NH Feature: The Kinky Apothecary.

Hey Hey! I apologize for being MIA and as usual, I’m here to make up for it.

Today on Natural Hair Inspiration, we’re featuring The Kinky Apothecary (YASSS!). As most of you know, she’s a natural hair blogger and also deals in natural hair products, so after this post you all should run to her website! Let’s get right into it. Enjoy!

kinkyapol

Tell me about yourself. 

I own and run The Kinky Apothecary, Nigeria’s first one-stop natural hair shop. When we launched in 2010, there was nowhere to get the products I needed for my hair, and so I started bringing them in, selling to friends, and before I knew it, it took off. We have now signed on a number of new brands, and we’re very excited about the partnerships we’ve built and what we have in store for our customers this year. A lot of projects have been dragging for a while as we have wanted to do things properly (i.e. establishing actual relationships with the brands), but this year, most of them are set to come to fruition, and we are so excited! I started the blog (www.thekinkyapothecary.blogspot.com) to share my experience and pass on advice, but as the business has developed, I have found less and less time to blog unfortunately…for now, anyway.

kinkyyappp
Describe your hair before going natural.

I’ve always had relatively long, thick hair. It was the same when I was relaxed.

kinkyapothecary
Why did you go natural? 

I’ve actually been natural for most of my life, when I think about it. I was relaxed from the ages of 10 to 21, and then again stupidly for one texturiser in 2007, from which I immediately started transitioning back to natural. I went (back) natural both times because I actually just preferred the look and feel of natural hair, and also I just couldn’t reconcile with myself the fact that I had to undergo a permanent process every 6 weeks just for my hair to look presentable (and with the density of my hair and the speed at which it grew, my hair only ever looked “nice and relaxed” for that first week after the process, and then it was like I was transitioning. In fact come to think of it, I was in a permanent state of transitioning to natural hair, even though I didn’t know the term at the time).

I remember when I first relaxed at the age of 11. Most girls are excited about their first relaxer, however I remember that experience being tinged with a little sadness for me. I only relaxed because I was going to boarding school, and my mum and I had always struggled with my thick dense hair. She thought it would be easier, bless her. Now we’re both much more educated about natural hair (she’s natural now as well).

kinkyyy
Did you BC or transition?

I BC’d the first time, and transitioned the second
If you transitioned, how long before you BC’D? 

About a year.

kinkyy
How long have you been natural for?

All my life, save those 11 years.

kinkyyyy..
Tell me about your hair now

I do not subscribe to hair typing. I don’t really see what purpose it serves. Sometimes people are looking at me asking me what my hair type is, and I just think “it’s type-whatever you are looking at right now”. I don’t know what value it adds to attach letters and numbers to it. Also I can’t count the number of times I see several people class one person’s hair as several different hair types. I find it confusing and subjective. I also don’t see how all black people in the world, with all the variations, could possibly be classed under 3 subtypes (well, 4 if you count “3c”). And as the final point in what has turned into a rant (sorry! Lol), I don’t find it useful because like most people, I have several different types on my head, and don’t use different products on different sections of my hair!

I am glad you mentioned hair properties, however, as I find this to be a far more useful way of determining what your hair needs. My hair is cottony, dense, springy o’s and s’s, high porosity and slightly protein sensitive. I need a lot of moisture, it loves heavy oils to seal, and while I generally need to avoid protein in everyday products, I do need a protein boost once in a while.

kinkyth
What’s your hair regimen like?

Where to start. I talk a lot on the blog about how frequently this changes, but recently, due to my busy schedule, it consists of me finger detangling on dry or damp hair with some oil or conditioner, before putting it into about ten twists. Sometimes I even do this the day before I wash, and then just pin the twists up until I am ready to wash. I then wash (whether I’m cowashing or shampooing depends on the week and varies) and condition in those twists. I tend to deep condition every time I wash my hair. I rinse in the twists, then I do a cold water rinse to close the cuticles, followed by dousing (literally) my hair in aloe vera juice for added cuticle sealing. Then I apply a dab of coconut oil to my entire head to seal in the moisture. Then I generally undo each twist (all the things I mentioned before are usually done with my hair still in the twists), and apply my leave-in and styling product, and either retwist or braid for a twist- or braidout, or make smaller twists if I plan to wear my hair in twists for a couple of weeks.

kinkyap
Holy-Grail products? Share! 

I am a certified product junkie (so I am in the perfect job, since I get to test everything out before I offer them to our customers!) so there are too many to name. However products I am currently loving are the Bobeam Honey & Oats Shampoo bar, it cleanses without stripping. Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner will always be my go-to deep conditioner, no matter which others I try, especially with honey and olive oil added, and a bit of heat! I also love the Bee Mine Bee.U.Ti.Ful deep conditioner. I recently tried the Koils By Nature Shea Aloe Leave-In, and the Soultanicals Knot Sauce, both of which are coming to The Apothecary soon. My favourite sealants are Castor Oil (and for my scalp too) and our Whipped Batter which I also twist with. Other honourable mentions are the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser and African Black Soap Purification Masque. Oh, and their Curl Enhancing Smoothie. And you heard it hear first…we’re going to be getting the full range on our shelves in a couple of weeks with a surprise to kick it off, so eyes and ears open!

kinkyaa
How often do you wear your hair out?

Depends on the mood and my schedule. About half and half. As people who know me will know, I do love having my hair out when I have time to deal with all the implications (knotting, tangles, retwisting at night, etc). I protective style as a time saving method, but I feel more “me” with my hair out.

kinky
Have you been tempted to pick that relaxer at any point?

Nope. Never.

kinnnky
Have you received negative comments about your hair?

Who would dare?! Just kidding. When I first moved to Lagos, I did receive negative and curious comments from people here and there. But now people generally know me as “Madam Kinky”, they know better than to say anything to my face! Haha.

kinkyyy
Any tips or tricks you want to share? We’re willing to learn!

I have lots of tips and tricks! No idea where to start, so just ask me through the blog, or interacting with us on social media.

Oh, I’ll give you a quick one. Incorporating aloe vera juice into your regimen helps balance the pH of your hair, seal cuticles, increase moisture retention and lead to all round happy hair! (And it’s especially effective if you keep it in the fridge and use it cold)

But many more where that came from, so ask away!

kinkyapoth
Don’t go! How can we still keep in touch?

Blog – Our blog, as mentioned before, is www.thekinkyapothecary.blogspot.com.

Facebook –  We’re on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kinkyapothecary)

Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram as @kinkyapothecary. So no excuse not to interact with me! 🙂

 

Isn’t her hair pretty? Love that henna dye on her hair!

If you’d like to be featured on TLB (The Life of Bey) under the Hair Inspiration Category, do send an email of interest to lifeofbey@yahoo.com and I’d reply with the questions as soon as I receive your email.

Also, for inquires and suggestions, do send an email to lifeofbey@yahoo.com and the answers will be posted on the blog.

Bey.

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