Name: Cindy Dapaah
Occupation: Drama Teacher
Tell us how/why you decided to go natural:
I decided to go natural by transitioning over the course of 1 year. It was mainly for the health of my hair. Growing up I always had a very soft Afro to the point where my hairdresser at the time refused to relax it and advised me to texturize my hair instead (as it’s a less harsh chemical than a relaxer). My texturized hair would often frizz up depending on the weather and would begin to revert back to its soft Afro state once it interacted with water. Due to this I relied a lot on straighteners, which in turn made my hair weaker over time, but not to the extent where this gradual weakness was visible to others – it still grew and still looked good. However, over the last two years I had noticed that my hair didn’t look or feel how it used to; the ends had become brittle and dry, it wasn’t growing at the pace I was used to, and my edges were thinning. I therefore began to simply always tie my hair back as it had just become lifeless in my opinion. It got to the stage where I preferred the look of natural hair over relaxed hair in general and decided to embark on the journey to return to my natural hair.
Why did you decide to transition instead of big chop?
I chose to transition for stylistic purposes. Although, I did experiment with many a hairstyle from braids to weaves and wigs. I have always preferred having my own hair out and throughout the years the one hairstyle I had tried that was my least favourite was a weave similar to a pixie cut. Therefore the thought of having my natural hair at such a short length was something I knew I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with. So I decided to transition rather than big chop, to enable my hair to grow out to a length that I’d be comfortable with. I did more of a mini chop rather than a big chop.
Do you see yourself remaining natural forever?
Yes – I will not be chemically straightening my hair again. However, I will continue to experiment with extensions such as braids, weaves and wigs to achieve new looks such as long, straight or loose curls etc.
Which social media personalities/blogs do you watch/read for hair tips?
I’m obsessed with YouTube! There are so many Social Media Personalities that are out there and I could sit and watch them ALL DAY! But I always keep up to date with: Fusion of Cultures, NaturallyTemi, NaturallyPhilo, Treasure Tress, TheCutLife
What 3 things do you wish you knew before going natural?
That personally, my hair was more than likely to fall into more than one hair type.
The products that work best for me, dependent on the porosity of my hair.
That everyone would expect me to wear my natural hair all the time (pressure!)
What products/tools would you recommend for transitioners?
Tools: Satin/Silk Scarf and Pillow Case
Treasure Tress Monthly Hair Box – For discovering and experimenting with hair products delivered to your doorstep.
Products: GroHealthy (Shea & Coconut) Conditioner/Leave In Conditioner
*Holy Grail Recommendation* (Protective Styling) – Braids, Weaves, Wigs etc. They really made my transition journey smooth.
What advice would you give your younger self about permed hair?
Aside from the fact that the chemical used in perming products can be very damaging to your hair and scalp (which I knew and which still didn’t stop me), I would tell my younger self the following: “Permed hair is temporary, which is why you will have to keep applying the chemical to your natural healthy hair as it grows from your scalp. Straight hair should only be an option not a necessity/ routine that you have to go out of your way to maintain. Your natural hair texture is yours and no one else’s, it deserves to be cared for, maintained, moisturised and understood – make that your permanent goal!”
What are your 2018 hair goals?
Health over Length – I really want the health of my hair to be at the forefront of my hair goals for this year. I’ll be striving towards this by experimenting with different hair regimes once in a while but most importantly creating a routine that works best for me. Also, I will be experimenting with low maintenance hairstyles, all of which I will be documenting and updating on my blog.
How can we follow your hair journey?
Website: www.cincity.uk (not ‘co.uk’, just ‘.uk’ – the only co I do is a co-wash! *cheesy smile*) coming soon!