Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Rachel Okoegwale. I am from Edo state, Nigeria. I am a wife, mum and Enterpreneur. An Accountant turned Professional Baker and have been running my own Cake outfit for 8 years now (www.cakesncupcakesng.com). And of course I am a NATURALISTA.
Why and how did you go natural (Big Chop, Transition)?
My hair is just about 18month post BC. It’s quite a funny story. I had been planning to go on natural dreadlocs but oneeday I ran into a woman in a store with baby locs and it was just scanty and unkept and I was just put off. Then came the dilemma of what to do next? So another day while scrolling through facebook I came across the Natural Hair Babes group and began to read everything like crazy.
At this time I was like 37weeks Pregnant. I ‘d planned to transition but by the time I hit 38weeks I was sooo heavy I just wanted to cut some weight off (hahahahahahahah. Lol. like my hair weighed so much). So on May 2nd 2014, off I went with my big belle to a Natural hair salon and told them to cut it all off. I had to show the owner of the Salon my hospital card and address (just streets away from her) just in case I fell into Labour during the process lol (thank God I didn’t), my baby however arrived 15days after. And I was so happy I could freely bathe from head to toe those early days and have ample time for my baby.
How would you describe your hair?
I have Coarse, highly porous, thick and very full 4C hair
What is your regimen (monthly, weekly or daily)?
- Monthly I do a basic shamwash (or clarify with shampoo or baking soda) and probably do my Henna treatment same day as I use it to maintain my already chemically dyed red hair.
- Weekly, I co-wash, put my hair in single twists or all back 6 cornrows.
- I moisturize during bath time with water daily, apply a leave-in and then seal with my sheamix.
- Shampoo : ORS Shampoo
- Conditioner : VO5 Conditioner / As I Am Coconut Cowash
- Deep Conditioner : Olive Vitale Hair Mayonnaise & Pantene Truly Natural Deep Conditioner
- Leave-in Conditioner : Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner
- Oils : Coconut oil, Castor oil, Jojoba oil and Argan oil
- Cream : Definitely my sheamix which is sheabutter and like a million different oils lol whipped up myself..
What’s your typical wash day like?
- The night before I will do a Prepoo with either an aloe Vera based mix or a conditioner based mix. I also add some oils (usually EVOO, carrot oil, coconut oil, castor, and jojoba — a combination of any of these). At these points I detangle properly cover my hair with my shower cap and leave overnight
- Next day I do a Shamwash with my ORS Shampoo or Cowash with As I Am Coconut Co-wash
- Deep condition with my DC mostly a mild protein\moisture DC all in one with the Olive Vitale Hair Mayonnaise.
- Apply the LOC method using my Giovanni leave-in conditioner, seal that with argan oil then apply my Sheamix. Next I put my hair in 5-6 cornrows.
What is your go-to style?
6 Cornrows Braid Outs without any holding product ….my hair just co-operates when I do that.
But how do you handle bad hair days?
Hmmm have I really had bad hair days……okay I can only say It’s been just twice since I became a naturalista that I have gone outdoors unsatisfied with my hairdo. But funnily enough I still got compliments on those days so I don’t know if I can call them bad hair days after all lol. So I guess i just swing it on those days and hope it’s not that bad.
What has it been like being natural and what have the reactions been like?
It’s totally been an exciting new way of life for me. I am all about not following the norm or acceptable way of doing things. So it’s been a most fulfilling journey. Yea people still look at me funny or more like strangely trying to figure out why I came to church (for instance) with “scattered” hair (braid out lol) but still the gospel of natural hair is true n profound ‘ If God wanted us to have straight hair then he would have given us straight hair.
How do you combat shrinkage and dryness?
Lol. I call her Sister Shrinkage as I have come to accept her as the sister you can’t do without as a 4C Chick. So I really do not battle with her. I simply always try to keep my hair in chunky twists or 6 cornrows.
For dryness I simply moisturize as often as I bath then apply my LOC
Worst thing or style you have done with your hair?
Hmm. I must say I have been very careful with my treatments/hairstyles. I kinda really plan my regimen and hairstyles for long stretches. Like I have my hair plan already prepped from now till Feb next year lol. It just helps me plan better and keep my schedule together. So I rarely have those.
Night time Routine
I put my hair in 6 cornrows, moisturize with water as i bath, apply a leave-conditioner and then seal with my sheamix.
What is your secret weapon? (Anything you’re specially doing and seeing results from)
My secret would be doing a protein/moisture combination treatment every week as opposed to doing protein treatments every 4-6weeks. I use the Olive Vitale Hair Mayonnaise for this and my highly porous hair really loves it. I also moisturize with water very often.
What is your most favourite thing about being natural?
Being able to bathe from head to toe lol !
What’s the best thing that has happened to you since returning to natural hair?
Oh dear, definitely lesser salon visits…. I was always very particular about my hair so I used to drive quite a distance from home to get to a very good professional and (of course expensive) salon I liked. Now I spend all that money on my products and I can style my hair at home and that’s just fabulous.
What’s the worst thing you’ve heard or experienced since becoming natural?
Oh I really am not one to care what people say so can’t say I’ve had any bad experience. You would really have to have some nerve to walk up to me and bad mouth MA HAIR !!!
What are the facts you’ve learnt about natural hair?
Everyone’s hair is different so I must learn to love and work with my own hair. My hair for instance hates being forced into a bun or sleeked down so I just avoid those hairstyles. It also doesn’t do well on DIY DC treatments and so no mixologies for me. I just use products.I’ve also learnt to just enjoy my hair at whatever stage it is length wise, I am not length crazy; Rome wasn’t built in a day.
What is your most favourite natural hair quote?
“If God wanted us to have straight hair, he would have given us straight hair” by ME lol.
Inspirational words to anyone who wants to go natural
*Understand that it’s a change of mindset and not a trend. So don’t do it because everyone else around u is going natural or you’ll get frustrated.
*Be opened minded and ready to learn like a baby….because the rules of relaxed hair don’t apply to natural hair so it’s a totally new learning phase. Google is your friend; read, study, join natural hair groups, watch YouTube videos and again I say READ.
*And lastly whether transitioning or planning for a BC……natural is who we are so embrace it and go for it.
Where can anybody find you online?
Thanks for your patience and the opportunity to share, I appreciate.
God bless u.
I will like to read to what you think about Rachel’s interview. Please drop a line or several of comments, questions, anything. Thank you.