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Intro­duce your­self!
I:
Hey BGLH fam, I’m Ijeo­ma, a Nige­ri­an-born, New Jer­sey bred gal cur­rent­ly liv­ing in New York City! I’m tech­ni­cal­ly sup­posed to be pur­su­ing a doc­tor­al degree in his­to­ry of pub­lic health, but I pret­ty much blog at Klassy-Kinks.com while going to school on the side!

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
I:
I’ve been ful­ly nat­u­ral since May of 2010. The sum­mer before that, I ran­dom­ly got some kinky twists and was enjoy­ing the break from my hair, and at the same time start­ed read­ing arti­cles in Essence Mag­a­zine about nat­u­ral hair. That led me to YouTube and dif­fer­ent people’s Fotki pages (is that still a thing?), and I des­per­ate­ly want­ed to see what my real hair looked like because I’d had it relaxed since I was a tod­dler. It was my sec­ond year of col­lege, so I wore twists and weaves over the course of the school year before cut­ting all but a few inch­es off just a few days after I came home from finals.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
I:
After seri­ous reflec­tion, I don’t think hair typ­ing is the most use­ful cat­e­go­riza­tion, but most charts put my hair in the upper 4 range. I have coarse, dense­ly packed strands that real­ly like to shrink up like it’s their job, and medi­um poros­i­ty. I def­i­nite­ly have kinks and coils, not curls.

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the mon­th.
I:
If I do a braid out or twist out, I’ll wear it for a week or more, retwist­ing every few days. I’ll then mor­ph the style into some kind of an updo, and switch between those for two weeks. Alter­na­tive­ly, if I start off the month’s style with a flat twist updo or some­thing sim­i­lar, it will evolve into a twist out that will become a braid out that will become a puff. I near­ly always end up with a puff by wash day lol. Keep­ing my hair stretched helps reduce knot­ting, and doing low main­te­nance styles helps reduce break­age from manip­u­la­tion. I’ve stopped using combs in the course of the past three months, so fin­ger detan­gling has now become part of my rou­tine. After exper­i­ment­ing with it, I def­i­nite­ly feel like there’s no real point in comb­ing out your hair if you keep it stretched and use a mix of water, con­di­tion­er, and oil to detan­gle before wash­ing. I go on pro­tec­tive style kicks every once in a while, favor­ing mini twists and Havana twists with Fin­ger­comber hair (it’s so soft!), which I just learned how to install on my own. My favorite twist­ing pro­duct hands down is the Carol’s Daugh­ter Healthy Hair But­ter, and I typ­i­cal­ly refresh my hair with Shea Mois­ture Curl and Style Milk. I don’t like my hair super defined so unlike many, I tend not to grav­i­tate towards prod­ucts that promise hold or mag­ic curls.

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What does wash day look like for you?
I:
I only wash my hair about every three weeks to once a mon­th (grad school + lazi­ness = lat­er and lat­er wash­es). I’ll start off by using a mix of con­di­tion­er (cur­rent­ly Trader Joe’s), coconut oil, and water to care­ful­ly fin­ger detan­gle my hair and put it in about 6 braids. I’ll then sham­poo with Carol’s Daugh­ter Monoi Sham­poo and deep con­di­tion with Organ­ic Root Stim­u­la­tor Hair May­on­naise, still in braids. Once I’m done pranc­ing around, I’ll undo each braid in the show­er and apply some more con­di­tion­er (Carol’s Daugh­ter Monoi, Aussie Moist, or Trader Joe’s Nour­ish Spa), smooth over my strands, and braid it back up. After dry­ing under a t-shirt for a bit, I spray the Carol’s Daugh­ter Tui or Monoi Leave-In, seal with my shea but­ter/coconut oil/aloe vera gel mix, and begin styling. When I need a deep clean, espe­cial­ly after a pro­tec­tive style, I use Ter­ressen­tials Mud Wash.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
I:
Puffs are the great­est! They’re the per­fect blend of care­free yet regal. If I want a more toned down look (or if I want peo­ple to see my face and not just my hair) I’ll do a flat twist­ed crown.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
I:
I don’t mind shrink­age that much, because it’s kind of cool how you can have dif­fer­ent hair lengths in one week (or even a day!) with­out exten­sions or cut­ting. I braid, twist, or pineap­ple my hair night­ly just to lock in mois­ture and min­i­mize tan­gles, but that also com­bats shrink­age.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
I:
My hair was recent­ly col­or treat­ed, so I don’t skimp on month­ly deep con­di­tion­ing. I just had a bad expe­ri­ence with corn­rows that left some hair at the nape of my neck frag­ile and bro­ken so I’m using Jamaican black cas­tor oil dai­ly on that sec­tion. My scalp can get dry, so I give myself scalp mas­sages when­ev­er I’m doing some­thing to my hair at night using jojoba oil. Plus it’s relax­ing, which I can always use.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
I:
Seal in mois­ture! Shea but­ter real­ly locks mois­ture in for days on end for me, so I’ve got to make sure to not just mois­tur­ize, but trap that stuff in before the air tries to suck it out of my hair.

Love it! Not that I’m a vet­er­an or any­thing, but being on this jour­ney for a few years has made it clear that cer­tain curl pat­terns tend to get more love than oth­ers in the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty. I’m try­ing to change that with the whole Klassy Kinks project, so by lov­ing my super kinky hair, I can hope­ful­ly help rede­fine society’s per­cep­tion of kinky, Afro-tex­tured hair.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
I:
Wash and go… with­out some kind of stretch­ing. I’ve done wash and go puffs and a band­ed wash and go, but not stretch­ing at all post wash would prob­a­bly defeat the process of fin­ger detan­gling before I wash.

Don’t be rough: I’ve always had the kind of hair that styl­ists com­plained about and tugged at try­ing to get it to “lay” and behave. Even though I’ve got a strong (aka hard lol) head, that doesn’t give anyone—especially me—license to yank and abuse my strands. I’m not dain­ty or extra del­i­cate with it either, since nobody has time for 5 hour detan­gling ses­sions, but I don’t wor­ry about get­ting every minis­cule knot out or being able to run a fine-toothed comb through before twist­ing. Too many combs have lost their lives over the course of my own at the hands of my hair, so I’m just try­ing to do them and my hair a favor!

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
I:
Of course! I’m on Klassy-Kinks.com sev­er­al time a week where I offer my two cents on the lat­est nat­u­ral hair news, advice and tuto­ri­als for hair styling and main­te­nance, healthy food recipes, week­ly fea­tures of oth­er fab­u­lous kinky-haired wom­en (and men!), and most excit­ing of all, month­ly give­aways! I’ve actu­al­ly had my YouTube chan­nel the longest (since I cut my hair) but I’ve been strug­gling to post videos late­ly. My Tum­blr is a great source of inspi­ra­tion as there are pic­tures of hun­dreds of wom­en with gor­geous hair! And of course I’m on Face­book, Twit­ter and Insta­gram. Say hi!

Meosha

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

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64 Comments on "Ijeoma // 4C Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Amma Mama

She is so beau­ti­ful and so is her hair!<3
I remem­ber Fotki from my tran­si­tion and BC days..lol
There was a lot of nat­u­ral hair inspi­ra­tion on there :-)

http://ammamama.wordpress.com/

NaturalV

your hair and hair styles are love­ly its nice to see a fel­low Nige­ri­an enjoy­ing their nat­u­ral hair. keep it up girl.

Coconut + Cream

Beeeaaaau­ti­ful!

darkchildlovethyhair

Amaz­ing hair! Its cool to know I don’t have to be curly to have great hair.we are all beau­ti­ful no mat­ter our tex­ture.

Sjamie

Very beau­ti­ful! I love you hair­style ideas!

GSoldier

Yeeesss!!! Igbo kwenu!! My Igbo sis­ters doing things the nat­u­ral thing!! Arrhhh! Did I men­tion yesss!! Lov­ing the hair girl! Espe­cial­ly in it’s un “defined” state, e.g. pic 13!! Oooohh and 2; 6; 10 + 16!

ijeoma

IGBO KWENU!!! KWENZENU OOOOOOOH!!!!

Klassy Kinks

Cho cho cho! Lov­ing the Nai­ja love ladies!

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