Hi, I’m Ese ( pronounced like the English ESSAY, without the AY drag but with a short E. get it?). It means Gift in Urhobo, a language of the Delta people from the Southern part of Nigeria.
I’m a 22-year-old African Fashion Model , a travelling nomad, a believer in Love, the power of the Universe, positive thoughts and feelings.
I fell in love with my NAPPY hair in March 2014 and I have never looked back. It hasn’t been the easiest journey- trying to grow breakage-prone 4c nappy hair, whilst dreaming of world domination and sauntering down VS Runway with a big fat afro- but I always was the odd Plum Blossom.
One of the biggest rewards of ‘returning natural’ is the refreshing and deserving self-love and confidence I have come to acquire.
‘I AM MY HAIR, MY HAIR IS ME’
You probably have guessed by now that Nappy is my w♥rd for Natural™. I looooooovveee to be NAPPY!
Why I decided to go natural…
Back in 2013 I was head over heels for a guy who was obsessed with his idea of what real ‘African beauty is’ *cue eye roll*. Every sensible man out there knows a woman’s beauty is whatever she chooses it to be. He wanted me to ‘return’ natural, and of course as a young girl foolishly in love, all I wanted was to please him.
One look in the mirror at my left profile damaged hairline from that one time I had beautiful Senegalese twist in varsity. I also had so much breakage from dying my hair jet black for 3 years in senior high. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to start afresh.
I had relaxers in my hair for more than 12 years and I had absolutely no idea how to deal with my nappy hair.
Flashback to being six and the Saturday afternoon ritual, head bent between Iya Mutai’s thighs, crying for mercy as her tiny toothed tail comb rips off my scalp to get my kinks into cornrows for school on Monday.
Oh the agony! Yup, it’s the kind of pain you never ever forget!
If I was going to do this I needed some sort of inspiration and direction. Thank heavens for Pinterest! I looked up natural hair and beautiful images of dark-skinned women like me with long nappy hair popped up. I became a woman obsessed. How is this possible?! As far as I knew, black hair didn’t grow and it’s so hard and difficult to deal with. All I knew was if they could grow hair like that, there’s no reason why I couldn’t. So I spent the first 3 months stalking every beautiful woman with beautiful long nappy hair. I followed them on Instagram, visited their blogs, watched their vlogs and hair tutorials. It was a whole new world. A world of pre-pooing, deep conditioning, satin scarves, co-washing, bagging, lol.. The list is really endless, No really it is!
“What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger”
Every nappy haired folk you come across will tell you that the journey to re-discovering, learning to love and understand one of the most complex fibre structure that is our hair is never an easy one. For me as a fashion model, I feel it has been even a bit harder, because my job entails looking a certain way most of the time, and then morphing into any kind of avatar the client wants you to be for their idea. But looking back, returning natural is a decision I will take time again. There is nothing like loving and embracing yourself the way that you have been made with all the bag and baggage that comes with being YOU! It is a such a powerful feeling.
Watch my video below to see my journey from tattered tresses to healthy looking beautiful kinks. Please subscribe to my channel and leave a comment! Would love to hear your thoughts!
Love and Nappiness,
Isn’t she just stunning? Thank you for sharing, Ese. Please do check out her blog and lovely YouTube channel. Send a mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be featured.