Going Natural: Ama Nunoo Shares Her Journey
Going natural is not just a statement it’s a movement! Over the years more and more African woman are chopping of the perm and putting on the fro Ama Nunoo, a multimedia journalist from Elmina shares with us her hair journey.
Why and when did you decide to go natural?
My sister went natural in 2012 and went on and on about all of us (we are four girls in total) should join her. I was scared, because I had no idea how I will look with the natural hair. She had done some extensive research on how the perm chemicals affects the brain and all that. My response to her was, “I will go natural after my wedding.” I said this mainly because my permed hair was beautiful! I am not exaggerating. It looked like a weave since I always did a blowout and straightening.
One time during my undergrad, a friend approached me saying, “how can you wear the same weave for three months, are you that broke?” I barely braided or wore weaves so keeping my permed hair throughout the term, she thought I was wearing a weave till I made her ruffle my hair up, the joke was on her, lol. Fast forward to July 2015, a friend asked that I join her bridal train. I went to perm my hair and got all glammed up to fix my weave.
That was the moment I just blurted out to the hairdresser, this is my last perm because I am going natural. She laughed so hard because it was such a spontaneous declaration to her and more so to myself but stuck to my guns and didn’t perm again. My last perm was in July 2015.
Tell us about your transition process. How long is your hair now?
My transition was not so eventful I think. I bought sulphate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner and kept braiding my hair. On 6th March 2016, I decided to cut my hair, My big chop. My hair is at the shoulder length now.
Describe your hair and some of the challenges you face during your journey.
My hair is soft, thick and curly. It’s a mixture of 4b and 4c but more 4b than 4c. My main challenge was finding what worked for my hair. There were and still are so many products, tutorials, recommendations and it is hard to decide which one to go for. Also, twisting my hair at night an be a drag sometimes. After taking time to moisturize man must now twist it just so to have a nice volume to style the hair in the morning. Dandruff! My biggest headache, now using coconut oil and lemon treatments, fingers crossed.
How do you keep your hair moisturized?
I spray my hair with water, use castor oil for my edges, mix my shea butter with either olive, argan, castor or coconut oil. Sometimes a mixture of two oils, just a little, then I add my leave-in conditioner. (this is for when I do usually). For those fast days when you just want to get it over with, I have another bottle with water, leave-in conditioner and a drop of my oils, so just spray that and add a bit of the shea butter, then I am good to go.
Can you share some of your favorite hair products you love?
I use the Cream of Nature natural hair range, it is leaves my hair smelling and feeling all types of gorgeous and a cheaper alternative to the shea moisture range of products. I have not experimented a lot because these two products work wonders on my hair. I intend to explore more. I use eco-styler gel, but it flakes sometimes and leaves white residue in the hair, so I now use IC hair gel. (I use them interchangeably though)
Final words and advice?
Enjoy the process, its amazing to see the hair grow. From the teeny-weeny afro to what I have now, it’s a feeling of contentment. Also, deep condition every week and do a protein deep condition treatment just to restore the hair to its natural graces. Always detangle with fingers. It reduces a lot of shredding. (I barely ever comb my hair, my go to comb is the afro comb for elevating my puffs). Overall, love it! Love your journey and appreciate it. It will make the process more enjoyable, also experiment till you find the right product for you. It sounds like a long process, but it is worth it.