the naturalista: chocolaty naturals

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Name: Eleanor Mirembe

Dream Job: UNDP Communications Director

Fave spots In Kampala: Emin Pasha. I love how relaxing and quiet it can be. Did I mention their live band!

Passionate about: Blogging, making money, traveling& discovering new places

Currently listening to: Ariana Grande, Sia, Daya, Jess Glynne, Anthony Evans & William McDowell

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your natural hair journey so far? 

I’m a married 20 something yo lady working as a Digital Strategist for an Agency in Dar es Salaam. I begun blogging in 2014 for About September. Many people ask why my blog is called About September, well it’s because I am a Virgo. Go figure 🙂

In brief, my first big chop was in 2012 before I left Uganda for my Masters. I knew having treated hair would be a nightmare and natural short hair would be easier to maintain. Once I did it, I knew that was one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life. For some reason I felt liberated and empowered. There is definitely something about going natural and the whole Big Chop.

What are your top tips for someone looking to do their big chop?

I will use an analogy for this. The big chop is kinda like finding out you are pregnant. There is no perfect time, but when you do it, you will realize you just made the best decision.

Disclaimer: Do not get pregnant unless you are married!

What’s your hair regime, including products that you use? What do you do to keep it healthy?

I switch between styling my natural hair and using protective styles to maintain it. I love big long black box or fat twist braids. I usually have them in for about a month or two. When out, I wash & condition my hair at home every week.

However twice a month, I will go to the salon to have a deep conditioning treatment done. I usually carry my own products to the salon because I do not want to compromise on the amounts.

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For moisturizing, I use the LOC method and stand by it

L for liquid – I use water

O for oil – I use coconut oil by a local Tanzanian Brand

C for cream – I use the curl enhancing smoothie from Shea moisturizer During the nighttime, I usually plait either flat twist cornrows or “bitutwa” for my hair to retain length – a process I am still perfecting.

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What are your go-to styles when you can’t think of how to style it?

Head wraps are my best friend for those “bad hair” days or days when I just don’t want to be bothered with un-braiding my hair.

Also that short uncombed rugged look is my default hair style when I am in my i-give-up-on-natural-hair state

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What do you wear when you’re dressing up for something special?

My hair is at that awkward level, not too short and neither is it long enough. So I personally feel limited with my styling options. However something I have been loving is pulling it back to maximize exposure of my mini-fro 🙂

What are your top 5 frustrations about having natural hair?

  • Having to plait every night
  • The lengthy detangling process
  • Hairstyling learning curve
  • After a year, why does it seem like it hasn’t grown
  • My curls are not the same as in the YouTube videos – I know, different texture of hair but but whyy

What to you is the perception of natural hair in Dar es Salaam?

I feel like the ladies here have totally embraced natural hair for example out of all the ladies in my office, 80% of us have natural hair. There are salons dedicated to taking care of strictly natural hair, which is a plus. In Uganda, I think the ladies are still held down with relaxed hair, but I see that changing more and more.

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Do you ever experience any moments of doubt about your natural beauty?

Yes, I do. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. But those moments come most nights when I am trying so hard to retain the length 🙂 By morning though, when I see the hard work paying off with well-moisturized and healthy hair. Gone are those doubts.

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What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt during your natural hair journey?

Taking time to moisturize your hair works wonders. When I had relaxed hair, I always had a flaky scalp. Although my scalp is sensitive, I have found that with natural hair I no longer have that problem because I take time to properly moisturize my hair and go through a routine that ensures I never get a flaky scalp.

How does your hubby feel about your new hairstyle?

I am lucky that he is not into the whole weaves and wigs (Thank God) because I am not into any of those either. But he loves my natural hair the way it is and is totally supportive.

What’s something you’ve been looking forward to doing in 2016?

Upping my content game on the blog as well as challenging myself to reach out and do work outside my comfort zone. This applies to both my personal work as well as my career

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It’s a bold color which I LOVE! Has this been well-received at your workplace?

Yes, it has. I work in a creative environment which is open to expression of oneself. The Clients I also work with are very laissez-faire so I am at ease to express myself freely.

Right now I can’t stop wearing

I have way too many now in different materials, patterns & colors.

Can you tell us about a place you’ve recently discovered and loved?

The Oyster Bay Hotel. A cozy & wonderful hotel here in Dar es Salaam. The interior décor and overall ambiance is amazing and the best place for a stay-cation

Happy new week and stay colorful,

Karen

  • OMG That braiding before bed routine kills me…
    Sometimes I just want to fall into bed and sleep 😢

    • Miss K

      Hey Beenie, I know exactly what you mean, I sometimes do just that! Haha! Helloooo boxbraids 🙂

    • Still quite lazy about that…maaaan…I need help

      • Miss K

        Word, like I said, I’m so happy I have braids in at the moment…giving my hair a break for a month 🙂

  • Beautifully written

    • Miss K

      Thank you so much Marie ♥

  • Peninah

    I’m in love with this ginger/redhead hair color!!! It just pops! Glad to see someone else with it!

    • Miss K

      Yes Penny, such a cool colour on you ladies! I envy your boldness! 😊 or love black too much!

  • Love her music choices, her job and her dream job 🙂

    • Miss K

      Me too Guulo 🙂