The Curl Files

The Curl Files – Feat. Vayunamu


Left: Jul 2015 | Right: Oct 2015

Please introduce yourself.
My name is Vayunamu Bawa.


How long have you been natural?
For a little over a year now. A year and three months actually.


What made you decide to go natural?
I dyed my hair and wasn’t taking care of it and it looked terrible and was literally falling out. I decided to just start all over


Did you do the big chop or did you transition?
Big chop!


What was the hardest part of going natural in the beginning?
I think it was just having low hair. I looked like a little boy and had to cover my head A LOT.


Did you care what others would think about your hair? Do you still care?
Nope, never. Natural hair is slowly becoming more accepted but even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t care because having my hair this way feels amazing.


How did others react to your hair in the beginning? How do they react now?
Everyone was just shocked I cut it all off. Some told me it won’t grow as much as before. Some said it would be stressful to maintain. They were all wrong 🙂


Left: Mar 2016 | Right: Jul 2016

Have you faced any struggles from being natural in school or in the workplace?
I haven’t faced any struggles. I’m an international student from Nigeria that goes to a tertiary institution in California, so I guess everyone there just figured it’s something we all do back home.


What is your current hair regimen?
I don’t really have a consistent regimen but i try to wash, condition & oil weekly. My hair isn’t at the stage of detangling yet though, so protective styles are a bit easier to do. I try twist-outs every now and then (not so good at that yet), but when my hair isn’t “done” enough for the day, I just tie it up in a scarf.


What products do you love?
Original Nigerian shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil.


What is your favorite hairstyle?
I love kinky braids. Kinky hair is SO light on me and the older it gets, the better it looks.


What is your hair motto?
Never thought of that haha


What’s the best part about being natural? What is the hardest part?
The best part is going to bed, showering, and going through my days without stress. It might just be the length my hair’s at now but it’s so easy to carry. The hardest part is doing stuff to make it grow I guess. I’m also at the awkward stage where it isn’t short enough to do partings and rockstar stuff, but not long enough to hold in a hair band.


What tips or advice would you give others that are starting their natural hair journey or thinking about
If you’re thinking, I say go for it. Nigeria has a big issue with artificial hair and it’s so sad. The weave and relaxer industry has made a fortune off of us and that needs to stop. There’s also the stigma that comes with natural hair, like it isn’t pretty or stylish enough. I think the compliments I get from random people that see me around should tell you that’s not true at all. If you are starting your journey, I’m happy for you that you have decided to embrace the hair that grows out of you. I wish I had the wisdom to do that all my life.


(See more from Vay on instagram: @vaybawa)


What part of Vay’s hair journey inspired you the most?
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  • Kyleigh Glass
    May 25, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Vay, you're beautiful as well as your hair! Enjoyed reading this!