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Introduce yourself!
S:
Hi my rooted people, my name is Sheila Attah and I was born and bred in London, UK but I’m of African descent (Ghanaian to be precise).

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S:
Well I didn’t ‘go natural’ as I have always remained natural, however initially it wasn’t by choice. I was so determined to relax my hair when I was younger, as that was the only way of combatting the stigma attached to my hair and lessening the pain of feeling like an outcast. My mum didn’t even give the idea a second thought and just like that my dream of looking like Rapunzel was shattered. Being a dancer really illuminated how much I wasn’t looking after my hair. I’m actually quite embarrassed to share this, but I’m hoping no one will judge me, lol. *Covers face* There were a few occasions where I would inadvertently leave my hair for weeks on end, total neglect. Please take a moment to imagine the amount of sweat and dirt accumulated in my hair from dancing, and we all know the effects sweat has on our hair. JUDGED!!! I saw how much my lack of care was damaging to my hair, and decided to take the necessary steps to deal with ‘natural hair care’. I soon learned how to embrace and love my napturalness.

How would you describe your texture?
S:
I would say my hair falls in between 3C and 4A. It is quite thick and dense. Mainly the back of my hair is 4A, as it is a lot thicker back there. I do have a few straight strands here and there, but I believe my hair is still recovering from heat damage.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
S:
My main protective style is twists, yaaaay to my twisty tresses!! My hair takes forever to put in twists so I have to prepare myself mentally and physically. *Breathe Sheila* I always twist on washed hair. I start off with sectioning my hair into about 8 parts and then apply one of my three main oils (coconut oil, avocado oil and jojoba oil) or my shea butter mix, and comb out with a wide tooth comb before twisting the 8 sections. Lastly I wrap with my satin scarf overnight, ready to put in twists the next day – I would actually consider this as my stretching technique. When twisting my hair the next day I seal my ends with my homie Shea B!!! I love experimenting when my hair is in twists, to doing fancy updos, or putting it in bantu knots and curling rods just to give my twists a hint of undulation and groove. If my twists are looking a bit dated I will turn it into a twist out do. So before taking out the twists I mildly spritz my hair with my aloe vera water mix just to revive my hair, then I will apply some oil to my finger tips and gently take out the twists. This is mainly to help smooth down the frizz. Once all the twists are out I will style it to get my desired result and there we have it, Twist & Out!! If my hair is not in twists or a twist out then my hair is in the famous bun. I think I am known for always having my hair tied back in one with the ends tucked in to ensure they are protected. Sometimes if my hair doesn’t want to go in a bun then I will just leave it out, it’s so stubborn. I am also a massive fan of head wraps as it makes me feel somewhat regal until I take it off and then I’m just plain old Sheila again lol.

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What does wash day look like for you?
S:
I have to dedicate a whole day to this… Okay, so I start off with a deep condition. The state of my hair that month determines what sort of deep condition will be considered. So it could be a protein boost, which would be my typical egg, mayonnaise, honey and avocado oil, or I would use Rhassoul clay, or my staple conditioner Aussie. Before I put in the conditioner I spritz my hair mildly with water, not too much water otherwise it becomes very messy, but just enough to help with the detangling. Once the conditioner has been distributed evenly across my hair I cover my hair with a plastic bag (yes I said plastic bag, I’m trying to economise here) and then wrap my satin scarf on top. I will then prance up and down my house for about 45 minutes to 1 hour before rinsing out. If I’m using the egg mayo concoction then I will rinse my hair with luke warm water so that I don’t end up with scrambled egg in my hair. After rinsing out the conditioner, I will wash my hair with Crème Of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo and comb my hair with a wide tooth comb to comb out the last knotty parts of my hair. I know that a lot of naturalistas finger detangle, but I have noticed that it doesn’t really work for me and I end up getting my hands tangled up in my hair, very dignifying. Next, I use the Aussie as a leave-in conditioner (my hair is unequivocally and undeniably in love with Aussie). Lastly I section my hair into 6-8 parts and apply my homemade fluffy shea butter mix (which contains shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and a drop of peppermint oil) to my hair and twist the sections before wrapping with my satin scarf. If my hair isn’t in dire need of a wash but needs reviving, then I would rinse my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) mixed with water and then co-wash with the Aussie Conditioner.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
S:
My quick go to hairstyle is tying my hair back in one. If I want to be a bit experimental then I will do a quiff to jazz it up a tad.

How do you combat shrinkage?
S:
I used to blow-dry my hair to combat shrinkage, now I don’t use it at all and if I do it will be once a year. Now after washing my hair I put in 8 large twists and then wrap my hair overnight. To be honest I actually don’t mind shrinkage as it reminds me of the many wonders that my hair carries, such as versatility, flexibility and resilience. The beauty of shrinkage is that there is that element of surprise when I blow-dry or straighten my hair. Who would have thought that those tight curls by your ear lobes could end up half way down your back!

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
S:
The front of my hair in comparison to the rest of my hair is very thin. As you’ve all learned already I have a habit of tying my hair back a lot. This can cause a lot of trauma to the front of my hair resulting in receding of the hairline. So now when I tie it back I use a Ghanaian medicinal hair balm and apply that to my edges just to take the pressure off.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
S:
I have to make sure that I use my satin scarf when going to bed otherwise I wake up with tangled hair and it’s a lot harder to deal with. It is also a must for my hair to be moisturised (especially when I’m at dance) otherwise it is prone to breakage and we can’t have that now, I’m trying to retain length.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
S:
My main ‘don’t’ for my hair is just not to neglect it, listening to my hair, and responding accordingly is vital otherwise it spirals out of control – literally.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
S:
My sister and I just recently set up a Vlog on YouTube called Hair The Beat. This is our space to have fun, incorporate our love for the arts and most importantly to share our hair tips and experiences: www.youtube.com/hairthebeat. You can also find us on Twitter @hairthebeat_.

Also I’m calling out all my house lovers and dance lovers to come and join me at my weekly Afro House class where we touch base with Africa. It’s all about taking it back home, with music that will reveal your inherent groove, footwork that will navigate the way and grooves that will remind you of your roots. Class updates will be on Twitter!! Embarking on this journey has not only taught me about my hair, it has become more of a lifestyle and has permitted me to embrace myself as a whole. Lately I have been really sensitive to the ‘misconceptions’ that are considered synonymous to natural/afro hair. Many women shy away from embracing their natural hair due to a lack of information and negative connotations that surround it. The easiest option is usually to conform to the colours of society, to ensure acceptance, and to avoid the complications attached to natural/afro hair. These misconceptions will continue to exist if we feel threatened to be the very person that we are meant to be. To be honest the question is not if natural hair is for us because we were born with it, the question is whether we are willing to embrace our hair in a society that frowns upon it. Curlfriends don’t be afraid to be you, because we are all beautiful.

Meosha

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

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78 Comments on "Sheila // 3C/4A Natural Hair Style Icon"

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sheila

I was checking out BGLH site and noticed my name went across the screen with my same exact hair type 3c/4a hair…I’m like hold on, I don’t believe I signed up for this site yet…how does it know me! lol!!! But then I clicked on your name and read your hair story. Nice to meet another beautiful Sheila.
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Madi

What is the name of the Ghanaian medicinal hair balm pls?

Sheila Attah

Hey Medi,

The balm is called ‘Wontorlagbloe’ made by Grandma. Im trying to find out what exactly is in there, the main ingredient is Shea butter and that is all I know at the moment. Once I find out what else is in there i will be sure to let you know so that you can make it too. Well seeing as she passed away Im sure someone has to continue making it, that person might have to be me. Let her legacy live on!! x

Mika

Absolutely love her hair! Great interview too.

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much xx

Michelle

Your hair is fabulous!!

OMG, you made me laugh talking about scrambled eggs in your hair. I actually ended up with cooked oatmeal on my hair once. I love home conditioners and when I was younger, I concocted one with oatmeal, mayonaise and some other stuff I don’t remember. I don’t remember if I sat under a heat cap or a dryer, but I do remember than the mixture cooked on my head. It too my mother HOURS to slowly remove it from my hair. Haven’t tried anything with oatmeal on my hair since.

Sheila Attah

Lool. Oh the joys of home made concoctions. xx

D.K.

The styles are so imaginative! Love the very second pic, and especially the ending paragraph. Us girls need to hear every day: “WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!”

vertmoot.blogspot.com

Sheila Attah

That’s right we are all beautiful & we shouldn’t rely on others to tell us, we need to believe it and nurture it ourselves. Stay beautiful D.K.

Sending you love x

Sheila Attah

I will definitely be checking out your blog too x

Mins

Beautiful girl with beautiful hair. Love your regimen and I’m so glad to see a fellow London natural featured they’re so few and far between.

Sheila Attah

Thank you Mins, its amazing to see many women young and old embracing their natural hair especially here in London. Its inspiring!

Love xx

Niccy

I’m in London currently– just visiting and I’ve seen so many naturals. It’s inspiring and I’m glad that we black women are finally seeing the beauty in ourselves.

Mina

I agree! I wish I could see more natural haired ladies around my area.

Dania

Your hair is beautiful! And you are so gorgeous

Love from jamaica

Sheila Attah

Thank you Dania

Sending love to you in Jamaica x

Carmelicious

The more water you use on your hair, the more hydrated it will be!!!!! Stop going for weeks without wetting the hair, even if you choose to do the bantu knots and the twist outs. make sure you are hydrating the hair, otherwise it will not grow the way you want it to.

Carmelicious
I just want to say ladies, that you do not want to go for weeks without washing or co-washing because the hair will have an unpleasant odor to it. With active lifestyles and cooking odors and such these odors will adhere to the hair and cause an unpleasant aroma. I would suggest you ladies clean the hair more often , even if you just use conditioner if you do not use a sulfate-free shampoo. Product buildup and outside odors, for example, cooking and the great outdoors can get in the hair and give it a funky odor, so remember to… Read more »
Sheila Attah

So true. Thank you Carmellcious.

Much love x

Sheila Attah
Hi guys, A massive thank you to everyone for your lovely comments, very much appreciated. Its amazing to know that women from every corner of the world are also embracing their naptural roots, very inspiring! Also I don’t know if you guys have checked out our youtube channel, if so I apologise for the paucity of video content lol. Technology hasn’t been on our side of late but dont worry we are in the middle of sorting it all out – videos will definitely be going up very soon. Don’t hesitate to drop by and ‘hair the beat’ with us.… Read more »
lionelle nsarhaza

hi i really wanna start growing my hair do you know any hair growth products that are really good and that work ? please reply via emial asap thank you.

sara

i am also Ghanaian descent 🙂

Sheila Attah

Eti sen! Lol! x

Renee Asamoah

Aww! Do you guys speak Twi very well haha?
I am of Ghanaian descent also, however I live in America.
We also have the same hair type! Will def. try some of the styles that you have posted Sheila 🙂

sara

your story is so inspiring. i am also a young black girl who lives in london that has danced since the age of 9. not only does my hair accumalate a great amount of sweat and dirt but i hate that my whole class was full of white girls with long flowing hair and braiding eachothers hair in between break but never would go near me. i have only ever had my hair straightened once in my life and my goal is to keep it as minimal as possible and grow my hair out healthy. 🙂

Sheila Attah

You are inspiring!! xxx

cynthia J

You are beautiful darrrrliinnnggg>>> Love your comments and attitude

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much Cynthia J.

God bless xx

packet increases

Wow! That’s a really neat answer!

BIVY

This. Hair. Is. Amazing.

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much beauty xx

eve-audrey

ok i want your hair right now! lol

Sheila Attah

Lol! I know you have gorgeous hair too sister xx

Carla

Yes to using plastics bags! I haven’t purchased conditioning caps in what seems like forever now. Save that money girl 🙂 Gorgeous woman and beautiful hair!

Sheila Attah

Lool!! In this economic climate, saving is everything right about now.

Blessings to you sister x

Gemnia

Singing and dancing along at my desk and sinonwog over this vintage glamour! And yes – perfectly normal and not unhealthy in any way – I share your obsession with Fashion Week (and fashion in general). I hope you have a fabulous day, Julie! Sending you big Valentine’s smooches! XO

mimi

you are beautiful!!!! man im lovin the natural hair movement its brought together sisters from every corner of the globe. As a South African living in Australia you mos def stand out and being different was not always fun. But for the first time in my life im rockin my kinks, celebrating this African goddess that I am and lovin every bit of me girl..we are a great creation its time we own in!

Sheila Attah

Preach it sister!! Love that!!

Much love to you xx

mlank64

Really stunning. enjoyed reading the interview.

Sheila Attah

Thank you hun. x

Caramelcurls

Absolutely gorgeous hair–so lush!!!! LOVE it!

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much Caramelcurls

Mwah xx

Salomey D

Oh and for your edges you said you use a Ghanaian medicinal cream? What’s it called I might be able to get my brother to get it for me as he’s off to GH to visit my dad in June? xx

Sheila Attah
Hey lovely, I’m so sorry for the delay in response…. I was trying to find out the name of the medicinal balm for you and learned that it is called ‘Wontorlagbloe’ and its my Grandmas creation. So I don’t know if it is accessible in retail stores out in Ghana. You would probably have to go to my village in order to source it & Im from the volta region in Ghana. Im trying to get hold of family members to see if I can find out the ingredients, once I do I will definitely let you guys know. I… Read more »
Salomey D

Woo go Ghana! 😛
Love your hair lady, and loved reading about how you take care of your hair. Shea butter mixes are just the best <3 Like the way you revive your hair with ACV and Aussie co-washing – I may do that now. I'm waaaay too neglectful of my hair haha, kisses xo

KARAJW

She is beautiful!!

Sheila Attah

Thank you beautiful.

Blessings x

Sophie

Yay Ghana! I say this all the time, but: another great icon! Her hair is so shiny/sheeny.

Sheila Attah

Thank you Sophie x

Stace

lovely hair and complexion.

Sheila Attah

Thank you. xx

Orihime11

This woman seems so cool and fun. I really enjoyed what she wrote and I could see her personality in the responses. Wish I was in the area to take one of her classes, love House music 🙂 And of course beautiful hair!

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much for your lovely comments & yes a fellow House lover xx

Much Heart & House x

Lita

Ghanaian girls and their hair! Gosh.

Regards, an envious Nigerian!

Sheila Attah

This actually through me into a laughing fit! Lol.

Regards, your Ghanaian sister x

Khanyi

I also repeat “Ghanaian girls and their hair” Eish!!!….

Regards,

Your envious Zimbabwean sister 🙂

STAY FABULOUS, REP AFRICA PROUD.

Helen

Your hair is so cute! I just wanted to say I loved reading “undulation and groove.” You definitely sounded like a dancer there.

Sheila Attah

Lol! Im glad you liked it. Thank you xx

AnonyChick

I am in LOVE with the color of your hair. So dark and lovely!

Sheila Attah

Thank you sister.

Love x

Ummm

Lovely hair! UK stand up!

Your friend has lovely hair too. Will check your youtube out too.

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much. I take it you are a fellow Londoner too lol!

Also check out my sisters interview too, her story is so inspiring.

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2013/05/jodie-simone-3bc-natural-hair-style-icon/

Stay Blessed x

Seyi

Beautiful hair!

Sheila Attah

Thank you xx

Alisha

Your hair is the truth.

Sheila Attah

Awww, thank you Alisha.

Remember your light is the truth, so keep shining girl.

Love & Light x

Sassy24

GORG………………

Sheila Attah

Thank you lovely xx

Sasha

What a beauty- hair, skin, pose and all.

Sheila Attah

Awww, thank you Sasha.

Sending you love x

devo

wow, your hair is beautiful!!

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much

Love x

jjac401

OMG! Seriously – you have some gorgeous hair! So healthy and full! Such a beautiful Sista!

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much.

Blessings & love sister x

shelikes

u r very pretty. i like the picture of you in the yellow dress, the best. i think you should just let your hair afro-out sometimes, though. would be pretty on you with red or maybe rose lipstick. i also like your comment about natural hair as a lifestyle and embracing yourself as a whole. black/brown skinned women with nappy hair have had a hard time of it in this society historically, but our resilience has paid off. i definitely know now what it means to embrace myself.

Sheila Attah

Thank you lovely. You are so right we have definitely come a long way – our resilience has paid off. Have fun enjoying you and loving you sister.

Also thank you so much for the tips.

Much Heart x

amy

OMGGG that picture of you in the blue sweater …. the hair is GAWGGGGEOUS, LAWD HAVE MERCY. Did you do a hot oil treatment and then blow dry your hair? Its to die for!!!

Sheila Attah

Hey love,

Thank you for your comment. That day I got a protein treatment and blow dried it out, courtesy of my favourite hairdresser.

xx

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