Kurly Kichana: Natural Hair Advice for New Mothers
For how long have you had natural hair?
Growing up, I never had the option of getting a relaxer! I had to learn how to deal with my hair. However I had an epiphany when I was 23. After reading up on good hair practices from blogs in the USA and the UK, I started taking better care of my hair. It was at this time that KurlyKichana got started which proved to be such an awesome avenue for sharing the ups and downs of caring for my natural hair.
Since then I have tried lots of products as well as cut, bleached and dyed my hair. I finally reached the point where I have developed a simple, minimalist regimen that keep my hair moist and healthy. Right now I am growing out an undercut.
How easy has it been to maintain your natural hair abroad?
When you think Abu Dhabi, it is mainly hot and desert. Moving here has made me appreciate the weather back home in Nairobi. Luckily I was able to carry a lot of my products from home. This has helped me maintain my regimen. Caring for my hair means keeping it super moisturised due to the heat and air conditioning using the Liquid, Cream, Oil method. I also keep my hair in protective styles. I am yet to find a stylist in Abu Dhabi. This has made me become more creative with the kinds of styles I can do.
How did pregnancy impact your natural hair?
Pregnancy was great to my hair! My hair flourished! It was lush and thick which was a blessing for my fine strands. Every two weeks I had a complete wash day including prepoo with coconut oil, shampoo, deep condition, detangle, moisturise and style. I tried to remain very active which is what most doctors recommend with gym visits, long walks and yoga. This meant a lot of sweating! Due to this I rinsed my hair with water in between wash days to get rid of sweat and build up.
How is your diet helping?
As a new mama traditionally my mother is supposed to come and stay with me for a few weeks to cook and support me in my motherhood journey. This is exactly what happened. Thus my diet has been guided by traditional foods to support healing and breastfeeding. I have been eating lots of vegetables, pulses, liver and drinking lots of porridge and bone broth. I also try and drink 3 litres of water a day.
Balancing taking care of a newborn and exercise has been a struggle. I just took my mama’s advice to hold in and engage my core at all times which helps strengthen your tummy muscles.
How is your body adjusting to motherhood overall?
I never thought that I would be one to be a mum, but my body was clearly made to be pregnant! I am very grateful and do not take it for granted that I had a really easy pregnancy and equally relaxed birth (labour for 8 hours and out baby came). My body has responded so well to motherhood, I was up and about the next day after giving birth and second-degree tears and 7 weeks in I feel fantastic.
Emotionally however, nothing can prepare you for being a new mama! My emotional roller-coaster has mainly been about making the right decisions for my son, new mama guilt and dealing with of course the sleepless nights. I wouldn’t change it for the world though!
What’s your motherhood style?
Chill out! Relax! Is how I can describe my mothering. My son is a very chilled baby and we have a great relationship so far. As expected because I am quite the nurturer, we have lots of nuzzles, snuggles and cuddles which my little one loves. I get through the difficult times by taking a few deep breathes and staring at my beautiful human for a few minutes.
What is your hair care regimen now?
Dealing with a new baby, being a stay at home mama, a wife and holding down a house is a lot of work! However I haven’t let that affect my regimen too much. My wash day is Saturday morning when hubs can play with baby. I take some self-care time. I wash my hair, scrub my skin, shave my legs and basically leave my bathroom feeling like a new woman! To style my hair, I stay in loose buns which I take down every other day to moisturise. Bunning my hair loosely has worked well for me – it’s protective without being too hard on my edges. I can also dress it up with pretty earrings and some lipstick.
Any words of advice for expectant and new moms?
For expectant mums, try to be as active as possible. This really helps during labour, delivery and healing.
New Mamas, Trust your instincts, they are always right!
To keep your hair healthy during pregnancy and new motherhood : Eat a balanced diet, take your prenatal vitamins and keep your regimen simple. Fewer products and less manipulation.