Living

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I have been remiss in my duty about talking about the products that we carry in our Ahia Natural Nigerian. That will change from now on!

To begin with, I thought I should let you all know that we listened to all the feedback we got about being in stores so we have worked with a few stores to stock our items! Yay!

Natural Nigerian Ahia Stockists

Now, this is by no means a finished list. It is going to grow over the next few months as we add on new stockists. We will ultimately move the list to a page of its own so that you can tell the  exact items you can get at any store that we have listed.

Lagos

  • Ebeano Supermarket, Lekki Phase One
  • Quintessence, 1, Gerard Road, Ikoyi (just after the Parkview Estate Gate)
  • La Pointe, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island
  • KL's Natural Bar. 29C Ikorodu Crescent, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
  • Sizzelle Stores. Bounty Brooks Ltd Sizzelle Online Store
    Suite B7, Cherub Mall, Km 18, Lekki Expressway (opposite New Road bus stop), Lekki,

Abuja

  • Natural Mane of Deepbrown & Kinks delivers!
  • Keeks Pharmacy, Bright Star Plaza, Jabi, Abuja
  • H-Medix Pharmaceuticals & Supermarket limited
    No 48 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent
    Wuse 11- FCT
  • Lumos Naturals & Shop, Suite G8, Mbouty plaza, Marcus Garvey street, behind Emirates Hotel, off 5th Avenue, Gwarinpa.

Online

If you are interested in being a stockist, please write nn@naturalnigerian.com for our terms!

Thanks guys, every bottle of product makes it possible for us to do this on a sustained basis!

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L-R: 70% Lindt Chocolate, Eggs, Salted Butter, Empty Jars, Bones, Frozen Vegetables.

Since embarking on a natural and healthier lifestyle, I have found that several habits have changed. An important one is how I shop. The most dramatic change would have to be that my shopping trolley is a lot emptier when I shop at the supermarket, and the happiest change is that I spend less making myself ill.

Hardly any biscuits, candies, artificial juice and other non-natural things find their way to my basket. I say hardly because, let us be real, from time to time I will sneak it some things. However, even the things that are snuck in are inherently healthier than they would have been before. An example is chocolate. I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a Twix or Bounty Bar.

I would rather buy a Lindt excellence bar that is at least 70% dark chocolate. As a matter of fact, I picked these up because my daughter asked for them. I know that most children prefer sweeter chocolate bars, but my daughter has learned to love these ones.

Bones are very important to me. I buy them and boil them for stock. The stock is a base for most of my cooking and helps me achieve tasty meals. At less than N200 a bag, that is a steal. There are also many benefits of using bone marrow stock from cellulite reduction to an all round healthier body.  I may have to get to it in another post.

I buy frozen veggies as they allow me an easy way to instantly upgrade a meal. I put it in everything. Noodles, rice, pasta, beans. If I can boil it, I can vegetalize it (yes, I just made up a word). Frozen vegetables are purportedly about as nutrient rich as fresh vegetables so I always make sure that there is a bag in the freezer.

Now, butter. Hmmm. I do not like eating bread. Even more so since I have just found out that it blocks my pipes (if you know what I mean). However, I have a weakness for butter. So I eat bread to get my butter fix. I only allow myself this 200g pack every other month or so - that is the equivalent of about 12 slices of bread as I pack it on thick. Yes, my weakness.

The glass jars are there because I constantly need containers for my various DIY hobbies. The bigger glass jar now holds moisturizing leave in conditioner for my daughter and I.

So that is it. Please share what you buy with me.

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This is NOT a sponsored post and I did not get any free products for doing this post. 

A few weeks ago, I went to Fig Store in Lekki. I daresay it is the first dedicated health store in Lagos. All the items have been picked out to support a natural and healthy lifestyle.

Their offerings range from cosmetics to vitamins. Grains to sweeteners and much more. 

I got talking to the owner of the store, Bimbo, and asked her why she had decided to open the store. Apparently, her husband (and by extension the entire family) had to undergo a lifestyle change due to some medical issues. That was when she discovered how difficult it was to buy certain foods locally.  This is something I fully understand as I have friends with autistic children who have to buy E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G from candy to milk abroad.  Fig Store is helping to bring these foods closer to those who need them locally.

I was also glad to hear that they weren’t stopping there. They have ambitious plans to expand and add even more items to the store. 

One of the things that I like about the store is that they offer to whip your shea butter free of charge there. So you can buy your Shea butter, oils and essential oils and have it all whipped and packed up before you leave the store. Free of Charge. Sweet deal, abi? They also mix black soap for you with camwood and more. 

Fantastic deal!

One of the items I have my eye on is a diffuser which I will use for aromatherapy at home. It is my intention to go back soon to pick it up.

Follow them on twitter here. They are located at 20, Fola Osibo Street, Lekki Phase 1.

Here are a few more pictures of the store.

Vitamins and other supplements from A -Z

Have some tea!

 

Remember local Pumice stones? I grabbed 3 of these.

Grains and more

All sorts of milk

Oils

Wholesome Juice

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My last post was about Apples and Oranges Spa offering free hairdos as a way of celebrating their first anniversary. They also used the opportunity to declare themselves a salon capable of handling natural hair.

I had already gotten my hair done, by them before that day but I popped on upstairs to get an affordable underarm wax (N 1,575). Interestingly, the natural hair stylist I spoke about here now works there. I did not know this the first time I went to Apples & Oranges but it was a pleasant surprise.

Anyhoo, they organized a whole event with speakers (I was one of them, Yay!), vendors (the Ahia was well represented) snacks, drinks and more. I met a lot of people and ran into people that I had seen at NITC as well. Hey, ladies*waves*!!

I did not take too many pictures but here are some of the ones I did manage to take. Enjoy!

She has a blog. Check it out here.

Peggy also has a blog. Here

Her hair was not only long, it was THICK and really healthy.

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At the meet up, a lady that had attended the last NITC and follows me actively on facebook came by my stall with her niece, Fernande Browne. Little did I know that meeting was going to change my hair styling woes forever.

Fernande Browne contacted me on Facebook a day or so later to say that she styles hair and would like to volunteer to speak at the next meet up. I have heard that claim quite a few times so of course I had to go and verify for myself. By Wednesday, I had presented myself to her with an open mind to see if she could substantiate her claim. Here is what I was looking for:

  •   How she would part my hair
  •   How she would comb my hair
  •   What style she would give me – I left that up to her.
  •   How long the hair style would last. (indication of the value I would be getting for my money)

After about 3.5 hours of working on my hair, here’s what I got.

Now, am I satisfied with this? On a scale of 1-10, I would easily give her a 9. I only deduct points for something which is not really her fault – my hair is like a dense forest and parting it is never an easy task – even when it is detangled. However, once I mentioned this to Fernande, she immediately tried to do it a bit gentler. Now, I will score her:

  •    How she would part my hair (4/5). I have explained why above.
  •    How she would comb my hair (5/5) -She held it at the roots and combed out the tips properly before tackling the roots. I hardly felt any pain.
  •   What style she would give me – I left that up to her. (5/5) – She gave me a style which was wearable at the office – I did not look like a child which is what I have found that a lot of people that claim they do natural hair style my hair as – they don’t handle adult natural hair so cannot really come up with a style that would work for an adult. 
  •   How long the hair style would last. (indication of the value I would be getting for my money) – I honestly thought I was going to get a style that would last a few days, I was going to call a lady in to braid my hair on Friday but there is absolutely no need now. This hair style can absolutely last 4weeks if properly taken care of. I am probably going to do 3 weeks and go back to Fernande Browne for another style.

After she was done with my hair, I hugged her (I was so happy to have finally found a natural hair stylist that whom I could afford and whose work I did not have to “manage). You want to contact her? Let me know below and I will email you a number. 

UPDATE: Fernande now works at the Apples and Oranges Spa in Lagos.

ADDRESS:

10 Balarabe Musa Crescent,

Off Samuel Manuwa, Opposite 1004 Flats,
Victoria Island,
Lagos, Nigeria.
PHONE
  • 0817 109 9966
  • 0817 109 9967
  • 0817 109 9968

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NITC5 held in Lagos on the 6th of April. As always, we had a good turn-out. It never fails to surprise me just how many people come out to these events. While we have a team of people who have pretty much never missed an event, we also get new people at everyone. It is very humbling that we can draw such a crowd every time.

We had over 10 vendors in attendance selling products that a lot of people obviously came a long way to get. I would like to thank our vendors – apart from the fact that they ensure that all your junkie needs are met (and exceeded), they also help to fund the meet up and make it free for participants to attend. Another big supporter is the Omenka Gallery in Ikoyi which allows us to use their space. They have a lovely garden with a water view where one can purchase drinks, snacks and food when not viewing the awesome paintings they have inside.

Unfortunately, we had some challenges on the day of the meet-up – a speaker could not make it, our compere - Chigo, was unavoidably absent, the projector didn't work – but I think it worked out in the end. However, thanks to the experience at this meet up, we have determined that we will definitely begin planning for the next one earlier. The date has not been chosen yet but it will be in July.

We are already in talks with a stylist who will be on hand at the next one to offer tips, styles and more. Expect to see a few things being done differently at the next one.

Enough talk, you want to see the picture from the events…I have loads! 

Let's start with the close-up views of the hair styles that were on display that day. 

 Let's look at faces now shall we? Pictures thanks to Maje Ayida of Eden Lifestyle

Sherese Ijewere of Caribbean Health Nigeria. Co-organizer of the Meet-Ups

Ladies, I hope this is sufficient proof that all are welcome - including those that have weaves and relaxed hair ;)

We love children!

Beautiful Nwanne

 

 

Dr Ijewere, his wife Sherese, Lola of Namaste Organics and Maje Ayida of Eden Lifestyle

We had speakers who spoke (naturally) on several topics

Freddy of Freddy's beauty touch. Cosmetologist talking about Growing hair healthy with Aromatherapy.

 

Sherese Ijewere of Carribean Health (Certified Nutritionist)

Maje of Edenlifestyle giving his perspective on natural hair

Dr Ijewere (Oncologist) receiving feedback after sharing his view on natural hair.

Maje Ayida

Feedback from audience member

Marionette giving her opinion

Marionette again

Now, let's step outside. Omenka Gallery boasts a lovely garden and a calming view of the lagoon.

The African Naturalista Stand

Fashion Strings - Hair Accessories

The Bubble and Scents stand

Left: Namaste Organics stand on the left, Natural Nigerian stand on the right.

Sizelle Store Stand with Dr. Fomsky

The Namaste Organics Stand

 There were more vendors there but unfortunately I don't have more pictures...if I find some, I will upload them. 

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I have made a few changes to the Ahia (Igbo word for Market) and rather than have folks wade through tons of information to find the changes, here are the highlights:

Discontinued

  • We have discontinued Burdock Root Powder as well as Horsetail Powder.
  • We replaced the latter with the Cut and Sifted (C/S) version as this works better in formulations, for making teas e.t.c. C/S means that it was chopped up and then sifted to get rid of very small pieces.

Added

  • This is actually something we used to carry before - Tom's of Maine's Deodorant Sticks. You will find them under the "Other" section.

Back in stock

  •  Aloe Vera Juice from Lily of The Desert. (This usually goes flying off the shelf so don't hesitate to place an order right away if you want it).
  • Rhassoul Clay - Don't forget that we sell the Micronized version which is the best.

Quantity Changes

  • We now offer our Organic Nettle Leaves and Horsetail C/S in 100g packs. We have scrapped the 227g version. At N700 for the 100g packs, it makes it cheaper and more accessible to all. 
  • Bentonite and Rhassoul Clay now come in the 1lb version for those that require more than our standard 0.5lb packs.
Delivery Charges
  • We now offer a flat rate of N500 within Lagos, N1,000 to the East and N1,500 to the North. Far North costs N2,000. These are for standard packages. Bulk purchases will be billed more.

To end, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has ever bought anything from our Ahia. We have grown over the last few months and it is all thanks to you!

There will be a few more changes in the next few months - more information on what we sell and hopefully a more efficient way of buying - check on us from time to time.

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I explained why I would be doing these posts here. If you have any answers to the questions, please post them below. 
Should you relax a girl's hair at 6 years old.
A big and emphatic NO! There are plenty of ways of managing a child's natural hair. Click on the Hair category to get some tips. For more on my take regarding this subject, click here.
How long do you leave bentonite clay on hair.
Clays typically do their work in 15-20minutes. There are no additional benefits for leaving them on for longer. More on bentonite Clay here
My hair is super dry when i use a spritz water.
Do you mean before you spritz water on it? If it is afterwards then perhaps you are not sealing the water in and the loss of  water to the environment leaves your hair super dry. Not sure of what the facts are here so I can't give much of an answer.
Should I comb natural hair?
You certainly may. Whether you should is dependent on some factors. For example, is your hair wet or dry? Are you using the right sort of brush or comb for you hair? Is your hair strong enough to withstand the stresses of combing or will finger combing work best for you?
Does Jergens contain Shea butter?
If you are speaking about this one: yes it does. And from the way the ingredients are arranged, it appears to be available in good quantity too. 
INGREDIENTS: WATER, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERIN, PETROLATUM, CETEARETH-20, HYDROXYETHYL UREA, ETHYLHEXYL ISONONANOATE, MANGIFERA INDICA (MANGO) SEED BUTTER.
Can you use glycerin as a deep conditioner?
Not at 100%, no. You can use it as part of a deep conditioner. You don't need a whole lot. 2-5% of your total mix should be fine. 
What is the Yoruba name of Cinnamon and Fenugreek?
I get these questions quite a bit. Rule of thumb is that if they are not indigenous to Nigeria, then they will most likely not have a Nigerian name.  For a post on Nigerian indigenous herb names, read here. Make sure to go through the comments as well as several readers have been kind enough to contribute. 

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This is a neat method for extracting or drawing the quality of herbs into any oils of your choice. You only need two ingredients for this: Your herb (you can use more than one at a time if you like) and some oil. Several oils sold in the market are made from using a part of a plant and an oil. E,g Amla Oil. Amla a.k.a gooseberry is a fruit and on its own doesn't yield any oil. A decoction (this method involves using heat) is made in order to get Amla oil. 

For my herbal infusion, I have chosen to use: Neem leaves and Premium Palm Kernel Oil. Why did I choose these two? Well, Neem has a lot of benefits (anti-fungal, antibacterial, disinfectant, good for maintaining scalp health and addressing scalp issues like itchiness and dandruff and even the symptoms of psoriasis, lice inhibitor, gives hair a nice sheen, can act as an insect repellent -bye bye mosquitoes e.t.c) that I would like to enjoy. Palm Kernel oil because it is cheap and on its own is great for hair and skin. To me, it is comparable to coconut oil. 

Prepare a clean glass jar. I used a canning jar.

 

Neem leaves

Palm Kernel Oil

 

Put the Neem leaves in the jar.

Fill up the jar with oil. The oil should cover the leaves completely

 

Close the jar.

 Shake like this. 

Store in cool, dark place. Keep it there for about 3 weeks, taking it out every 3 days or so to shake the jar as shown above.  At the end of 3 weeks, put your mix through a sieve.  The resulting oil would have extracted the properties of the neem leaves giving you a rich herbal oil infusion which can be used on your skin and hair. A few drops of essential oil will take it to the next level. 

I bought some Fenugreek leaves from the Indian shop. I think I should go make a herbal oil infusion with that too...

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I had mentioned on facebook that I was going to introduce Palm Kernel Oil and Cocoa Butter for sale and someone asked me what the difference between Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) was.  I gave her a short answer, but would like to post a longer one here. By the way, PKO is also known as mmanu aki in Igbo. I don't know the name in any other Nigerian language. If you do, please leave it in the comment section.

Update: Thanks to the readers that contributed names of PKO in their local language.

Yoruba: Adin Ekuro

Efik: Mmayanya (sp?)

The palm fruit that we all know and love looks like this:

Source

When extracting palm oil at home for preparing Banga soup, the palm fruit is boiled and the orangey-red palm oil extracted from the soft fleshy part (also known as the Mesocarp). This is about the same method used in preparing palm oil commercially. (I should know, my maternal grandmother had a local commercial palm oil press :) ).

Palm Oil is used for cooking, soap making and food manufacturing. Let me spend a minute on the food manufacturing - Refined (bleached) palm oil is used in Baked goods, Instant noodles, Baby formula, Cake mixes, Breakfast bars, Potato chips, Crackers and other snacks. Vegetable Glycerin which we love so much for our hair and skin also sometimes comes from Palm Oil. 

Once the oil from the Mesocarp is extracted, we are left with a black hard kernel. As children we would take these kernels to a set of stones set up for the purpose of kernel cracking. You place the kernel on a stone, hit it with a smaller stone and Voila! you reveal the nut inside. They look like this:

Source

As children, we would eat these on its own or with roasted breadfruit (aki na ukwa). Gosh, I loved my childhood! My dad used to take these nuts to school as a snack when he was in Primary school.

It is from these kernels that one gets Palm Kernel Oil. It is not an viscous, orangey-red oil like Palm Oil is. Rather it is a dark-ish, nutty smelling oil.

The women of my village use Palm Kernel Oil for their hair, skin and also in making soap. Palm Kernel Oil is used commercially by a lot of soap makers and cosmetic manufacturers.

You shouldn't use Palm Oil on your hair. The oil to use is Palm Kernel Oil

I will do a post soon on the benefits of Palm Kernel Oil.

To finish, here is an excellent video by Akua Wood (one of my favourite people on the web) of Sheabutter cottage on which of the two oils to use for hair/skin. Which Palm for hair? (Please click on the link as I find it difficult to insert videos...)

Reference:

Uses: American Palm Oil