Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
This is Chidinma Okoli, and I was born and bred in Nigeria. I’m a Medical lab scientist by profession but currently a Masters’ degree student at the University of Exeter, England.
What are your thoughts about natural hair?
Natural hair is simply beautiful! I love the fact that it can be styled anyhow you like it - curly, fro, blown out or straightened. It has improved the self-confidence of lots of women and that is really remarkable.
When/why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural in January 2015 and this was because I realised my relaxed hair was too thin, scanty and worse still, my edges were not just encouraging at all. I tried all sorts of protein treatments to no avail and when I noticed my shoulder-length relaxed hair was getting shorter, I decided I had endured enough hair torture.
Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I actually wanted to transition because I was scared of looking like a secondary school girl all over again. However my dad’s barber came over to the house to give my dad his usual haircut, and after looking at my relaxed hair in the mirror I decided to take the bold step to cut it off. You needed to see the expression on the barbers face when I sat down and asked for my own haircut.
What was the experience like?
I actually felt relieved the moment the scissors started going through my hair, and I could not wait to have a look at myself in the mirror. My dad was extremely pleased with the low cut and that made me really happy.
What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?
My biggest fear was having to struggle with a strong hair that would be difficult to take care of; but many thanks to my friend Idee Akpan – a fellow naturalista, she gave me all the tips and advice on how to care for my hair.
Do you have a regimen you stick to? What is it like?
I do the LOC method daily (Liquid, Oil, leave-in Conditioner). I also wash and deep condition every 2 weeks.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
Nothing major really. All my friends were supportive, although they were so surprised to see me on low-cut because my relaxed hair was quite long.
Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?
The long haul of course! I appreciate my hair better now, it’s so healthy and beautiful. I also love the stares and positive comments I get when I style it.
There are people that definitely have negative comments about your hair, how do you deal with that?
Oh I just ignore them, especially on ‘bad hair days’. But I always make sure they see me when the hair is styled so that they admire and ask me how I did it *wink*.
What's your must have product and accessory?
Jamaican black castor oil, coconut oil and dudu osun soap.
What is your go-to style?
Bantu knots. They are so easy to make and always make the curls pop.
What advice do you have for anyone just going natural?
Take care of your hair with the simple regimen first before experimenting all sorts of different products. Then pay attention to your hair and it will tell you what it likes and dislikes. Learn to embrace shrinkage and above all, rock your TWA with pride.
Where can we find you? Your social media platforms…Instagram; jacy_luff
Facebook; Chidinma Okoli
Thank you for your time