The natural hair care scene in Kenya is buzzing! Now more than ever before, women are ditching relaxers and proudly wearing their kinks and curls. With the growth of online natural hair communities, Kenyan natural hair bloggers are springing up to share content that is relevant to their local context.
Hey ladies, can you introduce yourselves?!
Vikky: Hello there! I'm Vikky Wambui. I'm a 38-year-old single mom. I have an 18-year-old son and I work for a leading international courier company as a Country Commercial Manager.
Sharon: Hey! I'm Sharon Malonza and I'm an 18-year-old university student.
When did you go natural?
V: I've been natural for five years - I did my big chop in May 2012.
S: I decided to go off relaxers and start my natural hair journey in 2015. After transitioning for ten months, I big chopped in March 2016.
Why did you start blogging and how can we find you on social media?
V: I started my platform to document my hair journey and inspire others who are considering going natural. I also review locally available products. On Facebook and Instagram, I go by the name Napspiration.
S: Over the course of my hair journey, I've found myself spending hours reading different hair blogs and watching YouTube videos. I've been so hungry for knowledge and have become the go-to person among my girlfriends for all things natural hair. My YouTube channel is an extension of this passion. I do everything from tutorials and tips to product reviews.
What are some of the challenges facing Kenya's natural hair and blogging scene?
V: The blogging scene, is still a small community and we all pretty much know each other. But I think we don't collaborate enough and can still do a lot more to grow each other and the industry.
S: Kenyans are amazing people but we can be harsh critics towards our very own. I understand that we value quality but sometimes we can be a tough crowd to please. In regards to hair blogging, our content can be very monotonous. Many times, we are doing what has already been done by bloggers, from other countries, who started before us. It's quite a challenge to create unique and original content.
Interesting point, Sharon. As a natural hair blogger, how are you overcoming this issue in creating more original content?
S: Well there is still a lot of room to localize content. For example, many naturals are still looking for locally available products so I do reviews on local, Kenyan-brands. I also include lifestyle tips and hacks from a Kenyan girl's perspective.
What is some advice you would give to a girl that is transitioning?
V: Going natural is a process. You may have your big chop coming up in a while but it takes time to feel fully confident to rock your curls in whatever style you please. By documenting your journey reminds you of why you started and how far you've come. So when you're really not feeling your fro, take out your camera and 'document'.
S: If you want your hair to grow healthy, you don't necessarily have to mimic everything you see on YouTube or Instagram as is. Be sure to take your hair's unique needs into consideration - including your hair's density, porosity - and then build a regimen that works for you, your lifestyle and your budget.
What's your hair regimen? Holy grails?
V: I pre-poo my hair overnight using Shea Hair Treatment Pre-Poo by Femmes de Karite. I then wash my hair with Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo. It's been a favorite of mine for a while now as it cleans my hair and scalp really well while at the same time moisturizing it. When it comes to conditioning, I normally wash my hair in four sections and I use Shea Moisture's Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner as it has a lot of slip. I follow up by deep conditioning for thirty minutes with my heating cap. I recently tried Shea Moisture's Super Fruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Masque and I love it! The smell, slip, the moisture it infused into my hair was amazing. When it comes to moisturizing and styling, I use Yangu Rich Creme by Harvest of Sunshine as a detangler. I then twist my hair into eight chunky twists and keep them for three or so days.
S: I wash my hair every ten days because I have low porosity hair. I begin by sectioning my hair into four and then spritzing it with some water. My pre-poo consists of Tresemme Naturals Conditioner mostly sealed in with coconut oil or amla oil. I pre-poo for about an hour and then shampoo my hair with Creme of Nature Sulfate-Free Shampoo. I deep condition with Mega Growth Deep Conditioner, making sure to soak my strands from root to tip. I use my heating cap from Natrella for about 30 minutes so as to get the most from my DC. After rinsing out my treatment, I t-shirt dry my hair and use the Liquid-Cream-Oil method to seal in the moisture in my strands. I twist up my hair in two-strand twists, leave them overnight and the next morning, I unravel them for a chunky twist out.
Many thanks to Vikky and Sharon for shedding some light on the blogging scene in Kenya. Feel free to stay connected with these curlies around the world by checking them out on their social media platforms.
How's the blogging and natural hair community in your country? Feel free to leave us a note down below, we'd love to know who your favorite natural hair bloggers in your country are!