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Introduce yourself!
Z:
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?
Z:
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?
Z:
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.
Z:
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?
Z:
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.
Z:
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?
Z:
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?
Z:
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?
Z:
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?
Z:
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?
Z:
Yes!
Instagram: http://instagram.com/zebablay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/zblay
My Pop Culture Podcast: twobrowngirls.co

Meosha

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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Maryanne

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

Antoinette Stewart

Great eyes, hair and skin!
Love the Twistout fro look on you!!

Monica

OMGGG your hair is amazing ! I have 4b/4c hair as well and you give me hope lol

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

beautiful hair. i love the BIG hair. but how did she manage to carry such long braids? i’ve never seen braids that long before. she must have a very strong scalp and hair.
thumbs up for featuring an African
http://www.themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Barbara

Your hair is lovely and I’m always happy to see a fellow Ghanaian being featured. 🙂

Youngin girl

I’m in awe. She made this site turn all around. I could stare all day. I love her locs and Afros. I’m happy to see more updates and features. Ghanaian women>3

Amma Mama

Ghana whoop whoop!
I love her hair and style. I am going to check out her podcast and the Huffington Post article mentioned in the previous comment.

Caramelcurls

Beautiful healthy looking hair—LOVE!!

BeUtifullyhuman

I love it! Your hair is beautiful and looks strong.

Elodie

Your hair is…there is no word for it. So full! So dense! So nice! LOL. My hair wants to be like yours when he grows up. And by the way, you are gorgeous 🙂

Loving My Natural Hair
Loving My Natural Hair

Beautiful girl and beautiful hair… Werk!

rama

Hello !
What is the LOC method ? Is it a method for type 4b/4c

Hope
Hey Rama, The LOC method is for all types afro textured hair that is usually dry. The L is liquid which is water with aloe Vera juice mixed in a spray bottle if you like, the O is oil of your choice-if you have thicker afro textured hair use thicker oils such as Shea butter, mango butter, castor oil, etc….if you have thinner or finer strands use grapeseed, almond oil, jojoba oil etc…. instead. The C is cream for Creamy conditioner usually a leave in. My favorite is Tea Tree tingle conditioner from Trader Joe’s. I use preferably this method… Read more »
Chandra

Lovely hair and interview. I really liked reading it. Fellow Ghanian here as well! 🙂

Primmest Plum

Cool! I went to school with Zeba. Not only is her hair wonderful but she’s absolutely wonderful as well. So great to see her flourish. 🙂

Vivi35

What a coincidence! Just read one of her articles on huffingtonpost.com titled: “I Am A Black Woman With Kinky Hair, Full Lips And Very Dark Skin, And I Do Not Have A Complex About It”. In addition to being BEAUTIFUL with gorgeous hair, she’s a very good writer too.

Stace

Oooh I have to go look up this article. I don’t have a complex either and I’m so annoyed by the media’s insistence and perpetuation that all dark skinned black women have a complex about their complexion and hair. Never had never will.

thelady

beautiful hair and great sense of fashion

Effua

Hellooo my fellow Ghanaian sista! Loving your profile! Great to know that the natural hair movement is showing up in Ghana too! #proud2bghanaian!

Kay

Aaah it’s Zeba from TwoBrownGirls 🙂 Great hair and awesome podcast girl!

MissDaniMac

As a 3c/4a natural i’m often complimented on the definition of my curls, but you 4b/4c ladies have the MOST BEAUTIFUL density EVER. I love your hair, and i happen to think it looks absolutely amazing in its shrunken state (photos 9,10, and 13 are bomb! MY 4b/c hair envy is real lol)
Keep rocking out!

By Madiba

Thanks for that! I’m 4b\4c and got mad envy for 3c hair. Good to know we’re all women, in the same boat, and still loving each other thru it all

Redseouls

Pretty lady with gorgeous, thick hair!! Love it!

April

Love your hair!

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