Six Years A Naturalista
This piece details the past six years I’ve kept my hair free from relaxer cream products nicknamed ‘creamy crack’. I wish I had written down somewhere ‘this is the day I transition to natural hair’ but I didn’t. I also wish I had detailed all my hair (mis)adventures when they happened but I didn’t. So instead of this flowing in some sort of orderly chronological fashion, this is going to be a bit haphazard.
As reminiscing tends to be 😉
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On Saturday, as I gently massaged my scalp through the thick forest of curls atop my head, I felt nostalgic and reminisced on the ups and downs of my natural hair journey and all the products that have helped me reach this point of full, heavy, thick hair that is as temperamental as a two-year-old. (yes, Ohemaa is the afro who does the most)
Let me start with the coconut and shea butter hair pomade which I chanced upon in 2013. (I think the first time I saw it was via Facebook).
It was the first indigenous Ghanaian hair care product I used on Ohemaa and I used it as the ‘cream’ for the Liquid-Oil-Cream regimen my beauty blogger bestie Vesta taught me. If I remember correctly, I would spritz water, before applying alma oil and then the MGL pomade. I had braids on at the time and would LOC religiously. When I released my braids, I will never forget my colleague at the time, Aryekie looking at my ‘fro and exclaiming “Jesus! What did you put in your hair?” cos it was huge.
Then there was a period when my mum was pressuring me to relax my hair and I gave in. The minute the hairdresser was done and I saw my straightened hair devoid of kinks and curls…I mentally shook my head. This style is not for me, I thought. This is too flat, too thin…..not me at all.
So I went to Shinells Salon in Osu and had my hair cut. I also got an upper ear lobe piercing but that’s a story for another day.
Then I fell into a cycle of braiding and trimming until the kinky came back and the perm vanished. Around this time, I was still using the combo of MGL, and alma oil but I had also discovered Dark &Lovely’s Braid and Weaves serum which contains jojoba oil and peppermint. I love this product cos it was non-greasy and made my hair look fresh and smell lush. Ohemaa was flourishing and thick and unruly as hell. And happy.
And when she was happy, I was happy.
Then in 2014 I fell in love with the faux locs trend that was trending and went to Tema Community 11 to have mine done. That style saved me so much time and energy; for about six months all I did was LOC and head out the door. At this point, I ordered a set of products from a friend of mine, Korkor Kugblenu, who created and owns a hair care line, Coily Crown. Let me say this here and now – the Coily Crown set was a dream come true. It was the first product that got me turned on to black soap shampoo and honey enriched pomade. (I don’t care what anyone tells me – honey is Ohemaa’s best friend.)The product I love the most was the 3-in-1 Oil Hair Elixer because of how it kept my ends from splitting unnecessarily. Absolutely fantastic product.
And then I made a very silly mistake. My mum had been on me to at least texturize my hair to make it easier to manage and the idea appealed to me because Ohemaa was being impossible and I was struggling. So I bought the texturizer and used the creamy crack again.
My hair over processed on one side and the other side was curly. Absolutely ridiculous. I was so mad at myself for not doing the research into how to manage big, kinky 4C hair and now Ohemaa just looked fucked up and angry with the world.
So, once again…cut, braid, cut, braid until the perm vanished and it was pure kinky again. And I vowed to leave it kinky until I was prepared to loc it permanently.
The sad thing at this point was my edges, which I loved and which had never given me a moment’s trouble, starting looking sad and straggly.
So I rang up Vesta to cry all over her and she advised me to massage hair oil onto my hairline every day in gentle yet firm circles to stimulate growth. I was still exploring the various Ghanaian hair care products so I bought Eya Naturals and used the oil on my edges plus my LOC regimen.
Can I say a big shout out to Eya for saving my edges and making them healthy and full again? Initially, I thought it was a fluke but I gave some to my Mama cos her edges were suffering too and I saw the improvement literally within a couple of weeks. So Eya Naturals – thank you and I love you ❤
At this point, Ohemaa was doing much better now; I wasn’t messing around with her as often and she was growing steadily. In 2015, I was working at MGL and had access to complimentary salon services and took advantage to try out something new – twisting my hair with perm rod curlers.
In hindsight, I have to ask myself: Seriously though….what was I thinking?
Sitting in the salon and staring at a style that didn’t look anything like the image in the magazine, I came to a painful yet starkly obvious conclusion: Some styles are not for me. I don’t have the length or texture to do them. I can admire them but I absolutely cannot do them.
And heat is not my friend.
By the time the style was done, my edges were fine but my split ends were awful. I was crying inside when the stylist had to trim…and trim….and trim…..
I kept that style for two weeks before washing it out with a new product range I had bought – We Naturals. I bought the regular growth and thicken set then added the protein treatment and detangler lotion. Trust me when I say, the product is worth the crappy delivery service I was given. Every other product I had bought had comparatively better customer service and delivery guys. The We Naturals guys made me go back to their website and remind/convince myself why I wanted to purchase the product in the first place. Anywho……my hands-down, favourite products from We Naturals are the protein treatment and the detangler lotion. Ohemaa grew back slowly but the growth was healthy, full and encouraging.
I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Benola Organics; it’s a newer product range on the market but I gave them a try in 2016. They are also the first product I used that have an oatmeal based black shampoo, hair oil, whet hair milk (that smells divine) as well as henna. I was hooked when I washed my hair, braided it, used the product for my LOC regimen, unbraided my hair and noted the difference. Ohemaa was back! I mean the “Jesus-what-did-you do-to-your-hair?” Ohemaa. I’m not a fan of before and after pictures but I wished I had taken some just to see how far Ohemaa had come.
I’ve been using Benola Organics but I ran out of conditioner, I went to Shoprite and bought the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale knot out conditioner. Why did I do that when I am still passionate about using indigenous Ghanaian products on Ohemaa?
Because…..it smells yummy like mangoes in a bottle.
Don’t judge me.
I have a feeling that my Benola Organics shampoo may outlive the Dark and Lovely conditioner because I am one of those girls who loves dumping large amounts of conditioner in her hair for a thirty to 45 minute deep condition under a towel. But when the shampoo is done, I think I’ll spring and buy the Dark and Lovely Au Naturelle shampoo…..then buy the Coily Crown Liquid Gold Oil Elixer, the Eya Natural growth oil…..the Benola Organics whet hair milk, the Dark and Lovely Braids and Weaves serum and the MGL coconut shea butter pomade.
Because if Ohemaa and I are in this for the long haul, then we may as well do it with products we like 😉