Natural Spotlight: Akos

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Where in Africa are you from?

I’m half Zambian (mum), half Ghanaian (dad) and I grew up in Botswana.

Where you are currently based?

New York, USA. I came to the states for University and am currently working.

When and why did you decide to go natural?

I did my big chop in February of 2013. I decided to go natural for a few reasons. For one, I was inspired by black African women on YouTube who had short relaxed hair for the majority of their lives but were able to grow out long natural hair once they transitioned. Prior to discovering YouTube and learning about natural hair, I was of the mentality that I could not grow long hair or manage my hair without a relaxer or heat. Secondly, I had become too reliant on weave. My scalp was becoming more sensitive as a result, my hair was thinning and my leave out was becoming heat damaged. Although my hair did not look terrible at that stage I wanted a change. Lastly, I wanted to improve the overall health of my body and move away from chemicals as much as possible.

What has been your experience having natural hair so far?

Overall, it’s been a fun learning experience. I’ve discovered that my hair can do a lot more than I first imagined and become more comfortable in my own skin.

What is your hair regimen?

I keep my hair regimen very simple. Once a week, I pre-poo my hair with oils or a deep conditioner, detangle it under running water, wash and then deep condition. Then I air dry, moisturize, seal and style. I usually wear my hair in low maintenance or protective styles during the week. My go to styles are loose puffs and buns. Recently, I started doing simple flat-twist styles as this year I’m trying to do more protective styles without extensions. In addition to making my mornings quick, I find that leaving my hair in protective styles during the week helps with moisture and length retention.

How did you achieve the hairstyle in these pictures/videos? 

Puff

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I tilt my head over, gather all my hair to the top of my head and use a large ouchless ribbon to set the puff. I tie/knot the ribbon around itself to secure it. I then fluff the puff using my hands; (I don’t use combs in my hair unless it is saturated in water).

Bun

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I start out like I’m making a puff (see earlier description).  Once I have fluffed my hair, I create humps with my hair and tuck the ends under the hair tie.

Twist-out

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http://www.afrokanomics.net/general/quick-tips-stretched-fro-using-twists-no-heat

Flat- twist style

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Any future plans/dreams for your hair?

Keep my hair healthy and continue to play around with it and see what it can do.

Any advice to those considering going natural?

Just do it! Enjoy the journey and don’t get hung up on texture and length. Appreciate your hair as it is/grows and take time to learn your hair and what is best for it. Use vlogs and blogs as a guide and not as a bible – you need to be able to identify what works best for your personal head of hair.

What prompted you to start blogging and vlogging?

I love writing and teaching so I felt like it would be a great way to share information.

How would you describe your blog in one sentence?

Empowering women through natural hair!

What has the response been like so far?

Positive and supportive.

What are the future plans for your channel and your blog?

I plan to continue blogging and building my website. I’m considering starting a youtube channel; however, if I do, it will not occur anytime soon.

Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers and vloggers?

Start and keep at it!

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