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Hola my lovelies! It’s been forever since I wrote a nice natural hair feature, but you guessed it, today I’m featuring fellow naturalista Ije or most of you may know her as KlassyKinks on youtube and across the web. I met Ije about two years ago when we duo as a Model-Stylist team for the ILoveMyFro event in NYC. Ije was one of the awesome models, and I (as scared as I was) was one of the impromptu stylists. Needless to say we had fun, and Ije even did a video on it. I’m happy she’s decided to do the feature and I am sure you’ll enjoy it, so let’s jump right into it shall we?

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Q: Hey Ije, tell us a little about yourself: 

[/column][column size=”2/3″]Hey ladies and gents! My name is Ijeoma Eboh, and if you can’t tell I’m originally from Nigeria! Most people call me Ije though (pronounced E-J). I’m a recent college graduate now doing a PhD in public health and history at Columbia University in the City of New York, and I’m mainly interested in the history of racial health disparities, particularly asthma.[/column][/row]

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Q: How & why did you decide to go natural? 

[/column][column size=”2/3″]In the summer of 2009, I was at a summer program and my roommate at the time offered to install kinky twists for me. I ended up wearing those the whole summer, and during that time I noticed Essence Magazine (I’m a loyal subscriber lol) started coming out with articles about being natural. So I decided to continue getting braids and weaves to grow my hair out. By the time I’d transitioned for a year, I was in need of a radical life change, so I big chopped in May 2010! I began chronicling my natural hair journey on YouTube shortly after.[/column][/row]

S'well Bottles - 160x600

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Q: Was your natural hair initially received by family/friends/on lookers? Or was it rejected?  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]If you know anything about African women, you know we’re all about weaves, weaves, and more weaves. So plenty of “aunties” gave me lip about “messing up my hair”. My mom saw it just as another aspect of the pro-Black phase that she thought I was going through (I’d gone to a predominantly white high school and latched onto any and all black people the second I got to college lol). Funny comment about onlookers: I found myself getting a lot of attention from older white guys (aged 35-60) who would stare at me and smile, but I just chalked it up to them being nostalgic about the 70s haha.[/column][/row]

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Q: So what makes you naturally fly?  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]I’m just an average girl trying to make a difference in this world. What brings me the most joy about being natural is actually how I’ve helped change people’s perceptions of kinky or afro-textured hair as ugly, unprofessional, and distasteful. My mom even went natural about a year after I did and now she preaches about the benefits to anyone who will listen. I try to show how natural hair can be classy and sophisticated, hence the alias Klassy Kinks.[/column][/row]

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Q: It’s a Saturday night, you’re most likely to do:  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]Reading for school, doing my hair, watching Netflix, or gallivanting around NYC.[/column][/row]

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Q: We just wanted to know, are there any hobbies you have?  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]Does my hair count? It’s more like a baby than a hobby actually. I love volunteering and going to cultural events.[/column][/row]

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Q: As a Blogger/Vlogger, do you find more pressure with upkeeping your own hair?  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]Not really. I’ll go a few weeks without doing anything cool to my hair, and I just make up for it by staggering my video uploads. And I definitely don’t make videos unless I have something to say. I don’t know how vloggers who post 3-4 vids a week do it! My hair is my pride and joy, but I style it first and foremost for myself, not for YouTube views. I love ya’ll though![/column][/row]

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Q: What’s in your hair product arsenal?  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]I’ve been living off of Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayo, Aussie Moist Conditioner, shea butter, coconut oil, my wide toothed shower comb and my modified Denman since day 1. Like I’d be comfortable on a desert island with just those products and tools. I really like Shea Moisture products as well, and Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter is slowly becoming a favorite.[/column][/row]

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Q: Tell us about your haircare regimen:  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]Once a month, I finger detangle and prepoo with coconut oil, shampoo with Giovanni 50:50 (which has now run out), and deep-condition with Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayo. In between shampoos I cowash with my Aussie Moist Conditioner. I wash and cowash in sections; nowadays it’s 6-8 braids. After washing, I plop dry with a t-shirt and moisturize with Infusium 23 leave in, followed by my shea butter/aloe vera gel/coconut oil mixture. I then set my hair in braids, twists, flat twists, or bantu knots. I haven’t attempted a wash and go since 2010, my hair is pretty much always stretched. Here’s a video that spells this process out more:[/column][/row]

Wash Day Regimen Video:

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Q: Have a favorite hairstyle? A go-to maybe:  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]As my hair continues to grow, I end up growing out of styles. I used to liveeeee for twist-outs, now I don’t the way they look. I lived in flat twist updos for a little bit, then bantu knots were my best friend. Now it’s all about the flat-twist out for me. I try to protective style pretty often as well, I’m actually coming off 7 weeks of Havana twists which were fabulous.[/column][/row]

Spotlight on Ije’s tutorials here:

{it’s a full playlist, so be sure to watch all the included videos}

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Q: How about schooling/work? Tell us how you handle the demands of both and maintain healthy tresses:  

[/column][column size=”2/3″]Since I went natural in college and now I’m natural in grad school, I’ve always planned my hair styling marathons around my exam/paper/homework schedule. Back in the day, I’d do bantu knots on a Friday and then retwist every other night, but I’ve figured out how to make the flat-twist out last a week before retwisting. Moral of the story: I plan ahead.[/column][/row]

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Q: Where can we find you online?  

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Youtube channel:

Facebook page:

Tumblr blog, my personal collection of inspiring pics of absolutely stunning kinky-haired beauties:

Twitter & Instagram: @KlassyKinks


Photo Gallery {click on the photo to see it larger}:

[row][column size=”1/3″]Afrohavana twistsBlown Out[/column] [column size=”1/3″]Naked CurlsAfro PuffTwist Out[/column] [column size=”1/3″]IMG_0403Updobantu knot out[/column][/row]


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~Hope you enjoyed! Till next time stay lovely and afroniquely you!

Make sure you are following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Youtube for more on hair, beauty and life simplified Follow my blog with Bloglovin | Subscribe to the newsletter for all the updates.

xoxo Shae

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