Today´s natural hair inspiration is a multitalented young lady, Those of you in Kenya already know her & her lovely voice, as she was one of the best candidates of the tusker project fame. Other than that she is an actress and has featured in numerous music videos and Tv series such as changes and will be playing Nana in Rush which will be airing soon. Gahl was honored was honored to interview her about her hair and here is what she had to say.
Who is Patricia Kihoro?
I am a singer, actress, radio news anchor and sporadic blogger living and working in Nairobi. I love to take pictures, long drives and I am slowly making Bikram yoga a way of life.
you can also follow me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/#!/Misskihoro
1. Are you relaxed or Natural?
I am a natural, curly haired girl, and have been, on and off since 1995, but permanently since January 2010.
2. What is your hair type? Describe your curl pattern.
My hair is very tightly coiled, especially on the top, and looser on the sides. It would be described as 4a/b.
3. What was your starting length and what is your current one?
I started, again, as I have numerous times, at BC level, which was probably just under half an inch or thereabouts. I chopped some off on the 24th of March this year, as I have many times in the last two years, and it’s now about 6 or so inches when stretched out. I am however wearing it as short as I can at the moment as I really want to BC again, but can’t because of some TV work.
4. Are you on a hair journey? If yes what inspired you to start a HHJ and when was it.
I was, I think, initially. When I BC’d in 2010, I decided that I was going to care more for my hair, and grow it into a HAA, (Huge Ass Afro). I wanted to prove to folk that natural hair is capable of growing to unbelievable lengths, and is not as hard to maintain as most people think. I was doing ok, and my fro has grown to a pretty fierce length already, but I think, I really, truly miss having short hair. It has nothing to do with maintenance or difficulty, I do love it, but there’s something about a TWA that is so sexy. So now, I’m just taking it one day at a time.
5. How do you usually wear your hair? And why.
I am very eclectic with my hair style choices and change looks as often as the moon changes. Right now I’m wearing it short and shrunken, with the sides pinned down, while I decide if I really will BC again. About a month ago I was wearing it in a puff, and before that I had braids, while before that I had small cornrows on the sides. I get very restless with my hair.
6. Do you have a hair routine? How easy was getting into a regimen, knowing the right products etc? What´s your regimen?
Well, at first, when I realized that there was such a thing as a healthy way to care for hair, I went all out and did a ton of research on the best products and regimens and etc. Suffice it to say my bathroom soon looked like a hair supply store. But after a while, I settled into a comfortable, SIMPLE routine, which may not cover all the recommended bases, but it works for me. Initially, I was co-washing a lot, and rocking wash n go’s but now with my hair longer I’m doing more twist outs and braid outs, deep conditioning and hennaing when I can, and moisturizing and sealing every other day. I use Kiss My Face Saponified Olive Oil and Honey Bar to wash; it really gets the job done and has absolutely no chemicals; Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner, Suave Green Apple Conditioner and Water for moisture, Nupur Henna for strength and thickness, and finally Coconut Oil and Raw Shea Butter to seal in moisture. In fact I made myself a hair pomade containing Raw Shea Butter, Vatika Coconut Oil, Amla Oil and Castor Oil.
7. How do you fit hair care into your busy lifestyle?
Because my regimen is now very simple, it just fits in with no extra effort. My mum and I have also been DIYers for as long as I can remember so it’s really been no stress.
8. Have you always had natural hair? If no why did you decide to go natural?
I had long, natural, mid back length hair as a child, but would see all these adverts of black women with bone straight hair and wonder what it would be like to have hair that didn’t shrink. The “Style and Bounce” and “Beautiful Beginnings” ads had me begging my mom for a perm when I was 9. After 3 months of relentless nagging, my mom let me get my hair relaxed. I BC’d 7 years later and I have since shaved my head, texturized, relaxed, and dyed my hair more times than I can remember. The last time I BC’d was in January 2010 but it was completely unintentional. I had taken a vacation to Mombasa and my hair was braided into tiny twists. I swam in the sea and rolled around in the sand, basically had a great time but when I took my braids out, it was ridiculously tangled and matted. I decided to shampoo and condition it before detangling, but that made it worse, so I went to the bathroom mirror with a pair of scissors, and did something I had done many times before; I chopped it all off.
9. How long has it taken you to reach your current length?
2 years, with several ‘minor’ chops.
10. Has taking better care of your hair made a difference in the way your hair looked before and the way it looks now?
Yes. Before, I just thought hair was hair and didn’t need any sort of gentle handling or care. Now, I am a tad more conscious of what it takes to keep my hair healthy, and because of that, I am way more careful but experimental with styles. Although I don’t go all out to follow all the “rules” out there, my hair is definitely in better shape than it has ever been.
11. Do you believe anyone who adapts the correct techniques can grow fabulous hair or is there such a thing as bad hair?
I think all hair is good hair, no matter the texture or length. There is no way I can change my hair into a certain sort of texture without chemical treatment, and so I acknowledge that my hair is fabulous as it is. Some people have cool, interesting hairstyles and when asked about their regimen, all they say is, “What? I just wash with water and go.” So I think it’s all in the attitude.
12. What have you learnt about healthy hair care that you would love to share with other African women?
I have learnt that at the end of the day, my hair is mine, and yours is yours. How I care for mine, and style it, may be different from yours but at the end of the day, if I love how my hair looks, just as it is, then it is great hair.
13. What is the most heart-felt advice you would give to other African ladies thinking about but not so sure about starting a HHJ?
As long as even on days that another person would deem a bad hair day, you can still figure out a way to wear your hair with confidence, and rock it with style, whether relaxed or natural, then, that’s when you most appreciate and love your hair, and others will see it.
14. What would you advice a Newbie NOT to do?
Not to be a slave to hype, you know, hyped up products or regimens. Find your own thing. Only you can figure out what your hair loves best. Just because one person says no to Dax or silicones, doesn’t mean you should if your hair loves it. Nothing is taboo.
15. Do you do your own hair?
Yes, I do.
16. Do you have a hair idol? Who and why?
No, I don’t. I used to, Jill Scott and Nyachomba Kariuki of Kurly Kichana, but now, not really. I appreciate a ton of naturals though, and appreciate what they do with their hair, and how they style it. But at the end of the day, I really love my own mane.
Thanks to Patricia for answering our many questions :-)