Tell us something about yourself?
I go by the name of Thandiwe, 19 and of Southern African origin a mixture of Zambia and Zimbabwe. I’m currently a university student. And most important I am a Child of God.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since 11th November 2011. 🙂
So, why did you decide to be natural, and how did you feel doing the big chop?
This is not my first time being natural, growing up in Zimbabwe, I was raised by my Grandmother for a few years and the only hairstyle she knew was keeping the hair short and so I grew up with that same hairstyle, attended a primary school that didn’t allow long hair so had to keep my hair short all the time.
I grew up clueless on hair care and when I arrived in England I decided to cut my hair for my first day in school, BIG MISTAKE, because I was mistaken for a boy for a good two years if people didn’t know who I really was. So I decided to grow it out and I started texturizing it but with little knowledge of hair care. My hair was covered with weaves and braids all the time and with that I rarely oiled it which was another mistake I made.
I decided to go to a professional for a professional retouch and haircut in 2010, since I was becoming a lady. The trend that year was short hair at the back “the Halle Berry look”.
It became my tradition to get a haircut every 2 months. Then 1st September 2010 I decided to cut my hair, I was just fed up so I went short. By the end of June I decided to relax my hair and within a month my hair started to look raggedy, unhealthy and the split ends were horrible! I ended up giving up on my hair and just used hair bands and curlers all the time until I went to University, I started thinking about how important my hair was and was pretty self-conscious about it.
Soo… on the 11th November 2011 I went to the barbers and the person who cut my hair was so shocked at the state of my hair.. I really hadn’t thought of cutting it all off but the barber was showing me bold patches and the way my hair was damaged so it was a spontaneous decision and I said cut it all off.
What reactions did you get from friends and family?
Funny enough I had cut my hair before a big weekend, I was going back home to see the family. And before that coincidentally all my friends decided to come and see me and they were first SHOCKED AND ANGRY but then they started liking it so within an hour it was a good haircut. My mum was shocked and I’m sure she really wanted to kill me but she thought it suited my head shape and it wasn’t bad. My dad’s reaction was the funniest he commented on how He had always wanted a boy and seems like I fulfilled that wish haha. The whole weekend I got the shocked look from friends back home, some didn’t even recognize me until they looked twice. I loved the feedback though. 🙂
What was your hair like before? i.e. texture, length, health
The quality of my hair was pretty bad, it was thinning and I naturally have thick hair. It had this dirty brown look and the split ends.. I’m sure some reached down to the roots.., my hair was breaking every day and I tried treating it and all sorts but I think I was too late. It had become almost like straw just stuck on my head.
What have you learnt from the experiences you’ve had with your hair?
- TAKING CARE OF MY HAIR IS VERY IMPORTANT
- OIL TREAT, PROTECT THE HAIR AT ALL TIMES
- Definitely NO MORE RELAXERS IN MY HAIR
What is your hair regimen and what are you staple hair products?
At the moment I have decided to use natural remedies like:
- I put olive oil and carrot oil serum < I use these products to keep my hair oiled at all times
- I do my best to remember to use a silk head scarf to cover my hair at night
- Since it winter I use a lot of hats and head wraps to cover and protect my head from the wind and the COLD.
- My friend Massera is Sudanese although she has different hair texture she taught me how I could use olive oil and garlic and one of the oil treatment and it actually works
What would you say to others who are thinking about doing the Big Chop?
I would tell them TO GO FOR IT ignore what other people tell you, and also it actually boosts your confidence and self-esteem and there is no time like the present to experiment!
It’s worth it!!
I am currently learning more about natural hair products to use for my hair and its fun!
I hope you enjoyed reading Thandiwe’s entry and if you have any questions for me or Thandiwe please post them in the comment section below.
If you would like share your story and experience please don´t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org