Welcome to the Asikara blog! Please introduce yourself.
My name is Cheyenne and I’m the person behind CoilsnContinents helping men and women to love and look after their natural hair. I enjoy all things to do with health, travel and hair and I currently work in Marketing and live in London.
We are so glad to have you as this months featured blogger! The name of your page CoilsnContinents caught our attention, how did you come up with that concept?
Two close friends of mine inspired me to start my natural hair page as they felt I could offer my knowledge on using a lot of natural ingredients to help maintain natural hair. They also picked the name too because travelling and hair are the two things I enjoy the most. So I thought this was a perfect fit to describe me so I went with it.
Curls and Travel what more could we want! Tell us more about your curls, how long have you been natural? Why did you choose the natural hair route?
It’s a bit of a blur when I actually went natural because I didn’t see it as such a big thing back then. I permed my hair for the first time in June 2011 for my college prom and permed it a few times after that. I eventually got bored and wanted to return to having natural hair. I stopped perming my hair by the end of 2012/2013. In 2014 my hair was fully natural but I decided to straighten it in October 2014 and suffered a lot of heat damage. I cut off a few inches by the end of 2014 and started afresh in January 2015. I have also gone without heat since then too.
Wearing twists was not fashionable, having a an afro was seen as unprofessional and I was viewed as someone who needed to ‘tame’ their hair.
5 years without heat? That's amazing! Well we are so glad you went natural as it seems to be the birth of your amazing page. If you could describe your hair in 3 words what would you say and why?
Diverse because of the different shapes and patterns I have in my hair when you look close up from tight coils to slightly looser coils. Also, my natural hair colour is brown but there is a reddish tint when I’m in the light which I only discovered when I started hair blogging and other people would think I dyed my hair.
Receptive because my hair takes well to ingredients that nature has to offer.
Evolving as I’m always learning new things about my hair everyday, I’m presented with a new challenge and practising patience. Through this I learn to love my hair more and more each day.
It's a beautiful thing embracing who you are, the hair you wear is the crown you can't hide from! Sadly we know it's not all fun and games with curly hair - what challenges have you faced?
Breakage has been a huge challenge for me over the years. I do believe it is something most naturals battle with or will battle with at some point because it’s inevitable. I’m currently working on my routine to keep it at bay but also to recover what was lost previously. I find when you slip up on your routine breakage does creep in so consistency is key.
That is so true, many naturals think their hair doesn't grow but most of the time breakage is the culprit! What must have natural hair tips do you have for us?
Cheyenne's Natural Hair Tips
Deep condition your hair - this changed the game for me. When I started incorporating deep conditioning into my routine my hair started to retain a lot more moisture and styles lasted longer.
Read and research the ingredients in your products - just because a product says it ‘hydrates’ or ‘moisturises’ your hair it does necessary mean it will do that for you. Everyone’s hair reacts differently to product ingredients. This will help with a more solid routine.
Try low manipulation hairstyles - Twists have been my go to style for three years. I understand if your hair is shorter you may want to do braids or twists using extensions and that’s fine just be mindful that you need to look after your hair in the braids or twists style you choose to do.
Bonus Tip - Here are some products which have worked very well for my hair over the years and I think they are worth a try for type 4 naturals:
- Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Leave in,
- Kinky Curly Knot Today,
- Camille Rose Coconut Leave in treatment.
The reason I like these products are because they feature ingredients I like and know work well with my hai - Marshmallow root, slippery elm & honey. My hair takes well to most butters and the main butter in the Mielle Organics Leave in is Murumuru butter.
Thanks so much for these tips, we're sure they will help so many people start a healthier hair care routine. Do you have any advice for those starting out on their natural hair journey?
Firstly, embrace the hair you were born with. The reason I say this is because this feeds into how consistent you will be, how much attention you will give to your hair to ensure it is getting everything it needs. Find products that work for you and stick with them until they stop working. Being natural doesn’t have to be expensive if you don’t want it to.
It's so important to embrace your natural hair and not get caught up on seeing everything on social media. There's always a new product on Instagram but sticking to what works is best.
Do you think society has affected the way you view yourself & your hair? If so how?
Society has definitely had an impact on the way I view myself. I think this was more so the case five to eight years ago when the natural hair movement was around.
Sometimes I felt like I was the only person who was natural, when attending events I felt like I was being viewed as a child as opposed to everyone else around me looking 'grown up'. Wearing twists was not fashionable, having a an afro was seen as unprofessional and I was viewed as someone who needed to ‘tame’ their hair. As a result, between 2012 - 2014, most of the time I chose to tuck my hair back into a bun or exhibit a crown braid in an effort to not make my hair the centre of attention.
Interestingly, I didn't made the Instagram page with the mindset of becoming a natural hair inspiration because in my mind everybody knew what they were doing, so I essentially thought I was just joining the community. I then realised there were still a lot of people who wanted more information and who quite enjoyed what I had learnt over the past few years so I started to take the blogging more seriously.
It's so sad to think that is reality. There is a stigma around natural hair that is suppressing and it's about time we changed that! How has living in the UK affected your natural hair blogging journey?
Living in the UK I’ve learnt to manage the struggles of being natural. One struggle I did have was looking for hair products from black owned brands but also finding more variety in the products I was buying which I found difficult in the beginning.
As a result, I started making my own DIY mixtures using banana, avocado, shea butter and different oils such as jojoba and vitamin E oil and little did I know I would benefit from using these mixtures and I’m still using them to this day.
The natural hair movement has recently got a lot more exposure in the UK but still has a long way to go before it becomes ‘normal’ for natural hair to be deemed as professional in the workplace, for families to view natural hair as beautiful and for naturals and budding natural to feel comfortable in being natural.
Let's dig a little deeper, what are the pros and cons to being a natural hair blogger in the UK?
There are definitely pros and cons to being a natural hair blogger in the UK. The pros are that a smaller community means the community is more close knit and it's easy to find other naturals.
There are so many successful black natural hair companies which I have been exposed to and I’m very grateful for that but a con is that almost half of my following are from the USA! When I have naturals based in the US asking where I get my herbs from for example, it can be difficult to direct them to a specific place because everyone is dotted all over the world.
Another con is that I travel to the US often and on my travels I get a lot of my hair products which tend to be American brands. Sadly those particular brands can sometimes be difficult to access here in the UK. Interestingly, I didn't made the Instagram page with the mindset of becoming a natural hair inspiration because in my mind everybody knew what they were doing, so I essentially thought I was just joining the community. I then realised there were still a lot of people who wanted more information and who quite enjoyed what I had learnt over the past few years so I started to take the blogging more seriously.
Most of us don't have a clue what we are doing and finding UK naturals is a struggle we always find. It's so great to have found you. Is there anything interesting about you our readers will be surprised to hear?
I went to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela and had tea at his house too - it was fun and I learnt a lot about the culture and how best we could help contribute to charitable causes.
How! What? When? That is actually amazing - what a guy! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A lot of people think having healthy natural hair is just about using the right products and making sure you’re deep conditioning. This is partly true but diet is so important and I stress this all the time. If what you are doing on the outside is not working then you need to look on the inside!
YES! Health is a holistic thing even when it comes to hair. Thanks so much for taking time out to enlighten and inspire us. How can we keep up to date with you?
I’m currently only on Instagram, @coilsncontinents but I will eventually be on other social media channels too so be on the lookout.
We hope you've been inspired, have learnt something new and/or have just enjoyed reading this post. What are your favourite hair care brands? Who are your favourite natural hair inspirations? Drop us a comment below