Hey everyone! My name is Ijeoma and I’m from Nigeria, grew up in New Jersey, and am now living in New York.

How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was in May of 2009 and I got the final chop (I cut gradually) done in June 2010.

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What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was in college when I decided to explore natural hair, and I was just frustrated with my breaking, limp, and lifeless strands that never grew past my shoulders. Also, perms were not cheap in Boston! I transitioned using protective styles (braids and weaves) because I was too busy during the school year to re-learn how to do my hair. I used the time researching every bit I could find on how to wash, moisturize, and style natural hair.

How would you describe your hair?
My hair is flat out kinky. But it’s also faaabulous, hence my alias, Klassy kinks. It’s fairly dense, can get dry and coarse, has medium porosity, and loves heavy butters and creams.

What do you love most about your hair?
I love that I can wear my hair in 15 different styles in a month, if I wanted to (but nobody got time for that!). It’s versatility continues to amaze me, especially as it grows longer. I also love how unique my hair is. The concept of a hair twin is cute and all, but at the end of the day, none of our hair is exactly the same, highlighting the special individual attention God gave us when He created us all!

What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
Each moment when someone tells me that I inspired them to wear their hair natural is memorable for me. Whether they’re family, friends, or followers, hearing that I’ve helped someone love herself a little bit more warms my heart! I also feel a sense of fulfillment when kids tell me they like my hair, especially little girls; I think its wonderful that in this moment there are many more natural hair role models for the next generation to look up to, which will hopefully translate to girls asking to help mommy twist her hair rather than asking for perms. The journey has definitely been filled with ups and downs, but if you view each bump in the road as a step closer to knowing, learning, and loving your hair, it makes the setbacks a little less disheartening. But it’s gotten easier as I’ve come to know more and become more comfortable with what I’ve got growing out of my scalp!

What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
I didn’t do anything exciting while transitioning, but in my first two years of being natural, bantu knot outs were my flyest hairstyle! Sadly my hair is a bit too long to do them now since they’ll take two days to dry. But lately I’ve been enjoying updos, mini twists, and my ultimate favorite style ever, Havana twists!

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
For the most part, my experiences have been positive. At first my family was thoroughly confused as to what I was doing, especially my mom. In Nigeria, girls more or less wear their hair shaved and women wear relaxers and weaves, so letting your hair grow past an inch in its natural state was unheard of. I got many inquiries and side eyes from Nigerian aunties, who now compliment the fullness and length of my hair. As for my mom, she big chopped 6 months after me, without warning! Since I’ve been in school, I can’t speak to working in corporate America with natural hair, but I will say that I’ve gotten a lot more attention from all kinds of men since going natural. In my first year with my baby curly fro, I must’ve gotten hit on by ten 35+ year old white men (I was 20)! But I think the increased attention comes from a greater self-confidence, a stronger pep in my step and a healthier glow from loving my hair! Luckily my man friend adores my hair (probably more than I do), and he wants me to add that his favorite hairstyle is “the updo” as he calls it lol.

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I’m really low maintenance even though I like changing up my hairstyle often. I deep-condition and shampoo once a month, and then either do an updo that turns into a twistout or a twist/braid out that turns into an updo. This kind of marathon styling session works for me because I know that I only need to set out 5-6 hours a month for my hair (or 3 low-budget black movies on Netflix), and everything else in between will take 15-30 minutes. Sleeping on a satin pillowcase and with a silk scarf or bonnet also allow me to maintain my styles for longer, and making sure I keep my hair stretched by rebraiding or retwisting every few days leads to a breezy wash day where I can just finger detangle with my hands. I do a lot of scalp massages with oils which prevent smells and helps loosen up potential particles in my scalp. You can find the products I use here, but the ones I can’t live without are Terressentials Organic Pure Earth Wash, Shea butter, and coconut oil.

What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
For a wide array of natural hair related information, I really like blackgirllonghair.com. I have a whole bunch of YouTube and blogger friends (both in my head and real life) so I won’t shout them all out, but I have a list on my site. And of course my site, Klassy-kinks.com!

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I’ll just wrap up by saying that the more love you show your hair, both through good practices (not products!) and positive affirmations, the better it will look and feel! Embrace every kink and curl and tell yourself how classy and glamorous you are!

Where can people find you for more information?
You can always find me on Klassy-Kinks.com, my YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram. My Tumblr page is a great source of inspiration as there are pictures of hundreds of women with gorgeous hair!

Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily.
Are you naturally fierce? Email us to share your hair journey at globalcouture@aol.com.