Hair feature: Foluke’s Journey to Healthy Hair

Your hair is? Relaxed? Natural? ‘Texlaxed’? Transitioning?

Relaxed

When and why did you start your hair journey? How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?

I started my hair journey in 2009 when I travelled to São Paulo, Brazil for my Masters. I had on Ghana weaving when I got to Brazil, but after carrying it for 3 months, I knew I had to remove it and do something to my hair. But the challenge I had was – “What do I do to my hair?”. Although I had foreseen this problem in Nigeria and had gone with 8 or so kits of Dark and Lovely relaxer (cos I knew that changing relaxer there could lead to hair breakage for me besides the fact that Brazilian hair is quite different from African hair), the question that still remained was what I could do to my hair after relaxing. Braiding done by Nigerians in São Paulo could cost as much as 100 to 200 dollars which I could not afford as a student. Besides, I had to do something else. This brought my attention to the hair type of the Brazilians which was always so long and lustrous and made me start asking questions as to how they took care of their hair as I had to find a way of maintaining my own hair too. Thus began my hair journey which I must confess has been a very interesting and informative one for me.

Foluke Brazilian 3
How do I deal with people who doubt me? 

I never had to deal with this problem. This is because I started my hair journey in Brazil and by the time I got back to Nigeria and people saw my hair, they never had any reason to disbelieve that it was possible to grow African hair.
What motivates me to keep going? 

I believe the people who motivated me in the beginning to keep on going were my friends (in Brazil) like my hairdresser and other Brazilians who always gave me tips on overcoming hair issues I had. Later on, when I realized that my hair was not breaking and it was really getting longer, that became my motivation.

Do you do protective styles? Or leave your hair down?

Actually, the first time I weaved my hair (Ghana weaving) since 2009 was in June, 2015. And I had this Ghana weaving on for only 2 weeks. I prefer to use wigs (I love them, especially short styles since my hair is long). Also, I prefer to leave my hair down. In Brazil, I basically did Brazilian blow out and flat ironed my hair throughout (however I always used protective products). In Nigeria, I stopped flat ironing and just basically roller set the hair or hair dry and leave it down.

Do you have any hair goals? How are you working to achieve them? Or have you already achieved them? How did you achieve them?

My goal is to have my hair grow to waist length. I do not know if that is possible, but we will see. In order to achieve this, I steam my hair regularly and I also make sure it is well-groomed and strong.

Foluke Brazilian 1
Do you have a hair regimen? If you do, what is your daily, weekly and/or monthly hair regimen?:

My hair regimen is as follows:

  • I apply hair moisturizer daily. 3 times a week, I seal with castor oil mixed with argan oil, especially the hairline.
  • Weekly: I make sure I steam my hair weekly. However, I alternate between a protein based deep conditioner and a non-protein based deep conditioner.
  • Monthly: I always use a hair reconstructor anytime I retouch because relaxing the hair and not fortifying it or reconstructing it would lead to damaged hair. Then, I also try to do this process 6 weeks after retouching.

What are your top 5 hair products?

These are my top 5 hair products:
a)      Antiqueda – This is perfect for those who need to strengthen their hair to stop hair breakage. It’s a Portuguese word which means antibreakage in English. All you have to do is to apply a tube into your hair after shampooing. Do not let it reach the hair roots. Apply this only to your hair length especially the tips and wait for 15 minutes. Then rinse out with water and apply conditioner. Or you could also mix it in your deep conditioner and use it to steam your hair. Another way is to add it to your shampoo and conditioner to strengthen them.
b)      Tutano – This is ideal for people with dry and damaged hair. It nourishes the hair and repairs it. I love Tutano and Antiqueda because there are so many different ways to apply them and you will still get the results you are looking for. That is strong and healthy hair. Tutano is used the same way Antiqueda is used.
c)      Jaborandi – Excellent for people who are shedding hair. Shedding hair is quite different from hair breakage as this means that the hair is coming out from the roots. Jaborandi is a hair tonic that stops this. Use: After roller setting the hair, apply the tonic to the hair roots which are exposed (as a result of the hair being partitioned). It is then massaged into the scalp. This product is to be applied to the roots only and it is quite strong, so a little quantity is sufficient.
d)      Hydrolised liquid keratina: Perfect for hair reconstruction on the day hair is retouched with relaxer.
e)      Amend Gold Black Deep Conditioner: Lovely deep conditioner. Very good for hair reconstruction.

Where do you usually purchase your hair products?

I actually brought quite a lot of products with me from Brazil which I have been using. However, I found Sizzelle online when I was looking for a particular hair oil “castor oil” and I have never regretted it.

What do you love most about your hair?

I think what I love most about my hair is the color because it’s quite black. Many people actually think it’s a “weave-on” because of the colour.

What personal struggles or challenges have you experienced during your hair journey?

I believe the challenge I had in my hair journey was getting to know my hair. What it needs, when it needs it and how it reacts to certain procedures like relaxing, oiling etc. Each person’s hair is unique because you need to be able to identify what your hair needs when it appears a certain way or looks a certain way. Although, everyone’s hair needs basically the same nutrients and nourishment, being able to identify the particular needs of your hair according to its appearance is very important for hair maintenance and management.

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