*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
B: My name is Bianca. In the art world I go by [Bianca Emilia], so if you see a picture with that on it, it’s my picture! I am a 19 year old girl that lives in Norway, more specific Tromsø (http://www.reiseplaneten.no/miniguider/Tromso/). My mom is from Norway. I was born there and raised by her, but my dad is from Nigeria, as you can tell by my skin and hair.
For a living I work at a nursing home now and then, but I’m looking for a new job, so that’s not my main thing in life. The things I really spend time on are different creative things. I’ve danced since I was five (ballet, jazz ballet, street jazz and now hip hop), I do a lot of photography and some model jobs now and then (would love to do more of those!). I love creative writing, so I’ve been writing on a blog for over 4 years. I sew, make movies, write scripts etc. A creative soul by other words.
What is the natural hair scene like in Norway?
B: As I mentioned I live in Tromsø, a place where my hair is very special. Most of the girls here have straight hair. I have two friends with my hair type (half Norwegian), but they are using relaxers, as the rest of the people with hair like mine. I’ve only seen a few people that have their natural afro. It is very normal for people to have braids and use other techniques. All of my friends (and random people) are very fascinated with my hair.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
B: I don’t remember the exact year I did decide to go natural, but let me tell you a little bit about my hair history. As far back as I can remember I always hated it. So, when I was younger I did everything in my power to change it. I used relaxers often, different hair products, bleached it, and so on. But as you know an afro can never be straight “natural” (as I wanted).
When I grew older I realized how much I had damaged my hair. I was very unhappy about my look when it came to my hair and face (living among pale people with blue eyes), and I hated the fact that I couldn’t show the natural me without hating what I would see in the mirror. An urge in me started to grow as I became older. I really wanted to be natural. I really wanted to like myself. So I did what I could to make the first thing become reality. I remember the last time I used a relaxer; standing in the mirror looking how straight my hair looked with the relaxer in, quite happy, but then when it was washed out I realized I couldn’t keep doing this. The price wasn’t worth it because as the hair dried the more it looked like my real hair and when I touched it I could feel how destroyed it was. I didn’t want to cut it because I’ve always wanted long hair, so I kept the damaged relaxed hair. Until one day, after about 3 years…I cut it. Suddenly there was an afro on my head. I didn’t like it at first, but I felt proud. Finally I was the real, natural me again.
I’m still having trouble accepting it, but everything in its time. This decision has had quite a big affect on me. Now damage to my hair doesn’t come from relaxing, but from the way I handle it. Here in Tromsø we don’t have any hairdressers that know how to treat my type of hair and the hairdressers don’t have the products that are meant for it. (If you guys have any tips about what hair care products I should use, that I can also order from the internet please contact me at the email address at the end of this interview).
How would you describe your hair?
B: I don’t know if the pictures speak for themselves, but I will try to explain. My hair is screaming for moisture every second of the day. The volume is…wow. It is thick, extremely curly, very dry, and just…living its own life. When I wet my hair it hangs down to my breast, but when it dries it reaches down to a little longer than my ear.
What is your regimen?
B: I probably don’t take care of my hair as much as I should, but I have invested in a good shampoo and conditioner. I use Forever Living Products shampoo and conditioner. I use shampoo when I feel it needs it, but I use conditioner almost every time I shower. When I’m going to brush my hair I have to do it when it’s wet, and has conditioner in it. After that I sometimes use Anti Frizz by John Frieda, and the serum that defines your curls from Toni and Guy. I sometimes let it air dry, but often I just wrap it in a towel.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
B: My mistakes are many, but the main thing was I tried to change it. I’ve tried relaxed and I’ve tried natural, and the last one is sure the best for me.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
B: All the pictures in this interview are taken by me. http://biancaemilia.blogg.no (text, pictures and some music tips, but I blog in Norwegian)
http://biancaemilia.tumblr.com (this site is where I post my photography, and also a place where you can ask me questions) I also have twitter and facebook, but I only write in Norwegian there.
firstname.lastname@example.org (If you would like to contact me about anything please feel free)