S: My name is Synethia. I am from Jamaica but live and work in Japan. I am a Kindergarten Teacher of English. I relocated here temporarily for work. I like the mannerism of the people as well as their rich culture.
What is the natural hair scene like?
S: There are not that many people with natural hair so when natives see it they are very fascinated and want to learn more. They always as questions like “How do you wash your hair?” or “How do you get your hair to be like that?”, “Were you born with your hair like that?” I would say natural hair is acceptable in some circumstances and rejected in others.
When did you go natural?
S: I went natural in 2002. December 22 will be my 10 year anniversary. I went natural because I felt like my hair and scalp were not healthy and always being abused by the chemicals I used in my hair. I had had enough of the long hours under hair dryers, my scalp getting burnt constantly by relaxers and conforming to societal norms of what your hair should look like in order for you to be beautiful.
What’s your regimen?
S: I usually wash my hair every 2 weeks or every month depending on the season and the condition of my hair. I use Dr. Bonners Tea Tree Shampoo/Shea Moisture Black Soap Shampoo and Shea Moisture Black Soap Conditioner as well as homemade deep conditioner and hot oil treatment. When I am finished I tighten my roots using Organic Root Stimulator Lock and Twist Gel followed by Mango and Lime Cactus oil.
How do you retain length and moisture?
S: I oil my hair with essential oils (tea tree, jojoba, castor, rosemary, and peppermint oils) and wrap it with a warm towel to seal in the moisture. An added step that I like to do is either braid my locks together or put them in a bun, tuck the ends under and tie with a silk head wrap.
A balanced diet, exercise as well as treating my hair with care helps it to grow. I try to feed my hair all the nutrients that it needs whether it be through the foods I eat or adding the foods that I don’t eat directly to it. For example, don’t eat eggs but I add it to my hair as a homemade strength treatment.
What is the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
S: Caring for it and styling it myself.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
S: When I first started out, I used beeswax on my hair which made it look dull and unhealthy. I would advise people considering locks NOT to use it on their hair as it leave lots of build up which takes some time to remove.
Where do you buy your products?
S: I usually get my products when I visit the US, online or on one of the naval bases here.
What would you like to in Japan in terms of haircare?
S: I would like there to be more places to get your hair done and buy products.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
S: Yes, I have a blog and also a Youtube channel where I showcase my hairstyles as well as useful hair tips.