"I do not regret the decision to go natural" Mane Matters with Tola Adisa

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Tola Adisa and I work as a Quality Engineer

What's your thoughts about natural hair?

I am in love natural hair. I love the texture and its versatility. I personally think it’s a big shame that nobody teaches young black girls how to care for their natural hair (other than to relax it). The real truth is that our mothers probably didn’t know how to care for natural hair. It’s great to see that this generation is changing attitudes to natural hair. Natural hair should be celebrated in all its glory as opposed to forcing the curls to be straight and hiding the true beauty of natural hair.

Why did you decide to go natural?

Back in 2005, I had gotten tired of enduring thinning edges as well relaxing my hair and the painful process relaxing entails. I reasoned along the lines that God has made every race with certain features to facilitate survival and existence. The Caucasians have long straight hair and their features, the Asians have theirs and we Africans certainly have ours which also happens to include our afro textured hair. I wanted to be able to go swimming without worrying about my hair. I wanted to experience life without having to worry about my hair because for me, living with relaxed hair made me paranoid about anything coming near my hair. It was then that I decided to go natural. I had a hiccup in 2009 and relaxed my hair (cringes!) But I knew this was a mistake and decided to go natural again in 2010. I haven’t looked back since

Did you do a BC or you transitioned?

I transitioned both in 2005 and 2010. I went without relaxers for about 6 months and then cut off the relaxed part of my hair.

AN: Any fears about the BC?

My biggest BC fear is that I would end up looking like a boy. I had boy cuts while in secondary school and I don’t think it did my features any favours back then. This is probably why I never tired the BC (and I also happen to think I have a big head)

AN: What has your experience been?

Keeping natural hair has not been easy. It takes a lot of research, dedication, trial and errors. Also, there is so much to do with grooming and hair retention to avoid the frustrations of stunted growth.
I went through a phase where my hair wasn’t quite long enough to be styled long and also wasn’t quite short enough to be styled short. This was really frustrating and I was tempted to cut it off. But I stuck with it and incorporated protective styling which successfully helped me survive this stage. I truly love my hair at the moment and so far, I do not regret the decision to go natural.

AN: What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?

After I had made the decision, I had zero fears. I knew this is what I wanted to do and I didn’t need to explain it to anyone. I had the attitude of my hair, my choice. I would often get questions from work mates about my hair after a long stint using braids or weaves but I was quite happy to talk to them about my hair. Right now, my biggest fear is someone randomly sticking their hands in my afro just to get a feel. I don’t find that funny at all and always watch out for these roaming hands.  

AN: Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?

I am definitely in this for the long haul. I can’t imagine going back to relaxers. I will often fix a weave but I can’t imagine ever going back to the creamy crack.

Do you have any hair regimen you stick to?
I try to wash my hair every two weeks. It’s hard but I would sometimes go three weeks without a wash. I try to deep condition every other wash (or every 6 weeks). Through my research on natural hair, I have my go to list of deep conditioning recipes as well as sealing hair moisturisers (all homemade) I always make sure my hairline is not pulled excessively when I braid or fix a weave and I have now  started making sure that I detangle my hair thoroughly (by hand) before washing and during conditioning. This helps to reduce breakage. I sleep with a satin scarf and always have my hair in twist before sleeping anytime I wear an afro. One big tip I found out is that natural hair does not necessarily need to be combed. I would often go weeks without using any type of combs and would use just my fingers to separate my hair.

AN: What's your go-to protective style? 
It’s got to be the two strand twists, kinky twists or flat twists. I used to think wearing wigs was a good way of protecting my hair until I started losing my edges! I don’t use those anymore.

AN: There are people that definitely have negative comments about you hair, how do you deal with that?

Of course! When I first went natural, people would ask if I had started attending deeper life church. Some still do.The best comment I ever had was “no man will marry you with hair like that” which was often accompanied by a  quick “God forbid bad thing These comments were truly comical at times but I never let it get to me. Like I said, it’s my hair, my choice.

AN: What's your must have product and accessory?

There are so many of them. But if I had to pick one of each, it’s got to be Shea butter for the product and I often use Marley braids/kinky twists as hair accessories. Can’t live without these two

AN: What's your advice to anyone planning to ditch relaxers?

If you do decide to go natural, make sure you do it for the right reasons. Ensure your expectations are calibrated as to the kind of growth you may or may not achieve. Most importantly, you have got to be prepared to dedicate time into researching and understanding your natural hair because there isn’t a single formula. What works for me may not work for you.  Try to be patient as well. Growth will come. Finally, I would advise you to enjoy the freedom. It’s truly liberating.


  1. Yay! I missed the Mane Matters series.

  2. She has such lovely hair. She washes just once in two weeks or there about. This is someone I can relate with.
    Nice feature.

  3. Lovely feature. I love the "my hair my choice" line. That's how I feel too, no apologies

    5 awesome Nigerian bloggers with natural hair

  4. I seem to be the only one who washes once a month Lol. No shame at all. I don't pile on products except on wash day anyways So I'm good!! I did try cowashing once and it wasn't so bad really...

    1. To be honest, if i could go once a month I probably would. But the problem is once i start to got 2-3 weeks without a wash, I start to get breakouts on my face. Thats my cue to get a wash ASAP!


  5. her hair is lovely. Well I think it's time I sent my own hair pics, mane matters with Chysom


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