Hair Feature: Nicola Okero

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Today we feature Nicola, she is Absolutely Fab!

Photo by Karen Pang, Makeup by Cedric Lanappe

 1. Tell us a bit about yourself:

 I like to think of myself as a cheerful person. Born and raised in Kisumu, I love books, 90s comedy shows and Coldplay. I’m 20 years old currently studying law at the Middlesex University branch in Mauritius.
2. How long have you been natural? What influenced your choice to go and remain natural?
I have been natural for 3 years although I have had natural hair for 5 years. One day my Mum got tired of paying for retouches, took me to the bathroom and *chop chop chop* hair all gone! My initial plan was to hide under braids until my hair was reasonably long for perm but then I was introduced to kimmaytube. She shot down every negative belief I had about natural hair. It was an easy decision to remain natural; on the one end, relaxed hair and the mentality that I could not accept what came naturally to me, and on the other, the adventure of rediscovery and acceptance. 

 3. What reactions have you received from your friends and family about your natural hair?
Family, friends and strangers on the street are at awe of my natural hair.  They always ask questions and I am glad to help. When I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing and walked around with a couple of failed looks, and like every other natural story, I got the looks and the comments.
 4. What products do you currently use?
I can’t say I stick to products. I like switching them up and experimenting with new things. The only thing that is consistent in my routine is honey, mayo, yoghurt, apple cider vinegar and tea bag (rinse). I mix and match with whatever product I have.
Photo by Karen Pang, Makeup by Cedric Lanappe

5. Tell us about your modeling career as a woman of colour and as a natural:
I was discovered here in Mauritius at the university fashion show and was introduced to its fashion industry. There aren’t many models of colour however my dark skin has never brought any discrimination. My natural hair has been said to be one of my unique qualities and consequently most don’t know what to do with it. I have done my own hair for the shows and shoots that I have done so far.
Photo by Karen Pang, Styling by Jasmina Ruben, Makeup by Jo-Ann Regnard
6. What do you like most about being natural?
The versatility and the freedom that comes with being natural is a wonderful feeling.
7. What advice would you give to someone who recently went natural or is transitioning:
Hair is hair. I do not support the enforcing of black ladies to go natural, however I do enforce the eradication of the belief that relaxing hair is the ONLY thing for black hair. False! Natural is a wonderful journey full of mistakes and revelations. Fall in love with your own hair and its characteristics and not what you hope it will look like or act like. Take heart if you get tired, we all did at some point. Just have fun with it!
Photo by Karen Pang, Styling by Jasmina Ruben, Makeup by Jo-Ann Regnard
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