Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What an incredible year it has been! Thank you all for your love, support and custom in what has been a year of immense change. So much more planned for 2014 so stay tuned!

We are now closed for delivery until January 6th, 2014, but you can still pick up your favourite goodies from L'Espace, 19a Olosa Street, off Karimu Kotun, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Love from The Kinky Apothecary family.


The Great Kinky Hair Christmas Affair

We've been hinting about this for weeks, and hope you've put December 21st in your diary. You do NOT want to miss this!

Our beloved Geri is coming to town, as is the beautiful Ijeoma of Klassy Kinks. Yup yup!!! So what better excuse to throw the natural hair "end-of-year party to end all parties"!

We've got so much lined up for you: in addition to the hair talk, we've got shopping, beauty treatments, food, a drinks bar (courtesy of Cointreau and Laurent Perrier again), freebies, sponsored giveaways... we could go on and on, but instead we'll just say come down and see for yourselves!

Tickets go on sale this Friday, so get yours, come down ... and don't forget to use the hashtag #naturalsdey.

Have we mentioned we're excited??

See you there...

Natural Hair in the Nigerian Diaspora... meet Ijeoma!

Hello all,
We recently discovered some absolutely beautiful kinks, and further investigation led us to the website Klassy Kinks. We were so excited to discover the blogger behind it was the gorgeous Nigerian natural Ijeoma Eboh! Haven't come across her over the internet yet? Get acquainted...


A little about me
I'm an Umuahia girl born in Port Harcourt, but I was raised in the United States (New Jersey to be exact).
I've been fully natural since May of 2010, so 3.5 years now!


The summer of 2009, I randomly got some kinky twists and was enjoying the break from my hair, and at the same time started reading articles in Essence Magazine about natural hair. That led me to YouTube and various hair blogs and I desperately wanted to see what my real hair looked like because I'd had it relaxed since I was a toddler. It was my second year in university, so I wore twists and weaves over the course of the school year before cutting all but a few inches off just a few days after I came home from exams.

My job and my life

I'm a doctoral student in history of public health, which more or less entails reading an absurd amount, writing a slightly less absurd amount, and working as a research assistant for a professor. My hair doesn't impact my work or schooling whatsoever, although I get a lot of comments on my hair because it changes so frequently. Because I should theoretically be devoting all my time to schoolwork, I try to do low maintenance styles and I alternate retwisting or rebraiding my hair in large sections at night with pineappling.


My natural hair in Nigeria

I went to Nigeria a year into my natural hair journey (two years ago), and got a lot of questions from my cousins and other family members about why I didn't have a relaxer, and if I wanted to get my hair plaited/braided at the salon. Hilariously enough they were bewildered at the length of my hair and my ability to even comb it, but at the same time denounced it as unacceptable. I'll be back again this December, and since then some of those same family members have gone natural so the dynamic and conversations may be somewhat different. I'm excited!


Natural hair challenges I've encountered

Navigating the abundance of online resources was challenging at first: there are so many different websites and opinions that sometimes have contradicting information, so deciding for myself what would be my trusted sources of information took some time. Until recently, I'd also struggled finding a hair stylist who knew what they were doing!

My routine

I only wash my hair about every three weeks-once a month (grad school + laziness = later and later washes). I'll start off by using a mix of conditioner, coconut oil, and water to carefully finger detangle my hair and put it in about 6 braids. I'll then shampoo and deep condition, still in braids. Once I'm done prancing around, I'll undo each braid in the shower and apply some more conditioner, smooth over my strands, and braid it back up. After drying under a t-shirt for a bit, I spray a leave in conditioner, seal with my shea butter/coconut oil/aloe vera gel mix, and begin styling. I wear my hair in all sorts of styles, from braidouts to flat twists to puffs to pinned up styles, and will simply remoisturize every few days. More details about products and such are on my website.


My view on having "hair idols"


I don't idolize anyone's hair, and I don't have any hair crushes. I also cringe when people say they wish they had my hair. I think that kind of thinking is counterproductive; it actually holds us back from accepting our hair, whichever way it exists on our heads. My hair is hands down the most fabulous thing that could grow from my scalp, precisely because God anointed each strand, just for me! I do respect other people's hair practices (most often their styling abilities or extensive knowledge of proper natural hair care) and I have a list of those bloggers and vloggers on my website.

Finding me online

I’m the founder and editor of, which has the latest natural hair news, advice and tutorials for hair styling and maintenance, healthy food recipes, weekly features of other fabulous kinky-haired women (and men!), and most exciting of all, monthly giveaways! I’m also on YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Say hi!

  Thanks Ijeoma! We have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of you around ;-)

Enter into the Neno Naturals giveaway for a chance to win $500!

Before we take you back to your regularly scheduled blog posts (yes, even I chuckled as I typed that), just wanted to bring your attention to the giveaway going on at Neno Natural's blog in case you hadn't heard of it already. She is so grateful for the support she has received over the past year, she is giving one lucky winner ANYWHERE in the world a chance to win $500!

The entry details are very simple: You need to be subscribed to the fan list at
  • If you get their emails, you are already subscribed
  • If you don't get their emails but you think you subscribed, check your SPAM folder
  • If you unsubscribed you would need to re-subscribe to be eligible
  • Payment will be via PayPal unless you are in a country that doesn't have PayPal in which case we can do a wire transfer to your bank (bank charges may apply)
  • Anyone from anywhere in the world can win
  • Competition closes on 19th November at midnight New York time (6 a.m. November 20th Lagos time)
  • The winner will be selected and announced on 20th November

How will the winner be selected:

  • All subscribers will be downloaded into excel and their position on the list randomized
  • A number will then be picked using a random number generator and whoever has that position in the excel spreadsheet wins the entire $500 in time to buy Christmas gift or to pay down that annoying debt!
  • Neno Natural will then email the person to ensure it's an email that is still in use, ask them for their phone number and call them to tell them they have won
  • All this will be on video so everyone can enjoy the process

So what are you waiting for?? Such a generous offer so head over to and make sure you're subscribed!

SN: And because we love a good giveaway, we'll also be doing a (much smaller and much less significant) giveaway of our own today on Twitter and Instagram, to mark the end of Natural Hair Month (how is it already October 31st?!) So make sure you're following us on both (we're @kinkyapothecary on both Twitter and Instagram) for a chance to win. 

Good luck!

Natural Hair Month continues with the Kinky Apothecary Pop Up Shop

If you haven't been down to our pop up shop yet, there are still 6 more days to go.

We have all your favourite products in stock, including a couple not available for online order yet (such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Vatika Oil). We also have an increased selection of Ayurvedic herbs and powders, some new lines (Jane Carter and Curls), books, tools, hair accessories, etc. Head down, we're waiting for you!

Also at the pop up, make up, makeovers and lash and brow services by Sacred Creative Artistry. Don't forget to have a look at the Gallery Exhibition by Temitayo Ogunbiyi exploring the Kink.

And for anyone in Lagos tomorrow, we have a Zumbathon starting at 1pm by Fuzion Fitness in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness. 25% of all proceeds raised by The Kinky Apothecary, Sacred Creative Artistry and Fuzion Fitness will be donated to the Pink Pearl Foundation.

All this is happening at our Pop Up at The Whitespace, 50 Raymond Njoku, Off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Don't miss it!

Nigerian Naturals, get your hair done by celebrity stylist Felicia Leatherwood!

Just 3 days to go until Felicia Leatherwood's first Nigerian workshop, and now we're giving you the chance to get your hair done by the stylist to the stars.

Yup yup! You have a chance to get your hair big chopped or styled by the lady who has done the same for Jill Scott, Teyona Parris, Viola Davis and countless others!

So what are you waiting for? Follow the simple steps below, and your tresses could also be getting the star treatment this Saturday.

All you need to do is:

1/ Buy a ticket if you haven't already. (They're going fast and we don't envisage having any on the door) from Afritickets, L'Espace (19a Olosa Street, Off Karimu Kotun, VI) or Sacred Creative Artistry (2 Abiola Close, Shonibare Estate, Maryland)
2/ Like us on Facebook
3/ Follow us on Twitter
4/ Fill out this form

Easy peasy!

Winner will be drawn at random and notified on Friday evening. 

So what are you waiting for? Get clicking, and good luck!

Felicia Leatherwood, celebrity stylist and natural hair expert coming to Lagos!


Helloooooo all...

So we know it's been ages, but we've been working on something huge, and here it is!

Remember this report on celebrity stylist (to stars such as Jill Scott, Teyonah Parris, Tomiko Fraser, Sanaa Lathan, Viola Davis...I could go on) Felicia Leatherwood's London workshop?!

Well guess what... she's bringing it to Lagos!!!!

When: On October 12th, 2013.

Where: The Wheatbaker, 4 Onitolo (Lawrence) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos

Time: 12pm

Tickets available now on Afritickets. Just click on this link to purchase.

You do NOT want to miss this one.

Can't wait to see you there, we are SO excited!

Locs 101: New Growth: Interlocking Vs. Palm Rolling

Ok, so this was promised 2 Mondays ago. No explanation or excuses, let's just get straight into Fiona's post:

Guest blogger Fiona

Hey peoples! I know my post is overdue (blame Nibi!) but better late than never, non?

Let’s jump right in….

New Growth: Interlocking Vs. Palm Rolling

Maintenance is an important part of having healthy locs and part of loc maintenance is the regular re-twisting of your new growth, which ensures that the hair continues to loc.

The palm rolling versus interlocking debate can be a heated one and varies wildly depending on whom you speak to. I have spoken with locticians that favour one and disparage the other and some that use both techniques. The main issue, as I see it, is lack of proper “how-to” knowledge, either on your part or your loctician’s, leading to damaged locs. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone that dons the title “Loctician” knows what he or she is doing.

So what is the proper way to re-twist new growth? I think this boils down to personal preference; both techniques have their pros and cons. Palm rolling will give you a lovely cylindrical look, while interlocking produces a ropeier but tighter loc – no unraveling. I started my first set of locs with palm rolling and eventually switched to interlocking (myself), as I had a lot of slippage with the locs in the middle of my head. This time round I do both, interlocking every 2 to 3 months and palm rolling as needed.

The procedure for palm rolling is exactly as it sounds: rolling the loc in your palm, with the aid of a light gel, loc butter or even plain old water. The key is to always, ALWAYS roll your locs in the same direction in order to train your roots and to avoid warping the rest of the loc.

Palm rolling is demonstrated in the video below, but note she doesn't discuss direction, washing or clipping after you roll (not that clipping is a neccessity):

Interlocking can be done with your fingers, a latchhook or crotchet needle, using a 4 point or 3 point method i.e. passing the tip of the loc through the root (as if it were a clock face). Enter the loc at 3 to 9, 12 to 6, 9 to 3, 6 to 12.  (3 point: enter from 9 to 3, 12 to 6, 3 to 9). 

For all the "visual learners", interlocking is demonstrated here, however note she doesn't discuss the small flyaway new growth or what happens if you go the wrong way when interlocking. She also suggests you only complete one rotation, which is great if you only have a little bit of new growth but otherwise, you'd have to keep going till you get close to the root (without over tightening):

The point is to NEVER pass the tool in the same direction, as this will leave a "Y" part at the roots that you definitely do not want. Essentially, you will have split the root into two. I made this mistake once; with my first set of locs and boooooy was it a complete   [insert expletive]  to undo. After creating the Y, in an effort to back track, I ended up making a knot at the root of my loc. I did eventually unravel it, after much cursing and a temper tantrum that would have made any toddler proud!
With either technique you need to be gentle with your locs. Don’t over twist with palm rolling or interlock too tight, as this will lead to a painful scalp or worse, weak and or broken locs.

Re-twist Bantu Knot Out Experiment

Due to a bout of extreme laziness, (don’t judge me, it happens), I decided to try a clip free method of palm rolling. After washing my locs, I sectioned into four bunches and then palm rolled each loc before twisting into a Bantu knot.

I wore the Bantu knots for two days and then pulled them out into a new curly do. I admit that despite my initial apprehension of too much forehead with the Bantu knots and medusa curls on the pull out, I quite liked the end result with both stlyes. 

Until next time...

Don't forget to follow Fiona on Twitter @fifipommes

This year so far, I have mostly...

Seeing as we're now half way through the year, I figured I should, you know, fill you in on what's been going on with my hair since you last saw me as, well, this IS a hair blog and all. Hopefully this can, kinda sorta, make up for me breaking my promise for regular updates!

So...this year so far, I have mostly worn my hair out, actually. Naughty, naughty, I know. But as I've mentioned, I am not that bothered with length retention at the moment, so have just been having fun with it.

The old reliable twistout

...and more twistouts

Tried my very first bantu knot-out

...and loved it

Battled dryness in London

Faced humidity in Lagos

Tried to master the art of capturing braidout fabulousity in photos...and failed

Once in a while remembered to protective-style

Embraced shrinkage

Did a couple of wash-n-go's

...and generally just had fun with my hair

So there you have it. 6 months of my hair in one post!

Humidity has gone into overdrive again with the rainy season, so I'm back in twists for now. I've also modified my regimen again, so update on that coming up soon.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!


Natural Hair in Nigeria...Meet Toyin!

Hellooooooo all! Where is this year going? It's actually scary.

It's been ages since we've had a Nigerian natural featured on the blog...or anything at all, to be honest... despite the fact that we've been sent in so many entries just waiting to be posted. Definitely time to rectify the situation! And who better to get the ball rolling again than my dear friend Toyin, the "Corporate Bohemian", originally from Ikorodu, who counts Lauryn Hill and a pre-chop India Arie amongst her hair idols.

Toyin's afro in 2007 (photo courtesy of subject)

My natural hair journey
I have been natural since 2001 and I started my locs 31st of January 2008

I was never happy with my hair relaxed.  I remember as a child going to beg my mother for a perm because all the girls in school had it and they looked more grown up.  Big mistake!!  My hair didn’t take to the relaxer well and due to my high pain threshold (that’s another long story), I would always end up with a burnt scabby scalp. 

During my undergraduate, I just got to a point where enough was enough. I started to braid my hair with extensions and ‘waited’ for the relaxed hair to fall off.  I absolutely loved the flexibility my natural hair gave me in the UK.  I could switch between two-strand twists and bone straight pressed hairstyles. 

My transition to natural hair was a journey of self-discovery while my journey to locs was one of self-assuredness.  I knew I wasn’t going to go back to the creamy crack, and managing my afro was getting cumbersome, so the only option I was willing to try was to loc my hair.  It wasn’t a drastic change; I had maintained my natural hair using two-strand twists for about four years.  Most people at that point already assumed that I had locs, so I took the plunge. 

My parents took the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach.  My mother had always supported the move to natural hair but I think their apprehension was more towards how the negative connotations towards locs would affect me getting a job.    

Starter locs around July 2008 (photo courtesy of subject)

My hair and my job
At the time I started my locs I was in the final year of my Ph.D. No one cared about the state of my hair because no one saw me.  This was advantageous because even the best-kept locs at the starter stage can look a little unkempt, and frankly I looked like a boy!

My corporate career started in Nigeria, so by the time I joined the rat race my locs were fairly mature.  My first Job was at a well-known Investment Bank in Nigeria.  My hair wasn’t long enough to put into a bun, so I would have my locs curled and styled to take to work.  At the time I never really thought about what impact my locs would have on people’s impression on me.

At work (photo courtesy of subject)
The reality of the situation is this – Employers that are too focused on what your hair is as opposed to what value you bring with regards to your skills are short sighted.  As an employee your responsibility to ensure that you are tidy and presentable to clients at all time, regardless if you have a weave, relaxed, braided, natural or loc’d hair.

Rocking the rollers (photo courtesy of subject)
On being natural in Nigeria?
My initial experience in Nigeria was not a happy one.  When I would come home on Christmas vacations, I could never find a hairdresser that would not try to convince me to relax my hair!  They mistreated my hair and couldn’t understand why an African woman would have natural hair for non-religious reasons!!!

My vacation experiences contributed towards the transition from Afro to Locs.  I knew I wouldn’t be happy with how I would maintain my hair in Nigeria, so I decided to loc before I moved permanently back home.  In a lot of ways maintaining locs is easier than maintaining an Afro.

Having locs in Nigeria has also been an interesting experience. 
1.     Is that all your hair?
2.     Really is that all your hair?  I thought it was braids!!
3.     How long have you had your hair like this?
4.     Really?  And you haven’t changed your hair since?
5.     What happens when you want to do another style?  Do you have to cut it off?

Above are the typical questions women ask me on a day-to-day basis.  I’ve even had a woman pull on my hair because she wasn’t convinced I was telling the truth.

Brown highlights, August 2012 (photo courtesy of subject)
My biggest hair challenges
Maintenance has always been an issue for me.  I am lazy when it comes to my hair, so I’m always on the lookout for stylists that can help me maintain my hair.  Finding stylists in Nigeria has always been an issue.

My routine
Once a month I wash, deep condition and re-loc the base of my locs.  To loc I use a Shea butter and coconut oil mix.  I then will sit under a hair dryer to dry my roots and let the rest of my hair air dry.  This helps retain the moisture within the hair, which helps my hair feel soft.

I would not recommend using bees wax because bees wax is heavy and tends to fix lint into the hair giving it a permanent grey look.  Locking Gel is also a massive no-no.  Locking gel tend to dry out your hair making it brittle and hard.

Loc'd bun (photo courtesy of subject)
In-between hair appointments I maintain my hair with Shea butter whips, almond oil and tea-tree sprays for my scalp.  The key is always to ‘listen’ to your hair.  Shea butter tends to be heavy so if I do use it I use it sparingly to avoid build up.  I stay way from petroleum-based products because they build up residue in the hair and can be difficult to get out.

On occasion I do like to dye my hair.  I use semi-permanent dyes and I tend to leave those treatments far and few between because they can dry out your hair.

Photo courtesy of source
Since doing this interview, Toyin has started her own blog. Check it out.

Images from the Bootcamp "pilot", August 2012

Hi all! As promised, here are the pictures from the Bootcamp "pilot" last year. We actually took loads, it was quite difficult whittling them down.

Enjoy, and hope to see you at the next one on Sunday.

Whipped Batter samples

Oils... pre-branding

The obligatory cupcakes...
...which everyone quite enjoyed, apparently
First everyone had a chance to mingle and settle in

Some of the faces at the event...

Getting down to business: talking through the order of the day, and finding out what topics in particular everyone wanted covered

Any questions?
Talking everyone's ear off
And out comes the cling film. I have no shame!

Showing both how to wash in sections and how to wash in twists

Out comes the cling film again, as I leave the conditioner to marinade
My next victim (Ozzy from the 4Aces) conjures up some Dutch courage with a glass of pink champagne
Gave her a quick shampoo (after DC'ing first) before talking through and demonstrating options for stretching post wash, giving tips on twisting, and moving on to dry styling options
Erm... no Flo, that's not how you use a banana clip
THAT'S how you use a banana clip!
Had a bit of time at the end, so showed a couple of 5 minute styles that can be done with banana clips and bobby pins
Shame we had no black pins
Ah well. Next time
And a great time was had by all!