It’s all men & natural hair blog post. What are your thoughts on men embracing & growing their natural hair?
Hello mane embracers, I hope your crowns are flourishing and your skin glowing. Thank you for stopping by and welcome to my what’s natural hair to you series featuring Natural Hair Gift(Mwangi Kanyua)
Who is natural hair gift…… describe yourself & the naturalista self
I am Mwangi Kanyuah, a natural hair enthusiasts and a beauty enthusiast in general. I enjoy reading , writing and playing around with my hair😁.
I have loved hair for as long as I can remember and growing up I always looked forward to the day I would get a chance to grow out my hair,😅finally living the dream.
I consider myself a lazy natural, cause honestly if it’s complicated chances are I won’t do it .I try to keep my routines simple and well spaced. When I was starting out ,I was all over the place doing everything, but now my mantra is less and consistent is more.
Naturalhairgift I would say is like my first child. I have struggled caring for my hair especially in the initial stages ,but through research and trial and error I’ve learnt a lot and so I started naturalhairgift to help other naturals navigate this beautiful journey.
NaturalHairGift is a safe space for all naturals ,where we can all learn, share and grow together. I dream of a day where we can all love ,care and embrace our natural hairs ,because there is so much beauty in African hair.
When did it click that you have to embrace your natural hair?
When I started growing out my hair, I didn’t even know there was anything like natural hair, or a natural way to care for hair. I was just mostly winging it.
The longer my hair grew ,the harder it became though .Gels and greasy hair foods couldn’t cut it anymore .I thought of relaxing my hair to make it easier to handle and also help me achieve a curly look.
I thank God I stumbled upon the natural hair community before frying my hair, I saw so many naturals talking about proper hair care and they had long ,voluminous curly hair that was actually natural. Once I saw people that looked like me with glorious hair, I knew that could be me too and the journey of being natural begun. Now obviously I had my doubts but I did lots of research, learnt some cool hairstyles and hunted down good products.
As a man, how was it transitioning from ‘men are to shave or locs’ to embracing your natural hair….
It’s been both beautiful and frustrating.
Hair on a boys head is viewed as unkempt, as soon as you can run a comb through it ,it’s time to go. So having shaved all my life, this new change came with more struggles than I had anticipated. I didn’t have a lot of experience with hair.
Hair even though a beautiful thing brings with it extra costs , time commitment , and with being a guy it comes with so much criticism(enough to fill a stadium). I won’t lie I have had to cut my hair so many times due to frustration, lack of funds to buy products and even criticism.
But importantly growing out my own hair has allowed me to appreciate hair even more, it has allowed me to learn so much about African hair and just general hair care. Our hairs are different and unique ,with the right knowledge and care, hair can thrive .And no it’s not just hair!!
Did friends and family support you in your journey/how did they react to you choosing to grow your mane?
What I can assure is that it was not taken well by most, I don’t know why hair is seen as a way to act out or to rebel. I don’t even know why it is seen as ungodly or unprofessional and I also don’t know why it is associated with terrorism.
The thing I get the most is ,if a crime was to occur I would be the first suspect and that thought makes me even more careful when am outside ,I don’t want to be in any tricky situations .I dream of a day where we will not judge people based on how they look, or based on our own prejudices.
My peers are more supportive since most of them maintain their hairs in a way be it in a kinky box or locs.
What’s the best thing about embracing and loving your natural hair?
It opened me up to a whole new world, the natural hair care world. Growing out my hair was the first key step that allowed me to invest more in my interest in hair.
It has helped me learn about African hair and how to care for it and it has really given me a great pass time ,a great avenue for self care and self-love, nothing says Self love like hair care.
It has also led me to start my own blog ,which has allowed me to meet ,interact and inspire other naturals.
Do you get positive comments and responses about your hair and your natural hair journey?Which comment has stuck with you.
I have gotten a lot of love for my hair among my peers and other naturals over the years ,especially when I was able to achieve twist outs. It always warms my heart when I am asked what I do to my hair.
I think being referred to as goldilocks by a friend of mine has stuck with me ,it’s a blonde reference😅 but I still love it.
What’s the biggest hair challenge you have faced?
The biggest hair challenge I’ve faced over the years has to be detangling. My hair loves to tangle up ,any chance it gets , it latches on each other in a matted mess.
Now that I look back, with lack of proper moisture, neglecting my hair and harsh cleansers no wonder detangling was always a night mare.
What’re your top 5 hair tips that eased your hair journey?
An understanding that moisture is key to healthy hair has helped me in my hair care. Moisture makes hair more flexible ,elastic and stronger. Moisture has helped me cure dryness, breakage and even excess shedding. I only look for products that are actually moisturizing.
Proper detangling has also blessed my journey ,detangling has always been a struggle. Learning some simple tips like don’t detangle dry hair, make use of a conditioner with slip, work in sections and go in with finger detangling first have made detangling so much more easier.
Spaced shampooing .
When I started my journey I use to shampoo my hair almost every day with sulfate rich shampoos ,no wonder my hair was really dry, dull and hard. Now I know better and I space my wash day to at least twice or thrice a month. Sulfate free shampoos are also a complete different world from their sulfate counterparts, my hair doesn’t feel dead after shampooing.
Shampooing my hair in sections, twisted up sections to be precise has really helped reduce tangles, my hair takes every opportunity to tangle up and I love trying out tips to help reduce that.
Deep Conditioning, has been an absolute blessing. Deep conditioning is a great way to restore moisture and oils into the hair strands and also has emollients that make hair softer and hence is easier to manage.
How do you deal with negative hair comments?
At this point in my journey, I don’t care much for people’s opinions.
I am a recovering people pleaser😅so you can just imagine how hateful comments still hurt but I have come to terms with the fact that i can’t make everyone happy and that not everyone will understand my journey.
Just like Taylor Swift I shake it off 🕺and move forward.
What would you like everyone to know about men embracing their natural hair
My hope is that we can create a safe space for boys and men to grow out their hairs, I think hair care is such a beautiful journey that everyone should have access to if they want.
Hair is a major beauty statement and we can all wear our crowns, after all this vessel we come in is a gift from God and our hair is a part of it So why should we hate it and condemn it.
If you ever dated a lady who didn’t appreciate you growing out your hair? would you chop?/what step would you take?
I’m not sure I would even get to the point of dating with anyone who doesn’t appreciate me growing out my hair. I can’t date anyone who is not open minded .
If I’m in a relationship with someone I want to be able to do things like hair care together with them ,so no I’m not cutting my hair for love 😅
What lessons have you learn’t from embracing your natural hair journey
African hair is different and unique and so it needs different and unique care .African hair is beautiful and very versatile. Patience ,Commitment and Consistency will go along way. Develop care routines and stick to them .With proper hair care your hair will surprise you.
Comparison is the thief of joy, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s journey. Instead learn and be inspired by other naturals ,if they can do it so can you. Its also important to follow people who have hair that like yours or at least with similar characteristics as your hair.
Don’t go bankrupt with expensive products, find something within your budget that works. And if you can’t embrace DIY mixes.
Signing out remarks/comments
Thank you for joining me on this piece ,I always love sharing my story and my experiences ,I hope you had fun.
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