*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
S: My name is Sofie and I’m 18 years old. I live in Norway with my mom. My dad is from a small Island called Dominica in the Caribbean so I’m mixed, and proud of it! I’m studying photography, but it’s only for a year. When I’m finished I will be working with people who are a little different than the rest of us who need a helping hand.
What is the natural hair scene like in Norway?
S: Well you don’t see black girls with natural hair often in this country. There are some of us but not many, and I think that’s very sad. Almost all Norwegian people LOVE It and it seems like they get really fascinated in a positive way when they see black people with natural hair. I think that’s a very positive thing. But what really makes me sad is that IF I get negative responses regarding my hair it’s mostly from black girls who don’t wear their hair natural…And that makes me really upset because they should be on our “side” and really admire us for showing that we’re proud of who we are and how we were made! So I hope that will change in the future.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S: I went natural because I was tired of trying to be and look like someone I’m not. I had to be proud of who I am and where I got my roots from.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
S: I was about 14 or 15 years old. I had been relaxing my hair for a long time and when I decided to go natural I just quit relaxing my hair and using heat. I didn’t want to go around bald so I just waited until my natural hair got a little length underneath the relaxed hair, and then I started cutting it off. At first it felt a bit strange, but once it started to grow and got a little length I just loved it!
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
S: By going natural I felt more like myself and I don’t think I will ever go back to relaxing my hair. This is who I am now and I love it! After going natural I’ve been feeling more confident in myself and I regret I didn’t go natural sooner!
How would you describe your hair?
S: My hair is very soft and not that thick, but that’s probably because I’m mixed I guess. My curls are kind of wild and do as they please most of the time. In the summer time my curls will actually behave a little different and they stick more together. That’s when I love my hair the most, but sadly for me here in Norway we don’t have a very long period of summer.
What is your regimen?
S: When washing my hair I use products from Organic Roots Salon with Olive Oil…works wonders on my hair and scalp. Daily I use a product called African Pride Olive Miracle. I love this product very much and it works very well for my hair and also on dry skin. You can also use it as a hair treatment when you’re washing your hair.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
S: There was a time when I was really lazy about taking care of my hair. I hadn’t moisturized it at all in a long time and my hair got really dry. I had to cut off a lot of it because of split ends and…NEVER AGAIN! I also braided my hair a while ago and I kept the braids in too long. My hair got really damaged, and I had to cut off split ends and broken hair. So these are mistakes I have learned from and will never repeat. My hair is my baby and I will do everything to make sure it’s healthy and strong!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
S: To retain length I cut a few inches of my hair 2 to 3 times a year when it’s needed and I keep my hair very moisturized. That way it grows faster. The most effective way to keep my hair healthy is to remember to moisturize it a lot after I’ve showered while my hair is still wet. It keeps it soft and the texture stays smooth for a good while.
Also, I don’t know if there are many who do the same as me when they sleep, but I feel this really works. It’s a bit hard to explain so I will add a YouTube video so you can see for yourself how it’s done, and People…it really WORKS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWUEmle63h8. This method keeps my hair protected from being rubbed against my head and pillow.
What would you like to see in Norway in terms of hair care?
S: We actually have a lot of places where I can find good crèmes and shampoos and other things I need for my hair, so I have nothing to complain about in that area. But what I really would love to see is more places where they actually know how to handle natural hair. Like when I need to cut a few inches of my hair I have to do it myself because all the “natural hair dresser shops” only know how to get rid of the natural hair…Like braids, weaves, relaxer treatments, etc. I get tricked by the name of the shop because it’s always something about natural hair, but when I go inside no one knows how to “treat” my hair. So I always end up cutting it myself.