Natural Spotlight: Esiya

Where in Africa are you from?

 Zambia, born and bred

Where are you currently based?

I’m currently based in Canada

When did you decide to go natural?

I decided to go natural in 2012. For some reason my hair in the back would break off every time I relaxed my hair. I tried so many things to get to grow from kids relaxer to prolonging my retouches, it would thrive then but once I relaxed it would break off. So initially, I was planning to relax the rest of my head and let the back be natural just so I could wear weaves. Then some natural friends convinced to go natural  and so I transitioned for about 3 months then big chopped in Dec 2012. My BC was actually unplanned; I was in Zambia for Christmas and was  getting my hair braided into masai braids. I went to get my hair washed and blow dried in preparation for that, I guess the lady at the salon couldn’t bear my two textures so she asked if she could cut off my relaxed ends and I told her to go ahead. It’s only after I went natural that I realized that my hair in the back has a finer texture hence the relaxer drama.

What has been your experience having natural hair so far?

My experience has been great. I’m learning so much about my hair. I had my hair relaxed when I was probably 7 or 8 years old, it was relaxed up until I went to high school. I was natural in high school but I always had my hair blown out bone straight (overblown) then of course as soon as I was done grade 12 I relaxed it. As such, I had never really known or dealt with my natural hair until now. So it’s been great just getting to know what my texture is, what makes it thrive and such. I have had those days where I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do about my hair but knowing how to braid my own hair has really helped me through this journey so far. Also it has helped a lot that most of my friends are natural so I didn’t get any negative backlash for going natural.

What is your hair regimen?

 I wash and deep condition at least bi-weekly, even when I have a long term protective style. I do a protein treatment before I wash my hair using mayonnaise, Tresemme Naturals condition, olive oil and coconut oil mixed together (leave it in for 30 mins to an hour).To wash I use black soap or I cowash. I follow it up with a moisture treatment using Tresemme naturals, glycerine, olive oil, coconut and an off the shelf moisture treatment. I then use the LOC method to moisturize and seal. Leave in conditioner, Shea butter and olive oil. I have very dry hair so I moisturize a lot, I use a spritz (mixture of water and glycerine) and spritz/mist my hair on a as per needed basis whenever I think my hair feels dry. I make sure to section my hair when washing it helps with detangling. To style, I usually do low manipulation hairstyles, short term protective styles such as mini twists with my own hair, goddess braids and long term protective styles and I avoid using heat on my hair.

How did you achieve the hairstyle in these pictures?

Braid and curl- This was done on freshly washed hair…I braided the hair then curled the ends using sponge rollers. I let my hair dry overnight, next day I unbraided the hair unravelled and fluffed.

Braid and curl- This was done on freshly washed hair…I braided the hair then curled the ends using sponge rollers. I let my hair dry overnight, next day I unbraided the hair unravelled and fluffed.

 

I made one cornrow in the back (coming from back to front), using sponge rollers on dry stretched hair for the front which I went to bed with unravelled in the morning.

I made one cornrow in the back (coming from back to front), using sponge rollers on dry stretched hair for the front which I went to bed with unravelled in the morning.

Any future plans/dreams for your hair? 

No plans really just striving to continue with good hair practices. My goal is simply healthy hair.

Any advice to those considering going natural?

 The preconception we have all been engrained with is that natural hair is difficult to manage. I have found that once you get a hang of the techniques that work for your hair natural hair isn’t difficult to manage at all. For me moisturized hair is happy hair I have found what works for me and I have stuck with it. Going natural has been the best decision I have made for my hair so far.  The more I learn to manage it the more I love it. I just feel so comfortable wearing my own hair now; I just had my graduation portraits taken rocking my natural hair! Natural hair is fun; it’s so versatile!  I lovetrying out new styles. I find I can do more with natural hair than relaxed hair. So if you are considering going natural, do it! There are so platforms out there to get natural hair advice like Zedhair, Zedian Naturals,

Youtube, Pinterest and natural hair products are readily available now.

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2 responses to “Natural Spotlight: Esiya

  1. Pingback: Protective Style Challenge: Week 13; Afro Minnie | ZedHair·

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