Tell me a little about yourself
Hi, my name is Victoria and I am a social entrepreneur. I run an organisation called Iconic Steps, and it is a training and production company, where we train up young people, and we also create contents for organisations.
How long have you been natural?
I went natural in September 2013, so coming up to two years now.
Have you always embraced your curls?
I have not always embraced my natural hair, mainly because I grew up perming my hair – always thinking that my natural hair was too tough, too hard, doesn’t really grow, and can’t really do much with it. I can’t style it, and I can’t really do much with it. Not until I decided to go natural did I really embrace and understand my hair.
Did you do the big chop or transitioned?
I think a woman’s hair is her beauty – not to say that being bald means you are ugly – but for me, personally, I know that hair for me is beauty so I didn’t try to do the big chop. I did not think that I could be that bold. I didn’t think that it would suit me.
So I actually did a transition. And this was through wearing a wig, and it was constantly washing my hair every week. And then, bit by bit, cutting the ends until finally I just wanted to have an afro (so once my hair has grown out a “little more”) I just cut the rest of the perm out.
What motivated you to do a transition?
It was after years and years of perming my hair and my hair became thin. It wasn’t breaking, there were no bald patches anywhere – I still look nice. But my tough African Nigerian hair was not there anymore. It wasn’t breaking any combs anymore. A nice thin comb could go through my hair, and I could pack it up in one bunch. And I think that shocked me and even scared me more than anything else. And I just wanted my hair back. So that was why I decided to go natural.
How would you describe your hair/hair type?
I am really terrible when it comes to knowing what hair type I am. I tried to research it with other people, and looked at all the other types and see – but it is a bit hard when you don’t have someone’s example right in front of you so that you can compare.
So I have been told that I am a 4C.
What do you love the most about your hair?
I think it is because it is just THERE. It is really strange. I just like the fact that I am proud of my hair, which is what I like about my hair. So it is not about my hair itself, it is about my love for my natural hair now, and the way that I perceive my natural hair.
Has it always been easy or difficult or both?
I would say, growing up, my natural hair was hard. Like I said, it would break combs, and my mum couldn’t really look after it either. My mum had quite soft hair, my sister had soft hair. And my hair was just the typical African hair that everyone wants to perm and hopefully it is fine. I remember always thinking that my hair couldn’t even be permed because it was just still hard.
But the moment I realised how to look after my hair, the products to be using, and at what times you should try to comb your hair then my hair is easy. I don’t think Afro hair is hard to maintain, you just have to learn how to maintain it.
What are your favourite hair-styles?
I am naturally quite lazy so when it comes to doing my hair my favourite hair style is just a fro-hawk. This is because it is just nice and simple, quick to do, and you just look really nice and funky, fresh and young. I will be showing you a tutorial about how I do my fro-hawk soon.
Apart from that, I don’t really have other hairstyles. I think when my hair has grown a little longer I might try and experiment with other styles. When my hair was shorter, I was actually experimenting a lot more, and now that it is longer I needed to adapt and think of new styles because the short styles don’t work the same way with long hair.
But, right now, I am just on this fro-hawk laziness.
What have your experiences been as a natural with family and people?
Family had been, of course, the most negative when it comes to me being natural. Mainly because we all did the whole perm, the whole weave, and so when someone breaks away from that then it is something different – because they are fearful of the ‘new’.
They didn’t encourage me to do it, but now that I am doing it they are like: “It suits you a lot more. Your hair looks good.” It is one of those things that you need to go over the barrier and then everyone else will follow you.
I suppose white people they loved it from the onset. Especially with the fro-hawk, they are: “Oh my gosh, you look beautiful”. I was: “Thanks, I was beautiful before” 😀
Either way, the reactions have been good. I get people on the street telling me that my hair looks beautiful.
What are your favourite products?
I remember the very first time I went natural, I was buying tons and tons of products. I remember going to my mum and telling her I just brought £90 worth of hair products and she looked at me like I was mad. And looking back, I was mad because half of those products were not needed. Literally.
So my regimen is nice and simple. I stick to products, and brands, that have worked for me. So I will start from washing, and then go into moisturising.
So in terms of washing. I use KeraCare 1st Lather shampoo for ‘clarifying’ in order to remove all the junk and strip the hair of any build-ups. I would use KeraCare Hydrating shampoo, and that’s just a normal shampoo. Following that, I would condition. I alternate between two products – with KeraCare conditioner or Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque.
One of my products after I have finished washing is to use a leave in conditioner. I use As I Am leave in conditioner. I love the product and I love the smell. The only problem I have with this product is that when you touch the packaging, it comes off in your hands, which is really annoying. It is not that the product is bad.
Another product I use is Coconut oil. But the main product I use, and I advocate a lot, is Shea butter. My Shea butter is raw Shea butter. Mine is from Nigeria that my mum gets for me. I normally melt it down, and then put it on my hair and that is my main form of moisturiser. If I want to mix it, I might use coconut oil or even from KeraCare Oil Moisturiser. This is because Shea butter can be quite heavy so mixing can distribute the moisture more evenly.
So that is my routine. Nice and simple, not that much products, and relatively cheap.
What are your favourite natural hair websites, bloggers or vloggers?
When I first started, I just read random articles here and there because I didn’t understand my hair and how to look after it. Following that, I have my regimen now and I know my hair is doing well. In terms of updating myself, I just keep my eyes on Hey Naturals, just keep reading their articles, keep watching their videos. There is where I keep updating myself.
Any inspirational words?
I am thinking just do it. But I know many people would say something like that. So I would just say take the plunge. Don’t be caught up with the idea that you wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Where can we find out more information about you?
Probably on my company website, my social enterprise. It’s called Iconic Steps – check us out. Also, I am a filmmaker, you might want to search my name on google or search engines, and see what comes up 😀
And finally what is the one product you can’t live without?
One product I can’t live without is Shea butter. I just like it a lot. I think it does the job I need it to do. It keeps my hair moisturised for a good while. Like I said, I am lazy, that is the one thing I want to get across – when it comes to looking after my hair, I am lazy – which shows it doesn’t take that much to look after your hair.
Comment below to tell us how your natural hair journey is going, and what you think of Victoria’s hair journey. If you have any hair style tips and advice, contact us here and share it on Hey Naturals website.