Curl-ture Feature: Sira Baldé

Different Strand: Sira Baldé

 
“I’ve been delighted to discover that natural hair is highly malleable. I can make it do anything with enough time and planning.” – Sira Baldé
 
Meet Sira , a beautiful Senegalese lady who lives in London. She is an amazing natural hair ambassador who has inspired many to embrace their natural hair and wear it proud!!  She’s our second featured natural……. We love how open and honest she is about the challenges of her natural hair journey and think you will enjoy reading her post!… So… Enjoy!
 
Sira

Where are you from/What is your background?

I am from Kolda in Senegal (located on the coast of West Africa).

When did you become natural?

I stopped relaxing my hair in April 2010 after a well-meaning friend told me she preferred my hair “relaxed”. That comment made me think critically about chemically relaxing my hair, and I chose to stop. My natural journey came about as a result of becoming more politically aware and also because I noticed I was starting to lose volume. I was a long-term transitioner from April 2010 to December 2011 when I cut my relaxed ends off. Looking back on December 2011, I remember how stiff and dry my hair was…lol… and sticking by my decision even when I was repeatedly told I was “brave”… (read: foolish)… for cutting my hair and going natural.

Three months after Sira cut off her relaxed ends.
Three months after Sira cut off her relaxed ends. – March 2012
Sira's beautiful natural hair - August 2013
Sira’s beautiful natural hair – August 2013

What is your current regimen?

I wash my hair once every ten days and braid it using my own hair once every three months for a month. I only wear my hair out about once a week or for special occasions, (twists outs or braid outs are my favourite). The majority of the time if I don’t have it braided up, I wear my hair in up-do’s.

Where do you get your products from?

I get products on-line. I live in London at the moment, and get my products on-line from www.nexrastore.com. It’s a UK-based store that sells and ships natural hair products from the US.

What is the one product you cannot live without?

Right now the product I can’t see myself doing without is the whipped pudding from Oyin handmade. It’s a water based whipped Shea butter product which moisturises really well.

A compilation of pictures of Sira's protective styles.
A compilation of pictures of Sira’s protective styles.

What difficulties have you faced being natural?

When I first went natural, my hair was very dry. I have low porosity hair meaning my hair is more resistant to moisture loss and also more resistant to moisture uptake. The difficulties I encountered included not knowing how to style my hair, not having a regular regime and not moisturising properly or frequently enough. I also had two unfortunate blow drying episodes when I still didn’t know how to style my hair in its curly state. In terms of retaining moisture what I’ve learned is to look for water based products, meaning products whose first ingredient is water in the list. When it comes to styling, I’ve been delighted to discover that natural hair is highly malleable. I can make it do anything with enough time and planning.

What is the best thing about being natural?

One of the best things about my natural hair journey has been learning how to take care of my hair. I love my hair so much…lol.. and I really think it has given me a newfound confidence. I took care of my hair in its relaxed state as well but I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve learned how to take care of my hair and style it as it grows out of my scalp, unaltered by chemicals. The best thing about being natural is that it is uniquely me.

Learning how to take care of my hair has not been easy, it took me a year and half to really unlearn all that I had learned about taking care of relaxed hair. All hair is different, and it’s important to find the products that work for you and find go-to hairstyles that you can do in a relatively quick amount of time.

I don’t want to romanticise going natural. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it! :)

x

Sira

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3 thoughts on “Curl-ture Feature: Sira Baldé

  1. Well done! I am sure you will inspire many to follow your example when it is still time.
    This interview inspired me to share the first president of Senegal’s poem about the beautiful black woman (he mentions her black beauty and beautiful hair)

    Femme noire

    Femme nue, femme noire
    Vétue de ta couleur qui est vie, de ta forme qui est beauté
    J’ai grandi à ton ombre; la douceur de tes mains bandait mes yeux
    Et voilà qu’au cœur de l’Eté et de Midi,
    Je te découvre, Terre promise, du haut d’un haut col calciné
    Et ta beauté me foudroie en plein cœur, comme l’éclair d’un aigle

    Femme nue, femme obscure
    Fruit mûr à la chair ferme, sombres extases du vin noir, bouche qui fais lyrique ma bouche
    Savane aux horizons purs, savane qui frémis aux caresses ferventes du Vent d’Est
    Tamtam sculpté, tamtam tendu qui gronde sous les doigts du vainqueur
    Ta voix grave de contralto est le chant spirituel de l’Aimée

    Femme noire, femme obscure
    Huile que ne ride nul souffle, huile calme aux flancs de l’athlète, aux flancs des princes du Mali
    Gazelle aux attaches célestes, les perles sont étoiles sur la nuit de ta peau.

    Délices des jeux de l’Esprit, les reflets de l’or ronge ta peau qui se moire

    A l’ombre de ta chevelure, s’éclaire mon angoisse aux soleils prochains de tes yeux.

    Femme nue, femme noire
    Je chante ta beauté qui passe, forme que je fixe dans l’Eternel
    Avant que le destin jaloux ne te réduise en cendres pour nourrir les racines de la vie.

    Léopold Sédar Senghor, Chants d’ombre

  2. Lovely Sira! I cut mine in Jan 2013 and its not been easy lol. Very encouraging. You are right though its a journey unlearning the old methods of managing relaxed hair.

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