1. Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Chenai. I am a fashion blogger for I blog mainly about affordable and versatile fashion. I am also a soon to be PhD student.

2. Can you talk us through your hair routine?

Well, in the last two years I haven’t had much of a complex routine but I will break down the little I have done here:

Over-handling: I mainly plait my hair to reduce the handling. I find that when I have my hair out, I tend to abuse it with heat, especially after wash day. Plaiting has actually contributed a lot to my length retention because often I only blow dry my hair once a month before plaiting. I also prefer weaves to braids.

Protein Treatment: I recently decided to start having a protein treatment at least once a month. Previously I did not do this and slacked a bit more than the average natural when it comes to protein treatments.

Moisturising: I moisturise on a daily basis. 

3. Can you tell us about your natural hair journey? (Why/when etc.)

Oh my gosh, this is always a funny story to tell. I never imagined myself being natural. I went to what I thought was a reputable salon and asked them to cut my hair. I wanted to achieve a short pixie look. It was really trending at the time and I just felt the urge to do this cut. I had also never had my hair cut since I was a child so it seemed like the best time to experiment with this. So they started to cut my hair and before cutting they relaxed it.

As they were cutting it, it just did not look right. I had my boyfriend sitting with me and I guess he was a little shocked by the fact that I had decided to cut my hair in the first place but being the supportive person he is, he recorded the whole thing, kept some bits of my hair and reassured me it did not look bad. I discovered at that point just how oddly shaped my head is. I never imagined I had such a shape. After the hair cut, I went home and I looked in the mirror and did not like the look. Oddly enough, I normally don’t like my hairstyles when I get them until maybe a day or so, so I gave it a chance. The next day, I looked in the mirror again and burst into tears. I went back to the salon and told the lady who did my hair that I was not happy and this is not what I asked for. So to try to make it look slightly better, she decided to cut some more but it only made things worse. I googled bloggers with short hair and even went to buy products to maintain the hair and a small curling iron but I just did not like the look. I finally went to get braids done at a different salon.  

The little braidable hairs that they could find were plaited. I decided to grow my hair naturally after seeing just how fast natural hair grows and how beautiful and healthy it looks when it is well taken care of. I kept plaiting throughout my transition process. I am happily natural now! I actually cannot imagine being anything else.

4. What are your tips for healthy hair?

My tips would be to learn your hair. While it is alright to go through blogs and get the latest trends in products, it’s important to keep a very simple routine where possible and make sure that you listen to what your hair responds to and does not respond to. Not all products will work on your hair and don’t just rush to buy the newest product on the shelf without doing your research.

To maintain healthy hair, you also need to eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise. Our skin and hair respond to our nutrition and how well we take care of ourselves. While I am giving this tip and am very confident about its benefits, I struggle with the healthy eating and exercising part but I am still going to push until I am better at it. Another blogger I follow said you need to pray for your hair and this was one thing I had never considered but it’s such an important thing to also do. We pray for everything else but never consider our hair as something to pray about.

5. What difficulties have you had since going natural?

I struggle with styling it which is why I have always succumbed to using heat or just plaiting. I am just going through a process of learning my hair and being more particular with the products and routines I use.

6. Complete the sentence, "I love my hair because..."

It is God’s gift to me. It is mine. It makes me feel more confident in myself and who I was created to be. It empowers me!