What is Afro-Logue by Lheritier Skincare?
This segment in our blog is dedicated to inspirational women from all walks of life. As a skincare brand that is dedicated to bringing out natural products to Africa, we at Lheritier Skincare Limited, wish to capture stories and weave them together to provide you with a go-to platform on hair, beauty, style, and business. Malcom X once asked a question to Melanated Queens, this question still echoes to date: Who taught you to hate yourself. Nothing is absolutely
wrong with your amazingly beautiful African hair. Nothing is absolutely wrong with the tone of your skin (whether dark or light). You are the universe expressing itself as an awesomely endowed black queen. We will continue to provide a platform for discussion on all these great stuff that make you, YOU.
Meet Achai Deng
Before we go in to the interview please support Achai through her Facebook page. If interested in working with Achai, her contact is: 0713078245
Tell us your name and how long have you been natural
My name is Achai Deng. I have been occasionally natural over the years as a way of giving my hair a break from the extensions. I have however maintained a natural look particularly over the past 6 months.
What do you do for a living and how has your natural hair impacted (positively/negatively) those around you
I’m currently a student at the university almost completing my undergraduate program. I also model professionally part time which helps me meet some of my needs. Trying to maintain natural hair all the time within a modelling career can be rather difficult due to the diversity in concepts when interacting with different clients within the industry. Maintaining my natural hair has earned me both positive and negative reactions. For instance, most people I have interacted with while I am in my natural afro find it intriguing considering this look is considered outdated and most Africans conclude that shaving down hair is the ultimate natural look because it is easier to maintain. They should however know that bulky African hair can be maintained as well just with the right effort. I have had people telling me that they prefer how I look in other hair do that isn’t natural, I try not to take offence however much it isn’t right.
Coming to the modelling industry, designers often associate relaxed hair to elegance leaving the natural Afro only relevant when the concept fits which is rare. Thanks to shows like Kenya Fashion Awards which I have participated in this year for embracing the African look in their concepts. For instance, their theme this year was “celebrating Africa” through which we were allowed to strut down the runway in our natural Afro hair.
Who inspired you to go natural?
My going natural hasn’t been inspired directly by other individuals, it took my own realization to embrace my natural hair. Having been in the modelling industry for about a year now has given me a great deal of confidence boost which has thus led to my natural hair journey. The industry has taught me to love the perks of me that the world taught me to hate. My dark skin, kinky hair, height have become what make me stand out in crowds and thus my strengths in the very competitive industry thus I have learnt to embrace myself more thanks to individuals like Letoya Johnstone, Galina Tatarinova and Atman Ngau who have done a great job as mentors in my journey to self-realization with the time I spent in the Kenya Fashion Awards Academy.
Tell us about your hair and a fun fact that makes it special to you
Like most African hair if not all, my hair is kinky. Its not as strong compared to most African hair due to the difference in texture thus its more prune to break. Therefore I make an effort in maintaining it well .given my modelling work I get to wear a lot of different looks although my Afro is the most special look I have for the simple reason that it is the most comfortable.
How do you take care of it in the day, and what is your night time routine?
Taking care of my hair isn’t really too much of a difficult job like most people make maintaining African hair sound. When going to sleep I ensure I plait it down. I particularly divide my hair into three sections where I plait two lines on the two sides of the head which leaves the middle section I plait in medium sized “matuta” from the front to the back. As I mentioned earlier, my hair is a little fragile compared to most African hair and for that reason I prefer that method of plaiting it before bed since in ensures the front side hair is secured inside the lines. The middle section hair is strong enough so “matuta” is just fine.
In the morning I undo the knots and comb it out into an afro. I first spray a little water into it to keep it moist then I would add oil into it. I occasionally switch between coconut oil and tea tree oil. I also add a moisturizing oil which helps keep the hair moist all through the day because drying is what causes hair breakage and split ends most of the time. My most valuable trick is keeping the hair moist.
Do you have a preferred style?
My most go to hairstyle is a combed out afro since its easy and quite comfortable.
How do you incorporate fashion with your natural hair?
Good thing about natural hair is that it can be manipulated into many different looks. It is therefore easy to do crazy things with my hair to match different looks.
Tell us the 3 things that work for you in terms of length retention
In order to maintain my length there are three things that I ensure to do. First is keep my hair moist which prevents split ends and hair breakage. The second is the use of hair strengthening oils and in my case that is coconut oil, Avocado oil and olive oil. I try as much as possible to get the natural extracts and not the manufactured versions which I feel are less effective. The third and last hack is eating healthy and keeping hydrated. Most people don’t associate out body health to the health of our hair. It is important to note that the health of our hair will depend on what nutrients we provide it through our bodies. This is the most important hack for healthy looking hair.
Educate: Tell them why natural hair and healthy living is good
Health is the biggest key factor for self-confidence, having more energy, living a longer life, having less chance of getting sick, being less stressed, and feeling mentally and emotionally happier in general. But being healthy is a lifestyle choice and something that has to be achieved over time, not just overnight. Diet is the same. Starting a new diet can be daunting. The most important thing to remember when starting a healthy life style diet is to eat things with plenty of vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean chicken and fish.
Its important to keep in mind that a healthy body is equivalent to healthy hair therefore health is a vital aspect of human living.
Tell us why the future should watch out for you (what are your ambitions in life?)
I intend to accomplish a career in diplomacy given its what I’m studying in the university at the moment and at the same time I would also love to have a successful modelling career which I’m so passionate about. It may seem a little difficult given the disparity in the two careers but its not impossible. I love to try out new things making me a Jack of all trades and a master of most.
We are looking for inspirational women like Achai to share stories with us. You can be bald or have 40″ hair, as long as it is natural, and you have something good going on please contact us. We will be glad to feature you so send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org