Hair Story with Deborah
Hiya! Introduce yourself…tell us a bit about who you are & what you do
Hey my names Deborah. I am of Christian faith and am striving daily to live a better life. I love to read and write poetry, mainly spoken word. I think one of the best things in life is knowledge and though I’m far from perfect I am learning through mistakes and situation. Really I’m just an average ‘Olu’ trying to understand this thing called ‘life’.
Have you been natural all your life? If not why did you choose to go natural?
Well I have wished I had natural hair all my life just loved the big afros and puffs, nonetheless I stood firm in the belief that since my mum had already relaxed my hair at a young age I was bound to continue. The decision to go natural was one day when I was desperately due for a relaxer and my re-growth was curly. Amazed by the texture I pleaded with my sister and mother to cut my hair off so I could start growing my hair from scratch. Well long story short, no one wanted the burden of cutting my hair for me even though I assured them I was ok with it, left with no other choice at about 2 am when all suspecting family member were fast asleep I impulsively cut it off bit by bit till I had erased all evidence of the creamy crack. I looked in the mirror and felt such strength and power it may sound a tad hyperbolic but it was one of the most courageous things I have done, after all a woman’s hair is her crown.
How long have you been natural for?
I have been natural for just over 2 years though it has been a rollercoaster journey.
How did family & friends react to your decision to go natural?
My family were shocked to say the least. My mum said she wonders what I would look like as a boy, My Dad said so you’ve joined these people which made me laugh and my lovely sister said so you actually did it. So yeah, a fusion of reactions. I actually only remember one positive comment from a good friend who said ‘hair grows’, and though very simple was my source of encouragement at a time of remorse.
Has being natural changed you in any way?
Most definitely it really has made me more confident in myself as I am no longer looking for the validation of society. I simply aspire to be the best ‘me’ I can be, I used to wear long weaves and was up late with the bendy rollers, hair glue, and all sorts just to ensure my weave looked great. Meanwhile I totally neglected the hair underneath. Now it’s the total opposite I’ve ditched the weaves and would throw away egusi (Nigerian dish) before I put styling my hair before my hair itself. I even apply this principle to my skin and have reduced the amount of makeup I wear dramatically, whilst daily exfoliating and adopting other skincare habits. The journey hasn’t stopped at hair for me, and who knows maybe I’ll improve my fitness next!
Have you made any hair-care mistakes in the past?
My hair journey has been full of mistakes, though they have all taught me better ways to look after my hair. The biggest mistakes were in my newly natural days, I only had a very TWA and desperately wanted length. So as soon as my hair was long enough to pick, I ran to the weave! I started off with full head, but after seeing growth I decided to do a middle part weave, which left me constantly straightening the hair in the middle. BIG MISTAKE! When I took out my hair and washed it I was stunned to see the middle didn’t curl back into line with the rest of my hair. I tried conditioning, curl activators, leaving it excessively wet, you name it, but the curl pattern had been permanently damaged. So last year out of another impulsion I just cut off the middle of my hair which just looked silly, I hid it in weaves and strategic styles till it grew back and it did … because ‘hair grows’.
Do you have a hair regimen?
I add all oils known to man, try to keep my hair moisturised and I always use Shea butter it works like a gel for me as it keeps my hair slick.
If you could only choose one product to use what would it be?
Wow it would be a cross between Shea butter and Olive oil; they are both my babies I think it’s unethical to choose LOL.
Any words of encouragement for those wanting to go natural but are afraid?
Your hair does not define you! I may be pro-natural but I am not anti-relaxer, and if someone has made the decision to perm their hair it is their choice and I can respect that. Yet whatever decision you make, make it because it’s what you want and not what you think would be accepted, or less challenging. If we make decisions based on fear we limit ourselves. I find it funny when people have a negative attitude to going natural as if embracing the hair that God gave me it somewhat rebellious, yet to put harsh chemicals on my scalp seems to be the status quo. Still when we break the mould and say that we are not going to conform to the standards society, it is so liberating. In all honesty you will get critics and people who just don’t like your hair and that’s ok, in life you’re always met with adversity and it is your ability to overcome it that births strength. We owe it not only to ourselves but to our children and the generations that will come after us, to help create a world that understands and accepts our children as they are naturally.
Where’s the best place to find you? (e.g. blog, twittter, youtube)
Facebook- Deborah ‘Vicky’ Idowu, I do have a youtube account but haven’t uploaded any videos, well not yet J.