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!
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.
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.
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! :)
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