Tell me a little about yourself
My name is Elizabeth Wangeci. I am more comfortable in being called Wangeci than Elizabeth. I use Elizabeth formally. Everyone who knows me knows me as Wangeci. So I’m Wangeci.
I’m Kenya, I live in London, and I am a natural.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for two months. I did the big chop in April 2015. I went natural because I believe we can have beautiful hair that is natural, especially the afro kind. And I was tired of having thin hair that was unhealthy due to a lot of relaxing and braiding.
I felt the need to be my authentic self, and I felt that the way to do this will start from my hair. To embrace the natural hair that I have, and be able to style it and see that it is beautiful, just like everyone else.
Have you always embraced your curls?
I have not always embraced my curls. I went through a period of being embarrassed about my curls. As you can see, I have the kinkiest of curls – the 4C hair type. And from childhood onwards, it has always been considered the hardest of hair to deal with. Therefore, there was a part of me that believed it was not the best hair type to have. But, in this day and age, I am seeing the beauty of it because it is unique, and not everyone can have my hair.
What motivated you to do the big chop?
I was motivated to do the big chop because I wanted to know my type of texture in different lengths and to understand it
How would you describe your hair/hair type?
I would describe my hair as coily – it looks like a spring. It’s fine but coarse…does that make sense? It is definitely 4C hair. Definitely 4C. I like 4C hair.
What do you love the most about your hair?
I like the challenge and uniqueness of it. I like the fact that everybody tries to stir clear of 4C hair or ‘I hope I don’t have 4C Hair’ or ‘I can do natural but not that natural.’ But I like that, I find it unique.
Has it always been easy or difficult or both?
In terms of being easy, it is more easier this time round because I have learnt a lot from my mistakes prior. Last time, I did not do the big chop, I did transitioning – and I had the big afro that was shapeless and it was always a problem to style in the morning. So having it cut made it easy for me.
But in terms of how to deal with the texture and moisture – it is still a battle. But we are getting there.
What have your experiences been as a natural with people?
My experience as a natural has been quite positive, surprisingly. There has been a lot of positive reviews from family and friends, like more than before when I had lot of styles. So it was like, ‘really? I had to cut my hair for you to all compliment me?’ 🙂
A lot of them think it suits my head shape and it brings out my face. So lots of positive feedbacks.
What are your favourite products?
My favourite products are Shea butter – pure Shea butter – and pure coconut oil. I got my Shea butter from my friend who got it from Ghana.
I love shampoos that have conditioning effects, like a combination of conditioning and shampoo. I love the Taliah Waajid Kinky Wavy Berry Clean Shampoo 3 In 1 . It’s for children. You cannot go wrong with children’s products because I think they do a thorough job with the children products. It’s a 3 in 1 shampoo so it conditions and cleanses at the same time, as well as softens.
I also like the Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque but not for the purpose it was meant for. It is meant to be a treatment but it has no treatment effect whatsoever for my hair type, but I love it as a leave in conditioner, which is the other purpose you can use it for. I do like products with no parabens and sulfates. Pure products seem to agree better with my hair.
I like essential oils, for the smell as well as the effect they have. I also like the Africa’s Best Organics Hair Mayonnaise, because it is cheaper than the ORS one. The Hair Mayonnaise works alright for my hair, but I do not use it always. I try to alternate it between the moisturising treatment – atrActiva Multivitamin Deep Treatment. I don’t think the atrActiva Multivitamin Deep Treatment is great but it is good.
What are your favourite natural hair websites, bloggers or vloggers?
I love a lot of 4C naturals of YouTube. There are many – short hair, thick hair, long hair or problem hair. They have all really helped me to see the beauty of natural hair, especially the beauty of 4C hair, and to see the journey of 4C natural hair that it can grow to different lengths as well.
Any inspirational words?
I will inspire the readers to be authentic. I think authentic is beautiful. To be authentic, you have to be willing to embrace every natural aspect of yourself – starting from yourself. What I don’t like is when people are hiding behind weaves and you hate yourself. I think that is not beautiful at all.
Not that I am against weaves. But if you are hiding because you are always trying to cover what you have, or you are always trying to hide what you have because you don’t like it or you don’t find it good. I think that is not beautiful.
And finally what is the one product you can’t live without?
Really, one? Is water part of it? This is a trick question. Alright the one product I think I cannot live without. I am turn between two. But it will have to be coconut oil. It smells good and moisturises my hair as well.
I like Shea butter, but I do not like the smell.
Comment below to tell us how your natural hair journey is going, and what you think of Wangeci’s 4C hair journey. If you have any hair style tips and advice, contact us here and share it on Hey Naturals website.