“Hmm. That’s a tricky one. When I began to transition I was at university so I’m not sure how much my home town perceptions affected me. It was really out of necessity – a receding hairline and frequent scalp scabs at the age of 19 is not okay!” – Rachael
A truly inspirational woman in all aspects, Rachael Twumasi, Co-founder of the product line, Afrocenchix shares her transitioning story with me. Afrocenchix is an amazing line for transitioners and naturals featuring all natural products at an amazing affordable price! (links at the end and yh you guessed it! i would be purchasing some very soon)! lool
Rachael Twumasi ( am guessing ghanaian if so eti sen? lool), co- founder of Afrocenchix, was born and raised in North London. She has recently graduated from the university of Birmingham and currently holds a Law degree!
Being the only black girl in her primary school, she often encountered questions like ‘ why does you hair move with the wind’ ( pls read that in a whiny voice for max impact) which eventually lead her to be uncomfortable with hair. Then there were the few mixed race girls around and that led to hair envy ( i can imagine!)
As I grew up, moved round and began to encounter more black people, I began to believe that relaxers and weaves were the norm.
Ok, with this in mind, did you find it any easier or more difficult to transition to natural hair?
Hmm. That’s a tricky one. When I began to transition I was at university so I’m not sure how much my home town perceptions affected me. It was really out of necessity – a receding hairline and frequent scalp scabs at the age of 19 is not okay! As my hair was pretty much always relaxed from the age of four, I found (and still find) afro hair fascinating – this made it easy to avoid the temptation to get back on the creamy crack (and oh was I tempted.)
from the age of four till university!! wow… girl i can imagine your the temptation. This goes to confirm something i have been thinking about over the past couple of days, many people think transitioning is a physical process that takes place, you know, its just your hair, you’re just transitioning to a different texture thats all! but please dont make light the situation. i have found and i think most ladies would agree with me that, a woman’s hair is her glory ( Maya Angelou ) ( had to put tht in here lool), a woman’s hair is so personal ( hence the reason why you cant touch most black girls hair lool) and to have it straight for so long then change it to a completely different texture is something that requires commitment, dedication some form of will power and the Holy Spirit! ( yes!). it is a journey of self discovery because within that one or two maybe three years a woman would transition, she would have encountered several temptations, discouragement, the feeling of ‘ugly’ lets not forget the looks and the disapproval of many including some family members. Transitioning is more than just a hair journey, its also a self discovery journey ( but ok lets get back to Rachael and her wonder-full hair)
Now the big one- why did you choose to transition? Can you remember the date? How long has it been?
Okay, so when Joycelyn (now my business partner) refused to relax my hair one day and we had a discussion about natural hair, I thought I’d try it out. This was around May 2009. I transitioned for around 6 months till around November 2009 when I chopped off all but around 2 inches of hair. So I’d say I’ve been natural for about two years now however I only began to take care of my hair properly in July 2010 – so the last year has been the most successful part of my natural hair journey.
Did you feel that making that decision was hard for you especially when most of the women around you had silky straight hair?
Yes! I had many days/weeks of feeling just plain ugly and it has taken a while to accept my natural texture. It’s been worth it – being comfortable with yourself in your raw and natural form is a beautiful feeling! Everyone should get to experience it. I have to agree with you there sista!
Yep, I was a case book product junkie. Every miracle cream, hyped product and famous brand was on my dresser table. When I began to care for my hair in 2010, I decided to only use my own natural products and, hair wise, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. ( i find i got the same symptoms too!!! hands up, i confess, am a product junkie tooo….. )
She says the Afrocenchix essentials range and Dr. Organics pomegranate shampoo and conditioner( never heard of that but will be researching it soon, found at holland and barret) have helped her maintain her natural tresses. Whilst transitioning she had her hair in kinky twists to get used to the afro texture ( thts actually a good idea) and went through a serial weave wearer phrase ( now if you dont know what that means, you can ask her lool, i dont know but am pretty sure it is what i think it is and no am not going to tell you )
the products she recommends and uses
ok i find that the kinky curly product line is used a lot, recommended and used by many.. hmmmm
also her own range of product she makes and uses! introducing, to the slimtingz blog, Afrocenchix( you are advised to read that in a loud voice)
Would you advice any women to go natural? And why?
Yes! For the health and self image benefits I think natural hair is for EVERYONE.
And finally what the best piece of advice you would give to a woman who has just decided to go natural?
Do your research. Read up about products, regimes, styles and hairdressers and take advantage of the wealthy of blogs, youtube channels and facebook pages dedicated to natural hair and you will soon love your hair as you find it easier and easier to tame.
ok folks you heard it here first! Rachael Twumasi is the latest fab woman to be added to our everyday inspiration series. From her journey she was able to bring out a new hair care line, which goes to show transitioning is not just a hair jounery! Smart, beautiful ( ghanaian) lool and natural haired ( of course) she provides inspiration for us all. So whether you are transitioning or thinking about that, take her advice ‘ natural hair is for everyone!
her afrocenchix products can be bought at http://www.afrocenchix.com/
have a fab day guys and oh just to let you know its been 4 months for me! yayyyy….
2 thoughts on “Everyday inspiration: Rachael Twumasi”
I love what you are doing here with this blog. I think there are definitely a lack of platforms advising women on hair and life in the UK everything is so US centric. Great job!
thank soo much… plantainperiodicals.. loving the name btw!! we certainly share the same view