My name’s Tolu, and I’m currently a student at the Enugu campus of the Nigerian Law School. I live in Lagos (lasgidi baby!!), but I’m originally from Ondo state
When did you go natural and how did you do it?
I was natural up until my first year in uni when I got my first relaxer. I absolutely hated getting relaxed. My scalp is really sensitive, so I always got burns. Add this to my hair being uncooperative, and you’ll understand why it was never the most enjoyable experience. I transitioned for about 3months at the end of 2012 and finally big chopped on Jan 28th 2013. Blackgirllonghair.com was really helpful with tips on how to maintain natural hair so I decided to take the plunge. I’ve always experimented with my hair, and I liked having short hair, so it wasn’t such a mental transition for me.
Tell us about your hair
My hair is 4C, fine hair, low density and extremely kinky. It’s in a teeny weeny afro (twa) which kind of makes it easier to maintain, although I have problems with maintaining moisture.
How do you take care of your hair?
Daily regimen: wet it, and then apply my leave-in (Natures gentle touch Intensive Leave-in), a bit of oil (a mixture of olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil & amla oil)
Weekly regimen: co-wash with Revlon’s Aquamarine Nourishing conditioner every two days, or whenever my hair starts to get cranky lol,
Every two weeks, I shampoo with the shampoo from the same line.
I use the LCO method (liquid,cream,oil) after my shampoo to restore any lost oils. I apply my leave-in on damp hair, followed by ORS olive oil, ORS carrot oil and my oil mix.
I deep condition about once a month, alternating between protein conditioning (mayonnaise and eggs) and moisture conditioning (honey, coconut oil, olive oil)
Are you a less is more girl or a product junkie?
I don’t think I’m a product junkie but my friends disagree.
Anything in particular your hair cannot do without?
The only thing I think my hair cannot do without is lots and lots of moisture. I dampen with water mornings and before I go to bed at night
What are your hair do’s and don’t’s?
Do’s: moisture and oil to lock it in.
Don’ts: letting my hair get too dry
How do you wear your hair?
I usually wear my hair in a twa, just comb and go J . For protective styling, I’ve done twist-outs twice and I loved the way they looked. I also protective style with weaves and braid extensions.
What inspired you to go natural?
Being relaxed was really terrible for me, with the burns and everything. I cried every time I got a relaxer, it was that bad. My natural hair breaking combs didn’t seem that bad in comparison. Also, I’ve always loved to experiment with my hair. It IS only hair, after all.
What were the initial reactions from others like? How did you adapt?
I remember when I told my parents I’d cut my hair, they didn’t even say anything. I guess they’re used to the different things I keep doing to my hair. At first, it was weird to look in the mirror and see my head, but I’ve adapted now. People keep asking when I’m going to “make” my hair though.
Have you received any negative comments about your hair? How did/do you deal?
I’ve been told I look unkempt, scruffy, poor, like a boy etc etc, and all from people that are close to me & really should know better. Usually I try not to show how hurtful it is, and I tell them that’s how my hair grows, they should learn to deal with it.
It hardly ever happens now, I guess they’ve learnt I hate it. I’ve been asked if someone died in my family too. Recently, my hairdresser asked if I’d become “born again” and if I would also stop wearing earrings.
What is your hair to you?
It’s my playground 😀
What do you love most about being natural?
I love the freedom. I love the options available to me. I can switch my style.
Have you experienced any difficulty being natural in Nigeria?
Nigerians have this belief that natural hair is for “born again Christians” and poor people who can’t afford extensions/relaxers. Also, getting good products is sooo hard!
Have you learnt anything new? Has it changed you?
I think my style has changed a bit. A lot of scarves and jewellery have been bought 🙂
Is there anything you’re struggling with at the moment?
Shrinkage and I are enemies. I wish I could eliminate it forever. I’m tired of people asking me if I cut my hair again. My hair tangles A LOT and forms single strand knots too. Also, dryness but I think I’m dealing with that.
Any hair goals?
I’m just trying to see how long my hair can get.
Any last words to the person thinking about going natural or the new natural?
Be sure it’s what you really want, and not just you jumping on a bandwagon.
Any last words?
It’s just hair.
Do you write a blog or have a twitter or instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?
You can follow me on twitter @justolowo
Thank you Tolu!
Are you inspired? Do you want to inspire someone else? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next time,