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The Hair Tip Love Story (10 Tips For All Naturalists)

The warmth of the morning sun gently caressed Nancy’s chocolate skin as she turned lazily in her bed.
After a few minutes, she forced herself to wake up, said her prayers and immediately rushed for the bathroom. She had to be in school in the next thirty minutes.

Taking a slice of toast, she decided to take a mental peep into her day. Nothing special was happening today. Everything was going to be the same; long hours of lectures, tests, lunch and of course the usual taunting from her friends; Tolu, Leila and Oyin. They made it a point of duty to torture Nancy because of her “anyhow hair” like they called it.

Nancy is part of what we call the “Naturalists”. A term used to refer to ladies (mostly African) who keep their natural hair without applying relaxers or any form of softener.

Nancy loved the natural hair but wasn’t the best model for it. Hers always looked a mess.
Thinking of how Tolu and Leila would once again compare her hair to Oyin’s made Nancy cringe as she took a bite into her toast.

Oyin, another of her friends was also a naturalist but very different from her. Oyin’s hair always looked amazing and well kept. Most ladies in their class envied it and always looked forward to the new ways Oyin would style the hair.

Oyin’s hair was an issue for Nancy because it made her own “bad hair” very obvious and their other friends made sure to point it out to Nancy.
She hated comparison but she was gradually getting used to it because there was nothing she could do about her hair.

Or was there?

She had seen a lot of people with hair goals she had always dreamed of and her mum always told her that her hair was the talk of the street when she was a little girl but life just happened and she became a nonchalant teenage girl who wanted to have great grades and make her parents proud.
“I mean how does having a great hair help anyone?” she thought out loud.
“Well that is not my goal but I admire what they carry and how effortlessly they make maintenance look”. She scoffed.

Picking up her bag, her hair styled in her usual bun – packed to conceal her hair’s shortest part ( the middle) -Nancy headed to school.

She was ready to face her group of friends today and she had a watchword to aid that ” Ignore them” And ignoring she did but that didn’t help.

After the weekend gists were laid on the table and heartfelt laughter was shared on their glowing faces, Oyin came and everything changed again. Everyone began to “wow” and “aww” at Oyin’s beautiful hair.
Nancy didn’t have a problem if it stopped at that but they went on to bring her hair into the discussion.

“But Nancy nawa o. See Oyin’s hair. Please do something about yours”

And for some weird reason, their remarks got to Nancy this time even more than the previous times. Sadly, she walked away from her friends.
She was depressed half the class time, and couldn’t wait to get home to her mum – her safe and her happy place.

After what seemed like forever, the bell rang for the day, Nancy hurriedly grabbed her stuff and walked out of her class. As she walked out, the determination to work on her hair was subconsciously building gradually.

She rode on her bicycle slowly reminiscing on the day’s chatter.
As soon as she got home she ran to mum, hugging and narrating her ordeal almost at the same time.

Mum cupped her face and said, ‘You change by the information you hear my dear’. That didn’t make much sense to Nancy immediately until she woke up from her nap.

Mum was doing the dishes when Nancy walked up to her holding a note pad and a pen and began to ask questions.
What did my hair look like as a child?”
“What made people like it?”
“What did you do to keep it so beautiful?”

And with eyes filled with love, mum answered all her questions. And from all the answers, Nancy deduced a one word theme – LOVE so she asked

“How does love translate to a good hair?”

“Whatever you love, you pay attention to, you care for and you groom. So if you love your hair, you will pay attention to it, care for it, water it, trim it, wash it, do things that make for health for it, ask questions and be sure to put it to work”

Nancy’s face lit up with smiles.

“Thanks mum”.

She had gotten information, now it was time for change and with that she decided to implement all she had learned for the next three months and then go for more information.
She was determined to follow them through till she saw changes.

She would need more clarity, so she got mum’s phone, got on the internet and began to google hair stuff.
She was shocked when she saw that the natural hair was even a big deal that had a trending market. She read from diverse blog posts, articles and books and came up with her own Natural hair 10 Commandments:

*1. Always moisturize your hair. Water is the base product of any product. The hair thrives on water, drink a lot of water and moisturize with lot of water too.

*2. Avoid heat as much as possible.

*3. Know your hair type so as to know the products that would work for you.

*4. Eat healthy: A healthy meal reaches all parts of the body and extends nutrients in the right proportion. Fruits and vegetables have strong vitamins and minerals that the hair and body needs thus, a must for beautiful hair.

*5. A clean scalp makes for a healthy growth so wash your hair properly always, weekly or biweekly.

*6. Deep treatments and conditioning – This is a deeper practice of hair maintenance. It penetrates the hair shaft and reaches to the scalp and hair making it healthy and rich.

*7. Be patient with your hair. The same way it takes time to build a house, build a business, it also takes time to see your efforts manifesting. The journey would not be easy but enjoy it.

*8. Trim your hair when necessary. The ends of the hair are the weakest, when split ends and brittleness set in, it’s important to trim to avoid breakage.

*9. Protective styling is necessary to avoid breakage and retain length. Styles like bun, twists, cornrows and the use of wigs would help.

*10. Prayers and positive confessions – If you can pray about anything then the hair is no exception. Pray for your hair and say positive things about itself to it. Shut the naysayers and speak righteous your hair.
… And Nancy’s hair grew!

Written by Rachael Abershi Doji
Natural hair enthusiast

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The Younger Generation Needs More Positive Influence – Precious Chika Emmanuel || Black Girl Magic Interview

Welcome to Dupe’s blog ma’am.

Thank you so much, I’m honoured to be here.

Let’s meet you.

My name is Precious Chika Emmanuel, A lover and follower of Christ. I’m a Nigerian, with origin from Imo state, born and brought up in Kaduna state. A graduate of Human physiology from ABU Zaria with a career in Event planning.

Tell us more about you.

Im intentional about setting good examples and standards for the younger generation especially Ladies. I enjoy talking (meaningful talks sha ooo) lol. I love learning new things, and I’m interested in Fashion and looking good. Music is indeed food for my soul.

Do you think having mentors and role models is a necessity and why?

Oh yes, it’s very necessary to have Mentors and role models, this is because for every path you choose to tread in life, someone has been there before, so they help you develop skills and knowledge required for the path you’ve chosen in life by sharing resources, experiences and networks. A role model serves as an inspiration to motivate you and see that who you emulate is achievable.

What are your thoughts on influence to the younger generation?

The younger generation needs positive influence. They are already torn between what is right and what is in vogue. The society gives them little choice as to what and who influences them. A young boy growing up already relates success to plenty girls, and extravagant lifestyle. It is necessary that good models rise up and show them the right way to go, narrowing their choices to what Is right.

Do you think we have enough good influence out there these days?

Yes, we have a lot of good influences out there but unfortunately, they are outnumbered by the wrong ones. Hence, the need for better models to arise.

How can a young person trying to navigate through life find the right people to follow?

Who to follow is a choice we have to intentionally make. The first step is understanding/ knowing yourself, what you really want, why you need a mentor/role model, what you need motivation for. Then find someone achieving the results you desire or someone who has gone ahead of you in the path you want to go. But it should be kept in mind that, it’s important to preserve our uniqueness and not become a duplicate of who we choose to follow.

Who are your role models and how have they influenced you?

There are a number of people who influence me and who I look up to both from afar and more closely. However I’ll mention; My Parents, Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Enwere, Mr and Mrs. Elisha Mamman, Pst. and Mrs. Adegbeye, Apostle Joshua Selman and Pst. J.T. Bakare.
They have influenced me by showing me that it’s possible to live a balanced and fulfilling life and become a force to reckon with.

Give a word of advice to someone out there who is already influenced wrongly.

I’ll start by stressing on the fact that who influences you has an effect on your decision making and life at large, so make a decision to cut off every source of wrong influence and intentionally follow the right ones. Also, find and become part of a company of people who are under the right influence.
Lastly, the need for more right influences can be met if after being rightly influenced, we work to become good influences ourselves and reach out to the younger generation.

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.
Titus 2:7‭-‬8 NLT

Thank you for your time ma’am. We hope to have you again.

It was a pleasure. Thank you for having me. I look forward to it. God bless you.

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Overcoming Low Self-esteem || Black Girl Magic Interview with Deborah Ejeh

“I’m an Exquisite Black Queen! I like, love, and celebrate myself. I don’t fit society’s beauty standards, but I’m beautiful to me. I know my worth and I respect who I am as a woman. I’ve got beauty on the inside and that makes me empowered and powerful. I’m fearless and comfortable in my own skin. I’ve got flaws, but I’m still confident! This Queen right here is flawed yet phenomenal, valuable and unique!” Stephanie Lahart

Low self-esteem is characterized by a lack of confidence and feeling badly about oneself. People with low self-esteem often feel unlovable, awkward, or incompetent. – Psychalive

Today, the beautiful natural hair enthusiast, Deborah Ejeh, talks to us about self-esteem, her experiences and practical tips to overcome low self-esteem.

Welcome to Dupe’s Blog ma’am. It’s so great to have you here.

Thank you. I’m elated and honored to be here.

Let’s meet you.

My name is Deborah Ejeh. I’m an ardent follower of Jesus Christ; I believe that every skill, talent and experience are gifts that should ultimately lead to Kingdom advancement and Christ being glorified.

I’m a full blown Nigerian, precisely from Benue state. I’m a graduate of Law from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. I’m currently serving my nation under the NYSC scheme at the Ministry of Justice, Ebonyi State. I’m a die hard natural hair enthusiast as well as a lover of nature and style.

Do you love being a black girl and why?

*Laughs* Of course, I love being a black .girl.

Amongst many remarkable qualities that the black girl possesses. I love the spirituality and strength that the average black girl exudes. I love The uniqueness of the black girl ranging from her melanin skin to her bold features and her natural hair that defies the law of gravity, the black girl is truly God’s work of art, He saw a need in the earth and created her.

Would you describe yourself as someone with a healthy self esteem?

Yes, I would describe myself as someone with a healthy self esteem, though I’m open to improvement if I notice any area of insecurity.

Did it just happen or you had to work on it?

Growing up, I thought I had a healthy self esteem but later in life when life happened and my true convictions surfaced. I realised I had tied my sense of self worth and esteem to looks, achievements, compliments and the feed back my mirror gave me and that’s not a healthy self esteem. A healthy esteem is founded on what God says about you and who you are in Christ. Yeah so I had to work on it.

What are the major causes of low or reduced self esteem?

In my opinion some of the major causes of low or reduced self esteem are;

  • Consistent derogatory and demeaning words and actions which can come in form of verbal, emotional and physical abuse targeted at a person. Things like insults, hurtful nicknames, destructive criticisms, domestic violence and even rape can negatively affect a person’s self esteem.
  • Consistent failure in areas of life like academics, career, relationships either platonic or romantic can negatively affect a person’s esteem.
  • Supposed defects and imperfections in a person physical appearance can cause a sense of low self esteem if allowed.
  • Guilt from wrong life choices such as abortions, addictions e.t.c if not dealt with can affect a person’s esteem.
  • Neglect, abandonment and lack of display of love and affection of parents especially towards their children can cause a deep rooted negative esteem issue.

Has your self esteem ever been attacked either through words or actions? If yes, how? And how did you respond?

Hahaha Oh Yes it has…

Where do I start from?
Like I earlier said, growing up, I had… well at least I thought I had a healthy self esteem. Until I got into the university and everything started falling apart.

I started having academic challenges, I met this “guy” he was verbally and emotionally abusive, he constantly made me feel inadequate, not good enough and made it a duty to point out every flaw in me.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my flawless facial skin and neck started breaking out with all manner of pimples, cystic acne, rashes and irritation.

So basically, the combination of the academic struggles, the verbal and emotional abuse, alongside the snide comments and irritated expression people gave me because of my skin pretty much brutally wounded my self esteem.

Anything done or said to you consistently, you start to believe it even if it’s a lie.
At first, I responded negatively by not being able to look myself in the mirror for an extended period of time.

I started avoiding people by locking myself up in my dorm room “praying” but truly I was hiding. I started skipping lectures a lot and If I had to go out I would tie a scarf over my head and across my neck or apply heavy make up to cover the “blemishes” and I would walk with my head down most of the time feeling ugly and to avoid the stares I got.

I also tried all manner of skin care routines and expensive soaps which didn’t work lol. Eventually I got tired of nursing my damaged esteem and asked the Lord for help.

How can one accept constructive criticism without damaging their self esteem?

Constructive criticism if properly delivered should not be damaging to a person’s self esteem. But it’s a fact that not everyone can positively accept even the most genuine constructive criticisms.
I believe such people should have a mind shift by learning to understand that constructive criticism is not made with the intention to attack or cause harm but for the sole purpose of growing and improving the overall quality or life of the person or person’s product or services and it is done in the interest of the person being criticized.
Once people can truelly see constructive criticism in this light accepting it shouldn’t be damaging to their self esteem .

How can a person with a low sense of self worth work on it?

I will answer this question by telling you how I worked on my low sense of self worth and esteem. To be honest, it was a slow but amazing journey to healing with the Lord.
Firstly, I strengthened my relationship with God. I spent time in the Word, worship and prayer. What better way to discover your true self than by spending quality time with your creator. This will help you begin to see yourself through God’s eyes and understand your true identity in him not the lies you previously believed.

Secondly, I had to forgive myself and also forgive those that hurt me, constantly ruminating over a wrong life choice or how people hurt you won’t make your journey to healing and a healthy self worth and esteem any easier or faster, it’ll keep pulling you back.

Thirdly, I cut contact with every toxic relationship. When trying to build a healthy self worth and esteem, staying in contact with people that constantly put you down and destroyed your esteem in the first place is counter productive.

Instead, associate with healthy positive relationships that build and uplift you. If the toxic relationship is a family member try to reduce contact as much as possible.

Lastly, I searched out scriptures with the help of the Holy Spirit that addressed the current change that I desired to see in my self and I declared it over my self and my life daily and meditated on those scriptures too.

The purpose of this was to push out all the wrong beliefs in my subconscious mind and internalize my new found conviction through repetition and to truly make the unshakeable and unchangeable Word of God, the foundation of my self worth and esteem not looks, compliments or achievements which can change like the climate.

Can you give 3 practical steps to building a healthy self esteem?

  • Develop or strengthen your relationship with the Lord in prayer, Word study and worship; your true identity and worth is found in Him.
  • Cut off toxic relationships and entertain healthy relationships that build you.
  • Write out positive declarations meditate on it and speak it out audibly to yourself daily . For example “I am beautifully and wonderfully made“, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” etc.

Customize your declarations to your specific need. Your mind may fight it at first but never say negative things about yourself, remember consistency breeds conviction.

Thank you so much for your time ma’am. We hope to have you here again.

Thank you for having me, I look forward to that. God bless.

Thank you for reading. For all your tips on natural hair growth, you can follow Debbie on Instagram @tirzah_naturals