Get to Know Our Contributor
Our contributor shares how she started her hair journey and what her current regimen looks like!
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
I am Wongile Mbano and I am from Malawi, Africa.
2. What made you go natural and how long have you been natural for?
I have been natural for six years. I cut my relaxed hair because I needed a change and since then I remained natural and have since then received many compliments about my natural hair.
3. Describe your hair?
My hair is predominantly 4b with some strands that are 4c in texture. It is of medium porosity and medium strand density. Long story short I have very thick hair which is naturally soft.
4. What are your favourite styles?
I’m always in braids or twists downs with my own hair which I redo weekly. If I have an event, I will simply undo these and wear it in a twist out or braid out. I tend to stay away from extensions because I have found that they cause a lot of breakage and change my hair’s elasticity.
5. How do you condition and/clean your hair?
I start out on a Thursday by applying coconut oil to my hair then placing it under a plastic bag. I let this sit for the night. If I’m cleansing my hair, the next day I apply half a teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of salt onto my scalp. I then rub this in for about a minute then rinse out, condition my hair, rinse out and then let it dry.
If I am just conditioning, I pre-poo then apply the conditioner. After I wash it out, I let it air dry to about 60% dryness then I apply a heavy oil to my ends. The last step I follow is applying coconut oil to my scalp.
6. How do you detangle your hair?
I detangle on dry hair, using an oil as a lubricant and with my fingers. I haven’t used a comb or brush for three years.
7. What are some of the challenges you have faced on your natural hair journey?
The biggest challenge for me for the first three years of my journey was ignorance. I didn’t know how to care for my hair and because of this my hair was very damaged and I experienced heavy breakage. The second challenge I faced is connected to the first one; lack of elasticity, single strand knots and split ends. Because of my bad hair practices my hair was left without elasticity, severely knotted and with a lot of split ends. The third biggest challenge I have faced was negative comments about my choice of protective styles, especially when I first decided to stop braiding using extensions.
8. What advice would you give a newbie natural?
Research widely. Before formulating a regimen; know your porosity, strand density and texture because these affect your hair’s needs.
Have questions? Why not ask me below?