What's my name? Heather
Where am I from? I was born and bred in Malawi, Africa but I live in England, UK.
Where is Neno Natural based? Chicago, USA and London, England.
Personally, I live in London (most of the time) but most of my goods are stocked and sold in the USA.
When did I decide to go natural? In about March 2011.
I unbraided my hair to find that the relaxed portion of my hair had entirely fallen out at the back. Despite this, I was still going to relax my hair but my cousin and sister who were with me at the time said,
"Why don't you just leave it natural?"
Seriously, the concept of keeping natural hair had never occurred to me. I thought it was like moving back from computer to typewriter - you simply wouldn't do it! They pulled up some YouTube videos of African Americans who were "going natural" and the beautiful results that they were having and I was sold!
How long had I been relaxing my hair for prior to "going natural"? c.24 years by my own estimate. My mother first relaxed my hair when I was about 3 years old, I believe.
What was year 1 of being natural like? Tough. I looked silly.
I was transitioning and only the top half of my hair had any relaxed hair on it. Like I said, all the natural hair on the back half had fallen out completely.
The protective/conservative hairstyles I fashioned to work are so cringeworthy I can't put them up! Perhaps one day.
What is Neno? Neno (the "e" is pronounced like the "e" in bed) is the village where my dad was born and raised. I decided to name all my proprietary routines after Neno because my roots lie in Neno and it's the roots of my hair that I am trying to nourish and grow (pun intended).
What's Neno village like? Think beyond the back of beyond - dirt roads, mountains...It's great, especially if you're running from the police, they'd never find you there! Jokes aside, Bill Clinton's been there: the Clinton Foundation is doing some fantastic work out in Neno.
What's the point of the Neno Natural hair blog? It started out as a hair diary. Then I got interested in learning the science of my hair and became more analytical.
Where do we get our info? some things, we learn through trial and error, others we get off fellow 'naturals', books and journal articles. We will always provide links to any sources used for your verification.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward