Warning: This is the longest post on this blog
As at last year, my relaxed hair was bra length long. My routine was pretty easy. I had a relaxer every 3 months, I washed my hair once in 3 months, never deep-conditioned, used soulmate hair cream and my signature style was a bun. Days I wore my hair out, I was the object of admiration. Everyone wanted to know my ‘secret formula’ on why it was bouncy, long and fine textured.
It all started when I stumbled on some flattering photos of girls rocking their natural hair on Instagram. I was blown away.
Please note the first time I ever had a relaxer in my life was the
year before I got into the university. Before then, I grew my natural
hair four times (past shoulder length at one point) but my parents
always had me cut my hair for one reason or the other.
My mom was my personal stylist. On days she took me to the salon, people never believed my hair was fully natural. In essence, my natural hair texture was soft, wavy-patterned and very manageable.
So you see, it was only natural I assumed if I cut my relaxed hair and join TeamNatural (no pun intended), my hair was still going to look amazing. That was when I wrote this post and though I mocked TeamNatural community, the emails urging me to join them were motivating. At the same time, those who knew me in reality begged me not to cut my hair so I was confused. Some days, i told people I was stretching my relaxer while I told others I was transitioning.
During this period, my hair experienced massive breakage and if there’s is one thing I can’t stand, it’s unhealthy hair! I was combing my hair one evening when I suddenly grabbed a scissors and instructed my sister to cut off my 4 months post relaxed hair. She thought I was joking until I ran the scissors from my forehead to my nape. That was the beginning of my natural hair journey.
My friend in diaspora told me so long ori (shea butter) was still in abundance in Lagos and water was free, my hair was going to be just fine.
I went to bed after my big chop and when I woke up the next morning, not only was a combination of shrunken natural hair with early morning face an eyesore, my hair was dry, hard and brittle. Same thing happened every other night. Experts online said it was because I was not sleeping with a satin scarf.
The day I tied a scarf, my hair was dry as usual in the morning and I found the scarf under the bed when I was sweeping. I never woke up to find the scarf on my head no matter how tight I tied it. On the other hand, those satin caps that makes one look like a prophetess are rare to find. Each time I enter a random shop to request for it, the bush sales girl either gives me a shower cap, a lacy net, a hair net or she just stares at me like I asked for snow.
Day time is no different, once the water I spray on my hair dries, the hair revolts by becoming 10 times drier. AC-rooms are currently off limits for me.
As for my cheap wigs aka protective styles, it wasn’t long before they began deteriorating…
I resorted to braids.
The first time I went to braid my hair. I tied a scarf while I negotiated with the hair dresser. When we eventually agreed on N4000 for tiny braids, I gave her the money to help me buy attachments while I watched her baby. As soon as she left, I took off the scarf and ran my fingers through my hair.
Honestly, if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t touch my hair with a 9 foot pole. The hair was so dry that I was certain it needed drones to braid my hair. I had to steal water from her baby’s feeding bottle to soften my hair. As usual, my hair got worse as soon as the moisture evaporated even after I sealed it with stolen pear’s baby’s oil.
When the woman returned to see me without my scarf, she stood by the door and said if that’s the thing I expect her to dig her hands, she won’t collect anything less than N5000 even if I were her sister. I’m not even going to mention the unbearable pain I felt each time she parted and tugged my hair. I had to beg her to forget I asked for tiny braids and make big braids. (I’m sure naturals reading this are mad I’m not using the word ‘install’. Sorry!)
Talk about INSTALLING braids, they no longer come out as neatly as they used to be when I was retouched. My braids currently defies gravity, making it look like I have horns or I am wearing an octopus shaped hat and the only way to counter this is to pack them into a bun all the time. (How do I fix this?)
Once, I tried that thing they call bantu knots and by the next morning, my hair was looking like rat ate some portion with patches everywhere.
My hair has simply refused to look anything like the photos I see on Instagram.
When natural hair girls talk about twistouts, fingercolling etc. I’m just in my seat like
What are these ones saying?
I don’t even know if my hair is type3, type2, type1 or A4. All I know is my natural hair is type-comb-breaking.
To worsen matters, I can’t afford all
these fancy products other girls are putting in their hair.
Here is a peek at my product of woes. hot tears
The big custard container? That is where i keep the ori. That apple hair cream at the extreme is on its way to join the team if my hair does not improve. Ignore my cheap shampoo. No job. I’m sure you can recognise the rest of the products which are listed below.
Ecostyler: I applied ecostyler gel on my way out one afternoon and as I walked past a shop with mirrored doors, no one told me to run back home to wear my wig. My hair frizzled, dried and tangled badly when I washed out the gel.
Edge Control: I’ve never been able to achieve that perfect instagram baby hairline. Each time I apply edge control, my hairline automatically turns white making it look like I applied an excess of sure deodorant on my forehead.
D&L Leave in: Excellent detangler for a natural on a budget. It feels great and alters my hair texture for one hour or so. After this, my hair gets very dry except I keep applying.
Organic Mayonnaise: Honestly, I don’t know what that thing does for me though I use it every month. I just added it to my collection so my products won’t appear scanty. It was cheap too. LoL
Coconut Oil: Homemade precisely. My family is starved of coconut rice because of my hair. This is where all the coconuts we buy ends up.
Virgin Olive Oil: I used to have one among the crew but it finished recently. My pastor gave it to me during crossover service in church and despite the fact that it was anointed, my hair was still dry!
Water: All thanks to water, I’ve rocked my natural hair out from my house to VI which is quite a distance. I stored it in a smaller bottle where I sprayed subtly at Gbagdaba and at CMS when the traffic lasted too long. I also sprayed it at my host’s office when he went out briefly. Water is great but the terrible itch that comes with it is not beans oh. My scalp is dandruff prone which makes it very sensitive to water especially when I have weave-ins. Once, I had to excuse my date at Silverbird cinema so I could take off my wig and scratch my head peacefully in the toilet.
I rarely use water since I got the leave-in.
ORI: This is the only product that works perfectly for my hair. It just had to be local ori of all things! Yoruba ori! The cheapest hair product! Na wa o. Does this mean my hair is ajepako?
Have I also mentioned my hair grows like that of Jimmy Neutron of cartoon network, making it look like I have three heads because my bigchop was not properly done. Now I keep doing minichops weekly and microminichops daily. I even have a tiny handy scissor in my wallet to rid myself of straying hair strands.
Talk about home remedies to make my hair more instagrammable. What has this hair not eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner from veggies to junk food?
I have mixed ori with egg white and milk.
I have mixed hot ori with coconut oil and olive oil. Do you know a mixture of these 3 is equal to castor oil?
I have mixed coconut oil with coconut milk.
I also get tempted to beat an egg on my head in anger whenever I open the fridge.
A popular natural hair blogger rinsed her hair with beer and when a commenter asked if malt was fine, she said yes. That’s how this hair drank Guinness Malt for dinner that day. I even mixed mine with peak milk. Very soon the hair will say it wants Orijin.
The other day someone said my hair was smelling like salad. This was due to the amount of fresh mayonnaise I used as conditioner.
I have also used the juice from ugwu leaves to rinse this hair. (Vitamin treatment)
I did the famous sugar solution rinse suggested by one American natural hair blogger. Thankfully, God blinded soldier ants to my face that night.
It’s left for me to rinse my hair with maggi water or chicken stock. That’s protein treatment right?
My mom is having her last laugh cos she was against me cutting the hair.
Been asking her how she managed my hair when I was much younger but she has refused to bulge although I’m still on the lookout for the famous cocosheen of the 90’s.
I miss my long hair.
I’m definitely going to return to TeamRelaxed but that will be when my hair is long enough to pack into a bun.
In the interim, how can I make this hair more ‘manageable and instagrammable? Please don’t mention any expensive product. I want to get bentonite clay, cantu define and custard but that will be when I have a job. One of the reasons I went natural was to save money now the reverse is the case. I’m considering a texturiser. Is it advisable or is what I’m going through just a phase every natural girl passes through?
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