I met Sandra at the Capital Naturals hair Meet Up last month. It was amazing to see people oohing and aaahing over her hair. We caught up with her recently and asked her a few questions.
Hey! Please introduce yourself (or like my Nigerian folks like to say, let us meet you!)
Hi! My name is Sandra aka Sandeey and I live in Abuja, Nigeria.
Have you always worn your natural hair?
I haven’t always had my hair in its natural state. After a friend encouraged me, I decided to stop using relaxers 3 years ago (June 4th 2010) and I haven’t looked back since. I cannot even imagine using relaxers again because I have fun with my hair. I can say 3 years later, I’m still obsessed with natural hair.
Has it been difficult maintaining it (e.g. people’s reactions, finding products, styling it, getting help with your hair).
I can say it used to be quite difficult in the beginning in terms of finding products to keep my hair moisturized. My hair is so porous that I must moisturize everyday or else, my hair gets so dry. I turned to the Internet for research and found that helpful. Now I know my hair pretty well so I know what to do. It’s a little easy now although I get frustrated sometimes. But hey, thank goodness for the bun. When I’m frustrated, I just put my hair in a simple bun. When my hair was much shorter, I always had a standby wig in case my styles messed up…and they usually did! Now I have my standby bun. When I stopped using relaxers, people questioned my choice. They felt it wouldn’t look good but now, they praise my hair a lot. Some are even natural now.
I can’t really say that I have because I try to eat a lot of fruits veggies and stay away from fried food and carbs but I fall off the wagon often. I once decided to eat a lot of fruits to see the effects on my hair. I will try again. I notice that I feel and look much better when I’m on a healthy diet. I will also start exercising once again. I have no idea why I stopped.
Do you think that there is a link? Would you have incorporated those changes if you had not gone natural?
Well, the only link is my gulping down fruits because of my hair but that’s all. The rest is just me going on and off diets. I love food…mostly the ones that are bad for the health, so I feel guilty most times and venture on a healthy diet. Hopefully it’ll become permanent one of these days.
How do you manage to have natural hair and remain professional?
Oh I manage that very well as far as I’m concerned. I get asked that question a lot and I just reply that I’m an African and as long as my natural hair is tucked in a “professional” style then I shouldn’t be asked about the texture. I check YouTube and blogs often for professional hairstyles and I also let my hair choose its own style. I’ve not gotten complaints at work, only complements. The funny thing is that most of my colleagues used to think my hair was fake (wig, weaveon, etc). People are always surprised that my natural hair can do what it does. It has encouraged some of my colleagues to grow their natural hair.
Do you have a healthy goal (hair, nutrition, exercise?)
My goal is to have healthy waist length hair. I’ve started twisting my hair with kinky hair attachment as a form of protective styling to get me to my goal. I make it myself so I can control what happens to my hair in terms of breakage.
I also want to maintain my weight and I want to be a health freak who loves exercising and eating salads as much as people love eating fried chicken.
Based on all you know now, what would you do for your children (male and female) in terms of hair, nutrition, natural living as opposed to the way you were brought up e.t.c)?
If I have a girl, I would love for her to have long natural hair. With what I know, I would definitely find that a bit easy. I remember how my mom tried to care for my natural hair when I was a toddler and I still laugh. She never knew what to do. Most mothers never knew what to do back then. I’m glad I have prepared for my kids. When it comes to health, I will make sure my kids eat healthy food all the time. Hopefully by then, I would have perfected my health regimen.
Any words of wisdom or advice for others?
Natural hair is what it is…Natural. It’s beautiful and its fun. Once you understand your hair, the sky’s the limit with what your hair can do. Don’t envy other hair textures. Love your own and love yourself. Be confident always.
More pictures can be found here: [slideshow_deploy id=’2546′]
Sandra blogs regularly at: http://hairoflife.wordpress.com
Find her on Instagram: @hairoflife