'My hair is me and is one of the things that defines me' Mane matters with Tomi

Hi Naturalistas,
Meet Tomi

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
My name is Tomi Popoola and I am in my final year at The University of Nottingham studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I also have a YouTube channel that I love so much, focused mainly on me sharing tips and trick on natural hair!
What are your thoughts about natural hair?
I am obsessed! There are so many beautiful textures and it’s so versatile. I can literally have my hair straight today or curly the next. I love how many black women in this generation have embraced their natural hair and this just means the next generation can have amazing natural hair, without it being something odd or them not understanding or knowing what to do with it.

When/why did you decide to go natural?
I went natural about 2 ½ years ago. A part of my hair was damaged from a relaxer gone bad and it was just weird looking at healthy hair while the part that was meant to be my leave-out was damaged. I called my sister, gave her some hair shears and the rest is history!
Did you do a BC or you transitioned?
I didn’t transition, I did the big chop

What was the experience like?
At first it was a bit strange having my hair that low because I had never cut my hair before. Wigs were my best friend while I was still figuring how it all worked but then I became this natural hair junkie. I became obsessed with every product I heard about and just went crazy trying to incorporate everyone’s regimen into mine. I realized the hard way that not everything could work for me and this was when I finally started to understand my hair and treat it exactly how it needed to be treated. I am still a product junkie but it is specifically for my hair’s needs and I just love it!

What was/is your biggest fear about going Natural?
Will my hair grow? Will it be healthy? Will I have lush locks like naptural85?lool! I would watch length check videos just to see if my hair was growing right, one mistake I will advise you not to make. Yes, you can and should watch these videos because you learn a lot from them but they should not be used as any sort of comparison. Your hair is unique to you and that is what makes it beautiful.
Do you have a regimen you stick to? What is it like?
I follow a strict wash routine which requires a pre-poo if I am going to shampoo my hair, otherwise I co-wash my hair. I always use deep conditioners underneath a steamer, which makes my hair super silky and soft. I use cold aloe-vera juice to seal in moisture with a water based leave-in conditioner and coconut oil. A lot of the products I use vary depending on the weather (summer or winter) and I do loads of protective styling to retain length. Most people that know me see me in wigs more often than not.

What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
I honestly haven’t faced any. Except if you count me being lazy on a wash day or two as an emotional struggle, then no.
Do you think you are in it for the long haul or is it just a phase?
This is definitely not a phase. I have learnt so much about my hair and black hair in general from going natural and I love everything about it! Your hair is the healthiest, most versatile and at its best when it is natural so why would I ever want to go back?

There are people that definitely have negative comments about your hair, how do you deal with that?
I honestly have not gotten any hate comment throughout my journey but if I did it still wouldnt bother me. My hair is me and is one of the things that defines me. Trying to bring someone down because of how they decide to wear their hair just shows a high level of insecurity in that individual. There is no need to pay such people any attention whatsoever.
What's your must have product and accessory?
I have so many so I will just list my top 5. My silk scarf, Amika tripleRx mask and Aussie moist deep treatment (best ever deep-conditioning combo!), coconut oil (currently loving the parachute brand), cold aloe vera juice (a must for sealing in moisture after washing).

What is your go-to style?
At the moment, I am on a hair growth challenge so all my go-to-styles are protective styles. I’m either wearing wigs or have my hair in an up-do that requires little manipulation.
What advice do you have for anyone just going natural?
Honestly, you can do it! There are so many tutorials, blogs and people (like myself) willing to help you through the process. When you properly take care of your natural hair it grows so healthy and longer than you could possibly think. If you’re not someone that can deal with your hair being super short, then transition up until you feel confident and comfortable enough to cut off your relaxed ends. Be patient with your hair, get to know your hair and what it wants. This takes time but you will eventually find what works for you and you’ll love it! Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s and good luck xxx

Where can we find you? Your social media platforms…
My YouTube channel name is : Tomi Popoola https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh2UR_6CXFf_4Ld1tBt4-sQ  
Both my twitter and Instagram handles are: @tomipopoola
Thank you for your time

What do you guys think about Tomi's mane and hair regimen?

Be sure to drop a comment.

p.s: Remember you can also get featured on the blog. Send us a mail at manematter@africanaturalistas.com and you would get a feedback as soon as possible.

Enjoy the rest of the week.



  1. Thanks for sharing your hair story. Looking forward to watching your Youtube videos. Love from DiscoveringNatural channel.

  2. Lovely post. Could you please share a link o how you blow dried your hair?

    1. Thank you xx. https://youtu.be/gRKfho4WLEw
      That's a link to my 2-year blowout on YouTube xx

  3. Nice hair. Beautiful face. So many Tomis have been featured on the blog now. :)


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