Since March, I have mostly...(and how I do my braidouts)

Well, I have to admit that despite my vows to the contrary, I've continued to be bloody boring with my hair.

I tend to just wear it in my fat twists pinned up for days at a time, taking it down to wear in a twistout or braidout for the weekend.

Must try harder.

In the past month or so though, with the onset of the rainy season, the humidity has been so ridiculous that I tend not to have any definition for more than an hour after stepping out of the house. I don't mind TOO much because it just means I end up with big fluffy hair. The next day I just wear my hair in a bun, or my recent staple of 2 flat twists pinned up at the back. Not very glamorous or exciting, and I think I'm going to have to come up with more creative ways of battling this humidity, but in my next post I'll explain in my current routine of low manipulation and keeping my ends tucked away has actually benefited my hair.

I've been asked a number of times how I do my braidouts, and came up with this pictorial, even though humidity did its best literally the second the last braid came out. Ah well, for what it's worth, here we go:

I start off with the twists I dry my hair in, as described in my updated regimen post

I undo each twist, spritz with my leave-in/water/oil mix to dampen (I normally try and do this stage on damp hair anyway, but sometimes I forget and my hair is fully dry), apply a bit of leave-in and seal the ends with my shea butter, castor, jojoba and grapeseed oil mix, or Whipped Shea Batter, and then apply a styler (at the moment it is the pink Ecostyler gel to try and battle this humidity) before converting each twist to a braid

When I get to the end of each braid, I'm normally left with one section which is far shorter than the other 2, and so I combine it with another section and two-strand twist the rest of the way (I'd jumped in the car to head to work and realised I hadn't taken any pictures to show the size of the braids)

I normally do the braids in the evening and leave them to dry overnight, but if I've done them in the morning, I try and make them look, if not presentable then at least inconspicuous by putting them in a bun. I keep the braids in for anywhere between 8 hours to a day. The longer the better, obviously
I lightly coat my fingers with an oil (usually jojoba) and then undo each braid, separating the clumped sections as I go along, instead of waiting until I have undone them all and going back

This demonstrates how I have already fluffed all the braids out by the time I get to the last one

Rainy season. Humidity strikes literally as soon as the braids are out

Braidout on a normal day

2nd day of a braidout after stretching it a little in "pineapples" overnight

Humidity: 1 - Braidout: 0

Before the rainy season, when we were still dealing with relatively normal levels of humidity, I found the following tips helped me keep definition for 2, maybe 3 days without having to retwist or braid:

1/ Using a leave-in that doesn't contain glycerine near the top of the list of ingredients (I find I have no problem if it is near the bottom of the ingredients list). This is because glycerine sucks the moisture in from the air causing the hair to swell and frizz. So although this means nice moisturised hair, its goodbye definition. For some reason, I don't seem to have this problem with other humectants.
2/ Using a product with hold. I normally go with the pink Ecostyler, and recently revisited Jane Carter Solution's "Wrap & Roll" which is so effective in humidity that we will soon be stocking it, along with other products from the brand, at The Apothecary, so watch this space.
3/ Night-time routine: I am definitely not one of those people who has time to rebraid my hair at night to keep it stretched. First of all I'm lazy, and secondly my hair prefers to be left unmanipulated as much as possible. So for the first 2 or 3 days, I put my hair in 2 high ponytails or "pineapples", taking care not to squash the definition of the braidout. I then wrap a satin scarf either just around my edges and then sleep on a satin pillowcase, or in an upward motion around the pineapples (I'll do a post on my night-time routine to demonstrate in pictures). It does not stay as defined as the days go on, but again it just means bigger fluffier hair, which I like.
4/ NOT using a liquid moisturiser. I've mentioned in earlier posts that I like to moisturise between washes using a mix of leave-in conditioner, water and oils in my spray bottle. However this, along with glycerine, is best saved for when I'm wearing my hair in twists or braids, or the rare ocassion I do a wash n go (usually done by raking conditioner, gel or another styler through my hair without twisting or stretching in any way). On a dry set it just causes hair to revert and lose definition, so I moisturise instead with a creamy leave-in or moisturiser.

Speaking of wash n go's, I just did one recently because I needed to, well, wash and go. My hair desperately needed a wash, and I had plans that evening so no time for any style to set. But I actually managed to get about 5 days before I had to re-style. This picture was taken on about day 3 or 4.

Shrinkage: fascinating or annoying? Discuss.

Wash n go's are incredibly rare for me, because they tend to cause untold tangles and knotting, leading to wash days that make me actually curse my hair. For me they are really not worth the time saved on styling, and it will be a long time before you see me in one again!

Until the next post, have a good one, peeps.

Natural Hair Calendars ... two in one!

Hey ladies,

I'm hoping you all downloaded your Natural Hair Calendar for last month without me prompting. But if not, you can do so here.

And here's the one for June.


Taking a minute to talk about something else...

I am sure I speak for all of Nigeria when I say we are still reeling from the shock, and attempting to pick up the pieces following the devastating Dana Air plane crash that took place last Sunday June 3rd, taking 153 lives.

I would like to dedicate this brief post to all the souls who lost their lives, and to one bright spark in particular. You will never be forgotten. Our loving and prayerful thoughts accompany you on your journey home. May you all find peace.

My heart goes out to all who also lost friends and loved ones in the tragedy. May you have the strength to bear your loss.