Monday, January 3, 2011

Coilybella Project 365 #57:Distinguished Coilybella Chiwa

Meet Distinguished Coilybella Chiwa

1) What inspired you to go natural? How long have you been natural? What styles did you wear?

Hmm, my initial reason for going natural was to have thick hair. My permed hair was very thin, it did not have much volume to it and it was breaking. Its my fault though because I had never taken the time to care for it. I braided it a lot and it just became unbearably damaged. So I figured well, maybe if I go natural, I could have some thick hair. So I decided to give it a try. I thought I was going to let it grow naturally then perm it after about a year or 2 that way I could have long, healthy hair. Of course I didnt know any better.

I had my last relaxer sometime in April/May of 2009 and I did my big chop November 2009. Prior to my natural journey, I mostly had braids. I would wear my permed hair out but majority of the time it was in braids, which explains my thin edges.

2) What responses did you receive in response to your natural hair decision?

I received different reactions. My mother, of course, was I guess, a little shocked. She asked how  I  could be professional with natural hair. I have a bachelor's in business management and she gave me that whole talk about "its not a professional look", which is ridiculous. A lot of my friends said it was a bold move and most of them actually embraced it. I didnt really get negative feedback and now I see that a few of my friends are also going natural.

3) What is your current regimen? How do you maintain length? Moisture? How do you protect your coils at night?

I don't necessarily have a regimen yet. I have just started taking good care of my natural hair. Since the big chop, I have been mostly braiding it because I wasnt trying to grow it out. At this time I am not too concerned about length. I just want to focus on listening to my hair. For length, I usually do twist outs or sometimes I will just pick my fro and wear it like that. As for moisture, I think shea butter is my friend. I mix my own shea butter with jojoba oil and glycerine and apply it to wet hair. It keeps my hair moist and soft all day. In terms of protecting it at night, I apply jamaican black castor oil to my scalp every night and then just wrap the hair with a satin bonnet. So far it works for me but I am still learning.

4) What products do you use in your hair?

 I use Suave naturals shampoo, which dries out  my hair out and makes it get tangled. I will be now using sulfate free shampoos .  I also use suave coconut conditioner. I love that stuff! Its good on my hair and it smells wonderful. As for a leave in, wow, I have tried so many from oyin honey hemp to giovanni and garnier fructis and I am not crazy about either one. I mostly use the giovanni direct leave in but like I said before, shea butter is my friend so I use that pretty much on a daily basis. To do twists, I use Oyin's burnt sugar pomade. It works well for me and the smell of it is a plus. I also use Oyin's juices and berries as a refresher or on top of my shea just for the fragrance.  I have use Ecostyler gel to gel down my sides. I think that's about it.

5) What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?

I never transitioned but all the same, for a new natural, its not going to be easy. You may have moments in which you would want to give up or run out of styling ideas, but  you would have to stay strong. Take the time to listen to your hair and see what it likes. As long as you feed it what it needs, you will learn to love and enjoy your hair. Don't fall in the trap of being a product junkie. I think minimal is the best. Use what works for you and not what every other natural is using. Enjoy the journey :-)

6) What's the best thing about being naturally beautiful?

The best thing about natural for me is being able to wash my hair as often as I like. The beautiful thing about being natural is that you feel more confident. Being able to let my face shine is a great feeling. I love the versatility of  natural hair. Tere is nothiong to lose with wearing natural hair.

7) What mistakes have you made in your journey? What have you learned?

I think the biggest mistake I made is thinking that what works for one natural is going to work for my hair. I watched a ton of Youtube videos with  other natural ladies reviewing their favorite hair products, and as a result, I bought the products reviewed by other naturals. I ended up spending unnecessarily as some of the didn't work well with my hair. I didnt listen to my hair. But now that my eyes are more open, I know what works for my hair and I am consistent with using it.

8) Please name three products that you cannot live without

I cannot live without my shea butter mix, my ecostyler gel and my suave conditioner

9) What advice would you give to women thinking about wearing their hair natural?

Go for it! You will end up learning more about yourself than just hair. You will look a lot more beautiful in your God given natural state. Be patient with it and it will probably be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

10) Where can you be located on the Web? Youtube?, Blog?, other natural hair websites?

You can follow my newly started blog at .
It is not just about natural hair, its more of a general personal blog.  I have started documenting my natural hair journey : I document my natural hair journey on Youtube
Follow me on twitter at



  1. Great inspiration, thanks for sharing Sis! Sounds like her mom and mine are a lot alike, lol. the funny thing is, mom is now going natural, lol. So, hang in there Chiwa! You may be an inspiration for others, and maybe even mom.

  2. Thanks so much for the post :-) Keep doing the good job you do with your blog lady!

  3. Thanks for stopping by Zainab. Yes her hair is fierce!!!!!

  4. Thanks so much Chiwa for sharing your story with us. You are a great inspiration to many.


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