Style

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!"

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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