ShesGotNigerianCurls ‘Fro Feature-Twin Edition: Laju & Warami
What’s your name and where are you from?
L: Utse-Oritselaju Ore-Oluwa Eresanara (‘Laju)
My Dad is from Delta State and my mom is from Ondo State, but I consider myself a true Lagosian. I guess I’m also sympathetic to my Niger Delta Roots, but it’s Lagos for life…
W: My name is ‘Warami Eresanara but some people know me as Ore-Ofe. My Dad is Delta and my mom is Ondo so I am definitely a waffi girl!! I was also born and Raised in Lagos so I claim that as part of my identity.
Have you been natural all your life? If not, please tell us how and why you decided to go natural
L: I haven’t been natural all my life. I got my first perm when I was 6, and I’ve loved straight hair ever since. To be honest I only went natural because my twin sister did, and I thought she looked really pretty with all those curls. (I still secretly love straight hair). I guess I should just perm my hair again, but I’m currently struggling with questions like “what if I miss my curls what do I do?” I don’t like to miss out on things; I guess it’s a case of you can’t eat your cake and have it.
W: I was natural for the first six (6) years of my childhood, but decided against it because all the ‘cool’ kids had perms lol! I decided to go natural again when I came to the states to school. I had braids in for a while and after I took it out I noticed the growth in my hair!! At that point I was already accustomed to the life of watching YouTube videos and had seen all these people who started their ‘natural hair’ journey!! I was excited! (Obviously) and anyone who knows me knows that I am the type of person to experiment with these types of things…So I took the plunge and it has been a wonderful journey so far…no regrets!
Tell us about your Big Chop Day or if you transitioned, about your transition journey.
L: It was a warm August night the summer of 2013. I got back from my internship in Lagos (I was home for the holiday) and I just got really anxious, so I called my dad to cut my hair. My permed hair was shoulder length and I had about 3 inches of natural hair. My whole family thought I was crazy (they all thought I should just transition), but my anxiety didn’t let me see the logic in their concerns… I cut my hair that Friday night, and got braids Saturday morning. My hair never surfaced for more than a day till I had a good nice ‘fro.
W: I started transitioning, but I got really restless (patience is not my strongest virtue when it comes to things I am excited about!) I wanted to do crazy/fun things to/with my hair like gauge the curl patterns (like all the other natural hair enthusiasts out there) have length checks, and also use the natural hair lingo (without feeling pretentious, you know what I mean) so I decided once again to take the plunge (if you haven’t already noticed I take plunges pretty often!) I had my big chop on the 17th of March 2013 (so I have been fully natural for two (2) years now) during my spring break. I was talking with friends and then I just blurted out that I was ready to cut my hair ( I was ridiculously scared by the way, I just had to flex a little and not fall my own hand by backing down) so my twin sister and two (2) of my other friends chopped it all off!
When you have your natural hair out/when you first went natural, is/was there a reaction from family or friends, especially those from the same country you’re from and/or when you go back to your home country (if applicable)
W: Girl! Everyone thought I was crazy!…I just thought I was crazy beautiful (I am not that person I promise!… I just had a new found confidence) my parents loved it though, my dad thought it was a better option to save money, little did he know that it would probably be more expensive. My mom on the other hand, has always cut her hair (which she perms and by cut I mean low, low cut) any way she loved it especially when I had them in little twists lol! She thought I looked super cool
What recent issues have you had with your hair and how are you resolving/have you resolved them?
L: If you haven’t deduced thus far, let me break it down a little. The only reasons I’m still natural are because 1. The thought of getting a perm and having to deal with burns scare me. 2. I know my natural hair is the healthiest option for me.
So, I guess my biggest issue is that I have to find new and creative ways to love my hair (which mostly consists of putting it in extensions so I don’t have to deal with it).
Also, my hair knots up a lot at the ends, so I have to keep it moisturized a lot or else it just breaks…
W: It kept breaking for a while but I resolved that by trimming it. I honestly don’t have as much time for my hair as I would love too, so I usually just put them in protective styles like braids or weaves.
What made you decide to take your healthy hair journey seriously and how’s it going so far?
L: It’s chill. I pretty much copy the twin; I do what she does. I make her make things for me like Shea butter and hair gel (she loves those things) (I don’t know what I’ll do when we finally graduate and she leaves me!)
W: Once I commit to something, I go all in, so the decision to take my healthy hair journey seriously came with deciding to go natural in the first place. So far it has been going well. Are there days when I want to just burn my hair? Yes!! Definitely, but I assure you those days are becoming less and less and I have grown to love and respect it (yes I respect my hair lol)
What do you think of this new era were in, where many more ladies are big chopping/transitioning and embracing their natural hair?
L: I think it’s great! I love the natural hair look on people. I also think that it seems to make people very confident.
W: This is a wonderful era, and I hope it isn’t just a fad (do people still use that word?) that transitions out because that would be a shame. I love that we are all embracing our natural hairs and I am hopeful for the future
How would you describe your hair and your relationship with it?
L: I would say that we are civil towards each other. Hate is to strong, Dislike is to weak, Civil is just right.
What’s your typical, current hair regime-wash days, styling, protective styles…
L: Protective styles all day err’day
W: My hair is always protected, I hardly have it in its natural state because I am in my senior year in uni and to be honest it’s not really practical to have my hair out. I am too busy to take care of it properly and I can be called for an interview anytime and I want to look my possible best (as sad as that sounds, it is the truth) also I am in Michigan where it snows 9 months out of the year (yeah it is brutal!!) and my hair would not survive it. I co-wash every other day when I my hair is out and I also use Shea butter (which I make) and oils such as Argan, Jojoba, olive etc. for my edges, I use argan edge control.
What are your three favourite things about your hair?
L: I love the curls… Whenever I see my curls when I get out of the shower, I say to myself, “now this is why I became natural”
W: ·My curls
·My length and future lengths lol
How do you feel about shrinkage and how do you deal with it?
L: I think it’s cruel. I don’t fancy Afro’s so I always make sure to stretch my hair as far as it can go. And bandanas are my signature… I just pack my hair in bun and tie a cute bandana bow, or something equally cool
W: I love shrinkage actually because I barely know what to do to my hair when it’s blown out. With shrinkage, I can rock a cool fro!
What are your favourite hair products so far?
L: Tea Tree Oil conditioner and Castor oil baby!
W: I only use curls unleashed products, which can be a little expensive L but you know your girl has to have a backup plan!! Burt bees! (they are like $6)
What are your favourite protective styles?
L: Braids for dayyss
W: Two strand twists, raids, weaves
What 3 pieces of vital advice would you leave to other naturals?
L: Keep it healthy, otherwise there is no point!
W: Love yourself
·Love your hair
·Listen to your hair
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I really have to stress the importance these three (3) things as they are very vital; if you do not love yourself everything else just doesn’t work. Also you have to love and listen to your hair; we tend to get frustrated when our hair doesn’t cooperate with us, just go with the flow and if you still feel irritated maybe you should just tie up your hair and call it a day! Come back to it when you are in a better mood and you will see how amazing the results are.
Any favorite natural hair bloggers? Please link them if so! We can never have enough naturalistas to look up to and learn from
·My best friend Ifepo (she is not a blogger but she is amazing!)
What forms of social media can we find you on?
L: Instagram: uo.laju , but my setting is Private :/
W: Instagram: @waaiie