Name: Nakasi Fortune
Occupation: Professional Volunteer
When did you start your natural hair journey: October of 2011. Then I tried something new, by way of Brazilian blowout, in December of 2014 and my hair was not turning back as fast as I wanted it to, so I cut it off again.
Why did you: Honestly, there isn’t any deep, life changing reason. I had really long, relaxed hair and then I just woke up one day and decided that I didn’t want to relax it anymore. So I stopped. After a couple months of transitioning, I cut the straight ends off, after much fighting with my hairdresser. She actually didn’t want to cut it, she gushed about it more than I did. So I went home and cut it and then went back to her so she had no choice but to fix it. It was a mess! I’ve tried to keep away from chemicals since then. I did want to be cute and tried a blowout a couple of years after. It worked but then I was so accustomed to my natural hair that the straight hair was annoying me and it wasn’t returning to the state I wanted, as fast as I wanted so I cut it again.
What products do you use: I wish I could say I was a product junkie or even product conscious. I usually just try things hoping that they work. I wash my hair often, most times just because I am lazy and a wash and go is the easiest thing. I do use shampoo and I know it isn’t good for your hair and my reasoning is shallow but I like the suds effect. I stick to combs with really big teeth and detangle and style when moist. I use a carrot oil moisturiser and for my curls: Aunty Jackie’s Curl La La. I am aiming to do better, product wise. So 2016 will be the year of coconut oil.
Biggest challenge: My biggest challenge is people touching my hair. Strangers just feeling the need to pass their hands all through my froage. Also, maintaining natural hair is so expensive. You’d think that it would be inexpensive because you don’t have to go to the salon and most of the styles are DIY but it is EXPENSIVE. It is like healthy living. The things that are best for the body are twice the price of the things that aren’t. Also, the expectation vs. reality of hairstyles. You THINK you’re going to get a nice twistout or that your curls will be amazing while twisting your hair, but then you take it down and you look injured.
How does your hair make you feel: Like superwoman. Seriously. When I was growing up, it wasn’t natural to want to wear your natural hair. There was (and probably still is) a perception that a woman is less beautiful if she had naps. There was also pain and lots of energy involved in maintaining and so the easiest thing was to relax your hair as soon as you were of age. No one taught me to love my natural hair when I was a child and into my teenage years. That is something I had to learn as an adult, and something I am still learning. Now, whenever I look at myself in the mirror or someone compliments my natural hair I do an internal dance. I feel on top of the world. I love my hair. At all of its stages. It is an experience. You don’t want to be around me when a style comes out JUST how I want it. I am the least humble person at that point.
Advice to other naturalists: Experimentation is key. Try products, hairstyles, haircuts, everything. Have fun with your hair.