Upon request, I’m back with our Naturalista series 🙂 where each week I share experiences, tips and tricks that Ugandan Natural sistas are using on their on hair. In this feature, I met with Vanessa at a lovely cafe for Coffee and some hair chit-chat. She is a care-free beauty that is’t afraid to let her curls run wild…enjoy
Name: Miss Vanessa Kamurasi.
Dream Job: I’m easily fascinated with space so probably an Astronaut (if I had the brains 🙂
Fave spots In Kampala: I go just about everywhere in Kampala.
Passionate about: Learning new things, usually just by googling.
Currently listening to: Am always listening to Lana Del Ray, Stromae, Wizkid & Ali Kiba
When did you fall in love with your natural hair texture and what exactly do you love about it? Describe your hair.
When people as why I decided to go natural, my simple answer usually is: I did NOT go natural, I WAS BORN THIS WAY!
I love the versatility and freedom of wearing natural hair however I choose – I don’t have to over think it which just works for me… although, people have expressed that my choices have sometimes been questionable :-
For the serious naturalistas, there are hundreds of styles to choose from and natural hair can hold itself up without the need for styling gels!
How long have you had natural hair and why?
Sometimes I’m very impulsive and unlike now when people do lots of research before going back to their natural hair, I went to the hair dresser one day for what should have been a treatment of my relaxed hair and looking at the mirror, I realized I didn’t like my hair anymore so I asked him to cut all of it off and just like that I returned home that day with one inch hair – this was about 3- 4 years ago.
For me, it has always come down to impulse and the hate of dryers. I recently got an undercut for no reason at all (or to be cooler J) honestly I don’t know where this style is going!
What is your hair regime, including products that you use? What do you do to keep it healthy?
My regime is a normal wash and blow dry. I have a basic hair regime that works for me. As you will soon learn, one of my frustrations is that I can’t manage my own hair… I can’t be the only one can I?! With natural hair it’s not a one size fits all, what works for others may not work for someone else so this is what I comfort myself with.
What are your top 5 frustrations about having natural hair?
- I can’t do my own hair (as much as this may sound un-natural 🙂 , I don’t have the strength for it. I have a hairdresser who if not found in the right mood just wants to comb through tangled hair (fwaaa!). So what follows is: what are you doing? Stop pulling my hair! You’re breaking my hair on purpose! I’m not coming back… also he never wants to trim my hair one bit when its getting too long, I went to him and asked to cut 1/4 of my hair off but instead I ended up in huge rollers – the result wasn’t that bad J and I have finally managed to get him to cut off some recently (including the undercut!).
- Natural African hair like Africa itself can’t be tamed! Maybe it can, but mine can get out of control whatever it pleases, sometimes I go out after making an effort of flattening and within an hour of dancing it looks like I have a big tangled bush on my head! Now should I forget to detangle it and just fall into bed; the nightmare begins the next morning! (Who wants to detangle hair at 4 am anyway?!) Still the price has to be paid with much pain and regret!
- Sometimes it also feels like you’re in a petting zoo, people will always come over to touch, feel it, and ask “if your natural hair is real!”
- Forgetting that despite the above frustrations I should SMILE & BE HAPPY!
What to you is the perception of natural hair in Uganda?
I went to a salon once just to check on a friend and a lady there said my hair would be a lot more beautiful if chemically treated it – when you’ve had natural hair for a while this is almost offensive I didn’t even have the energy to start explaining myself.
Lots of people now are going in for the big chops and leaving their hair natural, I guess it has to do with the tons of literature out there now about caring and transitioning to natural hair, I see so many cute natural hairstyles in Kampala, it’s amazing!
Do you ever experience any moments of doubt about your natural beauty?
Beauty, I believe is on the inside, usually I’m not caring much about the outside! I have bigger problems than natural beauty! Although if anyone knows of something that wipes off acne in 1 second I would really love to know!
Have there been times you’ve considered treating it or adding chemicals?
I had natural hair, then relaxed hair for about 5 years, then back to natural so I can comfortably confirm that I will never go back to relaxed hair because I don’t miss anything about it (baby relaxer kits always left my scalp with burn wounds (and they use that on kids!!??)
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your natural hair journey?
Mostly to keep calm, and not try everything I read on the internet (one couldn’t keep up).
You only live once so do whatever makes you happy. For instance, I recently coloured my hair out of boredom and a day later I didn’t like it anymore and it can’t come out! Someone actually said they wanted to try the same thing only if I still had hair 6 weeks after colouring! I may have to slowly transition into not coloured hair…small chops here and there as time passes so wish me luck.
All in all no matter what hair type one has, drinking plenty of water helps, reducing stress helps, wearing protective styles helps, very important: limiting the amount of heat you put on your hair especially for me that’s blow drying my hair all the time helps a lot. More tips and advice are welcome!