Hey hey hey! I know, I know, it’s coming late today. Somebody (*side eye somebody) is technologically challenged and only just figured out how to not put up an empty post for you. I leave you now to enjoy Ije’s hair ije (I just wanted to do that. :). Ije can also mean journey.)
Tell us about you! :)
My name is Ijeoma and I am a 23 year old Nigerian living in NYC. I graduated with a business degree and currently work for Pepsi. In my free time, I enjoy running, graphic designing, and styling my hair of course! :)
What inspired you to return to natural?
I returned to natural because I was tired of hiding behind damaged hair and wanted a fresh start. A few close family members and friends inspired me to big chop when I was in college.
Tell us about your mane. Does he/she/it have a name? How many years have you been growing?
My mane is unnamed, but she definitely has a personality of her own. (She even gets the most attention from the opposite sex). She just celebrated her 4th birthday in July!
Let’s talk hair care!
How would you classify your hair if you had to? (length, porosity, texture, density, curl pattern, (if you’re into hair science)
My hair is pretty long, although it’s hard to tell because of all of the shrinkage. The longest pieces in the back pass my armpit and the pieces in the front reach my chin. My fro is high density, medium elasticity, and low porosity. It is also super coarse, thick and dry.
Are you a less-is-more person when it comes to your hair or do you go all out?
Less is definitely more. I usually wear my hair in simple styles during the week. If I am going out on the weekends and want to make a statement with my hair, I go all out.
Do you follow a regimen? If yes, do share!
I follow a simple regimen that consists of pre-pooing, shampooing, conditioning, and deep conditioning. I try to wash my hair weekly or bi-weekly.
What are your staple products?
My staple products are Tresemme Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner, Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/ Detangler, coconut oil, Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk, Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter, and Tropical Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
Shrinkage and you. Do you fight it or have you embraced it?
I fully embrace shrinkage. I love the look of a dense, tightly packed fro… except, lately I’ve been wearing my hair stretched to minimize tangles.
Tell us two things your hair cannot do without.
Water and moisture!
Does your hair have any dislikes?
My hair does not absorb raw products (like Shea butter) well in its raw form unless it is diluted.
How do you like to wear your hair? Fave go-to hairstyles, protective styling…
My hair changes with the seasons. In the spring/ summer, my go-to hairstyles are two strand twist outs, braid outs, and afro puffs. In the fall/ winter I usually wear my hair in protective styles like box braids, Senegalese twists and pinned up-dos.
Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?
Definitely! My crown is the densest area on my head where I always experience the most breakage.
What is your hair to you?
My hair is my best accessory. Going natural has taught me so much about self-love and feeling comfortable in my own skin… I love it.
Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?
When I first went natural, I received mixed reactions in Nigeria, but that has definitely changed. I ignored the negativity because how I choose to wear my hair is my own personal decision.
Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?
For now, my main focus is growing a healthy head of hair while retaining as much length as possible. I’d love to wear my hair naturally for my Igbo traditional wedding, but right now, there are no prospects in sight… so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there! J
Before you go, could you share a tip or trick or a remedy you’ve tried & tested in your journey so far- be it about retaining moisture, making styles last, keeping knots away, itchiness, whatever- just a hair secret you want to share.
My favorite hair remedy to retain moisture in the spring/summer is spritzing my hair with water and glycerin. It keeps my hair feeling soft and also clumps my hair in a way that prevents tangles. A little goes a long way!
Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?
Natural hair is a journey, not a destination. You should take the time to learn your own hair and remember to enjoy your hair in all of its many beautiful stages!
Do you have a blog, twitter, instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?
I recently started a blog on www.curltivate.com, where I’ll post about my natural hair journey and thoughts. You can also find me on instagram: @curltivate. I love connecting with other Nigerian naturals abroad and in the diaspora, so feel free to reach out! :)