Happy Sunday and Happy Valentine’s Day! We are kicking off our very first Coils on Campus (COC) feature with our fellow student blogger here, Levy-Braide of http://www.theblackwriter.com. She’s got this very fun and bubbly personality we just seem to love. Let’s meet her!
Hello Beautiful, Let’s get to know you.
My name is Tamunotonye Deborah Levy-Braide, 500 level student of Estate Management University of Lagos and President of Estate Management Students Association (EMSA). Ahh that’s my boring credential, now the fun part. I’m a blogger (www.theblackwriter.com) and a girl of many talents. I like to call myself creative and I’m also the life of the party. Whenever I’m asked to talk about myself, it’s always hard because there’s a lot about me that I can’t fix into words. I’m just a young girl in this big world trying to be the best I can be and letting God guide me. Random fact- I don’t like light skinned guys and I eat a lot of food.
2) Why did you go natural and for how long have you been natural?
Going natural wasn’t something I planned. Back then, my hair was constantly breaking and the relaxers kept on hurting my scalp. The plan was to not apply relaxer for a while, let the hair grow out before doing that. While waiting, I loved the new texture that was growing so I was like” what the heck just let it grow” I can’t actually remember the date I applied a relaxer last, but it should be around June – July 2013. I do not have a big chop date because I didn’t want to let go of my relaxed hair so I kept on doing protective styles and trimming until it was all gone. There was actually a time I almost did the big chop. When I got to the saloon, there was a girl there who came to do the big chop. She did hers first and I didn’t like the results, I just ran away lol. I have been natural for 2yrs and 6 months.
3) How were you enlightened to natural hair and what are your views on it?
My natural hair journey wasn’t planned so I wasn’t prepared for it at all. It was after it began I started reading blogs and watching videos. I hated my hair when I started because it was so hard and spongy, that’s why I wore protective styles constantly. The natural hair became a culture, I saw other girls really rocking it and I began to appreciate my hair slowly. Sometime I wanted to just give up. I really love my natural hair because it makes me feel different and powerful. When I have my natural hair out, there’s this sense of control I get especially when I’m around non naturals. My natural hair helped me build a kind of self-confidence. You can’t compare it to the Brazilian weaves and all, but for some reason I feel more beautiful when I’m on my natural hair. That’s a whole new level of confidence.
4) How did people react when you finally revealed your natural hair?
Lol, because my hair was always hidden, a lot of people didn’t even know i was a natural. I remember going to class and everybody was shocked. Thing is everybody I know loves my hair. A few of my classmates actually decided to go natural because of me. Two of my sisters also made the same decision and now their children too are going natural.
5) What’s your hair care routine like?
Oh I am so lazy when it comes to my hair. When it’s not styled, it’s very thick and hard so washing it myself most times is just work for me. I do not have a particular routine I follow but hopefully this year I would develop one. I treat my hair with a mixture of avocado, milk, olive oil and egg at least once in three weeks. I wash my hair with black soap once a month but if I feel it’s dirty I just rinse it while taking a shower and condition it too. In my spray bottle I have leave in conditioner, water and coconut oil. I spray that on my hair almost every day. I have Shea butter which I apply to my hair once a week. Recently i bought some products but haven’t really started using them. I blogged about them here -http://theblackwriter.com/2015/12/04/nappy-diaries-my-products/
6) Any favorite styles you love to wear or would love to try?
I love twist out and Bantu knots, those are my go to styles if amnot on braids. I’m a lazy natural so I never do them myself, either a friend helps me or I go to my saloon – Tunmise Naturals. I love kinky braids a lot too
7) What do you do to your hair on days when you have morning lectures or wake up late or have tests/exams?
On days like this, I just wear a hat or tie my hair. Sometimes I just leave it the way it is, that’s the beauty of the natural hair.
Tip 1 -whenever I have exams I always twist my hair or weave it so I don’t have to deal with the morning struggle.
Tip 2-another tip is to wear a bonnet or tie your hair before going to bed, that way in the morning the hair doesn’t look horrible.
Tip 3- before I sleep I braid my hair into four or six places so in the morning if I’m up late i already have a braid out and all I pack my hair half way
8) 2 dos and don’ts your hair strictly follows.
I do not have a strict routine, so let me not lie to you I don’t have strict hair rules yet.
9) Any 2 products you recommend?
I use a lot of natural products, when you are a student with just allowance to depend on you’ve got to cut cost
1) Natural black soap – it is awesome! And doesn’t let my hair break while washing
2) Ori!!- This is Shea butter and is very good too.
Two other products I would recommend are the Cantu Shea butter daily oil moisturizer and Jessi curl deep conditioning treatment. Started using them last year and I could see good results.
Water! The greatest product of all time.
10) Do you have any problems areas?
The middle of my hair grows at a much slower pace than the other parts. If I were a guy i probably would have bald issues. My hair is naturally strong, and this makes styling hard for me when dry. So I do all my styling wet. Even when I braid my hair, I do it while the hair is wet.
11) What type of natural are you?
I’m a lazy natural and if I had plenty extra income I would probably be a product junkie. But for now I try to buy only the products I need.
12) Any unforgettable moment you would like to share as regards your hair journey?
hmmmm I remember when I dyed my hair, walking out of the saloon I felt like a queen, a goddess only to show my mum the hair and she screamed. Lol. She didn’t like it but I couldn’t even care less because I was in love with it. Eventually she came around and now she loves my hair too. One very annoying moment was when my sister applied a texturizer on my hair. At home that day I couldn’t comb my hair so she told me she was going to apply something that would make my hair softer. I didn’t even know what she was talking about but I just sat there. When she started applying it, it smelt like relaxer. I immediately took the pack and saw texturizer written on it. I ran and washed it off but it had already changed the curl pattern on one part of my hair. I do not like loose curls so it really upset me.
13) As a student, how are you able to allocate money for your hair products?
Natural hair care is expensive but you can always cut corners by sticking to natural and homemade products. I do not buy natural hair products myself most times I make my sisters buy them for me. My boyfriend loves my natural hair so he buys products for me too. I also swap products with friends.
14) Any hair tips you would like to share with us?
Not a regular tip but I would say love your hair. The moment you love your hair, you would begin to pay a lot of attention to it and it will grow.
15) What are your hair goals?
Geez I haven’t even done a length check. I want to have a fuller hair and I want my hair to conveniently be a shoulder length. I would do a proper length check and it would be up on my blog.
16) What do you love and dislike most about your hair?
I love my curl pattern and the feel of my hair. The only thing I don’t like is the shrinkage. I am the queen of shrinkage.
17) Any advice to newly naturals or those considering it?
Natural hair is lovely, but you have to be mentally prepared. At the beginning it’s very stressful and there is a likely chance you would want to give up. Just be patient, take care of it and watch it grow. Stick to few but good products, don’t confuse the hair. Most importantly love your hair.
18) Are you into hair blogs like CHH or watch you tube videos instead or none?
I watch videos and read blogs too. With natural hair, you can never know everything.
19) Where can we connect with you on the internet?
I hope you all enjoyed meeting Levy-Braide as we did. You too can be featured here as a student natural. Just send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the form here
Have a great day!.