2014 in review

I’am Impressed at what i,ve done so far, thanks to everyone who has made it possible , i hope to build more on this in 2015, Have a lovely year all around NaturalHeiresses!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Effective Haircare Methods You Should Know

Dear coily curly queen,

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How are you and your gorgeous locks doing?, Sorry for my long absence, I have been extremely busy getting married, yes yours truly is now a mrs, and while it feels good to be a mrs somebody i may just be realising the resposiblities that come with it, which are enormous by the way , still struggling to come to terms with the new found role as ‘’Wifey’’, lol.

Anyways, It does feel like a new channel has been open for me, in a way that the african society recognises and likes to use to its own advantage for example, being a married woman in Nigeria gets you respect among the folks, you are automatically elevated to a new status overnight and people will address you different , its very amusing when your suddenly hear ‘Madam ’ from people who called your name directly without permission in the first place, lol, and I get the feeling that its going to be a very interesting ride, which we will be talking about as we go along on this journey.

Now down to the business of the day, we have just gone past the harmattan which is akin to winter in colder climates and are now in the raining season,or spring season if you like, am curious to know how you coped with your tresses during the hamarttan , did you find it easy or difficult to maintain? For me, the weather was so dry here in Abuja that I had a hard time keeping it( still no name yet) moisturised , I did find a way though after so many trials, in fact I discovered 3 methods that worked perfect depending on how often its uses, these methods ensured that my hair was constantly moisturised and did not break unessesarily , we discuss it shortly.

Hey naturalhairess, does your hair feel dry and limp? Does it tangle easily?, are you experiencing breakage or hair loss? Have you kept a weave or braids for long periods at a stretch? Any of these method of natural hair care, included in your regimen will help regain life and shine in your hair.

The Greenhouse Effect Method ( GHE) : This means applying natural oils or butter to hair and covering with a shower cap and a scarf before going to sleep or simply wearing both for a long period of time, This method aims to grow hair from the scalp directly by creating a sort of steamy, warm environment for your hair just like is done with plants! it aims to stimulate growth using the natural sebum produced by your scalp, It is reasoned that with the cap on for longer hrs than the usual deep conditioning time, the heat created will help increase blood circulation retains moisture, which will in turn prevent breakage or hair loss. How smart is that? Lol, sounds weird but studies have shown that it is quite effective at facilitating hair growth as well as moisture retention. Below is a video to practice with if you like.

elohor 302 I used cling film in this pics.

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This could also work..

Oil Rinse Method ORM: Involves coating your hair in a huge amount of oil( any type of oil will do) right after washing /shampooing , allowing it to sit for about 10 / 20 minutes before rinsing of with lukewarm water , and proceeding to condition as usual finally rinsing with cool water. Its is a most recommended treatment for dry hair, having used it myself on and off, on several occasions. It is also very effective in combating single strand knots.

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Protective styling : Any style that will leave your hair ends well tucked in, moisturised protected from the natural elements and manipulation free for a long period of time is refered to as protective styling, it could be in form of twists, braids,buns or flat twists. Do take note that this doesn’t involve extension braids and weaves as they ultimately to do the opposite in practice.

The above two methods are totally different in application ancd will be effective in various conditions, If you are a homebody, a stay home mom, or someone that works from home the Greenhouse Effect will work perfect for you because it means you can keep your hair tied up for longer period, while the oil rince method will serve if you have little time on hands, work an 8-5 like me, and have a tight schedule.

As you know, in the natural hair world once a method works for you it becomes a keeper. My hubby would say “why change a winning team”?, there is no point reinventing the wheel if it works, its sounds cliché, I know, but there’s truth in it, these methods saw me through the most “drying periods” of my hair’s life and have now been included in my monthly regimen, I’ve tested and tried them that’s how I know they are effective,but hey , it doesn’t have to be harmattan or winter time for you to try them, our hair goes through different phrases at different times, its very important to keep track and know when to apply any of these methods, for example, hair that is just 3-4 inches long old is obviously easy to maintain and doesn’t need a protective style, its already low, and maintenance is all it requires is to be constantly moisturised and properly hydrated.

While a long haired natural who constantly battles with dry ends, tangling or fiery knots would need to oil rinse every now and often to prevent split ends and breakage. Its all about attentiveness dearest.

My next post will tackle caring for your hair in heat and humid weather which is what we are presently experiencing in this part of the world.

Till then, chacha curly, and keep being kind to that beautiful mane of yours.

Happy Newyear!

Its a Newyear!!!!, l know..its coming late but better late than never they say. l wish every one of you out there lots of love and happiness in the Newyear.Your hair will grow, strong and healthy and you will live to see it!

looooove you my curly coily friends!

In my Opinion….(response to Why I Revolt Against the Natural Movement)

I thought this was mavelous and very well my sentiments too!

ManeAttention

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Over the weekend I read an interesting post on NaturallyCurly.com. It raises a great conversation about the term “natural” in relation to hair.

Why I Revolt Against the Natural Movement by ShannonTBoodram

In the article ShannonTBoodram begins by describing a moment in her life when the “kinky/curly movement had begun to take shape”-and a moment when “bad perms had went out of style”. She describes this moment as a “revolution”. The “…affirmations in her beauty were monuments”. The “revolution shined bright during a time when many of us needed to know.”

She raises some great points of discussion such as the historical context of the word “natural” (applied to mental concepts) and how she sees that word as a way to control and not empower. She feels that there is a sense of entitlement directly derived from the word…”natural” which few of us can live up to.

I’ve added the link to her article in…

View original post 577 more words

Natural Hair Growth: The Stages

Hello there coily curly queen,

What a pleasure to be able to talk with you again after such a long while. how are you and how are you treating that hair of yours? Have you been keeping track of its growth? you may not realise it but that hair is growing but if you do not document the process through pictures and monthly measurements/length checks you will never know for sure. i did a little documentation of my own as its been a while, find the pictures here..
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The stages of growth for our hair are quite a number and we (naturals) have a name for each stage ; The TRANSITIONING Stage, the BIG CHOP AKA BC is when you chop of all your permed hair leaving about 1 or two inches of hair to begin the natural journey, this is followed by the Teeny Weeny Afro stage(TWA) with 5 / 7 inches of hair, there’s also the CHIN length,SHOULDER length, BRA-STRAP length, MEDIUM lenght , WAIST lenght and the list goes on, as you can see my hair has almost reached my chin now so you could say that l’am at the chin length stage. what stage are you at now and how are you taking care of it?

Its important to know what stage you are and styles that are best suited for each, otherwise you could easily get frustrated trying out a style, method or regimen that your hair length is not suited for or has gone passed. it happened to me a lot, I didn’t know that there was an awkward stage and did not understand why my ‘wash and go’s looked different, I often compared with other naturals who by the way were passed my stage, how their hair seemed to fall and felt I wasn’t doing something right, that was until I found out about the ‘awkward stage’: stage between a teeny weeny afro and chin length, this stage requires one to make use of hair accessories, its not a very beautiful stage per se, it requires a lot of creativity to it pull off! Here goes the different stages….

The Transitioner or Transitioning :This is the process of growing out ones natural hair along with the permed hair for a period of time, it could take from 1-8 months but I wouldn’t advise going beyond 8months because of the damage it causes to the new growth, not saying its impossible, one will have to be extra careful to maintain both textures Curlie, Hair styles for this stage should be directed at blending of the two textures while protecting the new growth, it could also be quite annoying.
Suggested styles for this stage include : Bantu knot outs, twists-outs and buns.
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Photos of a Transitioner and her hair.

Big Chop; This is when a curlie chops of all her permed hair to start afresh with about zero to 2 inches of hair, very easy to maintain your hair at this level, only need to keep it clean and moisturised.

Teeny Weeny Afro: The teeny weeny Afro is a welcome stage, here Curlie has at least 3-5 inches of hair to play with, you may begin to do finger twists, twist-outs, braid-outs , etc, but keep in mind this stage is sort a shortlived and after comes the awkward stage but fret not, just go out and get those hair bands, flowers, scarves and any other type of accessories you can find at the store, these could go a long way to ease your stress believe me.
Suggested styles for this stage include: mini puffs twist-outs, bantu knot-outs ,braid-outs, wash n go’s , etc…

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My hair last year June.

The chin and shoulder length stage : This basically means you can put your whole hair in a bun, its longer and can therefore accommodate more styles and manipulation such as : mini pompadours, huge puffs, chunky twist-outs, twist and braid outs, Wash n go at this stage is very tricky, you could get those annoying fiery knots and detangling could become a dreaded thing, however cheer up Curlie it just means your hair is growing!

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Dominique of all things O Natural

The Medium or Bra strap length: This is also known as the third, where your hair must have grown in length and volume, it can do what ever you want it to, but also has its disadvantages such as longer wash days and detangling hours, but its so worth it you may forget so l heard, lol.

The longer our hair is the more time and effort is needed to wash, detangle, and style it so be prepared Curlie Queen, I’m not considering the cost because that is so relative, I personally advocate 90% use of natural/home made product for washing as well conditioning.

In a nutshell Queen, its up to you to do your research, experiment and find out what works best for you and your hair at each stage of its growth rather than sit and whine about how its not acting like hers or hers, don’t forget your hair only works best for you.

Below is a picture I found at Natural hair rules page, showing the different stages;

Hair-Length-Chart-

Till my next post, which hopefully would not be too long from now, Have a great time with your hair this week!

Dear coily curly queen,

pictureellenBe brave be strong, be you.

You are a special gift waiting to be unwrapped, never let anyone tell you different.

The process of growing out your own hair might seem slow and painful but it is worth it in the end.

Remember we were not prepared for this , some of us didnt even know we could do this but here we are, bold daring, trying to do somethi´ng different.

Three important things to remember as we go though this journey Patience, Water, Oil..these three things will not let your hair down.

Have a wonderful week, ciao!

Shine on Awards: Naturalhairess Got Nominated!

Hello there curly coily queen,

This is just a quick update to let you know that MOI has being nominated, for the first time ever in my blogging life, for the Shine on Award by http://naturallyyew.wordpress.com/ . Her blog is soo awesome; she is one siSTAR who has dared to be different and i do so admire her for that.

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Yaaaaaaay!!!!! Lucky me right?

It felt so good to be nominated for something you know, i really appreciate the gesture naturallyyew, I hope i win, but even if i don’t, l ‘ll just like to say that for the first time i feel like i am doing something really worthwhile, and l’ve been very much encouraged. I ll do my best to keep you natural goddess, up to date and well informed on issues bordering on natural hair and living, what’s more? We get to learn and share these amazing experiences together.*Smiles*

Now the rules of the award says that when nominated one has to:

1. Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
2. Add the award logo to your blog.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers you admire.
5. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

My nominees are:

http://tafistresses.wordpress.com/
http://aprilbejay.wordpress.com/
http://girlfriend2fiance2wife.wordpress.com/
http://tremagnifique.wordpress.com/about/
http://naturallyyew.wordpress.com/
http://jazminmac.wordpress.com/
http://womanwithadifference.blogspot.com/
http://thisbrownqueen.wordpress.com/

Seven Things about me:

I have been writing notes to and about myself since l was 12
After my hair, my other most favourite thing to do is cook.
l do not like to wear makeup ( feel awkward with it on).
l work as an Admin – Assistant but also have several budding businesses on the side.
l speak three languages English, French and a little of German.
l’ am sought of a seeker ( trying to find my niche).
l’ am a Cancerian ,a lover of home and family life and nature, also super sensitive hence my protective shell:)

Thank you and goodluck to all nominees..muahhhhhh!

The Henna Treatment: For Shinier, Stronger Natural Hair

Dear, lovely curly, coily, heiress,

I do hope you‘ve been nice to your hair these past few weeks, it takes a lot of patience to groom your natural hair and you know what they say ‘’patience is a virtue’’ we all need to learn, being a natural has helped me learn to be a more patient person. My fiancé used to say l had the long but thin kind of patience, that was before I went natural, now l do much better and he tells me that too! though am not there yet, still a work in progress, l’ve come to realize and understand that patience will do much for you than any other virtue, why you may ask? Well, because as humans we face challenges every day, all sorts of challenges, but the trick is everything has a time frame or span, nothing remains the same , how we react or act in these circumstances we face determines whether we are going to come out on top or at a loss.
Patience helps you think before acting and this can go a long way in our daily decision making processes. So my friend, instead of getting all worked up over that issue, losing your cool, and saying things that you will definitely regret later on, let patience help you take a deep breath and walk away, or help you see things from the other person’s point of view then you can understand why the person acted in such a manner and think of a better approach to the situation, you see?

Becoming a natural has helped me see the diversity in life and people, we all have different hair types, are all created different, unique not necessarily bad or good. These and many more lessons l’ve learned in my 14months of natural living.

Now down to my post for the week HENNA. Two months ago I did a henna treatment and l’ve been itching to make a post about it, not just because I feel it’s necessary to talk about henna but because I needed to share my experience with you. This wasn’t my first time but it was by far my most enjoyable experience doing the henna treatment. Why it is i can’t say, but i suspect because my hair was much longer than before, or may be I got over the stress of the first time.

HENNA
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Photos of henna powder and henna plant

Henna is a kind of natural dye; it consists of ground up leaves from the henna tree, also known as the Egyptian privet or the mignonette tree, here in Northern Nigeria its called laali.

Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather. The name is used in other skin and hair dyes, such as black henna and neutral henna, neither of which are derived from the henna plant, The only dye molecule in henna (Lawsonia Inermis) in sufficient quantity to stain hair is Lawsone , which is a red-orange molecule. Any company that claims they create the wide range of henna colors with 100% henna, using roots, bark, or other parts of the henna plant to achieve their colors is not telling you the truth.
Only henna leaves are useful for dying hair, and other parts of the henna plant do not dye hair other colors. Chemicals, metallic salts or other plants must be added to henna to make any colour other than red.

THE HENNA TREATMENT
This is a deep conditioning treatment, in which henna powder is mixed with other oil, be it carrier or essential oils, to give colour to natural hair. It may also alter your hair pattern by way of loosening it.
Henna is the answer to anyone who is seeking a natural lifestyle or who wants to dye their hair without the drawbacks of harsh chemicals.

How it’s done: This was my process – l boiled some water and put a black tea bag in it, when the tea had cooled off a bit (warm) poured some in a disposable container (always use something you can discard in case you get too lazy to wash, i don’t like to washout henna afterwards) I then added two table spoons of henna dye, a tea spoon of olive oil and coconut oil , this is because dying with henna could strip the hair a bit, you ll understand soon. Stirred the mixture very well and let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

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Next, I parted my hair in three sections and wearing a glove, applied henna to my hair by section, allowed to sit for about 45mins only because i had an emergency, one can sit with henna for as long as wished, the longer amount of time spent the more can be gotten from the dye.

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Parting your hair in section makes for easy application of henna.

Now washing henna out of your hair is where the real work is, for me, I simply allow the sink to fill with water and deep my head in it for as many times as it would take to get the henna out, deep and drain, fill with water again and repeat the process. It might take about 7 to ten rinses depends on how big your sink is…See why the oil is important?

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if you look properly, you can still see traces of the henna leaves..it goes with the terrain.

After my hair had been well rinsed enough (for me), I applied my condish, let it sit for another 1hour before rinsing off. Moisturizing, sealing and styling completes the whole process.

The outcome? : My curls came out looser and lighter, my boss commented on how ‘’darker my hair looked’’, also I could see some red highlights especially in the sun plus my hair got shinier!

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Photos of my washango right after doing the henna treatment

Thinking of doing the Henna treatment?

Purchase your henna or laali from your local market, it’s sure to be the real version.
Despite the greatness of henna, the major downfall is ease of use. Henna has a grainy texture making it messy and more difficult to apply. It also seemed to take a long time to wash out in the shower, so be prepared.
Henna dye should last about eight weeks in your hair, it fades out over time.

Is it worth it? – it definitely was for me, I plan to do it every 3 months because of the enormous benefits. It’s a win- win situation for me.

Henna benefits

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The Henna plant

Henna’s coloring properties are due to lawsone, a burgundy organic compound that has an affinity for bonding with protein.

Strengthens hair from the roots

Adds shine that lasts

Chemical dyes are not only VERY damaging to hair, they can also cause scalp burns, allergic reactions, and recently studies have linked long term use to cancer, henna is a perfect alternative.

Henna contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, some sort of natural protection.

Hope you had a good read, until my next post, Keep rocking that natural heiress!

The ”fragility” of African hair debunked!

Hi there lovely Hairess, hope you and your tresses are doing well, Hair “no name yet” here has been acting craaaazzzy i tell you, I think the reason is partly cause I’ve been too busy with other activities to pay due attention to her,plus the fact that she is quite stressed out from all that twisting and braiding of the past 3weeks really. So I’ve decided to let it be for a week which basically means no twistouts, braidouts , flat twists nothing , just a plain good ‘ol wash n go plus no combing for at least 2weeks!

Now I’ve also managed to do some reading up these past week and have learnt a few things that i‘d love to discuss with you, Remember I was supposed to do an exposé on Good Healthy hair? Well, while researching on it i realised that i did not fully understand what my hair was made up of, so decided to take it a bit further, I came across some articles that gave me not only more information about my Hair but also spurred me to have a rethink on some African hair myths i’ ve been hearing about. Here is an excerpt that caught my attention..

‘’Hair is made of protein which originates in the hair follicle. As the cells mature, they fill up with a fibrous protein called keratin. These cells lose their nucleus and die as they travel up the hair follicle. Approximately 91 percent of the hair is protein made up of long chains of amino acids…this to me basically means hair is dead fibre.
Now the earliest recordings of research on African hair care shows, a variety of methods for managing this hair were adopted. These documentations highlight the use of hot stones; potatoes; lard, and lye, up to modern day methods. But why is afro hair so fragile?
Research shows that essentially while Caucasian, Asian, African hair have the same make-up, the structure of the proteins in black hair differ somewhat. Proteins are the building blocks of hair, providing rigidity, elasticity and strength. Together with water, these determine the overall mechanical properties. However, with afro there are three points worth bearing in mind’’.
AfricanAmerican hair consists of a reduced percentage of cystine, a protein synonymous with the hair diseases where the hair is extremely fragile and frays.
African hair proteins are also laid down in an irregular fashion. This occurs deep inside the follicle bulb within the scalp and also determines the tightness of the curl. The tighter the curl, the weaker the hair. In addition, this irregularity creates weak spots all along the shaft of the hair.
African hair grows from ellipsoidal follicles as opposed to the oval shape of Caucasian/Asian hair. In essence this means that the stresses working over the hair also attribute to splitting.As you can see, Type 4B hair is designed primarily to grow outwards for protection, not downwards’’.

Now this article was taken from: http://EzineArticles.com/4772004, and while I agree with most of the information therein, I would like to state my little observation on the much proffessed ”fragility” of African hair.

First of all, ALL HAIR IS VERY FRAGILE, not just African hair, again this is just my opinion. Reason I say so is because hair structure is basically made up of the same thing ‘’protein and fibre’ ’the only reason African hair has suffered over the years and has been labelled fragile is because very little or no research has been carried out on its structure and development and care methods. It has been simply neglected or swept under the wigs and weaves for decades!
Now I may not be able to provide all evidence to back up my stance but this is how I see it; there are several factors that affect and influence the type of hair on our head, and I categorise them thus:

1) What we eat/Diet
2) Environment/geographical locations
3) Haircare methods and practices

Haircare methods
Kinky coily hair is by no means more or less fragile than any other hair type or neither does it have particular defect in its structure, Off course if you treat your African zigzagly, or coily hair that same way a Caucasian treats her straight hair you would be running at a loss, Because our hair patterns are not the same though its structures are fundamentally the same. One major mistake most of us have been making and it’s not our fault we weren’t taught is caring for our African hair the way Caucasians do. African kinky coily or curly hair’s pattern differs from Caucasian straight hair and should therefore be handled differently. Take a look below:

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You would notice that African hair is patterned in a zigzag or round curly fashion, while the Caucasians hair is patterned straight (except for the curly)…After learning this i slapped myself for the many times I let the hair dresser use that blue small toothed comb on my dry hair,all the while saying ” sorry oh” as I clench my teeth in exasperation…looking at it now the pain was so unnecessary.
Mis- information and mis- education of our African hair grooming methods has contributed to the wide spread notion that African hair is the most fragile of all the hair types, it isn’t its just different and should be handled thus.

Food/Diet /Environment and Geographical location
You’ll agree with me, we are what we eat, which means everything that goes into our mouth will be seen on our bodies, same with our hair.
Here in the tropics, our local food is more of carbohydrates than anything else, and this has been going on for years from generation to generation, it’s even become genetic, thus having a huge impact on our hair texture and pattern. Our diet, even the way our bodies converts and processes the food we eat has a huge role to play in hair formulation and texture.

It is also true that African hair has been patterned by nature to serve as a protective shield from the harsh sun, hence it’s zigzagly or coily pattern. One cannot shy away from that fact, however, I did noticed that our hair growth and pattern does vary according to location, You see, up north, especially Maiduguri, is where we have the ladies with the longest of hair that any other parts of Nigeria, long, soft, sometimes wavy and luxuriant hair, despite the use of relaxers…While down south (which is where I’m from by the way) our hair has this redish colour and rarely grows long one can easily see the disparity, my mom use to always complain when we visit the village of how dirty/dead looking the colour of the villagers hair was.

Now if you belong to this group of people, with good genes as a result of years of good diet plus condusive environment, good for you, but if you belong to the group whose hair hardly grows blow the shoulder level do not be discouraged there is hope, Long lustrous or thick hair can be achieved through the adjustments of our diets to accommodate more fruits and vegetables, protection of our strands by maintaining a good hair care routine like ( fingercombing & fingerdetangling, Conditioning & moisturising) and drinking lots of water. Avoid putting chemicals in your hair at all cost.

Now hairess do not get confused by all my mumblings, All l’am trying to say in a nutshell is:

1)All hair is fragile and needs to be handled with care, not just the kinky coily African hair
2)Proper grooming and maintenance is the key to hair growth.
3)Good / balanced diet is important in growing long and healthy natural hair.
4)Protection of our strands is relevant for lenght retention.

Hope to expatiate on this topic as we go along, l do look forward to reading your opinion on this as well. Do have a lovely week!

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