22 May 2012

Hair Talk With Louisa Of Afroblush

Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Louisa, I often get called afroblush, but that’s just the name of my blog. I am a researcher, writer and blogger. I love things on the topic of fashion, culture, Africa, art, design, beauty and generally lifestyle.

How long have you been natural?
I have been a natural for just over one year. It’s my third time to go natural, I have relapsed in my last two attempts, but I have so much love and respect for my hair now, I cannot go back.

If you have transitioned to natural what prompted you more from processed to naturalhair?
  1. My hair wasn’t healthy, it was breaking, losing colour and losing thickness. I was so tired of wearing hair pieces, weaves and extensions.
  2. It upsets me that people have this definition of ‘good hair’ and ‘bad hair’, some hair is harder to manage than others but it doesn’t take anything away from its value. I have got to the point in my life when I am happy with who I am, I do not need anything processed, stuck or or added on. Many times when I wore weaves or wigs I felt pretentious.
How did you transition, did you big chop?
Yes indeed.
First time two times I just sat in front of a mirror and chopped it off. First time was after a bad breakup (meh), second time was out of frustration as my hair was not growing.
This time round I booked myself into a good salon. I made a well-educated decision about why I wanted to cut my hair, and how I was going to treat it. When you treat your hair with love, it loves you back. My hair is finally growing and looking the best it ever has.

What were the main reasons for your choice to wear your natural hair? 
I was just tired of treating my hair with shame. No lifestyle change in particular, I did start blogging around that time, so I was overall feeling ready to be more open about myself overall.

What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?
I was always allowed to do whatever I wanted with my hair (part of being an only child I guess). So whether it was using dye, cutting it or relaxing it. I didn’t really receive a natural hair care education.
I learnt more about hair within a more cultural context when I was much older, I suspect that’s from growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood to. However, when I have children I want them to KNOW what they have and why they have it, so when these kids at school ask they can answer back, rather than just looking confused like I did lol.

What does having natural hair mean to you? 
It started as a style choice, but it certainly has influenced my life on a deeper level. I feel so much more proud, not in an arrogant sense, but just in the way of better self appreciation. For many people, it’s a psychological barrier to go natural rather than a physical one. But in my opinion finding a natural hair community on twitter and wordpress has made me feel like I am not going through it alone; which has meant a lot.

How do you keep your hair looking so good? 
My hair loves water, so I wash it every other day, keep it moist with oil spritzers and only use heat in the way of blow dryers and hot combs on occasions. My hair dresser said that I do not always have to wash with shampoo, quite often all it needs is a rinse when you are washing it often anyways, so I occasionally just wash with conditioner. Sounds strange to some but it works for me.

What products do you use in your hair?
Toulou Organics is my new hair care find and I love what they do for my hair. I use their shampoo soap bar, and jojoba hair oil. Otherwise I go for anything olive oil based. When I run out of hot oil treatment I just use extra virgin olive oil.
I grew up on Pink Moisturiser. It did nothing for my hair.

What are your go to hair style? 
I like the frohican! It allows me to pin my hair up without pulling too much on the front, and without trying to straighten it somehow. Otherwise I am happy to just wash and leave it to dry or slap on a headscarf. I suppose it depends on my mood. Today is a head scarf day.

How do you protect your hair in the winter months?
I use extra oil and try to minimise styling, I use dye in my hair so I am very conscious of hair breakage and brittleness.

Do you have any advice for women starting out on their natural journey?
Get some inspiration before you make your transition, don’t get the big chop and then go “now what?” Get all your necessaries in place from your hair products, combs and style board for how you plan to wear your hair. Cut your hair in a good salon, you will leave feeling better to start your journey than if you cut your hair yourself at home in a mirror.

Tell us about your style?
My favourite era is late 80’s early 90’s. Shoulder pads, electro colours, geometric tailoring. I need to be in a Duran Duran video before I die, however I can settle with George Michael. I think it was an era when women started to rebel in fashion and attitude. It was the era of the trouser suite, the short hairstyles and biker chics. Sheryl Crow, Ninah Cherry, A Tribe Called Quest and Madonna.
I do try not to look like an 80’s throwback all the time though, I like mix and matching from high street, designer, charity shops, swap shops etc.
What are your favourite places to shop?
High street: H&M, Urban Outfitters, M.A.S.H, Topshop (on occasion), River Island, Next, Aldo
Markets: Portobello Market, Camden, Angel, Brick Lane
Charity shops: Most around West London, Angel and Camden. I love the Oxfam DIY store in Camden.
Designer: Christopher Kane, Ninah Richi, Kurt Geiger, Viv Westwood (that’s all I can afford for now)
Any tips for young ladies trying to start there own business/blog ect
Try and create your own content, take your own pictures, give your own views whether good or bad, a lot of people just copying and pasting out there. Oh, and try and be consistent! It’s hard I know.

How is you natural hair perceived in your job role?
Lol I have never got a negative reception since I did my hair, most people are intrigued and like it. I am conscious of wearing it too ‘out there’ as it’s a corporate environment but I have never felt uncomfortable; I often get compliments and it has contributed to my confidence. But generally speaking, compliments or not, I wear what I want.


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