Skip to main content

Taiwo // 4A/B Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jan 26, 2014

IMG_0972

Introduce yourself!
T:
Hello! My name is Taiwo Kafilat. I am a 20 year old Nigerian (Yoruba!), born in Italy. However, I immigrated to Georgia with my family 15 years ago, and I am now currently a Psychology student in Atlanta where I have hopes of becoming a mental health professional one day!

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T:
I had my first relaxer at the age of 6, and I big chopped in December of 2011 as a way of “cleansing”—leaving the past behind, and starting anew with the liberation of my hair. Through much of my middle school and high school years, I had low self-esteem. I was also bullied heavily, and multiple peers would come up to me just to taunt me about something dealing with my African background and appearance, including my hair. I also often envied those who were considered to have “pretty hair”—those who appealed to more Eurocentric ideas of beauty. As a result, I would find myself hiding behind weaves, braids, or other types of extensions. But even when I tried to feel my “best”, I never thought that I was being my true self or ever really good enough for me. I really grew tired of how detrimental my thinking was, so in December of 2011 I made a New Year’s Resolution to truly experience the meaning of accepting myself and acknowledge that self-love is the best love. That marked the beginning of my natural hair journey.

How would you describe your texture?
T:
I have lots of curls and some coils here and there, and I would say that my hair is predominately 4A, with 4B undertones located on the back sides of my head. My hair is definitely very coarse. I used to think something was wrong and wondered why my strands felt like wire, but then I realised it was just the nature of my strands. Also, my hair is pretty dense. In order to see my scalp, I would have to use a comb to do so.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T:
I try to be very resourceful with the use of hair products, so I am not only a huge DIYer for many things hair related, but I keep my regimen and the products I use simple. And since I am a working college student, I usually find myself doing protective styles, with the occasional braids outs when I have the time. Just recently I revisited twist outs, which I will do if I am feeling fancy, lol. I usually style on freshly washed, damp hair. I either do two strand twists, or 7–8 braided plaits. I typically use only my water + jojoba oil mixture, and my homemade shea butter mixture for styling. These two are staples for me! Throughout the course of the week, I will just refresh my hair with the water and jojoba oil mixture. For braid outs, the styling regimen and products I use are the same as for protective styles, and I will re-braid each night.

For the rare occasions that I do twist outs, I use Karen Body’s Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In, and Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter. These products are fairly expensive for me, so I use them sparingly. That means that when I do twist outs, I don’t re-twist my hair each night as a result. My twist outs usually last for about 4–5 days with great definition, and I will only refresh with my water + jojoba mixture. I also use Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine for unbraiding, untwisting, and to lightly moisturise my hair when I wear it out. And a little goes a long way with this product. It smells amazing! It literally smells like lemon-scented shea butter. That’s pretty much it for styling!

tumblr_moe088iwL01qadqkxo1_500

What does wash day look like for you?
T:
I’ve changed my wash day routine a bit to incorporate weekly deep conditioning. I usually begin the wash day on a Friday or Saturday evening by detangling my hair. I like to spritz my hair with my water and jojoba oil mixture first to loosen up some of the shedding and any tangles before applying conditioner. Doing this literally saves me a complete headache, and cuts down on detangling time! I then finger detangle on damp hair. I recently just started using Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, and it really works well with my naturally dry, coarse hair. I also detangle in sections, making about 6–8 twists. After detangling all of the sections, I go back and apply coconut oil to each twist from root to tip. I do this to ensure that I retain more moisture. I then place a plastic bag over my hair for a “light conditioning” overnight to prepare for wash day.

The next day I rinse some of the coconut oil and conditioner out, and begin my favourite part of wash day process: deep conditioning! I swear it’s so therapeutic to me, especially when I’m listening to music, lol. I apply my homemade extra virgin olive oil and organic raw honey deep conditioner, which usually consists of both Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose and Yes to Carrots conditioners, as well as a variety of other oils. However, my favourite oils to use in my deep conditioner are jojoba oil and sweet almond oil because they add so much moisture to my hair. I then place a new plastic bag over my hair and cover the bag with a t‑shirt. I leave this on for about 45 minutes. After washing, I use a 100% cotton t‑shirt to squeeze the excess water out of each twist.

I clarify my scalp biweekly. That means using a teaspoon of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar plus a bit of Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo diluted in water. I use an old water bottle to make this mixture, and puncture a small hole in the bottle cap for a DIY hair applicator bottle. It works great! I also apply a hot oil treatment to my scalp biweekly overnight. This consists of Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) and rosemary oil. Every time I plan to clarify is when I do hot oil treatments beforehand.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T:
Two strand twists all the way! I find that there are so many things I can do with them, and they are so simple to do. I also enjoy doing buns.

How do you combat shrinkage?
T:
My shrinkage is truly unbelievable lol, but that’s the beauty of natural hair. I find that keeping it stretched definitely helps prevent tangles and knots, especially when I am washing or styling my hair. Once again, I utilise the benefits of two strand twisting, or braided plaits.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T:
In June of 2012, I underwent my second big chop due to hair damage and improper hair care practices (Can you believe that I didn’t discover deep conditioning until the time of my second big chop? The struggle was very real). Anyway, my edges had suffered the most, due to tight updos and wearing braids—which is something that I will never do again. Taking them down was a nightmare! Though my edges have grown back, I give them extra TLC.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T:
I would first say it’s important for me to embrace and to love my hair so that I am able to take care of it. Sometimes, it is very easy to develop “hair envy”, resulting in not appreciating the crown that grows from your own head and coveting others with hair different from yours. Each natural has a unique hair journey, so it’s important to appreciate and to embrace it for what it is. That was something I had to learn myself. I would also say to make moisture another primary focus. As stated before, my hair is very coarse and can get very dry, so I opt for more humectants for example, and I only use protein with caution.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T:
Don’t wait to trim those ends! I know it’s a desire to want to keep length when you may very well be in need of a trim. I always say hair health is more important than hair length, and that healthy hair is growing hair, but not all growing hair is healthy. It’s always vital to assess the health of my ends, and to make sure they are taken care of. It saves a lot of trouble down the road, and it was a huge lesson for me (resulting in my second big chop). I also did away with combs and brushes, and the like. I only finger detangle, and this has definitely helped me to retain length and prevent unnecessary breakage too.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T:
Indeed! Hair blog: naijacurls.tumblr.com – where I document my healthy hair journey.
Instagram: taikafilat I hope to hear from you all soon! xx

Avatar

About Meosha

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

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
elletransitionne.com
elletransitionne.com
6 years ago

You had me at I’m a Nigerian living in Italy 🙂
Beautiful hair !

Chat
Chat
6 years ago

You’re beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story about bullying. That’s tough to get through. Love your twisted styles. Enjoyed your responses. Stay up!

Tai
Tai
6 years ago
Reply to  Chat

Thank you so much for the kind words! 🙂 xx
— Taiwo

Pat
Pat
6 years ago

Beautiful, thick hair

Antoinette Stewart
6 years ago

Woot! Beautiful Nigerian young woman! Naija sisters rock! Anywhoo I have wiry strands as well that I get from my Nigerian fathers side! I love how tightly coiled and springy looking your hair is! Beautiful!!

Tai
Tai
6 years ago

Haha! Thank you kindly, fellow Naija! 🙂 xx
— Taiwo

Amma Mama
6 years ago

Beautiful girl and beautiful hair. I love her Tumblr, she has great hair tips on there.

Elle
Elle
6 years ago

Great interview! I liked that she was honest about bullying, self-esteem and hiding behind fake hair. Beautiful hair, I wish her the best with her studies.

reese
reese
6 years ago

They bullied you because you’re pretty. Such Haters!! I’m glad you are past that now! Ur hair is beautiful! Stay encouraged.

Nafisat
6 years ago

She has such thick and long her. I like the fact that she keeps a very simple regimen. 🙂

youngin girl
youngin girl
6 years ago

So just because something isn’t like theirs, isen’t their ideal or isen’t them, They want to target something rare? You will always run into people like that because the world isn’t full of idiotic people but there is always one placed somewhere when we go out. I like how modest and confident you became after the bullying. You grew out of it and got tired of being negative. That’s rare because it usually takes a person more than a few years to stop getting affirmation from others. I agree, self love is the best medicine and I like your wash… Read more »

Tai
Tai
6 years ago
Reply to  youngin girl

Thank you so much!! xx
— Taiwo

lablooplah
lablooplah
6 years ago

Your hair is sooooo beautiful!!!!

norris
norris
6 years ago

Naija sister!! Love all the pics especially the one where you’re wearing the yellow romper!

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago

4A?! Hmp…this is confusing! I give up! I would have said 4b/c…guess it doesn’t matter though…beautiful hair nonetheless

WhyMe?
WhyMe?
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

, you are right she has beautiful hair. Do you understand that some naturals will not claim 4C hair? 4A/B is more preferably to some if one has Type 4 hair

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  WhyMe?

yeah, her hair looks about like 4b/4c. Her hair’s gorgeous. i don’t think she’s trying to aspire for a loose curl or anything. some naturals don’t set a great store by the hair typing thing, and so they’ll pick a type somewhat at random within the number set. and another thing i kinda wonder is if some naturals type according to how they feel about their hair. so in some cases, it’s not objective, and even if one tried to be, there’s no real way to be accurate. in appearance my hair’s 3b/c but i feel as though my hair… Read more »

Anon
Anon
6 years ago
Reply to  WhyMe?

Or maybe that is what she believes her hair to be. Someone may look white as snow but may have some black in them. One cannot always judge a book by its cover or make an assumption based solely on appearance. How she defines her hair type is how she defines her type. She actually touches it, washes it and manipulates it on a daily basis, we don’t. We’re simply looking at the pictures that she chose to share with us. This chart causes more division {and not in a good way}than help. Some people take it too LITERALLY and… Read more »

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

amen!

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

I agree…her hair is definitely 4b/4c, and it is beautiful. I don’t know why so many women with 4c hair will not claim it! It is a testament to natural women who have that hair type and can grow their hair long and healthy. It’s like brown skinned people claiming to be light-skinned. SMH.…

Tai
Tai
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Hello there! First of all, thank you! I stated what I have noticed about my strands through research that I’ve done on my own time, and when I am working with my hair–wet or dry. I also stated that I’ve very coarse hair that has the tendency to look like wire which, for me, honestly gives my hair the appearance that it does. Though personally, I still have a lot to learn about it! Maybe I am wrong, and I will now further my research. This is why I honestly think that hair “typing” is subjective/objective because of the debate it… Read more »

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
6 years ago
Reply to  Tai

I think all the above assumptions were unfair. You go Taiwo! Beautiful hair!

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

The hair typing system is just confusing. I think people mistake 4b/4c hair as ‘hard to manage’. I think because she is able to manage her hair so easily & the fact that it is so pretty, she believes it is 4a. It doesn’t matter, type 4 hair has more similarities than differences.

https://www.facebook.com/Neosoulsistahs3000
https://www.facebook.com/Neosoulsistahs3000
6 years ago

Stunning!

Temi
Temi
6 years ago

I love your length and your hair looks very shiny and soft! I am inspired. Go 2014 🙂

Tai
Tai
6 years ago
Reply to  Temi

Thank you so much, Temi! You must be a fellow Naija yourself. I know a couple of Temis, lol 🙂
— Taiwo

alice
alice
6 years ago

Goodness.. your hair is just lovely. and thick.

Grace
Grace
6 years ago

your hair texture is a lot like my daughter’s! Love it! also representing Nigeria 🙂

Kay
Kay
6 years ago

Your hair is beautiful, obviously you’re the one dealing with your hair, why are some saying otherwise? Regardless, your 4 a/b hair is beautiful.

PhpArena
6 years ago

Nice man. Yeah I will join you. I loved your hair style and your way of talking. I will definitely join the community.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

I lover her and her hair! I have been natural for the same amount of time she has, but my hair ain’t no where near that!!! I guess not only do our textures fry, but our growth rates as well…kinda jealous, but she has inspired me to trust in my hair, let it do it’s thing 🙂

Marie
Marie
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie

Meant our textures vary not ‘fry’

32
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Shopping Cart