– As told to Un’ruly. Edited for clarity.
A natural lover of coiled kinks and curly textures, French beauty Hafsoi Chihabidine has always found herself captivated by black hair. As a child of the nineties she embraced the beauty of tight spiraled tresses, disregarding the sea of glorified relaxers and weaves of the time. Looking to hair icons like then teen star, Brandy, Hafsoi has since studied, nurtured and celebrated her blooming locks. This is her hair story.
When I was little I looked like the little girl from Family Matters–the one who disappeared after the first few episodes [Jaimee Foxworth]. But then Brandy came along with her box braids and played a big role in how I styled my hair. I never wanted to relax my hair until I was about 16. I don’t even know how I came to this because I’ve always been reluctant, but I’ve relaxed my hair four times. Eventually, I think I just got tired and stopped relaxing my hair because I wasn’t a big fan of it anyway. I started transitioning in 2010, then did my Big Chop (BC) in July 2011. But I’ve always been flexible with my hair in terms of wether it was relaxed or not. I have never dyed my hair. I want to but I’m scared. Now I’m natural and I’m in love with my hair.
My hair is my crown, kinky, versatile,
How did you wear your hair when you were younger?
Basically when I was younger I would braid my own hair or wear box braids. I never wore my hair as an afro when I was younger.
my hair through the years
Big Chop and Turbans
In 2011, the year of my BC, I cut my relaxed hair. It was time for me to deal with my natural texture, which was new to me because my sister or my mother had always taken care of my hair. So I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to wear a turban while I was growing out my hair and voila. Back then I had just come back from six months in Spain and moved into my first apartment in Marseille.
I like wearing turbans because people don’t know the mess that’s happening under the turban. And it’s also a protective style that still looks good.
I had an internship at a local newspaper in 2012 in the lovely island of Mayotte (where I was born). Box braids is my favorite protective style because it requires less care and I can always play with it and change my hairstyle. However, I don’t like that sometimes, depending on the amount of hair you put in, it’s heavy to wear.
This picture was taken in 2013 when I was getting ready for a Kendrick Lamar concert. This hair style was one of my most simple styles and was easy to do in the morning. It was inspired a little bit by Janelle Monae. Sometimes I’d just do a bun in the front or leave it as a twist out.
Twist-outs in Paris
2014: one of my favorite styles is the twist out. Back then I was newly living in Paris [when this picture was taken]. I was doing a photoshoot for my blog that day in the Marais [a neighborhood in Paris]. I like this style because my hair is free and I don’t have to put pins in it.
Tell us a bit about your hair routine.
I wash my hair every week or two weeks, sometime I co-wash. I wash my hair with Activilong Shampoo
What products can’t you live without?
My Conditioning Hair Milk NATURAL TOUCH by Activilong; coconut, argan or olive oil; my Revlon – Equave Spray Hydro Nutritive Detangling Conditioner; and my large tooth comb.
my hair now
How do you feel about your hair now?
I feel good and free. My sister or my mum used to take care of my hair because I was too lazy to take of it and that was the main reason why I was wearing braids all the time when I was younger. But now I’ve learned how to take care of my hair and I love it. I know my hair. I know what it can do and how to deal with my hair when it’s not cooperating.
I’m currently rocking a wash-and-go; it’s easy and quick to do.!