What is your name and where are you from? Introduce yourself!
H: My name is Hadassah Agbaps and I’m from Nigeria.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
H: I’ve been natural all my life so I guess I can’t answer in terms of stopping relaxer treatments. I did have several chops over the years, with the last one being about 8 years ago due to an unhealthy love for heat styling tools.
How would you describe your texture?
H: My hair is predominantly 4c with 4b textures towards my crown. It’s very fine, with medium density and high porosity. It breaks off at the slightest opportunity which forces me to be extra gentle with it. Most times it’s well behaved especially after a cool drink of water and a moisturiser and butter milk shake. It’s always thirsty and hungry though…doesn’t understand what healthy hair diet means because it sure does love its oils and butters.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
H: I henna, shampoo, deep condition and condition (in that order) once a month and co wash once a week on weekends. I don’t style on wash day because I noticed my hair broke, split and knotted more. To fix that, I put my hair in chunky twists to stretch and style the next day. Next day styling will depend on how much time I’ve got but I usually save elaborate hairstyles for church on Sundays. On weekdays, I’ll be most likely be seen in a cheat bun, wash and go or twists in an updo.
When I know I’ll be having a busy month, I follow a 4 step styling pattern. On week 1, I’d henna, shampoo, deep condition, stretch and make medium to mini twists which I rock for two weeks. On the third week, I take down the twists for well defined twist outs and the fourth week, I gradually stretch out the twists in preparation for wash day by bunning or some fancy updo. Wash day comes and I repeat the cycle for the next month.
What does wash day look like for you?
H: My wash day for the month starts Friday evening. I dry finger detangle with conditioner, apply henna (locally sourced) mixed with conditioner (for easy rinsing) to my hair and leave it overnight. In the morning, I rinse off the henna, shampoo my scalp and roots using sulphate free shampoo. I used to use Aussie Moist Shampoo but switched over to Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo. I love trying out new products so my shampoos (and other products) change from time to time. Elucence is my current favourite.
After shampooing, I blot my hair dry and deep condition. I’m in love with ‘manshanu’ a local butter similar to cow ghee. It softens, moisturises and detangles my hair. On days I’m not ready for the oily mess, I use Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque. I rinse off the deep conditioner with a diluted conditioner, usually VO5 Tea Therapy. I may include a final rinse of ginger/green tea, hibiscus or Apple Cider Vinegar depending on how my hair feels. I try not to do too much at once because I hate staying wet for more than 45mins.
I follow up with coconut oil/palm kernel oil mix and leave in conditioner (Cantu Shea Leave In and Repair Cream, Kinky Curly Knot Today, or Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner). I make about 4 or 6 twists at this time for stretch, and wash day for the month is over. During the weeks that follow, I cowash with VO5 Moisture Milk Conditioner and follow up with oil and leave in. I re-moisturise every two days, so I’m always on the lookout for leave-ins that’ll keep my situation moisturised for two days.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
H: Ah, my favourite go to style is what my sisters call the cheat bun. In a 15 hot minutes, I get a big round globe on my head and I’m fabulous!
How do you combat shrinkage?
H: I generally work with my shrinkage…it saves time. In fact, I love it. It’s like my own little secret. One day my hair is short and barely touching my shoulders, the next day my hair is down my back…all without extensions! What other hair type does that?!
Tell us about your hair color!
H: I have color at the ends of my hair. I did it myself using Dark and Lovely Colour Intensity in Radiant Copper, and I’ve been maintaining the color with henna. It hasn’t changed the texture of my hair. I do have a bit more dryness than I’m used to, but it’s not something a dab of moisturiser can’t solve.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
H: My edges…they are super fine and I have to be really gentle with them. I wet them a little everyday while I shower then seal in the moisture with castor oil/palm kernel oil mix so they doesn’t have a dry moment. My edges force me to hunt down my satin bonnet/scarf.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
H: Moisturisers and butters.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
H: Combing and too much manipulation.