Naturalista Spotlight: Tayo from Nigeria

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Tayo from Nigeria4What inspired you to start growing natural hair?
I moved back home to Nigeria in 2012, and started out trying new things with my relaxed hair #jobless. My hair grew from an ear length cut to near shoulder length in less than a year!!! This got me curious about what my virgin hair would be like. I always envied my sisters hair, with her twists and all – so I figured, why not save money on the quarterly relaxer touch ups? 🙂

How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was on the 12th of May, 2013. I cut off most of my hair just about four months later.

Tayo from Nigeria5What styles did you wear before this decision?
I’ve had relaxed hair for as long as I can remember. Back in Uni, I had this obsession with short hair, so I never really maintained my relaxed hair past ear length. Usually, I will wear weaves and sometimes, twists (with extensions). However, during my transitioning period I had braids in mostly. I did a semi big shop in September 2013, where I left my front hair in so I could hump it and in October I got fed up and cut it all off.

What were the responses you received in response to your natural hair decision?
I had three other sisters at home that had natural hair, so coming back home that day they really just concluded I was crazy for the spontaneous hair cut. And later, warmed up to my “new” hair. The hardest for me I think was going to the office the following Monday. You know, here in Nigeria – natural hair in some traditional office environments (like mine) can attract all sorts of comments. The funniest I got was “it’s because you’re a fine girl”. Oh, not forgetting the awkward “ah! My husband will not let me do this one oh” comments.

Tayo from Nigeria1How often do you wash and style your hair? What are your favorite styles to wear?
Initially, I would cowash mid week and then use a shampoo over the weekend. But as my hair grew, I couldn’t keep up – combined with my hectic work schedule, it wasn’t even going to work! These days, I keep my hair in kinky twists for about one month at a time, leaving my natural hair out for atleast a week in between twists. This allows me time to wash and deep condition. Sometimes, I wear conrows because I feel pretty in them… BUT, they don’t last longer than two weeks on this hair!!

What products do you use in your hair?
I think I’m like the biggest Nigerian Product Junkie in Lagos. I have all sorts of products right now, but I’m currently trying out anything with tea tree oil in it, or my own tea tree oil mixes. So for now, I’m using Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa (Shampoo), Hello Hydration (Cowash), Aubrey GPB Balancing Conditioner (Protein), Deep Condition with my own mixes, JBCO Hair Food, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In and I do my M&S with S Curl plus my homemade oil mix. I pretty much add Tea Trea Oil into all of the above now! 🙂

What are somethings you’ve learned about your hair during your journey?
I’ve learned excess combing of my natural hair is dangerous. I’m teaching myself to do more protective styling now, to avoid the sore scalp. Also, consistency is key!! When I just did my big chop, I could get away with trying out soo many different products, but I’ve recently learned that my hair doesn’t accept everything.

Tayo from Nigeria6What advice would you give to women contemplating growing natural hair?
It’s your hair, embrace it!

How do you feel when you see other Naturalistas?
I’m always excited, everyone just stares at me.

What are 5 hair items/products you can’t live without?
My spray bottle, Cantu Leave In, JBCO, Hello Hydration Conditioner and my Denman brush.

How can you be contacted?
You can email me on oa dot oyefuga at gmail dot com! I don’t really do much tweeting, but feel free to add me @TayoFuga.

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