Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hair Journey So Far

So about a while ago I did a post on my Hair Routine HERE, fast forward almost two years later and all the knowledge I spouted in that post has pretty much gone up in smoke.

Somehow, through divine grace I managed to grow my air to about 12 inches or thereabouts and at its peak it looked like I was going to make it past APL (arm-pit length) to BL (bra length), then I did something phenomenally stupid.........I coloured my hair and it all went to hell in a hand dryer.

I'd wanted streaked hair for the longest time, back in uni I had bleached blonde hair with red highlights and I missed it (sounds gruesome but trust me it was gorge, I pretty much kickstarted a coloured hair trend in my school). Since I left school and became an indentured slave it became harder to wild out with my hair but I always longed for the dyed tresses of my misspent youth. One day I decided to take the plunge and get honey blonde highlights, all the better to show off my new, thick, long hair I thought.

Boy, was I wrong.

At the natural hair salon I went to *cough cough Gentle Touch*, they swore up and down on a stack of relaxers that if they highlighted my hair for me it'd be perfectly fine, I'd get protein treatments once a week there, moisturize daily yada yada yada......and my hair wouldn't break at all and like an absolute mug I believed them. Got the highlights and my hair was gorgeous for about a month or two then started to break scarily, I'd followed all their instructions to the letter so I didn't get what was happening. I now thought lemme put my hair in braids, they're protective styles abi.....omo, that one turned out to be from frying pan to fire, the day I took off my braids after wearing them for just two weeks I pretty much cried myself to sleep.

My hair had fallen out in clumps, it was a nightmare. Since then I've pretty much being in a tussle with the hair gods to get my hair back to normal and I'd been failing spectacularly. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago I saw a post on Bella Naija talking about the top ten hair blogs in Nigeria and in the comment section one very irate reader had commented angrily abut the fact that a blogger called Naija Hair Can Grow was not included. Randomly I decided to visit the blog and saw it was one of those where the blogger, Dabs, documented her hair growth, talked about products etc, but the difference was that this blogger had her very own salon right here in Lagos.

First of all this is her hair

Second of all, she wasn't just spouting this wisdom from behind a Youtube page she was there in the flesh dispensing advice and her hair was RELAXED. You didn't even have to tell me twice, my phone was out and my fingers were tapping away at the keys, dialing Dabs faster than you could say Tressemme.

I made an appointment (she doesn't do walk-ins, services are only by appointment) and turned up this Saturday to start the process. Would have gone earlier but her salon is on Awolowo road and the fuel scarcity of the past week turned that area into a war zone, and after a particularly harrowing experience where I spent an hour an a half trying to get from Bourdillon to Falomo, I didn't even want to go near Awolowo road.

First off, her salon is super cute. I'm a girly girl whose favorite color is pink (no shame here) and her place was done up in candy coloured pinks, greens and pastels, and had scented candles everywhere and a shea butter mixing station and cute furniture and it just looked like an explosion in a Kate Spade factory.

My hair was 13 weeks post relaxer that day, and this is what it looked like before I relaxed.

You can see that the hair is super uneven, and just all over the place. This was achieved by a combination of hair dye, braids and overzealous salon attendants who just "wan trim your hair small".

Her relaxer technique was pretty new to me, probably not to hardcore hair enthusiasts. She did this thing where she put oils or I think it was a conditioning hair cream on my already relaxed ends while prepping my hair.

I know enough to relax only my new growth and its usually a battle between myself and salon attendants to make sure the relaxer doesn't touch the rest of the hair shaft, so it made complete sense to coat it so even if did the relaxer did slip (which it was definitely bound to do), it wouldn't harm the hair.

Even after putting on the relaxer she still put conditioner on my ends because as she said, while washing, the relaxer will run down the new growth to the rest of the hair so the conditioner would help mask it.

This is what my hair looks like after washing and this is where I really understood how damaged it was.

You can see right at the ends, the hair is all thinned out, apparently thats where the coloured hair starts breaking off and its going to keep breaking until all the color is gone *facepalm* and to think I did this with my own hands, *sigh*

I had it blow dried and drenched in oils, but not completely because she said she needed the moisture from almost dry hair since I wanted it straightened.

And this is it after been blow dried and straightened.

Now I'm perfectly aware there isn't one "fix" for all hair types and the products Dabs used might not necessarily work for me. The difference here is that this is the first time I'm seeing someone who was able to grow her natural, Nigerian hair actually offer real physical help and tangible advice. I'm very lazy when it comes to things like self help skin care, hair care etc. So having someone there who can tell me do this, do that without having to work it out on my own suits me. Plus the proof is in the pudding, her hair is great!

Since we worked out that my biggest problem was breakage, she recommended these products to me

Jamaican Black Castor oil for my edges
Tresemme Leave-in Split End Conditioning Treatment for the hair itself, apparently repairs the shaft from within or something like that and;
Now Solutions Grapeseed Oil to seal the moisture in.

Consistency and routine is obviously the most important factor here and that is my biggest problem, I get lazy and don't follow through but I'm determined to turn that around.

So here's to healthy, long hair very soon or I'll throw a tantrum.

Love and light xx

Dabs salon is called the Savvy & Chic Beauty Hub on 34a Awolowo Road (opp Fidelity Bank) Ikoyi. By appointment only, call 08090613325. All product listed above are stocked there.



  1. Oh Daks!!! Your hair isn't so bad sef! * crying* you should see my hair!!!!! Terrible! I, who used to be called Rapunzel! Without even trying. Sighs * I just got castor oil, olive oil, organics hair mayonnaise and leave in conditioner.
    My routine would be wash with diluted black soap once in 2 weeks that's because I feel the hair products need to be washed off, deep condition with mayonnaise for 30mins with a heating cap, wash off, dry with towel, and apply the leave in conditioner, then a mix of olive oil and castor oil.
    This hair has to grow back mehn! So help me God.
    And not to forget that every stylist I visit (I use more than two hair stylist o, because I just feel each of them does certain hairstyles better* shrugs*) would just have to listen to me and handle my hair right! They too are culprits in this issue.
    I wish you luck too!

    1. Lol @ "I who used to be called Rapunzel".

      Man, this healthy hair of a thing is a struggle. Your routine sounds ace though, please email me and let me know if the black soap thing works for you.

      Good luck to to you too!

  2. Great review Daks! It's nice to know there's a relaxed hair care provider that isn't "Gentle" Touch or Youtube. I'm just wondering though, if your ends were that badly damaged, why didn't she cut them? Also, what does she charge for a consult? Thanks!

    1. Gentle Touch is good but its just that they gave me bad advice, re: the hair colouring. Besides that their regular routine really worked on my hair.

      The bits that were too damaged were removed but because an overzealous stylist snipped off at least two inches of back hair, my middle hair is now way longer so even though the damaged bits were cut off it still looks uneven.

      I have no idea what she charges for a consult, call the number and find out, she's really sweet.

  3. Adaku you must be clairvoyant! Only last week I was thinking to ask you to recommend a proper salon to me as all the ones in this country seem to only be interested in frying people's hair.
    I haven't retouched in nearly 6 months out of fear and worry. I've also been going through my own hair angst and I'm not a braids or weaves person so beautiful natural hair is extremely important to me. Thanks for this info. Will be checking out Dabs once I take my dreads out.

    1. You're welcome baby girl, will still continue to keep an eye out for good tips.

  4. Hi, I have been looking for the black jamaican castor oil for weeks please let me know where you get it?


    1. Hi, you can get it at Dabs salon, Savvy and Chic Beauty Hub

  5. If I tell you the abolo I had to give myself to starter *tears* I've truly given up I'm now wearing lace front wigs so I'm praying Longer and more healthy hair since I'm almost sure my own is past prayer I did it to myself lol. Yours isn't bad at all :-)

  6. I just bought that Jamaican Castor Oil last week. The beauty supply people recommended to me for my edges.

    1. do you reside in Lagos? if yes, where did you buy it? thanks

    2. You can get it at the Savvy & Chic Beauty Hub

  7. Dabs is the truth!!! i have been following her blog for about 2 years and I grew my hair to almost BSL but of course I used my hand to spoil it all. I started again last November from NAPE LENGTH and it is almost at APL. Since she opened her salon my hair needs have been totally satisfied. She also sells quality hair products and is super nice.

  8. Same happened to me. Had healthy/full long hair till i strolled into gentle touch to put highlights, shlda known d routine would be disastrous when the stylist put me under d dyer with the dye on for almost 30mins..looked good for a week and voila, shit hit the fan. since then my hair is breaking off with every touch and has become so scanty. I have actually decided to cut it to nape length n grow it slowly. Cos everytime i comb my hair and see strands of hair on my shoulder and come, i die a little. Will try the dabs place till april before i decide for the big snip. Thanks really needed this post.


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