Intro­duce your­self!
My name is Koku Gon­za from Chicago.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
I’ve been nat­u­ral since 2005. I decid­ed to go nat­u­ral because my hair start­ed to thin out. I also hate the smell of relaxed hair. I want­ed to explore my hair in its nat­u­ral state and see what would hap­pen if I let go of con­sis­tent straight hair.

How would you describe your tex­ture?
My hair is a com­bi­na­tion of 4B and 4C. I have fine, dense hair that behaves accord­ing to the cli­mate. I’ve learned over the years that Chicago sum­mers are the best for my hair. The humid­i­ty makes my curls pop, how­ev­er win­ter is very rough on my hair so I’ve learned to stick with pro­tec­tive styling to avoid break­age and keep my growth pat­tern con­sis­tent.

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the mon­th.
My cur­rent styling reg­i­men is focused on pre­vent­ing my hair from break­ing dur­ing the cold sea­son. Dur­ing the win­ter I wear pro­tec­tive styles three weeks out of each mon­th. I wear my hair loose dur­ing the last week of each mon­th until May. Mini twists are what I’m wear­ing right now. I might switch it up and do a flat twist style next mon­th. I try to keep my rou­tine sim­ple by using the L.O.C. method five days a week and steam­ing my hair once a week. I use water, Jamaican Black Cas­tor Oil mixed with Pep­per­mint, Tea Tree or Euca­lyp­tus Oil, and MY DNA Leave-In Con­di­tion­er to lock mois­ture in my hair. When I steam my hair I use the Hueti­ful Steam­er and Coconut Oil to seal in the mois­ture. I co-wash my hair once a mon­th with MY DNA Detan­gling Con­di­tion­er. Pre­vent­ing my hair from break­ing is def­i­nite­ly a pri­or­i­ty this win­ter. I want my tress­es to gain inch­es instead of los­ing. Retain­ing mois­ture and pro­tect­ing my hair are per­ti­nent to reach my growth chal­lenge of 16 inch­es of healthy hair by May 1.

Braid Out 1

What does wash day look like for you?
Wash day is my whole entire day spent with my beloved kinks LOL! My hair gets an over­load of TLC on wash­day. I make an event out of it and watch my favorite movies on Net­flix or Hulu. I know I’ll be in the house all day due to the long process. I spend two hours fin­ger detan­gling with coconut oil as a pre-poo and 15 min­utes wash­ing my hair in 6 sec­tions with ACV or MY DNA Sul­fate Free Sham­poo. I alter­nate every oth­er mon­th between ACV and a sul­fate free sham­poo. My hair feels bet­ter and behaves bet­ter when I alter­nate between lab made sham­poo and home­made sham­poo. I do a co-wash once a mon­th alter­nat­ing between MY DNA Detan­gling Con­di­tion­er and my own D.I.Y. pro­tein con­di­tion­er. My D.I.Y. pro­tein con­di­tion­er con­sists of 1 Avo­cado, ½ a can of Coconut Milk, 2 tbs of Olive Oil and 1 Egg. I use my Hueti­ful Steam­er to seal in my con­di­tion­ers for 20 min­utes after a thor­ough sham­poo.

I keep my hair in sec­tions through­out my wash process to pre­vent any tan­gling from hap­pen­ing. After rins­ing out my con­di­tion­er in cold water I sat­u­rate my hair in olive oil for about 5 min­utes and rin­se out the olive oil with warm water. I wrap my hair up in an old cot­ton T-shirt for about ½ an hour to soak up the water. I leave my hair in large twists while I air dry if I don’t have to leave the house. If I do have to leave the house I sit under my Gold N Hot Soft Jum­bo Bon­net Dry­er for about 45 min­utes with my ends tucked away. Once my hair is some what dry I pre­cede with what­ev­er style I plan to do. I usu­al­ly wait until the next day to style my hair due to the fatigue that sets in after the first 8 hours of the wash process.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
My favorite go to hair­style is to spray on some oil and water and let my hair fro out. I usu­al­ly do this when the tem­per­a­ture out­side allows it. If it’s in the dead of win­ter and below 32 degrees, I’ll usu­al­ly put on a hat or head wrap.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
I don’t fight with my shrink­age any­more. If my hair shrinks up I let it do its thing. I usu­al­ly plan my hair­styles around shrink­age any­way because I love my curl pat­tern. The only method I’ve dis­cov­ered to elim­i­nate shrink­age for at least a cou­ple of weeks is to blow out my hair or use the African Thread­ing method on dry hair. I haven’t found a pro­duct to elim­i­nate shrink­age with­out adding addi­tion­al heat, or some type of ten­sion method.

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
I have issues with my ends break­ing off and appear­ing thin­ner than the rest of my hair because of the blonde col­or that still remains from 2011. I have to be real­ly care­ful with my ends and always add extra coconut oil pri­or to and after steam­ing my hair.

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
I do the L.O.C. method at least five days a week to main­tain my curl pat­tern. When my curls are hydrat­ed they look like beau­ti­ful 4B curls. If I don’t hydrate my hair it breaks off, becomes frag­ile, my scalp itch­es like crazy and my hair looks frizzy in an unstyl­ish way. Also imme­di­ate­ly after work­ing out or sweat­ing I have to use my D.I.Y. scalp spray. My post work out scalp spray con­sists of Aloe Vera Gel, Water, Cas­tor Oil and an essen­tial oil like Pep­per­mint, Tea Tree or Euca­lyp­tus. I do this to pre­vent buildup of sebum on my scalp. I don’t have the time or ener­gy to wash my hair after each work out so this is the safest and eas­i­est thing to do. I wear a sat­in scarf every night and make sure my ends are tucked away to pre­vent fairy knots and tan­gles. I don’t always twist my hair before going to bed, some­times I just sep­a­rate it and use pins or bands to tuck my ends away. I have to keep my hair sec­tioned and tucked to lock in mois­ture and pre­vent the fric­tion caused sin­gle strand knots.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
I don’t do brush­es or fine tooth combs ever. I always use a wide tooth comb or my fin­gers. When I used brush­es and fine tooth combs to detan­gle ear­ly in my nat­u­ral hair jour­ney, I noticed that my hair would break the fine tooth comb or break off in chunks in the brush bristles. I’ve retained more length by avoid­ing both over the past few years.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
You can find me at and you can find my music at


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

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32 Comments on "Koku Gonza // 4B/C Natural Hair Style Icon"

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Koku, your beau­ty and tal­ent is out of this world. Phe­nom­e­nal wom­an.


Thank you :) I appre­ci­ate the sup­port!


I love the third, 5th and knit­ted dress pho­to. This lady is the ish. Gor­geous. Makes me so proud to be a black wom­en and see all the ladies fea­tured here.


Thank you :)

Kokugonza Mugarula

Ndiyo mimi ni muhaya

Kenya L.

Love your hair and I know every natural’s hair is dif­fer­ent but I “can relate” to your hair, col­or and all. I’m gonna try the ACV wash. Want to know about the hair­style in the pic w/ the cute cro­cheted dress. Please tell me about it? Thanks

Koku Gonza

This hair style is a ban­tu knot out…Please check out the video!
Thank you for com­ment­ing :)

youngin girl

Speech­less. I like the first pho­to of you, than you with the comb in your hand, than you with the gui­tar and feath­er ear­rings. This is a win­ner-take-over! Great details and meth­ods.


So much awe­some styling!


What a gor­geous girl! LOVE her hair and style!


Koku wewe ni muhaya?
Final­ly some­one with TZ roots. I have been on hair boards since dec 2005. I haven’t seen any­body from Bon­go. Beau­ti­ful lady and hair.

Kokugonza Mugarula

Ndiyo mimi ni muhaya :)


I lit­er­al­ly gasped when I saw that pic­ture. You’re beau­ti­ful & your hair. You speak Swahili?? Nice. (Uko mousouri sanaa, can’t spell to save my life *i tried*) ^^


Ame­se­ma ame­toka Bon­go ama ni jina?


Ni jina tu


what a beaut!!!


Beau­ti­ful hair and lady!


Love­ly pic­tures! The cro­chet dress is gor­geous!


Looooove your hair & col­or int he 2012 twistout pic!!


beau­ti­ful wom­an and hair!!

Ms. D

She’s a beau­ty! Love her hair and style!

Ellen Gee

Love her style and her music. She’s the sweet­est!


Thank you all :) I appre­ci­ate the Love! I’ve been nat­u­ral for 9 years and its been a jour­ney of sorts.


Yay some­one from my City with such beau­ti­ful hair!!!! I love your style and your a very pret­ty girl.


Your ear­rings are very unique and gor­geous!


Great detail and all of the­se gor­geous pics are killing me! Espe­cial­ly like the knit­ted dress and the cropped jack­et. The hair­styles are love­ly and so is the bold col­or. Amaz­ing skin, girl ;)


I agree — the pho­tos are great! I won­der that about all the nat­u­ral hair icons though.…how do they get such nice pho­tos of them­selves in such cute out­fits and good light­ing? Real­ly — how does this hap­pen? Some­one please explain to a sin­cere­ly clue­less per­son who doesn’t even own a cam­era.


i real­ly think some­one is hold­ing a cam­era. DUH!!

Natural Hair Junkie

Well in this par­tic­u­lar case, if you notice at the end of Koku’s inter­view, she directs view­ers to her music site. So we can con­clude she is a musi­cal artist, there­fore hav­ing prores­sion­al pho­tos of your­self would be impor­tant for mar­ket­ing pur­pos­es. As far as oth­er style icons, many of them are involved in oth­er cre­ative indus­tries such as fashion/wardrobe styling, mod­el­ing, visu­al arts and the like where hav­ing pro­fes­sion­al look­ing images are a nec­ces­si­ty. And per­haps oth­er style icons have paid for a shoot with a pho­tog­ra­pher or have friends who are pho­tog­ra­phers.


That makes sense. Thanks for explain­ing!

youngin girl

There are Icons on here who hire pho­tog­ra­phers to take pic­tures of them. As for out­fits, I think the Icons buy those and they prob­a­bly are a lit­tle expen­sive but I agree, they are cute, espe­cial­ly the pho­to 14.


Won­der­ful. I love the vari­ety.