As promised, this week’s Kinky TRESSES: takes us across the globe to meet fellow natural hair blogger – Ndeshi, who currently resides in Canada. She is a Zambian-born natural beauty who started her hair (re)discovery journey in early 2012.
Tell us a bit about yourself and the life of your hair before going natural.
I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia, Canada. As a kid my mom would do my hair. I spent hours at her feet, head bent this way and that way as she hot combed, braided, twisted and cared for my hair. After my first relaxer at around 9 years old, I would relax my hair infrequently. Having a small black population they didn’t have very much available for our hair so when my dad went out of town we would get him to bring us hair products. When I moved away at 20 I had access to all sorts of products and relaxing my hair became a regular thing. At 23, halfway through my bachelor program, my hair was in poor shape. It was broken and uneven and trying to salvage it I got a haircut from someone who did not know what they were doing which only made it look worse. I was unimpressed with the state of my hair. I was heading home for a school break and decided to cut it off and start again. Today, I call my ‘fro Rocco! He’s wild but we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well these past couple of years.
How long have you been natural?
It will be 2 years today!
Woot woot! Happy nap-iversary! *sprinkles essential oils* 🙂 So you did the big chop like I did twice before. How was that process for you?
It was frustrating at first. I was in Vancouver for a day and all I wanted was to get my hair chopped. I visited at least 6 different salons and no one knew how to do my hair or the one who was ‘willing to try’. No thanks. The black hair salons were closed the one day I was there. I was a little broken-hearted but I went home (I was en route to visiting my parents) and my mom put my tattered hair into cornrows. My parents and I ended up flying down to Vancouver for my mom’s 50th birthday and my mom and I went straight from the airport to the hair salon. We both ended up cutting our hair and we haven’t gone back. It was something special to share that with that with my mom. It makes me happy to see her happy with her hair. But anyway, walking out of that salon with hair as short as my brother’s was a shock to the system. But wow, it was so easy to take care of. Those first few days, heading to the hotel gym in the morning, I was good to go. Bed head meant nothing to me and it was so freeing.
That is really sweet that you and your Mom started the journey together. Now tell us, how would you describe your hair?
My hair is kinky/coily. When it’s sopping wet it has some pretty fun coils. When it’s dry it’s more a halo of kinky hair. I would say 4c but my hair in the very front has looser curls.
Besides your Mom, were your family and friends supportive of your decision to return natural?
I really only told my roomie/bestie and my mom. My roomie thought it was cool and actually bought me a silk nightcap and Shea Moisture’s shampoo/conditioner since she was down in the states. Initially, my mom thought it was fine and that I could wear wigs and weaves. I told her noo… I just want to wear my hair as is. I really love that she big chopped along with me!
Length check @ 19 months
How has returning natural positively impacted you?
Returning natural has made me aware of what is going on in my body. Maintaining my natural hair, while more demanding, it’s also allowed me to simplify other things in my life like my skin care routine. It’s also allowed me to really embrace being active. Not that my relaxed hair held me back, but I was just more inspired to be get out there and do stuff more often. I focus more on my hair’s health than whether or not its long or straight.
Are you a product junkie or do you follow KISS (Keep It Simple Sista)? What are your “holy grail” products for your natural hair?
I definitely follow the KISS deal. Living in northwest British Columbia, Canada, I don’t have options for hair the way others do in bigger cities or the states. I’m more likely to buy something online than find it in-store which I will do to refill a product I love but not so much for just trying new products.
I love using coconut oil and shea butter.
We would really love to know what is your current hair regimen.
In the last couple of months I have started wearing my hair in mini-twists for two weeks at a time. I wear it for one week in its twists, then the next week in a twist out. I’ve been washing my hair twice a month. Hair wash day usually starts with a steam to separate and moisturize my hair and remove shed hair. I pre-poo with coconut oil, wash and condition in sections, deep condition and then lightly blow dry to stretch my hair, moisturize and twist.
Do you have a favorite DIY recipe?
I actually don’t. Maybe I’m a lazy natural but I haven’t actually made up a concoction of my own. I should get on that…
What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made with your hair?
Neglecting to moisturize it… oh! or sleeping with my hair loose. I haven’t done it in a while but you know that one night you just can’t be bothered to section it up or separate it. Bad news.
What is your favorite go-to style?
Mini twists! Or twists outs. I love a good chunky twist out.
Got any words of wisdom for anyone contemplating returning natural or who has just started their journey?
Have fun with your hair and take pictures. You may not think your hair is growing but take a look at a pic from 3 months ago and you may surprise yourself.
We wanna FOLLOW you (but no in a creepy way! *pinky promise*) Where can we find you?
My blog is www.mycurlypotential.wordpress.com and I’m on twitter @CurlyPotential
I want to thank Ndeshi for chatting with me today and wish her all the best with Rocco!
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 for you.
Happy hair day curlies and see you next time!
If you would like to be featured in the Kinky TRESSES feature post, please drop me a line via the Contact Me page!