#MyKpenkpeshie: Kim Green On Societal Reaction to Her Natural Hair.
Kim Green is a Capacity Building Manager at YES-Ghana and we met at Twists n Locs recently. I sat by her whilst waiting to be picked up after my cornrow+twists updo. Her compliment on my hair saw me grinning and asking if she wouldn’t mind being featured on #MyKpenkpeshie. Her grin and laugh said it all! She shares her natural hair journey with regards to societal reaction to the change as well as products she uses.
When did you go natural & how has the journey been?
I started my natural hair journey in 2010 which is six years ago. Initially I had a lot of pushback from my family specifically the male members of my family. My Father was very disappointed because I actually went dramatic chop so I shaved very low. I was almost bald.
But I had gotten to a point where I had a moment in the salon and thought to myself, ‘I cant go through this lifestyle anymore.’ In the UK it takes a much longer time to get one’s hair done. I had a perm and I would go to the salon at 9am and would come out at 4pm. I told my hairstylist that I couldn’t go through the use of these products which I know are damaging my hair, I want to grow my hair out. She was really okay with it and she helped me with my transition.
After I did the dramatic chop, I was getting hi-fives in the street, a lot of recognition by the older generation who appreciate natural hair more, I was now called Sista and given the title of Empress, Queen etc.
It was a confidence boost for me. To walk down the street with not much hair keeps all the focus on your facial beauty. It really helped to reinforce that you are beautiful inside and out.
What products are you currently using.
Mainly natural oils like Coconut oil, Shea Moisture & Jamaican Castor Oil. I use quite the range from Shea Moisture; their gel soufflés, liquid oil cream etc. I also do my co-washing with conditioners by TRESSemme for the last 2 years.
Any tip on co-washing?
Co-washing is great but there was a lot of build-up over time when not using shampoo. I would advise using vinegar to wash out the dirt once in awhile if you do mainly co-washing.
One thing I will say is; before I went natural I would never question what went into my hair but now I am more in control of it. I question everything now as I control the products I use. I am more mindful of the food I eat, how much water I am taking in etc. I would definitely encourage & promote natural hair.
#MyKpenkpeshie (Kpenkpeshie is a Ga word which means tough hair) is a natural hair feature of the everyday Ghanaian woman and her natural hair journey. It's a collection & curation of stories by Ghanaian women as they recount childhood memories, natural hair-care tips, societal reactions to their change and more.