Happy New Month

Wishing you all a splendid month ahead. How’re you doing in your respective lives? Fantastic I trust. These past few months have been a roller coaster and I really needed the rest. Furthermore, I’d been in search of a great vacay opportunity (free) for ladies who’re interested in a deeper and insightful vacation experience but alas the opportunity has dried. I’d always taken advantage and thought it’ll still be open but that’s not the case anymore. Anyway, the hunt is still on and I’ll surely come across some other soon. If you’re interested in a different type of vacation this summer, I’ll suggest you head over to Global Volunteers. The experience is life changing but don’t take my words for it. Try it and you’ll see.

I’ll be back with hair updates. Also note that these Hairveda product range & others are available now.


  

  June Import window is also open from today till 7th June, 2015. Kindly send all order requests to: todaysnaira@hotmail.com OR call us on 07026364892 to place your orders.

Have a fab week ahead!

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.

Reader’s Q&A

Q: How do I grow longer hair overnight?

A: Unless you’re Rapunzel, hair does not grow longer overnight at least for African hair. It takes patience, perseverance, listening to your hair needs, determining what products works for your hair. These steps will not be accomplished within a few weeks or months. Basically, if you’ve subjected your hair to unhealthy practices over the years, it’ll take time to unlearn these bad habits and pick up new ones.

So take it one day at a time. Learn the basics and kickstart a healthy hair regime and you’ll begin to see results in small, measured steps.

To other news, our stock of Natrol Biotin Chewable Biotin are available for ladies who’ve requested notification. Just head over to the website to place your orders. We offer ‘Payment on Delivery’ for the following locations: Lagos, Abuja, Abeokuta, Oshogbo, Port Harcourt & Ibadan).

Have a fun filled weekend.

Import Window Now Open – March

Due to popular demand, we’re currently accepting import orders for the month of March. Please note that the import window will be open within the period, 4th – 10th March, 2015. 

How does it work?

Based on your requirement, kindly send in a list of the items you’d like to order and I’ll revert back with the prices and mode of payment. Once payment notification is received, your orders will be placed immediately.

So when will my orders arrive?

If this question is running through your mind, all orders placed within this period will arrive by 2nd week in April (Apil 11,2015) and it’ll be shipped out immediately. For Ladies who’d like to place an order from individual manufacturers listed below, it’s important you take a decision on the products you want on time as these manufacturers often require additional 3-5days to process orders and once you factor in transit and delivery timelines, some products might not arrive on time (Hair Trigger Elixir, Hairveda Sitrinillah, Hairitage Hydration, Naturellegrow, Bee Mine Deep Conditioners, Darcy’s Botanicals, Vanilla Silk Dreams and a whole host of other individual manufacturers).

Please note that the import window closes by March 10th 2015.

How do I place my order?

Simply fill in the form below and I’ll revert with required information for each individual order.

[contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="1"/][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="1"/][contact-field label="Product Order" type="textarea" required="1"/][/conta

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.

Travel Writing Scholarship 2013 – Beijing, China

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Entries close April 19th, 2013 at 2pm AEST (UTC +10).
Keen to turn your passion for writing into a profession?

This year we want to send you to Beijing, China!

Crisscrossed by freeways, spiked with high-rises, this vivid metropolis is China at its most dynamic. For a thousand years, the drama of China’s imperial history was played out in Beijing, with the emperor sitting enthroned at the centre of the Chinese universe, and though today the city is a very different one, it remains spiritually and politically the heart of the country.

In this Travel Writing Scholarship, your assignment will be to get under the skin of this city of 22 million, discover the stories of the culture and its people, and write about it all, under the mentorship of two seasoned travel writers.

Here’s the deal:

First you’ll head off to Beijing to go on assignment for five days under the mentorship of Rough Guides writer Martin Zatko to review and update the Beijing chapters of ‘The Rough Guide to China’.

Then join international travel journalist and Beijing local, Kit Gillet, for an adventure into his backyard to explore some of the hidden, and not so hidden (camping on the Great Wall anyone?) charms of the city.

All of this writing is sure to work up a pretty serious appetite, so for the last leg of the scholarship, you will spend three days with Hias Gourmet getting well acquainted with the history, art and technique that accompanies the Chinese love of their cuisine.
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Important Dates

**You need to be available between June 24th – July 6th, 2013 to participate on the assignment.**

April 19 Submission deadline

May 10 Winner confirmed and announced

June 24 Arrive in Beijing

June 25-29 Writing Assignment with Martin Zatko

June 30-July 2 Mentorship & Beijing adventure with Kit Gillet

July 3-5 Chinese Food extravaganza

July 6 Depart

August 9 Copy deadline
On assignment with Rough Guides

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Your Rough Guides brief

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

* After spending two days learning the ropes with mentor Martin Zatko, you will have a chance to explore this bustling, progressive city for two days on your own. In this time, you will research, review and update essential travel information for ‘The Rough Guide to China’, including accommodations, duck restaurants, theatres, teahouses and – best of all – the Forbidden City itself! On your final day, you will meet back up with Martin to go over your work together.

* Your mentor will be at hand to offer guidance, but essentially this is your assignment; you will travel on your own for this part of the journey so you must be comfortable travelling solo. Martin will assign you a specific area based on your travel experience.

* Your work will feature in the new edition of ‘The Rough Guide to China’, placing your foot firmly in the door of the elusive travel writing industry!

Read an interview with Martin Zatko about life as a travel writer.
Through local eyes
Panjiayuanantiquemarket

For your second mentorship experience in Beijing, you will spend three days with Kit Gillet, learning what life is like as a freelance journalist and discovering Beijing through his local perspective.

First, you’ll spend a night camping near (or actually on!) the Great Wall of China, to experience this wonder of the world firsthand – and without the crowds.

You will also spend time among the hutong alleyways that formed the ancient heart of the Chinese capital. Wander around the courtyards that still dominate the northern part of central Beijing, talking to locals and seeing the modern developments – restaurants, bars, micro breweries – that are turning some of the areas into chic city destinations for foreign tourists.

Finally, you will visit the artist commune of Songzhuang and galleries of Caochangdi to see the burgeoning Chinese art scene to find out how Chinese artists work and what inspires them.
Food & Culture

Dazhalan

Nowhere else on the Chinese mainland can compete with the culinary wealth of Beijing: every style of Chinese food is available, plus just about any Asian and most world cuisines. Among all this abundance it’s sometimes easy to forget that Beijing has its own culinary traditions; Beijing duck (Beijing kaoya) and Mongolian hotpot are definitely worth trying!

For the final leg of your trip, our friends at Hias Gourmet want to give you a window into this rich food culture by offering up three culinary experiences of your choice. Go on a tea tasting safari, a night market excursion, a breakfast tour of the Sihuan market or noodle and dumpling making classes.

You’ll also have some free time during this leg of the trip to explore Beijing and dig up some independent stories.
What you’ll need to produce

Along with your work on ‘The Rough Guide to China’, you will be required to keep a daily travel journal on WorldNomads.com (no less than 200 words per daily entry), as well as produce three pieces to be published on World Nomads sharing your adventures in Beijing.
Who can apply
TeashoponDazhalan
* This opportunity is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.

* The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, you must have an exceptionally high degree of proficiency in written English.

* The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own.

* Minimum age 18 by the date the scholarship application closes (April 19, 2013)

* You need a current passport with at least six months left before expiry.

* 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 an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel, a desire to experience new cultures and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer!

What constitutes a professional travel writer?

Essentially this is a ‘learning opportunity’ for someone who is looking for an introduction into the travel writing industry and more importantly, is keen to be mentored.

As a guide, for the purposes of the opportunity, we would consider you to be professional writer if you have been published regularly in newspapers, travel magazines or travel journals. We would also consider you to be a professional writer if you derive more than 25% of your income from writing.

If you have had a few stories published, or keep a regular travel blog then we would not consider this professional.

We would also like to further clarify that a professional writer of any sort (travel writer or otherwise) is not eligible to apply if they derive more than 25% of their income from writing.

Please consider the spirit of the program which is intended to help those with a burning desire to be a professional travel writer and need some help getting started.
NinedragonscreenBeihaiPark
Apply now

If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Write. Craft a 2500 characters or less (this includes spaces) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes;

a. ‘Catching a Moment’

b. ‘Understanding a Culture through Food’

c. ‘A Local Encounter that Changed my Perspective’

d. ‘Sharing Stories – A Glimpse into Another’s Life’

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship. We will be looking for:

– great descriptive ability
– strong eye for detail
– ability to uncover and tell a compelling story
– excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés

2. Complete an entry form which includes contact details and a maximum 1200 character essay on why you should be chosen and what the opportunity will mean for you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

3. One entry per person.

4. The entry must be submitted in English.

Applications close April 19, 2013 at 2pm (AEST)
OperaHouse

All photos courtesy of Tim Draper (c) Rough Guides
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY – Please read before applying!

Click to read the terms and conditions of this scholarship

Apply Now

Healthy Hair Regime Incorporated

Ladies, I’m on a roll this year. 2012 was the year I bid farewell to hair salons within the country & incorporated a D-I-Y (do it yourself) attitude to my hair. My hair journey was borne out of frustration at the way & manner my hair was treated at salons by individuals who claimed to be more knowledgeable but were not. Furthermore, I was in Texas on vacation last year & saw black ladies with beautiful long healthy hair and so I decided to take my fate into my own hands.

Since then I’ve incorporated a healthy hair regime & my hair is a lot healthier than it ever was. My goal for 2013 is to reach BSL (bra strap length). I’m currently grazing APL (arm-pit length). While in the States, I was fortunate to treat my hair at a salon where I was given a tutorial on taking better care of my hair. Ladies, black hair requires moisture, moisture & more moisture to grow. Secondly, relaxing or re-touching your hair every month weakens the hair structure & inevitably, you end up losing your hair. Over the coming days, I’ll be taking you through my hair journey & educating you on retaining hair length. I’ll also be giving you reviews on the products I currently use for my hair.

This is what my hair looks like now.

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Books, Books and more Books

historical-fiction-booksMy favorite pastime is reading books. Nothing too serious though, only historical, chic lit and contemporary romance. When I was living in Ibadan, you could always find me at Booksellers in Jericho, buying stacks of novels. I also made an habit of buying books during vacations overseas. I believe it improves your diction and it’s like taking a holiday as well when you can immerse yourself in a different world.

Overtime I lent friends and family these books and never got them back. It usually gets lost and that’s money down the drain. Anyway once I moved back to Lagos, it was a bit hard getting the kind of books I loved. So I resorted to searching for novels to download online via 4shared and other sites that allowed anyone to download free books. Fast forward 2 years later and these options are limited now due to copyright issues involved.

So I was happy when a friend introduced me (Lagos, brace yourself for this) to Nigeria‘s foremost digital bookstores known as ‘BOOKATI‘ . The owners of this bookstore offer a wide range of contemporary and historical romance for lovers of this genre. The beauty of the service offered is the ease at which you can purchase a book as a digital download instead of the physical thing. So what did I order for? I placed an order for the following novels displayed below. I paid N500 ($3.13) for each book and my purchase was sent to my email box as a PDF file which I downloaded immediately and commenced reading. Were the books worth it? Oh definitely.

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Would I recommend their services to a friend? Yes and yes I would. On their facebook page, old novels are sold at the rate of N500 ($3.13) while current release go for N1,000 ($6.25). For lovers of audio books, there’s a flat rate of N2,000 ($12.50) charged.

Readers can provide a review of their favorite books and authors. Well what are you waiting for. Visit BOOKATI today to renew your love for books. The innovative thing about this is they are not restricted to a location or place. So whether you’re in Ghana, South Africa, Angola, Kenya or any part of Africa, you can place your orders at once. I’m stacking up on my Christmas reading list already.

Merry Christmas peeps!!!