Hairspiration!: Sophea

It’s Hairspiration Friday!!! ‘Nuff said…

Hey girlie! Tell us about you!

My name is Sophea… I like to spell my name with an ea…lol… I’m a student of University of Lagos studying Zoology. I hope to become an Environmental consultant. I live in Lagos.

 Have you always been natural? If not, when did you go natural?

I decided to go natural in December 2013. I was making my “Christmas” hair and I saw how limp and lifeless my hair was. I didn’t know what to do, so I started researching on the internet about how to take care of relaxed hair and I saw some articles on natural hair and decide to read them; curlynikki,blackhairinformation, britishcurlies, thekinkandi, to name a few. I saw beautiful pictures of girls who were natural not because it was a religious law but because it was what they wanted to do and in January 2014, I started the journey. I couldn’t big chop so I transitioned for the whole of 2014 and in December 2014, I cut off all my straight ends myself. It felt surreal and liberating but most of all I was happy. So I have been fully natural for 3-4 months now.

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Tell us about your hair! Does she have a name? How does she feel? How would you classify her if you had to?

The name of my hair is Vivian and I call her that because Vivian means ‘lively’. My hair is a mix of all the 4 hair types, but I feel I’m a 4c with some 4b and 4a scattered in front and the middle. I don’t know about length because my hair shrinks 100% no chill but when stretched it gets to the nape of my neck. But she’s just 4 months old… No biggie.

How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?

I wash my hair with dudu osun black soap (shampoo is too drying for my hair) and then condition with Palmolive naturals milk and honey conditioner when I’m feeling fancy, but for cowashing I use Vo5 or Gentelle hair fruits conditioner, DC with mayo,egg(if I need an extra boost of protein) olive oil, honey. These are my staple Deep conditioning products but from time to time, I add avocado,banana,yogurt… whatever works. If I don’t have the strength to be a DIY queen, I use ORS hair mayo and some olive oil heated up, then I do a hot oil treatment also. For three weeks, my hair is in a protective style majorly a weave then i take down and wear my hair out for a week treating my hair then covering it up again. My staple hair product is my Africa best kid’s styling gel. Shea butter is another staple.

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What are the things your hair cannot do without?

My hair cannot do without water, deep conditioning and a satin scarf.

What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?

My hair hates gel on it when not wet – I tried it once and Vivian turned to a giant ball of cotton.

How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?

I like protective styling – marley twists, weaves and braids –  but when I’m not wearing a protective style my go to style is a bantu knot out on damp hair. Sometimes I do a wash and go or I just wear my fro in all its shrunken glory.

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How do you feel about shrinkage? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it?

Shrinkage is a sign of healthy hair so I don’t fight it or hate it, but when I want to do an out style like a twistout or bantu knot out, I stretch my hair by letting it dry in six braids on my head and when loosened it looks stretched. Sometimes I stretch with a blow dryer but that is just sometimes because I hate heat on my head so much.

Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

Ah yes! When I was doing my internship one woman asked me to go and comb my hair. I was wearing a flat twist out style and I thought I looked nice but she said that she doesn’t like my hair. I told her I’m a natural and this is how my hair is; it can’t be controlled. She gave me this bitchy look. My friends think I’m crazy for not using a relaxer. This reaction was worse when I was transitioning though.

Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?

I, like many naturals, have the hand in hair syndrome. Apparently I’m still fascinated by my hair.

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If you had one hair regret, it would be…

Not going natural sooner.

Do you have a hair philosophy? What principles are you determined to live by on this hair journey?

If you take care of it, it will grow.

What is hair to you? Has going natural changed anything about you?

My hair is like my baby for now. Yes it has made me a patient person. When I do twistouts, bantu knotouts or a washday, I need all the patience in this world. It has also given me a self esteem boost just when I needed it.

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Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?

No hair goals, but I plan to loc my hair when I’m 40 or 50.

Damn! Talk about long term plans. I like! Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?

You must have a tough skin. If you don’t have one, grow one. Enjoy the journey because it’s a fun ride. Don’t look for what is wrong with your hair but rather what is beautiful about it.

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Preach it Sophea! Where on the internet can you be found?

I have a blog – vogueandkinks.wordpress.com. Such a mouthful. It’s about my hair, definitely, but other fun things about life and love. You can also find me on IG: @sopheaposh Twitter: @_Sopheeyah

Thank you Sophi…Sophea! Thank you for sharing with us today! Have you been hairspired, beauts?

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Help! I Want Short Curly Hair

kedike

Chidinma

Hello,

I recently cut my hair and I doubt that I am ready to grow it into anything serious. I love it being short.

Thing is, I would love to have my hair like Chidinma or like Solange (they look like 2 different hairstyles to me though but I am open to exploring) though it seems it might just be easier to do the Chidinma thing seeing as she is Nigerian and we probably have the same texture.

-Ada

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Hey Ada,

My hair was never as short (I was too scared of going low) but you can totally manipulate your low cut to look curly.

I watched a few YouTube videos. One girl got the look with just gel on wet hair, and another with a mix of Gel, Leave-in Conditioner and Shea butter. What both girls have in common though, is the technique. I don’t know how exactly to explain it, so here’s this tutorial from vlogger Stephanie Rae (just gel on wet hair):

You could try this with the products you already have (leave-in and pomade) or add gel to the mix, or try this with just gel. Anything you decide.

I asked my friend D and she was kind to share how she gets the look:
1. She wets her hair, uses Activator gel as a leave-in conditioner and seals with oil.
2. She brushes with a Denman brush (weavon brush)
3. And finishes off with a tail comb for the “koko” at her edges.

I hope this helps!!

🙂

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So ladies.

I’m always an email away [ thekinkandi@gmail.com ] for your questions, or if you just want to talk hair! 🙂 You can also leave your questions on our Facebook page: The Kink and I.

From now on, I will be sharing excerpts from blogmail when I get questions on interesting things I haven’t already written about on the blog- and you know I love it when you chip in!! 🙂

If you have any more tips for Ada on how to make her TWA curly, please be nice and let us drink from your fountain of wisdom in the comments! 😉

Final reminder: The Natural Nigerian + The Kink and I Giveaway closes at 11:59PM tonight, Nigerian time.

Bye boos,

AB

xx

GOING NATURAL: STEP 1.

THE FIRST STEP

When you make that decision to not have relaxed hair anymore, here’s what you do:

You choose to do one of two things:

1. Chop off all your hair.

2. Stop applying relaxer to your hair, and grow out your natural hair. You don’t relax any fresh growth, let your hair kink, from the roots up.

2A. when your kinky hair reaches a height you are comfortable with, you chop your relaxed ends off. OR

2B. You don’t chop, you let everything, every straight strand go back to being kinky.

Option number 2 and its babies pretty much explain the period of limbo that is transitioning. It is the period between the day you get your last relaxer treatment, and the day your hair is relaxer free, back to it’s original natural state.

Chopping all your hair off, is a scary proposition to most girls. It was, to me. This is understandable because it’s a dramatic change in the way you look.

Transitioning on the other hand, is not beans. It is a lot of work, having to manage two different textures; one is curly, the other straight/frizzy. On the same strand. Throughout your head. Not only is this not very pretty, it’s not a very healthy time for your hair. The point where curly meets straight/frizzy is very fragile, so having to comb or brush your hair on the daily would leave you with a lot of breakage. For this reason, when you’re transitioning, you go from one protective style to the other, keeping your strands out of your direct reach.

I chose to transition because I was really worried about how I’d look if I cut my hair. One post alone could be dedicated to every thought, every worry that ran through my mind, some of them, very very ridiculous. I finally chopped off my relaxed ends, after eight months of transitioning. Whew!

HOW I TRANSITIONED

I already gave an update about the first three months in my January post here. In the latter five months, I wore a fringe (weave)- then I had box braids- then I did Kinky twists.

I was quite the lazy transitioner. Transitioning is not just about protective styling. You should give your hair some good TLC between styles, and try to seal-in moisture on the daily.

A Warning About Kinky Twists!!!

I love kinky twists. It’s great for African hair relaxed or unrelaxed. The texture of the extensions is rough, so it blends right in with the kinky roots. Kinky twists is a very easy style to wear, because it requires no care at all [just a wash when necessary], and it looks even better with time. This time, I wore my twists for TEN weeks. TEN. I’d just put shea butter on my stray ends, and brush the front in the mornings. This was very very bad behaviour because there was a lot of pressure on the hair in front, around the hairline, and I lost a lot of hair. 😦

I’ve been using ApHogee’s Weekly 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, and I think it’s working, but you would not need any treatment if you do not put unnecessary pressure on your hair, that’s not being protective of it at all!

OKAY, YOU’VE BEEN TRANSITIONING. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE READY TO CHOP?

I’d say that, the point where the stress or frustration gets to you, would be the perfect time for you to chop. You know, when your hair is yelling at you like “Look. Make up your mind now. You either have to cut me or relax me.” A wise somebody once said- your natural hair is like a plant; when you’re transitioning, the kink wants to grow, but your relaxed ends will weigh it down. The earlier you chop, the better it is for you and your hair. Save yourself the stress. Take the first step and start your journey already! When I washed my hair after my kinky twists, I knew I had come to that point. It was so horrible. I knew it had to go.

MY CHOP

After my visit to the salon, I asked myself “How do you feel?” The only word that came to mind was “calm.” Yes, calm. All my worries, everything seemed to have been swept away with the dull, dead, straight/frizzy hair on the floor. I looked at my face like yes. This is me.  All my hours of self-conscious worrying, in that moment, seemed inconsequential. I’m still getting used to this though.

IT IS A SPECIAL JOURNEY

I like to refer to this going natural thing as a journey, because it is. I have had straightened hair for as long as I can remember. Nobody I know personally, is wearing their natural hair. Thankfully, I am not lost- the Natural hair community on the internet, is a very warm, open one. Plenty of information, so so much information. Blogs, v-logs, it is so amazing. There is a lot of research to be done, a lot to learn, but I am fully aware that I have to be in tune with my hair. Observe it, watch how it responds to this or that, figure out what it likes, what it does not like. Sounds like a lot of work, yes, but I’m looking forward to it.

This is beyond curly strands for me. I’m not one of those girls that would rather not come out of their houses without weaves sewn in. It was important to me that my relaxed hair was healthy, and I was much more comfortable with wearing my own hair, than I was with rocking a weave. However, when I thought about chopping, I felt like the girls in group A. I thought- Lord, I’m going to be ugly without my hair. Every single imperfection, real and imagined, I dwelt on.

I worried about my forehead. Though the truth is that, a bonafide opon will always shine through, no matter how you try to cover it, so you might as well get used to it. I told myself I had to be like a size 6 before I could cut my hair. You know? In the absence of bootay like Amber Rose, I might very well go for looking skinny, like a model. I said this in October, last year. Now I have cut the hair, and I still weigh as much as I did in October. Looking glamorous is nice, good fun, I like to play as much as the next girl. But it’s also important to me that at the end of the night, or when I wake up in the morning, I love the way I look, without anything extra. Technically, my own hair isn’t extra, but I mean- if having to not have long hair for a bit made me look like a troll in my mind’s eye, I knew I had to let it go.

I transitioned because I was scared, and now that I’ve finally cut, I feel awesome. I might even cut all of it off, soon.

Whatever your hair is to you, just do you. It is your hair, on your head. The way you choose to wear your hair, or take care of it, should depend on how YOU feel. People will ask annoying questions, and maybe pass comments that will prick. But they’re not you. They do not understand why you’re doing it, so they are hindered from being able to appreciate it. This is only for a while though- change isn’t easy to adjust to, but soon enough, you will be let be.

It has taken me like two weeks to put this together. I really want my writing mojo back. 😦

I hope it made a little sense.

Anything you’d like to ask, or share? Sound off in the comments, x.