Natural Hair Story: Jackie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today we introduce Miss Jackie!

Jackie is a Kenyan living in Houston, TX, US. She has been natural for five years now and couldn't be happier! She shares her experiences and knowledge on her natural hair blog where she details her enthusiasm for the global phenomenon that is the natural hair revolution.

Read on and get to know a little more about her and her journey into 'natural'.

1. How long have you been natural?When did you decide to go natural and what influenced you?

I have been natural for 6 years. I did the big chop in June of 2005. I decided to become natural because I was curious about my natural hair which I could hardly remember. I got a perm when I was 13 years old and do not remember how my hair looked like. I was curious about my hair and also beginning to wonder why straight hair seemed to be the only acceptable way to wear my hair. I have a little bit of a rebel streak.

2. What reactions have you gotten from your friends and family about your natural hair?

The reactions from friends and family have been varied. Some people were supportive and others were a little shocked. I was not too cute with very short hair but that was the least of my concerns at the time. I felt a little sorry for my husband though since he would have to walk around with me:-) I hardly get negative reactions now since it has been so long since I have had straight hair.

3. What products do you currently use?

I try to use products that are readily available. My staples are;
  • Herbal Essences,Hello Hydration Conditioner for cowashing. I cowash my hair once or twice a week. It usually depends on the style I am wearing and how my hair feels. I shampoo my hair once or twice a year.
  • When I have buildup, I mix the conditioner with shikakai powder. I also use Apple cider vinegar to rinse out my hair.
  • I moisturize my hair with Cantu Sheer butter leave in conditioner and seal it with coconut or castor oil.
  • I also keep Carol's daughter hair milk in my drawer for moisturizing my hair when I am wearing curly styles.
  • I deep condition my hair with coconut milk mixed with olive oil and a little honey. I mix them and microwave the mix for a minute and then put it on my hair and leave it for at least one hour. Sometimes I put conditioner in the mix.
  • For daily moisturizing I mix ice water, coconut oil and a little honey and spray it on my hair as needed. I also use Fantasia IC pure tea tree moisturizing gel for my afro puffs and buns.
4. What are your natural hair goals?

My main hair goal is to have healthy hair but I have enjoyed growing it and my next goal is mid back length when straightened and armpit length when it is not straightened. I have loved and enjoyed getting to know my hair; now I want to grow it just because I can:-) My current length is bra-strap when straightened and just below shoulder length with no heat or straightening.

5. What styles do your wear most of the time?

I wear my hair in a bun during the week because it is really easy to maintain and do twist-outs, afros and braid-outs on the weekend.

6. What is the best thing about being natural?

The best thing about being natural is the discovery that there was beautiful hair growing from my scalp. I have loved discovering that there is nothing wrong with our hair and that it can grow. I also enjoy the fact that I am using healthier hair practices.

7. What advice would you give someone who recently went natural or who is transitioning?

The best advice I would give someone that is transitioning is to understand it will be a journey. Parts of the journey will be difficult especially if you had permed hair because the maintenance is so different. The good news is there is beautiful hair to be discovered on the other end. People tell me all the time that I can wear my hair naturally because it is soft to the touch but it has not always been that way. I have learnt how to take care of it and all of us can do that. It just takes time.

Jackie Mwandia
aka Rafiki at the Makuti Lounge
Masuka M said...

Great to see Africans rocking their natural hair. It continues to prove that you don't need to be black american to have long hair. Much love from Zambia.

Kurly said...

Thanks for the lovely comment Masuka! That myth is being dispelled every day. What is the natural hair scene like in Zambia!? We would love to know.

Masuka M said...

The natural hair scene is growing. Mainly dreadlocks rule the school, but we are seeing more and more people wearing their natural hair out every day. Many are closet naturals under the weaves and wigs. Still a lot of stigma though, but just like ten years ago you would never see a newsreader on tv with dreads, but they are all over now, the times they are a-changin'. Following your example, is planning a natural meet-up in Lusaka later this year. If I come to Nairobi in November as scheduled, ama look you "Kurls" up. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Carole said...

i'm a transitioner and i want to incorporate ayurvedic products in my regimen the problem is i cant find these herbs. In your post you have mentioned you use shikakai, any refferals on where i can get me some?

Carole said...

i'm a transitioner and i want to incorporate ayurvedic products in my regimen the problem is i cant find these herbs. In your post you have mentioned you use shikakai, any refferals on where i can get me some?

Rafiki said...

I usually get my Shikakai from the local indian grocery store. Check one out in your area.

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