Where are you from?
M: I live in London and I work as a physical therapist. I was born in the UK (London) but my parents are from Nigeria. London is a unique and vibrant place. I love the diversity of cultures coming together making a unique blend!
What is the natural hair scene like in the UK?
M: There has been a growing natural hair community over the last couple of years. I have had very positive feedback about my natural hair. I have been asked why I don’t straighten my hair but I hardly ever receive negative comments. I personally feel that natural hair is accepted but having said that I think it depends on the type of style. I think wearing dread locks is more frowned upon compared to just having natural afro hair that is braided/cornrowed. Dread locks gets negative attention but that seems to be changing for the better now. Sister locks seems to be a big hit in the UK and look very stylish.
Why did you go natural?
M: I first went natural back in 2007 because I was fed up with putting chemicals in my hair. I was always getting burned and would suffer hair breakage at the back of my head which is not as thick as the hair on the crown of my head. So although my hair appeared healthy and long, it was very short at the nape. I think I missed having straight hair and then decided to texturize my hair thinking it would be any better but that proved to be nonsense! This time my hair started breaking at the front!…something that had never happened to me before!
I went natural for the second time and cut my hair in March 2009. I transitioned first before taking that leap! As soon as I stopped using chemicals my hair was fuller and healthier. I didn’t experiment with my relaxed hair. I would often put it up in a ponytail because I was too lazy to style it. I am so glad I made the decision to go natural as it has forced me to be more creative with my hair. I now realize just how versatile my hair can be and I like the fact that I am not restricted. I can go swimming and go to the gym without thinking “I spent x amount on my hair and don’t want to ruin it”. Of course shrinkage is a problem with afro hair but I just work around it by choosing styles that suit my lifestyle. My favorite is the two strand twist bantu knot out, you barely notice any shrinkage because it’s such a short cropped style.
What’s your regimen?
M: I apply coconut oil to my hair the night before, cover with a shower cap then put a satin scarf on top.
*In the morning I shampoo my hair twice with Aubrey organics J.A.Y desert herb shampoo and rinse thoroughly
*I then apply Giovanni deep moisturizing conditioner and section into about 8 parts, detangle then twist each section. I also sometimes use Aubrey Organics J.A.Y desert herb conditioner.
*I apply a shower cap and sit under a hooded dryer for about 25 minutes
*I rinse thoroughly with the twists intact
*I then rinse with ACV to help close the cuticles
*I take down one section at a time, apply leave in conditioner such as Kinky Curly Knot Today, Shea Moisture Leave-in or Qhemet Biologics amla and olive heavy cream then retwist
*I apply Let’s Dred beeswax to seal my ends
*I cover with a satin bonnet and leave to air dry over night
*Style as usual
Where do you buy your products?
M: I purchase most products from Nubian Natural or Adornment 365 in Brixton, London
What would you like to see in the UK in terms of haircare?
M: More hair salons that actually know how to look after natural hair properly!