'I can't wash and go the way I used to when my hair was shorter' Mane Matters with Glory Okubo

Hi Naturalistas,

How is the week going?

Meet Glory

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
I'm Glory, a Lagos based software developer. I have an ever expanding range of interests - from design to politics to food to health and fitness - and I love trying out new things.
What are your thoughts about natural hair?
Natural hair is one of those "topics" I could go on and on about simply because it's just so awesome. It's your hair, unprocessed, doing what it should do. It can be anything, do anything, mean anything or nothing. But above all, it's just so, so beautiful.
When/why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural almost 3 years ago, in July 2013. It started when my hair was basically falling out after I'd just relaxed it. I'd never experienced anything like it before, so my mom convinced me to look up a solution online. The quest to repair my damaged relaxed hair led me to a world of beautiful unprocessed hair. I haven't looked back since then.

Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I transitioned for a year before cutting off my relaxed ends.
What was the experience like?
It was a period of excitement, confusion, trial and error. It was a great learning process. I read about natural hair practically every night before going to bed. I was so anxious to know all I could, to try out what I was learning. It was also a great buffer period - I had the chance to see and feel the difference between the relaxed and natural textures; how they were so different.

What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?
My biggest fear going natural was that I would be unable to care for my hair, and that it might not grow as long as I'd really like.

Do you have a regimen you stick to? What is it like?
I try as much as possible to stick to a regimen, but I'm still quite flexible. I wash my hair with a shampoo and deep condition every two weeks. But sometimes I may want to wear a style that requires freshly washed hair, or I might have done an intense workout and need to wash out the sweat. In that case, I just wash or rinse my hair as needed. I usually keep my hair in braids to dry, stretch and then wear a braid out which eventually ends up in a protective style till the next wash.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
I think one struggle I've faced especially since my hair has gotten longer is the boredom that comes with realizing that you can't just wash and go the way you used to when your hair was shorter.

Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?
This is definitely not a phase. This is a way of life. This is forever. Lol!
There are people that definitely have negative comments about your hair, how do you deal with that?
Actually, I've really not dealt with negative comments about my hair. The closest scenario to this could probably be people asking if or when I was (ever) going to relax my hair again, and seeming shocked when I say never. Oh, and there was this one time the young daughter of a friend asked why my hair was like a boy's (it was still short and I was sporting a shrunken wash and go). I told her short hair does not belong to any gender. I don't consider these negative comments anyway, just points of learning (and possible incredulity lol).

What's your must have product and accessory?
For a product, I'd say shea butter. It's become more of a friend since my hair has grown longer. Accessory - definitely bobby pins.

What is your go-to style?
My go to style is a bun. It's always there for me when the braid out gets old out frizzy or when I experience a style fail.
What advice do you have for anyone just going natural?
There's two major things any new natural needs: an open mind and patience. Armed with these, you'll find your hair is less of a challenge and more of an adventure. There's a lot of defaults in our minds that come with years of caring for relaxed hair, and almost all of those need to fly out the window.
Where can we find you? Your social media platforms…
I'm on Instagram dishing natural hair tips and more at @flamellehair and on Twitter as @Flamelle.

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Enjoy the rest of the week Naturalistas



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