Monday, 21 April 2014

Four reasons why people assume Natural Hair is more difficult to manage

Is natural hair difficult to manage? If you think yes, let me pick your brain and ask you why exactly you believe so? Think well before telling yourself the answer, and then see if your answer is any of the options below.

1. Do you say it is difficult to manage because the hair care regimen is complicated?
2. Do you say it is difficult to manage because the number of steps in caring for your hair has increased dramatically, and therefore it is more time-consuming?
3. Do you say it is difficult to manage because natural hair products are expensive?
4. Do you say it is difficult to manage because you believe your own hair is difficult to manage?

2. Okay, let me start from the second point, i.e. the number of steps increased dramatically. The number of steps you actually take in caring for your hair is wholly dependent on you. You can choose to moisturise and seal every day, or you can choose to do LOC every single day. On your wash day, you can choose to DC, wash and style, or you can choose to prepoo, wash, DC, Henna, do hot oil treatment, and style. Everything depends on you. The number of steps you choose depends on you. If you have chosen to care for your hair using steps that take 24 hours, it is because you chose to do so, and if that is the reason why you said natural hair is difficult to manage, then you made it difficult to manage.

1. If you say it is difficult to manage because natural hair care regimen is complicated, I will say, contrary to what you might think, you don't need to do every single thing yourself. Maybe the reason you think it is complicated is because when your hair was relaxed, your hairstylist did everything for you, and now that your are natural, you decide to do everything yourself, and are overwhelmed. It is okay to buy natural hair products, instead of trying to make every single thing. It is not a sin. The manufactured ones are always more effective than the DIY ones, anyway. For example where do you want to get detangling and conditioning agents to put in your home-made conditioner and deep conditioning treatment? If you can stand it, it is okay to go to a good natural hair salon and pamper yourself. What I am saying is you don't have to do every single thing yourself. If it is complicated for you, simplify it. Also, understand the regimen you choose, and if you discover unnecessary parts of it, cut it out.

4. Let me jump to the number 4 point now. You think your hair is the one with the issue, not the process. Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know by now that you can manipulate your natural hair to get what you want out of it. The key is to moisturise and deep condition regularly. If I put fire on your hair, I am sure it will melt in seconds, after taken nano seconds to get soft. So the theory that your hair cannot be soft has just been debunked. Deep conditioning and moisturising your hair tames it. After a while, you will see changes in your hair if you do this regularly. If you chose this reason, then it means natural hair is difficult to manage for you because you did not know what to do. For more information about how to make your hair softer and more manageable, click here.

3. And lastly, for those who think natural hair is difficult to manage because the products are more expensive. While it might be true that natural hair products and oils are slightly more expensive that their counterparts due to the fact that they are not loaded with cheap harsh harmful chemicals, they are not as expensive as you perceive them to be, though some are really expensive. There are many natural hair products that are quite affordable, you can check out the prices of ours on our online store here. The good news is that when it comes to natural hair products and oils, a little goes a very long way, and eventually what you thought was expensive becomes even cheaper than the ones you thought were cheap. Many people make the mistake of slapping more products on their hair than needed. This is one of the reasons why many naturals deal with fast product build-up. The key is to get the products that work for you, and not be a product junkie, and when you get them, use them in moderation. You will find it to be money well spent.

So what do I need to tell you in addition. Natural Hair is not more difficult to manage. It is actually different to manage. For some people, different means difficult because the process of dissociating themselves from the old methods they are used to, is difficult.

1. If you must comb your hair, never comb it dry
2. Switch your regular hair nets for satin bonnets or scarves
3. Switch regular shampoos for sulphate free ones
4. As you moisturise your skin every morning, remember to moisturise your hair too
5. Think about the deep conditioning process as the usual hair relaxing process.

So you see, you still do mostly the same number of things you did when relaxed, but a different process this time. All you need to do is condition your mind, because that is where the battle is won.

So the process of growing natural hair can be complicated if you complicate it. It is left for you to avoid all the drama some people ascribe to growing natural hair. Find a simple hair care regimen that works for you, and stick with it. Find hair products that your hair love, and stick with them. If you want it to be simple, it will be. If you want it to be difficult, it will be. You choose.

Do you agree of disagree that Natural Hair is more difficult to manage? Whatever your answer, please let us know your reasons in the comment section below.

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Naturallure spotlight: Nneka

Hi Naturalistas
Most of us from Nigeria already know Nneka. Born to a Nigerian father and German mother, Nneka has already become a household name in Nigeria through her music. She has made her mark in the music industry by turning out songs that usually have an in depth focus on reality.  She has won so many awards both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. She has steadily worked her way to success through defining her own style which is usually very innocent, simple but speaks volumes and truths. The current Nigerian idol judge is such a fun person to watch and listen to. I love the way she wears her natural hair, usually very laid back in style. I have a personal love for Nneka. She is so talented and humble.
Enjoy her pictures.







I hope she inspired you to love your hair more?

Remember to keep your heads high and rock your kinks with pride 

Twitter: @janylbenyl

Saturday, 19 April 2014

When Our Kids Talk Back

Natural Hair Kids
By DiscoveringNatural
Last week, as I was fixing my hair, Big Sis came in to get her hair done. I was having a frustrating time with my hair because I did not prep it the night before. You know how that is!! Well, without thinking, I said, "If someone says something negative about my hair, they can just keep the opinion to themselves". "It's my hair and I can do whatever I want".

A few minutes later as I was styling Big Sis's hair, she said, "Mom, I don't want you to do that style". I said, "I think the style look pretty". She then....YES SHE THEN proceeded to say, "But it's my hair, can't I do whatever I want?"


Food for thought.

My question to you is: At what age do you start letting your kids make hairstyle choices?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easy Natural Hair Styles with Cornrows or Flat Twists

Hey everyone,

I've had an issue on my mind for a couple of weeks now, and it primarily comes down to: easy natural hair styles. I hear a lot of people with natural hair complain that they don't know how to style their hair and it's frustrating. I used to be (sometimes still am) part of that group of styling-challenged people, but the truth is, natural hair styles are limitless. However, if you're like me, then you want to be able to quickly style your hair in 5 minutes or less and have something cute and presentable. I've come to the conclusion that all you need are a few flat twists or cornrows and you're good to go. I'm not very good with cornrows, so I do flat twists most of the time, but feel free to cornrow if you're better with it. And mind you, this cuts across ALL lengths of hair :)

Braided Band (ALL Lengths)
- This consists of just one cornrow or flat twist at the front of your hair, from ear to ear.
natural hair braid

Fro Hawk (ALL Lengths)
The beauty of the fro hawk is you can have it one sided or two-sided.
- This consists of two to four (remember this is supposed to be quick and easy) cornrows or flat twists on the side (or both sides) of your hair

natural hair styles

Grecian Queen (Medium to Long Hair)
- There are 2 variations of this style: You can have a part in the middle or side of your hair, and do one long flat twist or cornrow from one side in a circle/oval.
goddess braid
I hope you like what you've seen. Which, if any, of these have you tried out?

Have a nice weekend, and Happy Easter!
Berry Dakara

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My Natural Hair Journey In Pictures

Hi everyone!

I just realized I haven't really updated my natural hair journey since my feature on mane matters. So today I'm gonna sharing my journey so far as I clock 3 Months Post BC, 12 Months Post Relaxer.


This was the only relaxed hair photo I found on Facebook.
September 2012

March 2013

July 2013
4 Months Post Relaxer
September 2013
8 Months Post Relaxer

October 2013
7 Months Post Relaxer

December 2013

9 Months Post Relaxer

                                              December 2013
                                          9 Months Post Relaxer

                                          The Trim/Mini-Chop
                                           21st December 2013

                                           The Big Chop
                                      24th December 2013

                                           Post Big-Chop
                                      29th December 2013




                                                                  Protective Styling 2013

                                                                      Scarf it up!

March 2014
3 Months Post BC
12 Months Post Relaxer


Pineapple 'fro
April 2014.

Alright ladies

Till next time

Love,knots and kinks

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mane Matters with Pidan Funke

Hello Naturalistas,

Welcome to another episode of Mane matters. Unfortunately today I don't have any pictures from Funke but I just had to bring the information like that, Its better than nothing bah? Enjoy and learn something. :)

AN: Can we meet you?

I am Pidan Funke, a graduate of Crawford University,
Computer Science.

AN: How long have you been Natural?

I've been on natural hair since 2006.

AN: What are the Challenges you've faced?

My Challenges?, wow, maintaining a natural hair is actually a
challenging task. i have thick black long hair, and most times, its
always a problem combing and styling my hair. I was later introduced
to hair straightener (hot comb) which actually did more harm than good
to my hair. This hot comb caused severe hair breakage and i got really
fed up, i was close to cutting it.

AN: How do you manage that?

I stopped using hot combs for a while and whenever i have to use it, i
use it on a warm level. Also, i got some hair care products which
helped to boost my hair growth again and my hair is taking its real
form now.

AN: Do you have any hair care routine? If yes, which?

Hair care routine? Well, yes I do.
1. I wash my hair regularly, every three weeks with shampoo and conditioner.
2. I heat dry it (less heat) and apply the necessary treatment
3. I style plait it
4. I use my scarf before going to bed.

AN: What are your must have products and accessories?
My hair products/accessories.
1. Olive Oil
2. Shampoo and Conditioner
3. Hair styling cream
4. Scarf
5. Honey

AN: What's your advice for any one trying to go Natural?

Words of Advice: Having a natural hair is cool, but maintaining it is
what makes it look beautiful. Majority of us are too anxious about our
hair and as a result, we use too much products on it which eventually
makes it look too greasy and then we wash it off again. Use the right
hair products but apply less of it on your air.
Also, avoid the use off hot combs always. It weakens the hair thereby
resulting in hair breakage.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ghana Hair Chick's Letters: Tributes to the Fallen

Hello everyone! I hope your weekend has been good. This weekend came with bad news for the natural hair community.

First, Dominique Banks, also known as Long Hair Don't care 2011 on youtube, died from kidney complications. She had Lupus for a long time, and finally died at age 27. She began documenting her hair journey after being diagnosed with the disease. You may recall Dominique from the Heat Training post I did. Her video was the one I posted talking about how to use heat on your hair.

Dominique Banks

As if that wasn't enough, Karyn Washington, creator of For Brown Girls, died from suicide. Karyn had reportedly been struggling with mental health issues and died at age 22.
These ladies were both wonderful contributors to the natural hair community and it is so sad that they died at this time. May their souls rest in perfect peace.

Karyn Washington

In light of this news, I thought it would be important to point out that The African Naturalistas team and community is not here for only hair related issues, but also issues concerning your health and your life. If at any point in time any of you, our cherished readers, would like to talk about anything bothering you, please feel free to contact anyone of us and we will be more than happy to help. Your health and your life are very important to us, and we hope that this message is clear to you in every post we write or share.
Best wishes for a great week and thanks for reading!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Diary of an Honest Naturalista: Week 45

Last week Tuesday, I got home from work, looking really sad, after reading a heart-breaking news on the internet. I was so down that the whole family was scared, but I refused to tell them the cause of my worry, since I knew they would not understand why I should be so grieved.

About 30 minutes later, Dimeji called me, but my countenance was still down. He also tried to probe further, but I was not letting anything out. I believed he called one of my brothers, who must have intimated him about my strange mood.

Before I knew it, he was in my house, and seated by my side. I was so shocked to see him with me, especially since it was a working day for us all, which led me to suspect foul play by one of my brothers, but I was too sad to give two cents.

“Anna, what’s up? Are you alright.” He had this scared look on his face.

“I’m fine dear.” I said, not even, in the least, pretending to look fine, as I claimed.

“Anna I’m serious. I’m not supposed to be here today, so stop play games. Tell me what’s wrong.” He pressed on.

“I said I’m okay. I’m serious too.” I answered stubbornly.

“Yeah right, you are okay, and you got your whole family, including me, scared to the tooth.”
“You won’t understand, no one would understand.”

“Are you serious?” He started, his voice laden with disbelief. “After all we have been through together, I won’t understand something that could be so serious to make you act this way?”

“Trust me, Dimeji. This one is different, you won’t understand this it. I think you should just leave me. I’ll snap out of it by tomorrow, and everything would return to normal. You shouldn’t have even stressed yourself to come in the first place.”

“Hmm. I am not going anywhere till you tell me, and you know I won’t leave, so you better spill.” He said firmly, but gently. I sensed he was beginning to lose his patience, and even get frustrated.

“You won’t understand.” I insisted, weakly this time.

“Try me. Anna, just try me.”

Finally succumbing to the pressure, and taking pity on him for making the journey to my house, I talked.

“She’s dead,” was all I said.

“Dead? Who died?”

At this point, I did not know what to say. I didn’t want my boyfriend to think he’s in a relationship with a nut head. “My mentor. My role model.”

“Which mentor? Is it Mrs Adebesin that you were stalking for months before you got her to mentor you? She’s dead?”

“Noooo! My youtube role model.” I finally said, feeling like a fool.

“Youtube role model? You have a role model on youtube? What does that even mean?”

I did not answer him, so he continued to drill me with stares. After some seconds, it dawned on him, as the look in his eyes began to change.

“Annaaaaaa… How can you? You made everyone scared because of someone you watch on youtube. Madam, I think you overdid it this time, with all the melodrama!”

I knew it was time for some damage control. “You don’t get. LongHairDontCare2011 is the reason I went natural in the first place. She was the one who made me understand I can grow my hair long, the one who inspired me. Her hair was reaching down to her butt. I literally watched all her videos before taking the plunge, and now, she’s gone… just like that.”

“I don’t get, but you don’t know her personally. She’s not your friend, and you have never corresponded with her one on one.”

“You see, I said you won’t understand. I told you so.”

With this statement, he shut up, and did not say anything for a long time. I was also quiet too, but I felt like a fool later. I’m sure Dimeji must have wondered if I wasn’t taking this natural hair thing too far.

After about 20 minutes, he said “Anna, sorry for your loss. I need to start going now.”

“Okay,” was all I said.

“One more thing. Don’t even mention the reason for your sad countenance to anyone in your family. If I am finding it hard to understand, there’s no miracle in the world that would make them understand.”

Dedicated to LongHairDontCare2011. May her soul Rest In Peace

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How to care for fine natural hair

For some reason or the other, I have not been able to get my edges to grow long. I don’t know why. I mean by now, it is no news that I have extremely full edges, but I want them to grow long like other parts of my hair. They are very curly and fine, just think about a new born baby’s hair. And when they grow to one level, they break again.

I have used so many excuses like “edges are not supposed to be very long, so far they are existent.” And “It’s because you have extremely full edges. If they are long, you will probably look like a monkey.” And some others that don’t make sense.

I know I am just deceiving myself, because the fact that they actually attempt to grow long is a testament to the fact that they are supposed to be long, if only I would be more careful. My edges are extremely fragile, they don’t do well with extensions, and a little pull, tug, or rub causes them to just break away, though they grow back in a matter of days. Yes, I know, I am a mutant, lol.

Attempting to grow the edges

I am wise enough to know that I shouldn’t apply the same hair care practices like I do to some other parts of my hair around my edges. I have come to realize recently that even though my hair density is very high, the individual strands are not that coarse. They range from fine to medium. Treating my hair like coarse hair is seriously impeding my hair growth. Layering my hair with LOC, LCO, LOCO and all that too often is weighing down the fine part of my hair, and causing it to break off.

I have decided that as from today, I will be treating the whole of my hair like it is fine, in order to aid my edges. Let us see how that will help it. No more LOCing every 2 days or so. Build up is really bad for my edges. The hair just falls out with the build-up.

If there is a way I can care for the inner part of my hair one way, and apply another method on the circumference area, I will go for it. Although it might be too much stress, so I will just treat the whole thing as fine. This mid-back length must magically transform to waste-length by fire by force, lol.

In summary, if your hair strands are fine,

1. You do now want to layer it with LOC, LOCO, LCO method all the time. Leave that to the medium and coarse-stranded naturalistas.

2. You also want to make sure you avoid product build-up as much as possible

3. You want to moisturise with a light moisturising cream or whipped butter. Please, stay away from raw Shea butter or cocoa butter, they will weigh down your hair and cause it to break.

4. You do not want to keep in hair styles for too long. Two weeks is enough for your twists, so they don’t mat or soak all the build-up.

5. You want to stay away from loose twists, and stick with regular twists. Stay away from styles that encourage meshing.

6. You want to stay away from heat as much as possible. You know that question you’ve been asking about whether heat is good for your own natural hair? Well, here is the answer. If your hair is fine, it is not good for you.

Is your natural hair or part of it fine? How do you go about caring for it? Do you do anything different from what people with medium and coarse natural hair do? Let us know in the comment section. Thanks

P.S: I will be cutting part of my hair very soon. I had some hair damage in the past couple of weeks, which caused my hair to go from almost-waist length back to mid-back. I will put up the story of how it happened soon. I think the mini hair cut is imperative, so I can have the damage reversed. Besides, it is just hair, so it will grow back.

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Naturallure Spotlight: Erykah Badu

Hi Naturalistas
Today's spotlight is on Erykah Badu.  She is a performer, an actress and writes most of her songs. When you think of Neo soul, you cannot miss this lady's name. She is right there at the origin. I can't forget one of her live performances of  'No more trouble'. She even raps. This is one very talented young woman and a natural beauty. I remember her as wearing big scarfs, but underneath all those pretty wraps is a beautiful head of natural hair. I spotted a picture of her once somewhere without a head wrap, I started doing my research and what I discovered was a head of big afro hair.
I brought pictures. Enjoy!








I hope she inspired you to love your hair more?

Remember to keep your heads high and rock your kinks with pride 

Twitter: @janylbenyl

Saturday, 12 April 2014

How to Teach your Kids about Natural Hair

By DiscoveringNatural
As we learn more about how to care for our natural hair and also our kids' natural hair, we need not to forget to educate them about Natural Hair. In this video below, I go into depth regarding how to care for their hair.

Watch the video below or click here:

How do you teach your kids about Natural Hair?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Heat Free Hair Movement - Natural Hair Weaves

Hello ladies!

I hope you've had a great week and looking forward to a nice weekend. About a month ago or so, on Instagram, I came across a picture of a lady with a blown out BIG A$$ FRO. I was amazed at how long and pretty her hair was, so I decided to dig deeper and found out that it was actually a natural hair weave! I was shocked because it looked real enough to be her hair. I dug even deeper and found out that the lady in question was Ngozi Opara, and that she started the Heat Free Hair Movement, which produces natural hair weaves, wigs, clip ons, etc. I reached out to her, and she gracefully granted me an interview, which I shall now share with you.

  • Hello Ngozi! You've been making waves on Instagram and in the natural hair world recently, with your company Heat Free Hair. But first, kindly tell us about yourself - as an African, and a Naturalista (country of origin and hair story).
I am of Nigerian decent, Igbo to be exact, and have been natural for 10 years now. My natural hair story really just dates back to my years of experimenting with protective styling and learning the growth benefits of weaves. One year I had a perm and one year later my hair was all natural and down my back. The permed ends just fell off and I eventually cut it and kept wearing weaves till it got long and big. Since then  Ive shaped a lot of my practices and teachings around protective styling and have never looked back at my permed days!

  • What made you interested in becoming a hair stylist, and what part did that play in starting Heat Free Hair?
Hair initially started off as something I was just good at, and when I received my hair education it was to have as a side hustle while I pursued other things but then after a while I felt like I kept coming back to hair. Eventually it became something I truly enjoyed doing especially knowing that I was helping make someone feel better about themselves. My love for not just hair style but hair health played a huge role in starting Heat Free Hair because ultimately I was fulfilling a need for healthier protective style options for natural women.
*Ngozi owns a salon, N-ZO Hair Studios in Washington DC*

heat free hair
Source - Ngozi Opara

  • Tell us more about the Heat Free Hair movement, for those of us who aren't familiar with the company. [you can talk about the different products - wigs, weaves, clip ins, hair types, etc)
Heat Free Hair is 100% virgin hair created to perfectly blend with the different types of natural textures. The Heat Free Hair Movement is a protective style initial that serves as an education platform for women who are natural or considering going natural to embrace the benefits of protective styling that doesn’t require you to Heat Straighten your real hair. Our products include wefted hair, closures, clip ins, and wigs and the hair types range from 3B-4C

  • Is the hair human hair or synthetic or a blend? How should it be cared for? And what kind of hair styles can be achieved using your product?
-100% Virgin Hair
-Cared for like your own natural hair (we include very detailed instructions to assist)
-Puffs, Twist Outs, Different types of Curl Looks and any other style you would do with your natural hair.

  • Is Heat Free Hair available in Africa? If not, is that something you are pursuing?
Not yet, but soon.

  • There are those that say that if you have natural hair, you shouldn't wear weaves or wigs as they are not "authentic"... what would you say to them?
They have every right to have their opinions but don’t use your opinions to attack others. Being natural is a decision about the state of YOUR real hair, not a decision about how you style it or a boxed in lifestyle that people want you to live.

  • How often/have you visited Nigeria? If yes, what reactions have you gotten to your hair? If not, when are you coming???
I just got back last month actually and the response was amazing! People loved it!

  • Finally, what's your hair regimen like?
Right now I'm wearing long hair so I pineapple it at night and take it down in the shower to allow steam to hit it as I am styling. I also use an applicator bottle to get essential oils on my scalp every few days.

You can find out more about Heat Free Hair on the website and Youtube channel. Ngozi can be found on Instagram @ngozithestylist and @heatfreehair 

heat free hair
Source - Ngozi Opara

What do you guys think? I'm not the type to spend money on weaves, but this is the first time in a long time that I've seriously thought about investing in a weave. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

How To Style Your Box Braids.

Hi ladies!

You would agree with me that box braids/poetic justice braids are one if not the most common protective styling in the black hair community as a whole. Personally, I love it because of it's versatility and longevity. If maintained properly it can serve as an excellent protective styling to help retain length and can be worn for a long time  while.
    Anyways today I'm gonna be sharing different ways you could style your box braids instead of the monotonous ponytails.


Alright ladies

Which ones are your favorite?

Don't forget to try them out next time you install box braids.

Till next time.
Love,knots and kinks

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