Thursday, 24 July 2014

How To Find The Right Salon, Loctician & Hairdresser.

Note: This post is particularly directed at Nigerian Loc Heads

My Fellow Loc Heads,

I agree that it is extremely difficult to find people who know what to do with your Dada, so I'm going to try and simplify the process of finding the perfect Loc salon and Loctician better known to us hairdresser. Firstly, thanks to the Locitude blog readers and followers on our social media channels for the inspiration for the post. I have been asked severally to recommend salons and errrrr... I don't exactly have a list but here's my recommendation on how I think we can help ourselves.

Our mothers didn't mix lottabody themselves and have salon bags for nothing, they did because they were not going to leave their crowns to the mercy of hairdressers, they at least tried to control went when into their hair, from the quality, quantity and of course some cost control. The point I am trying to make here is that to find the right Loctician you owe it to yourself to know the A,B,C's of your hair so that when someone tells you that M comes before L, you know whether to believe them or not.


In this post I'll try to come up with three easy steps to help you determine if your Loctician is good for you or not. 

1. Washing Regimen:
Have your products (Shampoo and Conditioner) or at least know what your stylist is using, make sure you are comfortable with it and that it isn't stripping your hair too dry or that it isn't too oily for your hair and scalp. Ensure your stylist isn't trying to scratch the skin of your scalp off by washing too aggressively. Using the tips of the fingers (not scratching with nails) to massage your scalp with Shampoo is a more effective means of getting dirt off scalp. For people with longer locs let your loctician know not to neglect wash the body of your locs, they need to be cleaned as well.

Below is a video that shows a basic proper washing process.

I use Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo and Protein Conditioner. If you consider using the same you can get them from either Casabella at the Palms shopping mall or Savvy & Chic Hair Beauty hub

2. Twisting Regimen:
Again have products you are comfortable with and that don't leave residue in your locs. In my experience twisting my hair so far I have found that this is not supposed to be a painful process.  If re-twisting is painful your loctician is probably over-twisting your hair, which can cause thinning locs and or eventual breakage. I currently twist my hair with the Clip free maintenance method. Pulling the loc strands to dry can be a little painful though. I personally won't recommend interlocking because it damaged some parts of my hair. So be sure that loctician is using products that are friendly to your hair and not over twisting.

I currently use olive oil to retwist my loc strands, though a Locitude blog reader has recommended Jamaican Mango and Lime Island Oil. I would be trying that soon and will be sure to put out a review.

3. Styling Regimen
I have had sores on my scalp from styling in the past. The hair do was so tight, I kept telling myself it would loosen up after a few  days, it didn't till I took out the threads that were holding them up and by the time I put my hands on my scalp there were sores. Please ensure your hair is NEVER styled too tightly. Don't let your loctician put in rubberbands that are too tight. Another styling method I struggle with is threading; I have found myself picking out thread from my hair as much as 3 months after I have taken down a style that required it. I would recommend that when thread is used they are used in a long loop and stylist has to make some extra efforts in removing thread strands when they are taking your hair apart.

Another helpful tip which has worked for me whilst styling my hair at a Salon was going with a "How To" video. Showing the stylist how the style you want was created often sends them on the right path. 

Found this on very useful and funny link on Hair Salon Hazards, read and laugh. Other Locitude useful links are the Do's and Don'ts, read if you haven't; you'll take a thing or two away from those articles.

If you got to this point, I do hope this was worth the read 'cos the next few lines are better. I apologise that I won't be recommending any stylist in this post, however I am so so happy to announce that Locitude is organising a LOC WORKSHOP AND STYLIST COMPETITION come October, 2014...

Yep! you heard it here first and I am super excited. Whilst distributing the Locitude Mini Magazine, I found stylists who were hungry for knowledge so I have decided to organise this event. I figure that sharing the little knowledge and exposure I have would help more loc heads on a path to healthy locs. The ground work has started; I will definitely be updating you with more details in the month of August. By the end of the Workshop we should have a long list of Locticians that at least know the A,B,C's and 1,2,3's of locs.

That's all for now folks. Thanks for reading and I have been rocking some pipe cleaner curls with an attitude these past three weeks.

Your Loc Head,
Ade.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Why I Decided To Loc My Hair!

Hello Peeps,

So today I will be deploying my magical powers of time travel to reminisce on how I decided to change my hairstyle from being a relaxed natural to becoming a Dada head. If you are wondering what relaxed natural means then you should read "What's with the hair Religion?".

I had a dream where an old woman told me... Just kidding, my loc story is not queer. I liked locs as a hairstyle for no apparent reason and always wanted to have it. I also thought that once I got my hair loc'd I wouldn't need to worry about salons anymore. Anytime I saw someone with locs, I would walk up to them and ask questions; the "can I touch your hair question?" inclusive. I'll say my loc inspiration at the time was Barbie Adebo @kandicolouredbarbie on Instagram. I knew when she had started her locs, seen them grow and I just loved them.

I recall my first attempt to go loc'd was in 2006 just before my final B.Sc. project. I had worn two strand twist extensions for almost 8 weeks and needed to take them out badly; but didn't want to sit through the process so I had a fantastic idea to chop the twist of my head. I did, with the help of my good friend Kamah. Later went to a random barber on University road to have my hair evenly trimmed. I figured it was finally time to start my loc journey.

On getting to my department one day with my teeny weeny afro palm twisted, our then department secretary walked up to me and told me frankly to get my hair fixed if I wanted to graduate from the University. I was too chicken to contest the unspoken department law so I opted to texturize my hair. Carried baby curls for a few months and then I eventually went back to relaxers.

My loc journey didn't start till 2009, after I had graduated from the same department with a Masters, got a job, completed my NYSC and had no claws and stares to hold me back. November  2009, after I had  not retouched my hair for about 6 months, had un-comb-able growth and fixed the ugliest weave-on ever; I vexed and did another big chop then started this very interesting journey down loc lane.

So that's it, I obviously was never scared to put a scissors through my relaxed hair, i didn't particularly hate it, or hate relaxers or the "relaxed" look. I guess I was just tired and wanted something unique and different. I went for it, looked back many times but very grateful I still have my beautiful loc'd strands. At the moment, don't try bringing a scissors near my locs, somebody may die... lol.

Here's a selfie of what my hair's looking like today in my one week old pipe cleaner curls.

A few of the curls are beginning to do their own thing,
I'll try manipulating them into another hairdo tomorrow
You'll definitely see the results if I succeed.
Want to feature in Hair Story of the 2nd edition of Locitude Mini Magazine in October? Send me an email on Locitude@gmail.com. I have only four slots, none taken at the time of this posting this piece. Acceptance would be based on the first email requests received.

Next post, I'll be writing on Loc Salons in Lagos, Nigeria as requested by a couple of Locitude readers, watch out, 'cos it totally going to be worth it. :).

Na nite,
Your Loc Head
Ade.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Brazilian Hair Vs German Hair. In the spirit of the World Cup.

Hey peeps,

Totally not loc related, but enjoy!


In the spirit of the World cup, Brazilian hair Vs German hair?

We Nigerians love schadenfreude sha, watching the football massacre last night can be compared to watching Gladiators in the arena, it was extremely entertaining. Whilst history was being made yesterday on Brazilian soil as the German machines literally crucified the Brazilian Football National team; I wonder if all our proudly Nigerian Nna traders who took advantage of the world cup to travel far west to source for Human Brazil hair have changed their mind. Na German hair dey rain now. But wait is there anything such as German hair.

My internet research skills (a.k.a. the want to know/Amebo) are impeccable, so I’m happy to let all them weave sisters know what’s up. German hair exists, and it is of the most superior quality that man sorry Nigerian woman can hope for. The only problem is that google hasn't listed them for sale! When you google “German hair for sale” the top results are German Shepard’s. It appears the Germans are yet to understand the human hair industry.

As an alternative, google lists European Hair, so if you are interested in getting hair 7 goals, sorry 7 times better than Brazilian hair; you may find some strands amongst the batches of European hair.

Anyway sha no matter what Germany did to Brazil on the pitch, in the hair world Brazilian hair remains on top!!!

I couldn’t help myself but do a small piece on the beautiful game between Brazil and Germany. And in case you are wondering what schadenfreude means; it’s a German derived word for taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune.

I'm also very happy to let you know that Locitude would will now be a frequent columnist on Zegist on general hair matters but not to worry Locitude Blogspot remains dedicated to we we.

Zegist.com is an Online Lifestlye Magazine, proudly Nigerian.

Na nite, I'm currently rocking pipe cleaner curls. You can spy on them on Instagram.com/locitude.

I've got a couple of articles in my head for the rest of the week, so stay tuned and keep it loc'd with an attitude.

Your Loc Head.
Ade.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Are Natural Products Residue Free?

Hello there,

Products are generally a big discussion in the hair community; whether to use natural or chemicalised products; what natural product to use; what the products claim to do for your hair and scalp, what products make your hair grow, what products make your hair shine and so on and so forth.

The thought for this post came when I was interviewing Bassey Ikpi for Hair Story in Locitude Magazine (available online soon); she said her loctician wouldn't recommend coconut oil for daily use because it is too heavy for locs. I'm there thinking but it is natural, why not? I have also gotten a few questions about what I use on my hair; I've helped to start out locs for a couple of locs heads and I'm beginning to think a lot about PRODUCTS! There's already a million and one things we already battle from not getting into our loc strands and this really got me thinking if natural products leave residue in locs.

Do you know your products?
For the most part of my hair journey, I've gone along with whatever hair products the salon I go to uses. I started out with a very oily product mixture in an unlabeled green bottle, no idea what it was made of. Then moved to some form of wax that literally left my hair falling out and then to beeswax and in the last year it has been shea butter mostly. Only a few weeks ago I started mixing my own sprays with oils and water (mission moisturise and seal), I have now moved on to sharing my olive oil for the kitchen with my locs. Only God knows what I'll be doing next.

I'm a big fan of natural products for natural hair 'cos it's a no brainer, however are all natural products really good for our locs?

This post will focus more on residue and it would be from a very logical point of view. I'm hoping it would help others logically figure out what natural products to use on their scalps, when and why.

Ok, I'm probably not the best case study as my list of natural products is very limited.

1. Shea butter
2. Coconut Oil
3. Olive Oil
4. Avocado Oil
5. Water

I have never tried Argan Oil, Castor Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil and a host of other oils, but I'm sure the logic I'm about to propose would help you decide which of these natural products are likely to leave residue. 

Shea butter.
The natural state of this product screams residue. Started Helen's locs a few weeks ago with shea butter and water. The shea butter won't all come off her baby locs despite the lukewarm water and shampoo after her first wash. I immediately realised how much gunk I have in my strands. This doesn't mean we should strike shea butter off the list of products we use. It still has it's benefits, and would be great for deep conditioning dry strands with some heat so that they properly melt into strands. So yes, shea butter will leave residue in your locs. Do not overuse.

Shea Butter
Coconut Oil.
The wonder oil, the oil that literally solves all the world's problems. I'm serious. No one has anything bad to say about coconut oil. I have personally used it on my hair and skin and I have absolutely no bad review. But wait, let's talk about the natural state of the oil, at slightly lower temperatures coconut oil freezes up, but melts very quickly once the temperature increases. If you have coconut oil you can testify to this. There's no need having coconut oil in a spray bottle and in an airconditioned room. It would be as solid as gold and un-sprayable. So maybe that's why it isn't recommended for daily use. Too much of it will definitely clog up your strands and will likely leave residue. Nonetheless, I love coconut oil for the smell and they say it has antibacterial properties that can help fight infections and keep your hair/Scalp healthy.

Coconut Oil
Olive Oil.
Always thought of olive oil as the rich man's alternative to vegetable oil for cooking, not knowing that it has several impressive benefits for the hair, this link has a good summary. Quickly moving on to it's state. It never ever freezes or becomes solid at room temperature. I read an article that said pure olive oil freezes when refrigerated for 24 hours. So except you are planning to put your head in a fridge for 24hours I do not expect Olive oil to leave residue in your hair. I think we've found a residue free winner natural product.

Avocado Oil
Avocado Oil.
Not very popular and quite expensive, bought a very tiny bottle for 2,300 Nigerian Naira. I guess it was one of those things I bought for the love of the pear and so it would seem like I have products on my bathroom shelf. Anyway, my little bottle doesn't freeze up with room temperature and I just read that it is a better oil to use for hair as it contains monounsaturated fatty acids as much as 72% more than other oils. Read more here. Another residue free oil for the shelf and an alternative for daily moisturising.

Avocado Oil

Water.
As long as you are using clean water, I don't expect you can get residue.

Water
So there you have it. Logically thinking through how a product reacts when left in it's natural state can help you determine whether or not it is residue free, when and why you should use it in your hair. Also a little research goes along way. Google is still free :)!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I'll be keeping it loc'd with an Attitude, till my next post where I'll be sharing Why I got my Hair Loc'd.

Your Loc Head,
Ade.



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Recap of Loc Appreciation Day, Lagos 2014

Hey People,

I'm back and a bit recovered from the euphoria of Loc Appreciation Day, Lagos, 2014. A BIG "THANK YOU" to everyone who made it to the event. The rain that fell that Saturday the 28th of June almost required us to build Noah's Ark... Chai, but there was God :)

It was indeed a pleasure to have organised and I'm sincerely grateful for all the support I received from, Bassey Ikpi, Wana wana, The Obii, Belz Accessories, Black and Loud photography, Inyang Otu, Oghogho Kamah, Edwina (who came all the way from Cotonu), Aunty Angela, Aunty Pauline, Rama Shagaya, Nonny, Rulz, Damilola, Kazeem, Benjamin, Helen, my Konga.com family, EVERYONE and of course the reason why I still have locs, my sweetheart, Akan Umoden.

Ok no more talk, just pictures from here on.

Ade of Locitude, Styling.

Pretty attendee.

Locitude at work
My acquired sister, friend and motivator, Dabs of Savvy & Chic (Official Sponsor of LADLagos)
and I.

Nonny and the Kowry team, setting up the kowry.com stand

Wana Wana shopping at the Kinky Apothecary stand
Good old socialising, @naijadesires and Ms WanaWana, Cousin Taiwo and his friend photobombing

Belz Accessoriez Ladies
Vendors
Red carpet moment @naijadesires with Deola of Battabox
Crossing borderd for Loc Appreciation Day, Edwina in the red carpet with Deola of Battabox 
Edwina, Ade and Ani (Locitude Mini Mag cover girl)
Deola of Battabox and Ani
Ani Simon-Hart
Locitude interview with Nigezie  
The Hilarious Berry Dakara of African Naturalistas 
The Obii
Shopping at the Vendor stands
Rama Shagaya of Kowry.com and Nanfa of Konga.com
Nibi of Kinky Apothecary and Guest.
Shirley at the African Naturalista stand
Bassey Ikpi, host at LAD Lagos
Philip Akesson f Konga.com (No he's not single)
Oh yes we had fun!!!
Ade Bantu of the Bantu crew sharing his loc journey

Nelly of Nigeria Info fm having her red carpet moment
Jatto at Work
Pipe Cleaner Tutorial with Inyang helping on the mic and Damilola - Locitude model
Anabel of Konga.com helping with registration and distribution of Locitude Mag
We caught Bassey with a perfect smile
Aunty Angela, flaunting her locs, hair by Locitude

Very expressive audience, the panel discussion was a blast.
Whatever you do, don't touch Nelly's hair.
Toyin, We got a banker in the house :)
Big Aunty Pauline, underneath that scarf are some baby locs.

Loc Appreciation Day, 2014

Ruby, @DrFoxyCleo, Aunty Pauline and Philip 

The Obii, doing what she does with locs
Jatto at work, styling Femi

Jatto at work.
Jatto, telling us about how he became a loctician in 1986
Loc Talk
Ade and Ogy of Kamah Accessories
Akan Umoden, Me and Aunty Angela.
They are so many other faces who I saw at the event whose pictures I didn't get from the photographer, I love you all the same, thanks so much for coming, I now eagerly await a bigger and better Loc Appreciation Day, 2015.

Don't forget to check out how other cities celebrated LAD on facebook and on www.locappreciationday.com

Your Loc Head.
Ade.