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Beauty Review: Oyin Handmade's 'Frank Juice' Natural Hair Tonic

OkayAfrica's editorial team gives you the inside scoop on some of the most buzzed about black beauty products.

DIASPORA—Oyin Handmade is the delectable creation of 'Grand Mixtress" Jamyla Bennu, who started the line of natural hair, skin and body products back in 2001—when many of us were still on that “creamy crack" wave— as a much-needed alternative to the chemical-based black beauty products that lined shelves at the time.


Since then, Oyin Handmade's modest line of products, has remained a staple for many naturalistas and ingredient-conscious black women—even with the onslaught of newer products that promise some of the same things: to keep our natural coils hydrated and our melanin poppin'.

Named after the Yoruba word for honey, Oyin Handmade has stayed true to its sweet and sticky namesake by offering dulcet hair serums, lotions and soaps that smell delicious enough to devour post-dinner—although you should probably refrain from doing so for obvious reasons.

Sweetness was what Bennu had in mind when she created Oyin Handmade. “For me, it's all about experimentation and having fun. I'm inspired by deliciously sweet, rich and nutrient dense foods," she says.

Bennu's line speaks to all of our sugary aspirations so we decided to test out a couple of Oyin Handmade products ourselves, starting with the fragrance-rich “Frank Juice," described as a “nourishing herbal leave-in hair tonic."

Read on for our full breakdown and review of the item.

Jamyla Bennu, creator of Oyin Handmade.

Packaging:

“Frank Juice" comes in a taupe spray bottle that is by no means as lightweight as the product it contains. The bottle is easy to grasp and releases a healthy stream of product when sprayed.

It's off-brown label leans more towards the dull side, which might not make it the easiest to spot on an overcrowded hair shelf.

Ingredients:

The tonic contains a medley of oils and sprightly juices. The back of the label lists: lavender buds, chamomile flower, and red rose petals, organic flax seeds, organic aloe leaf juice, lavender oil, orange peel oil, grapefruit seed extract, citric acid, and more.

Consistency:

The tonic is extremely lightweight, with a juice-like consistency (as its name suggests) that is runny enough to drip from the scalp if sprayed too closely. It absorbs quickly, however, so hair isn't left feeling overly damp.

Smell:

With its abundance of essential oils, “Frank Juice" emits a lush, earthy mist. The lavender and citrus come through the strongest, but even those scents aren't overpowering. It gives off just the right amount of fragrance.

What we liked:

The tonic is extremely lightweight and felt immediately refreshing when applied to my scalp. It manages to feel hydrating without leaving behind any heavy buildup. It is a spray that you'd want by your side in-between washes or when wearing hair in a protective style. It gives that “easy-breezy," “spray and go on about your day" quality that us hair care slackers live for.

Perhaps the best thing about the product is its smell. We want it to smell like “Frank Juice" everywhere we go.

What we didn't like:

Quite frankly, there isn't much bad to say about “Frank Juice" (no pun intended).

The shallow side of us tends to judge a product by its packaging, and while Frank Juice's label is not shabby by any means, it may get overlooked on a shelf in a hair store in favor of a more sleekly encased item. When will we ever learn that it's what's on the inside that counts?

Overall, we give Oyin Handmade's “Frank Juice" a very loud, Nigerian-accented “well done!"

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Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

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Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.