Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
Hello. My name is Sandra. I'm a doctor, writer, blogger and unrepentant foodie.
What are your thoughts about natural hair?
I love it. I'm amazed by what it can do. I think my hair makes me look more interesting and it's such an ice breaker! So many great conversations I've had would never have happened if I wasn't wearing my natural hair.
|wash day pic|
When/why did you decide to go natural?
March 2014 was when I decided. I wore my natural hair until almost the end of secondary school and I loved it, but I wanted to experience straight hair with no shrinkage. I always wanted to go back to natural but I didn't know how. Everyone said my hair would fall off.
Also, I have a VERY sensitive scalp that always burned, almost on contact with relaxer - even the kiddie relaxer kits I always used.
Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I did a loooong transition. Nineteen months.
What was the experience like?
Easy at first and more challenging as my new growth got longer. Breakage was inevitable but with good hair practices, not excessive. Towards the end though, the cumulative breakage was more obvious. I had areas with the relaxed ends completely gone before I chopped.
I'm glad I went that route because it would have been too much of a shock to big chop at once. I had been on a healthy hair journey for a year and had grown my relaxed hair to waist length so I wasn't in a hurry to lose all that hair.
What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?
That reaching my goal length with relaxed hair was a one-off, and I wouldn't be able to do it with natural hair...
I know in truth I can. In my head. But sometimes it crosses my mind. What if, you know?
Do you have a regimen you stick to? What is it like?
I have a regimen that adapts to what my hair needs at any given time, but basically I wash and deep condition every week, and I may do a mid-week co-wash when I need to.
I moisturise with water and seal with oil (or do the LCO method) every day or as needed if my hair doesn't feel dry. I rarely use combs; I finger detangle. I don't manipulate my hair much, even though I wear my own hair almost all the time. Currently my hair is almost always in loose twists. I don't use heat ever, but one day I'll flat iron my hair for fun.
A satin scarf is a must for me whenever I lie down.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
None at all. I love this. It was a huge relief going natural.
Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?
For the rest of my life. I don't imagine I'll ever touch a relaxer again. Funny how what was once normal for me now seems strange.
|bantu knots out|
There are people that definitely have negative comments about your hair, how do you deal with that?
I don't deal much with this. If anything, people start talking about their own hair negatively; "your hair must be soft, that's why you can do it. My own is so hard..." Sis, you should see my hair when it's dry. It's a brillo pad. I just explain to them why being natural is not for only one hair type, and what I do to manage mine.
Oh, one time some guy said my hair was "jaga jaga". I just put it down to ignorance. I was actually patient that day and schooled him on hair. And he was chyking me o. You see how people spoil their own market?
What's your must have product and accessory?
Water in a spray bottle is the magic. Olive oil and shea butter are my ride or die.
To deep condition, I love Shea Moisture Purification Masque and my homemade banana and shea concoction. These two really soften and detangle my hair. For protein I add egg to the banana masque (it works for me) or Aubrey's GPB conditioner. When I'm shedding, coffee on my scalp is bomb.
For accessories, I LOVE hats.
|Twist out with a hat|
What is your go-to style?
Loose twists are my default these days. They're just so easy. But when I'm ready to slay, the big afro is my jam. I'll do a bantu knot-out, braidout or twistout and use an afro pick to enlarge it into that 'fro.
Puffs for lazy days when my hair is out.
Maybe even a sleek bun for special occassions.
What advice do you have for anyone just going natural?
I know you hear this a lot, but love your hair at every stage. There's something it can do while short that it won't be able to do when it's long. After my cut, I was tempted to hide my hair until it grew, but I rocked it at every stage and I'm glad I did because the stages pass so quickly.
Also, be patient and gentle.
Where can we find you? Your social media platforms…
My blog: naijagirlnextdoor.com
Instagram and twitter: @naijagirlnextdoor
Thank you for your time
Thanks for having me. I love AN. xxxx