Last year I decided to go natural. Going natural meant that I could no longer use chemicals to straighten my hair and I would try within my control to make the healthiest food, clothing and beauty choices.
At the beginning of this year I went vegan for 2 whole months, which meant no eggs, dairy ,sugar, meat, fish or chicken. Those were the hardest two months; my whole body felt like I was a drug addict going through a detox program. In the first two weeks I had symptoms ranging from headaches, to itchy skin, a few rashes on my chest and arms. Eeek I thought, what have I gotten myself into? I thought that going natural would be so easy.
By week 3 I had started to feel really good, I had more energy, the bags and dark rings under my eyes (which I would cover with make up) had disappeared. I was regular, less irritable and generally happier. At the end of the two months, my body felt like it was functioning like a well oiled Mercedes engine just the way it had been designed to. It was probably due to the fact that with less meat for my body to digest ( meat takes about 7 days to digest in your body) I had more energy. I ate a lot of green leafy vegetables like spinach (kontomire), cabbage, lentils, beans, plantain (boiled and fried). I also made copious amounts of stew with akatoa (egusi). I enjoyed meatless fufu and soup and drank litres of water and coconut water. I discovered that food could be delicious without meat.
After two months I made a decision not to become vegan. I’ll listen to my body, if I feel like eating fish, I will I may just nibble on some chicken wings from time to time too. What I have learned is that making healthy eating and lifestyle choices gives me more energy to go through life.
My Big Chop:
What I’ve learned so far About Caring for Natural Hair
The last time I had natural hair was at the age of 8 years. For almost 20 years I have been chemically straightening my hair, dying, braiding, weaving and plaiting it.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about my big chop. I said to her, had I known that my natural hair was this soft and manageable, I would have gone natural years ago. My hair texture is 4a which is described as tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an “S” pattern, much like curly hair. It tends to have more moisture than 4b; has a definite curl pattern it feels bouncy and soft and literally has a life of its own. It does whatever it feels like doing.
I have learned to accept my natural hair and just embrace how unpredictable it can be. It gets dry at times so I use natural oils like coconut oil, shea oil and shea butter. What I’ve discovered about my hair is that making healthy food choices,drinking a lot of water and coconut water (my personal favourite) ultimately results is good hair. What you put in is what you get out.
I have thrown out my old shampoos and conditioners and I now use a hair care range which are suitable for natural African hair. This natural hair journey will be interesting. I’ll be video blogging about it soon.
One of the greatest concerns I had about going natural was the lack of good natural hair salons in Ghana. You’d think that as an African nation natural hair salons would be on every street corner. To my dismay this hasn’t been the case. To date I’ve noticed three natural hair salons. Two of them, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about going to. As luck would have it on one of my errands to Osu, I was approached by a young man called Nii Akwei. Nii handed me a flyer introducing me to new natural hair salon called Ecome Care.
A few days ago I visited his Salon located along the Alley of KFC in Osu. Ecome Care is a good place for natural beauties to care for their hair. I was very pleased with the quality of their hair care, products and stylists. I opted for a wash and style. Afua the stylist is very good at what she does.