Cameroonian beauty Tchingi has been natural since 2017 after a friend’s afro inspired her to give up relaxers. In addition to having phenomenal natural hair she’s also a businesswoman with her own line of natural hair products. And although being natural isn’t a big thing in her city, she still rocks her unprocessed mane with pride. Here she shares her maintenance routine and how learning to properly care for her hair transformed it.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since October 3, 2017.
Did you transition? And if so, how?
I transitioned. I had braids in my hair for a month. After taking them out I asked my mom to trim all the relaxed parts of my hair. That’s when the journey began.
Why did you decide to stop relaxing?
My friend motivated me to go natural. I remember admiring her black beautiful afro a lot. I didn’t like the fact that relaxers were changing the color of my hair and I couldn’t withstand the burns on my scalp after using them.
Did you have trouble adjusting to your big chop or was it a welcome change?
I had no idea how to care for my hair. Natural hair back then was not that common, so I stayed wearing two-strand twists and wore my hair in an afro all the time.
What were your thoughts on natural hair before you became a natural, and have they changed?
Like I said before, I had no idea about natural hair or how to care for it. I had to research and watch a lot of YouTube videos.
I became intentional about hair two years back and since then so much has changed. I now understand what my hair needs and what it doesn’t. Now I’m so passionate about educating others on how to love and care for their hair.
Describe your hair.
I have low porosity, high density hair with type 4b and 4c curl patterns.
What’s the natural hair scene like in Limbe, Cameroon?
Natural hair is not a thing in my city. A lot of women and girls still have issues embracing and caring for their hair.
Do you ever have times when you struggle with your natural hair? How do you deal with those days?
In the beginning it was always difficult to keep it kempt and presentable. I always ended up with an afro.
Name one thing you’ve learned about your hair since being natural.
It needs tender love and care, proper moisturization, and consistency.
What’s your current hair routine? What products do you use to maintain your crown?
I wash my hair every 2-3 weeks. I prepoo, shampoo, deep condition with heat, moisturize with a leave-in, and seal with a thick oil or shea butter. Then I put in a protective style.
I use products from my hair brand, Afroprescy.
How do you preserve your natural hair overnight?
I always sleep with a satin bonnet.
You have to wear one style for the rest of your life. Which do you choose and why?
I will go for two-strand twists because I can easily moisturize my hair and style them in many ways.
What’s the best part of being natural?
The best part of being natural is embracing and loving my God-given hair that I was born with. No chemicals or pain from any tight hairstyles.
Where can we find you online?
I share my hair journey on Instagram as Afro_kinkyqueen. My brand page on Instagram is @afroprescyhaircare. And visit AfroPrescy Naturals on Facebook where we have amazing hair care products. Watch out soon for me on YouTube.
Any advice or words of encouragement for other naturals?
Do not compare your hair with others’. Your hair is beautiful. Let nobody tell you otherwise. Love and care for it.
Have a routine. Be consistent and be patient.