Hello! My name is Toyin .C. Akinjiola.
I’m 20, a Gemini and I stay in Lagos. I recently finished my Biochemistry undergrad programme at the University of Lagos so I’m eagerly but not so eagerly awaiting NYSC. I currently spend my days blogging, reading and catching up on all the dramas I possibly can.
What inspired you to go natural?
I haven’t always been natural. I became fully natural in 2014, March to be precise. I was bored with my hair to be honest, during my relaxed days I was always wearing weaves. When the weaves came off, I was usually at a loss with what to do with my heat damaged and scanty hair. I felt going natural was a chance to start anew and also experiment with my confidence, I needed some serious balls to go from long weave to team no hair.
How did you do it?
I transitioned from December 2013 to March 2014. During my transition period, I literally stalked your blog and every 4C natural hair blog to gather all the information I could on kinky hair. I initially planned on transitioning for a year, so that by the time I did my semi big chop I could wow my mum and everyone I knew with my Solange like mini fro, this did not happen. A fine day in the month of March, I went to the salon to install box braids. As the stylist combed the life out of my hair, I just told her to cut all the relaxed ends off instead of braiding it. That’s how I became natural.
Tell us about your hair! Does she have a name?
Nope, my hair doesn’t have a Name. I’m a 4C natural I believe, but I truly do not have any idea when it comes to the curl science of my hair.
How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?
I wash my hair approximately every two weeks , I’m currently trying to find a good shampoo so I just sub with Black soap at the moment. I plan to stop using this as soon as I can, because it really dries out my hair. To combat the dryness, I deep condition my hair usually overnight with a mixture of Vo5 conditioner, random conditioners I have, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil and Shea butter.
I try to keep things as simple as possible with my hair, so it’s basically wash, deep condition, seal and style all the time. This plan is simple and affordable for me at any time. My staple products are my Cantu Shea butter leave-in-conditioner, ORS Olive oil smooth-n-hold pudding, Shea butter, olive, coconut and castor oil. Most importantly Water. My hair is dull-ish brown in colour, so when it’s extremely dry it isn’t a pretty sight.
What are the things your hair cannot do without?
Water , Cantu Shea Butter Leave in conditioner and olive oil.
What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?
Hairstylists that love to play tug of war and lack of moisture.
How do you like to wear your hair?
I love to wear my hair as high as it can possibly go. My to go style is usually a bantu knot out, although sometimes it comes off as a bantu what-i-don’t-know! I’ve never tried a bun or updo, I don’t think my length is there yet and I’m really not an updo person, never was. My favorite styles obviously are my bantu knots and knot outs because they come out the best or leave me with something I can work with. I’m a box braids girl, when it comes to protective styling. I’ve tried yarn twists and I loved it. For the past year I only fixed my hair twice and I was really uncomfortable. I used to love weaves. Really.
How do you feel about shrinkage? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it?
When I think about shrinkage , I think versatility. It’s amazing how my hair can look like I just did a big chop one day and the next I have a mini to medium fro. If I ever need length I fluff and finger detangle my hair or stretch with a scarf, then I move on. I absolutely embrace shrinkage, it keeps things interesting.
Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?
I have been asked questions mostly by older females about my reason for going natural , then they proceed to lecture me about how it doesn’t look good , my aunt once told me I looked like a ruffian one time and how guys won’t like it , then most of them offer to pay for my hair . As a student I’m always in the mood for “osho free” so, I always accept. So now when I’m in need of a protective style I just carry my 4c kinky ruffian hair like that and visit them and I listen to them , then they offer to take me to the salon. I’m confident in my 4c hair and the choices have made thus far, so I usually laugh off any negativity directed towards my hair.
Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?
I have scanty edges , and this is not due to bad hair care but genetics . Some days I feel no amount of JBCO can help, but to be truthful I never remember to use it.
Do you have any hair goals?
My short term goals would be to straighten my hair and to try more styles, its time I stopped doing the same style over and over . I’m the most boring natural ever. My long term goal is to achieve a fro worthy of the fro wall of fame , also to keep loving my hair and whatever curves it throws.
Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?
If you decide to go natural , before you do check out your reasons for doing it , and don’t do it unless all your reasons are pointed towards you . It’s always good to find out as much as you can but no knowledge is like you trying things out first hand, so be calm, don’t overload yourself with information (it is not jamb) and just go with the tide. When Natural, you can learn from others and even make them your point of contact, LOL. What you shouldn’t do is compare your hair in all its glory to theirs and feel inferior. As all fingers aren’t equal, I believe no two fros can be.
Thank you so much Toyin for sharing with us! 🙂
If you’d like to be our Hairspiration sometime, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend guys!