After working on it for a long, long time (I am ashamed to say just how long), we can finally reveal our newer, updated website.

                                                                                                  © michaeljung

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.

Akwete Natural Nigerian

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.

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The phone line will be open from 0900 -1700hrs, Monday to Friday.

We aren’t quite done with the website yet (chei, it never ends) but we will continue working to improve things.

We would love to hear from you. What do you think, so far? All feedback is welcome.

Weight management is a struggle for many people.  The reasons for this are complex and varied.  But our mass culture largely ignores the subtle influences that drive weight gain.  Instead society conditions us not only to hate fat, but fat people as well.  With high condescension, the overweight are deemed a bunch of lazy gluttons.  But this is the farthest thing from the truth.

You see, the human body desires stable internal conditions.  And we have evolved robust mechanisms to ensure a steady weight over the long term.  Consider that until recent decades, obesity has been a rarity.  This is not a coincidence.  There is something about modern food that breaks down our weight regulatory systems. Indeed, certain ingredients in highly processed foods create hormonal disruptions in the body that lead to runaway weight gain.  And one of the biggest offenders is seasoning cubes.

But first, let us debunk one of the biggest myths of our time.  We have been repeatedly told that a calorie is a calorie; irrespective of the source.  That is, if you eat more, you gain more weight.  So the obvious solution is to diet.  But notice that there is no distinction about what you ate.  And therein lays the basic problem.  Because food is much more than just energy or raw materials; it also contains information.  Substances in food modulate how the body operates; either promoting harmony or disharmony.

How Seasoning cubes make you fat

Beef-Bouillon-Cube Source

A seasoning cube does not make you fat because of its caloric content, which is minimal.  It is all the about the neurotoxic effects of a chemical it contains.  The active ingredient in seasoning cubes is monosodium glutamate (MSG).  It adds savoriness to food, giving a certain heartiness and robustness to meals.

However, glutamate has other functions in the body besides taste enhancement.  It is also an important neurotransmitter.  That is, it excites brain cells and stimulates electrical activity in the brain.  But, seasoning cubes contain unnaturally high concentrations of glutamate.  When you consume foods seasoned by MSG, the brain is overstimulated by the rush of glutamate.  In fact, certain brain cells are stimulated to the point of death.  In that way, seasoning cubes directly damage brain tissue over time.

This damage has huge implications for weight management.  This is because body weight is regulated by a subconscious region of the brain known as the hypothalamus.  The hypothalamus regulates appetite and how much fat you either store or burn off.  Damage to the hypothalamus prevents it from communicating with fat stores in the body.  Your brain is no longer able to determine how much fat is stored.  And to make matters worse, the brain interprets this loss of communication as the absence of fat.  That is, the brain thinks you are starving.  It kicks appetite into overdrive and shuts downs your metabolism.  You not only eat more, but the body zealously blocks fat burning.  After all, it is desperately trying to rebuild fat stores (even if you are obese).

Notice that all this is unfolding subconsciously.  So, it is near futile to try to will yourself to lose MSG-induced body fat.  You might succeed for a while, but the long term solution is to eliminate MSG from the diet.  And to eat a nourishing diet that will heal damaged brain tissue.  For if you can switch back on the hypothalamus, the body will gradually burn excess fat stores.

Going beyond seasoning cubes

MSG takes advantage of our biologically hard-wired taste receptors and makes it very hard to stop eating foods poisoned by this ingredient.  It is a virtual miracle worker in turning disgusting into delicious.  For this reason it is widely used in processed foods.  But many products try to conceal this fact.  Here are some of its many disguises on food labels: glutamic acid, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed protein, textured protein, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, protein isolate, soy sauce, modified food starch, modified corn starch, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, broth, maltodextrin, seasonings, natural flavor, monopotassium glutamate, glutamate, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, textured protein, yeast food, yeast nutrient, and torula yeast.

Reference:

  1. Kate S Collison, M Zaidi, SM Saleh, A Inglis, R Mondreal, NJ Makhoul, R Bakheet, J Burrows, NW Milgram, FA Al-Mohanna. “Effect of trans-fat, fructose and monosodium glutamate feeding on feline weight gain, adiposity, insulin sensitivity, adipokine and lipid profile”. The British Journal of Nutrition. 2011. Web

Ezenwa Onwugbenu is a nutritional healer and public speaker on natural health matters. You can find out more about him and his passion for natural health and living on Creative Juices

“Our aging skin is the target of billions of dollars worth of marketing, the object of a continual stream of cosmetics, drugs and ‘nutraceuticals’ promising to deliver age-defying results. But what really works? What does the scientific evidence say?”

-Sayer Ji

Aloe-Vera-Gel-Benefits-Nigeria

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There is plenty of research that indicates that the skin aging process can be slowed and even reversed.  In fact, there are over 150 natural substances with demonstrable anti-aging properties.  Aloe vera gel is one of the most compelling and works from the inside out. Put simply, regular consumption of aloe vera gel works wonders because it gets to the heart of the matter.  You see, there is an inconvenient truth that the cosmetics industry does not want you to know.  Namely, skin aging is a whole body process.  The appearance of your skin is a reflection of the condition of internal organs. Let me explain.  The basic building blocks of skin are the proteins collagen and elastin.  These same structural proteins also form the scaffolding of internal organs.  So, seemingly diverse organs like your skin, bones, and lungs are built from similar raw materials.  And in order to have youthful skin you need well maintained structural proteins.  It is not possible to have good proteins in your skin and junk elsewhere.  As the body goes, the skin goes as well. This implies that most cosmetics are a waste of time and money.  They seek to hydrate, moisturize, and rejuvenate the skin.  And therein lays the basic problem.  Products that only care for the skin, by definition cannot penetrate the skin aging process.  More so, conventional cosmetics, laden with petrochemicals, are a major toxic exposure. aloe-vera-gel

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How does aloe vera gel work its magic? The appearance of skin proceeds from a complex interplay of variables.  To name a few:

  1. Tissue oxygenation: lungs need to provide sufficient oxygen to enable skin maintenance.
  2. Nutrient supply: blood vessels need to supply adequate nutrients to facilitate skin repair.
  3. Waste disposal: lymphatic vessels need to drain wastes and excess water away to prevent toxicity and fluid retention.
  4. Hormone clearance: liver needs to eliminate excess hormones and other substances in circulation.
  5. Stress management: brain needs to send the right sort of nerve signals to skin cells to enable their repair (i.e. parasympathetic).

And the list goes on and on.  All this connectedness really makes one thing clear: anti-aging is really the same thing as improving overall health.  That is, aloe vera gel reverses skin aging because it improves overall health. You see, aloe vera gel is a very complex substance.  It contains thousands of bioactive compounds that positively impact human health.  Not surprisingly, aloe vera gel has numerous evidence-based therapeutic applications: type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial infections, yeast infections (Candida), breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, leukemia, arthritis, colon cancer, fibroid, eczema, among others. Three simple steps for reversing skin aging

  1. Stop using conventional cosmetic products.  Only apply on your skin what you can eat: coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter, and the like.
  2. Minimize intake of highly processed foods.  Some of the worst offenders are soft drinks, sausage roll, milk drinks, white bread, instant noodles, biscuit, vegetable oil (fried foods), canned foods, and flavor cubes.
  3. Drink lime water daily (add fresh aloe vera gel for best results).
References:
  1. Soyun Cho, S Lee, M Lee, DH Lee, CH Won, SM Kim, JH Chung. “Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo”. Annals of Dermatology. 2009. Web
  2. Ji, Sayer. (2012, June 18). Research: A tsp of Aloe Daily Reverses Signs of Skin Aging. Retrieved from http: //www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-tsp-aloe-daily-reverses-signs-skin-aging

Ezenwa Onwugbenu is a nutritional healer and public speaker on natural health matters. You can find out more about him and his passion for natural health and living on Creative Juices.

I have alluded to the mega giveaways at NITC8 from our vendors. Now is the time to reveal them in all their glory!

Just to digress a teeny weeny bit, let me explain how things will go when you register at the meet up.

You will receive a ticket which has a number on it. Please keep this carefully as we will retain a stub which we will put into a raffle. We will draw from this raffle to determine the winners of the giveaways. We will begin to do this early on in the meet up as we have quite a bit to give away!

Now, on to the prizes you can expect to win that day. 

Let’s talk services:

Apples & Oranges

NATURAL flier-page-001

Apples & Oranges is “The first Salon and Spa in Nigeria that Provides “One Stop Spa Experience for the Entire Family”. They have a salon specifically for Natural Hair and I have been there one more than one occasion to get my hair done, my daughter’s hair done. Even my sister has gotten her hair done there. 

Apples & Oranges will have stylists from their Natural Hair Salon there to style your hair, completely free of charge.

All you need to claim this prize is to show up to the meet up with your hair washed and ready for styling.

Please have realistic expectations. Don’t expect micro twists or styles that will take a very long time to achieve. 

O’Naturals Beauty

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O’Naturals Beauty was established by three sisters to meet the demands of women who require natural products, hair and body care. They have a Salon in Ogudu, Lagos. 

They are offering a free wash and Deep Conditioning treatment at their salon.

To win: Your ticket qualifies you.

KL’s Natural Beauty Bar

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Owned by the lovely Kemi Lewis, KL’s Natural Beauty Bar is a salon and store in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.

KL’s Natural Bar is offering One Shea Radiance product trial set PLUS a huge bow up-do using Marley Hair. Here’s a picture of Kemi, sporting the style!

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To win: Your ticket qualifies you.

Now folks, on to products:

Aweni Organics

aweni palm oil & papaya - now available poster

 

Awwni Organics is a A 100% Natural Shea Butter-Based Bath & Body Care Products Company. They have products ranging from soaps to body butters.  As you can see from the flyer above, they are going to be launching their new soap – Palm Oil and Papaya at the NITC8 Meet Up. There are offering up a 20 of these soaps.

To win: First 20 people who buy from the Aweni stall gets a free bar of their Palm Oil and Papaya Exfoliating Soap.

Sahara Sunrise 

Sahara Sunrise has been making natural hair and skin products for years. They will be giving away Bath Bombs which are excellent for relaxation therapy. Don’t have a bath tub? A bucket will do just fine. They have Moringa Leaf and Tamanu Oil Bath Bombs, Chocolate Bath Bombs and Calendula Bath Bombs.

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To win: Your ticket qualifies you.

African Naturalistas

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African Naturalista needs no introduction. A fellow blogger and owner of her own brand of cosmetics, ‘Ilola who owns African Naturalista offers a bottle each of

  • Black Moisturizing Natural Shampoo
  • One Moisturizing and Detangling Conditioner

They have been making products for a few years and if you have never gotten to try them, this will be a good opportunity to get in on the action.

To win: Your ticket qualifies you.

Namaste Organics

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Makers of Black Soap, Body Butters and more, Namaste Organics have diversified recently and started making hair products. If you win, you can try their

  • Leave in conditioner
  • Aloe Vera spritz

To win: Your ticket qualifies you.

Natural Nigerian

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Ah! You didn’t think we wouldn’t participate, did you?  You win a N10,000 gift voucher which you can use in our Ahia.

To win: Our giveaway is actually ongoing and you can get details on how to enter here.

UPDATE: Fashion Strings, retailer of pretty much every hair accessory you could need plus more is offering a giveaway too.

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To win: Buy goods worth N2000 from the Fashion Strings Stand and take anything off the stand completely free!

Phew!! Finally done. As you can see, there is quite a bit to be won. And this on top of things to learn at the meet up. What can I say, Naturals in the City Meet Ups always pack a wallop! If you are in Lagos, you have many many reasons to want to be there. We were one of the first Natural Hair meet ups in Lagos, Nigeria and we hope to be around for a long time.

Don’t forget to come with a friend or 3!

Dangers of Vegetable Oil Natural NigerianSource

Vegetable oil is a generic term that encompasses oil expelled from soybean, corn, cottonseed, and rapeseed (canola).  These highly liquid oils are a relatively new innovation.  They emerged on the scene in the 1920s and their level of consumption has since skyrocketed.

This is where things begin to get interesting.  Before the advent of vegetable oil, chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer were virtually non-existent.  Of course, correlation is not necessarily causation.  And one readily admits that chronic disease is caused by a number of factors.  However,  there is something uniquely toxic about vegetable oil.  Consider the observation of Dr. Dudley White, a respected American physician from that era: “See here, I began my practice as a cardiologist in 1921 and I never saw a heart attack patient until 1928. Back in the heart attack free days before 1920, the fats were butter and lard and I think that we would all benefit from the kind of diet that we had at a time when no one had ever heard the word corn oil.”

The problem with vegetable oil

Corn and soybean have been consumed by man for millennia.  Then, how is it that oil extracted from these wholesome foods is suddenly toxic?  Well, the problem is not the oil per se, but how that oil is modified to extend shelf life.

You see, highly liquid vegetable oils, also called polyunsatured fats, very quickly become rancid when exposed to air.  When you extract these fats from the protective context of a whole food, they break down quite rapidly.  That is, polyunsaturated fats are only stable when encased by and associated with proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and other substances found in whole foods.  In fact, unmodified vegetable oil becomes rancid in a matter of hours when exposed to air.

This begs a question.  How then does commercial vegetable oil have an average shelf life of two years?  Vegetable oil is preserved by a process called partial hydrogenation.  In which, a fraction of the unstable polyunsaturated fats are converted to much more stable trans fats.  And it is these trans fats that give commercial vegetable oil their unnatural shelf life.

The producers of vegetable oil then have the audacity to paste boldly on their labels: CONTAINS NO TRANS FATS. This is a big fat lie. Sadly, this is but one instance of the vicious logic of the processed food industry, whose motto is profit over people.

Dangers of Vegetable Oil Natural Nigerian

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The negative health effects of hydrogenated oils

Another term for partial hydrogenation is plastic-ization.  That is, natural oil is converted into a synthetic plastic-like substance.  Of a truth, commercial vegetable oil has more in common with petrochemicals than say naturally stable palm oil or coconut oil.  What do I mean?  Well, both petrochemicals and hydrogenated oils have no place in animal physiology.  They are invariably toxic whenever ingested, a true disadvantage when using vegetable oil.

No wonder that wherever petro-vegetable oil goes, an epidemic of chronic diseases is sure to follow.  In sum, the best oils for cooking are those that have been used in ancestral societies; namely palm oil, coconut oil, Shea butter, and animal fats.

References:
  1. M Enig, Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research , 2nd Edition, 1995, Enig Associates, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, pp 4-8
  2. F A Kummerow, “Effects of Isomeric Fats on Animal Tissue, Lipid Classes and Atherosclerosis,” Geometrical and Positional Fatty Acid Isomers, E. A. Emken and H. J. Dutton, eds, American Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, IL, 1979, pp151-180
  3. F. A. Kummerow, “Nutritional Effects of Isomeric Fats: Their Possible Influence on Cell Metabolism or Cell Structure,” Dietary Fats and Health, (E. G. Perkins and W. J. Visek, eds), Americna Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, IL, 1983, pp 391-402
  4. S Fallon and M Enig, “The Oiling of America”. The Weston A. Price Foundation. 1 January 2000. Web

Ezenwa Onwugbenu is a nutritional healer and public speaker on natural health matters. You can find out more about him and his passion for natural health and living on Creative Juices.

As promised earlier, here is a bit more information as to what to expect at the Naturals In The City 8, Lagos Natural Hair Meet Up.

Naturals in the City 8 Lagos Nigeria Hair Meet Up

A little difficult to believe that this is just the eight one, right? Seems like we have been at it for quite a while.

Who is invited?

Anyone really. You don’t need to have Natural Hair to be let in.  Our focus is helping ladies get on a Healthy Hair Journey and providing them the resources to see them through. So please come if you are relaxed, a weave queen or just curious. We welcome everyone!

Vendors

Already many vendors have confirmed that they will be there Namaste Organics, African Naturalista, Sahara Sunrise, Aweni Organics, Accessories by Didi, Ajali, Nazuri Curls, Kalos Health and Beauty….to name a few. They will have available natural products that will help you along on your healthy hair and skin journey. Natural Hair and Skin Products all in one place. Some even proudly made right here in Nigeria.

Wondering who the guest speakers will be?

I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but I will let you in on a sneak peek!

Wondrous, who own La Poshe Salon in V/I and has many many years of experience under her belt will be leading a discussion on Coloring Hair Safely. This is an important topic because while a lot of ladies would love to color their hair, they are a bit scared about how to do it without ending up with lots of damage.

There will be at least three more speakers – one of whom is a experienced stylist with a Natural Hair Salon on the Mainland. Practical sessions will be in place as well.

Product Swap

We tried this at NITC7 and it went so well, we have decided to do it again at NITC 8! It is very simple. Bring any products you don’t want and swap it with items that may wish to try. The success of the swap depends on people bringing in their products, so bring those products in!

Get your hair done free!

Yes, you read right. Apples & Oranges will have a couple of stylists at the meet up and they will be there to style your hair. Free! If you do not know about Apples & Oranges, know that they have a Natural Hair Salon in Victoria Island. Plus an amazing spa!

Nothing as complicated as micro braids of course, but as long as you turn up with your washed and ready for styling, they will go to work on your hair for FREE! It will be on a first come, first served basis so get there on time.

How come there is a gate fee?

I had said that we were considering charging for the event and we will start doing that with this one. While we thoroughly enjoy putting on a good quality show so that you are comfortable and happy, it comes at some cost. So that we do not have to dip into our pockets to do this, we ask that you support us by paying a N500 gate fee.

When you pay your gate fee, you will receive a ticket which allows you to enter into a giveaway – there are many amazing gifts to win! I will put up a post before the meet up, letting you know what those giveaway prizes will be exactly.

Hopefully, you will agree that our meet up will be worth the N500 gate fee. We thank you in advance for supporting us.

Giveaway

Now, on to the first giveaway. This is open to anyone in Nigeria. Help us spread the word and we will give you a N10000 voucher to spend in the Ahia NN and more.

Rules

  • Repost the flyer on this Page on social media, tag Natural Nigerian and you gain one entry- Twitter (naturalnigerian), Instagram (nnigerian), Facebook (naturalnigerian). The more entries you post, the more your chances of winning. It is important to tag us each time as that is the only way it counts.
  • Tweet a link to this post = 2 entries.
  • Posting on your blog (remember to mail us a link) = 5 entries. Mail links to nn@naturalnigerian.com

There are no limits to how many times you can enter!!

We will close the giveaway on the 28th of June by noon and announce a winner by Tuesday, 1st July.

Prizes

  • A N10,000 voucher that you can spend as you like in the Ahia NN. Full access to all items that are in stock!
  • Top five taggers will be entered into all the giveaways at the meet up whether they attend or not. This is fantastic for out of state entrants.

Good Luck all!

Want to see pictures of past meet ups? Go here, here, here…there’s a lot more but let’s stop there.

Pineapple-FruitSource

Some of the most powerful healing substances on this planet are masquerading as foods.  Pineapples are a powerful example of this food-medicine principle.  And this is not by happenstance.  There exists an ancient mutual dependence between man and fruits.   Fruits are by design a perfect food, intended to entice us to eat them in order to help disseminate their seeds.   This process is quite profound.

Fruits entice us because they are often sweet and have attractive colors and aromas.  They also empower us to disseminate their seeds far and wide.  That is, fruiting plants have a vested interest in optimizing the health of animals that eat their fruit.  After all, a sickly animal cannot carry seed very far.  Accordingly, fruits have evolved an array of substances tailored to fight infection and disease in animals.  Let us explore this in a bit more detail.

The evolutionary meaning of vitamin C

Pineapples are one of the most concentrated sources of food vitamin C on the planet.  Unlike most animals, human beings are unable to produce vitamin C from glucose.  Most animals do not need vitamin C from their food.  But humans are wholly dependent on dietary sources.  This fact gives tremendous insight into the evolutionary history of man.

Our genetic infrastructure needs a continual resupply of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.  Without which, disease is inevitable.

Vitamin C is the body’s primary water soluble antioxidant, defending the body against free radicals that attack and damage cells.  Free radicals are an inevitable fact of life.  Our body produces these highly reactive toxins during energy generation. We are also exposed to them from processed foods (e.g. soft drinks) and environmental chemical exposures (e.g. generator exhaust).  An excess of free radicals in the body leads to a condition known as oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress has a hand in almost all chronic disease processes that afflict man; from cancer to heart disease to arthritis and so on.

Vitamin C is also critical for immune function; it is an essential nutrient in dealing with infectious challenges ranging from malaria to yeast infections to flu.

That humans gave up the capability to produce such a profoundly health promoting substance demonstrates how intimately and inextricably linked we are to fruits like pineapple.  But please note that this is not a prescription to buy synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which lacks the essential co-factors that together form vitamin C complex.  Multivitamins and enriched processed foods (e.g. enriched white flour) are a scam of monumental proportions.

Enter bromelain, a proven cancer killer

The emergence of cancer cells is in fact a normal part of animal physiology.  Our bodies are composed of trillions of cells, of which billions are replicating at any given time.  With so much replication going on all the time, abnormalities are bound to occur.  In fact, all of us have carried numerous cancer cells at various times.  In healthy persons, these abnormal cells are rapidly destroyed by the immune system.

Fruits have also evolved an integral role in cancer prevention.  After all, they have a huge stake in the welfare of their precious seed carriers.  Pineapples really do go the extra mile for us.  In the fibrous core of pineapples, is a complex blend of enzymes collectively referred to as bromelain.  Bromelain has been found to be more potent than the chemotoxic agent 5-fluorouracil in killing cancer cells.  Imagine that, pineapples kill cancer cells more effectively than chemotherapy.  The only reason such studies remain in the dark is because they threaten the profitability of the medical establishment.

References: Roxana Báez, Miriam T Lopes, Carlos E Salas, Martha Hernández. “In vivo antitumoral activity of stem pineapple (Ananas comosus) bromelain”. Planta Medica. 2007. Web

Ezenwa Onwugbenu is a nutritional healer and public speaker on natural health matters. You can find out more about him and his passion for natural health and living on Creative Juices.

I was really excited when an Abuja based Natural Nigerian, Tosin a.k.a Hamira Tamiko Adyms, reached out to me, asking for a referral for a natural hair stylist to style her Natural hair for her wedding. Of course, I had to refer my girl, Nat. Mane who is a whiz with styling hair – for any occasion.

Tosin’s pre-wedding photos were a splash of color surrounded by Art. I loved them! Tosin’s truly made the wedding her own. Her groom, who is quite handsome, was apparently a huge support. Plus! they look so happy and in love….all together now – Awww!

Anyway, for those of you who are wondering if you can pull off the natural look for your wedding, I asked Tosin a few questions about her preparations and how she arrived at her chosen style. Get ready for serious inspiration!

Hey! Introduce yourself please!

natural hair bride nigeria

natural hair styles bride nigeria

My name is Tosin El-Zakir (nee Adimula). I got married recently and did the wedding planning myself. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and it sort of translated into my hairstyle.

You sported a fantastic natural hairstyle. Why did you decide not to hide your natural hair for the special day? What made you so confident?

natural hair bride nigeria

I wanted my wedding outfit including my hairdo to be unique, so months before the wedding I went hunting for a wedding natural hairstyle I would be comfortable with and that would look gorgeous. Luckily I found one on Pinterest. I was able to link back to the original site it was pinned from and found more views of the hairstyle.

natural hair bride nigeria

I showed it to my fiancé (who is really into my natural hair). He loved it and so we both agreed that would be the hairdo. I think his approval was part of the things that gave me confidence to rock the hairstyle, also of recent i have run into quite a number of beautiful natural Nigerian brides so I thought ‘what the heck’? how hard can it be to pull it off? Lol!

natural hair bride nigeria natural hair style bride nigeria natural hair bride nigeria

How did you decide on a stylist?

The next stage was finding someone really good with styling natural hair that could pull off the style, I made a lot of enquiries, searched online and finally sent ‘Natural Nigerian’ a Facebook message asking for a recommendation. She suggested ‘Nat. Mane‘ and instantly I knew it was decided! Nat Mane had actually done my hair for me before but I thought since this was a ‘wedding hairdo’ she might not be good with that. After the recommendation though, I called Nat Mane we chatted, exchanged emails and after she saw the pictures she said she could do the hairstyle. I did not need much convincing once she confirmed she’d do it and I have also seen her different works online.

natural hair bride nigeria

Did you work with her to come up with a style? Did you do a mock trial before the big day?

We did not even do a test before the wedding. We only did the side weaves of the hair on Tuesday, the week of the wedding because I had to travel for my traditional wedding and I did not want us to be in a rush weaving the hair and then styling on the wedding day.

What would you advice other Natural Nigerians to do if they wanted to rock their natural hair for the big day?

My advice to other brides-to-be who want to rock their Natural Hair is ‘Do you’! Don’t be bothered by what people will think, find a great hairstyle that suits your head shape, find a good stylist to execute it, consult and discuss about what is needed to pull it off nicely and you can definitely do trials before the day if you’re not confident of the person’s ability. Get your fiancé involved as well. It’s your big day and the memories you make are yours, so do what will make it a great memory for you and your spouse and be happy! Your guests, friends and family will end up loving your hairdo!

To digress a bit, I noticed that the card for your traditional wedding was a really “traditional” card.  Were you deliberately going for something more Nigerian/cultural?

Bibi Invitations African Traditional Wedding card natural hair bride nigeria

I really love colors! And I try to show that in everything I do. I found Bibi Invitations a long time ago while browsing through one of my numerous wedding sites. I was intrigued! Their cards were different and just what I wanted! Colorful and animated. It was a plus for me that they were also Nigerian and Cultural and could be customized. I bookmarked and pinned their website because I knew I’d definitely be making use of them when my big day came.

When I started planning my wedding, I visited a number of card shops to get ready made wedding cards and all I could find were beige, cream and white cards and the ones that had a bit of color had ugly or regular designs. That’s when I remembered Bibi Invitations. I sent them an email and several emails later we had concluded on the design, colors and content of the card. They sent me the design and I got the cardstock for it to be printed on and got a Royal Purple cardstock for the main invitation.

I did a bit of DIY, manually punching and ribboning the cards and we customized envelopes for it but to be totally honest asides the work I put into it, it cost me wayyyyyy less than if I had bought ready made wedding cards at a shop, everyone loved it and it was colorful and unique!!

Where can we find you online?

Online Wedding siteFacebookTwitter,InstagramPinterestBlog

Thank you for sharing with us, Tosin. May The Blessings of The Almighty continuously be on your marriage.

natural hair bride nigeria

Last week, I was in Abuja for the Capital Naturals 3, Natural Hair Meet Up. I love how beautiful Abuja is and was very excited to be back there. I was also quite curious to see how far the natural hair community had come along there.

The very first meet up we had in Abuja, there were several ladies in attendance who came with weaves, braids and twists and the rallying cry was “My hair is natural under this!” a clear indication that

  • They did not know how to handle their natural hair
  • There was no real support – salons, products e.t.c

I am glad to say that at this meet up, that had changed significantly. I am also aware that there are at least four dedicated natural hair salons in Abuja and now lots more vendors selling products that are natural hair friendly.  Progress, no?

Our chosen venue, Baytown Lounge, Apo was lovely. The staff were very friendly and helpful. They quickly re-purposed one of their air conditioned indoor lounges so that our attendees would have a place to sit and listen to the talks. This was amazing of them as it meant that we did not have to sit outdoors in the heat – Abuja is hot o! When we realized that the canopy we rented for vendors was not sufficient, they brought some of theirs out of storage, set it up and even supplied us chairs. The compound is H.U.G.E and so we were not wanting for space outdoors where the shopping was taking place.

We did not start on time, mainly because a lot of people came late. For some, this was because they had some difficulty finding the venue. Well, nothing to fear! We are going to continue with this venue for some time so the hassle is a one time thing only :)

And then it began – Our beautiful and funny compere, did a really good job getting people to talk about themselves and their unique hair journey. One of the ladies she asked to speak was actually all the way relaxed. I was quite glad that she had come for the event as we do not discriminate.

Audience Participation Capital Naturals 3

After the ice-breaking discussion, the hair talks began. It was started off by Farida of Lumos Naturals Salon, Gwarinpa speaking about Ayurvedic powders and how they can be beneficial for growing healthy hair.

Lumos Natural Presentation Capital Naturals 3

This was followed up by Natural Mane of Deep, Brown & Kinks taking participants through tips on managing their hair during Rainy Season. She threw in some tips as well.

Natural Mane Presentation Capital Naturals 3

The third speaker was moi! I spoke on Healthy Hair NOW! My message was essentially tailored towards healthy practices and regimens that would help one achieve healthy hair. I stressed that only healthy hair can give sustainable length.

Natural Nigerian Presentation Capital Naturals 3

Kiki of Keeks Therapy gave a talk as well, tackling things from a health perspective. She’s a pharmacist with a fully functional pharmacy in Jabi, so she knows her stuff. Unfortunately, I do not have a clear picture of her giving her talk.

When the talks were done, people started walking back to the vendor area. See how much space we had? It was slightly ridiculous. I love that about Baytown Lounge!

Baytown Lounge Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

 

Okay, let’s do some hair ogling. That, after all, is what most people go to meet ups to do! Don’t deny it!

Lizzy Orji Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

Dear Lizzy! Where do I begin from? She came all the way from Jalingo in Taraba State to attend the meet up AND it was her birthday! She makes me smile.

Group Picture Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

Pose for the picture now!

Dami Oyedele Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

Dami Oyedele, check out her blog: http://t.co/7U1VXc2Yb8

Creative locs Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

Creative locs back Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

Absolutely loved her hair style!

Attendee Hair Capital Naturals 3 Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Abby Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Cross Section Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Friends Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

This lady showed up with threading. Loved it! Doesn’t she look good? I really hope this catches on. It is one of the best things you can do for your hair.

Threading Capital Naturals 3

Vendor Avana Vatiaa and Friend Capital Naturals 3

Mdeevan and Avana

While I was busy running around to make sure that the event was going well, this chic right here took a lot of the pictures here. She very kindly gave them to me to share.  Follow her on twitter. She also slyly took pictures of me when she thought I wasn’t looking. Maki Capital Naturals 3 Maki Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Mercy Capital Naturals 3 More Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Upimage3396image3493image3587Product Swap Table Capital Naturals 3 Pretty Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Photo bombed Capital Naturals 3 Abuja, Nigeria Natural Hair Meet UpShopping Capital Naturals 3 Shopping outside Capital Naturals 3 Sisters and Friend Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Two Ladies Shopping Capital Naturals 3 Smile Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

As always, we had vendors at the meet up. Here are a few pictures. I loved that they were selling things that were different – one from the other. I particularly liked the fact that there were a lot of items there that were locally made. #BuyNigerian.

Vendor Avana Vatiaa Capital Naturals 3 Vendor Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up Vendor Keeks Therapy Capital Naturals 3 Abuja,Nigeria Natural Hair Meet Up

Rebirth by Jayla Capital Naturals 3

Shea Coco Vendor Stand Capital Naturals 3

 

And that about sums it up! I had a delightful time and I am so grateful that we had such a good turn out – while I was giving my talk, I saw that not everyone had a seat and some were standing. That is something we will definitely address. At the next meet up. Later this year!

I absolutely love how the Nigerian Hair community is shaping up and these Natural hair meet ups we hold in Nigeria really help us see the progress we make.

To get other people’s perspective of their time at the meet up, please read TunrayoNaijaGirlNextDoor and Don’t Touch The Hair‘s accounts.

If you are in Lagos, don’t forget to join us at the NITC8, Lagos Natural Hair Meet Up

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