Today’s #BNFroFriday hair interview is with another talented celebrity.
We have beautiful actress and producer Uru Eke who recently released her debut movie ‘Remember Me‘. In this interview she shares her experience with chemicals like relaxers and hair dye, why she chose to go natural and give us the 411 on ‘Shaniqua‘!
We have started this series with celebrities, but if you’re reading this and would like to talk about your real hair journey – natural or relaxed, do email us – firstname.lastname@example.org!
Here’s Uru Eke’s Hair Story
BellaNaija: Tell us about your hair
Uru Eke: I’m African, my hair texture is 4b but it’s very light. When I was much younger, I did all sorts with my hair. Once, I coloured it but I didn’t like the colour then I re-coloured it the same day with a shade of what I thought was honey blonde. No one told me that after colouring you shouldn’t put any chemical in your hair for at least two weeks. The next day after colouring, I relaxed it myself at home, when I went to wash it off 20mins later… I lost all my hair. I came out of the bathroom looking like something out of a horror film.
BN: You once had relaxed hair, why did you decide to go natural?
UE: Yes, I relaxed my hair, for years actually. Until I realized my hairline began to recede, something had to be done.
BN: How did you make the change?
UE: One day after taking my weave off, I combed my hair out and looked in the mirror. I saw my mother’s head in the mirror looking back at me (Her hairline had receded). With shock and embarrassment I went to the hairdresser and told him to chop it all off so I could begin afresh. He advised me not to and if I followed his instructions my edges would grow back. I told him I wasn’t interested and asked can he just take it all off because I was heartbroken looking at what I had on my head. He went on and on about staying off relaxers and having my hair natural and recommended what to use as treatment once a month. So instead of a big chop, I just stopped using relaxers completely and slowly the undergrowth grew into what it is today.
BN: Are you ever tempted to go back to relaxers?
UE: Relaxers? NEVER!! I remember when I used to relax my hair, for the first two weeks it will be silky with nice edges. Then everything will fall off and I’ll be like someone with alopecia. Never been tempted to relax it either.
BN: Ever hidden your natural hair? IF so why?
UE: Nope, never hidden it. Now and again when I’m tired of Shaniqua (my wig), I go out with my hair braided in didi. That’s usually what I have underneath my wigs.
BN: How long have you kept your natural hair?
UE: My hair has been natural for about a year. No, I’ll never cut it, my hair grows very slowly so I wouldn’t dare put a pair of scissors to it now.
BN: How does climate where you live affect your hair?
UE: When I’m Nigeria, where the weather is very humid, my hair is quite moist but back in London it becomes quite brittle and breaks off. I guess its mainly because of the weather and water.
BN: Do you have any other hair problems?
UE: Nope, none at all, just wish it could be a lot longer than it is
BN: How do you deal with the negative effect of climate?
UE: What affects me the most is my dry scalp more than anything. I have very dry skin so I have to constantly stay moisturized and I do this with water and oils.
BN: What’s your stance on natural vs chemical products?
UE: When I treat my hair I use lots of oils. Olive oil, Coconut oil, Castor oil, Shea Butter and Honey. When I go to the salon to have my hair in didi (Inverted plaits), I always request they use nothing but Shea Butter. I’ve been scared off any chemicals after my experience with hair dye and relaxers.
BN: What’s your daily, weekly and/or monthly hair routine?
UE: Daily, I apply Coconut oil, monthly I steam with a mixture of all the oils mentioned above including Honey.
BN: What advice would you give to people thinking of going natural?
UE: If your hair is as lightweight and soft as mine and relaxers don’t do you any good, natural is the way forward. I understand people with very thick strong hair need relaxers so it’s easily managed. To be honest, if relaxers don’t do your hair any damage, keep with it but keep your hair healthy as well. I didn’t have much of a choice, it was either go natural or be bald by 40.
BN: What do you like best about your hair and being natural?
UE: It’s much healthier and my edges have drastically improved.
BN: What are your favourite styles to rock and why?
UE: I’m usually wearing Shaniqua most of the time.