The hair tips, advice and recommendations given on this blog are given based on the experiences of the authors. These tips may not work for everyone and every hair type and it is important to acknowledge this since we are neither hair specialists nor trichologists.

Also many pictures on this blog belong to the authors but there are others that we do not have ownership for and thus we do not claim ownership of the ones that do not belong to us.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"I love being natural" - Interview with Amen

We are happy to introduce Amen to you. A young lady who is enthusiastic about life and her hair of course. Enjoy!

Name: Amen Ogbeifun.

Where are you from and where do you live: I am from Nigeria and I reside in Canada.

What do you do: I am a student, business woman, hair encourager, hair counselor (haha).

At one time you had your hair relaxed. Tell us why you decided to go natural: Yes my hair was relaxed. I decided to go natural when I was fed up with how thin my hair looked. My hair was not as full as it was when I was young. I also noticed that I was shedding a lot of hair and my tips looked so weak and fragile. I was on YouTube researching ways to grow healthy relaxed hair but instead I came across several video blogs of natural hair. I loved how versatile natural hair was and I was happy to get rid of my absolute straight hair. After three days of watching videos I was so excited, got my scissors and cut it all off! :) I have to admit that ever since I was in secondary school I was always fascinated by people with natural hair just because I never knew what having natural hair was like.

How did you go natural? Did you transition or did you do the big chop? Did anyone help you or encourage you: I had not relaxed my hair in like five months because I wanted to stretch out my relaxer use hoping to get full hair when I relaxed my hair again. So at the time I saw the videos I was at the crossroads of relaxing or big chop. I was not excited about having short hair to deal with but I was tired of the two textures so I cut off my relaxed ends and left my newly grown natural hair. So umm ... technically I “transition-big chopped” lol. Those around me were not helpful when I was trying to decide whether to go natural or not because they loved their relaxers. They were much more supportive after I made my decision. :)

Do you have a “hair mentor": Oh yeah I have several hair mentors. I have Aunty O form O’Naturals and I have Ehizogie from Natureal and there is Kim Love which I 'love' to follow so faithfully.

What’s your natural hair regimen: I like to wash my hair on Fridays or Saturdays because those are my free days. I wash my hair weekly. First I spend Thursday night running my hand through my hair detangling tiny bits and trimming tied up hair. Then I put my hair in sections for the night. On my wash days I put olive oil and water in my shampoo because my hair does not like to be stripped clean so I use that mix. I condition and detangle again with my detangler comb and tangle teezer. I rinse with lukewarm water and dab my hair slightly dry. I make big single braids while adding homemade leave-in-conditioner and then I add my Shea mixture. I allow it to set overnight and then next day I take out the stretched hair and style it for the week. My weekly style is usually my hair up with a banana clip.

What are the products you cannot live without:

o Live clean shampoo/Giovanni shampoo

o Live clean conditioner

o Jojoba oil and Castor oil

o Shea butter mix

How did your family react to your natural hair? Positive or negative: It was negative at first because cutting my hair seemed random so it was a total shock for them. It later became positive when they saw how well my new hair was doing.

How do you deal with the comments about your natural hair: I say “thank you” to the nice comments. Other comments like “do you know going natural is like going back to slavery?” well I ignore comments like those. Or I just tell them a brief history of where the discourse of that comment is coming from. I just try to educate people hoping to create an open mind. Besides I was once like that ;)

Comment about natural hair in school since you are a student. Do you feel awkward about wearing your natural hair to school: Natural hair in school is AWESOME!!! I am happy to say I started a natural hair trend at the University of Toronto in Mississauga. I do not feel awkward wearing my natural hair in school because I love it. It makes me absolutely different and unique and well ... NOTICEABLE which I love!!! Haha.

Because I embrace my hair and curls, it has given other girls the courage to let theirs out and love their hair also. And OH MY you would not believe the number of girls who are natural and hide behind the weave! From what I have seen, it is not because they do not love their natural hair, but rather they feel their hair classifies them as different, a word a lot of them are learning to embrace. Thank God for education.

What do you like best about being natural: I Love my CURLS. I can do several things with my hair and not be bored being stuck with a non versatile texture. I love that it makes me, ME!! I love that the way I do my hair can express how I feel, I love that being natural means embracing more than just my curls, I also embrace my roots, who I want to be and I use that to overcome stereotypes and discrimination.

What do you hate most about being natural: My knots. OMG I get lots of knots when I am not careful enough and it drives me on a trimming rage! Sometimes it vexes me so much that I am on the verge of shaving my head bald, but then I know I would regret it after. Also my hair is really full and washing it when I am so tired could take forever. I think the longer it gets the easier to wash.

Have you ever had an "Ooops!" or "OMG!" moment with your hair: Oops moment: not knowing what to do quickly enough when my hair came in contact with chlorine (bad bad experience).

OMG moment: realizing that the texture at the back of my hair is ... veeeeery different. Believe it or not my back hair is about 2 -3 inches longer than other areas of my hair and in addition to that my back hair cannot even be considered a type 4 curl it’s so lose and when I braid my back hair you would think I relaxed my hair because it comes out straight but when you add water and conditioner it curls up... It is fun though. Haha!

Tell us about your “oops!” moment and how did you deal with it: It was when chlorine got in my hair. I had braids in and did not wash my hair until 2 days after the incident. BIG MISTAKE! When you get chlorine in your hair it’s best to stay away from shampoo and stick to conditioning wash for a while. It is also best to take out your braids and have a good wash. If you are like me who didn’t know on time and got lots of split ends in the middle of your hair, then get your trusted scissors, some Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner, tangle teezer (see picture below) and wash every other day for like two weeks.

What do you say to students / young girls like you about being natural: Girls: embrace and love your curls. Always remember why you are going natural and stick to it. It is ok to go natural because you want long hair. It is ok to go natural because you are embracing healthy living. It is ok to go natural because you love your curls like I do. And it is definitely ok to go natural because you wish to embrace your roots like me. So have fun, do not be afraid to experiment with your hair and make mistakes with it.

Keep it natural!



Anonymous said...

Beautiful love you hair and look. I admire the courage and am very proud of you gal.

Anonymous said...

This is such an encouraging interview!! Thank you! Makes me want to reveal my natural hair. ^_^

Omozo said...

@Anonymous: Go ahead and reveal your natural hair! Try doing so in between hairstyles like braids or weaves. As your confidence grows and as you learn tips on taking care of your natural hair, you will enjoy showing it off. Remember, we are here to help!