We had a long rewarding chat with the Founder of the famous Natural Hair Babes Facebook group with over half a million members, Mrs Louisa Michael . She walks us through the backend of how NHB started and the journey and of course her new baby. One thing we can assure you from this chat is that Natural Hair, In all it’s glory and beauty, has come to stay! ♥
This is worth your read!
Also enjoy tips on how to care for your natural hair!
WHEN DID YOU START?
Well I am going to start from the very beginning. I have always loved reading magazines. Newspapers etc but not novels. If I must read a novel then it must be recommended by a mentor or someone I respect. So in 2001 I was working at the International Airport in Lagos, and on my way to work one good day, my eyes caught a glimpse of a News magazine headline titled – “The internet will rule the world”. And I became curious. I went straight to the stand and bought the magazine. I read every word in it and from that day onwards, I became hooked to the internet. Then when the last flight (mostly Air France) takes off around 1am, instead of going to bed, I go into the Cyber Café where I already made friends with the attendants. I start perusing the computer trying to figure out what it was all about. From that magazine, I discovered the first Internet school in Lagos SADC. I immediately applied for a certificate course titled- Demystifying the internet. I was exposed to various opportunities in the internet . I knew I was going to do something on the internet but I didn’t know exactly what it was. So in 2013 when I started having issues with my relaxed hair it was only natural for me to go seeking for solution online and the rest as they say is history.
WAS NATURAL HAIR A THING?
Yes it was but definitely not as popular as it is today. Today we see blockbuster movies like BlackPanter inspiring slangs like ‘’Wakanda forever’’ in many lips. This is a sign that we are certainly going to be in it for a long time. Natural hair has come to stay
DID YOU HAVE A TEAM YOU WORKED WITH?
When I started, I started alone. But today, I am blessed with a team of beautiful and intelligent women who are passion-driven and focused in the administration of the group. They are the NHB Admins & Moderators.
WHAT PROMPTED THIS WORK
Precisely 2013, my hair got damaged due to excessive heat and relaxer application so I had to start researching on how to grow it back, during my search, I discovered healthy ways to grow and maintain my hair rather than continuing with the application of chemicals to soften it. I applied the knowledge I gained and I saw great improvement in my hair. Thereafter I developed the passion to liberate my fellow women from the danger of having chemicals in their hair; hence I opened the group Natural Hair Babes on Face book. Natural hair babes group has impacted her audience in so many ways. By researching, inspiring and teaching ladies how to maintain their natural hair, holding one-on-one sessions once in a while to deal with individual specific needs, organizing natural hair events, media outreach etc.
Due to our strategy and dedication, our membership is currently 611,000 members (from more than twenty countries around the world) and still growing daily. I am excited that we are part of the vehicle driving this unique movement globally.
AT WHAT TIME DID YOU GET A POSITIVE RESPONSE?
Those early days when I just started, I remember approaching a lady; one of my members, and discussed with her about my intention for the group, how I anticipated to reach 10,000 to join my group that year and she asked, 10,000 women within a year? To her, it was impossible but thank God I wasn’t discouraged. I immediately stopped discussing it with her and concentrated on my work. I tell you, by the end of that year, we didn’t only get to 10,000 in membership but 30,000. That was when I knew we are in for a real revolution. The positive response came from the 6th month. One thing I don’t do in the group is to ask members to add their friends. This is in order to ensure quality membership; to ensure that those who join are really interested in natural hair and not some who would come in and say- “who added me here? Pls remove me” like you find in some groups where members are forcefully recruited. The first question we ask intending members is- How did you find this group?” So far about 60% of the response are- recommended by a friend or it was mentioned in another group while 20% are people who did search on Face book and Face book brought up the group as number 1 for them, then the 20% are people that got the prompt from Face book as a suggested group to join.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
I owe it all to God. When we were about 40,000 members, some people didn’t give us time to last. Seeing more than half a million members today, it can ONLY be the grace of God at work. It’s quite encouraging but we are not resting on our oars, we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do also.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF NATURAL HAIR?
It’s as bright as the stars. I think we are just beginning. Yes, we are just starting. Soon, if you’re not seen with natural hair, you may be looked at like you just came from some new planet (smiles)
ARE THERE GREY AREAS?
Many naturals are still battling with thinning, breakage, and stunted growth as a result of bad hair practices but with the tutorials and support on natural hair care they will be fine.
HOW CAN ASPIRING NATURALISTAS UNDERSTAND THEIR HAIR?
They need to first belong to a good and committed natural hair group, study the FAQ in the blog (that’s where we have the basic info) and start implementing what they’ve learnt. They have the opportunity to ask questions in the group and be carried along. Ours is a sisterly support group.
HOW ABOUT THE SALONS, ARE THEY NOT OVER PRICED?
I have never visited a natural hair Salon before but hope to someday. So I am not in the best position to analyze their price but whatever they charge, one should note that natural hair styling can’t be compared to relaxed hair. Natural hair is thick and sometimes tough so it needs a lot of creativity to style and maintain therefore if they charge more than the relaxed hair salons it’s justifiable.
A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD US YOU ARE LAUNCHING SOMETHING REALLY NICE!
Yes! It’s a global online magazine! It’s high time we started celebrating ourselves. So it’s all about celebrating naturals and educating aspiring naturals and newbiews as well.
TELL US ABOUT IT?
Naturalhairglobal is an online magazine site that publishes everything natural hair and overall beauty of the black woman from all parts of the world. It empowers us with options on how to care for and maintain our unique natural hair textures by providing an abundance of tips, personal hair journeys, product reviews, how-to tutorials, style pictures and a where-to directory that showcases natural hair stores, salons, beauty parlors & events globally.
As more naturalistas emerge, naturalhairglobal will keep creating a strong awareness of the beauty of natural hair that will not be overlooked. It will continue to be an inspiration for the modern day woman of color who has chosen to explore her natural hair texture and will keep serving as a powerful tool for natural hair professionals and marketers to speak directly to their target audience.
Most noteworthy, it is a global magazine with a global reach, working to reconstruct the societal definition of beauty and transforming it into a celebration of natural uniqueness.
It is beyond Face book where we are currently operating from. It’s an opportunity for Bloggers, Vloggers and all who are doing well with their natural hair to be seen all over the world. We currently have a promotion team; ladies who are devoted to promoting it. It’s been promoted in all social media and search engines so that those outside Face book can also have a feel of what we are doing.
WHATS YOUR HAIR TYPE?
WHAT ARE YOUR SIMPLE HAIR REGIMEN?
I don’t do much. I had a baby 2yrs ago and suffered postpartum hair loss so I used Namoda cream to grow my edges then to deal with thinning, I started using the popular chebe powder and saw improvement. So I currently use Chebe powder most of the time, I do protein treatment quarterly.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU STEAM?
I deep condition my hair every fortnight.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A PRODUCT JUNKIE? IF YES, HOW DID YOU STOP?
WHAT’S THE PLACE OF WATER IN NATURAL HAIR TREATMENT AND CARE?
The place of water in natural hair care cannot be overemphasized. Water is everything! Water is what keeps natural hair going. Without water, your natural hair is gone! I have a 9-5 job so my hair is in twists or cornrows 98% of the time. So every morning I simply splash water mixed with oil on my scalp and hair, and the hair bounces back and am off to work. It’s such a joy!