Hiii my name is Aboyowa Wood! I’m 20 and I currently reside in Chicago IL. I was born and raised in Nigeria though I’m also partly Ghanaian, best of both worlds! I’m an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Illinois.
Have you always been natural?
I decided to start growing my natural hair in 2012. I was predominantly relaxed prior to that. I say predominantly because for 6 years in secondary school they made us cut our hair in its natural state but I really don’t count that as part of my natural hair experience because I always relaxed my hair once we were on holidays and I didn’t even know anything about taking care of my hair. Anyways, I’ve always loved afros or any style that looks like an afro, I guess that comes from my strong afrocentric side.
It was in the summer of 2012 that I discovered the magic of natural hair on YouTube. I was introduced to the hair type system and hair tutorials. I was fascinated. I couldn’t believe how much our natural hair could do it was so crazy to me that most of the styles we would buy wigs and weaves for, we could just simply grow them from our heads and save the money. I did a little more research because at first I realized most of the YouTube channels I was looking at belonged to girls with looser hair textures and then I started to have doubts, maybe my hair wouldn’t turn out like that because my hair texture is different but then I discovered Jouelzy, she saved me! She made me make up my mind to start growing out my natural hair. I loved her hair tutorials. She was really the only Youtuber with my hair texture that appealed to me at that time.
I transitioned for 8 months then big chopped on March 31st 2013. My intention was to transition for a whole year but I just couldn’t deal with the two textures anymore. I washed my hair that night and the relaxed parts of my hair that had already started chopping off just transformed into a huge dread at the center of my head, so I got a nice sharp pair of scissors and cut all the relaxed ends off! In total, I’ve been fully natural for 1 year and 10 months but my entire journey from my last relaxer has taken 2 and a half years.
Tell us about your hair! Does she have a name?
My hair is called Rih you can probably guess its cut from Rihanna (I LOVE HER). I’m a solid 4C girl and I have very very thick hair (with regards to density and strand size) and medium porosity. My hair doesn’t break easily so I am able to retain a lot of length. My hair is also coarse as a result of its thick strands and it is around bra strap length.
How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?
With regards to hair care, I wash my hair every two weeks (I try to) depending on how much time I have. I use the Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Moisturizing Shampoo because 4C hair gets dry easily so I feel a moisturizing shampoo is necessary. I also use the Creme of Nature Strength and Shine Leave in Conditioner after shampooing. I like to keep things really simple with my hair so the only other products (if you wanna call them that) I use are water, pure Argan oil and raw shea butter. I just recently added Monoi oil to the list because it is really good for dry scalp issues. My hair loves water a lot so I go under hot showers most nights just to get that steamy water in my hair to help improve its health and elasticity.
Aboyowa’s hair cannot do without?
Water and Argan oil.
What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?
People rough handling my hair and RELAXERS lmaoo my story with relaxers is special.
How do you like to wear your hair?
Oh I AM a fro girl. I liveeee for an afro. I think it’s a slight obsession. All the styles I do are in the afro family or will eventually turn into one as the days go by. I’m not that into buns and updos, although I really should start doing those especially during winter. Personally I LOVEEEE wild big hair. The bigger the better. My favorite styles are bantu knots, braid and curls, twist and curls and roller sets. I can do twist outs and regular braid outs but I’m not that much of a fan.
How do you feel about shrinkage? Do you fight it or embrace it?
Hmm I really don’t have strong issues against shrinkage. It is what it is. That is what my hair does. I feel like I’m so used to my style techniques that shrinkage isn’t really a problem for me. Whenever I do my hair I always finger detangle so that helps to stretch my hair a lot.
Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair?
I actually have never received any negativity. Everybody and I mean every single person around me LOVES my hair. Some people even love it more than I do I swear loool its crazy. If I were to cut off my hair today I know at least 5 people that would shed actual tears.
Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?
Yess oh God I’m trying to learn how to keep my hands away from my hair. I touch my hair too much because I’m always trying to figure out new ways to style 4C hair but diaris God and he will heal me.
LOL Amen sista! If you had one hair regret, it would be…
Ahhhh this story I always proudly tell to show that my God is alive! A few years back while I was still early in my transitioning, a friend of mine did a sew-in weave for me. I guessed that day she got a lil carried away and made it really really tight. In my life I had never had hair that tight before, I don’t know why I didn’t say anything. I guess I didn’t want to stress her because she was doing me a favor and it was for free. Also I assumed the pain wouldn’t last that long and I didn’t know how bad the effects could be. I literally felt the blood in my head jumping up and down on that spot. I was on Advil for almost a month and I still felt the pain. When I took out the weave, to my amazement, I had a HUGE scab at the center of my head. I never expected it. I was actually seriously injured and there was no hair there at all. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. In my mind, I was almost sure hair was never going to grow there again. I was so sad lol .I started to pray and massage that spot everyday with Jamaican black castor oil and I made sure there was ZERO tension on that spot. Eventually the hair started to grow back. Till today that spot is still tender and the hair there is shorter than the hair on the rest of my head. My God in heaven that is not asleep did not allow my enemies to laugh at me.
Do you have a hair philosophy?
In order to enjoy your natural hair, you must accept, love and learn your hair. It is as simple as that. Regardless of your hair type or texture. I have that hair that people like to describe as very tough, can’t be combed, hard etc etc. That is my hair. In fact I haven’t seen anybody with hair harder than mine .That is why when I hear people give excuses that their hair is too hard, it’s not naturally soft or curly I just look at them and laugh. To me those are pure invalid EXCUSES.
After I decided to really understand my hair, its likes and its needs, my natural hair journey became very easy. I know what exactly to give my hair so I don’t waste money on so many products, I don’t stress myself trying to detangle or comb my hair, I don’t take hours doing my hair. A lot of those things aren’t necessary when you know your hair.
I also DO NOT comb my hair. I don’t understand why that is such a big deal for people. There is no law that says you must comb 4C hair. You don’t have to. There is something called finger detangling. It is more efficient, causes less breakage and it is nowhere near painful. Why are you combing your hair and killing yourself? When people see what I can do with my hair they start to doubt if my hair is really 4C. I’ve had people tell me my hair is soft, my hair is curly, I’m mixed(the funniest one ever). Soooo many ridiculous things because people just don’t want to accept that kinky coarse 4C African hard hair can be breathtakingly beautiful in many forms and can grow crazy long.
To me hair is really just hair, going natural didn’t really change my personality that much .It just made me happier because like I said earlier on I have always loved afros and big curly hair so the fact that I have that growing from my head is AMAZINGGGG. On a side note it has also increased my bride price (lmaooooo don’t mind me.)
Do you have any hair goals?
I really don’t have any deep goals with regards to my hair specifically but with regards to all black females with my hair type, my goal is to rock my hair in all its beauty so that people will see that 4c coarse hard African hair is too beautiful to handle and more females will appreciate their natural hair. Thank God through my YouTube channel and Instagram I’m already meeting those goals.
Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?
1. Find inspiration among people that have hair similar to yours. The inspiration is everywhere: YouTube, Instagram, blogs name it.
2. Decide that you will love your hair as it is and not focus on trying to change it
3. Don’t focus on length. It will come if your hair is healthy.
4. Stop chasing defined curls and soft hair. If your hair isn’t naturally soft, accept it like that. That is what your hair does naturally. If your hair doesn’t form defined curls, accept it like that and work with your kinks .That is what your hair does natural. That is what I did and now I’m reaping the benefits.
Where on the internet can you be found?
Whoop! Thank you Aboyowa!
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did. It’s still amazing to me how unique every ‘fro is.
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