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Akosua // 4C Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Apr 22, 2014

photo-360

Introduce yourself!
A:
My name is Akosua. I am half Ghanaian, half Zambian and I grew up in Botswana. I came to the United States for university and am currently living and working in NYC.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A:
I’ve been natural for about a year and almost two months. I did my big chop in February of 2013. My decision to go natural was influenced by a combination of things. For one, I discovered YouTube and found women who had short hair for the majority of their lives went natural and were able to grow their hair longer than it had ever been. Prior to discovering YouTube and learning about hair, I was of the mentality that I could not grow long hair, or manage my hair without a relaxer or heat. The more I watched and read the more my stance changed. Seeing all the styles, regimens, and different textures made me very curious about what my own curl pattern would look like, and influenced me to investigate my hair’s potential.

Secondly, my go to style pre-natural was weave. I’d get an install every one and a half to 2 months and started to take shorter and shorter breaks in-between. It went from 2 month breaks to 2 week breaks, to removing and reinstalling on the same day. At some point my scalp, which was already sensitive started disagreeing with my weaving, so I listened and stopped. I also had heat damage at the front where I had my leave out. I needed something new! Lastly, I had been researching (just of out curiosity), the connection between foods and disease, which led me to look into the ingredients in things I use on my body and how they can have harmful effects on my health. So, I figured it was time for a whole body makeover, which included ditching the relaxer.

How would you describe your texture?
A:
My hair is mostly 4c with some 4b in the middle and on the sides. The individual strands are fine, but my hair itself is very coarse and the strands are densely packed.

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Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A:
I wear my hair in some form of low maintenance or protective style about 90% of the time. This usually consists of simple updos, flat twists, or different styles with two strand twists. I rarely wear my hair out during the week. Over the weekend, I let the fro out! I moisturize my hair twice daily using my spritz of water, aloe vera juice and glycerin. During the winter months, I do a lot of low tension long-term protective styling, such as flat twists with Havana hair just to keep my hair protected from the drying effects of the cold weather. I keep the protective styles in for 3–4 weeks at a time and take 2 week breaks in between. My goal is to find/create cute protective styles that I can keep in for 2–3 weeks that I can do myself (ideally without any extension hair).

What does wash day look like for you?
A:
I start by separating my hair into 6 twists. I prepoo with Alikay Naturals Essential 17 Hair Grow Oil (sometimes mixed with coconut oil). I do this as an overnight treatment or for 20–30 minutes under the steamer, or under a cap prior to washing. I then run my hair under the shower and detangle it under the running water with my fingers or my seamless wide tooth comb. If my hair is really tangled, I apply some LuvNaturals Hair Detangler in addition to the oil.

I haven’t had much luck with shampoos, so I stick to wash products. I currently use Qhemet Biologics Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea to cleanse my hair. I apply it only to my scalp, and rub with the pads of my fingers. Then, I rinse thoroughly and apply a deep conditioner. My favorites are Alikay Natural Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner and All Things O’ Natural Natty Cupuacu and Rhassoul Deep Conditioner. Both make my curls pop and leave my hair feeling soft and moisturized. I either leave the deep conditioner on for about 30–40 minutes under a plastic cap (or two), or go under the steamer for about 30 minutes. I then rinse it out and use a t‑shirt to soak up any excess water. Once my hair is about 85–90% dry, I spritz with aloe vera, add oil to my hair (Alikay Naturals Essential 17), as well as a leave in conditioner (LuvNaturals) and then something from the Qhemet line to seal, like their Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. I like the Qhemet products because my hair is very dry and these are designed as deep conditioners that can be left in. I often put a little Design Essentials CurlForming Custard on my ends. I find that it helps ward off some tangles without making my hair cakey or hard. After that, I put my hair in a style for the week.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A:
A pompadour in the front and one flat twist on either side going towards the back. It’s quick and easy.

How do you combat shrinkage?
A:
I don’t consciously try to combat shrinkage because it’s just part of the nature of my hair. However, I do mostly keep my hair stretched, and if I am wearing it out I will first twist it or braid it. The aim here is to minimize knotting and tangles.

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A:
I get quite a few single strand knots especially in the back where my coils are the tightest. I’ve found that coating my hair with the Design Essentials Custard (as mentioned above), helps to reduce those. Otherwise, I just cut those bad boys off as I find them. I also struggle with how to properly identify split ends. I haven’t come across anything thus far that has helped me learn how to confidently track these.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A:
1) Moisturizing daily using my DIY spritz. 2) Keeping my hair in protective and low maintenance styles for the majority of the time. For this reason, I do styles on wash day that will last at least 3–5 days.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A:
1) Washing my hair loose or letting my hair dry loose/out of twists. 2) Combing or manipulating my hair when it is completely dry (i.e. without oil or water).

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A:
You can find me on Instagram @afrokanomics. I’m thinking about starting a blog or YouTube channel in the summer.

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About Meosha

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

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Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago

Beautiful hair!!! I’m drooling a bit over that updo pictured in the middle of your feature. Do you have a tutorial?

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

Ahh, I missed that you are on IG only. Still though, awesome hair and style!

Akosua
Akosua
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

Thank you Dananana! 😀

KP
KP
6 years ago

I see you Akos! And yes, this is about to get posted on my timeline.

mlank64
mlank64
6 years ago

So beautiful, that white and black dress on you is sexy. Your hair is gorgeous.

B
B
6 years ago

*screaaaaaaams*
Hi Akos! I just knew I’d open this page and find you here one day. Your hair is just as lovely as always. You look fantastic!
‑Bessie

Akosua
Akosua
6 years ago
Reply to  B

OMGSSH Bessie!! It’s been sooo long. Thanks soo much 😀

NaturallyNeesh
6 years ago

love the updos! I sooo wanna learn how to do some without using extension hair.…anywho beautiful young lady

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago

Shani! Nice to see a fellow half-Zambian with beautiful natural hair (:
Isuma sana! Chisuma!

nylse
6 years ago

love the 2nd pic…the back, the shape and the hair are all beautiful.

Amma Mama
6 years ago

So Beautiful!!!
Your hair is thick and luscious <3

thelady
thelady
6 years ago

your hair is so nice and thick

Pat
Pat
6 years ago

Love how thick her hair is! And you have such a tiny waist; i’m jealous.

anastasia
anastasia
6 years ago
Reply to  Pat

Right!! A very elegant looking young lady!

Belle
Belle
6 years ago

Beautiful hair and beautiful girl. I love your range if styles. Natural hair is so versatile! ????????

Awa blue
Awa blue
6 years ago

I love how thick your hair is!! You are my new hair crush.

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

beautiful thick hair. great length retention for 1.5years. I’ve seen you on IG @africannaturals.
http://www.themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Jacky
Jacky
6 years ago

Gorgeous! and her shape in that black and white dress, girl…You are blessed! Nice interview too. Also, split ends are just that, ends which are split. Instead of having the hair strand smooth and uniform all through, the strand will be separated or split at the ends so you can see one strand of hair but the end is split right in the middle. Imagine that you started chopping a piece of wood but you didn’t chop it all the way to the end, you’ll have one piece of wood but the top is split into two sections likewise you… Read more »

Akosua
Akosua
6 years ago
Reply to  Jacky

Hey Jacky, thanks so much for the info and the kind words; I appreciate that. I will take a look at the Hairscapades site as well :D.

Jj
Jj
6 years ago

beautiful hair, was trying to look at ur pics but did bglh change the setup of how to look at pics?!

anastasia
anastasia
6 years ago

LUSCIOUS LOCKS!!! Wow…both your follicle density and your methods are giving me life! I just love to see confident 4c ladies!! Great interview from a beautiful lady=)

TBQH, your spectacular methods for maintaining your hair may be why you’ve had difficulty discerning split-ends-maybe none exist. This is soooooo my hair goal, no split ends! lol!!

Paula
Paula
6 years ago

Thick,beautiful mane!

alice
alice
6 years ago

thick and luscious hair. My goodness

Sibongile
Sibongile
6 years ago

Yay…another Zambian feature…absolutely proud.
Gorgeous hair…
Loads of Hair Love,
Sibongile

Kuda
Kuda
6 years ago

Yay!! Nice to see someone of Zambian heritage. Proud of your hair success. xx

MissAfrobella
6 years ago

Lovely Hair!!

Ms Vee
Ms Vee
6 years ago

Such a beauty. Not much else to say

JoAnn
JoAnn
6 years ago

Your name is beutiful and That Fro is DA Bomb Girl!

Barbara
Barbara
6 years ago

Love your hair and I knew before I clicked there was a connection to Ghana when I read your name! Woohoo!

Scarlet
6 years ago

Your hair is so full. I’d like to know how long you’ve grown your natural hair for though. It looks like a lot for just a year and two months?

Akosua
Akosua
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarlet

Thnx. I think i got my last relaxer in around May of 2012. I’m not sure exactly as I wasn’t keeping a log at that time. Then I chopped in Feb 2013.

Akosua
Akosua
6 years ago

Thank you all for the kind words! 😀

Adía
Adía
6 years ago

Your hair looks so soft!

lexi
lexi
6 years ago

Umm yess to a Youtube channel! Lol. I love your low manipulation, protective styles… they simple, yet cute

VeeVee Brown
VeeVee Brown
6 years ago

Your hair is lovely. I’ve just done a mini chop ( 4 inches) because I had a lot of breakage and split ends. I’m glad I did it. My hair is in better shape and it’s thicker but I miss the extra length as I can’t put my hair in a bun without difficulty. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. However, looking at your fabulous hair has made me feel better about doing the mini chop. Holding on to damaged hair is not going to promote healthy hair growth. Also I need a good dose of patience!

Victoria
Victoria
6 years ago

You have such lovely hair! my hair type’s also 4c and im nigerian. I had my big chop 7months ago. I need assurance that my hair will grow because my parents and friends keep trying to force me to perm my hair and i dont want to:(

Kaiya
Kaiya
6 years ago

amazing hair. oh my god, I want long hair so badd!!! 🙁

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

Gorgeous.

Willow
Willow
6 years ago

Your hair is very beautiful

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