To Airdry or Not

I’m at the stage where air-drying no longer works for my Texlaxed hair. My weekly wash day isn’t complete without blowdrying on cool once my hair is almost dry. On the few occasions I’ve tried air drying, I often end up with shrinkage and crinkly hair. I guess it’s due to this fine strands of mine. Your experience may be different. The most important thing is to do what’s right for your hair.

I’ve worked very hard to get this beautiful mane and I like to wear my hair out or in a messy updo while striving to project a professional image too. Messy updo’s have become my go to hairstyle due to the thickness I’ve gained now. It’s so gratifying to pull up my hair into a messy bun without using ponytail holders but bobby pins only.

Why Hot Water is Essential

While prepping up my hair for a wash today, I had time to reflect on some of the practices and changes I’ve made to my hair. The most frequent question I’m asked at the salon is “Aunty, do you prefer cold or hot water to wash your hair”?

Over the years, I haven’t had the desire to probe why this question is often asked at most Naija hair salon till I began the quest for healthy, long relaxed hair. When I commenced my journey, I often used cool water to wash my hair. This I did continuously for a year before evaluating what was working in my regimen.

A common feature of a typical wash day is the 1hour prepoo session, consisting of a protein deep conditioner and a mix of several natural oils. Using cold water will not get rid of the product buildup and once my hair is dry, I often have this coated film over my hair which indicated I was doing something wrong.

Why Hot Water is Essential: An important reason why you need to use hot water when washing your hair is it opens up your hair cuticles. If cold water closes the hair cuticle then hot water opens it up and it needs to be open when you cleanse and condition. Then you can easily remove any dirt, build-up and oils from your hair and be sure that your hair will effectively absorb everything you put in it.

Today, as you prepare to wash and deep condition your hair, never  stray from this basic rule. Incorporate the use of hot water when washing your hair and you’ll see tangible results sooner than you think.

Caution: Always ensure you mix an adequate amount of cold water with the hot water. It should be in a ratio of 60:40 with 60% being hot water and 40% cold water. The thing is that hot water can be quite harmful at times but you also shouldn’t use solely cold water for washing your hair. The best strategy for most ladies would probably be to use warm water instead of hot when shampooing and conditioning. Don’t apply cold water at that point because you want the scalp pores and the hair cuticle to be open.

If you feel like there’s particularly much grease and oil in your hair then you may turn the water from warm to hot in order to really open up everything and get those things out but remember that frequent use of very hot water is damaging and you have to be careful. Use cold water only for your final rinse in order to seal everything after you’re done and remember that it doesn’t have to be ice-cold – choose a temperature that you can tolerate.

Popping & Hand in Hair Syndrome 

I’ve got an ongoing nasty habit. On days I wear my hair out, I often have my hand in my hair searching for a split end or single strand knots. Often times, I might not have access to my scissors and end up popping these offending hair shiznits (as I like to call them). The other habit is twirling my hair around my fingers once I’m behind the wheels driving. It’s a bad habit I know, but it’s become a daily ritual and I’m trying to wean myself off the wide path that leads to hair destruction.

To kick this habit to the curb, I’m indulging in some protective styles I came across on Pinterest. I still intend to wear my hair out but by the 2nd half of the day, it’ll end up in a messy bun held up by bobby pins.

To other matters, I’d like to give a special shoutout to a reader on this blog who has gone ahead to establish an online food delivery service within the heart of Calabar. If you’re on vacation or reside and work within this serene city, then it’s time to get your food groove on by placing an order with ‘Dineoutng‘. They’ve got a range of indigenous and international cuisine available.

They also cater for corporate organizations, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and a whole lot more.

What’s Relative on your hair journey?

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There are several reasons for starting out a hair journey and the culprits have ranged from thinning, breakage, alopecia, stagnation in hair growth, split ends, mid shaft splits or breakage, single strand knots and the list is endless. What spurred me on a healthy hair journey was thicker hair and overtime, that goal hasn’t changed. Sure there are other benefits such as length retention and the longer hair lengths, but the underlying goal has always been thicker hair.

As the months rolled in, thicker hair has been achieved relative to the fine, thin strands I commenced with. Often times, I have wished for thicker, voluminous hair like I see online but I have come to realize it’s a gradual journey. The most important thing is to stick with a regimen that works for your hair type or strands.

The most important thing you can do for your hair in 2015 is to embrace change and see which directions it takes your hair. Remember keep it simple always.

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To other news, new stocks of Manetabolism Vitamins have arrived and you can place your orders directly by clicking the link here.
We’ve also got pure Moroccan Argan Oil available as well.
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Image Source: Laurenmechelle.com / Pinterest

Readers’ Q&A

20131020-142918.jpgQ: How often should I apply peppermint oil to my scalp to stimulate hair growth?

A: I will want to assume you have followed the dilution ratio for peppermint oil and you aren’t applying it to your scalp directly as it’s a potent oil. In case you haven’t, this is the dilution ratio I use; 5 caps of peppermint oil to half a bottle of Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Shake the bottle & keep in the darkest part of your wardrobe or kitchen shelves for a week before direct application commences. This allows the oils to blend and perform their magic. 3 times a week at night before going to bed does the trick.

Q: Can I cowash & deep condition while taking Hairfinity?

A: Taking Hairfinity vitamins does not bar you from adhering or keeping up with your weekly hair regimen. Remember it is a vitamin supplement for your hair to boost growth. While you are taking this drug, it is your utmost responsibility to ensure you deep condition weekly; moisture & seal regularly. This ensures you obtain an wholesome result at the end of the day. On the other hand, if you abandon your hair regimen and solely depend on Hairfinity for growth without considering the need to retain this growth, your efforts will be in vain. Hope you understand why a weekly regimen is important while taking Hairfinity.

 

Q: What is the essence of covering my hair with a shower cap while deep conditioning?

A: Covering your hair with a shower cap is important during deep conditioning cos the heat generated from your body heat allows the hair follicles to open up, allowing the deep conditioner to enter the strands and perform its’ function.

Pack Your Bags for a lifetime trip to Italy

Ladies, you know this blog ain’t all about hair and from time to time, I like to bring information that might interest you outside hair matters. If you are on a vacation roll this year searching for somewhere to spend your time free of charge, then you had better apply for this (this is the easiest competition World Nomads has hosted). I am off to submit my application.

 

We believe that you can learn much about a culture through food and want to give three enthusiastic (and hungry) travelers the chance to connect with and better understand the real food scene in…ITALY!

These keen cultural explorers will travel to Italy and discover the history and techniques that makes Italian food a star on the world’s stage – as well as the vibrant people that keep these traditions alive through their passion and dedication.

Each recipient will spend one week in a different region of Italy where they will meet their Italian ‘mentors’ – speaking to local farmers and artisan providores, making pastas in nonnas’ kitchens, and getting your hands dirty pruning vines, milking goats and making salamis.

In that time, each recipient will be followed by a cameraman to document their experiences as they uncover new techniques, tastes and atttudes towards food and living.

Photo by Mark Hofmeyr

Who we’re looking for

We are looking for 3 different food explorers to send to Italy:

1. The Anthropologist – You are here to delve into the social habits and traditions that accompany food and eating in Italy. In a culture where people live to eat, you are most interested in the pace of life, the attitudes towards food and the sense of community that this way of life creates.

2. The Pilgrim – You are on an epicurean journey. You are here because something has drawn you to Italy, be that heritage or circumstance. To you, eating in Italy is like walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain – something that will transform you emotionally or physically and give you new perspective on life.

3. The CulinarianYou are interested in learning the artistry of food. Perhaps you are an aspiring chef or want to open up your own restaurant – this is really about turning your passion for food into a profession. You are here because you want to learn the techniques and the local recipes to bring back with you.

Note: Each of the 3 food explorers will be matched with one of the regions of Italy (below), these corresponding regions will not be disclosed until the winners are announced.

About the Regions

Emilia-Romagna

Though famed for fast cars and famous musicians, Emilia-Romagna also won’t let you go hungry. In fact, it is considered the Heart of northern Italian food.

The capital city of Bologna has been nicknamed “la grassa” (the fat one) – a name you’ll understand (and pay no mind) when you tuck into the famed prosciutto and handmade egg-based pastas of the region.

Emilia-Romagna is also the place to get the real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sample balsamic vinegar that can be aged in wooden casks for 60 years and wash it all down with a sparkling red wine.

Photo by John Gubertini, Cozzano

Cinque Terre National Park (Liguria region)

Cinque Terre National Park was the first of it’s kind established in Italy. This decision has protected the five medieval towns (that Cinque Terre is so famous for) by keeping out motorized vehicles and promoting sustainable tourism.

While seafood reigns in Cinque Terre, this is also the home of pesto and where foccacia can be bought off the street as a lazy afternoon snack. The terraced cliffs surrounding the villages also drip with lemons, olives and vines that produce the sciacchetra sipped at the end of every meal.

After you’ve had your fill, hit the narrow and winding trails and drink in the stunning coastal views or hop into the beckoning sea to marvel at the pastel postcard villages above.

Photo by Ente Parco Cinque Terre

Langhe & Roero (Piedmont region)

Langhe & Roero is situated in the Piedmont region in the northeastern part of Italy. Here, agriculture and food production lead not only to good nutrition, but also a rich heritage – and many talented local providores.

Rolling hills with vineyards and hazelnut groves, emerald meadows filled with free-range cows and sheep mean that the panoramas are only trumped by the amazing cheeses and wines that the region produces.

This region is also the birthplace of Slow Food, host of the annual International Truffle Fair and an important stop along the ancient ‘Salt Route’ (where excellent recipes and many a food legend originated).

Photo by John Gubertini

What’s the deal?

* We’ll fly you to Italy from your country of residence.

* You need to be available to be in Italy from May 31 – June 9, 2014 (dates may vary by a few days) to participate in the project.

* You will keep a daily diary about your time on the trip and upload this plus pictures you’ve taken to your WorldNomads.com travel journal.

* Your new food experiences in Italy will be filmed by an accompanying cameraman who will edit 3 travel videos starring you.

Who can apply?

* Anyone can apply – this is open to food writers, bloggers, aspiring chefs, and just plain passionate eaters with a story to share!

* Minimum age 18 (by application deadline)

* You must hold a current, valid passport (with 6 months left before expiry)

* The scholarship is open to all nationalities (subject to obtaining an Italian visa), however, you must have an exceptionally high degree of proficiency in written and spoken English.

* You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in any way, you must be available for the entire assignment.

* You should be a mad-keen foodie with adventurous tastebuds, a curiousity for all things Italian and an openess to interact with locals.

* You must be up for eating anything at anytime, pitching in with the cooking and cleaning up! Picky eaters need not apply.

* You must be comfortable in front of the camera, and sharing your emotions and opinions with the world.

Photo by Mark Hofmeyr

The Prizes

The 3 Winners will receive:

* An 7-day custom trip to 1 area of Italy (Cinque Terre, Langhe & Roero, Emilia-Romagna) organized by the local tourism boards and Can’t Forget It{aly} including accommodation, meals and local transportation.

* Round-trip airfare from your country of residence to Italy.

* Travel insurance for the duration of the trip from World Nomads.

Important Dates

**You need to be available from May 31st – June 9th to participate on the assignment.**

Applications Accepted: January 21 – March 14, 2014

Judging Period: March 15 – April 6

Winners Announced: April 7

Assignments: June 1 – June 8

Photo by Edoardo Cicchetti

To apply you need to:

1. Submit a recipe (in English) with accompanying photos

This can’t just be any recipe, this recipe needs to come with a story. It could be the hand-me-down pierogi recipe from your Polish great-grandmother. Or maybe the the fish curry you learned to make on your trip to Sri Lanka.

Whatever it is, it has to be special (we don’t want to see 50 spaghetti bolognese or chocolate chip cookie recipes) and something that you think would transport other travellers to a new place, simply by making it at home. We want recipes with soul and with that make us miss a place that perhaps we’ve never even been.

Don’t forget to include photos of your recipe that you have prepared yourself. If you can’t make it, we probably can’t either!

2. Tell us in 2000 characters or less (this includes spaces) the story behind the recipe and what makes it so special to you.

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your recipe, story and essay that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for food to be chosen for this program. We will be looking for:

– a unique, mouth-watering, tried-and-tested recipe (with accompanying photos of the dish, cooked by you)
– a great story behind your recipe
– strong eye for detail
– a compelling reason why we should send you to Italy
3. Complete a 1500 character max essay telling us why you should be chosen, what the opportunity will mean to you and which category of food explorer you are applying for. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

The entry must be submitted in English.

One entry per person.

Apply Now

Entries close March 14, 2014, 2pm AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time UTC +11)

Conditions of Entry – please read!

Please don’t leave your entry until the last minute, and note that the 2pm closing time is AEDT, not necessarily 2pm in YOUR time zone.

DOWNLOAD A ‘PASSPORT & PLATE’ POSTER;

A4 SIZE

A3 SIZE

US LETTER SIZE

 

 

Import Window- African Edition

package import

If you reside outside Nigeria and are desirous of placing an order for products you have regularly read rave reviews about online, then this is for you. Shipping from one African country to another (with the exception of Ghana) can be darn expensive. To mitigate this, the team at Today’s Naira have gone into partnership with a preferred courier company to service our clients within other African countries.

How does this work?

At the beginning of each month once the import window is open, wherever you might reside on the continent, kindly send us the list of products you’d like to order. We will revert with the prices and payment process (this excludes shipping). Once we receive your payments, orders are placed immediately. Please note that the import window will be open for a week only to collate all orders.

How will this process save me shipping cost?

If you have a friend or someone who is also interested in placing an order for our range of products, collate your orders and send to us at sales@hairsage.com or todaysnaira@hotmail.com. Once the import window is closed, we will group all orders received from each country as a single bundle. Once this is done, we will send out an email to everyone within the list from each country and we will require you to nominate someone who can receive the products on your behalf. Now ladies, you can either decide to meet as a group at the shipment company (Think of a funky group name and send to us. We will be rewarding the group that has the most innovative and interesting name) to receive the package and unbundle within their premises or meet at a designated person’s house for tea to share your hair journey stories while you unbundle your shipment cargo (also share pictures of such meeting with us). What this means is that the cost of shipping this cargo bundle will be shared amongst each group from each country making it more affordable for you all.

What are the shipping rates looking like?

Shipping rates to African Countries
Weight (kg) Rates ($)
0kg – 0.5kg 72
0.5kg – 1kg 115
1kg – 1.5kg 115
1.5kg – 2kg 152
2.5kg – 5kg 256
5.5kg – 10kg 405

When can I place my order?

No better time to start than now. For the month of February, we will receive your  orders from the 8th of February till 14th of February 2014 and after this, we will not be able to handle more request to enable us place your orders and commence shipments right away.The first batch of shipments will arrive designated locations by 2nd week in March.

Readers’ Q&A

20131020-142918.jpgQ: How do I use JBCO on my children’s hair?

A: Depending on the regimen you have incorporated for your daughter, there are several ways you can use this product. For instance, I use it as a prepoo treatment for my niece which means first thing on Saturday morning, I divide her hair into 6 sections and apply JBCO through her hair (from end to root) and proceed to cover with a shower cap for an hour before using shampoo.

I have replaced her hair pomades with JBCO so now that she’s become more comfortable with going to the salon for her weekly cornrows, I use JBCO on her scalp and also use it to seal her ends as well.

Q: Does Jamaican Black Castor Oil have Ceramides?

A: To the best of my knowledge, no it does not. If you are searching for oils with ceramides, your best bet are Grapeseed oil and Wheat Germ Oil.

Q: How many drops of peppermint oil can I use to deep condition my hair?

A: Due to its strong potency, half a capful is okay for your deep conditioning sessions.

Q: When do I use Roux Porosity Control?

A: You can use it to coat your hair before going for a touch up; you can also use it during your weekly washes immediately after shampooing; after touching up and rinsing out the relaxer, you can also use Roux Porosity to restore your hairs’ ph balance. One other way you can use it is adding a capful to your deep conditioner.

Wash Day Diary

silicon bambu mix elasta qp ultra hydration1. Prepoo with JBCO on the length of my hair and a special blend mix on my scalp (consisting of 4 capfuls Rosemary Oil;4 capfuls Peppermint Oil; 4 capfuls Jojoba Oil & half a bottle of JBCO). I let it sit for a week before commencing use so the oils can blend together.

2. Covered my hair with a shower cap & used my heat cap for 30 minutes before heading to the bathroom to shampoo. Shampooed with Ion Keratin Smoothing Shampoo; applied Roux Porosity Control & left it on for 2minutes before rinsing out. I proceeded to spray my hair liberally with a mix of green & black tea.

3. Once my hair was dry, mixed Elasta QP Soyl Deep Conditioner with Silicon Bambu mix as I needed to blow dry and flat iron (first time since I commenced my hair journey a year ago). Covered my hair with a shower cap and used my heat cap for 45minutes before rinsing out.

4. Once my hair was 80% damp, sealed with Grapeseed oil (this is a fantastic sealing oil for ladies like myself who’ve got fine strands); Tresemme Split Remedy; Advanced Biolage Matrix Fibrestrong and finished off with Chi Silk Infusion to protect my hair during the flat ironing process.

5. Proceeded to blow dry using the tension method before using the flat iron. My ceramic flat iron has got a knob that allows you to flip to the kind of hair texture you’ve got. So I flipped to fine and proceeded to flat iron dividing my hair into sections.

My hair feels like butter right now and this I attribute to Silicon Bambu mix.

To other news, our 2nd shipment of the year has arrived and for ladies who’ve been itching to try out the following products (Purabody Murumuru; Hairveda Sitrinillah; Darcy’s Botanical Lemongrass Transitioning Creme; Darcy’s Botanicals leave-in conditioner)can do so now:

Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning CreamDaily Leave-In Conditioner