Tell us about you!
My name is Sandra Uzuegbu, I’m a doctor, with very strong glasses to show for it. I also love food, fashion, the arts, I love to try new things and I love to have fun. And oh yes, hair too.
When did you decide to transition? What was your inspiration?
My mum has always egged me to go natural but I thought I would have to cut off all my hair to do so. The fear.
I was researching black hair care one day and the search turned up not just relaxed hair, but many gorgeous natural heads of hair and some didn’t even have to chop it all off to get there. I knew then I would go natural but I wanted to grow my relaxed hair first. I decided in March 2014 after I reached my goal of waist length.
Relaxed hair. L- April 2013, R- March 2014
Tell us about your mane. Does he/she/it have a name? How would you classify your hair if you had to?
No name o. It already has a mind of its own, if it gets an identity who knows what will happen. Right now it’s midback to waist length, I don’t know for sure cos I won’t straighten it. It’s medium porosity, quite dense with a mix of thick and thin strands. I’m not really into typing but I would say 4b, 4c.
How long do you plan to transition for? How far have you gone?
Last relaxer was November 2013 so I’m 10 months into my transition. I don’t know when I’ll end it, I’ll just keep on trimming gradually and maybe one day it’ll feel right to cut.
New growth! 🙂
Are you a less-is-more person when it comes to your hair or do you go all out?
Less-is-more with hair products definitely. With wash days it changes. Sometimes I go all out and give my hair a treat, other times I just do the basics.
Do you follow a regimen? If yes, do share!
Oh yes. I deep condition and wash weekly, sometimes co-wash midweek. I moisturise and seal daily or every other day, I keep my hair up mostly and try not to manipulate it much between wash days. I do everything in sections.
What are your staple products?
Olive oil, Coconut oil, Shea butter. ORS Replenishing Conditioner is an old faithful but sadly it will be dropped when I use up this bottle as I’m going for more organic products now.
Tell us two things your hair cannot do without
Water and oil. Finish
Does your hair have any dislikes?
Flat ironing! Me and my hair fear the thing. If I want sort of straight hair, I stretch my hair with thread. My hair also dislikes black tea, tail combs, other people’s hands…
Hair nice and heatlessly stretched with thread
What has been the hardest thing about your transitioning journey? How are you coping?
The hardest thing is dealing with two textures especially when the new growth shrinks. It causes breakage. I’m coping by not combing, by being patient when detangling and by doing styles that can last all week.
What do you look forward to in your kinky hair journey? Are you afraid of or concerned about anything?
I’m not afraid at all. Just looking forward to having a big, intimidating afro and doing fluffy, curly styles.
How do you style your transitioning hair?
Twist and tuck, roll and tuck, twists. Buns too- they’re no longer the easiest since my hair now puffs up, but it helps to flatten it overnight with a scarf. For curly styles I use flexirods (bendy rollers), bantu knots and braidouts.
What is your hair to you?
My hair expresses most clearly my individuality. It’s one thing that’s 100% my prerogative. I do what I want to it and it stands out.
Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?
I don’t get much negativity because people focus on the length at first. Then they’re like “oh nice, nice. So when will you relax your hair? Never? Like never?” Then they give my hair a doubtful look. I just let them know I’m ready for it and no, never going to relax again.
Do you have any hair goals- short or long term?
Short term- Minimise the inevitable breakage that happens when handling two textures.
Long term- A full head of big, healthy, all-natural hair
Before you go, could you share a tip or trick or a remedy you’ve tried & tested in your journey so far?
Throw on a headband or some other cute accessory like a scarf. No matter how crazy my hair is acting, an accessory makes it look chic. It’s my cheat code.
Protective Styles, Fun with Accessories
Are there any resources- blogs, books, anything- that you’ve found particularly helpful?
Natural hair blogs like thekinkandi, nappilynigeriangirl, glamlushhair, klassykinks, africanaturalistas give me the assurance that I can rock my natural hair with pride and sass.
A couple of my fave relaxed bloggers are also transitioning – justgrowalready, hardmashonatype. It’s encouraging to see them soldiering on.
Any last words to other transitioners in the building?
1. Be sure it’s what you want
2. If at any point you feel frustrated with your hair, just stop. Don’t do anything rash. Put it away in a protective style and do the basic moisturise & seal until you miss your hair again (and you will).
Do you have a blog, twitter, instagram or any other social media you’d like people to connect with you on?
Yes please 😀 naijagirlnextdoor.blogspot.com, and my personal Instagram account: @sandalily
Have a great weekend guys!