Where are you from and where do you live? I am an Edo girl from Benin City. Oba Otokpeye! I am based in Abuja, the Federal Capital City of Nigeria.
What do you do? I'm currently a National Youth Corp member.
Where can we find you online? You can hail me at http://www.deepbrownkinks.blogspot.com/ and recently, http://www.iheartmyhair.com/.
How long have you been natural? I've being natural for 2years and some months.
You write a blog on natural hair. How long have you had your blog? What made you decide to do this? My blog was created in December 2010. I had to blog on natural hair because my friends (and strangers) would see my hair and go "ooh I love your hair what did you do... can you do it for me?" And I would tell them that their hair could look huge if they had natural hair. The next sentence would be"Eya! I can't go natural o. The wahala is too much. You must have good hair. My story different". So I created DBK to let Nigerian Ladies know that with patience you can be beautiful, funky, professional and Natural!
From your perspective, what is the natural hair scene like in Lagos / Nigeria? I'm not so sure about Lagos since I've been to Lagos twice. But I can tell you that most of the fierce naturals reside in Lagos. I'm sorry but Nigerian girls really enjoy following trends even though it costs them their lives (you know what I mean shey?). So yes the natural hair scene in Nigeria can be a bit boring since na only you dey waka for road with big hair. But from the feed back I've been getting, a lot of ladies are willing to try something new and some don't want their daughters to get hooked on relaxers. Hopefully we will get more naturals on board in the years to come.
At one time you had your hair relaxed. Tell us why you decided to go natural. I went natural because my hair was limp and sad. My permed hair would just hang down and I loved my hair at ATTENTION!! I had lost my edges and after reading sites like BGLH online and CurlyNikki there was no other way to go than natural!!
How did you go natural? Did you transition or did you do the big chop? Did anyone help you or encourage you? When my hair was relaxed, I had a touch up every 4 or 5 months. So when I decided to go natural I did what is known as a mini chop.
To answer your third question: I had no encouragement and I cut off my hair myself using normal scissors. Everyone refused to help me cut my hair even the Barber. Funny shey? Well that comes with living in the North. The barber told me he was scared because a Muslim lady had cut off her hair in rebellion to her husband and the Oga (husband) dealt with the innocent Barber. So if my father could "come and give permission" he would willingly do it for me...Ehn!! I wan craze...I vex red....walked into my bathroom and cut off the hair!. Shey na just hair?!
Do you have a “hair mentor” or “hair crush”? I just Love the way Siraj Nuri wears her hair. Erykah Badu is too much and when I newly went natural, Natural belle was the best hair blog on the Planet :)
What’s your hair regimen? Hmm...I change regimens as the weather changes. For now sha I wash my hair weekly or biweekly, deep-condition after each wash , thread my hair and style. I tend to take better care of my edges and ends in the harmattan months. So I apply my fav. oil or butter to my ends in the mornings and before I sleep. Moderation is the word. By sleep time I braid or thread my hair. That's after applying the oil or butter.
Products you would wait in line for? Screwy Haired Girl's Butter.
Where in Nigeria do you get the hair products you use? I get most of my products from markets, village markets and Sahad Stores.
How do people react to your natural hair? Positive, or negative or just odd? I believe that people will react to you based on the image you have of your self. When I newly went natural and had to deal with the "should-I-really-be-doing- this" stage. I used to get hateful comments. The reason, I felt, was because I was not truly feeling my new look. But then I watched Jill scott's live performance on T.V one time like that and noticed that she was all smiles. She wore her fro with pride. And I thought to myself: that is what I should be doing. This might sound odd but I got more positive than negative comments after that decision.
If you get negative comments about your natural hair who are they from and how do you deal with them? He! He! ...negative comments come from just about anybody; family, friends, strangers (who should be minding their business by the way). What do I do? He! He! ... I can be a thick Benin girl at times so when that Edo moment comes I have a serious reply for them. Like this one time this obviously bleached girl was just horrible to me so I went "you dey bleach o you dey bleah...yellow fever" in public (That's Fela by the way). If she had a gun she might have shot me...lol! But seriously, I advice that ladies just Ignore those negative people. You are a gem. Don't waste your time and energy replying those ignorant of your beauty (this also applies to me lol).
Comment about natural hair in your place of work. Do you feel awkward about wearing your natural hair to work? No I don't feel awkward. I've spent some time in the corporate Nigerian scene so I've developed this "either accept me or live me alone: attitude. I get complements and I get negativity. But who cares na me get my hair. No be so?
What hairstyles do you usually wear? Why? Hmm! Question...I wear a fro, curly fro, updo's, fake dreads, single braids(one-one ^_^), Ghana braids....anything I feel like doing. Why? Because natural hair allows for versatility so I will try every style that inspires me.
What do you like best about being natural? Versatility.
What do you hate most about being natural? Nothing...hate is a strong word.
Have you ever had an “Ooops!” or “OMG!” moment with your hair? Tell us about it and how you resolved it. Yes I've had plenty of that. Like I tried to do a roller set in rainy season and my hair was a MESS!!. Anyways time was not on my side so I went out with my crazy fro:). But most times I solve that with a head wrap!!
Why are you still keeping your hair natural? Because it's HOT. It's me and it makes me unique.
What do you say to people like you about going natural? Naija babes!. Natural hair can be an interesting journey. Enjoy each phase of your journey and work what God gave you. Sometimes you might be tempted to perm it again.But that is quite normal. Stay strong and keep on trying to get information and inspiration. Most importantly wear your fro with pride and a smile.
What's next for you on your natural hair journey? My sister I no know o. I've being thinking about cutting my hair recently but hey...I love this length too. I'm currently working on finding ways to wear my hair in it's shrunken state. That way when it gets hot all I need to do is pour water and waka!
Favourite dessert place in Nigeria? My favorite Lagos spot is the Life house....yes I'm hooked. I love Africa and anything that represents my Continent to the fullest has my vote.
Thanks so much Natmane.
Keep it natural!