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Chioma // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jul 19, 2011

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally


Chioma & her sister Amaka (left)

Where do you live?
C: I live in London, from Washington DC by way of Imo State, Nigeria.

What do you do?
C: I am a Human Rights Political Scientist.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I went natural in 2008. I cut my hair really short. It was still relaxed, but I liked the low cut and eventually allowed it to grow out. As it grew out, I so admired my natural texture that I could not put a lick of chemical on it. It was just so precious. My sisters are also naturals and my older sister (1 yr, lol) Ulonna, started first in our house. Now almost all of the 5 girls are natural. My younger sister, Amaka is also a beautiful natural and started her journey without doing the big chop and her hair is still growing!

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
C: This is deep, but why is it that skin bleaching is so taboo in our community and perm/ weave is not? They both alter the phenotype (appearance) of our natural state. Truth is, there’s a mass hypnosis targeted to certain groups of people to keep them “one” step behind. How? Target the women. If the people’s women are distorted, the group will not survive: psychologically, socially, etc. Think about it, a Black woman does not buy the yaki because she likes that type of hair better. No. She does this simply because she wants what is on her head to do what she sees. In mainstream media, magazines, etc. She masters it (in fact, at times better that the original hair grower, lol). But still subconsciously having to mimic what she sees (as stated above, “one” step behind).

How would you describe your hair?
C: My hair is coarse and beautiful. My hair type is towards the 4c side.

What is your regimen?
C: My regimen includes washing with Natural Roots Organic shampoo (has no detergents). Then I condition with Nubian Heritage Coconut conditioner. I deep condition with Olive Oil Deep Conditioner and cover for about 10 minutes. I hydrate with shea butter, and coconut oil, black seed oil as well as almond oil. Then I style as I desire.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
C: Tight braids at the temple are not healthy for hair no matter how strong your hair is. Constant pulling will result in damage and loss.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
C: Washing it with coconut conditioner using raw coconut oil, deep conditioning and braiding it.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: www.WomenofAfrika.org

Anything else you want to add?
C: Embracing your natural hair is a clear indication that a woman has recognized and is joyful to contribute to the many beautiful images of God that He created of Himself. It’s a relationship and like any relationship, you have to work hard at it. When you get to a crossroad, you know some things may have to change to keep the flames of the relationship alive. When wearing your natural hair and texture, there’s no alternative image to hide behind. It truly brings out the best in you. It’s truly amazing.

Starting from young girls, Black women are so heavily conditioned by mass deception through media with alternative motives that tell them the hair of other women is far more appealing. This is only stipulated by the hoards of images portrayed by the owners of such media sources who just so happen to be of these ethnic groups. Imagine if Africans (which includes ALL of the Diaspora) owned the majority of media and were proud of afro styles, rocked them proudly and blasted all the magazine covers with them, all the new cosmetic adverts and billboards, movies with them, etc. And have this go on for decades, non-stop. Well would you get young Asian and European girls rocking afros? Sociology tells us probably yes!

However, I am not at the mercy of any marketing advertising director. I was fearfully and wonderfully made by The Creator with His own two hands and He could not have possibly made a mistake with the whole population of African women He created. Twists, braids are only the beginning. There’s so much OUR hair can do, but so many Black females have never taken the time to express themselves with their own hair.

The Bible even says that a woman’s hair is her glory. Why would the Bible tap on something that seems so trivial/ passive to you and I? Because it’s the truth

We are all born standards. We were created standards. Problem is we’re trying to fit into another person’s standards that they have made for themselves. Master your own standard.

Take a challenge: take one day rocking your natural hair, and tell me how you feel.

It’s a process, don’t believe the lye 😛 lol.

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About Meosha

Just another lover of natural hair and expression. - Style Icon Coordinator for BGLH

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Home Daycare
9 years ago

I love what you had to say.

Nne
Nne
9 years ago

Woop woop, we’re from the same state in Naija!! It’s Nigerian women like her that I like to look up to. With women like her wanting to make things better for women of color, I see a bright future ahead for all of us.

Ezi
Ezi
9 years ago
Reply to  Nne

hey hey! im from imo state too 😀

Chynwe
Chynwe
9 years ago
Reply to  Ezi

And here I am from Anambra! Poor me! 🙁 lol Gd to see y’all representing! Umunakwenu!

Nne
Nne
9 years ago
Reply to  Chynwe

Oh wow, that’s where my cousin’s family is from. Big ups to Anambra too. Igbo Kwenu! Kwenu Kwezo Nu! 🙂

Chinye
9 years ago
Reply to  Nne

Umunwanyi Igbo Kwenu! Delta State representing here!

Chizzy D
9 years ago
Reply to  Nne

Imo state in the house. Rep it ooo!!

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

Gorgeous!

Kaya
Kaya
9 years ago

One of my favourite interviews ever! Such an intellectual woman! And she and her sisters are beautiful!

KD
KD
9 years ago
Reply to  Kaya

I was just about he write the same thing!!! Well said. Let the church say “AMEN.”

deena
deena
9 years ago
Reply to  KD

Amen…this sista is the truth.

Chrys225
Chrys225
9 years ago

Chioma, you only Deep condition your hair for 10 minutes ??

zyaran
zyaran
9 years ago

Your hair looks really good, but I think you’re looking to be 4b, because you can actually see your curl pattern in alot of those pictures. The outfits look good as well, and the interview turned out good.

jaguanana
jaguanana
9 years ago
Reply to  zyaran

i concur.…(true)

Shones
9 years ago

Beautiful, and this was a great interview.

MW
MW
9 years ago

I love how you described natural hair as PRECIOUS. That’s the perfect description!! Loved your entry =)

Le Le
Le Le
9 years ago

I love what you had to say from beginning to end. And your name is beautiful.

Candi
9 years ago

Beautifully said…girlfriend should write a book!

deena
deena
9 years ago

there’s a mass hypnosis targeted to certain groups of people to keep them “one” step behind. How? Target the women. If the people’s women are distorted, the group will not survive: psychologically, socially, etc.

she said a mouthfull with that one sentence. she needs to be a weekly contributor.

Chizzy D
9 years ago
Reply to  deena

+1

Nikia
Nikia
9 years ago
Reply to  Chizzy D

+ another 1

Betty Crafter
9 years ago

So well said! I agree with Candy — I’d read a book by Chioma! I’d like to add that women of all races could learn from this philosophy. We’re all trying to force ourselves into an unattainable beauty standard in one way or another, when truly we’d all be at our best working with what we were born with!

pinkgirlfluff
pinkgirlfluff
9 years ago

Two thumbs up and a pinky toe!

Leena
Leena
9 years ago

‘This is deep, but why is it that skin bleaching is so taboo in our community and perm/ weave is not?’ Maybe because skin bleaching can kill you! Never heard of death by weave. Why is it everyone else can play with their image but anything other than natural hair makes u self-hating. The author does need to get over herself a bit. I’m natural, but I will straigthen with ceramics in the future, so what. The only thing keeping black women behind is the idea that there seems to be a list of things that a we have to do… Read more »

duval24
duval24
9 years ago
Reply to  Leena

This comment made me pause as well. I think hair bleaching/dying is a more appropriate comparison and I doubt people would rally behind the argument that coloring your hair should be taboo. Perhaps the difference is that you can grow out hair but not skin.

We each have our own “self-altering” comfort levels and those varying comfort levels do not determine our sense of self worth. Isn’t real freedom being able to do you however you please?

In general, well written and thought provoking entry.

Nikia
Nikia
9 years ago
Reply to  duval24

I think she made a good point, for a single reason: The majority (not all) of black women who wear a weave get a texture that is dramatically different from their natural texture. Women of other races wear weave also, but its usually the same texture and color of their hair, therefore making it more believable. I can tell from a mile away if a black woman is wearing a weave vs. her real, straightened hair, and that’s the majority of what most people see. It wouldn’t be so taboo if everybody were rocking kinky/coily store bought hair, but sadly,… Read more »

Ify
Ify
9 years ago
Reply to  Leena

Of course, you are entitled to straighten your hair if you want to, wear a weave if you want to, relax your hair if you want to — it is your prerogative. I think what Chioma is referring to here is the motive behind these choices for a lot of black women. If a sister is choosing these styles because she just feels like it, it’s all well and good. However, if she’s doing it because she’s trying to “fit in,” because she’s received negative comments about her natural hair or because she has learned to dislike it, then there’s… Read more »

Maha
Maha
9 years ago

I love this sister!! She seems like a wonderful, beautiful person who has a lot of good things to discuss. She has great hair as well 🙂

FaithPeach
FaithPeach
9 years ago

Dang girl!!! You’re either an awesome writer or just really intuituve or both! lol. Woooow. Amazing entry. Saving it as a fave :o)

Cheri V
Cheri V
9 years ago

Beautiful and powerful. I’m going to print this off and hang it up in my room so I can always remember that God made me beautiful and in His glorious image.

Nikia
Nikia
9 years ago

I loved EVERYTHING she said. The “lye” she speaks of is so prominent, yet so many of us miss it…

She was like a breath of fresh air! I wish more people would open their eyes to the bigger picture. Its not “just hair” at all.

OlivOil
OlivOil
9 years ago

Wow! Chioma, you made my day. This is the freshest interview I’ve read so far. I loved the way you brought the natural hair debate to a broader perspective, the metaphors you used about the relationships, the importance of being aware of the targeting. It made me think about this saying used by many: “when you educate a woman, you educate people”. Keep up the great job, your hair is gorgeous!

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
9 years ago

I love the pride she has in her hair. She and her sister look like twins. Great post.

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

Chioma,
Well put! I agree with everything you said and it made my day!

Poe Roses
Poe Roses
9 years ago

I Dig It!

Shouts to all the Hair Lovers hahaha 🙂

Holla pOetiQ rOses Publishing

Monzi
Monzi
9 years ago

LOL, I like that, “it’s a process, don’t believe the lye”

Taylor
Taylor
9 years ago

ok good interview i agree… but i wear my weave and love it… i would go natural meaning no weave never had gotten a perm before so no worries about that..but i think not pressing my hair and wash and condition it doesn’t sit well wit me like i can’t curl it and maybe i want it straight i just have this poof on my head but hair styles go wit faces to looks good on you but my face nope wouldn’t like it … and i like my weaves because it gives me the type of hair i like… Read more »

Chic Noir
9 years ago

what a great interview. I love Chioma’s hair too.

mk
mk
9 years ago

Hi Chioma that was a really thought provoking and insightful article.
This is really off topic and slightly nosy but I was really interested in you citing yourself as a Human Rights Political Scientist and cant help but ask what you actually do, because I explored the WOA site and found it piqued my curiosity.

feel free to ignore if its too nosy or personal to respond
from a fellow londoner 🙂

Chioma
Chioma
9 years ago

Thanks for all the comments.
You all are BEAUTIFUL!

@TK, I work for the eradication of FGC (Female Genital Circumcision) and female literacy in Africa currently as a researcher.
Please visit : http://makaechi.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/africas-daughters-foundation-adf/ (AFRICA’s DAUGHTERS FOUNDATION)
for more information and to get involved if fancied. 🙂

pOetiQ rOses Publishing
pOetiQ rOses Publishing
9 years ago

Excellent Style, Elegantly graceful, Wonderful Appearance.
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Poetiq roses.jpg[/img]

pOetiQ rOses Publishing
pOetiQ rOses Publishing
9 years ago

Dayum, Best Comment Spot I’ve Ever Came Across
hahahaha
ya Know i gotz tah upload
anotha beauty pic 🙂

pOetiQ rOses Publishing
pOetiQ rOses Publishing
9 years ago

Here we Go
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Bryneen Gary’s Future.jpg[/img]

pOetiQ rOses Publishing
pOetiQ rOses Publishing
9 years ago

guess one photo good enough 🙂

Chi
Chi
9 years ago

Imo State beauties STAND UP!!

ScrewyHair
9 years ago

Love to see my natural Nigerian sisters killing it! Fabulous hair, Chioma! You are really taking care of it.

Shirley
Shirley
9 years ago

I’m may be late in reading Chioma’s interview, but I’m so delighted that I stumble upon it. Sister Chioma’s words are empowering and true, I’m so glad to see our African sisters embracing their natural beauty.

Monsieur Africain
Monsieur Africain
8 years ago

Wow pretty Igbo girl

adama
adama
8 years ago

ANAMBRA STATE!!!!!!
i hail you. i love your hair, couldn’t agree more with what you said

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
5 years ago

I am taken back by her impassioned words of wisdom. That is so deep felt. I think what she said could actually make us think for a lifetime. I’m way late but I wasn’t on BGLH in 2011. I love her hair and how she just lets it stuck out and up. Keep it going!

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