I'm Sandra (Sandeey) from Nigeria and I love natural hair! I currently work and live in Abuja, Nigeria.
How long have you been natural?
Well, I count my first day of my natural hair journey from the day I got my last relaxer (June 4th 2010). I think of it as if I had gone to the barber's for a skin cut. About a week after I relaxed my hair, my journey began. My relaxed hair was dead to me and I didn't regard it as my hair anymore.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I was a transitioner and did that for about 8-9 months. I cut off my relaxed ends in February 2011. I was motivated to transition when a friend of mine told me the benefits of having natural hair. The discussion came up because my edges had fallen out and I needed a solution. I thought I had to cut off my hair from the start and I was having none of that. She advised me to learn about transitioning and natural hair from blogs and YouTube and I did. I actually made the permanent decision to remain natural when I saw Kimmay on YouTube. I loved her hair and learned a lot from her.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The journey has actually been quite easy for me. I have my moments of frustration but those are just moments. I learn from mistakes and it makes the journey easier. Also, my passion for natural hair contributes to my finding it easy.
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
I love twistouts so much and the good ol' bun. My hair regimen ensures that I always have a twistout to work with because I twist to let my hair dry. When I unravel my twists, I make the decision to keep my hair down or bun it up. I bun it up when the twistout is not well defined and is too frizzy. Ever since my hair could be put up in a bun, I've hardly had bad hair days. I recently made a hairstyle one of my favorites. Marley/Havana/Kinky Twists! I learned how to do it myself and now I'm addicted.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
When my hair was shorter, I got so much attention from strangers. They kept asking how I styled it and I was told how much they loved my hair. I get that now but only when they know its my hair. They don't even ask me whether its my hair anymore. They just assume I wear weaves or wigs. Even people I work closely with assume I wear wigs.
The reaction from family and friends when I was transitioning was disbelief. Some couldn't believe or understand why I wanted to have natural hair. They felt I wouldn't be able to cope but I guess I showed them. Now, I have friends who were motivated and became natural.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I wash my hair every weekend and once in a blue moon, I wash in the middle of the week. I have Seborrheic Dermatitis and use Selsun Blue shampoo to wash. It helps keep the flakes and itch away for at least a week. Since it leaves hair hard after use, I use a warm bucket of water to wash my hair and put some Almond Oil or Coconut Oil in the water. This helps to keep my hair soft throughout the washing process. Next, I use my Nature's Gentle Touch Herbalblend Deep Conditioning Cholesterol Treatment and rinse off with cold water. Then I detangle and twist my hair in sections after applying my Nature's Gentle Touch Herbalblend Leave in Conditioner and raw Shea Butter whipped with Almond or Coconut oil. Sometimes I try out new products out of curiosity. I love SheaMoisture products and use them from time to time.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Natural hair is beautiful and will always be.
My hair doesn't always turn out the way I want it to but I guess that's life. I notice when I'm having a good hair day, I'm happier and more confident. My fiancé pointed this out to me and I laughed but I realized it was true. He noticed the way I walk when I have a beautiful well-defined twistout. I walk in a way that makes my hair bounce. I call it the "notice me walk". Everyone has got to notice my good hair days because I work hard for those!
When asked if I would ever relax my hair again, I usually say: "I'd rather tweeze my hair strands out one at a time till I'm completely bald". There is no going back for me!
I'm really happy blogs like this exist to motivate others!
Where can people find you for more information?