*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
E: My name is Ebony and I’m from Sydney, Australia! I’m currently a student, but I one day hope to become a fashion editor of a magazine or an actress.
What is the natural hair scene like in Australia?
E: Most of the African girls I’m friends with get their hair braided or wear weaves. I know a few mixed girls however, that leave their hair natural.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
E: I’ve pretty much always had my hair natural although I did go through a stage where I wanted straight hair more than anything. About 2 years ago I used to straighten it 2–3 times a week despite my family telling me how much prettier I looked with curly hair, and how the heat was ruining my hair. It got to a point where the ends of my hair would no longer curl. By that stage I regretted straightening it so much and wanted my curls more than anything.
After the straight hair stage I decided to start fresh. I cut my hair to my shoulders in order to get rid of all the straight ends and to help it grow back healthy. I promised myself I would embrace my curls and stop straightening my hair. Since then it’s grown back and my hair is healthier than ever.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
E: Leaving my hair curly and natural ended up being a huge confidence boost. I’m always getting told how cool my hair is and I love that it sets me apart from everyone else. I came to realize there was no point wishing for something else when you can rock what you were already given.
How would you describe your hair?
E: The texture of curls I have would fall under the ‘3b’ category. When I was younger they would have definitely been 3c, but as I’ve gotten older and my hair has gotten longer the curls have loosened. My hair is thick and soft. On occasion my curls are frizzy (usually at the top), but for the most part easy to manage as long as it’s well conditioned. My curls can be both tight and loose depending on the conditioners I use and whether they are blow-dried or dry naturally.
What is your regimen?
E: My hair regimen is pretty straight forward. I wet my hair, put conditioner in it and brush it through everyday. Every 2nd or 3rd day I wash it with both shampoo and conditioner. After that, depending on the weather I let it naturally dry or usually dry the roots and leave the bottom to dry naturally. I know washing your hair and drying it everyday is bad, but it makes it so much easier to style and manage especially for school.
I don’t really have specific products I use. I try lots of different ones. I’ve tried all kinds of salon treatments and leave in conditioners, but none of them have left me impressed. They usually make my curls separate and look thin or spring up and leave my hair looking really short. I try to buy conditioner and shampoo aimed at curly hair and have found that Pantene for curly hair gives me the best result. It makes my curls defined yet maintains the length, and leaves my hair looking really shiny.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
E: For moisture — Minimal heat (straightening, blow drying). Lots of conditioner! For length — Trimming the ends of my hair every few months.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
E: Not to use African Balms in my hair! I tried and ended up having really oily looking hair for ages. My hair isn’t the right texture to take it. Also straightening my hair so much that the ends end up staying straight.
What would you like to see in Australia in terms of hair care?
E: African Australians feeling beautiful and confident without feeling the need to wear a weave, braids, get their hair relaxed, etc.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?