We have another Mane Monday feature! Say ‘hey girl’ to Anisha, also known as Naturally Inspired! Keep reading for her hair journey, and submit your own story here.
- Tell us about yourself
Hey, my name is Anisha. I am a UK born and raised lady with Ugandan heritage. I am a wife, mother of 3 and psychology graduate who has a passion for God, Deaf studies and Sign Language, as well as Veganism.
- What is your hair like?
My hair is a kinky 4b/c hair texture – I have no real curl patter as far as I can see. It is thick and low porosity, which means it, can sometimes be hard for my hair to absorb moisture. My hair is now mid back length (MBL), which I never thought, was achievable for my type of hair. My fro and I have a great relationship, I feel like I am at a point where my fro and I understand each other. My hair has taught me so much about my history and myself.
- What made you decide to go on a natural hair journey?
Initially, I just felt that it was time consuming and didn’t feel as though it was worth it. With 2 children at the time, I just didn’t feel like relaxed hair was for me, especially as my daughter had turned just 3 and was beginning to notice the difference in our hair. I felt as though it was important for me to embrace my hair, as it would impact her in the future. I was also curious to see whether my hair had the potential to grow long as my natural hair had never grown beyond chin length. A year before going natural, I had stumbled upon LHCF where I saw so many beautiful ladies (both relaxed and natural), I incorporated many healthy practices in my hair regimen and my hair thrived growing to BSL (Bra Strap Length) before I big chopped.
- How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since March 11th 2011 – that is exactly 4 years and 9 months. I did not transition and started off my hair journey with a fade, which was almost 1 inch of hair.
- How would you describe your hair journey & goals?
My hair journey has been a learning curve. I have learnt a lot through trial and error and have had to do a lot of research on my own as most of my family are relaxed. I have made my fair share of mistakes in the past like oiling my scalp daily which led to build up, using harsh chemicals that dried out my hair and thinking that protective styling means forget about it without the proper maintenance like moisturising, but I believe I am on the right track now.
- Are you transitioning or did you big chop?
I started off with thinking that I would transition but I soon realised that I did not have the time or the patience to deal with two different textures of hair so I big chopped. I am so glad that I decided to big chop as I have been able to grow along with my hair and learn about it at the different stages.
- What are your go-to styles?
My favourite hairstyle is two strand twists. I love my loose twists because they are a protective style, which last me up to 6 weeks. It allows me to leave my hair alone. Also, they can be manipulated into any style without worrying about knots and tangling. I love protective styles because I do not have to go through detangling every day.
- What are your staple products?
My moisturising Shampoo Bar, Giovanni Direct Leave in and my homemade Shea Butter mix. These products especially the last 2 are my favourites and will remain in my regimen for the foreseeable future.
- How do you feel about being natural?
I love being natural – at this stage of my life, I couldn’t imagine wearing my hair any other way. My hair and I have ups and downs but I feel beautiful with it.
- How did people/ your loved ones respond when you decided to go natural?
My husband loved it; he was my number 1 motivated and actually did my big chop for me. The next day, he took me to his barbers to get it neatened up and faded. I think my mum was in the most shock and lost for words because it was so spur of the moment; it wasn’t a planned big chop. The day before she had seen me with long relaxed hair and she came home to find me with a fade. I hadn’t told her, as I didn’t want her or anyone to talk me out of it. Most of my white colleagues loved it and complimented me, however my black colleagues were a little confused and asked whether I had cut my hair because it was damaged. They genuinely thought something had gone wrong. I think it was hard for them to grasp that I just wanted to embrace my natural hair.
- Do you have anything else you’d like to add? Do you have any tips for new transitioners or naturals?
Its important to remember that there is no one rule fits all with natural hair – you have to experiment within reason to see what works best for your hair. During my natural hair journey, I have come across a lot of naturals who will tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, I would say that the natural hair community is a wonderful resource BUT all its important to remember that it is YOUR natural hair journey. I would say if you’ve made the decision to return to natural then “go for it!” It’s one of the best decisions that I ever made and I hope you will feel the same. Natural hair is not easy breezy but it certainly is what God gave you so why not embrace it. Our hair is beautiful, whether its kinks or Curls- its all beautiful.
- Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on my YouTube channel – naturallyinspired11
I try to put out videos as often as I can and I also accept requests.
I am also available for business enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org