November 4, 2014

Phina- 'I feel like I finally see myself."

Tell me about yourself!
My name is Phina. I’m 20 years old and I’m in my final year in college. I live in Limerick, Ireland and I’ve been natural for little over 3 years now.

Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I transitioned for about 8 months, because I wasn’t allowed to cut all my hair off. You know, dads. When I finally cut my hair off I felt a mix of emotions. On one hand, I was used to cutting my hair as low as most black guys carry their hair. On the other, hand I wasn’t used to the afro that was left behind.


Had you always embraced your texture?
I’ve always loved my hair. Even when I was relaxed I loved it, which is why I decided to try something different. I had to save my hair from myself. I have a mixture of textures, and though some are harder to deal with I’ve found a routine that works on all of them.

Even though my hair didn’t come out like any of my hair crushes on youtube, I still loved what is attached to my head. Curl definition is something that I don’t care for anymore because living in a country like Ireland, it rains a lot so putting too much effort in my hair sometimes isn’t worth it.

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
My mum gave up on my hair since I was about 14/15 years old because I would restyle my hair after getting a weave or take it out and redo it because hairdressers never got it right. So, she wasn’t too bothered.

No one understood it at first. I mean it was a shock for everyone and I got some negative comments here and there, mostly from outsiders but now they are all trying to go natural. Lol. My biggest supporters have always been my brothers. One thing I learned was that people will soon realize how beautiful your hair is. Trust me. But it is up to you to fall in love with it first.

Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
I have coarse, thick, low porosity hair. It’s always been like that.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
It’s more sad than crazy. I tried to dye my hair purple. See my hair is so dark that you wouldn’t notice a thing. However, I'd see a small change in it when out in the sun but I’m still torn between re-dying it black or trying out another purple dye job.

What’s your biggest hair related regret?
My biggest regret was not enjoying my hair at whatever length it was at. Before my hair reached my collarbone I used to complain that I couldn’t do much with it when the truth was that I was just not comfortable with the length. Now I see cute styles that I could have done.

What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I co-wash and deep condition my hair once a week and shampoo every second week. Normally I would shampoo once a month but with working out I have to cleanse my scalp more often.
Once I wash my hair I throw it in a week long protective style and a day or two before wash day I will let it down for some rockin’ twistout.
I love ‘Naked’ products I’m not sure if it’s available in the states, but here in Ireland my natural friends and I absolutely love it.
Leave-in: Naked miracle leave-in or gorgeous curls
Deep conditioner: APH hair mayonnaise
Fav oils and butters: coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil.
And thanks to Napturel85 I also love using aloe Vera juice and Apple cider vinegar.

What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
I have three go-to styles, a single/flat twisted updo, a twist-out or a puff. YouTube is great for inspirations, but I normally just play with my hair.

Who is your curl crush?
FusionOfCultures and Napturel85; I can’t choose. They are truly inspiring, they enjoy their hair, and take very good care of it.

How do you maintain your hair at night?
I tie a silk scarf or put on a satin bonnet.

How do you maintain healthy length?
Protective styling helps and always keeping my ends moisturized. It’s been almost 2years since I’ve had a weave or wore a wig and about a year ago I stopped installing braids or any protective style that needed extensions. This has helped my hair grow because it means I spend more time with my hair and trust me when I say my hair has never been healthier.

What's the best thing about being natural?
The best thing about being natural is the freedom that comes with it. I feel like I finally see myself. I am no longer hiding behind someone else’s hair or standard of beauty and don’t get me started on the versatility that comes with this mane we carry.

Where can folks find you on the web?
I recently started a youtube channel where I hope to share my journey and what I’ve learned so far.




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