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Joy // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Dec 13, 2010

Where do you live?
J:
I am currently living in the UK Northern Ireland but am originally from Malawi. I moved to the UK in 2005. I’m an A level student.

Why did you go natural?
J:
It started off as a relaxer stretch. My hair was very damaged from over processing, I used to relax the length of my hair every time I had a touch up. Yes it is totally crazy but I had no clue and neither did my hair stylist. I grew up wearing a teeny weeny afro in Africa which was a common hair style for women, most high schools where I lived actually didn’t allow girls to grow their hair long. When I moved to the UK I decided to grow my hair out and got a relaxer for the first time in my life. I kept my hair in braids and weaves for the next two years and then decided to just wear my hair since it had grown and partly because I was spending alot of money. Anyway I didn’t know the word haircare and my hair started to break which led me to research and finding Long Hair Care Forum, FOTKI and my decision to start stretching relaxers so that I could get rid of the damaged hair. I can’t remember the moment when I finally decided that I wouldn’t get relaxers anymore. I transitioned for ten months and big chopped in June 2009. Going natural is the best decision I have ever made!

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
J:
I literally wore two cornrows/French breads the entire time I was transitioning (talk about lack of creativity…they were cute though lol). I would shampoo, apply conditioner (Organic Root Stimulator replenishing conditioner), detangle (with jilbere comb) and leave the conditioner on for 30 minutes to an hour to deep condition. Then I would rinse it out, apply a leave in/seal with oil and put my hair in braids. I did that for ten months!

Natural hair makes me standout. I get a crazy amount of compliments on my hair. My teachers and random pupils in my school constantly compliment me; I have actually had long conversations about my hair with curious teachers who taught me when I used to relax and are surprised that this huge ‘fab’ afro was hiding. I go to a predominantly white school… my teacher who has mixed kids told her daughter to come and talk to me about my hair.…how I take care of it because she has been bugging her mum about getting a relaxer (the mixed kids in my school straighten the hell out of their hair, the black girls in my school relax and wear breads). I was approached by Hollister recruiters while with an offer to work for them. A guy randomly came up to me and said “I crossed the road so I could talk to you, sisters don’t wear their hair like that anymore”. Literally my background noise is “I love her hair”. I have inspired my mum and sister to go natural and I don’t have to spend crazy amounts of money on braids and weaves that can damage my hair.

How would you describe your hair?
J:
My hair is currently bra strap length; it’s very thick and shrinks a lot. I have three different textures…the sides are coarse (4b) the middle and front is wavy and the back is curly.

What’s your regimen?
J:
My regimen is very simple. I don’t want to spend hours because I am busy with school and even if I had all the time in the world I don’t feel there is a need to spend hours doing my hair.

· I shampoo my hair in four sections with Organix coconut milk shampoo,
· Then I rinse out the shampoo and apply Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner in sections.
· I get out the shower and detangle each section adding more conditioner and spritzing as needed (I split each section into three sections…so I detangle 12 sections in total). I use a jilbere comb and then a denman brush.
· I rinse out the Giovanni as soon as I finish detangling and leave my hair to dry. When it is almost or completely dry I apply Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose and leave it in my hair for however long (mostly overnight) to deep condition.
· If I don’t have Aubrey Organics I just leave the Giovanni in overnight.
· I rinse it the next day while still in section (I unravel every twist and retwist while rinsing in the shower.…I hate getting out of the shower and finding product in my hair) and after rinsing with cold water I apply my leave-in (kinky curly knot today) and seal in with jojoba oil. I started using jojoba oil recently and I love it because it is not greasy on my hair.
· Then I twist my hair with either Anita grant whipped butter lemon sponge (small to medium sized twists) or bee mine bee hold curly butter (chunky twists).…I love both looks!! I keep the twists in for a minimum of three days and then rock a twistout or wear the twists the entire week.
· If I am wearing a twistout the whole week, I retwist every night (chunky twists…takes me 5–10 mins) and twistout in the morning.

I go through the shampoo process every 2 to 3 weeks… it’s all about how I feel and I always sleep with a satin bonnet.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
J:
Trimming too much.… I am scissor happy so I will watch out next time I have scissors in hand.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
J:
Protective styling, I wear twists for the most part and pin them up to protect my ends.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
J:
http://members.fotki.com/joykaunda
http://www.youtube.com/user/JoyKaunda1

Anything else you want to add?
J:
This has been said so many times before but find and do what works for you; what products work for you, the amount of time you are willing to spend doing your hair. Just because someone on youtube spends hours doing their hair doesn’t mean that every natural does that or HAS to do that.

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ineyo
ineyo
9 years ago

MALAWI in the house!!! That’s what I’m talking about.…lol. Tiyeni nazo, love your hair chemwali

cam
cam
9 years ago

I love your hair! Can’t wait til mine gets that big and gorgeous. Yeay that you live in the uk, I’m kind of biased though, as I live in the uk.

tdub
tdub
9 years ago

great interview!she has tons of hair!

Maulana
Maulana
9 years ago

Koma what a small world! Rep Malawi miss…love your hair and wow it grows fast.

Bo @ Ineyo

joy
joy
9 years ago

@ineyo good to know kuti pali Amalawi pano

joy
joy
9 years ago

good to know kuti pali Amalawi pano @ineyo

anonda
anonda
9 years ago

Her hair is great! It looks a lot like mine I’m so very proud to say 🙂
I love it when she said her background noise is “I love her hair.”
She also yet again put down the notion that hours upon hours of drudgery is the default for ALL 4’s.

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

I love her hair! My fav line from the interview was: “Literally my background noise is ‘I love her hair’ ”.

Princess mop top
Princess mop top
9 years ago

Fellow African(I’m from South Africa)! Wow u have a lot of hair!!! After two years? Beautiful…I’m 1 year post BC so this is inspiration…also rocking my two french braids as I type!lol

Kaila
Kaila
9 years ago

your hair is beautiful!!!!

muslimah
muslimah
9 years ago

Who said you had to be mixed to have a head ful of hair! her hair is awesome and destroys that myth that you need races in you to have big hair!

thelady
thelady
9 years ago

your hair is glorious: so nice and thick

freeyourheart
9 years ago

loved what she had to add. i REALLY wish i had the patience to do mini twists one day. i see so many chicks do them (i.e. naturallyobsessed.onsugar.com) and it’s gorgeous and super versatile. but the 3.5 hours it takes me to do my medium 2ST works my patience. ::laughs:: yay for knowing your products, your hair, and what works for you!

http://msjanelle.blogspot.com

Jojo
Jojo
9 years ago

SOOO PRETTY!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Brianna
Brianna
9 years ago

inde Just amazing hun..

joy
joy
9 years ago

@freeyourheart i also hope i will hav the patience to do tiny twists one day…they look amazing…naturallyobsessed’s are gorgeous

mixed beans
mixed beans
9 years ago

lovely post!! love your regimen and your whole attitude (and your lovely background noise)!! 🙂

RuthiOrudio
RuthiOrudio
9 years ago

i love how there are so many different cultures being represented on this blog. watch me go crazy when there’s another Nigerian natural lol.

ineyo
ineyo
9 years ago

@Maulana… bo bo!! @ Joy… tilipo, very present 🙂

Earthy Natural
9 years ago

You are such an inspiration!

RuthiOrudio
RuthiOrudio
9 years ago

and i’m also happy to see that the majority of the reaction she got from her environment was so positivity. not every is so lucky.….….

cherchezlacurl
9 years ago

Wow! Your hair is absolutely gorgeous!

@muslimah — Agree! And also, who says you have to be mixed to have multi-textured hair. Instead of all the debates/back and forth on what “Africans” do/don’t look like, a picture is worth a thousand words 🙂

Diana
Diana
9 years ago

WORK IT!!!!!

Janelle
Janelle
9 years ago

You are gorgeous, your hair is gorgeous, your hair regime just made me fix something I was doing wrong. Thanks for sharing Joy. Loved it.

TAB
TAB
9 years ago

Beautiful hair, beautiful girl. I am loving these posts from various countries.

iri9109
9 years ago

she’s so pretty…&i love big hair.

Jo Somebody
Jo Somebody
9 years ago

@RuthiOrudio There have been Nigerian girls featured in the past (search ‘Nigeria’), also, I am still transitioning, but I am British Nigerian! 🙂

Jo Somebody
Jo Somebody
9 years ago

Forgot to say, I love your hair Joy! And you are beautiful.

Ain't I an African
Ain't I an African
9 years ago

Wow, look at all that hair! Love it.

HB
HB
9 years ago

Your hair is very thick and gorgeous!

M.J.
M.J.
9 years ago

I. LOVE. YOUR. HAIR.…it really caught my eye. You look pretty, as well

thiaba
thiaba
9 years ago

Wooow my jaw just dropped when I saw her hair!!! It’s sooooooooo freakin nice and it keeps me motivated to grow my hair like that,I hope so :)! I’m Senegalese and I’m happy to see there are countries where wearing a fro isn’t weird but in my case, I’ve had people lookin at me like “Is she crazy? Why is her hair like that?” just because natural hair has become so strange to them. It makes me sad!

Lissie
Lissie
9 years ago

You’re beautiful Joy! And you rock killa fro’s!!! Shrinkage is a mess (I believe you when you say you’re at BSL). BUT it gives your hair so much thickness and volume, which is lovely! Ok random: How do you like Northern Ireland? I know a “bit” about it’s history and I find it to be a really interesting place! *Going to add it to my travel list along with Malawi*!

Alta
Alta
9 years ago

You have a gorgeous head of hair!

Nyabanda
Nyabanda
9 years ago

Wow i love this Joy. Been natural for 5 months andd you have given me hope. Amalawi tili pano and im glad Malawians are also going natural. My Malawian friends almost ate me when i went natural but i doidnt care much coz i loo better with my natural hair and so do you Joy

Ogo
Ogo
9 years ago

Great interview…beautiful hair!!!

(Nigerian checking in. Lol.)

Joy
Joy
9 years ago

First of all, it’s always a pleasure to find another Joy in this world! Secondly, I absolutely love your hair. Your texture looks exactly like mine and gives me hope that my hair will be as beautiful and healthy as yours one day.

A.G.
A.G.
9 years ago

I disagree. Braids did not damage my hair but let my hair grow out. I am almost BSL. There’s nothing wrong with wearing braids.

Joy
Joy
9 years ago

I said ‘can damage’ depending on how long you keep them in and mantain them. Ofcourse there is nothing wrong with wearing braids.

kesla
kesla
8 years ago

hey joy, i so love ur hair my hair is abt 5″ now am its cool to see a fellow african with so much hair n nice one too, am nigerian and i live in a state where i v nt seen anyone that is supposed to be in their right senses rocking their twa but so far so good people are getting to appreciate it, and just basically think i v some special kind of hair bcs i v curls, cant wait to v ur length. keep it up.

Nafe
8 years ago

Yes, that’s right, mwana wa kwathu! Lol, I’m so happy to have found a natural Malawian here, back home it’s so damn difficult and the fact that I now live in Hong Kong doesn’t help much either. But girl, you’re beautiful and so is your hair.

Joy
Joy
8 years ago
Reply to  Nafe

Ine pano! Lol amalawi aku Hong Kong huh! Ma products akuvuta kupeza? Ine i kept it short back home so i didnt have to deal with it.

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago

Hey are you still naturally growing your hair out? If so please email me at Slindsey84@gmail.com.…I have a group on Facebook newly starting out and I need pictures of beautiful of African decent women that are naturally growing her hair.

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[…] and didn’t know where to start from in order to blog seriously. It was only after seeing a Malawian featured on BGLH in December 2010 that I gained motivation to actively blog again and officially […]

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