By Eve Mafupa
I went natural in 2011, starting with a transition because I was not brave enough to do a big chop. I transitioned for 2 years before trimming the relaxed ends off. My journey of letting my hair stay natural really started before 2011. My hair was so thin from relaxers and I went to the internet to find out how I could grow thicker hair. That’s when I came across blogs and platforms of women that had gone natural and were enjoying thick and long locks.
The reason I went natural is, I was tired of thin hair. My hair is very thin, but a lot. So, after relaxing, it would look like I don’t have much it on my head. Like a cat that has been rained on. And it was not retaining much of length as well. So, when I saw that other women were keeping natural hair successfully, I decided to give it a go.
A lot of people didn’t understand why I wanted to grow natural hair when I started. It was a silly decision according to many. But I was determined. As much as I was a yoyo natural in the past, I gave myself a challenge on 8 January 2011 that I was going to give my hair at least 10 years without relaxing it ever again. If I could not get the hang of keeping natural hair by then, I would have failed and would go back to relaxers. I pledged to give it my all and see where it would all go.
In no time, my hair was flourishing and my friends started asking what I was doing differently. I would show them the blogs I was reading so they could also see what other women are doing to grow long hair. As much as I created an interest in them, they still shrugged off the success of these women on the assumption that they could be mixed. As in coloured as we would call them in most of Africa. That challenged me to start a blog of my own. To bring natural hair care home, to my own people who could relate with my experiences.
That led to the birth of my blog, Natural Sisters in July 2012. On the blog, I share my experiences, products I have used and the things I have done on this journey. Blogging has changed my life in a lot of ways. It has opened up a lot of opportunities and a whole new world I never knew to exist. It is also very therapeutic to type in words that when read by other people, they get direction, encouragement, and knowledge to get along with their natural hair journeys.
I also have a YouTube channel Eve Mafupa – Natural Sisters. The channel is an extension of my blog and I share a lot of DIY stuff, mainly about hair care. You should check it out and subscribe.
My biggest challenge on this natural hair journey has been post-partum. I lost most of my hair after I had my last born. It was hard to do a major trim and start over. I’m glad my hair managed to bounce back but it took so long. About 3 years for me to have decent thickness in my hair. It was a terrible period.
The joy of it all is that, it grew back and then I lost the thickness again because of blow drying. And I had to do a big chop and start over and now my hair has bounced back. It is really a journey with up’s and downs. With lots of lessons learnt along the way.
Knowing my hair and what it can do, withstand has helped me along the way. I know for a fact, heat is not my friend. I watch in awe as other people come to the salon and ask for heat on their hair and their hair still flourishes. And yet, if I overuse heat, my hair breaks so much I will need a major trim. So, I have learnt to stick with what works on my hair.
Owning a hair care brand and a hair salon has taught me business. Natural Moisture was my first registered business and that journey has also taught me a lot. I wouldn’t have thought that my love for hair would take me this far. But it has and I’m grateful. Lessons learnt along the way, always.
I’ve always loved working with hair. I started doing people’s hair in a small township in Gweru when I was in 6th grade. Although I went on and did an engineering degree, I would do hair on weekends when in college and any spare time I could get. Being a voice in the natural hair space, I was often called upon by salon owners to train their staff on how to deal with natural hair.
At Natural Moisture, clients started asking me for a salon that dealt with natural hair only. I was hesitant to do it. Salon working hours are hectic and I was not ready to sign up for that. But the pressure became more and more until in 2017, I opened the salon.
Nashe Hair studio, the hair salon has given me a lot of fulfilment and I am so happy I took the plunge. It is difficult of course. It is business but the people I have had a chance to meet, the conversations had and the lives changed, I am so glad to be in a position to experience such.
My natural hair journey continues. Now I’m 9 years since my last relaxer and I assure you, there is no turning back. I am now too invested into this hair business.
My advice to those who may be struggling with natural hair is, your hair is beautiful. Focus on the health of your scalp and reducing breakage and it will flourish. Healthy hair is good hair, irrespective of curl pattern, length, thickness or colour. Work with what you have and make it trending to have your hair. Your hair is beautiful.
Bad hair days happen to everyone. Don’t let a bad hair day define you. You are more than your hair.
God bless you
Twitter & Instagram, @evemafupa
Facebook, Natural Sisters
YouTube, Eve Mafupa – Natural Sisters