We are counting down the days now to the Calabar, Natural in Paradise meet-up and I just wanted to tell you what to expect.
There will be talks from not 4 but 6 people! Lots to share so we are looking forward to starting nice and early.
One is a doctor who consults on hair matters. She will be talking generally about hair loss (and ladies, you know we have a challenge with that). Ekene of the Kink and I will be speaking about being Natural on a budget in Nigeria. There will also be make up tips from a couple of professional Make-up Artists. Last on the roaster is moi, Natural Nigerian.
We have gift packs from Jessicurls and some items from Hairfinity up for grabs. You could walk away with either or both.
Also, there will be vendors available there to bring you the hair care products that usually reside in far away Lagos. It is all coming to you this time! This will be a good opportunity for you to learn what resources you can get locally. After meet ups, a constant is that relationships are formed, with salon owners, hair care product supplier, with fellow healthy hair enthusiasts!
There are just so many reasons why you should ensure that you are there.
It is based on the fact that our foot arch or lack of it (in the case of those that have flat feet) determine the way our feet are aligned.
If you know your arc type, this is a pretty cool way of figuring out your foot alignment. If you don’t look at the bottom of the post for a link that will help you determine what your arch type is.
I wasn’t able to find a place that could conduct the test in Nigeria so I wound up getting it done in a shop that sells running equipment in the UK. I went with my cousin, Chinelo, and they soon had us running barefoot on a treadmill to see whether we overpronate, underpronate or have a normal gait while running. After they determined which category I fell into, they tested me running with shoes and we settled on one that gave me the most support.
This shows the running gait of people that fall under the different categories.
Did it make a difference?…..Yep!! So much so that I haven’t since bought running shoes without getting a fit test or gait analysis done.
In case you are wondering about the results: I discovered thatI overpronate (no surprise there as I have flat feet), and wound up buying a pair of ASICS with proper structural support. I absolutely love ASICS. So very comfortable, I could live in them.
Why is a Gait Analysis so important?
The right shoes can prevent injury while running. As a matter of fact, if you have a recurring injury, it may be down to your shoes not providing the right support.
Improves form and body alignment for better performance while running.
Even if you are not a runner, this is helpful in determining the sort of every day shoes you should be buying for every day shoes.
My last pair of running shoes came from New Balance. I went to a New Balance store and they conducted a professional fit analysis to get me the right shoes. No running involved. I simply stepped on an iSTEP scanner which mapped my feet and advised the fit specialist which shoes I would need for the right support.
Here is a picture of my scan, the bits in red are the places where I most apply pressure when standing. This is what flat feet look like.
Do you see me in the picture, taking the picture? Apparently I always shove my sunglasses on my head when I am indoors.
I bought a pair of shoes with built-in support. They also sold me orthotics which I no longer wear (they were too uncomfortable).
I am taking the time to address one of the questions I get asked most. It is right there at the top of the list with “How do I make my hair grow longer fast.” I have answered that question (advising on incorporating healthy methods) on facebook, twitter and even here on the blog.
So, folks also want to know “how to make my hair fuller and thicker”. I am not going to answer directly. I want you to think this through on your own after you are done reading this post.
While looking for images that could help to illustrate the point I want to make, I came across this post. I contacted Sonya of Parlor Diary and with her approval, I am able to share them here. I would really advice that you go to her blog and read the original post.
Hair Strand Types – Coarse Medium, Fine
Usually, when people say that they do not have thick hair, they usually mean that the hair strand is thin and not thick. However, in proper hair speak, we class the hair strand as being either coarse, medium or fine. So we are born with our hair in either one of these categories. You will notice that this is dependent on the diameter of the hair strand. This in fact is also dependent on the size of the hair follicles that produce the hair. Thin follicles produce fine hair and so on. It is interesting to note that as we get older, our hair follicles usually get thinner and thus start producing fine hair.
We are genetically programmed to have our hair grow either coarse, medium or fine. It is possible for someone who has fine hair to use a product that will temporarily give it the effect of being medium. Alas, these topical applications typically wash off.
Hair density is simply the number of hair strands on the scalp. Usually referred to as having “full hair” or “scanty hair” depending on where one falls in the spectrum. The squares below represent the scalp while the dots below represent the way hair follicles are distributed on the scalp. As you can see, those that have are under the “thick” category have more hair per square inch. Which means that they have higher hair density than those in the other categories.
It stands to reason that those in the “thick” category will have a fuller head of hair than those in the “medium’ category and so on. It is possible to have this hair density distributed unevenly throughout the scalp such that the nape of your hair will have less hair density than say the middle. People can generally move from thick to medium to thin over the span of their lives. This is usually a function of hair follicles closing up for any variety of reasons
Bad Hair Care e.t.c
Can someone who wasn’t burn with a thick head of hair somehow wind up with a thick head of hair? It can happen with hair transplants but a miracle product? If there is one, I am unaware of it.
Interestingly, studies show that African women typically have lower hair density than Caucasians.
To end, after reading this post, have you figured out how to make your hair thicker or if indeed, you can? If you have, please share by leaving a comment. If you haven’t please leave me a comment about that and I will do another post explaining if we can, indeed make our hair fuller and thicker.
Hair Density in African Americans, Arch Dermatol. 1999 Jun; 135(6): 656-8.
Our Natural Nigerians Facebook group has gotten more active recently and I love the conversations we have there. One that has come up many times is the subject of preservatives. (Shout out to Ms Makanju for leading the talk on this).
To give some background on the matter, there is a premise amongst some in the Natural Community that synthetic preservatives are bad and that certain natural products are good as preservatives. There is also one that claims that all synthetic preservatives are born equal and as such should be equally shunned.
This is a really important conversation to have as we begin to see more and more amateur mix-tresses turn their hands to formulating products and actually sell them to members of the public. Preservatives are there to ensure that the growth of bacteria, mold, yeast, fungi e.t.c. are inhibited in your cosmetic products. These microbes, as the name suggests, are small growth and may not always be visible to the human eye, especially when there is only a small amount of them in the product. A few people may ask “do these microbes pose a risk?” The short answer is yes! One may suffer infections and we know that those run the gamut from minor to serious.
A few months ago, I went to visit a close friend. On sighting me, her husband (Let’s call him LB shall we?) immediately engaged me in conversation and shared an experience which I am going to share with you as I believe a lot of people will benefit.
LB said that for most of his youth he was plagued with razor bumps. Yep, he would shave and be left with small dark bumps all over his face. He tried different methods of shaving as well as different products in a bid to control this reaction, all to no avail. This was quite disheartening as he was a frequent shaver and the alternative – having facial hair – did not appeal to him.
Just when he had pretty much accepted his lot, it was suggested to him that he should use a dab of tea tree essential oil immediately after shaving as an aftershave. The instruction was to place a few drops on his fingers and use it the same way one would use an aftershave. He tried this and almost two decades later, he has remained razor-bump free.
This is what he does.
o Shaves with a razor and shaving powder.
o Rinses it off
o Follows it up with a facial wash
o Uses a scrub to make sure that he has indeed gotten all of the shaving powder off.
o Puts a 1-2 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil on his fingers and lightly dabs his face.
Now, LB is one of those people who are quite diligent, so on that visit I was not surprised when he showed me all his shaving supplies. Every single item – facial wash, scrub e.t.c. contained Tea Tree Essential Oil. As a matter of fact, he once ran out of Tea Tree Essential Oil and his wife remembered that I had given her some a while back. I am proud to say that LB used it and remarked that it worked just as well as the imported brands he uses. I recount this bit for the benefit of all the doubtful Nigerians who constantly ask me if I am absolutely certain that the Natural Nigerian brand is “authentic”. Sigh! Na wa for una!
So, how can LB’s story apply to you?
Use Tea Tree Essential Oil after a shave to calm your skin and prevent razor bumps. This applies to shaving under your arm and even your bikini area. Regardless of the method you use in getting rid of the hair – waxing, shaving, depilatory, shaving creams e.t.c
You can supercharge your products by putting a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil in them. Its many properties (antibacterial, anti viral, antifungal, anti inflammatory, to mention a few) are reason enough to do so.
So, go spread the word! Shave without fear. Have a razor bump – less “chinned” husband, uncle, brother, cousin. You can also enjoy less irritation under your arm and around your bikini area when you shave if you have some tea tree essential oil in your mix.
We have changed the look so that you do not land on the blog first. If you do wish to, please bookmark www.naturalnigerian.com/blog. That is another thing, we cleaned up our links. They are shorter and even more intuitive. Where in the past, the Ahia (shop) link was so long that even I could not remember it, it is now simply www.naturalnigerian.com/ahia. We will use the fact that we now have a front page to bring you news about new products, changes and even blog posts of interest.
Speaking of the Ahia, for many years our Ahia was in the dark ages and one couldn’t buy anything directly from the website. I imagine that it was frustrating for most of our customers and we thank you for sticking it out. We have now fully joined the 21st century and we will now process all orders via our website. Please note that you DO NOT pay on our website. When you click the Interswitch option, it takes you directly to the Interswitch site and your card details are collected there, same as they would be if you were paying for a flight ticket e.t.c. That way, your security is assured. We do not have access to or hold on to any of your card details at all.
We went for clean lines and as little/no clutter as possible. Also, because I am such a proud Igbo girl, there had to be a nod to my Igbo culture, which is where the Akwete comes in. I hope to do a post on this fabric which is really representative of the Igbo culture.
The good news keeps coming….We also took a step and got a phone number for the Ahia. We haven’t had one in the past due to some challenges, but always wanted to take this step so that you can reach us quickly. So, to call, please ring: 0909.213.2141.