*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
K: Hey, my name is Kanga. I was born in Ivory Coast 24 years ago and now I live in France.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K: I have been natural for 5 years. My mother did my first relaxer treatment at the age of 4 and my hair seemed to be nice and healthy, but my last perm at the age of 18 went wrong. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of hair…I mean…A LOT of hair. I had bra-strap-length hair before and then shoulder length. I was so disappointed, I didn’t know what to do with my alopecia and my short, fragile and unhealthy hair. Finally, I subscribed to a French forum named “Cheveux-Ebêne” dedicated to natural hair, and when I saw the beauty and versatility of our hair I fell in love with it. I chopped all my relaxed hair in 2008 after a year of transition. I decided to loc my hair in 2011 but, I picked them out recently with a comb, conditioner and water. I needed a change!
How would you describe your texture?
K: My curls are very tight, 4C or something like that. My strands are fine, but my hair is dense.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
K: My strands are fine and can tangle easily so to avoid that, I do a lot of updos and high buns every week. I rarely let my hair down. I retain length with protective styles and using the baggy method for my ends.
What does wash day look like for you?
K: I try to use only natural products on my fro because they work perfectly on my hair. The day before wash day, I condition my hair with coconut and jojoba oil and the next morning I shampoo with Dudu Osun African Black Soap twice a week. After that, I rinse my hair with an herbal infusion of ayurvedic powders (amla, bhringaraj, neem etc…). I have a low porosity so I add moisture to my hair with flaxseed or aloe vera gel and seal with murumuru butter. I am a huge fan of peppermint and tea tree on my scalp.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
K: I wear a high bun 90% of the time. It takes me 2 minutes to do and I tuck the ends of my hair with bobby pins.
How do you combat shrinkage?
K: African threading is my secret to maintaining stretched and tangle free hair. I divide my hair in 8 sections or more when doing this method. I don’t use any heat on my hair.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
K: My edges are very fragile since my last relaxer and I have to deal with it even 5 years after. Due to this, I avoid any kind of traction on my scalp.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
K: Finger detangling, low manipulation and keeping it moisturized and sealed with the L.O.C. method (liquid, oil, cream). In the beginning I used to comb my hair all the time. I wasn’t gentle with my fro. I had breakage and split ends everywhere. I learned that I have to be patient with my hair, especially when I had locs.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
K: Wash’n'gos are definitely the worst thing to do for my hair! Knots and even single knots everywhere!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K: Yes, on http://princesseakan.blogspot.fr.