*Pre­pared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1Me­Nat­u­ral­ly

Schermafbeelding 2011-02-23 om 10.52.00

Intro­duce your­self!
S:
My name is Stephanie. I sleep in Zoeter­meer, The Nether­lands. (I inten­tion­al­ly say sleep because I’m more or less “liv­ing my life” in Ams­ter­dam and Rot­ter­dam.) I’m rep­pin’ Konon­go, Ghana. The father­land – the home where the heart is. I study Com­par­a­tive Arts and Cul­tur­al Stud­ies at the Rad­boud Uni­ver­si­ty Nijmegen. I’m one of the con­tribut­ing edi­tors for SheBreathes.com and also a mem­ber of n8pro, an ini­tia­tive that advis­es var­i­ous cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions in Ams­ter­dam and sur­round­ings. Next to that I also have a side job as a cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive for a well known inter­na­tion­al car­ri­er.

What is the nat­u­ral hair scene like in the Nether­lands?
S:
I don’t think our scene dif­fers that much from yours because the Inter­net blurs all geo­graph­i­cal bor­ders. All the web­sites, blogs, Tum­blr pages, YouTube tuto­ri­als etc. are acces­si­ble by any­one in any coun­try at any time. Since Dutch peo­ple tend to look up to Amer­i­can cul­ture and get eas­i­ly influ­enced by it, we imme­di­ate­ly picked it up when the nat­u­ral hair scene in the US blew up. Although I can count the web­sites on main­tain­ing our hair on one hand it’s great to see peo­ple are get­ting more aware of the beau­ty of it and cel­e­brat­ing it. There is even an annu­al beau­ty pageant for nat­u­ral hair.

In the past few months the media has been pick­ing up rock­ing nat­u­ral hair as a “trend” and “being hip”. Although I think it’s a bit weird how wear­ing out the hair you were born with is seen as hip and trendy, it does bear fruit by offer­ing the major­i­ty of the peo­ple a broad­er per­spec­tive.

When did you go nat­u­ral?
S:
It’s an over­state­ment to say that I real­ly thought over going nat­u­ral. I just did it. Yes, I did it myself stand­ing in front of the mir­ror in the bath­room with sewing scis­sors. I think it was in ’07 when I start­ed to get real­ly tired to say the least, of main­tain­ing relaxed hair. The burn marks as a cause of flat iron­ing while in a hur­ry weren’t a good look and you’re not even allowed to sweat! After not hav­ing my hair relaxed for quite some time I start­ed notic­ing a cute curly out­grow and all I thought was “lem­me see more of that!” Noth­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary real­ly.

In what ways (if any) has going nat­u­ral affect­ed you?
S:
Over­all it made me more con­scious of the prod­ucts and ingre­di­ents that will boost my inner and out­er health bal­ance. But what has affect­ed me the most is not the going nat­u­ral itself, but see­ing, hear­ing and feel­ing peo­ples’ mis­con­cep­tions about nat­u­ral hair. If I knew that rock­ing my nat­u­ral ‘fro would cause such a stir I would’ve thought twice. For­tu­nate­ly I’ve got thick skin and a sharp tongue, but some days I wish I could get unno­ticed. Strut the street with­out peo­ple star­ing at me and mak­ing (degrad­ing) remarks. Whether you think I’m dope for rock­ing a ‘fro or even the exact oppo­site that’s alright, but remem­ber my hair doesn’t make me dif­fer­ent from any­one else. In terms of hair, I’m not here to make a change, I’m here to stay the same…and now THAT is rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

How would you describe your hair?
S:
This is such a con­fronting ques­tion because I real­ly don’t know. All I know is that I’ve got a lot of hair. My hair is quite thick and dense, super unpre­dictable and only real­ly defined and curly from the moment I step out of the show­er ‘til I touch it, and after I take out my two strand twists.

What’s your reg­i­men?
S:
I have been using CURLS prod­ucts for quite some time now. My hair loves the Coconut Sub­lime Con­di­tion­er and the Whipped Cream. I also make my own glyc­er­ine spritz and use some pure shea but­ter every now and then. Since Fall is on its way I start­ed using the MYhon­ey­child Hon­ey Love Mois­tur­iz­er again once a week. I use Urtekram Sham­poo. My favourite one is the one with a mix­ture of rhas­soul (african soap mud), aloe vera, coconut and corn sug­ar soap, etc.

As far as my reg­i­men goes, I wash my hair with sham­poo and comb it out with a wide tooth comb while the sham­poo is still in my hair. After that I rin­se out the sham­poo and add way too much con­di­tion­er to my hair. Then I comb it again with a medi­um tooth comb and twist my hair while the con­di­tion­er is still in. I rin­se out the con­di­tion­er with luke­warm to cold water while my hair is twist­ed. At last I spray the glyc­er­ine spritz on my hair, apply the CURLS Whipped Cream and twist my hair once again. I wrap my hair in a piece of sat­in fab­ric and let my hair dry overnight. 9 out of 10 times it isn’t ful­ly dry the next day so the first day after I’ve washed is usu­al­ly a bad hair day. (I hard­ly wear out pro­tec­tive styles).

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
S:
Dye­ing it with Schwarzkopf hair dye.

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
S:
Doing a super chunky twist out every night.

What would you like to see in the Nether­lands in terms of hair­care?
S:
Like I said there aren’t many web­sites on hair­care so you can imag­ine there are even less web shops offer­ing nat­u­ral hair prod­ucts. And all prod­ucts are being import­ed from the US so it’s like dou­ble the price yall have to pay! So it’s obvi­ous that I would like to see a big­ger range of prod­ucts to choose from for a rea­son­able price. I know it’s wrong for me to say, but I like if not love, your unsta­ble dol­lar! Hehe.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
S:
Continuouslyevolving.tumblr.com and when the time is right I’ll be back on Face­book. facebook.com/graceagainstthemachine.

Meosha

Just anoth­er lover of nat­u­ral hair and expres­sion.
— Style Icon Coor­di­na­tor for BGLH

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26 Comments on "Stephanie in the Netherlands // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Josephine

beau­ti­ful beau­ti­ful!

Q

This girl is so beau­ti­ful.. I also study in Nijmegen… Saw her one time on the train just when i had to get off„ I could­nt take my eyes off of her hair.

DS
Yay! I’m so hap­py to have our Stephanie fea­tured on one of my favourite hair sites! I share many of Stephanie sen­ti­ments about hair, so again it’s beau­ti­ful to see her fea­tured here. It’s indica­tive of a world­wide move­ment to just love self, and how much we’re alike than we are no mat­ter what part of the world we come from. Wom­en of colour share sim­i­lar strug­gles with our hair and it’s great to see a col­lec­tive shar­ing pot of opin­ions, rea­sons, ideas, etc, on hair. But, I must say (I’m bias of course) Stephanie not only has amaz­ing hair, but… Read more »
Mimi

Her hair, style and philoso­phies are beau­ti­ful and she‘s Ghana­ian (like me)! What‘s not to love?

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