Natural Hair Feature: Hawanatu

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello Kurlies, we have another wonderful natural haired goddess to introduce you to today; her name is Hawanatu. Take a look at her amazing natural hair! Enjoy the read xo

Hi! My name is Hawanatu and I am originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa!! I am currently studying in the south of France. 

How long have you been natural? Why did you decide to go natural and what influenced you?

I had my last relaxer in January 2011. It was the worst relaxer process I have ever experienced. My scalp got burnt and wounded. Several weeks after my relaxer I came across a documentary produced by Chris Rock called “good hair”. The documentary reveals the dangers and health problems one could get from using relaxers. I was so terrified about even putting another relaxer on my hair. I started doing research on how to properly take care of black hair. I came across so many beautiful black women on YouTube with amazing, luscious and healthy  long hair. I was so inspired and motivated about taking good care of my own hair. So I just stopped relaxing my hair and I have been natural for two years now. 

What reactions have you gotten from your friends and family about your natural hair?
Honestly everyone loves my natural hair. They don’t throw shade or give me any negative looks. The only tiny problem I had was with my Dad. He was sort of angry about the fact that I chopped off my long damaged relaxed hair. He gets it now because my natural hair is so much healthier and stronger. Other than that I usually receive a lot of complement from people.

What products do you currently use?

I am a product junkie! For my pre poo treatment, I use olive oil and coconut oil. I then shampoo with cream of nature coconut and sunflower.  It smells amazing!! I deep condition my hair with Shea moisture, herbal essence, curls and organic root stimulator hair mayonnaise. I experiment a lot with conditioners because I still haven’t found the one. After deep conditioning my hair I use curls milkshake moisturizer as a leave in. finally I seal my hair with my Shea butter concoction. The Shea butter concoction is homemade. 

What are your natural hair goals?
I have already reached a point where my hair is really healthy so my goal is to reach waist length by 2015.

What styles do your wear most of the time?
It depends on the time of the year. During the winter period I wear a lot of buns, twist and braids. This is mainly to prevent my hair from rubbing against my coat. In the summer time I wear a lot of braid outs. This is to give my and scalp a break from all the braiding. I don’t do a lot of styles on my hair. I keep it very simple. 

What is the best thing about being natural?
I enjoy the versatility!! I can wear curly, straight; fro and braids.  My natural hair enables me to stand out from the crowd. Many black girls in France are trying to blend in the Eurocentric standard of beauty. I deviate from that because I am a leader and not a follower.

What advice would you give someone who recently went natural or who is transitioning?
Do your own research and find out what works for you. Experiment with lot of product and see what ingredients your hair like. For example; some people hate products with cone but they work perfectly for me. Try to develop a regimen that you will stick to. Lastly, be patient with your hair. Don’t be doing length check every week or comparing your hair with another girls hair. We all have different DNAs hence our hair grows at different rates. Enjoy it because it is an amazing journey!

 If there's anything else you would like to add, go right ahead!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity. I also want to thank you for spreading the gospel of natural hair. Keep up the good work!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Its been rather quiet around here, sigh! Nyachomba was off on assignment in Isiolo and she is back with some pictures taken during her trip.

 The sighting of these flowers means that rain is about to fall ( Oldonyiro)
 Kinna ( Right on the border of Meru National Park)
 Beaches of Ewaso Nyiro River (Merti)
The Ewaso Nyiro River running through Merti
More posts coming soon :-)

Natural Hair Feature: Alberta on "Relaxed Hair Nazis"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hey Kurlies, today we would like to introduce you to the lovely Alberta, a proud natural who has a tale to tell about her experience with going natural in Kenya... It's an interesting read, so dive right in! 

Natural hair is still weird in Kenya. When I got the big chop, everyone around me was super shocked. I was nervous too but it was more than a change of hairstyle for me. I had spent over KES 12,000 on salon visits in 2012, KES 4000 on two tricologist appointments and easily KES 10,000 plus on MSM, Biotin and Silica supplements (that were fantastic on my nails but worthless for my attempt at trying to maintain the kind of damage I had), avocado oil, almond oil, mustard oil, the entire motions hair care line, Suave, Tresemme- I was tired!!!!!

August Hair

I look back and cringe at the kind of money I spent on 8 inches of hair (my 7 year retention 4” of which were splits). As a college student by that time, there was no way I could continue to justify that kind of extravagance. I wanted to save my money and move on (When your hairdresser calls you every three days to remind you of an appointment - you are clearly throwing money away).

My journey in the world of natural prejudice begun the day I cut off all that relaxer.  I walked out of the barber chair with my cute dress, top fade and button earrings to the frantic yells of the salon girls next door  that I should get a ‘curly kit’ and a color treatment and that natural hair did not look well on me.  I looked at them and it hit me that I had never ever seen my hairdressers’ hair - except under weave and here she was trying to bully me into a style she wanted to sell me.

Big Chop

My boyfriend hated it so I gave him the relaxed hair I had saved from the barbers in a nice polythene bag and told him to keep it. He never mentioned my hair again for a year after my big chop- until he started to love it.

I was glad I had cut it then. Money was tight. My grandma had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and she was frequently on diapers and drugged up. My natural hair gave me more time to spend with her on her last days without resenting or worrying about already broken hair. I could hold her and sit by her and feed her and for some strange reason with relaxed hair, I would have stolen some of those moments to waste away at the salon.

Well, I was going to be the recipient of many, and I mean constant, numerous; crappy, mean comments from often relaxed women about the look and state of my natural hair. I was going to have random hands shoved into my head (a habit/ culture I notice now that I am relaxed); women wondering out loud about why I don’t relax my hair and if my decision to not relax is financial; a woman with traction alopecia and broken ends lectured me once on 'lady like hair' or when a dreadlocked lady came to tell me that my roll and tucks and my twists were unappealing and tried to bully me into locks or a relaxer at the age of 22 no less....well...the bad manners persists- like on my grand ma's funeral ...I’m upset and everything when this grown woman starts to grill me on why my afro isn't perfectly spherical- and all I could think was “Have I been Naswad?” Clearly I was mourning and this strange woman had the gall to ask me what is I would do to my hair for the funeral and go further to recommend a salon. I was stunned.

I get so frustrated when African women act as if natural hair, shrinkage, multiple textures and kinks is alien to them and yet unlike in America, almost every Kenyan woman has been natural at some prolonged point in time like in primary school or in high school so I can’t begin to understand how an honest woman would try to punk me into an impression-that she was born with a relaxer. How do you try to reconcile that someone would imagine especially at this age that one is obliged to explain their natural tresses in response to ignorant or clearly rude questions that only little kids may ask.

From the Big Chop up to a Year

I get that natural Nazis exist but relaxed Nazis are the mainstream here and they drive me crazy with abject misery. Imagine me at a salon screaming "Get a grip! It’s free and you should be going green (in reference to natural hair and the act of relaxing). How dare you pollute my environment you jerk! Do you want to have cancer? And if they proceed with the relaxer session, suppose I shouted I hope you do get abundant fibroids or perhaps poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.”

I’d probably be lynched for sure. So for now, let me join the tired ranks of the ‘maids’ (stereotype), broke folks (I'm not going to be spending that kind of money on hair) and the cool, brave eclectics and natural hair enthusiasts and say... “When you see my hair, don’t touch and if you don’t have anything positive to say…Well, ain’t nobody got time for that boo”

From me. Alberta, Thank you.”

Special thanks to Alberta. You are the picture of natural beauty with your proud mane... 

What do you think ladies, have you gone through similar experiences? Let us know in the comment section below.

Would you like to share your natural hair journey, horror stories, musings or frustrations!? Email us at, we'd love to hear your story.

So I Cut my Hair... Again. And I Ran 10KM this Morning!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Life is good! 

So by now you know that Nyachomba and I are scissor-happy (what, it's just hair, it'll grow back). I wasn't in love with my hair and I needed a change, so I decided to get it into 'shape'. 

 I chopped off about 3 inches off the back and sides, and 2 inches off the top and front.

My hair isn't the only thing that's getting into shape!

Early today morning, I woke up before the dawn, put on my sneakers, grabbed my iPod and marched out the door. I ran my heart out.. 1 hour and 4 minutes of freedom.

And it was brilliant.

I live to run,

So I'm going to post quite a bit about my running. Sorry, I'm not sorry. 

I've missed you guys. 

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