Mane Matters with Damilola Kalejaiye

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
I am Damilola Kalejaiye and I am an architect and landscaper in training. I also have a flair for the performing arts especially music, dance and drama. So in summary I'd say I am an architect/landscaper/singer/songwriter/actor...

Whats your thoughts about natural hair?
I think natural hair is technically the hair that you have naturally ie without any alterations whatsoever. In that case practically no one will have natural hair in this day and age, so to me natural hair is the hair that you feel most comfortable in really. Whether its curly, coily, relaxed or imported! In my opinion, if the hair on your head doesn't hold you back from being you, then its natural.

Why did you decide to go natural?
Well, I've always detested heat on my head. The thought of hair driers and flats irons always gave me the hibbie-jibbies. It was just so much torture and I got fed up. Coupled with the constant frying of my scalp from the creamy crack. I was just like 'Mehn, I'm done'. Also, I must admit I was quite curious to see what my hair would behave like if I didn't try to alter it AND I think short hair on ladies is pretty cool.

Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I did a BC in April 2013. I had been reading up a bit on natural hair and how to care for it and ogling at pictures of some fab fab fab naturalistas so I did it. One day after work I just went straight to the barbers and said 'Please chop it off!'

What has your experience been?
Initially it was all fine and dandy. I was washing my hair everyday and feeling all good. Then the hair started to grow and reality set in. I couldn't carry on with my so-called Wash and Go's. It was then I realized that I actually hadn't done enough research about this whole thing and having kinky hair isn't necessarily an easier way out, especially when you don't have the right information.
Sometime in December, 2013 I started feeling bad about the progress of my hair because I realized it was going to be a year pretty soon. But I did some more research and realized that I just have to be patient. You see it was strange for me because prior to the BC I'd always had long hair so I think I just expected my coily hair to sprout back just like that, but it doesn't work that way.
Now I'm just happy that my hair and scalp are healthier than before and I'm loving the uniqueness of it all, learning a lot about myself as I go along and also just learning to enjoy my hair at whatever stage it is in.

What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?
The shape of my head! I was like how will this my big head look? But it turned out to be a beautiful big head anyway..LOL!
To be honest I was and still am a bit scared about the corporate world and how natural hair is perceived there. But it's really not that big an issue at the end of the day. There are all sorts of hair accessories that can be used to 'tone' down the afro look so one does stand out so much, I guess. Anyway that's something I've decided to deal with when the time comes.

Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?
Heck, no! This is so not a phase! I don't plan to ever use a relaxer again especially after seeing Good Hair by Chris Rock. However, I am not one to ever say never, there might come a time when I might begin to use some heat on my hair again, to make it straight. But right now I'm not too keen on straight hair.

Do you have any hair regimen you stick to?
Yes. After my almost-melt-down in December, I decided to incorporate more protective styling and moisturize more consistently. So I still co-wash twice a week with Tresemme naturals, do a proper cleanse with Dudu osun once a month followed by a DC (honey, aloe vera, coconut oil, almond oil, lemon eucalyptus essential oil and a bit of conditioner).

Whats your go-to protective style? 
Just twists and twist-outs really.

There are people that definitely have negative comments about you hair, how do you deal with that?
I don't hear them quite frankly. I probably get more looks than comments but that's not really my problem. In my mind there's nothing to deal with. I don't feel like I need approval for this so it is not something I would give too much thought to. If you ask me I would say just ignore it, just like you should any form of negativity in your life.

Whats your must have product and accessory?
I've become very accustomed to Emily millionaire's Coconut oil and Herbs with Aloe vera. I use it everyday to seal in my leave-in which is basically water, aloe-vera and a bit oil and conditioner (I mix them up in a spray bottle). I'm not a product junkie yet so right now my other must haves are my oils and shea butter and aloe vera and pure honey. 

Whats you advice to anyone planning to ditch relaxers?
Just do a your research. Find out as much as you can about what you're getting into before you proceed. I made the mistake of thinking that because I knew the ingredients I needed I was okay but it didn't occur to me that I didn't know what to do with these ingredients. So I ended up washing my hair with dud osun every other day thinking it was helping me. Meanwhile it was stripping my hair everyday of moisture.

Also, understand that natural African hair requires patience. And of course, ignore the negative comments like I said before. Your unrelaxed hair can be gorgeous. Just go on YouTube and see for yourself. It doesn't have to be untidy or ugly. It will make you stand out and more unique because no two people have the exact same hair. 

Thank You for your time!


  1. Great interview. Like seriously dudu osu shey? That's what I use every week on my hair to wash. I even use it as a bathing soap. I noticed it's drying out my body. I reckon it's doing d same thing to my hair. I need a non sulphate shampoo! Somebody help!

    1. I'm very baffled at some of the things we sometimes do in the name of DIY. Dudu Osun is a very good cleansing soap, but it does not moisturise, and dries out the hair. A good shampoo for natural hair shouldn't dry out your hair. And we can't blame the soap cos it was not manufactured for hair purposes, but for healthy skin.

      Since you are looking for sulphate-free shampoo, look no more. Click this link to purchase one, and any other product of your choice.

  2. I love how you accessorise with scarves

  3. Just discovered your blog,well I'm almost a on low cut,but tinted it,been carrying for months now,but I get tired of a particular look.

  4. Hello, please go through the blog i'm sure you would find something that will inspire you, you can start with the "Style tips" label here I hope this helps. Stay inspired

  5. Great Interview Damilola! We miss you here :)

    1. Thanks Kemi! I've followed your advice and the results have been really good. Also for the first time ever not one single braid fell out for the entire duration, I mean 7 weeks! Thanks for hooking me up nicely. Everyone, if you looking fot a hair salon that knows their onions when it comes to natural hair you should check out KLs Naturals. More details here

  6. I used to use Dudu Osun as well, but didn't like the way my hair felt. The past 2 washes I've done, I've gotten the same stripped feeling (using 2 different shampoos). Not sure if I DC'd for too long, or if I need to use a moisturizing shampoo. I'll try a different routine next time.


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