Chanda – Natural Hair Bride

ZedHair is excited to share Chanda’s Natural Hair Bride story and amazing pictures with you. Chanda is based in Lusaka, Zambia. Pictures by JJArts Photography. Over to you Chanda.

Chanda - Natural Hair Bride

Chanda – Natural Hair Bride

First of all, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to participate in this Natural Hair Bride Series. I have tried to share my experience as honestly and as comprehensively as I can, and I hope that this is useful for someone out there.

Describe your natural hair journey so far:

My natural hair journey started on 10th October 2014. I had just undone some box braids and had not retouched my relaxed hair in 2 months. I rocked up to the office in a headscarf and a colleague of mine quipped about how I could totally rock dreads. Unbeknown to him, he reignited a long time dream of mine: dreadlocks. After much thought (not really), I called up a salon and set an appointment to have my hair cut. I owe my colleague a beer for reminding me about my long time dream. The initial plan was to BC (Big Chop) and then ‘loc’ my hair after it grew… This dream is a little deferred at the moment because of my current love affair with said hair.

What is your natural hair regimen?

Bridesmaids with Permrod Set Updos styled by NAS Salon

Bridesmaids with Permrod Set Updos styled by NAS Salon

As the story goes with most newbie naturals, I discovered YouTube videos and natural hair websites… I became a product junkie but eventually found my rhythm. My regimen started off religious: I shampooed and DC’d (deep conditioned) my hair every weekend for the first 6 months or so. This quickly changed and I aim to shampoo and DC at least every fortnight. In between I spritz and LOC (liquid oil cream). Truth be told, I have very thirsty hair so I have to keep it moisturised. Shrinkage is the enemy but I do not deprive my hair of it’s H2O.

What made you decide to be a natural hair bride?

RTP and Twist Updo by NaturallyAfroSis Salon

RTP and Twist Updo by NaturallyAfroSis Salon

During the course of my hair journey I really fell in love with my kinks and coils. I accepted them for what they are (a pain in my side for the most part). This acceptance of my hair and being comfortable in my own skin (hair) helped me come to the decision. I don’t even know when it happened because there was no ‘Aha!’ moment.

What was the reaction from your fiancé, family, bridesmaids and others regarding your decision to be a natural hair bride?

That Moment!

That Moment!

Those that know me well expected this decision. My fiancé (now husband), did not really have much of a reaction I suppose, he says he knew it from the time I went natural. Apparently he was impressed that I stuck to my guns (I asked him just now). Some of my family members thought I was kidding, others thought I was a little insane but all in all rave reviews for how it eventually turned out.

Were there any other pre or post wedding day activities and how did you wear your hair?

Bridal Breakfast Updo by NC Hair Studio for the Bridal Breakfast

Bridal Breakfast Updo by NC Hair Studio

Flat Twist and TST Combo by NAS for the Chilanga Mulilo

Flat Twist and TST Combo by NAS for the Chilanga Mulilo

Pre-wedding activities? I don’t know if this includes the million and one traditional ceremonies attached to African weddings, but I rocked my natural all through. At the Chilanga Mulilo (a food sharing ceremony from the Bride’s family to the Groom’s), I rocked a flat-twist with mini two strand twists (TST) at the crown. For my bridal breakfast, I stretched my hair and rocked a single mukule (cornrow) from the nape of my neck to the top, the crown had a good old roll, tuck and pin (RTP). Post wedding I maintained the largely RTP arrangement from the wedding day.

How did you go about choosing a hairstyle and a salon?

Hair heat stretched by NC hair Studio and styled by NAS Salon

Hair heat stretched by NC hair Studio and styled by NAS Salon

I chose my hairstyle over a year ago. I saw it online and was so in love. My best friend wanted to use it for us (her bridesmaids) on her day last year and I begged her not to. That’s how much I love the style!

Salon choice was easy – I had to go to natural hair professionals. The day before my wedding I went to NC Hair Studio at Makeni Mall and had a hot oil treatment and blow out. My hair was then neatly threaded to keep it straight for styling the following day. On the day – Sarah who works for Naturally Afro Sis (NAS) Hair Salon styled my stretched hair into the desired styled.

Tell us about how you styled your hair and matched it with your dress and overall look for the day.

Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake

To be honest I did not put any thought into how my hairstyle would match my dress and overall look, I just figured I couldn’t go wrong with an up-do. Brides almost always successfully pull off an up-do.

What did your bridesmaids and line-up do to style their hair?

The Maid of Honour rocking a TWA

The Maid of Honour rocking a TWA

My Maid of honour recently BC’d and she rocked her TWA… The rest of the bridesmaids had variations of a perm rod set. All done by Sarah of NaturallyAfroSis!

How did people react to your hair on the wedding day?

I actually don’t know for certain, LOL! I suppose they liked it. They certainly thought it was different, and if Facebook likes are anything to go by, then it was a hit!

What advice can you share with other naturals considering being a natural hair bride on their big day?

My advice to any naturals considering being a natural hair bride would be to love the skin (hair) you’re in and go for a few trials before the day. I had a hair trial some weeks before the day just to make sure my hair could do what I wanted it to do on the day. I don’t regret rocking my own hair, given another chance I would do the same.

It is liberating to be yourself to such an extent that the opinions of others regarding your kinks, no longer matter. I would encourage every single natural bride-to-be to seriously consider rocking her hair. Let’s inspire a generation ladies!

It was natural all around

It was natural all around

There is one question that we know you are wondering, that we haven’t answered: who took these amazing photos? That would be Jason J Mulikita of JJArts Photography. Visit the JJArts Facebook Page to see more pictures from Chanda’s wedding.

Legacy Photography took the Bridal Breakfast pictures and The Female Photographer took the Chilanga Mulilo pictures.

Flat Twist and TST Updo by NAS for the Chilanga Mulilo by The Female Photographer

Flat Twist and TST Updo by NAS for the Chilanga Mulilo by The Female Photographer

Giant cornrow and RTP Updo by NC Hair Studio for the Bridal Breakfast by The Female Photographer

Giant cornrow and RTP Updo by NC Hair Studio for the Bridal Breakfast by Legacy Photography

Well there you have it ladies and gents. Remember that ZedHair is interested in featuring natural brides from all over Africa and the Diaspora. Just email info@zedhair.com with ‘I’m a natural hair bride’ in the subject line. NB: you need high quality pictures to make it onto or site. Read THIS for more details.

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19 responses to “Chanda – Natural Hair Bride

  1. I have seen many Natural Bridal Updos and I must say, yours is one of the most beautiful and exquisite ones I have ever seen, absolutely perfect in every way, rarely ask this, but Zedhair, please do a second post with more pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahaha, the bridesmaids are absolutely gorgeous and the Maid of Honor is Lovely, you all look as though you are Stars glowing, BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! More pictures!! Hahahaha, thank you Zedhair and thank you Chanda!!!
    Smilies!!!!

    Like

    • Actually, we have asked her for more pictures and she has obliged to search her archives. Especially for the pre-wedding traditional and cultural ceremonies. You can view other pictures from the wedding on the Photographer’s page. The link is in the post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha, ok then, thanks so much my dears, beautiful in every way, wonder if I can get her stylist to do my hair in 3 years, when I have the length, hahaha. Thank you again!!!!
        Smilies!!!!

        Like

  2. Absolutely fab! I think Chanda’s right: when you’re comfortable with your hair, it doesn’t matter what anyone says. Even the short fros looked great — and that says it all. Our hair is beautiful and can do so much no matter the length, no matter the occassion! Lovely, lovely, lovely.

    Like

  3. Utter Natural Beauty for my wonderful Bride. So honoured to have headed your Bridal Team. What a Blast of a time and a great team indeed.

    As for the Natural look, I say a MUST For all even if I hid my natural hair.

    This article has given me an even greater desire to take extra care of my hair.

    Like

    • Mrs Chilo! Best Team lead EVER! Thank you for heading the team and doing so with much grace and poise. We are blessed to have had you. Keep looking after those locks…

      Like

  4. Wow your updo looked really really nice and it looked so good with your dress too 🙂 It’s different and i am glad to see that you shared this. Thank you 🙂

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  5. Beautiful indeed! I am not so sure why people always talk about their’ natural hair journey’, or interview those who have a ‘natural hair journey’… what if your ‘natural hair journey’ has lasted your entire life, do you not qualify to tell a ‘natural hair journey’? why pushing those who have always been natural aside?

    Like

    • A journey can begin wherever you want it to begin. There are many people who have always had natural hair but never enjoyed it or actively took care of it and as such can pinpoint exactly when their ‘natural hair journey’ of awareness began. This is quite common amongst those who are natural for religious reasons as well as those who just chose to be so. We have featured many of these people over the years. Others are pioneers and were natural and loving it back way before it became ‘a thing’. And then many wore afros in the 60s and 70s and then followed the trend of relaxing and have now returned natural. That is their journey.

      Like

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