• FRO LINGO

    As a natural hair enthusiast, I’ve found that a lot of terms which are used in the natural hair community might appear as jargons to a newbie.Even so, individuals who have been natural for a while still find natural hair terms utterly confusing.So I thought,why not make life easier for some of us by explaining a couple of commonly used terms and acronyms in the community.I do hope you find this helpful.

    DISCLAIMER:This is in no way a guide to ALL the natural hair terms you need to know.But I can assure you that it’s a great start!

    1)ACV:Apple Cider Vinegar.It is used to rinse hair follicles and equally serves other purposes.

    2)AFRO:A hairstyle in which the natural hair is made to stand out all around the head.

    3)ALOPECIA:A disorder resulting in partial or full hair loss.

    4)BANTU KNOTS:Bantu knots is a protective hairstyle believed to have originated from the Zulu people of South Africa.The hair is sectioned,(sometimes braided or twisted)and then spiraled and stacked upon itself in such a way that a knot is formed.

    5)BIG CHOP:To cut off all damaged or relaxed hair and start a whole new natural hair journey.

    6)BRAID OUT:Is a hair style that aims to define your curls.Hair is braided in sections using a good curl definer.After a few days the hair style is taken down to reveal the newly highlighted popping curls.

    7) CARRIER OILS: They are oils used to dilute pure essential oils.e.g coconut oil


    8))CO-WASH:A washing method that involves using only conditioner to wash your hair.

    9)DEEP CONDITIONING:A deep conditioner is applied to the hair strands and wrapped up with a plastic cap.Usually,heat is applied for more effectiveness.

    10) DETANGLING:A process of softening, smoothening and removing knots/tangles from the hair.

    11) DUSTING: Trimming about one quarter to half an inch off the tip of your strands.

    12) ELASTICITY:The extent to which hair strands can stretch before returning to it’s initial state.

    13)EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    14)FLAT TWIST:Twists that are made to lay flat on the head just like corn rows.

    15)FRIZZ:It occurs when the hair strands are dehydrated and coarse.

    16)HAIR TYPE:It refers to your natural hair’s curl pattern.4c hair is the kinkiest of them all.

    17)HAND IN HAIR SYNDROME:When you’re constantly touching your natural hair.It usually leads to overmanipulation and damage.

    18)JBCO: Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

    19)MANIPULATION:Combing,pulling,brushing, touching, styling or twirling your hair are all forms of manipulation.Protective hairstyles are recommended because they require less manipulation.The higher the manipulation,the more likely you experience breakage.

    20)SLIP:It is usually used to describe how much lubrication is supplied by a conditioner or detangling hair product.The more slip a product has,the more effective it is in the detangling process.It is also used to describe how satin/silk fabric reduces friction between hair strands and surfaces (e.g pillow case surfaces and pony tail holders)

    Are there any other natural hair terminologies you want explained? Feel free to ask in the comments.I’ll respond to all of your questions.

  • MOISTURIZING-The key to length retention!

    MOISTURIZING-THE KEY TO LENGTH RETENTION

    If you are a newbie in the natural hair community,then chances are you might have heard some of the words in the title of this blog post being used by some natural hair influencers but you still don’t get it.Not to worry,I promise to give a brief and concise explanation to it all.No stone will be left unturned.I urge you to read every single word carefully as a proper understanding of this topic would help you unveil one of the top secrets of growing long, beautiful tresses.Ready?Set? Read!!!

    What does it mean to moisturise hair?

    Generally, because of the curl pattern of natural hair,it tends towards dryness and stiffness from time to time.Now,I’m not here to teach science.You must have experienced this dryness one way or the other.It is what makes it difficult to comb/detangle your hair properly.It’s also the lead cause of hair breakage and stunted hair growth.Asides from the natural hair curl pattern,other factors also contribute to its dryness.Dry weather,harsh product ingredients,dyes and chemicals, unhealthy diet and perhaps an underlying illness are some of the other reasons .How do you eradicate this dryness?If there’s no underlying medical reason,then the answer is MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR!

    Moisturizing your hair simply means restoring hydration.In other words, you’re taking your hair from a state of dryness to wetness(well,not exactly wet🌚).Think of your hair as a plant that needs to be watered so that it grows and becomes a healthy tree.Water is your hair’s best friend.Your mane thrives on water and you should serve it with joy.However,you should be able to strike a balance.The only time your hair should be drenched is during washday.Asides that,you don’t want your hair to always get drenched as this could lead to another form of damage.That may sound counterintuitive,but it has been proven that when you consistently leave your hair soaking wet perhaps from washing daily or swimming daily, your hair starts to look limp and weak- a condition known as Hygral Fatigue.It ultimately leads to hair damage and that’s not what we want Queens!

    What is length retention?
    Length retention means maintaining your existing hair length and protecting it from breakage so it grows longer.

    How does length retention affect my hair growth?

    I tell you what! All things being equal, your hair is constantly growing.That is how it was wired.TO GROW!!! In fact studies have shown that in a year, your hair should have added about 6inches extra.”So why is my hair not long?” Welll,the answer lies in how well you were able to retain the length.If you retain your already existing  length,it grows long.If you don’t,it remains stagnant or even breaks.It’s just like money you have worked for.When you save money and invest it,it multiplies.And you see results of your hard work.When you spend lavishly or just leave the money lying around,it vanishes,one way or the other and it seems like you’re working for nothing.Similarly,when you do not protect your already existing length,it breaks off.That is why it seems like there’s no growth.The key to growing long hair lies in accelerating hair growth from your scalp and then finding ways to keep,protect or retain the length you already have.
    Below are 6 major causes of breakage which hinder length retention:
    1)Dry hair
    2)Excess heat
    3)Overmanipulation
    4)Tight hairstyles
    5)Lapses in hair care routine
    6)Inadequacies in Health and Diet

    10 ways to properly retain length:
    1)Cleanse your scalp
    2)Deep condition
    3)Moisturize your strands
    4)Detangle gently with the right tools and only on properly moisturized hair.Never attempt to detangle dry hair.
    5)Scrap the heat
    6)Keep your hair in protective styles
    7)Avoid tight styles
    8)Get rid of split ends and knots by trimming
    9) Protect your hair while you sleep using satin/silk hair bonnets and pillow case.They give the right slip and prevent friction.
    10)Be patient.

    Who wants to know the easiest and most effective way to moisturize their tresses?
    Let me know in the comments.Who knows, I just might dedicate an entire blog post to it😎😉

  • 10 Essentials/Must-haves for every Natural Hair Chic

    I have to admit that without the right hair tools and products in your stash,managing your Afro-textured hair could easily become a tedious chore.I’ve been there before and I know how frustrating it gets.Which is why I compiled this list of the top ten essentials every Natural basically has to start off with.You can choose to add other stuff along the way as you progress in your natural hair journey,but if you’re a minimalist like me and you put what you’re about to read to good use,you’d be seeing amazing results in no time.Let’s dig!!!😇

    1) SPRAY BOTTLE:A spray bottle is what a watering can is to a thriving plant,it helps to properly distribute the needed moisture-Water.Your natural hair thrives when you feed it with water and using a spray bottle enhances effective distribution to your strands.

    2)SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO:Notice that I didn’t just write ‘Shampoo’.It’s got to be a sulfate free shampoo.Why? Sulfates could cause even more dryness and itching so opting for a sulfate-free shampoo is a good way to cleanse your scalp as well as retain the much needed moisture.

    3)DEEP CONDITIONER:A deep conditioner is a big big big game-changer in your hair care routine.It helps supply the extra moisture and protein that your hair needs to maintain its bounce and curl.Allowing it to sit in for about 20minutes while wearing a heat cap or plastic cap before rinsing out unlocks another level of moisture.I’d advice you try it out.

    4) LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER:As the name implies,you can leave it to sit in your hair.Unlike the normal rinse out deep conditioners you don’t get to wash it off.They’re great for detangling and they also leave your hair feeling softer,hence easier to manage.As a protip, apply Shea butter immediately after to seal-in moisture and revel in the goodness of properly moisturized strands!!!😌

    5)GROWTH OILS:Growth oils are natural oils that are sometimes infused with ayurvedic herbs that help stimulate the rate at which your strands grow.Oiling and Massaging your scalp in circular motions at least once in two days helps promote hair growth.

    6) WIDE TOOTH COMB: They’re the best combs for Natural Hair because the widely spaced teeth allows your strands to pass through freely,thus making detangling easier,thereby minimizing excess breakage.

    7)HARD BRISTLE BRUSH:A great tool for sleeking your hair down for that pony tail or low bun style.The very small version commonly called edge brush is used to lay and style sleek edges.

    8)SATIN SCRUNCHIES: Have you ever used rubber band to pack your hair?Did you notice that a good amount of your strands came off with the band? That’s how massive hair breakage starts.Using satin scrunchies instead ensures that there’s maximum slip ,zero friction and no breakage.

    9) SATIN BONNETS/SCARF/PILLOW CASE:Wearing a head covering like satin bonnet or scarf before sleeping at night helps to retain moisture,prevent split ends and contribute to longer lasting hairstyles.If you don’t like wearing bonnets or tying scarves then by all means ensure you sleep with a satin pillow case.They all ensure maximum all-night protection for your tresses.

    10)BOBBY PINS/ OTHER HAIR ACCESSORIES.Hair clips and other accessories make a simple hairstyle go from basic to bougie.They give that effortlessly stylish and elegant look.

    Incorporate these 10 Must-haves in your daily hair care routine and watch how you’d be getting the best of results in return 👌

  • FRO LOVE

    LOVE......."Love is patient and kind.....It bears all things,believes all things,hopes all things,endures all things....Love never fails!"
    In those beautiful words,the Holy Book clearly defines Love.If you ever find yourself confused about what love is,be sure to come back to this blog post or better still read up the entire definition of the word in the Bible.(1Corinthians 14:4-8)
    Nahhhh,I'm not preaching😂,the Bible is one of my favourite books.
    
    WHAT IS FRO LOVE?
    
    FRO LOVE is about loving your hair and yourself.NO.Scratch that.FRO LOVE is about loving and accepting yourself just the way you are and allowing this love to translate into hair care and maintenance.SELF LOVE BUOYS FRO LOVE AND FRO LOVE IS THE BEDROCK OF  HAIRCARE.They are all intricately intertwined.In my opinion,they are not  mutually exclusive.For that reason,allow me digress a little bit into the essence of SELF LOVE.
    
    WHAT IS SELF LOVE?
    
    Self-love is having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness.When you're in love with yourself, you don't settle for less, you do not fall into the vicious cycle of people pleasing.Self-love means accepting all of you.Self-love is appreciating yourself and making informed decisions that contribute positively to your physical,mental and emotional health.Most importantly,self love can be many things to different people,but make sure it is never selfishness.If it's any consolation,self love doesn't come overnight and it's totally okay if you're still struggling to find yourself.DO NOT GIVE UP, because when you learn to love yourself,you begin to feel happier and more confident.Your overall well-being thrives and that in itself leaves  you with a huge sense of satisfaction.
    
    Since you now understand how important it is to love oneself,you're probably wondering how you can practice it.As previously mentioned, giving attention to your physical,mental and emotional health can contribute to self love.I believe it all begins in the mind.Therefore, your mental health should not be taken for granted.Always be mindful of what you think,feel and need.Read good books, they can be a powerful tool in growing your mind, surround yourself with people who help you become a better version of yourself.Do not be too hard on yourself you equally deserve to give yourself all the care and  compassion you spread to people around you.You shouldn't pour from an empty cup.Reinvigorate yourself regularly.Practice self-care it works like magic.Self care includes taking care of your physical self.This might include:
    *Engaging in exercise
    *Eating healthy
    *Getting proper sleep
    *Taking a break
    *Getting pampered to a massage session at the spa
    *Staying hydrated by drinking water.
    *Journaling
    *Practicing good hygiene
    *Visiting the salon
    *Getting your nails done etc
    
    FRO LOVE
    Fro love has to sincerely come from within.It has to come from a place of self love and self accceptance.You can't holistically grow and nurture what you don't love.The funny thing is,most individuals do not even know that they do not love their hair.The way they speak about their hair and how they handle their hair reflects the inherent dislike.For instance,I've heard people say,"My hair can never grow long and healthy" or they say "I have bad hair".The problem with this line of thought is that it conditions the mind to see healthy hair as unattainable and often times,it plays out in reality.So replace those negative words with:I LOVE MY HAIR AND I'M CONSTANTLY WORKING AT IMPROVING IT'S HEALTH.That way you fill your mind with positive thoughts about your hair and you'll be more open to new ideas about the best possible ways to care for it and grow healthier strands.For  most of the people on the my-hair's-not-so-good  category it usually comes from having unhealthy hair, lacking knowledge about hair care,or having a hair texture that has been conditioned by society to be "different,unkempt,unprofessional or ugly". Whatever your reason(s) is/are,FRO LOVE always conquers all.Here's a list of 10 simple ways you can practise FRO LOVE:
    
    1)Stop the negative comments you make about your hair and replace them with positive ones.Call it beautiful,thick,shiny, everything and anything at all you want it to be.
    
    2)Invest in your hair.Buy hair products and accessories that work well with your budget and your hair type.Not everyone can effectively handle your hair texture.Find yourself a good natural hair stylist.
    
    3) Identify one problem at a time and work on it.For instance,if you  struggle with dry hair,flaky scalp and split ends.You could start by working on how to eradicate the split ends instead of tackling all the problems at once.That way it doesn't get overwhelming.Who knows,you might even end up solving two or more problems while still working on one.
    
    4)Learn what works for your hair.This includes hairstyles,hairstylists,products,diet,regimen and practices that work for your hair.
    
    5)Join a community.Being in a community affords you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people who would offer you great support in the form of inspiration,tips and motivation to achieve set goals.If you're interested in joining a community for free,I'll be leaving a link in the comments,be sure to click on the link and fill the form.
    
    6)Let go of all that heat! Heat denatures the natural pattern of your curls and stretches it.Sometimes the effect of such heat cannot be reversed.It leads to permanent heat damage.If you must stretch your hair,opt for heatless stretching,or blow-dry with low heat.Do not forget to use a heat protectant before exposing your hair to heat.IT IS A MUST!
    
    7)Be patient with your hair.Give it time.Spend quality time with your hair understanding what it wants, become familiar with it.You'd be surprised  how much of a game changer that can be.
    
    8)Set goals you'll work to achieve and commit to them.It could be as simple as not skipping washday whenever it's time,or never going to bed without wearing your satin bonnet.Whatever goals you set should be reasonable and achievable over a defined time period.
    
    9)Be gentle with your hair especially when detangling.Your detangling technique goes a long way in determining how much length you retain.I'll give an explicit explanation on how to properly mousturise and detangle in another blog post.Anticipate🤞.
    
    10)Protect your hair.If you do not protect your hair, you'd be exposing it to breakage.You could protect your hair by: making protective styles,tucking your ends,using heat protectant if you ever have to expose your hair to
    heat, moisturizing, tying satin scarfs,wearing satin bonnets at night and/or using a satin pillow case. Dear naturalista, you are beautiful just the way you are.Your afro-textured hair is beautiful just as it is.Your beauty far surpasses the volume or length of your hair.Do not allow yourself to believe otherwise.If there's any problem you want to tackle,be deliberate about it and set goals towards achieving it.You are enough.Love yourself,love your Fro!💜 And may this love never fail!
  • FROrestry-The birth

    To my brother who would fondly look at my hair,bury his hand into my tresses,and say enthusiastically,”Forest”.Thank you for being a solid rock.Your loving support has always been massive.I’m truly blessed to have you as my big brother.I LOVE YOU.

    To my parents who gave me the most beautiful of genes,I’m forever thankful.

    To my clients who trust me enough with their hair,who keep coming back,who tell others about me.Y’all have a special place in my heart.

    ‌To mother nature who in her benignant benevolence,blessed me with such beautiful hair.Launching this blog is one way I’m showing appreciation.My desire is to help other women grow beautiful natural hair and be absolutely comfortable in it.I’m confident that this blog will contribute in no small way to attaining that purpose.

    I’d like to tell a little story about how I coined the name of my blog.But before then,I think a little backdrop to the story won’t hurt. Growing up,I loved to watch my mom comb her hair.It was such a delight to see her come home from the salon after she’d just made a beautiful hairstyle.I’d like to imagine that I was always the first person who told her:’Your hair is beautiful’.If I didn’t, she’d ask if I hadn’t seen her hair or if I didn’t like it.I have always admired women on  beautiful hairstyles and I longed for the day when I’d be big enough to start making my hair, because according to my mom,since I couldn’t bear the pain of hair plaits while I was much younger, I wasn’t mature enough to start this journey of growing my tresses.By the time I was in secondary school,I wanted to start making my hair so bad.But I was in a public secondary school at the time.And most public secondary schools in Lagos State prohibit their female students from growing their hair.So, I waited patiently till after my SSCE.I and my friends were super excited to begin this journey.In fact,some of them had already  started.They wore berets to escape punishment.I couldn’t do such because I already knew my family wouldn’t tolerate it.

    When I eventually finished secondary school.I started out growing my hair with a hair style called ‘kiko’.It is synonymous to the popular Sexy African Threading and everyone said it would make my hair grow long.Bad news,It still hurt real bad.My head would hurt for five straight days but I wouldn’t complain because I didn’t want to be told to stop making it.Honestly,it gave me concerns.In retrospect ,I now know that plaiting my hair hurt so bad because I’m one of the most tender-headed persons that walk the earth and that even the most gentle of hands would still hurt minimally.I have also come to realise that most hairstylists are governed by  this ideology-the tighter the grip,the more beautiful the style looks and the longer it serves the wearer.Of course, beauty and longevity should be ticked on the checklist for the primary concerns of a hair stylist,but at the expense of what??? Incessant headaches for days,sleepless nights,scalp tension,hair loss/alopecia,stunted hair growth and what have you?
    If you’re a hairstylist reading this,I challenge you to do better.


    Overtime,I realized that not everyone could effectively manage the kinky texture of the 4c hair,so after taking a shot at being a naturalista for two years, I gave up-I relaxed my hair.It was so difficult to manage and it kept breaking out.I didn’t know anything at all about natural hair, didn’t know the right products to use, didn’t know proper detangling methods,worse still, hairstylists I met with at  the time always complained about my hair texture and volume,they always ended the complaint with this call to action:RELAX YOUR HAIR! Sadly, I succumbed.

    I didn’t realize that I was moving from the proverbial frying pan to fire.From the very first day I started relaxing to the last relaxer application I had sometime in 2020,it was like literal tongues of fire  sprang up on my scalp the moment relaxer comes in contact with my scalp.I was always urged to wait a bit longer so as to harness the full effectiveness of the relaxer.I never did.I just couldn’t.The pain was so unbearable I’d beg for the cream to be washed off almost immediately after application.The twist to it all was,my hair never came out straight and I always had scalp burns/ injuries from the relaxer which resulted to dandruff.Frustrating right? Certainly was.This went on for about two years,and then I decided enough is enough.NO MORE RELAXERS.I told myself I’d take another shot at the natural hair journey.Told myself I’d give it my best .That I’d learn about the dynamics of the natural hair.Told myself I’d be true to my own unique journey and figure out my own hair needs.

    Taking the step to embrace your natural curls is one thing,deciding if you want to TRANSITION(gradually grow out your perm) or do the BIG CHOP(cut off your relaxed hair and start from scratch) is another tough call to make.After a few weeks of weighing the pros and cons,I chose the big chop.I wanted it all off and as soon as possible.Excited,I told my family about my new decision and explained reasons why I had chosen to take that route.Unfortunately,they didn’t support, especially my big brother and so I was left with no other option but to transition.Initially,it was really messy.I was unsure about every single thing.I mean, it’s two different textures on opposite ends of the spectrum I was dealing with.Let’s face it, it’s not all rosy.I can’t even even lie, sometimes the thought of going back to the relaxing my tresses crossed my mind.But overtime,with patience, open-mindedness,the right products, and a great deal of learning,I got a hang of it.One day my big brother sat and observed as I carefully detangled my hair.He fondly ran his hand through my tresses and muttered the words ‘FOREST’.There and then,he suggested that I consider vlogging about natural hair since I loved it.Almost immediately,I deflected,with a truck load of reasons as to why it was impossible.Top on the list was,I hated cameras.And then he said,how about blogging? I said I would consider it but I didn’t think people would enjoy reading about hair.I didn’t find it fascinating at the time.But that was a seed sown in my heart forever!

    From time to time I’d stop to think about his words.I started giving it deliberate thought in 2021,a year after he mentioned it to me, and I saw how it influenced my actions.I watched YouTube videos,I read books,I read blog articles,I followed natural hair influencers and natural hairstylists closely,any big name in the community sparked my interest.Every single thing I could do to learn and absorb new information,I did.It was like a burning desire.It intrigued me.Overwhelmed me.Left me awestruck sometimes.I was learning, I was implementing,and I was seeing results even though I was caught between two textures.I couldn’t wait to be fully coronated in my fro,my crown.And so ,about 10 months after my last relaxer,I did it.I trimmed off all that was left of my Permed hair.It was beautiful! The liberation and satisfaction I felt was soothing.To have taken the harder route, though not by choice,and to have triumphed regardless.To see past the whens and hows and to have stuck to my whys.I took pictures.Posted on my socials and told all that cared to know that I had successfully transitioned to my natural hair texture.There’s something fulfilling about seeing your desires come to fruition.About seeing your dreams come true before your very own eyes.That thrill! That heartwarming satisfaction that sits comfortably in your heart and soul from achieving that which you set out to achieve.It’s like you’re unstoppable.Like you can face even the fiercest of storms  head on and still come out unscathed.

    How I felt that day is similar to how I feel this day as I write the concluding lines of my transition story-my first blog post.You see,my own story has taught me so many things.But one thing stands out:That desire can play out in two forms.The first: ephemeral, short-lived,momentary and maybe even fleeting.The other:indestructable, long-lived and undying.To achieve your dreams,your desire needs to match the description of the latter.This then gives birth to the informed decisions and intentional actions you take towards achieving goals.Now I’m beginning to sound like a life coach😂.Well, I guess that’s what happens when you derive joy from making people’s lives a bit easier.I just can’t help it.And it’s like the universe knows this.Often times,I come across random people whom I’ve never had any prior contact with whatsoever.They tell me their problems,their deepest concerns,their wildest thoughts and I just sit there listening to it all.Trying to understand to the best of my ability and profering solutions,if needed.One of my favourite compliments will always be YOU’RE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

    I tell you what, I want to be your breath of fresh air as well.Let me officially welcome you to my space🤗. It’s indeed a delight having you here.If you haven’t figured yet, I coined the name of this blog from two words-AFRO-the natural  curl pattern styled in such a way as to stand out round the head and FOREST-what my brother calls my hair to depict it’s thickness.I love me.I love my hair.I love my FROrest.This love is what makes me grow it.This love is what moves me to keep learning about the best ways to care for it.This love is evident in my hair health and growth.This love makes people ask how I care for it and spurs them on in their individual hair journeys.This love makes me handle my clients’ hair with utmost gentleness.This love makes me share useful information about hair care.This love made me launch this blog.This love is not just FRO LOVE.It comes with a mix of SELF LOVE/SELF ACCEPTANCE.When you love yourself,you love every single part of your body,mind and soul.You accept each of these features as yours and yours alone.Sculpted to unequaled uniqueness.You embrace it.

    I love to see and experience growth, not just in my life or in my hair but in people’s lives as well.I’d love to watch your FRO grow.Not just watch,but help.My desire is to build a community of women who are not just comfortable in their natural hair,but also comfortable in their own skin  and are geared towards growth in all aspects of their lives.I’m happy to announce that on  these tenets FROrestry is born!!🎉💜

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