Hi ladies, I am so excited about Gahl´s first Inspiration of 2015! I actually know Christine since we met in form one at St George´s girls secondary school in Nairobi :) I have been stalking her hair on facebook and I just loved her progress! Her hair is so healthy! I would like you to note that she has type 4C hair. Most ladies I have met with 4C hair literally have a phobia of wearing their hair natural. I hope this feature helps you to realise that whatever your hairtype it is BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you Christine for being an inspiration for us today!
1. First of all I love your hair!! How long have you been natural?
Thank you J. It took a while to understand and appreciate it. I have been natural since December 2011.
2. Were you relaxed at some point? If yes when and for how long?
Yes I was relaxed for as long as I can remember, primary school maybe? I don’t remember the year but clearly too long haha.
3. What made you go natural? How did you go about it?
It was a barrage of things but let me give you some background. When I moved to the States back in 2007 the change in climate, food, everything wreaked havoc on my body! I broke out like crazy, skin was perpetually dry, my hair was thinning and shedding like mad. I believe my body was rebelling against me. I figured if this went on without making some changes I would end up looking like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. So I started eating healthier, changed my hair products to natural ones where I could and even changed my hair practices like incorporating moisturizing and sealing. Oh! I also went for long periods without relaxing. My hair thrived! It got close to bra strap length and then…I decided to relax it…myself. I did NOT want to spend $120 for someone to do my hair. I had done it before but I think that day I was lazy with no energy and I did a sloppy job. A LOT of hair at the back of head and some other odd points fell out I kid you not from over processing. I couldn’t believe what I had done! It was at that point that I decided once I grew out my hair a bit more I would never relax my hair ever again. I was traumatized haha! I started doing research on natural hair and was so amazed by it all. I wanted big ass hair, and besides, it looked really unique.
I initially tried to transition but after three months I could not handle the two textures so I made the appointment to cut all my hair off. I went with my best friend and up until that point I was super excited…until it was all chopped off, and it shrunk, and I panicked HAHA. I thought I had made the biggest mistake ever! After a couple of weeks it grew on me but honestly I tried to mask the slightly low esteem with makeup, jewellery, you know, to draw attention away from my hair. Thing is SO many people loved it, except me. I guess I thought my hair would look one way but it turned out another.
5. Is your natural hair much easier to deal with than when it was relaxed? What differences have you noted.
In terms of time my natural hair takes SO much more than when it was relaxed. The detangling, sectioning into twists before shampooing, removing and redoing each twist for conditioning, air drying then moisturizing and styling wololos. At least as the years have gone by I have gone from an all-day hair day (since I didn’t know what I was doing) to about 3 hours. That may seem like a lot of time but it is not continuous. Some of that time involves me resting and watching TV.
6. Do you have a regular hair care routine? Please tell us more about that.
I wash my hair every weekend and that involves shampooing, conditioning (I rarely deep condition anymore) and then moisturizing/styling. During the week I will moisturize my hair once more. Also I like to steam my hair in the mornings as I shower for about a minute to add some moisture.
7. How do you style your hair?
After cleaning hair that initial styling involves braiding hair for braid outs or hanging bantu knots. After those have worn out I will wear my hair in a super loose puff until the next time I moisturize or even next wash day. I have tried intricate styles before but my hair is so fine I felt like they were doing more harm than good. For instance, I tried pin and tuck styles and the matting of my ends when taking the style down??!?!?! Nope.
8. Where do you get your hair products? Which one is your favorite and why?
I have tried sooo many products so I can just tell you what I have been using lately. I use the shampoo and conditioner from the Thank God I’m Natural online store and they soften the hair so well.
I dampen hair with rose water (plain water wasn’t cutting it for me and I gave up on leave ins) and then use a shea butter mix that I concocted and love. The mix has shea butter, safflower oil and aloe vera gelly (not the gel) and also softens the hair well J.
9. Do you have any hair goals for this year?
I don’t want it to break off haha. I have been getting lazy and my ends are starting to suffer. You know when you separate your hair and the ends stick together? Yeah..shame on me.
10. Does your natural hair fit well with your professional life?
Yes it does. Sometimes it feels like my coworkers are more vested in my hair than I am. Oh the stories I can tell of people coming and touching my hair without asking, even in the bathrooms by people who work in other offices. *cringe*
11. Do you get regular trims? Yes/No and why?
I TRY to trim my own hair with the change in seasons. I do it myself because I am not about to pay $100+ just to trim.
12. Have you faced any negativity towards your natural hair at any point of your hair journey?
In the beginning, yes, from some family members. Making fun of how I “looked like a crazy person” because it was “unkempt”. I will admit that sometimes it did but in my defense I really did not know what I was doing, and with super short hair there are limited styling options. But now? As my hair has grown those same peeps just love it. *side eye*
13. Do you know your hair type? (How would you describe your curls? Are they uniform or would you say you had different textures all over your head?)and how does that affect how you style your hair?
I am a 4c and the front of my head is a bit looser but I still consider it 4c. I do need to make sure it’s properly moisturized because the coils are so tight that sebum can barely reach the ends of the strands.
14. Do you think the curl pattern determines how fast hair grows or what kind of styles can be done on the hair? What hairstyles do not work with your curl pattern?
Growth is a genetic thing, has nothing to do with curl pattern. Ofcourse looser curls will “seem” like they are growing longer in comparison to tighter coils but that’s in the same manner as your hair looking longer when you straighten hair. Make sense? Lol.
|November 2014 wash and Go! I find the shrinkage amazing!|
I definitely do not do wash and go’s, I have tried and my hair shrunk up so much that trying to stretch it out was a disaster.
15. What advice would you give the newbie naturals about being natural and going
Despite the taking more time and the learning curve, I LOVE my natural hair, and I wish I had gone natural eons ago. It feels like me. There is A LOT of information out there about natural hair care and you may have to try out a lot of it to find what works.
6. What do you think makes up a perfect healthy hair care journey?
I don’t think there is a perfect one, it can always change. As long as you properly moisturize your hair and take care of it without it consuming your life you are good!