Thursday, 31 December 2015

Au Revoir 2015

"I love December, its the month of Christmas, hubby's birthday, my birthday, holiday from work, last month of the year and usually full of weddings and events. *bigGrin. This December though, the Nigerian people and Economy is suffering from 'Buharitisis' a.k.a money no dey in circulation. Since Buhari became the Presido, contracts haven't been issued (people dey fear), sack letter dey flow like water, $ rate don almost reach 300 naira (lets not talk about Pounds), thieves have been caught (i like this sha, the Dokpesi's, Dasuki's and their fellow barawos-i just hope justice prevails eventually), fuel scarcity, etc."
Its the last day in 2015, with all the good and bad the year dished out, i'm grateful to be alive, healthy and to have been able to tick some things off my To-Do list. I already have a list for the new year. When there is Life, there is hope. I am able to count my many blessings and thank God for them and my friends, family and relatives. Hubby & I celebrated our birthdays this month and got to celebrate Christmas with family and friends which i loved. I also attended quite a number of events and weddings {u guys know i love weddings :)}
I wish us all a great 2016, may our dreams become reality and the purpose of God for our lives; i pray for peace in our lives, cities & towns, countries and the world at large. 
Happy New Year in advance!!! Stay safe.

SPN hair salon review

Eyes on za hair :)
I haven't done a hair post in a bit, because i just haven't had the zeal. Earlier in the year, i started an in-depth draft post for new Naturalistas and Transitioners, it was supposed to be a go to guide with links to more info on all you need to know about natural hair as a newbie. Long story short, i did not know my internet connection was down and all i had typed and linked did not save as a draft, before i could rectify this, my Google Chrome browser crashed and restarted but without all the content i had spent time and energy. Pissed is an understatement of how i felt, i just closed the laptop and went to bed (i did learn a lot while drafting the post though) and just haven't been able to getting around to re-doing the post.

my three-strand braids for keeping my hair stretched
I have given myself a haircut or 2 since my last post, mostly focused on my ends, i have also stuck to washing and taking care of my hair by myself at home, wigs have also waltzed into my hair routine , my hair has grown out quite some as well as the bald spot (traction alopecia) i got on my hairline,from tight braids(Halleluyah!!) and much more hair jist, watch out for a post on this *covers I decided after my plenty DIY to visit a  salon to get my hair washed, i have 2 friends who are also Natural and they recommended SPN salon to me.
2 days post-salon visit. I had to moisturize with water n rosewater to style
SPN (Snow's Purely Naturelle) Salon are supposedly Professional Natural Hair Stylists and located on the 2nd floor in Centrepoint Mall on No. 35, Adetokunbo Ademola Cresent, Wuse II, Abuja (close to Chloe's Cupcake). I had almost forgotten to do this review till i read that of fellow blogger Achenyo.
I went to the salon on the 4th of December and its a small space with about 5 or 6 chairs, i noticed it had just one wash basin and one hair dryer and it was full of clients. I was warmly welcomed by one of the stylists and the owner of the salon, i spoke to the stylist about washing my hair and i was told it costs #1,500 (i felt it was on the high side but i also know detangling can be stressful), and i asked if my hair could be blow-dried afterwards and they told me, they do not blowdry or stretch Natural hair and clients hair have to air-dry huh?? I was confused, i had thought as 'professional hair stylists' they'd give me the option of a cold blow dry or they would have temperature regulated straighteners and heat protectants or suggest i go with any of the heat free stretching options. I told the stylist straight up that i was not ok with having my hair air-dried 'cos i get almost 85% shrinkage and would end up with tangles and knots, even when i do my wash at home, i work with two-strand twists or braids to help stretch my hair while it air-dries in a microfibre towel head wrap. After much back and forth, th owner of the salon intervened, i explained my stand to her and she told the girl to put my hair in two-strand twists after conditioning. I was ok with this though i wasn't pleased i'd leave the salon with damp hair. 
I asked how much it would cost to get my hair in medium kinky braids and i was told it costs #6,000 and one pack of the attachment costs #2,500 (it costs 1k5 in the market by the way) and i would need 3. OK. She said they do not open on Mondays and i'd have to come on Tuesday if i wasn't doing it after my wash, she also said i wouldn't have to pay for my wash if i got my braids done there right after my wash. I told her i had other plans and that will not be possible so i'd stick to just washing and conditioning and having my hair in two-strand twists to go. I had prepped my hair before going to the salon, detangled and cornrowed into four. While i waited for the wash basin to free up, the stylist took down my cornrows and did some detangling while the owner and i conversed, she had asked me how long my hair was and i told her 'i don't know', which is the honest truth. I do not length check, my only goal is to have healthy hair. She saw how long and full my hair was when taken down, asked how many years i had been Natural, other customers got interested in my hair journey, regimen, etc. and we all conversed. She told me she had been trained abroad, i told her i usually don't go to salons and prefer to cater to my hair myself. I enjoyed the conversation and told her i avoid using products with coconut oil because my hair is protein sensitive (check herehere and here for details on this) and they make my hair brittle, stiff and hay-like especially when used in excess. She was surprised when i said that and said her hair loves coconut oil. She offered me and the other customers fruit cake at some point and i felt really comfortable.
My hair was properly washed, although i did not like that i couldn't tell the brand/content of the shampoo or conditioner because they had been put in a bottle without labels, it was dried with a t-shirt (which is normal for natural hair) though i'd have preferred a micro-fibre towel and it was around this time that the owner of the salon left. I sat in the chair and the stylist said she was going to use their leave-in conditioner in my hair, i told her i'd rather use just shea butter and she sed they did not (what natural hair salon has NO SHEA BUTTER) have any so i had no option but to use the conditioner. She had already put the conditioner (A LOT) in my hair before i remembered to confirm that it did not have coconut oil in it and it did. *sigh. She did some light detangling and put my hair in very loose two strand twists which basically defeated the aim of me getting the twists (which was to reduce my shrinkage). I was pissed! I asked for a t-shirt and wiped as much of the product out of my hair as possible and did a firm three strand braid in place of the twists to help stretch my hair. The stylist sat down throughout and watched me do all this without offering to assist, apologising for using a product with coconut oil in my hair and in excess; as far as she was concerned, she was done and i should pay up and leave. I paid the #1500 and as a first time customer, i was not impressed with the service and i noticed they were not polite to the two customers in the salon with me who had complains about how their hair was being styled.
I had to re-moisturize my hair with a mix of water and rosewater the next night after my salon visit and the night after (hubby's bday) before i could style it o get rid of the stiffness and hay-like feel the coconut oil had given it. I ended up having breakage, damage to some of my ends and basically lost some hair 'cos of how strong it was and difficult to manipulate, even simply taking down the braids it was in.*big sigh* I doubt i will be patronising the salon anytime soon and if at all for ONLY styling, gonna stick to my DIY home hair-care that has worked so far.
1 day post-salon visit. Check out my hairline (no bald spot) :D
1 day post-salon visit. I took out d braids.Hair was stiff & Hay-like
The owner of the salon seems like a warm person that does understand natural hair and her stylists seem well behaved when she is around but when she leaves they switch and they definitely need more training on how to handle natural hair. I agree with Achenyo's post on the improvements they need to make. They really can do better.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Safety in Abuja-December Holidays

Hallo ma peoples!!! Been a Minute ba, no vex biko, i've been swamped with so many events and work and have sooo many draft pending posts... *sigh. Anyway, back to the matter, we are in December, the last of the 'Ember Months' signalling the end of the year, like play like play 2015 don dey waka go .
Dates for Your Diary: December 2015
I love December, its the month of Christmas, hubby's birthday, my birthday, holiday from work, last month of the year and usually full of weddings and events. *bigGrin. This December though, the Nigerian people and Economy is suffering from 'Buharitisis' a.k.a money no dey in circulation. Since Buhari became the Presido, contracts haven't been issued (people dey fear), sack letter dey flow like water, $ rate don almost reach 300 naira (lets not talk about Pounds), thieves have been caught (i like this sha, the Dokpesi's, Dasuki's and their fellow barawos-i just hope justice prevails eventually), fuel scarcity, etc.
Country tight now as you can see from the above, the streets are not smiling and those that are not making an honest living have become more desperate. Everybody wan go village do yanga and celebrate this Christmas, by fire, by force. God help us that are working hard for our income and bless the work of our hands and keep us safe. There is more insecurity during this period and i'm just going to write below a few pointers to help us stay safe especially in Abuja.

  • Try not to stay out too late especially if you do not have a car and if you have to, have a friend or 2 with you
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • If you own a car and reside in Abuja (especially around Wuse 2), please try not to park in areas without proper security (especially @night) and even when you do, please do not leave any valuables in your car or boot. (Our car was robbed sometime in October, the back window was broken and they were able to open the car and stole my handbag from the boot; luckily i got my bag back, but that's story for another post)
  • If you own a car, please always lock all your doors at all times, especially when approaching a speed bump or at a red light. It has become common practice for thieves to run out of nowhere, open car doors and grab what they can within reach (your bag, phone, etc.) in a flash and dash off into the blue before you even comprehend what even happened. Sometimes they (heard sometimes they are oiled up) will even try to drag things out of the hand of the person in the passenger seat (this happened to my friend)
  • If you are entering a cab, please be extremely cautious and try to evaluate the personality of the driver while pricing, when a price is agreed on,ask him to open the door from inside (this is to ensure that the child lock is not enabled and in case of any issue, you can get out ASAP). 
  • If you are entering a cab, ask to check the boot, to make sure there's no one hiding in there, some cars have back seats that fold and open into the car and quite a number of people have gotten robbed in this way
  • If you are entering a cab, i'd advise you seat in the back seat, preferably directly behind the driver, its harder for the driver to attack you in this position if he has such intentions and you can easily tuck and roll out of the car in such a situation
  • If you are entering a cab, check to see that the door locks are present and if they are automatic and the type you can manually open if necessary
  • If you are entering a cab, please evaluate the cab even from afar even before stopping it, check that it has a proper plate no; the necessary cab no.s painted on it, etc. An unpainted cab (not green&white) can be riskier to take
  • If you want to take a cab, you can use the Easy Taxi or Uber app to get one from the comfort of your home, though the prices may be a bit higher that if you get one by the roadside, it is wayyyyy safer. Their drivers are registered with them and can be traced if anything goes wrong.
  • If possible, have a pepper spray or small tazer on you at all times in case of an attack, so you can defend youself
  • I do not advise entering cars that already have passengers (a.k.a 'Along') especially if they are all men or only one female in the car, i believe buses are actually safer for such trips
  • If you are walking on the sidewalk, keep your bag, etc. properly closed and on the shoulder away from the road, hold on to it tightly to avoid having something stolen from it (pickpockets) or having it snatched from you 
  • Do not sleep in cab and mind d convos (phone calls) u have,
  • Do not leave ur bag/valuables to step out for a bit, use an ATM, etc. and come back. You can end up having something stolen or he zooms off with all ur stuff,
  • Keep ur belongings closed n out of arms reach of the cab driver
  • If possible have a consistent cab guy with a detailed record of his car and personal data in case of any issues
  • Keep you house gates and doors locked and try to avoid crowded places (Boko Haram is still active)
Stay safe my peoples, country hard but by God's grace e no go hard for us and we will be out of the reach of these desperados.