Monday, 29 July 2013

Product Review: Sofn'free Curl Activator Lotion




Hi everyone....

I think it's time I did this review. It's funny because it isn't even a product I ever thought I would wanna do a review on. I got it on amazon.co.uk when I needed to order a curl activator in preparation for my big chop. It serves as both a curl activator AND a moisturizer. It's contents are OK, as long as you do not have anything against cones in hair products. But before I go on with this review, here's what I found out about cones from www.tightlycurly.com:

-They condition by preventing water loss
-Dimethicones are the heaviest of all silicones used for hair care, they provide the most smoothing effect, but is hardest to wash out
-Gives a velvety feel. This does not evaporate. Dimethicones are considered non-irritating to the skin and eyes.
-There has been many rumors about silicones being bad for the hair, but the opposite has been scientifically proven.
-Tightly curly hair needs to be protected in a moisturizing layer that helps keep it calm and weather-proofs it.
-Kinky hair is not wimpy and cones will not weigh it down. As long as you clarify periodically, you would be fine. 
-Check out Teri's hair in www.tightlycurly.com to see how these so-called bad-for-hair ingredients can actually protect your hair and help you retain mad length!

How how use it: I use it either on soaking wet hair,damp hair, or perfectly dry hair.

What it does for my curls: It makes my hair really soft, guys-I am currently rocking a TWA and when I apply it to wet, conditioned hair, and I apply the finger massage method to create curls, it speeds up the process for me. It is also great for detangling and I do not even have to use so much. When I use it on dry hair, it helps me detangle better and it softens my hair.

Ingredients: It's main ingredients are Panthenol, Mink oil,  Vitamin E, Glycerine.

Other ingredients include Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone, but if you check out these jaw-breaking (haha) ingredients against Teri's ingredients list in www.tightlycurly.com, like I did, you will find that Sof n' Free should be a keeper! It is water-based too.

Price: Almost free, maybe 2 pounds for a 350ml bottle? It was so cheap that my friend ordered 2 bottles for me when I asked for just one.

Fragrance: Overwhelming in my opinion. There is something cucumber-ish about it, and then some other stuff......the only up side is that the fragrance dissipates to about 20% after some time.

Packaging: OK. A typical squeeze bottle-fine by me.

My recommendations: Use this for everything you can think of for your hair! Twist outs, wash n' gos, daily moisturizer before sealing, braid outs, deep conditioning treatments. This product is a keeper for me, because it leaves my Type 4 curls soft for days.
I know this product isn't one of the "popular" brands out there, and I can't imagine why. Maybe because it says "curl activator", and most popular stereotype activators are only good for TWAs. I have not tried any other Sof n' free product though (I spotted the shampoo months ago at the mall here in Lagos-I should look out for it), but this particular one I have tried is worth it.

*To view some pics and details of how my TWA looked after 3 days, using this product, check out my post here*


Have you tried any Sof n'free products before?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The secret to long natural hair (feat chescalocs, heyfranhey, taren916,urbanbushbabes)

 
Source: www.urbanbushbabes.com

 
Heeeey..

I thought I should share this hilarious video shoot by a few of the most gorgeous ladies with beautiful hair out  there! They are Chescalocs, Cipriana and Nikisha of www.urbanbushbabes.com, Taren Guy and Fran. Many of you might have seen this already though. I saw this video on the Urban Bush Babes website and I think I watched it 10 times and laughed all through! You wanna know the secret to long healthy hair? Click on this video. Be sure to purchase the product!   :-)


xoxo

Friday, 26 July 2013

Beef kebabs-easy as ABC.





It's been a while :-) I have been kinda busy with work and life. But I'm back and hey it was my birthday two days ago! I had a good time and I was reminded of how I am so blessed to have such great and caring friends!

I wanted to make something nice in addition to the other things I had planned for the day, so I decided to make beef kebabs. It's really easy-peasy but I thought I should share the recipe with ya'all-it's fun to make and sometimes we never know how easy it is to spice up the menu with a nice homemade snack every now and then.

What you need:
- Skewers. I got mine from Shoprite, the stands right beside the payment queues. N500
-Beef of course. Best cut beef.
-1 Onion
-3 firm tomatoes
-2 Green peppers
-Seasoning (Curry, thyme, 1 stock cube, ground cayenne pepper-optional)
-Salt
-Vegetable oil

 I was able to make nine beef kebabs from these quantities.

Thats a pack of 100 skewers.


Cut the beef into chunks of about 2.5cm by 2.5cm, then wash and season very well. You want to use your fingers to rub that stuff right in. 





I had about 45 pieces here. Next you cover the bowl the beef is in with cling film or a firm lid and then refridgerate for at least an hour. I refridgerated for 4 hours. The longer the better. (Tip: Do this last thing before bedtime and continue first thing in the morning).

Next, put the beef chunks in a pot, add very little water, just a few tablespoons, and start to simmer. We want the beef to soak in all that juice while cooking hence, add little water and maybe a few more drops if needed. You may add a little salt at this point.

Boiled beef chunks

 When the underside is pale, flip the chunks to cook the top sides. After 10minutes just stir till the chunks are cooked all over.

Next, heat up the vegetable oil in a deep, small pot. You need a lot of oil-about 2inches high. Then fry the chunks till they are golden brown. Scoop em out and place them in a sieve or on kitchen towels. I overdid it a bit as you can see :-)



You need to chop the vegetables after you prepare the beef. Note how I made them rectangular and the onions chunky. Prepare the beef first so that you can size the veggies according to the size of the beef chunks. Remove all the seeds from the peppers and the tomatoes and rinse all veggies thoroughly.



You are now ready for the fun part! Please rinse the skewers in salty water first, then start threading the veggies, onions and beef chunks through the middle. Of course you need to be as colourful as you can. Also don't be frustrated when the onions start separating as they love to do; just thread the layers gently. I like to create a "model" kebab and then use that pattern to make the others. That way, your beef kebabs look uniform and neat.




So there you go! What do u think? What homemade snacks do you like? Let me know so I can try them!

Laterz
xoxo

Friday, 19 July 2013

Introducing "Hair Crush Features:" on Fola's Oasis



Heeeeey....

 I just started a new series of posts on ladies and their hair stories. This was inspired by what other bloggers do on their blogs; featuring ladies who have healthy hair so that blog readers can get inspired. I have my very first feature up: Do check it out by clicking the "Hair crush features" tab right on top of the blog.

And if you would like to get featured, send me an email! I'd love to hear from you.

Love,
Fola
 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Why I decided to do the big chop.




Hey!

Just a quick post on my decision to do the big chop. I am in no way advocating against relaxed hair. As a matter of fact, I am working on a special blog feature, for natural and relaxed ladies. This way, blog readers may be inspired to nurture and cherish their own hair and also learn ways by which they can do this. I believe in doing whatever works for you. I had been relaxing my hair for as long as I can recall, and I was one of the “lucky” ones with longer-than-average hair, for an African anyway. My longest hair length was a little over arm-pit length. In my mid twenties however, I noticed uneven lengths, super-dryness and breakage. I remember getting my hair chopped off to chin length back in 2009. The hair grew pretty ok, but I just knew my hair was struggling. I changed my regimen, started deep conditioning more often….but my hair was quite thin. I changed relaxers many times too. Then late last year, I started reading hair care blogs. I decided to switch my regimen around a bit and see how it goes. But I learnt from the natural hair care blogs how I could attain healthy and long hair due to the actual genetic make up of the hair God gave us. I pondered about this for a long time-I know my natural curls are not like Curly Nikki’s! They are type 4, thick curls! I pondered about the aesthetic aspect of going natural. Boy, I love me those silky weaves, high buns on relaxed hair and the no-stress-ness of relaxed hair! So, after much thinking, I decided I was gonna go for the big chop. It wasn’t like my relaxed hair was behaving the way I wanted it to anyway! It was glaring that I would need to cut off many inches of chemically processed but damaged hair to start seeing results. So why not go natural? So I decided to do more research and take the plunge. And that’s where my journey started. I have wigs that I can wear whenever I want to, I will sew in weaves every other month, and get braids installed. I am curious as to how long my hair can get to, but I know I just have to be patient! I tried the relaxed journey and it did not work for me so well-so I wanna see how the natural journey will go for me. And if I decide to join the creamy crack bandwagon again…well I will let y’all know! But I don’t think I will. Big kudos to those who have been able to achieve great lengths with relaxed hair! A good example is fellow blogger: www.wurassecrethair.blogspot.com.Check out her blog, she’s really got it going on!


So I wrote this post just to spill my thoughts on my decision. I wanna read this post 5 yrs from now with my hair reaching down my back! :p


Laterz!

xoxo

Friday, 12 July 2013

Aphogee Pro-vitamin leave-in review



Hey mamaz,
This one's for the hair enthusiasts.....I've wanted to do a review on the Aphogee Pro-vitamin leave in conditioner for a while now. Aphogee products are da bomb-my sister in the UK swears by them, and I've read many cool reviews, the fave being the two-minute reconstructor. I bought my first bottle of the pro-vitamin leave -in conditioner back in 2011 from an indian shop in the UK, actually finished it and I am now on my second, bigger bottle. Need I say more? I love it. Here's the break down. Oh and this is not a sponsored post! Yea so here goes:

How I use it: This conditioner is what I usually use as my "L" in the LOC moisturizing method. "L" for liquid conditioning or even water. I usually spritz it on my wet hair (as instructed on the bottle), massage, then apply the "O"il and then a "C"ream. It works fine for me, and a little goes a long way. What I love about this product is that despite the fact that it's got protein (and I am protein-sensitive, as is the case with most type 4 ladies isn't it), but it doesn't make my hair crunchy or dry as long as I don't use way too much and as long as I use an oil or cream afterwards. I also love the PH-balancing promise of this product, something that Aphogee products are known for. I also use this leave-in even on dry hair, followed by an oil or shea butter. I am able to detangle my wet hair after using this product. It smells just okay, nothing special about the fragrance in my opinion.

Packaging: It comes in 8 oz and 16 oz bottles. The 8 oz bottle has a pump spray top which is perfect for spritzing. The 160z? Nope. just a normal shampoo or conditioner top where you have to squeeze the bottle itself to get the product out. I had to pour some from the 16 oz bottle into my old 8 oz bottle. Packaging is alright though.

Price: Definitely affordable. I got mine on amazon for maybe 6 pounds? I honestly cannot remember but guess what, that is probably because it was not pricey at all!

Cons: Hmmm don't use too much if you are protein sensitive. Or better yet, dilute with water and see what works for you over time. Also, if you are gonna use gel afterwards, most likely for wash and gos, you need to massage the leave-in into your hair VERY well cos the droplets are not exactly clear like water; its kinda milky. I noticed this when I did my wash and go, freaked out, took a deep breath and kept on massaging, and I was good. Oh and then the 16 oz bottle issue is another con.

Final thoughts: I like it a lot. I think it's worth giving a try, particularly as a form of liquid moisturizer. I recommend you add some (ratio 1:4) to your water spritz bottle, the way some ladies add aloe vera juice or glycerine to water to moisturize their hair. It works trust me. I think that PH-optimizing promise was no bluff.

Final score: 8.5/10.    (1.5 points off for 16 oz packaging  bottle top issue and how I have to really massage the stuff into my hair before I use gel).

What about you? Used this before? What other Aphogee products are your staples and what other liquid moisturizers would you recommend?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Food versus Crap



This pinterest find of mine would make a nice frame for the kitchen don't you think? It's very clear and self-explanatory. I am not too sure if cheese is so bad though. But I personally don't really like cheese, except in cheese burgers and pizza lol!

Oh and here's another one I find hilarious:



They say 10mins to 30mins of exercise a day goes a very long way towards fitness and health. Try walking more often, dancing, Wii, biking, climbing the stairs, shooting hoops, wrestling with friends, the bf or hubby, anything to stay active often. It works!

I'm 90 % there as regards my weight target. Expect another before and after pic soon! I still have a little pooch on my lower belly though. Other than that I think I'm very pleased with my results :-).

Cheers!!
xoxo

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

My big chop!

Yaaaay I did it! I did it! I DID THE BIG CHOP! Yesterday I did it and I am so glad I did not break down in tears when I was done! I am so happy for the natural hair community-I think it helped me successfully prepare myself mentally for this big step, and so I kinda knew what to expect.

I bought a brand new pair of scissors, and I sectioned my hair into 4 parts-2 at the side, one in front, one at the back. My sissy helped me snip the back section. I initially planned to make the front section a lil longer to give my round-ish head a lil height, but when I was done with the side sections, I said "to hell with it" and made everything an overall length of 2.5inches. I most certainly have very little texturized hair left from when I did this in March this year, but my hair looks completely kinky and I like it.

Reactions thus far are still limited -I will wear my hair out for the first time tomorrow to work. My 2 sisters are OK with it, my friends on BB were literally screaming "OMG why did you cut that long hair of urs!", about 4 of my male friends say I look cute, a friend warned me and said I better know my hair would not grow as fast now that I am older :)

OK so I know the quality of the pics are not the best-I will take more pics and post em from even tomorrow. I basically cowashed and then after snipping, I did a DC with a cocktail of my conditioners like HEHH, VO5, Catwalk Tigi etc and some shea butter, olive, almond, castor and jojoba oil and then I mashed some banana in it. I must make sure I use a very ripe banana next time! I had bits of banana still hiding in my hair for a while. I DC'd for about 5 hrs, rinsed it out with an ACV final rinse.

Final steps: -Aphogee provitamin leave-in conditioner while wet
-A little Curl Junkie smoothing lotion and almond oil
-Sof n' free curl activator
-Ecostyler argan oil gel

I used the finger-massage method that's popular on youtube for TWAs and twirled a few strands. The hair took a long time to dry. Shrinkage was def evident after 30 mins but it wasn't too bad.

This morning I refreshed the look by wetting with water (my friend told me it's better when I apply the gel to soaking-wet hair), and added a lil more Curl Junkie and activator, added more gel, massaged, twirled. I wanna do the refreshing without gel tomorrow and see how it looks.


                                                                 Minutes before the chop. Damp with lil condish


Awww look at that!
 

                                                              The final look before styling. (that's not my bed :) )


                                                                              Gosh I look weird

                     
             Fiiinaaal look, after styling. Hair is 80% dry. The gel really keeps it wet for a while. Note the large earrings and hair band! ;)  (if you don't get it,refer to my post here)


                                                                     Looser curl pattern at the back


                                                      Looser curl pattern at the middle too. maybe cos my greys are concentrated there?

Day two pics:

                                                                      Not completely dry, front section


                                              


                                                                                     Back view






I will post FULL shrinkage pics tomorrow, and also a pic when I'm done refreshing it with water. It better look good cos I don't intend to use gel every single day on my hair! If it doesn't look good, I'm donning my wig to work!


Laterz!

xoxo

Friday, 5 July 2013

How to store your fruits and veggies properly


Source: www.foodlve.com


Hello!

I've been rather crippled lately blog-wise because my lappy gave me some issues some days ago, what with me having issues with renewing my internet connection subscription! But everything's alright now- I finally got it all sorted out this afternoon. I have been entertaining myself with Desperate Housewives DVDs-currently on Season 5. I love that show. Anywayz, this post is really just something small, for the fitness and nutrition junkies. It's about how to properly store our fruits and veggies. I did not even know this mattered until I stumbled on an article from www.greenbuffalofood.com. Here's what I learnt:



-Major point: Refrigerate apples, apricots, figs, honeydew melons and cantaloupe, but separate them from most other produce. Why so? Because they all produce ethylene, which sort of speed of the wilting and rotting process in foods.


-Another group of fruits also produces ethylene, but don’t need to be refrigerated. This includes avocados, pears, plums, tomatoes, peaches and nectarines. Well I ALWAYS refrigerate my tomatoes; Nigerian heat is gangster!


-Keep lettuce away from ethylene sources to minimize brown spots on the lettuce ribs, according to Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. Now I love lettuce, but I was beginning to think lettuce just hated me! They wilt in my fridge so easily. I think lettuce is really "fragile" that way but I'll try this new storage rule out and see if it helps.


-Ethylene can also cause cucumbers, broccoli, kale, spinach and other greens to yellow and spoil.


-The gas can also make turnip and asparagus tougher, and hinder the flavor of peppers, watermelons, sweet potatoes and summer squash varieties, according to CSU.


- Ethylene also can make carrots and parsnips more bitter, and can make eggplant flesh more brown and bitter.


-Bananas are a special case. They emit ethylene while ripening, but ripe bananas are also susceptible to go soft and develop more brown spots if exposed to other sources of ethylene.


-Ethylene is also produced in cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust, so don’t leave your produce in the car or garage longer than necessary. Good point!


- Finally potatoes and onions should also be stored separately. They each give off gases that can cause the other vegetable to spoil faster.


I hope y'all learnt something from this-the post is particularly helpful if you don't like to shop very often, you love fruits and veggies, or you don't leave so close to the market or grocery store.


Cheers!


xoxo