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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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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

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

eve-audrey

ok i want your hair right now! lol

Sheila Attah

Lol! I know you have gor­geous hair too sis­ter xx

BIVY

This. Hair. Is. Amaz­ing.

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much beau­ty xx

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!

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

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 :)

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

Mika

Absolute­ly love her hair! Great inter­view too.

Sheila Attah

Thank you so much xx

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

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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