Intro­duce your­self!
Hel­lo! My name is Zeba. I’m from Accra, Ghana and I live in Jer­sey City. I’m a writer and film crit­ic.

Why did you make the deci­sion to go nat­u­ral?
I ini­tial­ly didn’t set out to be nat­u­ral — I didn’t even real­ly know about the con­cept of being “nat­u­ral” when I cut my hair. Through­out high school I relaxed my hair, it grew to about APL then just became real­ly thin and dry. I’ve always had thick hair, so this kind of freaked me out. Dur­ing the year when I was liv­ing back in Ghana I impul­sive­ly cut my hair because I was just real­ly annoyed with how unhealthy it was. After the cut I imme­di­ate­ly got braids. It was only a cou­ple months after that when it grew out a bit that it occurred to me to may­be not start relax­ing again! I’ve been nat­u­ral for six years since. I did my (first) big chop in 2009!

How would you describe your tex­ture?
If I had to guess I’d say I’m like a 4b/4c mix. My hair is dense and coarse, and my curls are more defined at the crown of my head, but usu­al­ly only if I apply mad pro­duct to them (which I rarely do).

Describe your styling reg­i­men over the course of the mon­th.
Since I expe­ri­ence major shrink­age, which leads to tan­gling, my hair is always in a stretched state. I lose about 60% of my length when my hair is in a shrunk­en state. I go through phas­es with my styling reg­i­men, so some­times I will pro­tec­tive style by bun­ning, wear­ing puffs, loose twists, twist and box braid exten­sions, wigs, or scarves. I love big hair and I love to wear my hair out, so I will gen­er­al­ly wear a twist out fro for a few weeks at a time. I some­times use Tal­i­ah Waajid’s Curly Curl Cream for my twist outs then cov­er my hair for a few weeks at a time, and repeat. At night I’ll spritz my hair with a mix­ture of a cheap con­di­tion­er and coconut oil. If I’m feel­ing lazy I’ll pineap­ple it, but I usu­al­ly always braid or twist my hair at night to keep it stretched. I expe­ri­ence a lot of dry­ness, but ever since dis­cov­er­ing the LOC method I haven’t had to mois­tur­ize every sin­gle day, which has been amaz­ing.

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What does wash day look like for you?
Wash day is a whole sit­u­a­tion. I real­ly dread it and I’m real­ly bad at reg­u­lat­ing my reg­i­men, so some­times I might wash my hair once a week, and oth­er times I might go a mon­th in between wash­es because I’m just feel­ing lazy. The night before I wash my hair, I light­ly detan­gle and pre-poo with coconut oil. The next day I fin­ger detan­gle my hair again and put it into four twists. I’ll then go in the show­er and wash my hair with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tin­gle Sham­poo, then con­di­tion with their Tea Tree Tin­gle Con­di­tion­er, which I just start­ed using recent­ly and I LOVE. My hair tan­gles a lot so much of my wash day process revolves around doing lots of detan­gling from root to tip under the run­ning water with a wide-tooth comb. I try to be as thor­ough as pos­si­ble and not rush through even though I’m over it by the sec­ond sec­tion lol. Once I’m out of the show­er I let my hair air dry a lit­tle bit then I go about mois­tur­iz­ing. My go-to mois­tur­iz­ers are usu­al­ly shea but­ter, coconut oil, and cas­tor oil as a sealant.

Describe your favorite go-to hair­style for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
If I don’t have a lot of time my go to is always to tie a scarf around my head and wear my hair in a high bun/puff, but I gen­er­al­ly make time for my hair. If I feel like I’m com­ing up on a busy mon­th or some­thing I just get braids or twists.

How do you com­bat shrink­age?
I have been fight­ing shrink­age ever since I went nat­u­ral and I’m actu­al­ly try­ing to let go of it. Like, there have been times when I’ve wok­en up in the morn­ing and I see it’s rain­ing and it’s lit­er­al­ly ruined my day because I feel like I can’t wear my hair out. I’m try­ing to be more com­fort­able with how my hair looks when it’s a lit­tle shrunk­en — of course I gen­er­al­ly keep it stretched just to ensure it doesn’t tan­gle, but I’m also try­ing to under­stand the dif­fer­ence between want­i­ng to pre­vent tan­gling and being length-obsessed. It’s a process!

What are some of your prob­lem areas (if any) that require spe­cial care and atten­tion?
I dyed my hair a honey-brown/reddish col­or a cou­ple years ago, and since then even though I went back to black I’ve def­i­nite­ly noticed the dam­age that did to my ends, in terms of them just being weak­er and hav­ing a lot of splits. My ends are very del­i­cate, so I make sure to lav­ish a lot of atten­tion and mois­ture on them when­ev­er pos­si­ble!

What are 2 do’s for your tex­ture?
Mois­tur­ize, mois­tur­ize, mois­tur­ize. I real­ly used to think that mois­ture wasn’t a fac­tor in my hair’s health, but it wasn’t until I start­ed pay­ing more atten­tion that my hair began to flour­ish. Also, I’ve seen that drink­ing lots of water (and I mean lots), exer­cis­ing, and tak­ing my vit­a­mins has been a big help as well.

What are 2 don’ts for your tex­ture?
Too much manip­u­la­tion, which I def­i­nite­ly am guilty of. I need to just leave my hair alone and stop doing the most. Not doing my research — I recent­ly did a cho­les­terol treat­ment with­out look­ing up the pro­duct and it almost ruined my hair. Also, keep­ing braids in for too long. I used to keep braids in for months (I won’t say how long, but you can guess — such a mess), and I would take them out and be all shocked when most of my ends broke off. Like, girl.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
My Pop Cul­ture Pod­cast:


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

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24 Comments on "Zeba // 4B/C Natural Hair Style Icon"

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I love your pod­cast (two brown girls) and your amaz­ing hair, keep it up!!!