For today’s edition of #BNFroFriday our light shines brightly on Chinny Francis. She describes herself as a lazy natural hair enthusiast and a girl who loves to sew. She also runs a personal blog and is a part of the BellaNaija team. Today she will be sharing her journey with natural hair on BellaNaija Beauty.
BellaNaija: Tell us about your hair
Chinny: I’m fully Nigerian with 4C hair. I would define my curls as very unruly. When I started growing my fro, I used to be so confused about my ends always knotting! My hair has never tasted any form of texture altering.
BN: Why did you decide to go natural?
Chinny: Hmm, relaxers showed me pepper. I had beautiful long hair until one day I relaxed my hair and the relaxer refused to wash off! Apparently, it was fake (bought in a popular supermarket oh). After my mum almost poured Omo in my hair after so many shampoos, I was devastated. My hair colour changed from black to dusty brown. I tried to treat it then when it was due, I tried another relaxer and this time my scalp burnt so much. I decided that was the end of that kind of pain. I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do with my hair but I knew I was never relaxing my hair again.
BN: How did you make the change?
Chinny: I didn’t cut my hair so low all at once (the big chop). I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my hair asides the fact that I was never going to relax my hair again! So, I left my hair for a whole year (just fixing weaves and braids). By this time, I had enough natural growth, then I trimmed off my relaxed tips! My ‘yard people’ kept waiting for me to find a better relaxer, they’re still waiting!
BN: Are you tempted to go back to it?
Chinny: Honestly, no. When I think of the pain, no! If you promised me a painless experience, I would still refuse because I have beautiful natural hair which is very versatile.
BN: Do you ever hide your natural hair?
Chinny: Hide like fix weaves or braids? Yes oh, this Nigerian weather won’t even let your hair be great sometimes but I’ll rather wear my natural hair, it suits me best.
BN: How long have you kept your natural hair?
Chinny: 3 years! I’m so proud! I’ve not cut my hair since then but I trim every other month.
BN: How does climate in Nigeria affect your hair?
Chinny: As negative as negative can get! With Lagos listed as the third most stressful city in the world, I’m convinced this place isn’t for me or my hair. Maybe some ‘abroad’ breeze will do my hair more justice. On a serious note though, I would do a twist out with my curls banging real good (yes, plus styling gel and all that), only for me to get out and my curls begin to drop and puff… it’s frustrating!
BN: Are there any other hair problems you face aside from climate?
Chinny: Hmm, aside from the climate, I wouldn’t say. Maybe hairdressers. You’ll pay to braid your hair and the madam will keep going on and on about how she’s plaiting but your hair isn’t reducing. But to be fair, my hair is very thick and can be a burden to weave if I don’t soften or straighten it.
BN: How do you deal with the hair problems you face as a natural?
Chinny: I just go with what the climate dictates. Ain’t nobody ready to storm the weather. There was a day I got back home and realized my hair had shrunk to one-third the length of the ‘shrunk’ hair I went out with. I just went with the flow and rocked my TWA throughout that week.
BN: Natural vs Chemical products?
Chinny: I love natural products. Before now, I used to condition my hair with a mix of avocado, eggs and coconut oil. I really liked the output but I’m also a lazy natural so I like processed products if that’s what you mean by chemical products. I always check to see that there’s no paraben in my product and I’ll kind of read about the product on the internet before putting it in my hair. However, I bleached the tips of my hair a year ago.
BN: Tell us about that. What effects did that have on your hair?
Chinny: First, I bleached my hair because I got really bored with my all black hair and I wanted that pop. I was a little scared it would damage my hair but I thought to myself “it’s just hair, it’ll grow back.” I can’t even remember the name of the product because they had a big jar at the salon and just used some for me. Well, there has been no negative effect because my hair is still very healthy and I’m thinking of adding more pop very soon.
BN: What’s your regular hair routine?
Chinny: My hair routine is very simple and I shared my lazy wash day tips here. I try to wash my hair once a month and co-wash every other week. If I’m rocking an updo this week, then an updo it is! At other times, I twist my hair before going to bed for easy styling the next day. Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie was specially made for me! It is the life of my curls. I also use the KUI set (shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and moisturizer) because it is very affordable.
BN: What advice would you give to people thinking of going natural?
Chinny: Please don’t overthink it. Want to get that big chop? Do it, girl! Most importantly, stay true to yourself and do what you think suits you and have fun with it! Plus natural hair doesn’t have to be so expensive, find what works for you.
What do you like best about your hair and being natural?
Chinny: It would be the versatility. My shrinkage amazed me and if I ever feel tensioned by straight hair people, I can straighten my hair and have my curls back in a few days. Many times, after people meet me, they’re quick to say my hair shows my personality. I don’t know if that’s a good thing but I love it.
BN: What is your favourite style to rock?
Chinny: Updos because they’re the quickest!
BN: Are you particular about sleek edges?
Chinny: For everyday life? No. For the gram, yeah! My Shea moisture Curl Enhancer already makes my edges laid. Sometimes, I just add my Enliven hair gel in number 4.
BN: What hair accessories can you NOT live without?
Chinny: A band for my updo and hairpins for other styles.
BN: If you were stuck on an island, what 3 hair products would you take with you?
Chinny: I’m sure you can tell the first is my Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. It’s an island, so there’s already water. The other two would be my KUI leave in conditioner and coconut oil.
BN: What’s your remedy for a bad hair day?
Chinyere: I really don’t have one. I just look at my hair and think of the nicest thing I can do with it!
Thanks for sharing your story with us Chinny!
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