Different Strand: Claire Waqa
“I remember being so jealous in high school of girls with perfectly positioned ponytails and straight hair that just dropped, with not a strand out of place. Now I look at those hair styles and think, how boring!…” Claire Waqa
Meet Claire Waqa, a beautiful curlie lady with Fijian and Australian heritage. Claire has come a long way from straight hair envy! We love how she has embraced her curls and the fact that she does not have any social media accounts – they dont make them like that anymore! Join us as she shares her natural hair story…!
Where are you from/What’s your background?
I’m Australian. These curls are the result of a Fijian father and an Australian mother. My dad is from Viwa, which is a tiny, flat, beautiful island North West of mainland Fiji, so these curls are positively Pacific. Or, at least that’s what I tell myself. My brother has a more typical Fijian fro – much like my dad’s – so I think my mum must have got more of a look in when it came to my hair.
When did you become natural?
To be honest, I’ve only really embraced my curls in the last year or so. Prior to that I had straight hair envy! I think it was a grass is always greener situation. I remember being so jealous in high school of girls with perfectly positioned ponytails and straight hair that just dropped, with not a strand out of place. Now I look at those hair styles and think, how boring!!! The thing about curls though is that they take confidence to rock because you’ve really got to own what you’re doing and I guess as soon as that hit me – I’m obviously a slow learner. I started wanting to make my curls work for me and who I am.
What is your current regimen?
I wash my hair quite a few times a week – probably too many actually. I swim a bit and hate to think about the damage chlorine is doing so try and get that junk off my curls asap. I condition daily because I don’t actually comb my hair. I find that combs stress it out and, if anything, result in more breakages (which stresses me out!). After that I usually work through a few drops of an anti-frizz serum. I’m currently using John Frieda extra strength, before putting in a dollop or so of gel to make sure the curl definition survives the day.
Having said this, I’ve just read Wangari’s entry about where to buy products for natural hair and now I am seriously reconsidering this regime. I haven’t actually tried shea butter or coconut oiling it up, but am always open to trying new things so might give this a go when I’m out of the anti-frizz!
Where do you get your products from?
Priceline! Although again, seriously going to reconsider this – thanks Wangari!
What is the one product your hair cannot live without?
What is your favourite go to hairstyle?
Once it’s conditioned, anti-frizzed and gelled a la above photo, I usually put it up in a loose bun for work as am not to keen having it in my face when typing. On weekends it is down, out and uninhibited though as you can tell by some of the pics!!
What difficulties have you faced being natural?
Biggest problem I’ve faced being natural is probably coming to terms with straight hair envy. It sounds silly writing it but I honestly think everyone with curls goes through this phase where all they want is dead straight hair. I think I’ve only straightened my hair less than a handful of times – mostly because it takes so long. But looking back on those pics now, I can’t help but think, ugh that couldn’t be further from who I am!
What is the best thing about being natural?
Naturally curly hair is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because there are so many variations on curly hair that you really are, to a certain extent, unique. This can be both empowering and isolating. It’s a ‘curse’ because it requires maintenance and time, the former is only a burden because I’m lazy and the latter because I’m time-poor, but these are both conquerable hurdles – particularly in the face of such fabulous curls. Ha-ha!
Having said that, I think the absolute best thing about being natural is the fact that curly hair is a gift and it was given to you. It’s an amazing accessory that goes with any outfit; it’s a canvass for you to make a statement; and it’s a window for you to let your personality shine through. It’s the versatility that provides the endless opportunities and in that I, for one, am grateful.
Do you have a blog/facebook page/instagram/twitter or tumblr account where people can follow you if interested?
I’m pretty much a social media pariah, if you can believe it. I don’t have facebook, my few instagrams concern my adorable beagle puppy, my twitter feed – dinosaurs (but seriously, who doesn’t love a good dinosaur joke?) and I don’t have tumblr! Neo knows where to find me if needs be!
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