I embrace my shrinkage, no fighting in my world


Tell us a bit about yourself

Hola!!! My name is Koco Aye and I am an Efik girl. I live in Warri, Delta state with my husband and beautiful daughter, Oku.

Why and how did you go natural (Big Chop, Transition)?

I big chopped in 2012 because I needed to tackle some issues with my scalp and since then I have cut my hair like 5 or 7 more times. I noticed quite a number of my cousins had gone natural too and they really seemed to be loving it. So I finally decided to really give my natural hair a chance close to end of 2013.

How would you describe your (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, texture and all)?

I have verrrrrry thick, coarse 4c hair.

What is your regimen (monthly, weekly or daily) including favourite products?

I have a weekly regimen especially when I am not in a protective style (PS) but when I do have my hair in a PS then it’s every forthnight. I keep my products very simple because finding the right hair products here in Warri has been quite daunting. For my deep condition, I use Organics Hair Mayonnaise. My Cowash is done with Hairfruits Conditioner (very cheap and verrrrrrry accessible at just N300). I use Crazy, Sexy, Cool sulphate free shampoo when I have crazy buildup. Coconut and Olive oil are my staple oils. Only just added Castor oil to my collection.

What’s your typical wash day like?

My typical wash day, hmmmm, let’s see. I prefer to deep condition before I Cowash because I really don’t like getting wet again once I’m done taking my bath. I mix my hair mayonnaise with my oils and some honey, whip it up and slather on my hair. Put my shower cap on and leave on for 1hr. Once the alarm goes off, I hit the shower to rinse off then Cowash. During the Cowash I detangle using my wide tooth comb because the conditioner gives great slip. Everything plus bath time takes about 30-45 mins. I usually prefer to shampoo and condition after I take down a PS then I do my deep condition the next day.

What is your go-to style?

Twists, twists, twists, twist outs, braids, high buns, and more twists. Lol

What has it been like being natural and what have the reactions been like?

It’s been refreshing, enlightening and interesting. I didn’t know our natural hair could be this versatile. When I first stumbled on YouTube natural hair channels I was amazed at the versatility of our kinky mane. The reactions have been mixed, some like it, some don’t and some just can’t understand why I would want to keep my hair natural. But hey, you can’t please everyone, right?

How do you combat shrinkage and dryness?

I embrace my shrinkage, no fighting in my world. If I do need a little stretch all I do is either twist it up or thread it. As for dryness, I am fast learning that daily sprizting is the key. Moisture, moisture, moisture…it truly can’t be more emphasized.

Worst thing or style you have done with your hair?

Fixing weavons since going natural has been the bane of my hair. I am left with headaches for days because it’s sewn on too tightly. I think I’m going to have to start investing in some good looking wigs. My scalp can’t take it anymore…Noooooooooooooo!

Night time Routine

Spritz before bed time. Wear a satin cap or sleep on a satin pillowcase.

What is your secret weapon? (Anything you’re specially doing and seeing results from) e.g.  vitamins, daily massages, daily moisturizing and sealing, others

Since I started moisturizing religiously everyday, my hair has been the better for it. It’s more manageable and definitely much softer. I haven’t tapped into the hair vitamin craze yet because I am hairy enough as it is and I worry that if I start popping those little pills the hair is just going to start growing wild in some unmentionable places. Lol.

What is your most favourite thing about being natural?

My fav thing is my hair makes me stand out especially when it’s well done. It’s different, I’m different and I love it.

What’s the best thing that has happened to you since returning to natural hair?

The best thing is actually watching my hair grow, I haven’t seen my natural hair since I was in secondary school so it does gets a bit exciting at times. I’m way past TWA but not rapunzel long yet #fingerscrossed#. Oh and yes, I can still color my hair in its natural awesomeness…yay!!!!

What’s the worst thing you’ve heard or experienced since becoming natural?

Someone said my hair looked like a mad man’s pubic hair. It was sooooooo rude and shocking that I burst out laughing (got me laughing again…lol).

What are the facts you’ve learnt about natural hair?

My hair, in all it’s thickness and glory, has a mind of its own. Sometimes, the styles don’t come out as planned and that’s when I reach for my trusty bobby pins or scarf and save the day ( I no fit shout abeg..lol). But the most important would have to be, LESS IS MORE!!!!

Inspirational words to anyone who wants to go natural

Going natural isn’t a breeze or a quick fix as most people think. You’ve got to take the time to know your hair and try not to have ‘too’ high expectations. Don’t freak out at the shrinkage…embrace it…work with it.

Where can anybody find you online?

I’m techie and web challenged as a friend likes to say to me. #helppls# I still haven’t figured out how twitter and Instagram works but don’t worry I’ll get there soon enough. Hehe. So, you’ll only find me on Facebook ‘Koco Aye’. (I hope I don’t come off as PREHISTORIC…lol)





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Alorye Ugar
CEO/Editor-in-Chief at Vivacious Media Limited
Alorye is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Naija Girl. She is passionate about Nigerian women embracing their natural hair and understanding how to take care of it.
She is an Accounting graduate from the University of Calabar, a Fashion designer and CEO of Vivacious Media Limited, Abuja, Nigeria.

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