My name is Ebele and I live in London. I am currently studying four A levels (Chemistry, Biology, Economics and English Literature) at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford.
How long have you been natural?
E: I’ve been natural my whole life! My mum never relaxed my hair and left it up to me to decide when I got older. I do have horrible memories from when I was younger of my mum and sister having full on combat with my hair and attacking it with combs and blowdryers to try and get it under control, but in the long term it was definitely worth it.
I obviously did not have the normal transition from relaxed to natural, but a transition did occur. A transition whereby I gradually accepted that my hair was a beautiful gift from God and that I did not have to gaze longingly at other girls with straight hair. When I was younger, I did not really notice a difference between my hair and other girls. It was more as I grew up (especially since I went to a predominantly white school) that I realised that I was more of an anomaly. I quickly grew out of this though as I realised that more often than not, people were fascinated by my hair and I relished the idea of being different.
How would you describe your texture?
E: My hair is very soft and I am very gentle with it, avoiding combing unless necessary. After washing it, it is very tightly coiled and it retains moisture very well. My hair is extremely thick and consequently takes ages to dry, so I tend to blowdry it rather than leave it to air dry.
What’s your styling regimen over the course of the month?
E: I usually have my hair in braided extensions as it is easier to manage (and means that I can get a few extra minutes in bed in the mornings hehe). When I take the braids out, I wear my hair in a range of protective styles. I try and make sure that my ends are not exposed because the weather in England tends to be very windy/rainy and this leaves my hair feeling brittle if I do styles like a standard ponytail.
For school I usually wrap my hair round into a mini beehive as it is quick and easy. I also put it up into a bun sometimes for the same reason. If I’m feeling particularly creative, I’ll do a combination of canerows, a ‘fringe’ (hair pulled across my forehead) and clip my hair to one side. Whenever I go to sleep, I part my hair into four (or eight if I my hair is feeling brittle) sections and twist them, then seal the ends, clip the sections together and cover my hair with a scarf. This just prevents my hair from knotting whilst I sleep and makes it easier to manage in the morning.
What does wash day look like for you?
E: Wash ‘day’ is the correct term because it virtually takes a day to wash, blowdry, moisturise and sometimes straighten my hair. It curls up into very small, tight ringlets and I come out of the shower looking like a boy because of the shrinkage that occurs!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
E: The back of my hair likes to rebel more than the front so when blowdrying/moisturising, I always work from back to front to make sure that it doesn’t get neglected.
What are two do’s for your texture?
E: – Deep condition: My hair loves this and stays soft and shiny for days. I used to buy conditioners, but I like how natural my home made ones are. I like to get creative and use all kinds of different food stuffs to condition it. Yoghurt is the next food on the list!
What are two dont’s for your texture?
E: – Leave it out in an afro for too long – This is fun and does happen occasionally, but the wind and rain does not have a good impact on it so I tend to keep it under wraps until summer.
– Regular straightening – I used to straighten my hair almost every morning, which looked nice at the time, but caused a lot of damage. Now a simple blowdry a couple of times a month suffices.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
E: You can follow me on Twitter @Ebble where I like to tweet about my hair as well as a lot of other things :)