Becoming Tolulope ‘Chimamanda’ Olukanmi (Part 1)


The joy, the freedom, the peace, the beauty! (Source: Shutterstock)

That JOY when you take out those braids or ditch the wig to let your hair down and also peep your hair growth, preach somebody??? ……just that, my hair isn’t this long yet 😞😩

Oh well for starters, I was just a 7-month-old Naturalista when this post was initially written but I’ve been on this natural hair journey for almost 2 years now! Now, I had close to sworn that I would never cut my hair just to join the natural hair fad or “Team Natural” bandwagon…never! For what? Hell no!
I had just recently relaxed my hair in early 2018 with my edges still popppping, hair looking sleek and blowing over my face when the breeze blew too, earning me the name Cute *bats eyes*

2017, oh how I loved to let down my very very very very long relaxed hair! 🙃
Ah ah, am I not actually cute? Say the truth😋….this was that early 2018 when I relaxed my hair; and my girl Fufu photobombing my beloved Snapchat filter picture on Lewizzy’s iPod (TMI, sorry)

Why in the world would I join these guys? Welllll, ladies🤭….and I had refused to admit to myself that my hair was actually “dying”, having that drab, hueless unhealthy look and I kept covering it up with relaxers and texturizers till the last straw broke the camel’s back.

So back then in May 2018, I had been hung up on YouTube, watching videos of how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Queen of Prose, Poem and Speech -yes the Queen, and hell yeah Queen Elizabeth admits this too- gracefully outdoes herself at every speaking engagement or granted interviews or award acceptance speeches, always acknowledging her Nigerian roots and owning the ravishing beauty of her black Africanism.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Harvard University as Class Day Speaker for the Graduating Class of 2018, The Queen of Natural Hair Queens!

There was just something about her that made me aspire to look that beautiful (and girrllllll, is she BEAUTIFUL!) just by owning my Natural. I could tell you much more about how else she has inspired me but hey this is a beauty blog; not that we don’t care about your personal growth too but imma just go ahead and share the YouTube link with you, you’re welcome😊.
I had to stop daydreaming of attaining such beauty someday and this was when I took the decision to get my FIRST CHOP.

So I got my friend, Faith -who is also a Natural Hair King in this case- to help me trim my relaxed ends and did I mention, my hair was already looking “due”, due for a relax and instead of allowing my natural hair grow out, I went ahead and relaxed it. So…..I was back at ground zero by April 2018..saddest thing ever. After she helped me trim it in May 2018, I kept on the braiding and wigging behaviour and I literally just couldn’t afford to leave my hair out!… woulda cost me my slay girl points, bae points and some of my self-esteem! Hahaha…well fast forward to August, the natural part had grown some more so I was ready for the next big chop.

2018, me fangirling the Natural Hair ‘’King’’ and the first ‘’chopper’’ of my hair, Faith
Now, that’s my actual hair after the first chop in May 2018 and my good friend AY James on a boat in Makoko (Go Regals!)

This time I went to the barber's shop to get them to cut it for real this time like cut off every single strand of relaxed hair, this was in August 2018.
Sometimes I looked in the mirror and almost regretted my decision but then I would remember Chimamanda and remind myself to wait out the black beauty I daydreamed of. I even warned the barber not to line my hair because I was on lowcut for three years back in high school and I knew exactly, the cons of doing that. (Fun fact: I always still made the Top 10 list of ‘’fine girls” back in my high school class even with that lowcut and forehead 😋)

Tolu Chimamanda, Natural Hair Queen after the second chop-chop🥰

Fast forward to March 2019 anndddd I’m already looking like a baby girl with my impressive constant hair growth!

Well, this is a picture from September 2019 as I couldn't find any from March (Yikes!, sorry) but hey baby girl still right?

In a bid to become a full-fledged Naturalista, I buy and use natural hair products and wellllll, I also take lots of pictures for memory sake-shrinkage pictures, hair after loosening braids pictures, hair in pineapple form pictures, you name it!- just to document my hair growth and slay!

Okay okay, this is not me….I just wanted to introduce you to another Natural Hair Queen, my sister Titi who also inspired my decision to transition. Ohh btw, she made her beautiful earrings!
Okay now, this is an actual feel of what my hair looks like in pineapple form :), though my hair growth from September 2019 till now has been exponential! (I’d take more pictures this year, I promise!)
and well, this is just proof that the Natural Hair struggle is real! This was taken after I had washed my hair. In Natural Hairdom, we call it The Shrinkage😪

So, with these few pictures of mine, I hope I’d become the Chimamanda to your inspiration (to also do the chop-chop, make that transition and go natural!)someday!….. yayyyy🤗🤗

Now to the products I use, I’m not a natural hair junkie yet, so I can’t boast of being savvy about what and what not to use on your hair but I know for sure that the hair care products I use have done me all good and no bad since I started this journey!
A very good friend of mine, Omolade(sharrrra to you, our very own reincarnated Madam CJ Walker! )makes and sells her self-made natural hair products suitable for the African Woman(and really, any woman with any hair type) and I decided to patronize her so I bought her black soap shampoo to give it a try and the natural tang/no-added fragrance took some getting used to but hey look at me now😁😎, then when she did a giveaway for the whole hair care products, you bet I jumped on it and yeahhh I won the giveaway!……so now I use Beauty African Essentials (B.A.E) hair shampoo, rinse-out conditioner, leave-in conditioner, hair butter, and hair oil! ……I’m the luckiest girl in the world, I know!!!

Sometime in November 2018 after Omolade delivered my giveaway present (B.A.E hair kit) to me at work

Can we also take a moment to acknowledge how cool her product name is?….it reminds you to treat your hair as B.A.E! (Before anything/anyone else) since we know how much eye candy love we get in return from human bae when we do that 😏.

Do check out her Instagram page some time to hit her up and get you some B.A.E hair care product or better still, the product kit.I’m sure she’d be happy to even consult for you as well if you discuss your natural hair struggles with her. You can thank me now and later😉!

I always look forward to taking out my hair extensions to relish the beauty of my rich, healthy, black hair and it’s progressive growth and I hope you try it out some time….I mean letting go of those relaxed hair strands (heheeee, was that an AMEN I heard you say?😂😂, yes…embrace your Black Royalty!) and then try out B.A.E hair care products or any products at all that suit your hair and let me know how it goes for you too in the comment section!

Also, I use Aunty Jackie’s co-wash, coconut oil, Hair Wonder products, etc. etc. intermittently because variety is the spice of life you know? but for a long time now, I’ve been stuck up on B.A.E and she remains my main chick.

Don’t forget B̶e̶a̶u̶t̶y̶ ̶O̶p̶p̶e̶r̶s̶, to stay slaying and praying (Toolz O. ’19)
Anyway, bye for now…..see you in the next post and ohhh wait,

This is me staying slay for the Gram…see you on the Gram slaying as well! Okay now,byeee😘😘

Culled from ‘’My Natural Hair Journey’’; written by me for @IsiomaNwabineli’s beauty blog/digital guide — BeautyOps (March 5th, 2019)

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou