Kinky Apothecary @ Bogobiri's Sunday Souk

Calling all Kinky fans in Lagos this Sunday! Pop over to the Sunday Souk at Bogobiri, SW Ikoyi from 12-6pm, where will be selling all your favourite hair products! Of course I will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, and the first 20 sales get a free gift!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Kinkspiration! - Esperanza Spalding

With two Kinky posts in a week, we’re really spoiling you! But it’s a slow day, we haven’t had Kinkspiration in a while, and we’ve got that Friday feeling, so what the heck!

This time its Jazz bassist and singer, Esperanza Spalding. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but seriously, WOW!

And not only does she have amazing hair, she’s also super talented, teaching herself to play the violin at the age of 5!

Here's her cover of my favourite Stevie Wonder song ‘Overjoyed’ to get us in the mood for Lagos Jazz Series this weekend.

Have a Kinktastic one, peeps!

Moisturising and sealing

Anyone who had seen me around over the last five or six months might have heard me complain about how I desperately needed a trim. I’ve finally had one (more a cut than a trim, but that’s a topic for a whole new post) but in those months before I was able to find someone I trusted enough to wield a pair of shears near my head, I found that in addition to keeping my hair moisturised for longer, sealing my ends helped make them smoother, less prone to knots and splits, and generally appear much more polished.

So what does sealing your hair entail? I have mentioned before the difference between moisturisers and oils. You can only moisturise your hair with water, products with water as their first ingredient, or products containing humectants such as aloe vera, glycerin and honey, as these draw the water our of the air and into your hair (provided the environment you're in is humid enough).

Oils do not provide moisture, but merely seal it in, if it is already there (as well as nourishing your hair in other ways- but more on that in another post).

So to seal your hair, all you have to do is apply a butter, oil or oil based product over wet hair or after moisturising, to lock in that moisture. Don't forget to check the ingredients to make sure you are using pure butters and oils. Depending on personal preference or the state of your hair, these can be applied to the entire hair shaft, or just concentrated on the ends. I normally just apply my oil to the end of my twists as I'm going along. My personal favourite is Castor Oil as I find this works better for me than any other oil or butter whatever the weather. However different things work for different people, so its a matter of experimenting and finding out what your hair likes best. Just remember not to be too heavy-handed otherwise you'll end up leaving Soul Glo patches wherever you go... and I learned this the hard way!

I know everyone loves pictures, so I tried to take some of my hair to compare when I had not sealed in a while, to when I started sealing again- hence the delay in this post as I needed to wait to take the 'after' pics.

You will notice that my hair photography skills have not improved an iota, but I'm sure you'll get the idea.

Here are my ends when I stopped sealing for a month:

And here they are 3 weeks after I started again. This was before I had my hair cut, and although I obviously cannot guarantee that I photographed the exact same hairs as before, it was in the same general area:

(Please excuse that disgraceful chipped nail varnish)

Now again, not everything works the same way for everybody. Some people claim they can get away without sealing, and their hair behaves just fine. However if you are having issues retaining moisture, or your ends are easily knotted or frayed, you are most probably missing out an important step by not sealing (NB: There are other possible factors for these problems which we will cover later, but sealing is a good first step to try before resorting to more drastic measures).

And we all know that protecting your ends is key to length retention, so for those who haven't yet caught on to the practise of sealing: try it... you might like it!

I love my hair!

Hey all!

Sincere apologies, AGAIN, for the silence over the past couple of weeks. There have been some very exciting developments here at Kinky Towers that have kept us extremely busy. Keen to find out what they are? Watch this space.

In the meantime, we have a great line-up of posts answering the most frequently asked questions. Here's a list of the next 5 topics, just so you know I'm not bluffing:

1/ Moisturising and sealing (yes, we'll finally get round to posting that one!)
2/ Swimming routine
3/ Working out with natural hair
4/ Braid maintenance
5/ Stuck on the stylist - for those who can't get their head around doing their hair themselves, these are things to insist on next time you're in the chair.

Feel free to leave a comment, drop us an email at, or write on the wall of the Facebook page if there are any topics you'd like me to cover, and I'll see what I can do.

We'll kick things off with this message of natural hair love and acceptance... from Sesame Street! I know this video has been doing the rounds on the hair blogs recently, but it is definitely worth reposting.


Regimen recap

Hi everyone! We've been busy busy busy here at Kinky Towers, so it has been a while since the last post. Apologies!

I did have a specific post on moisturising and sealing planned for today, but based on the emails I have been receiving recently which seem to all touch on the same subject (a lot of you ladies are still confused about what step comes first, what conditioner to use when, etc) I thought it might be beneficial to quickly run through the steps again.

Wash: This can either be with a non-sulphate cleanser (like DILUTED Dr Bronner's) or shampoo (e.g. any shampoo in the Giovanni range), or a cowash, i.e. washing with a silicone-free conditioner like Herbal Essence Hello Hydration (well, this does contain a 'cone, but a not-so-bad kind that doesn't allow build up), Suave Naturals, or even Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner.

Condition: Either do a normal condition (where you apply conditioner, detangle and rinse), or do a deep condition (apply conditioner, cover head with a plastic cap and use heat, or put a towel over the plastic cap and use your body heat for at least an hour, then detangle and rinse). You can use the same kind of conditioner for both of these- something like one of the Aubrey Organics conditioners, Giovanni Smooth-As-Silk or Giovanni 50:50, or Elucence are ideal.

Leave-In Conditioner: Apply a leave-in conditioner like Giovanni Direct Leave-In or even the Elucence is also good as a leave-in. It is a very versatile conditioner as it can be used for all 3 purposes.

Moisturise: Most people with dry hair (like me) need to use a separate moisturiser over their leave-in. I use my Shea Aloe whip.

Seal: Apply a LIGHT coating of oil to lock in moisture. You don't have to apply this to the whole hair strand, you can apply just to the end if you prefer.

Style: whatever takes your fancy- twists, braids, a loose 'fro... the world's your oyster. My styling stage tends to run concurrently with the moisturising stage, as I twist each section as I apply the Shea Aloe whip, and then seal the ends of each twist.

Just try and remember the simple steps above, and you won't go wrong.

Kinkspiration! - Tomiko Fraser

Ok, so I'll admit this is just really lazy blogging, but being so in love with both BGLH and Tomiko Fraser, I just had to piggyback off this interview.

The fact that this is the third model who's been featured as our Kinkspiration shows that kinky hair is becoming big business in the fashion and beauty world.

And can you believe this gorgeous lady is 42?


CLICK HERE to read the full BGLH interview!

Styling for shorter hair

A real frustration that a lot of people who have recently BC’d seem to be expressing, is how to style their TWA (just checking you all read the acronym post)

Now that we’ve opened the Youtube floodgates, check out this video on 10 ways to style a TWA by Inthetikilounge, posted a few weeks ago on our favourite blog Curly Nikki

It’s mainly about accessorizing, so dust off those flowers, bows and headbands (or old tights)!

All these styles can be adopted for longer ‘fros too, and none of them take longer than 15 minutes to do, so get creative, ladies!

Youtube as a resource

Go to any natural hair page, blog or forum, and you will notice that Youtube features at some point to illustrate a point or to give styling ideas.

I can't remember exactly how I found my first natural hair "How to..." video, but I do remember I was instantly hooked. I spent days going from video to video: "How to 2-strand twist", "How to flat twist", "How to rollerset natural hair"... There are thousands of videos on there, and they are a great way to get tips on hair styles and techniques.

My only caveat when suggesting people use youtube as a natural hair resource is that anybody, and I mean ANYBODY, with a camera and an opinion can put up a video. Quite often the suggested products and methods of styling make me cringe. There is definitely a lot of useful information out there, but I would urge anyone using this as a means of research to learn to filter the information you get.

Don’t rush to use a specific product because it has been recommended. You can take them into account, but remember to get into the habit of doing research and reading ingredients before deciding you want to try out a product used by the girl in the video you saw (e.g. a quick google search like “Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Ingredients” will give you all the information you need). Beware of the people selling products that they claim will make your hair grow. Hair rarely grows by topical application of products, but rather by factors such as a healthy diet, exercise, adequate water intake, etc. Additionally, the main problem people encounter while trying to grow their hair is the retention of hair, and not the actual growth (hair will generally grow anyway, its preventing it from breaking off that counts). So bear this in mind before dropping vast amounts of cash on the latest Miracle Grow product.

But if you're looking for style ideas and techniques, Youtube is the place to go! Youtube taught me how to flat twist, cornrow and 3-strand twist (I'm still trying to master any sort of updo, but I'm hoping that will come one day). For the most part, I tend to ignore/substitute the products used.

Also bear in mind that techniques used by other people may need to be modified for your own hair. For example, the vast majority of videos will feature the use of a Denman, or denman-imitation brush. Now I have had to limit my use of these, as while the Denman is a great detangler, defines my curls better and is great at removing shed hairs, it has also been known to rip out the hairs on my head that were not quite ready to be shed. Which is a problem. So while detangling with a Denman every time you wash your hair may work great for some people, this is not the case for me, and in mimicking techniques I normally elect to skip this stage.

Youtubers who I feel have a great understanding of caring for natural hair, products and the effect of ingredients include Rustic Beauty (who happens to be Nigerian), Mwedzi (beautiful long, thick hair with tight coils and kinks, with some great informative videos including one in which she demonstrates how she blowdries her hair safely), Coils Kinks Curls, Kimmaytube, MsHeatherNicole and sera 2544. There really are too many to list, but going forward, I will post videos that I come across and think are helpful.

Let's start with this demonstration, by cocoa89, of Curly Nikki's Twist-n-Curl, which is a great way for transitioners who are not yet ready to chop off the relaxed ends to wear their hair curly (the use of rollers helps create uniform curls on both textures), and is also perfect for all-natural hair, as it helps stretch hair out and prevent tangles.

Happy viewing!

Kinkspiration! - Wakeema Hollis

How could anyone not be in love with Wakeema Hollis, the second model to be our Kinkspiration?

If you can even get past her deer-caught-in-headlights stare, and that bee stung pout, her no-fuss funky 'do (which looks like a twist-out or bantu knot-out to us) just shows how easy it is to rock short-mid length kinks.

My regimen

At the last Champagne, Cupcakes and Curltalk, a few people asked me to describe my regimen, so I promised I would do a series of posts on how I do my hair, and also giving general styling options for kinky hair.

Now I actually love playing with my hair, so tend to experiment with a variety of styles, in the order in which I most do them:

- Chunky twist outs (using fat twists for the purpose of wearing my hair out, and not to wear the twists as a style)

- Mini twists (smaller, neater two-strand twists that I DO wear as a style. These take longer to do, but then I don’t have to do anything else to my hair- except moisturize- for the next 2 weeks)

- Braid outs (the same as a twist out, but braiding hair in about 10-15 sections, instead of twisting)

- Wash n Go’s (I do these infrequently because my hair tends to get really tangled if I don’t stretch it out to dry. But as this is the quickest and simplest method of styling a fro, I come back to them once in a while)

- Kinky twists (twists with afro-kinky extensions)

- Braids with extensions

I used the last 2 as methods to grow my hair back the second time I transitioned to natural hair, however I have not done these for a while now.

As this is the routine I've been rolling with most often recently, I'll start with a quick feature on my chunky twist outs.

These are much simpler to do than proper twists, as they don't have to be aesthetically pleasing since they are only to set the style and you are not going to wear them out in public (well, I have been known to, but that’s a different story altogether). So they only take a fraction of the time to do.

I experiment with a wide variety of products (how else would I know what to recommend to Kinky customers?) but will keep this simple by talking about the ones I use most often.

Also let me apologize in advance for picture quality- I'm terrible at taking photos of myself!

I start by washing my hair. First I make sure my dry hair is free of any major tangles, by just going through it gently with my fingers. I usually cowash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner, or if I’m experiencing any build-up, I wash with one of the Dr Bronner’s liquid soaps (very heavily diluted, and just on my scalp), Giovanni 50:50 shampoo or plain old black soap. I then deep condition (I do this every week without fail, unless my hair is in mini twists) with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner or Elucence Moisture Balancing conditioner and sometimes add melted shea butter, honey, extra virgin olive oil, or whatever raw/unrefined oils I happen to have on hand at the time. I slather this mixture all over my head, cover with a plastic cap, and use one of those inflatable plastic hairdryer attachment thingies (I’m sure that’s the technical name) for about 20 minutes, or longer if I can be bothered to hold the hairdryer, then I cover with the towel and go about my business until the conditioner has been in my hair for an hour.

If I’m in a rush, or washing midweek, I skip the deep conditioning stage, but then I ensure I make up for this at the weekend.

The next step is to detangle my hair in sections with the conditioner still in, first using my fingers and then running a wide tooth comb through. This is the worst part of my routine, and sometimes I actually begin to hate myself. I have very thick hair that tangles really easily, and detangling can take forever! However I find making sure most tangles have been removed before wetting makes the process much easier. I run water over each section I am detangling (some people do all their detangling under running water- I do not! The amount of time it would take would mean I would waste so much water) and then quickly detangle with my fingers. Then I run my comb through when I think I’ve gotten rid of most of the knots. If I hit a snag, I put more conditioner on and gently loosen it. Once I’ve detangled a section, I braid it up with the conditioner mixture still in, to stop it from tangling again. I end up with about 5 or six detangled braids.

I then rinse all the conditioner out of my hair with it still in braids.

I get out of the shower, undo each braid and run some Giovanni Direct Leave-In conditioner through it, and then I two-strand twist the section back up (divide the section in two and twist them over each other- much quicker than having to re-braid the section).

When I am ready to style, I undo a big twist and part it, normally in 3 or 4 sections. I comb through the small section to make sure it is smooth, run some product down it (usually IC Fantasia gel, for hold, whipped with Shea Aloe Mix and a bit of olive oil), and proceed to do smaller two strand twists.

I repeat the twisting process all over my head, dividing each big twist into 3 or 4 smaller twists, so ending up with about 20 twists in total. If a section starts drying up, I re-wet it by spraying with a mixture of water and leave-in that I keep in a spray bottle. People have different preferences: some prefer to twist wet, and others dry. I prefer twisting my hair while still wet as I find it works better with my curl pattern, and I get better definition and hold than if I attempt to twist my hair dry. But it’s worth trying both ways to determine what works best for you.

(Ignore the bottle of Keracare on the bathtub. I’ve had this since before my curly girl days and now use it to wash make up brushes and combs... no offence to Keracare afficionados.)

When that is all done, I lightly re-wet the end of each twist and seal by twirling some Castor Oil over the end. This can be done with a variety of natural oils depending on individual preference, helps lock in moisture and smooths out the ends helping to prevent knots and split ends.

And that’s it. I then wait for it to air dry. If I’ve done it at night, I’ll hold the twists down with a satin scarf, and go to bed.

The next morning, or whenever I’m ready to go out, I lightly coat my fingers with castor oil, and begin to unravel the dry twists. Again this can be done with any oil, butter or leave-in product, based on personal preference. I have found unraveling with dry fingers causes hair to frizz unnecessarily, so I never do this. I fluff out each twist, et voila!

To maintain overnight, I usually ‘pineapple’ my hair- making one or two high bunches- and then tie with a satin scarf. Midweek I re-twist in big sections (about 6 or 7), with a little bit of leave-in spray, and without combing the hair first. (Note that the only time in this process that I ever really comb my hair is when I am detangling with conditioner. This cuts out unnecessary breakage.)

And that is it. It does seem like a long process. I'd estimate that it takes 30 mins to wash and detangle, an hour with deep conditioner in my hair and then just under an hour to twist. 2.5 hours on my hair is not too bad a way to spend a Sunday evening, especially considering I don't do anything else to it for another week.

Hope this answers some questions. I have been trawling the net for more regimen and styling ideas- especially for short hair- and will start to post up some of these really soon.

Until next time, happy experimenting!

Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk is BACK!!!

Following the success of the first Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk, we are pleased to announce the next one will take place next Saturday, July 31st!

Are you natural, and find it impossible to get a comb through your hair? Or wonder why it refuses to grow?

Are you sick of the relaxer burn and thinking of going natural?

Or have you tried to go natural- maybe several times- and found it too difficult?

Or even relaxed but just curious about natural hair?

Then Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk is the event for you!

There are a lot of common mistakes we make in regards to natural hair: we use the wrong products (mainly stuff we used when we were relaxed) and handle it the wrong way, so our hair rebels and acts wrong. By introducing certain ingredients to our regime, and totally eliminating others, our hair can be a lot more manageable without needing to resort to chemicals. You would be surprised how different your hair could be if you only just started treating it right.

Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk will cover topics such as:

- Why your current regime probably isn’t working

- Tips on transitioning to natural hair

- Tips on maintaining natural hair (differences between relaxed and natural hair care)

- Hairstyle tips

- Product advice

- Understanding ingredients

… and much more

There will be products available to buy on the day, as well as product samples

This event will be useful to anyone who is natural, transitioning, thinking of going natural, or has natural kids and is not sure how to look after their hair. Come down and bond with other current, soon-to-be and wannabe naturalistas over Champagne and Cupcakes (and chicken too)

31 July 2010


A White Space
58 Raymond Njoku
off Awolowo Road
SW Ikoyi

Entrance fee N3000

Spaces are limited this time, so anyone planning on coming should RSVP to me at or on the FB wall

Spread the word!

Kinkspiration! - Bre Scullark

I must admit I am partial to the odd nugget of Car-Crash telly (just one or two shows, of course) with America’s Next Top Model being one of my favourite guilty pleasures.

You could say I had somewhat of an obsession with Cycle 5 contestant Bre’s hair. While most people were engrossed in her fights over a granola bar- admittedly it was an incredibly dull season- I was busy drooling over those shiny ringlets. Well, not literally. That would just be gross.

I was shocked to discover she’s recently gone for the chop but in my opinion it’s taken her from very pretty girl with gorgeous hair, to bombshell! And I have to say the new look is really making me consider reaching for those clippers.


Being the hair blog and forum addicts that we are here at The Kinky Apothecary, we frequently forget that most normal, healthy, non-hair obsessed people do not necessarily know what a 'BAA' or 'TWA' is.

To make life easier- and cut down the number of blank stares- please find below some of the more frequently used kinky hair abbreviations, acronyms and explanations:

2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c = curl types
2nd Day Hair = Hair that looks good enough the day after styling that it can just be misted with water or have a little product added try to revive and refresh its style.
ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar
AOHR= Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose
AOMM = Aubrey Organics Magic Mandarin Jelly
AOWC = Aubrey Organics White Camilla
APL = arm pit length
AVG= Aloe vera Gel
BAA = Big-ass afro
BB=Blended Beauty (product line)
BC= Big Chop
BSL = bra strap length
c. = Coarse texture
Canopy = the top layer of hair, which is exposed to the elements the most, and is prone to frizzing
CG = Curly Girl routine or "Curly Girl," the book by Lorraine Massey
Clarify = remove build-up from the hair via ACV, lemon juice, or shampooing
Clumping = strands of hair clumping together to form bigger, chunkier curls
CO = conditioner or "conditioner=only" as in not using shampoo
CO wash = conditioner washing
Condish = conditioner
Crunch = the hard, crunchy feeling left by some gels when they dry, which can sometimes be scrunched out.
DT = deep (conditioning) treatment
Elucence MBC = Moisture Balancing Conditioner
EOs = essential oils
EVOO = extra virgin olive oil
f. = fine texture
FSG=Flax Seed Gel
GDLI = Giovanni Direct Leave=In
GioDLI= Giovanni Direct Leave In
Giovanni DLI/ GDL= Giovanni Direct Leave-In
HE = Herbal Essences
i, ii, iii = Fia's hair-typing system descriptors for volume
JC N&S= Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
KCCC = Kinky Curly Curling Custard
KCKT = Kinky Curly Knot Today
m. = medium texture
NG= Nature's Gate
OC = Devacurl One Condition
ORS = Organic Root Stimulator
pineapple = gathering hair gently on top of head with a scrunchie to preserve curls for 2nd day hair
Pixiecurl diffuser method= leaving diffuser OFF, using the bowl to scrunch hair up to root, turn ON for 30 seconds=1 minute, turn OFF, and then repeat on next section of hair. Minimizes frizz and reduces the amount of disturbance on the rest of your hair while diffusing.
PJ = Product Junkie (addicted to trying the next new, possibly better hair product)
Plop/plunk= Method for putting your wet hair into a towel to encourage curls (video on jessicurl's website)
'poo = shampoo
PVP = A polymer found in most gels
'quats = polyquaternium polymers found in styling products
SAO = Sweet almond oil
Scrunch = encourage curl or apply product by gently squeezing/pushing hair upward from end toward root.
Shrinkage = shortening of length due to curl tightness
SL = shoulder length
SLS = Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (surfactant found in most shampoos)
SOTC = scrunch out the crunch
TTO = tea tree oil
TWA = Teeny weeny afro
Understory = hair under the top exposed layer

Check out Naturally Curly for a more exhaustive list.

Kinkspiration! - TY Bello

Fellow Nigerian TY Bello is this week's pick.

The Gospel singer is best known for her gorgeous husky voice, but its her luscious locks that set our hearts aflutter...

Loving her eyebrows too!

Product feature- Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturising Conditioner

Ingredients: Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Shea Butter, Wheat Germ Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Rosa Mosqueta Rose Hip Seed Oil, Extracts of Fennel, Hops, Balm Mint, Mistletoe, Camomile, Yarrow, Chrysanthemum, Angelica, Forsythia and Magnolia, Honeysuckle Oil, Carrot Oil, Aubrey’s Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C and E)

This was the first conditioner I used when I started taking an interest in ingredients and the effect on my hair. All the natural ladies seemed to be raving about it on the blogs and forums I had read in the course of my research, so I decided to give it a try.

It has 100% natural ingredients and contains no protein, which is great for the protein sensitive. It also has no humectants, which makes it suitable for drier climates (note to anyone living in the North, or those who make regular trips to more wintry climes). And the best feature, for me anyway, is that it smells great!

After the 30-something years of prior abuse I had put my hair through, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturising Conditioner (or AOHSR, as it is known in hair-world) was definitely the best product to have ever come in contact with my parched barnet! I noticed a huge difference even after the first use. It felt like a completely new head of hair after rinsing. I had just taken out braids, and the dry brittle locks seemed to have been instantly replaced with softer strands with improved elasticity.

A true product junkie, I experiment a lot, trying out different conditioners- which I will review in due course- but I always come back to AOHSR. It is definitely the best deep conditioner my hair has ever met. It keeps my hair moisturized without ever getting that greasy product build-up feel, and I don’t have to be too heavy-handed with the moisturizers during the week to keep it that way.

It has a very thick consistency (so thick that I sometimes find it hard to get the last bit out of the bottom of the bottle without pouring some water in and shaking it up), so I have never tried to use it as a leave-in, although some people do. This, however, would be most effective if mixed with a lighter conditioner or diluted.

The only con is, due to its consistency, it’s not a great detangler. The two ways to get around it are to detangle with a more slippery conditioner first, usually whatever cowash conditioner I have used, and then apply the AOHSR. Or I find that the addition of Olive oil gives more slip, and makes it easier to run a comb through.

All things being equal, I don’t think I could ever give up this conditioner!

Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk- MORE PICTURES

As we can only post 5 pictures at a time, here are a few more:

The next event is going to be in July- dates will be confirmed soon. Also you'll be pleased to hear The Apothecary is being totally restocked after being a little overwhelmed at the first event, so watch this space!

Champagne, Cupcakes & Curltalk- PICTURES

Ok so these were promised ages ago, but better late than never, right?

Old, new and soon-to-be naturals got the chance to bond over champagne and cupcakes, learn about products, ingredients, hair maintenance, and swap tips. A great afternoon was had by all!

Here are some pictures from the event:

And Kobi-Lee, our youngest curly...

Shout out- Abi!

Just a quick shout out to Abi, one of The Kinky Apothecary's favourite customers (already) who's undergoing the Big Chop today. You go, Girl! Good luck and can't wait to see it!

Kinkspiration! - Janelle Monae

Big Janelle Monae fan here. Huge! So who better to be our first Kinkspiration?

Love her music, love her general vibe, love love LOVE her hair!

My last attempt to imitate her famous updo was a serious FAIL and resulted in me picking bobby pins out of my hair for the next week. Ah well, just gotta keep trying, I guess...

Recommended products

So we've talked about ingredients that you should avoid, but what products can you get that are free of these?

The following is a list of recommended products based on things we have tried and loved, but also information gathered from the many haircare forums and blogs we frequently read.


We are working to expand our range in the very near future. If there is anything you have read about and always wanted to try, and would like this to be available in Lagos, please feel free to drop us an email at Provided we like the ingredients, and get a chance to try it out, we'll do our best to stock them just for you.


Mild shampoos-

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat or 50/50 shampoos
Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo

Cowash conditioners-

Suave Naturals conditioners including the Tropical Coconut and Ocean Breeze.
VO5 Moisture Milks
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa or Tea Tree
Nature's Gate
Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner (careful as the ‘cones can cause build up)

Shampoo bars-

Chagrin Valley shampoo bars
Anita Grant Babassu shampoo bars
Oyin Handmade Grand Poo Bar
Plain old African Black Soap


Giovanni 50/50 Hydrating Calming Conditioner (COMING SOON)
Aubrey Organics Island Naturals
DevaCurl One conditioner
Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing conditioner


As listed under ‘rinse out conditioners’. Also:

Jessicurl Too Shea conditioner
Jessicurl Weekly Deep conditioner
Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep fix
Karen's Body Beautiful Luscious Locks hair mask
Blended Beauty Herbal Reconstructor

Try boosting their power by adding shea butter, honey, olive oil, etc.



Giovanni 50/50 Hydrating-Calming conditioner- COMING SOON
Karen's Body Beautiful hair milk or nectar
DevaCurl One Condition


WHIPPED SHEALOE- Shea butter/Aloe Vera gel (home made or purchased):
Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding
Oyin Handmade Whipped Shea
Karen's Body Beautiful butter
Karen's Body Beautiful cream
Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
Blended Beauty (styling butter or happy nappy styles)


Make sure these are pure and unrefined, and if they are oil mixes, ensure to check they do not contain mineral oil/paraffinum liquidum/petrolatum:

Castor Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Grapeseed oil
Virgin Coconut Oil
Vitamin E Oil
Jojoba Oil (great for itchy scalp)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Safflower (seed) oil
Vatika Oil
Unrefined Shea/Mango/Cocoa/Avocado butters

The Kinky Apothecary will soon be stocking a range of pure unrefined oils and butters


Oils as a pre-shampoo treatment
Suave Naturals Tropical coconut conditioner or other Suave Naturals conditioners
Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee
Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa
Jane Carter Solutions Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner
Aubrey Organics Sea Buckthorn leave-in


Devacurl Set It Free
Ecostyler Gel
Aloe Vera Gel
Kinky Curly Curling Custard

Remember this list is not exhaustive- continue to do your own research, just make sure to get into the habit of reading ingredients lists and being comfortable with the products.