First & Last Name
What is your hometown?
Buffalo, NY, but I’m currently living in Delaware
Share with us a little about who you are in 2-3 sentences.
I’m a 27 year old married, Nigerian, graduating medical student. I am a positive, free-spirit who loves God, my family, music, food, fashion/beauty, and trying new things. One of my purposes in life is to encourage people to embrace themselves and to use my journey to inspire others.
How long have you been natural?
A little over three years
Was there ever anything holding you back from going natural?
This is actually my second time going natural. I was natural throughout college and did not know how to properly care for or style my hair. I dreaded wash days because I ended up teary eyed and upset from spending hours trying to press out my kinks with a hot comb. Towards the end of my senior year, I couldn’t take it anymore! I got a relaxer and did not revisit the “natural hair thing” until half way through my first year of medical school. At that time, I had two concerns. The first was if I could successfully maintain my hair myself without pain and too much effort. The second was if my tight kinks would be professional enough for my career as a future doctor. After I got over those issues, I never looked back!
What resources did you lean on when you first went natural?
When I made the decision to stop using relaxers, I watched youtube constantly for my 6 month transition. I was like a sponge, absorbing everything I could before I was comfortable enough to cut off the relaxed ends. Kimmaytube was the main person I watched because her videos were very educational, her hair looked similar to mine, and she kept her regimen straightforward and simple. Over time, I started doing searches for other youtubers with kinks that behaved similarly to mine and took bits and pieces from each of them.
What was the hardest part of being newly natural?
The hardest part for me was abandoning everything I knew about my hair and starting over. It took me a while to figure out what products worked for my hair. The day I big chopped, threw out my “straight hair” products and gave my stash of relaxer jars to someone in case I wanted to give up on my journey. I went to the beauty supply store and bought what I thought were the right items for me based on what I had seen on youtube. It wasn’t until a year into my journey that I started paying attention to ingredients and really understood how my hair reacted to different products.
What inspired you to start a youtube channel?
There are two reasons that inspired me to start a youtube channel. Initially, I needed an outlet to keep me occupied while my husband and I did long-distance marriage. So I would record myself doing tutorials in the bathroom and pretend he was watching. The second reason was that I didn’t really find people with hair that looked like mine who were in medical school. My schedule was hectic and I needed styles that I could do in about 5 minutes that still looked professional. So I started making “Quick Styling” videos. I love making videos and I especially enjoy inspiring those pursuing higher education.
Name three hair products you can’t live without.
This is a hard question!
- Ology Conditoner (for detangling)
- As I Am Cleansing Pudding (for washing)
- As I Am Double Butter Cream (for sealing in moisture/styling)
In your opinion is it harder to style and care for afro-textured natural hair?
Once you get used to it, I don’t think so. In fact, each time I have straightened my hair, I don’t have too many ideas on what to do with it. Afro-textured hair has amazing versatility and there is so much inspiration out there on different styling options!
There are many opinions of what being natural means. What does “natural hair” mean to you
To me, “natural hair” means that I choose not to use relaxers or texturizers to straighten or alter the texture of my hair. Blow drying, flat ironing, and dying my hair are all fine with me. When done correctly, none of those things have significantly altered the curl pattern or texture of my hair.
Describe your hair care routine in detail.
I like to use 2 week increments.
Before doing a protective style, I make sure I have thoroughly detangled, washed, and deep conditioned my hair.
- I wear a protective style for 2-6 weeks. Examples of styles include two-strand twists, Havana twists, Marley twists, and Senegalese twists. I try to clean my scalp with shampoo and apple cider vinegar for every 2 weeks I am in a protective style. I may also decide to convert a protective style into another one. For example, I may split large two-strand twists in half to make medium-size twists.
- When I’m in a protective style, I use my spritz mix (aloe vera juice, water, extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, tea tree oil, and conditioner) every 2-3 days to keep my hair hydrated.
- When I take down a protective style, I wait 2 weeks before doing the next one. During those 2 weeks, I either wear a wig or style with updos.
I try to do this routine as often as possible to keep from manipulating my hair too much.
What is your go to hair style?
I have a few go-to hair styles!
- Wigs: My favorite one is the Finger Comber Unit. It’s my go-to when I’m coming out of another protective style or don’t feel like doing my hair. It also blends perfectly with my hair. It can be purchased on fingercomber.com.
- Updos: I typically do these on stretched or blown-out hair. My favorites are the top-knot and roll-tuck, and pin styles.
- Shrunken Afro: This is another quick style that only requires water hitting my hair in the shower, conditioner, and patting the fro down to a shape I like.
What advice do you have for 4c hair women considering going natural?
Ask for help when needed. However, at the end of the day, you are the best determiner of what works for you. If your hair likes something and is thriving, keep doing it!
How do you feel about the way black women are portrayed in mainstream media?
I would prefer to see women ALWAYS portrayed in a positive light, but of course that’s not always the case in mainstream media. It’s important for our generation to showcase women who not only express outward beauty, but inner beauty.
Do you attend natural hair events? If yes what type of events do you like to attend?
When I have the time, I enjoy going to meet-ups, product swaps, or hair education events.
What are your thoughts on the natural hair movement?
I absolutely love it! Even though natural hair is becoming more common, I still get excited when I meet another natural sister. That common ground sparks so many conversations and opens the door to form new relationships. Over the years, I have noticed a burst of new businesses, product lines, and weave/wigs catered to natural hair. I really feel that there is a sense of community and there are so many resources now that people don’t feel like they have to go on a natural hair journey alone.
List 3 type 4 naturalistas who inspire you
I get a lot of inspiration from the following ladies on youtube:
Share one quote that inspires you.
Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living. -Anonymous
What do you want to see change with the hair care industry in regards to natural hair?
I would like to see the natural hair community continue to lift up and support small businesses with the purpose of helping us as consumers have healthy hair journeys.
For the readers interested in keeping up with you where can they go for more information?
Of course! “downtoat” everything! Hehe