Kurly Kichana Interview
Please tell us about your natural hair journey – start from wherever you would like, and what you have learned over the years as a minimalist natural.
Growing up, I never had the option of getting a relaxer which meant that I had to learn how to deal with my hair. However I had an epiphany when I was 23 and started taking better care of my hair i after reading up on good hair practices from blogs in the USA and the UK. 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 and 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/difficult has it been caring for your natural hair abroad in a new country with a different climate, products, stylists etc?
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 which has helped me maintain my regimen. Caring for my hair has meant keeping it super moisturised due to the heat and air conditioning using the Liquid, Cream, Oil method and mainly having 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 has your pregnancy impacted your natural hair and what was your go-to routine while expecting?
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 which meant a lot of sweating due to this I rinsed my hair with water in between washdays to get rid of sweat and build up.
What is your hair care regimen now? How do you ensure that you care for your baby and yourself (and your hubby and your household!)without neglecting your hair?
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. I have my wash day on a Saturday morning when hubs can play with baby whilst I take some self-care time to wash my hair. During this time, I also scrub my skin, shave my legs and basically leave my bathroom feeling like a new woman. To style my hair, I am mainly in loose buns which I take down every other day to moisturise. Bunning my hair loosely has worked well for me because its protective without being too hard on my edges, I can also dress it up with pretty earrings and some lipstick.
How is your diet helping? Any exercises? How much water do you drink daily? Include clear drinks.
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 and 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 and 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? Emotionally? What support system do you have over there? What are you loving the most? What is proving to be the steepest learning curve in this journey?
I never thought that I would be one to be a mother but my body was clearly made to be pregnant. I am very grateful and do not take it for granted that I had a very 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 rollercoaster 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? Is this how you thought you would be or has it surprised you?
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.
Any words of advice for expectant and new moms? And as a natural hair veteran, what would you recommend to these moms so that they can keep their hair and health intact while handling this incredible (and incredibly daunting) privilege of bringing life into this world and caring for that life? 🙂
For expectant mums, try to be as active as possible this really helps during labour and delivery as well as healing.
New Mamas, Trust your instincts, they are always right!
On hair: Eat a balanced diet, take your prenatal vitamins and keep your regimen simple, fewer products and less manipulation.
Anything else? Most of us know you well but for the new ones where can we find you? Please plug in your site and social media URLs here.
You can find me showing titbits of my life through insta stories on Instagram @kurlykichana and occasionally blog at wwww.kurlykichana.com