1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Chidinma Obinnakwelu and I’m from Nigeria.
2. Describe your hair a little (eg. hair porosity, hair type, hair texture, hair density, personality, etc).
I would describe my hair as dense, coarse and coily. I have type 4 hair but I don’t really know the texture so I go with 4b, because it’s not as kinky as 4C but not as loose as 4A. As for porosity I never checked.
3. How long have you been natural?
This is a bit of a tough question lol… I initially went natural when I started JSS1 in Nigeria. After JSS3 I relocated to the US and my mom relaxed it. I had relaxer from Sophomore year to Senior year of high school and went natural again after having a bad relaxer experience. I had my hair natural for 2 years before cutting it in 2016. I don’t plan on cutting it anymore though, lol, so currently I have been natural for about 2-3 years.
4. Why did you decide to go natural?
The last time I cut my hair (2016) it was on impulse, I didn’t have any true agenda behind it, but now that it has been growing, I can say that I unconsciously cut it in order to be better at taking care of it. I know more about my hair now than I did before. Before, I spent more time comparing and wishing my hair was different than actually loving how it is and caring accordingly.
5. What was the hardest thing about returning natural?
Nothing for me, I have never been big on weaves and wigs so it wasn’t a hard transition for me. Besides, I feel and know I look most beautiful when I have my hair out so it gives me confidence.
6. What does your hair regimen comprise of?
I use a sulfate-free shampoo once-twice a month, I use a sulfate-free conditioner more often. I can’t do weekly deep conditioning even though I should lol, but I try my best to deep condition when I wash (or remember lol), but my favourite part is the moisturizing. I stopped using water as my leave-in liquid because once it evaporates so does my moisture lol, I switched to aloe vera juice and I have seen huge differences. I also mix a couple of my favourite oils together (castor, coconut, peppermint) and oil my scalp after spritzing with the juice especially when I have braids in. As for moisturisers, I tend to go for creams rather than liquids because my hair prefers that, I mostly focus on the ends of my hair and less of any on my scalp.
7. What do you love most about your hair?
8. What do you dislike most about your hair?
Its tight coils, it makes it difficult to do certain styles.
9. Which 3 products do you swear by?
Aloe vera juice, peppermint oil and any co-wash.
10. What are your top 3 hair tips?
Stop combing your hair, use aloe vera juice instead of water, stop comparing and start learning/ listening to your hair.
11. Any encouragement for rookie naturals?
Going natural is not a trend, it’s not about popping coils and big afros. It’s about loudly screaming “Your inability to see beauty in my hair is your personal business, don’t rob your insecurities on me because I love myself and how I was created and refuse to conform to your standards of beauty”. It’s a mental thing and a thing of courage to laugh at society’s expectations of how you ought to look while oozing self-confidence and love. When someone tells you natural hair isn’t for everyone, ask them “How were our ancestors living before the need to assimilate in a society that hates their features?” Besides, how do we hope to teach our daughters self-love and pride if we don’t showcase that?
12. Where can people find you online (Instagram/YouTube/Facebook, etc.)?
My Instagram account is @dinma_o, if you like arts especially photography you can also find my photography page @beutfullimages.