her care free attitude towards her hair. I mean, she could have washed her hair days before I came. Abi? (one love Ms P :))

5. Frustration: Unkempt natural hair can frustrate both you and the hair stylist - who might know very little about your hair type and its needs. Keep those tears at bay, take care of ya hair ya self :)

6. Cost: Both of this ladies are my people, but if they were clients best believe I will charge them double for their negligence.

My Opinion...
While it might be someone else's job to style your hair, it is your job to take proper care of it. Know your hair texture and what it responds to. With the knowledge at your finger tips it will be easy for you to tell others what you want instead of complaining.


          Nigerian Hair styles in the 60's
Hi People!
First of all let me start by setting the record straight: I am not a professional hair stylist o, I just know how to braid natural hair. That said, lets proceed to the topic at hand.
When most of us hear about going natural, the first thing that comes to mind is "hard work". Some of us get past this thought while others battle till they give up. For an intro, I will describe both ladies mentioned under 2 categories: The Enthusiastic Natural and the Extremely Lazy Natural

Enthusiastic Natural
These category of ladies have decided to go natural but they dread the time, energy and resources that go into the process. Instead of dumping the idea and/or sticking to what they have always known, they discuss their hair problems with friends who started their journeys before them, visit natural hair blogs, and try out styles and products, so they can find the regimen that works just right for their life style.

Extremely Lazy Natural
The others, who I'm focusing on in this post, have decided to go natural but can't really be bothered with anything apart from the vision they have of themselves with big hair. They admire natural hair styles, can not wait to spot that big fro... but the wahala of learning about hair textures and techniques is just too much for them. After many frustrations, they finally learn to wash their natural hair properly and maybe learn a few easy dc treatments along the way but that is where their adventure stops. They can't be bothered with stretching,they get frustrated with styling and sometimes resolve to weaves/wigs for the most part of their short journey. Lastly, they can be  the biggest critics of salons and stylists.
While their assessment of some hair stylists might be true (to some extent) the cause of their hair troubles rests on their shoulders.

End of Part One 

Part 2 coming up later in the day

NatM Asks: What Category do you belong to? Do you have friends or relatives that are extremely laid back? And how do you encourage them to be independent?


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