Natural Spotlight: Mwanabibi

For everyone that attended the ZedHair Show in April 6th, you will have met Mwanabibi who amazed everyone with her thorough knowledge about regimen building and taking care of one’s hair by getting to understand it. So it only made sense that we feature her on ZedHair, putting her under Natural Spotlight.

Mwanabibi at the ZedHair Natural Hair Show 2013 wearing bantu knots in her hair

Mwanabibi at the ZedHair Natural Hair Show 2013 wearing bantu knots in her hair

About Mwanabibi:

Where in Africa are you from?

Zambian born and bred.

Where are you currently based?

I’m based in Lusaka.

When did you decide to go natural?

August 2011 the beginning

A few weeks after my Big Chop. This picture was taken in August 2011

I went natural in August of 2011. It wasn’t something I planned. It was time for my next relaxer, I’d moved away from my regular hairdresser and had to do the hair myself. I couldn’t be bothered and asked my boyfriend to shave it all of. I didn’t even know it was a big chop!

What has been your experience having natural hair so far?

A couple of months into my journey I started to experience single strand knots. I couldn’t manage my hair. I went on line, searched ‘black hair care’ and discovered the natural hair community. YouTube and blogs really made me appreciate my hair and what it is capable of.

Its challenging and a massive learning curve but on the whole I’m really enjoying the experience. I love the versatility of my hair.

What is your hair regimen?

Regimen sounds so strict. I do the basics but pretty much react to how my hair feels. I try to use as many ‘natural’ DIY products as possible and I’m really into protective styling. My regimen starts on wash day.

  • I finger detangle dry hair. I use my pre poo as an aid to detangling.
  • I then shampoo my hair in sections.
  • I alternate between a moisturising deep conditioner and a protein treatment after shampoo, sometimes opting for henna.
  • I use an apple cider vinegar rinse to seal the cuticles.
  • Finally I spray on my leave in conditioner and seal with shea butter.

I shampoo once every 6 weeks and wash with conditioner in between as needed. I spritz my hair every couple of days and will use the baggy method if I feel I need extra moisture.

I would normally protective style my hair for about 6 weeks at a time and have it ‘out’ for 2 weeks in between.

How did you achieve the hairstyle in these pictures?

Front twist updo September 2012

In this front twist updo, I rolled and pinned up small sections of hair at a time. The front was two strand twists pinned to the side.

I flat twisted damp hair setting, it with a mixture of shea butter and flax seed gel. I bantu knotted the ends for extra curl.

I flat twisted damp hair setting, it with a mixture of shea butter and flax seed gel. I bantu knotted the ends for extra curl.

Snapshot_20130323_3

These curls were the result of the flat twist in the picture above.

This was a braid out on dry hair.  I folded a small square scarf into a rectangular shape. Tied it at the front and tucked the ends in to make a bow shape.

This was a braid out on dry hair. I folded a small square scarf into a rectangular shape. Tied it at the front and tucked the ends in to make a bow shape.

Protective scarf 18th November (1)

I folded a big scarf into a triangular shape, tied the knot over the top of my head, pulled the tip of the triangle under the knot and rolled and tucked it into the front. I tied the two ends at the back.

October 2012 Scarf n Twist (9)

These are mini twists. I twisted them using a mixture of shea butter and flax seed gel. I folded a square scarf into a triangle, tied it on tucking the top end of the triangle in and the remaining ends down the sides.

Any future plans/dreams for your hair?

I try to just enjoy my hair as it is. Strict goals don’t really work for me as it becomes like a chore. My main aim is to have healthy hair that I love.

Any advice to those considering going natural?

Do your research but discover what works best for YOUR hair. Its sounds cheesy but listen to your hair and you’ll never go wrong. Once you go natural keep a hair diary, even if it’s just a picture gallery, whenever you feel a little out of love with your hair, look back at the diary. It really helps to see how far you have come.

About Bibusa:

Bibusa is a work in progress. It’s about promoting the best of Africa and supporting sustainable development through the encouragement of skills training. I started it as a result of my blog Uprooting the Pumpkin to try and do something about all the social issues I was writing about.

I make and sell jewellery from African fabrics and got a brilliant response in the UK by providing something that wasn’t available on the high street. I returned to Zambia from the UK in November of last year and I’m currently exploring new opportunities including upcycled fashion which I will showcase at the upcoming Zedhair Hair Show.

You can find out more about Bibusa here and follow me on Twitter @mwanabibi and pinterest Mwanabibi Sikamo.

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4 responses to “Natural Spotlight: Mwanabibi

  1. Really interested in the things she is talking about at the bottom but the two links don’t work, is there anywhere else I can look for more information about uprooting the pumpkin and bibusa? Her hair is pretty amazing too, love her versatility!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Natural Hair Workshops in Lusaka | ZedHair·

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