Meet Shona Tiger!

I met the beautiful Shona Tiger on twitter, as I do. She’s a physiotherapist and claims that she’s a bit of a geek. I totally believe that geeks will rule the world … well, they already are.

I know a lot of women will relate to Shona’s personal hair story, which is why I thought it was important to share. Sometimes we really just haven’t had access to understand what our hair needs to flourish, so we do what we’ve always done.

Shona’s personal hair story is about getting to understand her hair. I truly believe that once you understand your hair, all else falls into place. You start appreciating it more; taking care of it and a derivative of well taken care of hair is hair that grows.

I hope you enjoy this!

Full on afro … or curled up

Shona’s Hair Journey in her words:

Do you know what your hair type is?
My hair is 4B almost all over, 4c at the back of my head but not my back hairline. It doesn’t grow evenly, unfortunately, tending to be very long and pretty straight at the top of my head, and fairly long and straight near my back hairline, then shorter and more kinky at the back of my head. This was where I had breakage during my last foray into relaxed hair, and was the main decision I decided to go natural again.

Short hair

The teenage years
I was natural until I was a teenager, and my hair was mostly straightened using a hot comb when I was much younger, but I started using chemicals as a teen (curly perm, straight perm; eventually, later, relaxer).

Varsity years
I did a big chop when I was 18; reason was I’d gone to a really great hairdresser, who got excited about my hair, and cut my hair into a stylish bob, which got very frizzy and unmanageable after a very short time.

I decided to cut it and was natural for a long time, varying my style by colouring my hair sometimes (I was orange throughout university, because my red colour soon went orange), twisting it, plaiting it out using cotton thread (don’t know what it’s called, with your hair sticking out all over), semi-locked, bantu knots, etc. It was fun, but at some point I decided I needed to look a bit more professional, and I relaxed my hair again.

‘Ginger’ hair during Varsity days

Just out of uni and working
I had a good hairdresser when I lived in Botswana who knew how to handle my hair. When I moved back to Zim (in the middle of the economic mess), I had an encounter with a hairdresser who’d obviously mixed something into the relaxer to make it go further; and for the first time in my life, my hair broke.

After I turned 30, my hair texture and quality had changed a lot (no longer the luscious thick hair of my twenties)… Since I’m not really a fan of weaves or braids, I decided to go back to natural hair… So I began to transition around two years ago, and then cut my hair in Aug 2011.

At Shona’s longest length

2011 – Transitioning to natural
While I was transitioning, I came across Phro’s blog, and began to use castor oil religiously. It worked wonders on that terrible breakage at the back, and on my front hairline. I tried amla oil, but found it too drying… Sometimes used olive oil, and the organic root stimulator range was fantastic (but in the end, too expensive for me to use regularly, with the mayonnaise about $20 for a small jar locally).

The year of the transition :)

Natural head all the way
Since I went fully natural, I use moisturiser and castor oil daily, and shampoo once a week. Unless my hair is really dirty, I only pre-poo as per Phro’s instructions, and then rinse it with hot water, as shampoo usually irritates my scalp and dries out my hair.

If there’s a lot of product build-up, I use a little shampoo. I also find that if I don’t twist my hair when I’ve shampooed it, it tends to dry out, so I almost always twist it (thick or thin)- unless I’m feeling lazy. If I haven’t twisted it, I pull it into a bun so that I look decent for work.

hair pulled back

I have very little hair loss now, but I know my hair’s a little dry, so my next plan is to do more to keep it moisturised.

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