Tag Archives: afro hair

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale – My Honest Review 

Hi guys! 

Last week I received a gift hamper from a well known South African brand, Dark and Lovely.

Goody basket from Dark and Lovely
Goody basket from Dark and Lovely

It might interest you to know that Dark and Lovely products (Relaxer, Shampoo, conditioner, etc) were a staple back in the days when I still had relaxed hair. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that all four products in my hamper had been specifically formulated for Afro textured women. 

Moving on, the content of the hamper included but was not limited to a shampoo, a conditioner, a plaiting pudding cream and, an Afro moisturizing butter…All of which I had the pleasure of experimenting with this past weekend and, just like any other experiment, I’m here with my report, better known in this premise as, a review,  and this review promises to be honest, transparent and, unbiased. 

L-R: Moisture-Replenishing Shampoo, Knot-Out Conditioner, Plaiting Pudding Cream and Afro Moisturizing Butter. 
L-R: Moisture-Replenishing Shampoo, Knot-Out Conditioner, Plaiting Pudding Cream and Afro Moisturizing Butter. 

The Good:

  • The shampoo lathers pretty well (a little goes a long way)
  • The knot out conditioner has great slip and the ingredients constitute a majority of hair friendly alcohols. Read more about alcohols in hair products here
  • The Plaiting pudding cream is impressively hydrating and it neither left my hair dry nor flaky
  • The Afro moisturizing butter has great creamy consistency, is non-sticky and can be used to tame frizz in the hair, around the edges and along the nape.

The Bad:

  • The “moisture-replenishing” shampoo performs the exact opposite of replenishing moisture. I found that my hair was dry and very dull after washing. This could most likely be due to the high percentage of Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)  in the shampoo. Read more about alcohols in hair products here

The Ugly:

  • Nothing yet

My Verdict:

Although the shampoo left my hair dry, an easy way to work around it would be having to do a pre poo either with pure honey or even with the Afro moisturizing butter since that contains honey also and is super moisturising.

Rating each product on a scale of 10: 

Moisture-Replenishing Shampoo (4/10)
Moisture-Replenishing Shampoo (4/10)

 

Shampoo Ingredients
Shampoo Ingredients

 

Knot-Out Conditioner (10/10)
Knot-Out Conditioner (10/10)


Conditioner Ingredients
Plaiting Pudding Cream (9/10)

 

Pudding Ingredients

Afro Moisturizing Butter (9/10)

Moisturizing Butter Ingredients 


Did I mention that these products have a uniting factor?!

Well, due to the presence of Mango seed oil and Bamboo milk, they all have a pleasant mango scent that soothes the senses, with the exception of the Afro Moisturising butter which clearly contains guarana root and honey. 

Products at a glance
Products at a glance

In all, I enjoyed experimenting with the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale mango oil and bamboo milk line and I recorded the complete process of how I used all four products mentioned in this review, so if you are not already subscribed to my YouTube channel, please  click here to subscribe so you don’t miss the styling tutorial video when it goes up. 

Turns out the Knot out conditioner was my favorite from the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Mango Oil & Bamboo Milk line. I’m not sure why I held onto the Plaiting pudding so lovingly. 

Click here to watch the complete video of how I used all four products (from washing to styling) 

Have you tried any product(s) from the Au Naturale line? Please share your experience(s) below.

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The LOC Method For Moisturising Dry Hair

Whether you rock your hair natural, relaxed or texlaxed, dryness is no respecter of texture.

Over this past weekend, one of my male naturalists… Wait! Have I ever mentioned that this blog caters to the hair needs of all sexes?  Well, it does. Okay?..Okay!  As I was saying, he sent a mail asking to know how he could keep his afro from going dry and hard. 

Now,  I do not believe that anyone should break the bank to grow an afro. All you need do is understand your hair and if there’s one thing afro textured hairs love most, it has got to be moisture. The best and most reliable moisturizer remains water and since water dries out quite easily when sprayed into hair, the only logical thing to do would be to find a way to make the water stay longer in the hair…Right?

 So far, the LOC has proven to be one of the best and mostly used methods to keep afro hair moisturized, where:

L-liquid or leave-in-conditioner
O-oil
C-cream

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How To LOC

1. Spritz your hair with the liquid, I use water but if you must use  a leave-in-conditioner, ensure it is a water-based leave-in-conditioner (i.e. water should be the first ingredient you see when you look on the side of the bottle where the ingredients of the leave-in-conditioner is written). You can also mix the leave-in-conditioner with water in a spray bottle, the choice is yours;

2. Slather on some oil of your choice (I prefer coconut oil) and

3. Apply a cream (I use Shea butter) to seal in the oil and water.

With this simple and inexpensive method, your hair can stay moisturised all day long.

How do you moisturise? Comment below.

3 Reasons Why I Prefer Tapered Hair

If you missed the last post, read it here 

I’m still yet to meet anyone (male or female)  who does not love a tapered hair cut but as a natural sista, I prefer my hair tapered for the following reasons:

Saves Time & Energy: there is no denying that styling a head full of kinky hair can be quite tasking but in a case where your hair is tapered, you automatically have less hair to work with and by the time the tapered sections grow out, you would have gotten used to dealing with your own hair.

Hair Grows With Shape: a tapered hair remains a tapered hair unless altered. Even when your hair has grown out into a massive fro, it maintains the taper shape and you won’t have to worry about your hair being blown out of shape by the wind when you don’t have a mirror handy.

Stands You Out From The Crowd: everyone knows there is something extraordinary about people with tapered cuts and fades (especially when the person under observation is female). Be it a fresh cut or a grown out fro, a tapered hair shape singles you out from the crowd and places you right at the center stage. And oh! If you have some great color highlights  in your hair, you just may have won yourself a barrage of Ah!-Ten-sion (attention).

Have a great weekend you all and let it be known that everything is not for everyone. Taper or no taper, you rock! ❤

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Hair still in shape
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When I colored March-April 2015
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July 2015. Notice how the shape remained unaltered

Is “Going Natural” A Trend Or A Revolution?

Hey cupcake!

Welcome to the first episode of our natural hair series.

The question today is “Why did you go natural?”

You see, back in college, I studied veterinary medicine for about a year before making a transit to electronic engineering.

As adventurous as I’ld like to think I am, I can be a tad jittery when it comes to taking risks. But then again I ask “how does one get ahead of their fears without delving into risky ventures?”

Often times a risky adventure is all that’s necessary for you to make a difference. Nevertheless, the kind of risk you choose to take solely depends on the situation at hand.

I’m of the belief that there are calculated risks and impulsive risks. While the former follows a particular thought process, the latter does not.

 

Once upon A Relaxed Hair

Like many other naturals in the natural hair community, my hair used to be relaxed and permit me to say “it was quite healthy” but not as healthy as I wanted it to be. So I took the risk, it was a calculated one though because I made sure to thoroughly research before ever considering to go natural.

Below are a few pictures from my relaxed hair archive

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Why I Went Natural

For me, going natural was born out of sheer curiosity and maybe a little bit of self rediscovery.  I wanted to:

  1. know how i’ld look with short hair on;
  2. find out if my hair would be capable of doing some of the things I had seen other naturalist’s hair do (curl, coil, shrink, etc) on social media sites;
  3. take a break from my relaxed hair;
  4. prove to myself that there was more to me than just hair;
  5. regain confidence, step up my values and self worth.

So these are pretty much the major reasons why I decided to go natural. Usually when there’s no purpose for a particular venture, the progress diminishes everytime it’s faced with an opposition.

Find a reason why you want to go natural and let it spur you on. Also, if you know anyone who’s been wanting go natural, please refer them to this blog so they don’t miss out on any of the ongoing series.

I’ld love to know why you went or want to go natural. Do you think the natural hair thing is a trend that’ll be phased out soon or a revolution that has come to stay?

 

Ziny Olaedo.

My Hair Color: A Review of The Creme of Nature Exotic Shine Color

Hey lovers!

 Trust you had a great week. I had one hell of a busy week myself but i’m fine sha. Although I wore my hair in twists all through the week, it kinda awakened me to the duo color tones in my hair. Together, let’s run a quick analysis;

Twists pulled back with a head band
Twists pulled back with a head band

 Genetically, my hair color is black, but I colored it sometime in April of this year and currently, the new growth has blended with the previously colored section and I’ve had the color in for about seven months now.

Two tone puff
Two tone puff

We all know that there are varieties of hair color treatments out there and finding the ones that would not leave your hair dry and damaged is very important. On this note, I present to you the Creme of Nature Exotic Shine Color .

Meet The Product:

Creme of Nature Honey blonde Exotic Shine Color 10.0
Creme of Nature Honey blonde Exotic Shine Color 10.0

 

Price: #950

Picture description from Left to Right:

  • Kit/Container
  • Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment
  • Permanent Creme Gel Hair Color
  • Argan Oil Treatment

Top right is the Creme Color Developer.  Also contained in the kit, is an instruction sheet for directions and a pair of protective gloves for safety during application.

The Good

  • easy to use, instruction sheet is very explanatory
  • composed of Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Honey, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Wheat Protein. These ingredients put together, prevent breakage, strengthens and imparts moisture.
  • Tender look and feel resulting from the ‘Intensive Conditioning Treatment’ and the ‘Argan Oil Treatment’, is second to none.

The Bad

Unfortunately, this product contains the universally dreaded sulphates and parabens. This sad discovery made me second guess the product.

The Ugly

  • Nothing! Absolutely nothing.

My Verdict

  • Since the sulphate and paraben based products in this kit would be washed off at the expiration of the product application time and
  • the Argan oil treatment which happens to be the only product that would be applied and left in the hair at the end of the color treatment process, contains neither a sulphate nor a paraben and smells better than James Bond 😀.

Anyone considering getting a permanent color treatment need not fret because this product should do just fine and another interesting thing about this non discriminatory product is that, it is available in TEN vibrant colors in order to sufficiently accommodate any skin tone, color or shade..Wow!

Ten Vibrant tones of the Product
Ten Vibrant tones of the Product

 So go ahead, feel free and safe to try it out and  if you have colored your hair before or you know other good quality hair color treatment products, please bless the house with a comment.

Olaedo.

I’m Going Natural- A Beginners Handbook

Yo! beauties,

     How is everything? First of all Happy New Month to you all and err just so you know, I’ve started accepting my Christmas gifts in advance so as to avoid the kind of crowd i saw at the bank a few days ago because of BVN ‘October’ rush. 

About a week ago, I promised to do a little something for those of us that are having challenges with our nashura hair.

So, are you newly natural or have you transitioned and are still skeptical about doing the big chop because you fear for what might become of you and your hair afterwards?

Well! look no further for I have come to dissuade your fears. Everything in this article has been structured to make it easy for you to handle your hair.

 

 

Timing Your Big Chop

  

When I made up my mind to return natural, I was very excited for so many reasons and the temptation to cut off my relaxed hair got stronger as the days went by. Prior to my decision, I got a perm the week before and I did not stop to consider the fact that there was little or no under growth on my head. So, I did my big chop and eventually realized that I should have waited a few months after my last perm. Ladies, before you big chop be sure to wait at least three months from your last perm, this will ensure you don’t get a scalped look after the chop and you can wear your hair in braids or weaves while you wait patiently.

 

Essentials for Newly Naturals

 

At every stage of your hair growth, care, styling and grooming play important roles. To meet these demands from your hair, you’ll need the following basic tools and products;

Tool/Product

Use(s)

Recommendations

1.Wide Tooth Comb

   

Detangling

Any wide tooth comb would suffice for a TWA.

2. Pick

Adds volume to hair.

Opt for a rubber type pick, avoid metal or plastic combs.

3. Styling Gel

Defines and enhances curls, best suited for a wash and go.

Ecostyler gel.

4. Spray bottle

Helps channel moisture based products like water or leave in conditioner to the roots of your hair.

Any sizable one with an adjustable nozzle.

5. Sulphate-Free Shampoo

To remove excess oils, grease and build up from hair and scalp.

Crème of Nature with Argan oil sulphate free shampoo, ORS Hair Repair Sulphate free Shampoo with Rosemary and Mint.

6. Co-wash Conditioner

Used for regular washes instead of a shampoo.

As I Am Coconut Co-Wash, Mega Growth Detangling Conditioner

7. Satin Scarf/Satin Bonnet

Used in place of regular hair nets to combat frizz and dryness associated with rubbing hair against cotton fabrics.

Stay-On Satin Scarf

8. Leave-In Conditioner

Keeps hair soft, moisturized and makes detangling a breeze.

Profectiv Mega Growth Leave-In Conditioner, Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-In   Conditioner.

9. Deep Conditioner

Softens dry hair and helps to restore chemically processed hair.

Crème Of Nature With Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment, Hair Mayonnaise, Organics Deep Conditioner, Profectiv Mega Growth Deep Conditioning Treatment.

10. Coconut Oil

Perfect moisture sealant, boosts hair health and growth.

KTC Coconut Oil, i think a home made one does the magic better.

 

Wide tooth Combs and detangling brush

Pick Combs

Spray bottles

 

Coconut Oil

 

Ecostyler gel



Myths about Natural/Black Hair

1.1.     Natural hair does not grow

2.     It is coarse

3.     It is difficult to comb and style

4.     It is boring and unfashionable.

 

Facts about Natural Hair

1.     Just like relaxed and chemically straightened hair, natural hair grows even better. See images below for proof.

 Ten months of growth

Six YEARS Relaxed versus Ten MONTHS Natural

2. It is nothing close to coarse, the ‘type 4’ hair is in fact the finest textured hair which explains why it is prone to breakage and requires careful handling.

3.     Natural hair is not difficult to comb, all you need to do is spray some water and conditioner onto the hair so it is damp and then comb the ends first before gradually working your comb to the roots.

4.     It is very versatile as there are countless styles to suit any occasion.

Natural hair is versatile




Styling Your Natural Hair at TWA Stage & Other Growth Stages


        

Hair growth is gradual so, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Got it?

 

Funny picture of Natural hair growth stages.

 

 

There are innumerable things to try on your new  hair and from experience, I discovered that every time I styled my hair a particular way, there was always something new to learn from previous styling mistakes. The common hair styles are twist outs, finger coils, wash and gos, bantu knots and braid outs but keep in mind that the length of your hair is a determiner of which ones you can wear at a particular time.

  Wash and Go

Procedure


Step 1: wash or co-wash hair using either a shampoo or a co-wash conditioner or     both.


Step 2: remove excess water by shaking your head like you’re refusing something


Step 3: dab hair with an old t-shirt to soak up any excess water


Step 4: apply leave-in conditioner


Step 5: seal in moisture with coconut oil or any other oil


Step 6: Follow with a curl enhancing cream (Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie) or a curl defining gel (Ecostyler gel).

Different Growth stages showing the ‘wash and go’

 


Maintenance


You can repeat  the wash and go on a daily basis if you have the time, if not, you can just spray water onto your hair the next morning to keep it fresh.

  Finger Coils

Procedure


Step 1: saturate hair with water


Step 2: take a small section, detangle until smooth, moisturize with a leave-in to reduce the dryness that may result from using the next product in step 3 below


Step 3: apply a generous amount of any styling gel (preferably ecostyler) to that section


Step 4: take a smaller subsection from the small section


Step 5: twirl/roll the smaller subsection around your finger from roots to ends, your finger should serve as a roller.


Step 6: continue with step 5 above until you complete that section


Step 7: repeat steps 2 to 6 to finish off.

 

Finger Coils

 

    

   Twist outs

Procedure


This involves twisting your hair when it is either dry or wet and then undoing the twists after some hours or days.


Step1: spray some water to dampen hair for ease of detangling and product penetration.


Step 2: take a small section, you can either apply a twist cream or pudding to section for better definition. I’ve never used a twist cream before and my twist outs come out super defined because shea butter mixed with leave-in conditioner just does it for me.


Step 3: using two strands only, twist hair from roots to ends


Step 4: allow hair to air dry, untwist with care to avoid tangling (go from ends to roots)


Step 5: fluff and style as you desire.


 

Twist and Twist out

 


Night time routine


Re-twist entire hair and wear a satin bonnet before going to bed

                         OR

Use the banding method I’ve described below and then put on a satin bonnet or scarf afterwards.

 

Banding


Banding method:  just as the name implies, it involves using hair ties or hair bands to retain hairstyle while controlling shrinkage at the same time and all you have to do the next morning is take out the hair ties and pick the roots of your hair.

 

Comment section is open for discussion and moderation.

 

Letter To The Black Woman

Dear Black girl/woman,

   When you realise that you are beautiful, exotic, radiant and magical beyond descriptions, you would begin to appreciate how abundantly blessed you are.

Talk about skin that has got melanin to absorb sunlight which in turn leaves you sun-filled, beautifully lit and ensures that you radiate and emit that energy everytime and anytime….your black skin has anti ageing properties so you can look 35 at 50..I bet you like the sound of that. Who wouldn’t anyways?

Another amazing thing about you that leaves me in awe, is your hair….YES! your afro textured hair. Every curl, coil and kink that exists on your beautiful mane and the lustrous elasticity that accompanies each stretch. Doesn’t it bore or even bother you that everyone all over the world yearns to appear in accordance with particularly set standards for beauty? Who even set those standards…bruh! He Black?

  I wish you would take a break to look and see how ineffably beautiful you really are, I also hope….that someday, you’ld get a hold on your confidence and reconcile with your exact self because only then, would you do away with the hydroquinone and mercury doped skin lightening lotions, the chemical hair straighteners and texturisers that you patronise in your cry for acceptance.

 Break from the norm and embrace your magic because BLACK is MAGICAL.

You’re Queen! 👑