Vuyo is a Vlogger and founder of Braids by Vuyo, and she’s been blessing our timeliness with some of the most inspiring content, which has made our hair journeys a breeze. She recently had her fourth and most fulfilling big chop. From her vlog, we could all sense the freedom that came with every strand that she snipped away. Here, she tells us all about her hair journey, tips on what products to use if you just had a big chop and other beauty tips.
Please tell us about your hair journey?
I had relaxed hair from the age of 5 (a chilling memory of my grandmother propping me on the toilet seat to burn my hair bone straight); as I reached my teens, I became more curious about what my “growth“ looked like. In 2011 I opted to transition for a year, after being swayed by images of Solange’s major big chop in ’09. I finally did my first big chop in February 2013, and in August of that same year, I did my second big chop, this time shaving it all off and opting for a short red cut (which my teachers weren’t too pleased about). In January 2015 I spontaneously decided to chop off all of my hair that I had been growing for a year or so, as a fresh start for my first year in varsity. It was in those 3 years that I decided I would learn how to properly nourish my 4c hair, by reading and watching more relatable videos; and with success, I got the hang of it.
In October 2016, I decided to start my YouTube channel, in hopes of passing on the information I had learned about while taking care of my 4c coils. There had been very few relatable naturalistas that I had come across, which is why I had big chopped so many times prior, and damaged my hair due to mismanagement and unrealistic standards I set by following curly haired inspirations. Fast forward to December 2017, I decided to go all the way and shave it bald, regardless of the hair length and health I had achieved in 3 years.
“NO DETANGLING!! Less money spent and swimming has become a hobby!”
What inspired your big chop?
To simply put it, God inspired me. It may sound ridiculous to non-believers, but as my relationship with God has been growing and so have I – immensely. And with that came the conviction to shave my hair because it became an idol in my life, so much so that I would often use my hair as an excuse not to spend time with God (i.e. prayer, scripture, church etc.) because I was so caught up with impressing people with my hair. I spent too much time trying to find new, exciting ways to switch it up, just so I can have content and be looked at in awe. And that became a stumbling block in my life and my relationship with God. So, it had to go. Self-love isn’t just loving my hair or self, it’s loving the Creator (God) and letting everything flow from that.
What are you enjoying the most, post your big chop?
NO DETANGLING!! Less money spent and swimming has become a hobby!
What scalp-care tips can you share with someone who just had a big chop?
African Black Soap to wash. That’s all I did for the first 2 weeks. I’m not one to apply products and oil to my scalp as it gets clogged up, which is due to the natural sebum (oil) that we secrete on our skin, already providing me with enough moisture. I also massaged it with clean hands often, just for therapeutic and stimulating effects.
What is your favorite skincare routine?
I have a 95% natural regimen (5% being the times I run out of product). I have oily and acne prone skin, so I cleanse with African Black Soap and on the dry days (winter) I use an alternative natural tea-tree oil facial bar soap. I then moisturize with Aloe Vera gel and/or Jojoba oil. For the moments I remember to put on sunscreen, I use whichever one is at hand (not always great but does the job) for outdoor trips. Simple and affordable. Commercial ‘skincare’ is a gimmick, your lifestyle choices/ hormonal issues are the root of bad skin. I learned the hard way.
If you had to keep one hairstyle for your entire life, which one would it be?
I would definitely get Locs! I’ve always wanted them but never had the patience to be faithful to one state of my hair.
What does a big chop mean to you?
It means 2 things: A fresh new canvas or just another way women can be versatile with their looks.
It’s the beginning of 2018, do you have any resolutions that are focused on your health and beauty?
Have you ever heard of the saying “Just drink water”? Yep! That’s my lifelong resolution. Along with all things organic and if my Spirit is healthy and thriving, everything else falls into place. (That’s God for you)
Which hair product would you recommend to someone who just did the big chop?
If you completely get rid of your hair, I’d say washing with African Black Soap whenever it feels greasy and using your favourite natural oil, if that is in your normal scalp routine. Now that my hair has formed, I went back to my 2 favourite products by The Moisture Factory; Their curl custard on damp hair for moisture topped by my absolute staple, “That Gel” to get my hair laid for special occasions or just moments when I want to feel somewhat fancy.
Thank you, Vuyo.