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Sherida // 4B Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Apr 20, 2013

Sherida18

Introduce yourself!
S:
Akwaaba! My name is Sherida Kuffour and I’m a Graphic Designer and Illustrator from a lovely little city called Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Both parents are from Ghana (Ashantiiii) and I’m currently studying Graphic Design in London, England.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S:
I’ve been natural for three years. I was about 4 years old when I got my first relaxer and from then on I didn’t know anything else. I knew that your hair was relaxed and neat, or not and unkempt. Nobody had to tell me this; it was something that I figured out myself. At around this age too I went to live in Ghana with my Grandmama and I had my head shaved for the first time for school. My goodness, I still remember how I felt! I felt confused and angry, “Well of course girls need hair – what else would make me a girl,” I remember crying to my Grandmama. She paid me no mind. She found it was odd that a 5‑year-old girl was so concerned with people’s perceptions of what a little girl should be like. When I then returned to The Netherlands with a shaved head, age 7/8, both teachers and students didn’t really know how to approach the situation. Every other day I’d be plagued with the question “Are you a boy or a girl?”…Fine. So I didn’t have any hair, but I was clearly a girl.

I also lived in Liverpool, (North England) some years back where being mixed raced was very much your ticket to respect and adoration. To be anything other than African signified your beauty and importance. Because of this, I was very insecure pretty much all throughout my teenage years and my relaxed hair was my only pride back then. This insecurity plagued me right up until even after I did my big Chop in 2010. Letting go of this idea that I was ugly because of my lack of hair and my heritage was a big deal. Because I wasn’t just letting go of relaxed hair, I was revisiting my 4‑year-old self with a shaved head. However this time not with grief or annoyance but embracing how I looked with dignity and a new found understanding of myself. Though it took some time.

For those of us whose parents didn’t really know what to do with our hair because it was too thick, or too matted, or too this, or too that, or whenever we were sat in the hairdresser’s chair feeling guilt-ridden for our uncontrollable manes, hair is not just hair. Going natural is not just something I felt like doing, just because of the fact. Of course you may say that that’s a lot of importance tied to something that should not have that much meaning, but it does. I can’t really explain it but it makes sense to me. It’s kind of like a lost house key that’s been returned to me. Oh and I also had a Jerry Curl – but we won’t go into that. *shivers*

How would you describe your texture?
S:
I’m a 4B! …I think. In my first year of being natural I really disliked my hair for not being thick and unruly as everyone said it would be. “But I want hair like my Nigerian friends” I’d moan! Gahhh, I mentally prepared myself for hours of detangling… Only to find that my hair just lies there, waiting to be commanded, no struggles, no breaking the comb. Nothing. I’m grateful! But sometimes I wish there were some more challenges. 🙂 My hair is basically frizz with occasional curl. I’d say my hair is 80% frizz and 20% everything else! My individual strands are very thick, almost cotton thread-like, but my hair isn’t dense at all. Of course I love it, but then it also means that I have to work really hard to get volume since there isn’t an awful lot of hair. Unless my hair texture has changed since I was little, I don’t really get what was so unmanageable about my hair… *cough-mum-cough* *side-eye*

hairpost

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
S:
I wash my hair every two weeks with Organix Shea Butter Shampoo and follow up with Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. I deep condition once every two weeks after shampooing with Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner, mixed with raw honey, olive oil and Vatika oil. Once in a while I do a protein treatment using avocados and honey, or apply some Henna to my hair. I do everything in twists and then moisturise with Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner and seal with my shea butter/coconut/aloe vera mix on damp hair.

What does wash day look like for you?
S:
I love wash day! It’s the best thing about being natural for me. It’s almost therapeutic. I have really bad ‘Hand in Hair’ syndrome and wash day just gives me an excuse to touch my hair for a full 2 hours (Though I always try to stretch this out). It takes about an hour and a half to fully wash and detangle my hair, and then I deep condition for about an hour.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
S:
I split my hair in the middle and flat twist either side so I end up with 2 big flat-twists around my head. It’s so simple and effective, I can’t think of anything more brilliant.

How do you combat shrinkage?
S:
My hair shrinks about 75% of its actual length. I’ve never fully stretched my hair. I’ve blow dried it a bit, but I’ve been to scared to go all the way and it always shrinks to half its size. I mostly keep my hair in twists. I re-twist every other day or as needed. But I like it when my hair shrinks; it looks amazing picked out and in a puff.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
S:
The sides of my hair are very bushy and they get tangled the most. No curl pattern and harder to retain length there… Well actually lets be honest, the sides of my hair are often subject to impromptu scissor attacks, so I can’t blame them too much. This one time, I was taking my extensions out and I only had 1 last twist on the side of my hair to take out. This darn twist wouldn’t unravel and turned into a tangled mess, so I cut that sucker out. Moral of the story is, don’t do your hair when you’re frustrated. Take it from me.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
S:
Moisturising every 2 to 3 days or so. I don’t know what it is, but every time I try to do protective styles with my own hair I get loads of breakage! So the best thing for me is avoiding doing too many protective styles. That or I add extensions when protective styling. I have no idea why this is better for my hair. But I’ve learned after 3 years of being natural, that sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod, just smile and nod.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
S:
Wash and Go’s. I’ve actually never ever attempted a Wash and Go. I’m scared! Secondly Bantu knots, only because I hate how they look on me. Very scalpy. Also one thing I don’t do anymore is twisting my hair all the way to the end. Instead I leave about an inch or two and roll them up with flexi rods. This prevents my ends from tangling.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
S:
Come on over! www.coconutandcreamblog.com

*Tune in to BGLH Style next week for Sherida’s take on vintage style*

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About Meosha

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

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Antrelise
7 years ago

Wow!! You are stunning. Your facial features are amazing!!! Maybe I’m biased, but there is no woman more beautiful than a beautiful Black woman! 🙂

Djanira
Djanira
7 years ago
Reply to  Antrelise

I agree with Antrelise. Stunning, I love it

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Antrelise

d’aaww thanks ^_^

SanFranciscoTeacher
SanFranciscoTeacher
7 years ago

I love her attitude about life. She radiates positivity and authenticity. Thanks for sharing her story — she’s such an inspiration!

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago

Woah thank you for your lovely comment — I really appreciate it!

x

Love JAH
Love JAH
7 years ago

Funny storyteller…beautiful hair

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Love JAH

Thanking you all the way from London!

-x.

eve-audrey
eve-audrey
7 years ago

beautiful young lady! and we have a common point: i love wash day too! i don’t understand those who don’t because it just gives me an occasion to be touching my hair lol

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  eve-audrey

Thank you!
I know right! Wash day is awesome 🙂

Andie Konadu
Andie Konadu
7 years ago

Eeeiiii chale, akwaabooooooo!!!! I love seeing another natural Ghanaian 😉 Your hair is beautiful!

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Andie Konadu

Ayyyyyyy medawase my sister 🙂

Angela
Angela
7 years ago

Oh!! My fellow Ashanti sister! Ete Sen? ^_^ .. Thank you for sharing your story. When I saw your feature, I immediatly smiled & eagerly read. I’ve been fully natural 5yrs, but w/ research realize I’ve only been caring properly (gently) for 2.5yrs. Seeing your story keeps me motivated to continue. Medaase paaaaa :))

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Angela

O maame, eni as3da — thank you for your kind words Lady Angela. Knowledge is key!
Man, can you imagine if each of us grew up with all the knowledge we have today? We’d be walking around with our twists and locs casually grazing our knees! haha

Lisaa
Lisaa
7 years ago
Reply to  Andie Konadu

LMBOOOOOO I SWEAR I SAID THE SAME THING!! Seeing my fellow black women with natural hair, especially a GHANAIAN at that gives me so pride and inspiration, I’m currently transitioning and you have have me more hope!!! Medaase paa!!!!

Lita
Lita
7 years ago

Stunning.

keisha
keisha
7 years ago

gorgeous woman and hair! love the afro pick earrings.…where did you get them?

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  keisha

Thank you very much! They were a gift from a friend

Nic
Nic
7 years ago

Yayy Ghana represent!!
You are just lovely 🙂

Kezia
Kezia
7 years ago
Reply to  Nic

I second that!! 🙂

Naturelle a Montreal
Naturelle a Montreal
7 years ago

On how going natural just made sense, “It’s kind of like a lost house key that’s been returned to me” loved this quote! Great read 🙂

Iva
Iva
7 years ago

I love, love, love everything about this article. You and your hair and your story are beautiful

Jenny
Jenny
7 years ago

Thumbs up from me! Lovely hair and great pics.

Lana
Lana
7 years ago

Good lawd!!! Your hair is gorg!

Deb
Deb
7 years ago

she’s beautiful.

colorfulkinks.wordpress.com

Omg I love her personality and her hair. Beautiful.

Josephine Odion
Josephine Odion
7 years ago

She said something about ‘wanting hair like her Nigerian friends’ in the past. If only the Nigerian pop culture let Natural hair reign. But its ‘Brazilian hair’ this, and ‘Peruvian hair’ that. There is a crazy obsession with ‘human hair’, its ironic how much women spend on hair that will end up in the waste bin instead of the one from their scalp. Unless you’re still in primary(elementary)/secondary(high) school, its almost an abomination to walk around with natural hair. Your hair is beautiful, & so are you. I can’t wait for natural hair to be worn by more ladies in… Read more »

Courtney
Courtney
7 years ago

You are CRAZY gorgeous!

Elea
Elea
7 years ago

Beautiful texture! Gorgeous face!

Nana
Nana
7 years ago

Yeahhhhh Ghana girls!!

lynn
lynn
7 years ago

I am nigerian too and I’ve been transitioning for 9 months now.haven’t had the courage to chop off my relaxed ends because my friends keep telling me am gonna look funny*rolls eyes* anyway am gonna do it soon.my hair is 4B too I know its gonna luk stunning like yours. Nigerian women enough with the brazilian and peruvian hair craze abeg!

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
7 years ago

You are stunning! and I LOVE your hair!
Ghana STAND UP!
Whoop whoop!

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
7 years ago

O yea I love her blog too, her otufits and hair are giving me life. Nice style!

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Amma Mama

Medaase Mama!

🙂

Abiola
Abiola
7 years ago

Hey. U mentioned u dnt twist ur hair to the ends and that u do DCing and washing all in twists too.

Do u also leave the ends untwisted when washing. How do u prevent it from Untwisting as water runs on it

I hope my question makes sense

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Abiola

Hey,
Ah I didn’t mention this, but when I said I wash my hair in twists, it’s only for manageability. So for washing I do twist all the way to the end. Once I finish washing, I will retwist each twist that I did previously, but this time not all the way to the end. The purpose of method is so I can achieve a fuller look. Also I like the shrinkage I get when I roll up the ends.(i like short hair!)
Hope this helps/makes sense?

lynn
lynn
7 years ago

After reading this post I got the courage to chop off my relaxed ends and am so glad I Did!loving my TWA(Tiny weeny Afro)*wink*

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  lynn

Ah yes yes yes! — how awesome!

lynn
lynn
7 years ago

After reading this post I got the courage to do my big chop.loving my TWA(Tiny Weeny Afro)*wink*

Natasha
Natasha
7 years ago

This is my hair! So happy I found you.

Afua
Afua
7 years ago

Yay a fellow Ghanaian!! Beautiful hair!

Tricia
Tricia
7 years ago

It’s nice to see a fellow Ashanti here! All the style icons are great but it’s always wonderful to read about someone you can relate to. Even though we’re both from the same tribe, I have 4c hair while you have 4B. No two head of hair are alike 🙂 Growing up in Ghana, my hair was kept short as well through secondary school. Actually majority of the girls’ hair is kept short. I moved to the states w/short hair and got funny looks. I couldn’t wait to get my hair relaxed. Let’s just say that I’m natural, have been… Read more »

jasmine
jasmine
7 years ago

o em gee! you are gorgeous!! great hair truths. the honesty about your story is refreshing, it echoes so many other stories of ours. Thanks for being transparent in your hair insecurities and the journey back to embracing your hair.

mlank64
mlank64
7 years ago

What a beauty.…would love to know why your grandmama shaved off your hair? You are an inspiration!!

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  mlank64

Gahh thanks!
I went to school in Ghana where I lived with my grandmama. And you had to have your hair shaved for school. After about an hour of sobbing, kicking and screaming over my lack of hair, I was over it. I forgot I even had hair in the first place LMAO!

*Ah the bliss of young innocence*

jungfrau1010
jungfrau1010
7 years ago

You and your hair are so gorgeous. Admire how candid you are about your experiences with your hair.

jjac401
jjac401
7 years ago

Beautiful girl with beautiful hair! Awesome interview!

i.mean.really
i.mean.really
7 years ago

Love your hair, art and attitude 🙂

Dumb question… why did they shave your head for school?

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  i.mean.really

Thank you!
It was school protocol. Everybody had a shaved head, mustard yellow shirt and brown skirted overalls (for girls). Kinda like this picture here!

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/3658-ghana-school-girls.jpg[/img]

Most schools in Ghana have this requirement, or at least where I grew up in Kumasi.

AGrlCanMAC
7 years ago

Her hair is gorgeous!

Masuka M.
7 years ago

Great interview. Thanks BGLH for the recent span of worldwide natural hair style icons. It is so encouraging to many of us who are not American or living in the US, that natural hair can work everywhere.

Natural in Lusaka, Zambia.

Ngaima
Ngaima
7 years ago
Reply to  Masuka M.

Ditto! Its sooooooooooooooooooooooo refreshing! Makes me want to cry! **lol just being dramatic** But yea I love it; inspiring and encouraging

TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago

Nice hair and attitude…thanks for sharing! @ Lynn…good job! Some of us have even b/c! HHJ 2 U!

Crist
Crist
7 years ago

that african skin yo! *i cant even deal*

Mrs. Martin
Mrs. Martin
7 years ago

This interview was probably by far the most entertaining interview that I’ve read on BGLH. Awesome hair, awesome indivdual.

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  Mrs. Martin

Aw woah! Thank you Mrs. Martin! I really enjoyed doing this interview and the responses are wonderful and amazing rolled into a dough of awesomeness 😀

C+C

Lo
Lo
7 years ago

From a fellow Ghanaian,natural haired, London sista.…Girl, you are BEAUTIFUL!

reese
reese
7 years ago

beautiful girl, hair and awesome style!

Kesi
Kesi
7 years ago

You are beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to come back and respond to us. Also thank you BGLH , as the other poster said, for posting on naturals from around the world..very eye opening on their experiences, routines, products etc.

cb
cb
7 years ago

Yay 4B and 4C…love it!

trackback

[…] was featured as a Natural Hair Style Icon on April 20, 2013. She had an inspiring hair story and her sense of style was undeniable, so I asked her to share the […]

monisola
monisola
7 years ago

gorgeous! GASP! hair twins…(the texture and look) I have fine strands but dense amounts on my head, where as she has thick strands and low density. The look is the same though. yippy!

Ngaima
Ngaima
7 years ago

“I love wash day! It’s the best thing about being natural for me. It’s almost therapeutic. I have really bad ‘Hand in Hair’ syndrome and wash day just gives me an excuse to touch my hair for a full 2 hours (Though I always try to stretch this out).””
Ditto!!!! You took the words right out of my mouth!!! I’m a total sucker for wash days!
btw you have gorgeous hair, face & I love your personality!
Gotta say.… I just looooove how my African sisters are also embracing their natural hair! Its refreshing! x

**Sweetie06**
**Sweetie06**
7 years ago

Extremely beautiful! Hair and all.

Lorraine
Lorraine
7 years ago

Absolutely stunning. So refreshing to see a beautiful sister go natural!!! The only way to bring out out natural beauty!!

Tolani
7 years ago

Absolutely beautiful

mrscharmain
mrscharmain
7 years ago

Giiiirl I so much identified with you when you said your got a perm at age 4…ME too! But when you talked about your grandma shaving your head …I was like whoo, this is me all the way…such a horrible time for me as well. I love your hair, wish you had a youtube or IG page… my new curlfriend best friend (in my head)…:-)

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago
Reply to  mrscharmain

Aw Thank you! Ah I tried to do Youtube when I first went natural, but I got scared and pulled the plug after two videos (that never got published) LOL! Perhaps something I can revisit in the future, once my courage is up a little more lol.
I’m glad you can relate! And honestly it was seeing people like me, whose stories I felt close to that helped me progress in my journey.

C+C

Afia Serwaa Sarkodie
Afia Serwaa Sarkodie
7 years ago

Yaaaaay ! I finally meet a Ghanaian girl here too 🙂 ! I love ur hair! Is motivating me a lot :). Are you on Instagram too? Wanna see more pics

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago

Thank you ooo! Unfortunately no Instagram 🙁
Not part of the cool crowd yet lol

C+C

Afia Serwaa Sarkodie
Afia Serwaa Sarkodie
7 years ago

Is it that the weather abroad is more favourable than in Ghana for natural hair?

Coconut + Cream
7 years ago

Hmm I’m not sure, the last time I went to Ghana (2011), I pretty much kept my hair braided up. Whenever I’d leave my hair out, it’d just go really poofy. But on the plus side I did very little to moisturise it, it was very soft the entire time I was there! (6 weeks + 5days). Once a week I’d spray my hair with a water and glycerine mix and moisturise with Coconut and Shea Butter. I only washed my hair twice when I was in Ghana with Black Soap.
THAT IS LIFE, MY SISTER! No fuss!

Must be the weather. 🙂

G.S.
G.S.
7 years ago

“…like a lost house key that’s been returned to me.” YES!!! I finally decided to go natural during the summertime this year and after a couple of months, decided I couldn’t wait to transition and wanted to BC. I shared this decision with a close friend and her immediate reaction was “…no need for the drama [of doing the BC]…” I was SOOOO offended and felt the need to share with her just how this was much more than “just hair” for me. I appreciate/admire your story (thank you!) and share many of your sentiments regarding the natural journey that many of… Read more »

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