Kinky TRESSES: Meet Kimberly Ephraim

Welcome to the newest feature of the Black Zulu blog: Kinky TRESSES! WE inspire each other every day in countless ways and I would love for my readers to find inspiration from other naturals other than myself. To introduce this feature, I sought out the one natural who’s hair has always been an inspiration to me; from point big chop – Kimberly Ephraim.

We speak to natural beauty, Kimberly, who shares her pictures and hair story with us. She also shares her favorite DIY hair recipe as well as simple tips for our new naturals. She is totally awesome and I hope she inspires you as much as she does me!

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Kimberly Ephraim

Say Hello to the Black Zulu followers!

Hey there Ladies and Gents. I’m Kimberly and I live on the beautiful island of Antigua.

By will or by force? What was your main reason for returning natural?

A little bit of both, I guess. I used to be terrified of my natural hair;  my memories of trying to tame them as a child were filled with hot combs, burnt ears, tugging, pulling and some not-so-cute hairstyles lol. So, of course, I kept my encounters with my new growth in between perms very brief. As I got into my twenties, I got very active in the gym and needed relaxers a lot more often which lead to a hole in my pocket, constant breakage and thin lifeless hair. I was so frustrated I started dabbling in extensions and that only made it worse. Then one random day I came across the “My Natural Sistas”  Youtube page and I was inspired instantly to go natural.

How long have you been natural?IMG_20131129_220334

I’ve been natural for 1 year and 3 months

Give us the scoop! Did you transition or big chopped? How was that process?

Well, initially, I intended on being a long term transitioner but  that did not work out. My last relaxer was some time towards the end of July 2012. I transitioned for 3 months and Big Chopped on the 5th of Nov 2012. On one hand, I was happy to be fully natural but on the other hand I should have given myself a little more time to figure out what worked for my hair because my hair was RIDICULOUSLY dry and nothing was working to fix it. I braided it 2 days after my big chop and kept it braided until I got a better grip on maintaining my moisture level.

Stage Big Chop

Kinky? Curly? Coily? How would you describe your hair?

Kinky-coily for sure. I have a small patch of coils on my crown area and everywhere else is definitely kinky. My stands are quite fine and I would say Medium density neither thin nor extremely thick.

Oh no they didn’t! 😮 Have you encountered any negativity because of your decision to return natural? (Be it family, friends, work, relationship etc)

Yup! “why did you cut off all your beautiful relaxed hair?” “ so what are you gonna do with it wear an afro all the time?”  “ girl don’t you remember how hard your hair was when you were younger ?” “ haha ill give you 2 weeks !”  “natural hair is too much work”        -_-   but it didn’t faze me; this is what I wanted so their opinions didn’t really matter.

IMG-20130503-01120Tell us the good stuff! How has returning natural positively impacted you?

It has forced me to learn my hair, and be more self sufficient with caring for it and styling it.  I can do my own braids, color, etc. It might sound corny but I’ve become contented with ME on a whole.

C’mon. Share! Are you a product junkie or do you follow KISS (Keep It Simple Sista)? What are your “holy grail” products for your natural hair?

No product junkie here. Being a product junkie is expensive and I think sometimes it can be counter-productive especially if  you are trying to learn what works  for your hair. I’ve tried several things along the way and I’ve always come back to these items –  SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo, Tresemme Flawless Curls Conditioner , wild growth hair oil, SheaMoisture restorative conditioner, Shea Moisture Curl enhancing smoothie, Shea Batter (my home made whipped shea butter)  and  Black eco-styler gel.  Those are my holy grail products.

We would really love to know! What is your current hair regimen?IMG_20131229_154447

Currently I wash every two weeks.  I start the process by finger detangling my hair  and twisting them up with a mix of  Tresemme Conditioner  and coconut oil. This acts as a prepoo as well.  I then shampoo with Sheamoisture  Moisture Retention Shampoo, followed by a deep treatment which is usually a mix of items in my kitchen like eggs, bananas, coconut milk  etc.  The items will vary  from week to week  but I always use my wild growth hair oil in the mix. This product has the perfect blend of oils to give my deep treatment that special touch.  After about 20 min (no heat) I wash my treatment out apply a little more Conditioner and do my final rinse.  At this point I apply my leave-in and seal with my Shea Batter  and proceed to styling.

Do you have a mixologist diva taking refuge inside you? Share your favorite DIY recipe!

My favorite protein treatment:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp of wild Growth Hair oil
  • 2 Tbsp of Honey
  • 3 Tbsp of Coconut milk

Oh, oh! Did you do that?! What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made with your hair?

While experimenting with color last year, I processed it multiple time within a short period and that led to seriously damaged hair, tangles galore and shedding. I had cut quite a bit off which was a major bummer!

Everyone has it! What is your “go to” style?IMG_20131126_083223

A high puff – quick easy and you can’t mess it up.

Got any words of wisdom for anyone contemplating returning natural or who has just started their journey?

Be patient, don’t jump on every miracle product bandwagon, when you get frustrated and tired of your hair put it away for a while I guarantee you’ll miss it in a week, when you find a product that works for your hair stick with it and enjoy each stage.

We wanna FOLLOW you (but not in a creepy way! *pinky promise*) Where can we find you?   

Instagram @curlikimkay

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Heartfelt thanks to Kimberly for sharing her hair story with us. If you’re on Instagram go on over and show her some love! If you have any questions about her hair, regimen or styling tips, leave a note in the comment section below and I will get them answered.

Happy hair day dolls and see you next Friday with a new Kinky TRESSES feature!

If you would like to be featured in the Kinky TRESSES feature post, please drop me a line via the Contact Me page!

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