Hey guys! My name is Tega; I just completed my Master’s in School Counseling and in August, I’ll be the school counselor at an elementary school.
When did you go natural and how did you do it?
I cut my hair August 2006. It didn’t really take much thought; my hair was relaxed and breaking off terribly. So I decided to cut it off and start again, the initial plan was to grow my hair out and go back to relaxers when it was long enough. But somewhere along the line, I fell in love with my big afro and decided that I was never getting a relaxer.
Tell us about your hair
Well I can tell you her name is Eva. I honestly have never paid a lot of attention to the science of my hair. For the first 3 years that I was natural, my hair was covered up in weaves or braids constantly. And even now I know moisture and protein are important for hair growth and that’s what I try to focus on. I do think I have fine strands though, my hair snaps easily if I’m not gentle with it and I think right now I’m a couple of inched below APL. If I really had to guess a hair texture, I’d say 4 B/C.
How do you take care of your hair?
When it comes to products, the past couple of years, I’ve taken on a less is more approach. I usually try to take on a natural and minimalist approach to my hair.
- Traders Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
- Oyin Handmade Honey Dew
- Giovanni Leave In
- Oils: Coconut, Grape seed, Sweet Almond, Castor and Jojoba.
My regimen changes but what I’m working with right now is:
- A weekly co-wash using Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
- I do a full cleanse once a month and I usually use a mud wash (Rhassoul or Bentonite clay mixed with oils, honey, aloe vera juice etc – ingredients vary). But Naptural85 (youtube) recently posted a recipe for a mud wash also and I think I might try it soon.
- I moisturize my hair at least once a day using water and glycerine in a spray bottle usually followed by a leave in conditioner or an oil.
- Due to my sensitive scalp, I use tea tree oil with either jojoba or grapeseed oil on my scalp at least once a week.
- If I’m wearing my hair out (i.e. not in braids, twists or covered up) I rinse my hair mid-week with just water.
My hair can’t do without water, keeping my hair constantly moisturized is a necessity and water is my way of doing that. I try not to mess with my hair when it’s dry – styling, detangling, whatever you can think of, my hair gets sprayed with water before I touch it.
How do you wear your hair? Do you think it hinders you in the work place?
I think I’m lucky cause I work in a school, so I don’t face the usual “work place natural hair stigma” that I’ve heard most women with natural hair talk about. But my hair is usually in a puff or 2 twists down the side if I’m wearing my own hair; a high or low bun is also usually a go-to for me on bad hair days.
I’ve recently fallen in love with just wearing my hair out in an afro (although it’s not healthy for my hair). I also enjoy wearing my hair in updo styles for special occasions.
I usually style protectively with extensions. I get phases where I just don’t want to deal with my hair in which case I put it away for at least a month and a half in twists, braids, yarn braids or under a wig.
What inspired you to go natural?
I didn’t go natural with the intention of “going natural”, like I said earlier I mostly did it ‘cause my hair was in shambles and I just ended up falling in love with my hair along the way. A couple of family members didn’t like it, but I wasn’t phased by that. I still have people ask me when I’m going to “relax my hair”; my response doesn’t change – “Never”.
What is your hair to you?
It’s just hair to me. Another way I express myself, just like with clothes. I get bored easily, so I like to change it up frequently.
Have you experienced any difficulty being natural in Nigeria or where you are?
Luckily for me I’m not in Nigeria so I haven’t had any real difficulty. But even when I was in Nigeria, I had a few people comment negatively on my hair but I got and still get more compliments than negativity.
Anything you’re struggling with at present?
I struggle with cutting my hair too much. Single strand knots are a pain in my butt and I always have a pair of hair shears handy.
Any Hair goals?
Short term goal is getting to BSL, I think once I do I’ll be shaving my hair off. Not certain but I keep reminiscing about my days with short hair and life was just ridiculously easy back then.
Any last words to the person thinking about going natural or the new natural?
For new naturals: Having natural hair is as hard as you make it to be, your regimen can be as easy as you want. There’s no set in stone way to take care of your hair, so get to know your hair and blaze your own trail. Don’t get swept up in the hype, there’s no miracle product or regimen for hair growth.
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?
Yep! I’m a social media junkie.
Thank you Tega for sharing your hair journey and beautiful styles with us! Aren’t you inspired? 😀
If you’d like to be our natural hair inspiration sometime, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. ^.^
Love Love Love