A: Hiii! My name is Aboyowa Adjuah Oritsegbubemi Wood (try pronouncing that lmao) and I’m 19 yrs. old. I’m Nigerian with a slight Ghanaian tint but I currently reside in Chicago IL.
Did you transition or big chop? Share your natural hair journey with us!
A: I transitioned for 8 months then big chopped on March 31st 2013. My intention was to transition for a whole year but I just couldn’t deal with the two textures anymore. I washed my hair that night and the relaxed parts of my hair that had already started chopping off just transformed into a huge dread at the center of my head, so I got a nice sharp pair of scissors and cut all the relaxed ends off! In total, I’ve been fully natural for 1 year and 7 months but my entire journey from my last relaxer has taken 2 years and almost 4 months so my hair is around bra strap length.
I decided to go natural because I’ve always been obsessed with afros in different forms. Also I wanted to prove to a lot of people that Nigerian hair could grow long because for some reason, a lot of people have this backward ignorant mentality that Nigerian hair doesn’t grow. I don’t understand how someone’s nationality affects their hair growth o (in my Nigerian accent). At that time, I was also trying to buy a big afro looking curly wig and all the good ones I saw were really expensive so I decided to grow my own LOL. During my transition period and even a little after I went fully natural, wigs were my best friend. I was introduced into the world of beautiful synthetic curly wigs (creta girl my number 1) which were a lot cheaper and looked just as good as the human hair ones in my opinion. I also fell deeper into natural hair channels on YouTube like Fusion of Cultures, Taren Guy and naturally GG .I hardly found any 4c youtubers (and I reallyyy searched) that truly inspired me though and I was a bit discouraged till I found Jouelzy. She saved me!!!
How would you describe your texture?
A: My curl pattern is 99.3582% 4C but as for my hair texture I have very coarse, thick and dense hair. I’ve always had very thick hair even when I was relaxed. Funny story, my hair was so coarse that each time I got a relaxer I had to wait extra time just to get it reasonably straight. Since the relaxer burnt, I’d sit under a huge fan or open the freezer door and put my head almost inside just to cool it down. Lmao, good times!
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month, and the rationale behind your various styling decisions.
A: I can do a lot of styles but I usually stick with fros (twists and perm rods, braids and perm rods, flexi rod sets, perm rod sets) because I love them or buns when I’m too lazy to do anything else. Unfortunately I’m not a product junkie at all so I can’t really give you a lot of product suggestions. 90% of the time I style my hair with just water. However, the Crème of Nature Moisturizing Shampoo is my go to shampoo. I also like Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Conditioner. The only items that have been upgraded to Holy Grail status for me are pure raw shea butter and 100% argan oil (I just discovered this baby). Those two things and of course WATER are all my hair needs to flourish. The shea butter and argan oil leave my hair feeling soooo soft and smooth. The argan oil is especially good for my split ends, hair elasticity, and skin.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I wash my hair every 2 weeks (try to) and depending on the state of my hair it can take 45 minutes to 2 hrs, 2hrs being very very extreme and rare. Before I wash I ALWAYS finger detangle on damp hair to remove as much of the shed and broken hairs as possible so I don’t have to spend a lot of time detangling while I’m washing in the shower. I then divide my hair into 8 sections and wash section by section with my Crème of Nature Misturizing Shampoo. Then I rinse everything together and let it air-dry in the twists. When it’s still a bit damp, I apply my argan oil, Shea Moisture African Black Soap Conditioner, then shea butter in that order to condition my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: BUNS BUNS BUNS.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: A lot of times I don’t mind my shrinkage but when I really want huge hair I stretch my hair with the African threading method. I rarely get blow outs. I only do them 2 to 3 times a year.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
A: The hair at my crown. It is the most fragile and it grows the slowest. The hair there is shorter than the hair in the rest of my head. While I was still transitioning, a friend of mine did a sew-in for me but I guessed that day she got a lil carried away and made it really really tight. In my life I had never had hair that tight before, I don’t know why I didn’t say anything. I guess I didn’t want to stress her because she was doing me a favor and it was for free. Also I assumed the pain wouldn’t last that long n I didn’t know how bad the effects could be. I literally felt the blood in my head jumping up and down on that spot. I was on advil for almost a month and I still felt the pain. When I took out the weave, to my amazement, I had a HUGE scab at the center of my head. I never expected it. I was actually seriously injured and there was no hair there at all. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. In my mind, I was almost sure hair was never going to grow there again. I was so sad lol .I started to pray and massage that spot everyday with Jamaican black castor oil and I made sure there was ZERO tension on that spot. Eventually the hair started to grow back. My God in heaven that is not asleep did not allow my enemies to laugh at me.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: MOISTURIZEEEEEE I can’t stress this enough! Please moisturize and incorporate more protective styles into your general styling. Also something I just realized. If you have course tightly coiled hair and you are thinking of going natural or already natural, please learn how to do your hair yourself. I had to force myself into learning how to corn row this November. I observed that when other people braided my hair for me they either did it too tight or they ripped my hair out while trying to work through the thickness. I really can’t blame them because I know my hair is really thick so I just simply learned to do it myself. Remember, nobody will have as much patience with your hair as you will.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Don’t have unrealistic expectations for your hair. Try to get inspiration for hairstyles from people with hair similar to yours so you don’t get discouraged.
Don’t automatically assume everything bad with regards to hair is associated with the 4c hair type. People need to realize 4c hair behaves differently and appears differently on different heads. 4c hair is not always coarse or dry. 4c hair does not always grow at a slower rate. 4c hair does not always break like crazy, the list goes on. If you automatically assume that all the bad things are associated with 4c hair then your journey will be difficult for you because you will always be expecting bad results. You have to love and learn your own 4c hair and know how it behaves. This will also help you to know how to style your hair, what products you should get and how to take care of your hair generally.
Is there a blog/webpage or social media account where we can find you?
A: Yupp, I am on YouTube and Instagram as @westafricanbaby