Hey curlfriends! My name is Jumoke and I am a current student at the beautiful Florida International University and reside in Miami, Florida.
2. What is your hair type?
To keep it simple for people, I mostly refer to my hair as kinky lol. My hair is a myriad of 4s with tighter 4c at the nape (kitchen) and sides of my head, looser 4a curls at the crown of my head, and 4b everywhere else! (Ironically, I still am not fully convinced what 4b hair looks like. My 4a and 4c hair are easy to differentiate but I honestly don't know what 4b is lol!)
In addition to my hair type, I believe I have low porosity hair for many reasons. For one, it was really difficult for me to learn how to moisturize my hair! My hair hates silicones or anything that just sits on top of my hair which is why I switched to the Curly Girl Method. Also, deep conditioning never really worked for my hair unless if I use heat or steam otherwise it seems like a waste of time and money.
In regards to my texture, I have a mix of fine, medium, and coarse hair depending on what part of my head. The parameter of my head and my "baby hairs" tend to be finer and silkier. The crown of my head is the coarsest and my 4c hair is medium in texture. Overall, my hair is thin in density. I really am living proof of multitextured hair!
I "returned" natural coming into my freshmen year of college in fall 2012. I have a whole article dedicated to my hair journey on my blog which you can find here: My Hair Story
Basically, I struggled with my hair my whole life and there came a point in high school when I only found beauty in weaves. By my senior year of high school, I decided to jherri curl my hair (worst decision ever smh) and hated it so I hid under self made weave caps until I could get a job and car in college to fund salon appointments. When I started college at FIU, I was overwhelmed with the amount of natural haired women on campus! (At that point, I didn't even know natural hair was a thing lol.)
I had met another fellow Nigerian girl who had been natural for three years and her hair always blew me away! I started to think to myself, how are we the same race and nationality and your hair looks like that and I'm still struggling? Before you know it, the day after Thanksgiving Day, I was chopping the remainder of my jherri curl. Coincidentally enough, since my hair was so damaged from the Jherri curl, I only had two follicles of hair to cut and had a year of new growth underneath so I don't know if one would call it a "big chop" lol.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing about going natural is the learning curve definitely! Literally having to undo years and years of what you thought you knew about your hair to learning something completely different. I keep telling folks that going natural isn't for the faint of heart lol. Returning natural requires a lot of love, patient, and willingness to try something new if your old routine doesn't work.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
My weekly regimen fluctuates to whatever suits my hair. Unfortunately since I'm a college student, I have bouts of not taking good care of my hair during times of stress. I'm also a technique junkie (haven't heard of that one yet have you lol) so I tend to either start and fall off different regimens or end up incorporating them into my overall regimen. For example, I incorporate the LOC Method, Curly Girl Method, Greenhouse Method, and the Maximum Hydration Method. Although it seems like a lot, I pick and choose what works for me and what I learn from each method.
I usually wash and reset my hair every week preferably on a Saturday and my routine goes as follows:
- I shampoo my hair once a month with a sulfate free shampoo (doesn't matter which as long as it's Curly Girl Friendly)
- In between shampooing, I alternate between cowashing with Tresseme Naturals or I do a bentonite clay mud wash to keep my hair clean. Since I only use CG friendly products, I don't have much buildup.
- I deep condition my hair every week with a fabulous homemade concoction I created myself. :D I use Tresseme Naturals Conditioner as my base, add molasses, honey, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and tea tree oil to an old Tresseme Naturals Conditioner bottle (those things come in handy!) and I microwave it for about 30 to 40 seconds so that it stays relatively warm while I wash my hair. When applied to my hair, my hair feels like butter and it melts away all my tangles! I deep condition my hair my using the Greenhouse Effect Method so after my hair is saturated with the concoction, I apply a plastic cap and then layer it with two satin bonnets and a beanie or two to keep my head warm. I usually leave it on for a few hours not because it benefits my hair more but as a college student, I'm always busy!
- Once I rinse out my conditioner, I keep my hair moisturized by using the LOC Method. Since my hair is already wet, that works for my liquid. Then, I immediately apply a mix of extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil to my hair. Finally, I apply my cream which I'm currently using Creco Pelo Tratamentio (the slip in the stuff is AMAZING!! It's pretty easy to find it in Miami where there is a thriving Spanish community. I got mine from Publix) and I top off everything with some organic Shea butter whipped with lemongrass. I braid my hair into 10-12 plaits and then I undo them in 24 hours for a well defined, moisturized braid out that I wear for the week.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
In the mornings, I'm either undoing my braids which I do with oil coated hands. If not, I usually style my hair in a puff or frohawk once my braid out starts looking puffy and afro-y.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
At night, I usually just spritz my hair with water and seal with my oil mix. For those days that my hair is unusually dry, I remoisturize my hair with Creco Pelo and oil (I try not to use Shea butter more than once a week as it weighs down my hair).
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Yes I do! Occasionally (like every two months), I blowout my hair on warm/cool hair to avoid damage. I straightened my hair once and I was so adamant on not damaging my hair that it ended up looking like a blowout lol.
As far as single braids with braiding hair (that's what Nigerians call it lol), no, I stopped doing that back in 2013. I realized that my thin hair could not handle the weight of extensions so I always end up paying the price when I take them down. I would lose tons and tons of hair and it simply was not worth it anymore. I use to do box braids/twists and kinky twists with Marley hair but my natural hair was not benefitting from long term protective styling so I just let that go. Anyways sha, I do a mean crochet braid! ;)
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
Chai! Neither lol. My hair is not strong nor is it thick enough to withstand most tools. #DeathToMyHair!
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
Loose! Anyone who knows me knows how much I abhor long term "protective styling." Why does my hair need to be completely hidden for months at a time to be protected? That's what low manipulation styling and hats are for lol. The few times a year when my hair is hidden and I'm either wearing a wig, weave, or quick ponytail, I never hide behind the term "protective styling". No my dear, I'm just wearing a wig lol. Sometimes you just want to change up your look without compromising your own hair.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Fadda God... The calamity of the jherri curl! If you want to hear my whole hair story, once again check out my blog or click the link above. To sum up, I got a jherri curl done my senior year of high school and it was just so bad. I reeked for a whole week, dripped on my clothes, and on top of that- I looked like a damn poodle smh. Never again. To answer the question though, my solution was to hide under weaves and wigs until it grew out so I don't know if that's a valid answer lol. Ladies, save yourself the stress. Just don't do it and love your natural hair lol.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Oh wow it's difficult to just pick one so here's two-
- MOISTURIZE! I cannot stress this enough. When it comes to kinky hair and balancing moisture and protein, always err on the side of moisture. Learn to find effective ways to moisturize your hair. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way and my hair stayed stagnant for six months because it was breaking off due to the ineffective ways of moisturizing my hair (oh the joys of having low porosity hair).
- Don't let the natural hair community dictate how you can take care of your hair. Now this one is tricky because the natural hair community has offered a plethora of valuable information during the peak of the natural hair movement BUT one thing that I have noticed is that there seems to be a restriction on women with kinkier hair. I see more answers to a cure rather than prevention. For example, I see more advice to wear "protective styling" and hiding your hair around the clock to deal with the fragile nature of our hair than more advice to prevent breakage as in to create regimens to address dryness and tangles. As for me, I have dipped into "no no" areas one would have considered unacceptable for a natural with kinky hair. I've done wash and gos consistently, use gel, have experimented with grease, cowashed my hair everyday in the summer with Tresseme Naturals and used it as my leave in (CG Method/Conditioner only method), and have went months without "protective styling". I've had varying results with all these methods but at the end of the day, don't be afraid to try something outside the "norm" of the natural hair community and have fun with your natural hair! Even if doesn't work out, it's hair and it'll grow back lol.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
Want to be featured as a Queen of Kinks, Curls & Coil?
Here's how to apply.