The birth of my youngest brought about a lot of changes in our family, one being that we have a tiny little human destroying everything in his path and second most important being that my girls and I chucked out every single hair accessory that needed heat... we literally decided to go with the feral look! I kid, we embraced our Fijian goddess natural 'fro and are now learning how to deal with the unkempt thick and unruly curls daily. With this choice of lifestyle, (and yes I have even dared to call it a lifestyle because it takes up quite a considerable amount of time in the morning to get three females with black girl magic hair ready) we have had to subject ourselves to trial and error with natural hair products. I'm going with the positive rather than the negative here... We managed to sample quite a few products and have been rather disappointed with most if not all. I compare the search for an effective hair product for our type of hair to my search for a perfect foundation here in the UK... Its led to somewhat infinite heartbreak. Although I suppose considering I live in a country of 50 shades of beige (calm down - my family is beige and I'm constantly seeing their shade in the wood panelling I've been checking out at the local HomeBase), I have to expect to find the sparse list of choices for hair care products for mine and my daughters' hair to be just that.. sparse.
It seems that our saving grace has come in an unexpected package sent to us after a conversation about lack of natural hair products. Recommendations by friends and word of mouth led to our discovering this little piece of home right here in the UK. You see I never once thought to utilise something that I had used myself as a child growing up - coconut oil - even better when its raw coconut oil with no added chemicals. Opening the jar, the smell of coconut oil hits you square in the face, if you're not used to the smell of non-perfumed raw products especially coconut, it'll take a bit of getting used to. For me it brought back nostalgic memories of childhood days past, it brought back memories of my maternal grandmothers who would add ylang-ylang or even cinnamon to a bottle of home-made coconut oil; it brought back memories of afternoon swims after which we would be slathered in oil to warm us up; it brought back memories of foot rubs and back rubs given by my mom, it was my own piece of home here with me to share with my kids.. My very own Bula Batiki Coconut Oil.
Because our hair is all kinds of crazy, we can't use heavy products otherwise it weighs our hair down or even leads to breakages, the Bula Batiki Coconut Oil fits the bill perfectly because our hair doesn't need that much, especially for my middle child who has the thickest and most unruliest mane out of us all. In true millennial style of a Fijian child who has been born and brought up abroad, she's finding it difficult to take to the scent, but my motto is - tough luck kiddo, get used to it. The beauty of this product is that it can be used as a moisturiser and even for cooking too, although I wouldn't recommend using the same jar for both purposes.. But that goes without saying! All in all I think we've finally found a product that we're definitely going to be using a lot more now!
A little backstory to the product itself and why I recommend it and must vehemently insist that you support it to (besides the fact that its from my little island paradise home, Fiji) - Bula Batiki is is a cold-pressed virgin coconut oil handmade by the villagers of Batiki Island in Fiji. It's a non-profit social enterprise initiated by two young men from right here in the UK (Callum Drummond & Ellis Williams) as a way to create income for the villagers ( how awesome is that?!) The two friends got to know the villagers on their stay on the island during a charity teaching project with Think Pacific back in 2012, and as we do back home in Fiji, when we make friends with anyone, they can expect to be a friend for life. The profits from the sale of these products are re-invested back into the island community to develop healthcare; education and housing for the villages! So far, this project founded by these two young gents has managed to provide for 6 months of sustainable income to Batiki Island and has even been used to fund the first ever Batiki Islands sports tournament. The true heroes besides these guys are the villagers who put a personal touch on the individual jars you receive with a thank you note detailing which family helped in the making of your jar of oil. That in itself should inspire you to support this amazing project!
So with all that said, I send you love and light always from the city of crazy hair and coconut scented little gremlins,
*Bula Batiki have launched a kickstarter to help them fund a campaign to increase production of the coconut oil and allow them to begin a long-term health and education aims in Batiki and hopefully also expand to other islands in the Lomaiviti Province. In return for backing their project, they are offering people a set number of jars, branded t-shirts and even a visit to Batiki Island, Fiji.