Thursday, 26 December 2013

X-Pressions How I love thee

Hi all, it's December already? The end of the year? The last 2 months have been weddings, exhibitions, Thanksgiving and hair events in America, Christmas with my family in London and a hair project with the BBC. The last year has been awesome, I can honestly say I have made a living from doing what I am passionate about. I have met some amazing people.

I've always been a "braid" kind of girl, I like my hair extensions and I rarely have weave installs. When installing braids, I only ever use X-pression hair. The packaging must say "Made in Nigeria".

Whenever I'm in Nigeria, I always go to Balogun market, your go to place for all things associated with hair in Lagos. The minute you walk into the narrow alley way, there are stall holders shouting "Is it Brazilian you want? " "Sister, check this side we have Indian" "Aunty, what do you want? Is it cream? Or weavon?"

A stall in Balogun Market 

The first time I had braids, I used "human hair" it cost an arm and a leg for 3 bags (enough for a full braid install), but it was worth it, what didn't I do to my "human" hair extensions? I washed, blow dried, curled and straightened that install. The disadvantage was after 8 weeks, the braids were taken down and the hair extensions thrown away (years later at a salon in Lagos I discovered people reuse their "human braiding hair"). Ever since that install, I would do my braids by myself with "human hair" extensions. I often bought colour 1, 1b and colour 2 to get this effect but braided the hair to the ends of my natural hair.

Stephanie Okereke, face of Kanekelon Hair

Whilst on holiday in Lagos a few years back, my Aunt had called some stylists to do my hair at her office, they came with a bag of hair. my Aunt brought each bag out one by one, the stylists were eager to impress "Mummy we have Amina, we have Amigos", to which my Aunt replied "Nobody uses Amigos again and , AmAmina is too harsh. Go and buy expressions and start doing this child's hair"

Years later as a stylist and one who has been to "learn salon work" (learn under braid experts) Expressions is the most versatile type of hair extension you can ever use.

Pick and drop, a style where the hair is braided from the roots a few inches down, in some cases a knot is tied at the end of the braid, depending on the stylist and if the client is going for a bone straight look.

It can be left straight, or braided, or thread can be secured at the ends, pulled up creating a spiral shape, dipped in hot water and unraveled, for a curly look.

It can be braided a few inches down twisted (Senegalese braid method), dipped in hot water and unraveled, also referred to as "Watermelon" (not sure why)


Its can be used for cornrows or didi

Didi (inverted cornrows with Senegalese twists)

Ghana weaving

Ghana weaving, with twisted braids, and rollers used at the end for a curly effect

Ghana Didi

Ghana Didi

Tree braids also known as fishbone or African Queen, to achieve a sleek look, it can be blowdried or flat ironed on a low temperature.

Tree Braids

Curly/wavy version of treebraids

Box braids, jumbo braids, micro braids,million braids, the smaller the braid the less hair used

Box Braids

Micro braids

Tight jumbo braids in colour 35

Some of my work, regular Braids with twists at the end, colour 4, 33 and 1b were used

Jumbo braids with colour 30

My all time favourite..... Senegalese twists

Waist length, twists always look better when they are medium sized

My version of Senegalese twists

A combination of these different styles can be used to create new styles altogether

An updo consisting of Ghana weaving with Senegalese twists at the end

Yes, this was done with expressions, a well trained stylist should know how to manipulate expressions to create majority these styles.

You can create a bob, by holding the ends of the hair in a curling tong and dipping it in hot water at the same time.

On the back of each packet of X-pressions, it mentions it contains kanekalon hot water technology, which means it can be manipulated by braiding, twisting and curling then dipped in hot water. The trick is not to dip the hair into boiling hot water when the hair is braided or twisted to the ends. Let the water cool down for a minute, then dip it in quickly, use a hot damp towel for the hair near the roots, add mousse and hairspray for the the finished product. Only dip it in boiling hot water when you have manipulated the hair first by braiding or twisting, do this whilst it is dry if you want a curly/wavy look, and leave the hair for a few seconds in boiling hot water. Take it out, and squeeze it dry with a towel or an old t-shirt, this helps to hold the new curl pattern, then unravel, the twists, braids, or thread used to manipulate the X-pressions.

A lot of my African American clients swore by Kanakelon hair, until they use X-pression hair, the icing on the cake is it comes in over 50 different colours. My favourite colours to use are colour 33, colour 4, colour 1 and colour 30.

Which styles do you like above? Which styles have you done before? Leave a comment below.

In my next post "Product Junkie" I will have a giveaway so check back, for all the details and how to enter the giveaway.

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Call for one of our mobile stylists in London  07949507271

Friday, 1 November 2013

An evening with Hair Stylist Dionne Smith and Make Up artist Joy Adenuga

Do you want to learn more about hair and make up, learn industry techniques from professionals; you need to attend an An Evening With Joy Adenuga Make Up Artist and Dionne Smith Hairstylist. There will be; live hair and make up demonstrations, an opportunity to ask questions, a catwalk show, raffle draw, free buffet, nail bar, a live DJ and goody bags. I have to say the contents of the goody bags look AMAZING!!!

Definitely an event not to be missed.

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Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Hi all back again blogging. A few months back a friend of mine thought it would be a great idea to have a stall during the bank holiday weekend in August at Africa at Spitalfields, an African mini market in London. I normally hold, practical classes to teach styling and  how to achieve protective styles (styles that avoid using frequent use of heat) but hair demonstrations on a stall in public with the possibility of 5000 people walking by was quite daunting. This was my second time of demonstrating hair techniques to the passing public. I must say it was quite exciting the many questions and comments. Many people were intrigued and I gave them the opportunity to ask questions as I demonstrated how to achieve styles on a model, some onlookers allowed me to experiment with their hair.

I met Iyabo, one of the funniest ladies you will ever meet. Warm, open minded, and wise beyond her years. Time flew by as I did her hair. Iyabo had shown me a picture on instagram of exactly what she wanted, she was specific about the length, the colour to how thick she wanted her senegalese twists. Iyabo sent these photos almost 5 weeks after I had done her hair. I'm quite pleased as she had been to several occasions, a wedding and had been on holiday to America, so her hair withstood the water.

Iyabo on her wedding day, effortless beauty

Not bad for braids that were installed over a month and have survived styling and water. Three packs of expressions hair extensions used, colour 4, colour 2 and colour 30 for the highlight, it does help that Iyabo is beautiful.

I also met Tobi, she said she rarely had braided styles, but was going on holiday and wanted a stress free look with minimal styling. I noticed her natural hair colour was brown. I told her she would need hair "Expressions" hair extensions in a colour 4. Tobi just like Iyabo had a photo from Instagram ( I really need to join Instagram) and said she wanted "Ghana weaving", it had to be big and it had to be jet black. After numerous suggestions from me to make the cornrows smaller, and change the colour to a deep brown, we agreed on one thing, we decided not to have a side parting, and have the cornrows going all back, referred to as kolese here.  Tobi's last sentence was, "I want it black, and I have never like thin cornrows, so please try and make the cornrows large" I gave in. Tobi definitely knows what suits her.

Before Ghana weaving

After Ghana weaving

Africa at Spitalfields was amazing, from the food to the snacks, to the children's play area, to the African drumming workshop to the dancers, I am looking forward to exhibiting next year.

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On a side note, I am so grateful to everyone that reads this blog, and to chose that send questions about their hair, please keep the questions coming, I look forward to it.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Hi all, apologies for the delay in blogging, I just got back to London from Aberdeen. I was in the States for a few months over summer. The first stop was Orlando Florida for the Foursquare Convention, the second stop was Fort Lauderdale and Miami and the third was Boston, Massachusetts also known as Beantown. (You can find out why its nicknamed Beantown here)

I had a few appointments in Boston and had the pleasure of working with Ifeoma (talented make up artist and Medical student), she always has long weaves/hair extensions and hadn't had braids in almost 10 years and her natural hair is super long. I'm talking "Bra-strap length" without it being straightened and Ifeoma is quite tall. I used colour 1b, 2, 4 and 33 with "Expressions" hair. If you notice the ends of her hair are twisted, its a technique I learnt  whilst in Nigeria. When I do Senegalese twists I braid the ends, and when I braid hair, I twist the ends as seen in the picture below, it just looks better, especially when different colours are used. Follow Ifeoma on Instagram to see more of her work.

Remember Fona from this post, we attended a wedding along with Ugonna. Fona has tree braids (also known as fishbone) which I did a few days before the wedding, with milkyway bulk hair. For those who are not familiar with tree braids, click on each picture in the gallery here

Taking pictures outside the Church

Ugonna in one of her creations below, everyone kept asking about her dress, simple yet chic. Check out the website here, check out her tumblr here and follow her on twitter here

The only problem was there was a 5 hour interval between the end of the service at Church and the reception at the Double Tree at Hilton, so we went to Joe's on Newbury Street, which reminds me of Covent Garden in London, took a few pictures while waiting for dinner.

Waiting for our lunch at Joe's

I also met up with my friend and the lady behind the blog chictherapy, we caught up whilst doing her hair. I decided to do "Feathers" (short layered braids) and I have to say, I've never seen anyone manipulate shoulder length braids the way she did, as the days went by, the more creative the styling became, definitely one of my favourite clients from Boston.

Boston reminds me of London, considering it was founded by English settlers I can see the similarities especially in the architecture and statues around Cambridge. Apparently parts of Back Bay were modeled after Paris, and parts of the South End were modeled after London, I can definitely see myself going back again, and you definitely have to try the Boston Duck tour here

I was told not to fly to New York as its very close to Boston, so as I waited for the coach I watched the epic Game 6 of the NBA finals San Antonio Spurs versus Miami Heat.

Wow, so day one of 30 days of blogging complete. I am pleased to say we now operate from a studio in North London and take clients by appointment only, booking  for all types of hair including, bridal/occasion hair. A make up artist will be on hand during October, this service is free but  is by appointment only. Please email,  like us on facebook and follow us on twitter

We are now on Instagram

Call for one of our mobile stylists in London  07949507271

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Hi all, back again blogging and will be blogging consistently this time, you can find the reason why I have made a promise to blog consistently, much later in this post. I'm currently in New Jersey and to say the last month has been hectic is an understatement. Lagos, Dubai, London, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boston, New York, New Jersey in just under a month, fun, hard work, and tiring, but I love what I do.

I met June at a fashion show in London during the Olympics, I had a stall with clothes (I like to design on the side) but she was less interested in the clothes and more interested in my hair and asked about my stylist and where I did my hair. I gave her a business card and said I did my own hair, I didn't hear from her, till months later, she had an event to attend and the rest is history. Its never a dull moment with June, she is ALWAYS pushing boundaries when it comes to her hair, and is willing to try anything and everything. Armed with an album of photos on her phone, the first time I did June's hair, it took well over an hour for her to decide which style she wanted, she took out two huge braids to reveal shoulder length natural hair, and I loved the fact that and she wasn't afraid to try new ideas, she just did not know which one to try, so when we found a style, I got to work immediately before she changed her mind.

The end result

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Highlights since I last blogged......

1. Lagos for a wedding/work
2. Dubai for a brief holiday
3. I exhibited at The African Mini Market in Spitalfields  in London over the May bank holiday weekend, look out for the next one on Monday 26th August
4.Orlando for a Church conference, then Miami
5.Boston to visit family/work
6. New York/New Jersey for work
7. NBA Finals Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs, Game 6, makes it easier to watch when you are stateside

You would think I would have hundreds of pictures from all the destinations listed, but 90% of those trips were for work.

Looking forward to...

1. Traveling to more states around the U.S.
2. More Blogging
3. Game 7, NBA Finals
4. Sleeping in my own bed
5. Working from my own office