Where are you from and what do you do?
Hi Natural belles, my name is Wunmi, a London born and breed Nigeria, who is a fanatic of all things beauty, fashion and natural hair related. I am the Editor of an online blog could 'Woman In The Jungle', which aims to inspired, educate and celebrate the modern day women of colour. I am current a freelance writer that dabbles in PR & Marketing...
How long have you been natural?
I went natural for the second time back in December 2009, so just over 3 years now. I first attempted to go natural back when I was 15, I lasted till I was 21 so had a good stint at it. I wore my hair in fancy canerow (cornrow) for the last year of secondary school and upgraded to kinky extensions and ponytails during college. A lot of people didn't actually realise it wasn't my hair till the last few weeks of college. I matured into a full fro and rocked that for the first year of uni. I then started to experiment with heat, weaves would and get my hair pressed about every two weeks. Brazillian was in and the fro was out. As well has having to blend my hair with the weave, I felt I had to blend myself in with the other girls that attended the uni. Fast forward to fried, dyed and a badly relaxed head of hair is was time to start a hair journey. I was on a quest for healthy hair and to get my edges back. I embarked on a health hair journey mid 2009, but relaxed then just decided one morning I wanted it all gone.
How did you transition, did you big chop?
I did the Big Chop and had about 1/4 inch of hair left to work with
What were the main reasons for your choice to wear your natural hair?
I decided to go natural because I was tired of looking generic, the same as everyone else. I have always been one to stand out and was tired of my hair never seeming to grow past a certain length. I craved healthier longer hair, for me I could not achieve that being relaxed. It's not until I actual did the Big Chop that I started to think about the true reasons why I relaxed and straightened my hair in the first place.
What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?
My earliest memories of my hair care are actually quite humorous... I have a real laugh when me and my mum talk about my hair as a child. My mum experimented a lot with my hair as a child, yet my hair was ALWAYS untidy because I used to always pull out all my hair accessories. Now this would get on my mum nerves as she would have spend ages trying to make it look neat... The one vivid memory I have though is having my hair Jeri Curled, around 4 or 5, for a wedding I had been invited to be a flower girl for. The Jeri Curl was big back then. I can't recall if it was a home job or a salon job, but my hair started to fall out a couple of days after the wedding. My mum decided it was best to just chop it all off to keep it one level as it looked a hot mess. I was distraught... Jason Donovan was the it star at the time and I loved him. To stop the tears, mum told me she was giving me a JD cut, that's how he wore his hair and it was the latest trend. Now that instantly made me feel better, I think I even help cut the remaining hair off... Looking back at the pictures, after the cut, I looked like a little boy with earrings lol... We laugh about it now... My mum wore her hair natural, short and dyed for the most part of my earlier life and I thought she was just the most beautiful woman ever. She taught me to not take hair so seriously that it doesn't define who you are, by her just being her and doing her own thing
What does having natural hair mean to you?
Being natural for me symbolizes the acceptance of the features that God gave me. Learning to love and accept them in their entirety.
How do you keep your hair looking so good?
I cleanse my hair once a week, normally on a Saturday morning, with either a Belle Vie shampoo bar or the Curls Cleansing cream. The Curls Line smells AMAZING. I deep condition after every cleanse and reach for any DC that I have in stock. There is no particular DC that I am wowed by at the moment and the one that I do use regularly do an equal job. I am some what in love with the Curl Coconut Sublime, which is a rinse out conditioner that gives an instant shot of moisture to the hair. I always use a leave-in condition before styling as I wear a lot of wash & gos and do not use a moisturiser per say. My leave-ins of choice are the aphogee liquid leave-in or the Kera Care Natural Textures leave-in. They both do an excellent job of keeping the hair hydrated. I normally lightly seal with castor oil to lock the moisture in before applying my chosen style on top.
What are your go to products?
Well, I currently have a love affair with the Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic and can't seem to get enough of the stuff. I achieve amazing curl definition with zero crunch when I use this product. Castor oil is my go to oil and I feel quite panicked when I am nearly out. It has the effect of making my hair feel and look silky smooth giving a great shine to any style.
What are your go to hair styles?
Now that's an easy one, The wash & Go. With my hair being so short, at the moment that is pretty much the extent of my styling. Before my 2nd BC I would also do twists and look forward to more length so I can 're-visit this. I pretty much like my hair to be FREE
Aside from moisturising a little more, I don't really switch up my styling that much in winter. Last winter I wore a lot of buns, but more so out of convenience than because the season changed.
What hair styles will you wear this summer?
I'm going to be experiment a lot with wigs and weaves as my hair is a bit too short to really play around with. This will definitely give me the opportunity to also play with colour without having to dye my own hair.
Discovering what worked for me and being able to style my hair in a short amount of time as a result
What is your biggest hair fail?
I don't really have a fail, but a set back would be the breakage issues that I had with my nape have been a major setback in my journey. It was one of the contributing factors to my second BC. I ditched the scarves and now just use a satin pillow case. My hair is growing back there nicely
Do you have any advice for women starting out on their natural hair journey?
My advice would be to go natural for the right reasons that are personal to you and not because everyone else is doing it. Going natural is certainly not easy and takes a lot of dedication to learning your new hair. Not everyone will be in your corner when you make your decision, so surround yourself with supportive people.
Youtube - www.youtube.como/womainthejungle
Facebook - www.facebook.com/womaninthejungle
Twitter - itswitj
Instagram - @womaninthejungle