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Natural Fashionista: Ijeoma

January 26, 2015

You may remember this lovely from my Top 10 Natural Fashionista Moments of 2014. When I talk about “blogger boos”, know that she’s one of ’em! As a fellow natural hair enthusiast and New Yorker, we hobnob at just about all the same events and some even think we’re sisters (do we look THAT much alike?!). She’s super smart and her blog, Klassy Kinks, is simply amazing.

Let’s meet her!Ijeoma-Klassy-Kinks-Feature

Hey folks I’m Ijeoma! I was born in Nigeria, raised in New Jersey and I now live in NYC where I’m a graduate student, health educator, and hair blogger. Still trying to figure out how everything fits together!

How long have you been wearing your hair in its natural state and what made you take that step?

I’ve been wearing my hair natural since May 2010, when I big chopped after a year’s transition in college. What started as a few months of wearing kinky twists turned into a time when I started reading and learning about natural hair in Essence Magazine, on blogs, and on YouTube. I became curious about what my hair looked like since it had been relaxed since I was a toddler, so I grew it out and then cut it off!

What do you love most about being a natural girl? Any challenges along the way?

I love that I can have a different hairstyle every day of the week, even multiple hairstyles in the same day (hey shrinkage!). Plus I’ve been told my hair feels like a pillow. The only challenges have been some ill-prepared detangling sessions, before I discovered the magic of coating your hair with oil and using a Q-Redew or steam treatment before detangling.

Ijeoma-Eboh-Curly-Fro

Tell us about your weekly hair routine and your go-to hair style(s).

I forgot my routine since I’ve been wearing crochet braids for the past month! Luckily, I write this kind of stuff down, so my latest wash day iteration can be found here. I wear my hair in all types of styles from braidouts to bantu knot outs to updos and puffs. I think bantu knot outs (on dry, stretched hair) and puffs are my two most common hairstyles.

What’s one major thing you’ve learned while on this natural hair journey?

I think my hair has taught me how to be more patient. When it was shorter and I was newer to the game, some basic two strand twists would take me like 3 hours to do. Even though I rarely ever spend that long on it anymore, I know that taking my time to properly detangle or deep condition or style results in the healthiest and best looking hair. Now, I don’t expect anything worth having to be a quick fix.

Some women feel their sense of style has changed since returning to natural. Do you find this to be true in your case or do you feel your style has been consistent through the years?

My style has not been consistent throughout the five years I’ve been natural but I think it has more to do with my transition from a college student to a real person than it does with my hair. And thank God, because those purple Apple Bottom high top sneakers I wore freshman year were not the business!

Ijeoma-Eboh-Fall-Basics

How would you describe your personal style? Is there anyone who inspires you?

I have no idea how to describe my style. If someone can help me do so, I’d appreciate it! I love a lot of other people’s style but I know I would never wear their clothes myself, mostly because I live a normal life and have nowhere to go. Case in point: Solange. Some fashion bloggers whose style I absolutely love are Cynthia (SimplyCyn) and Shirley B. Eniang.

Ijeoma-Eboh-Shorts-Blazer

Being a New Yorker, do you feel pressure to always be “on” fashion-wise?

As a New Yorker, the only thing I feel pressured about is to be able to pay my rent! There aren’t many young twenty-somethings that live by themselves in the city, so my first priority is to be able to afford my place. I don’t worry about looking cute for anybody because they’re not paying my rent.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing? Yes, you can only pick one! 😉

I’m gonna cheat and say an accessory which is my Michael Kors Selma Satchel. Aside from being a versatile bag that can go with everything I wear, it was the gift I chose to buy myself to celebrate finishing my first year of my PhD program. I recently read that MK is the new Coach in the luxury designer world (played out because everybody and their mama done got it), but the bag means way more to me than the label.

 

Where might we find you shopping these days?

Hopefully you won’t find me shopping anywhere because I’m trying to prioritize travel over other luxuries – yes shopping is a luxury, not a necessity – but most of my clothes are from Zara’s twice a year sale, and Goodwill.

Ijeoma-Eboh-Fall-Plaid-Shawl

Please share some words of wisdom for those looking to define their style or perhaps a word of advice for our newbie naturals.

Let your style be dictated by your life, your budget, and your body. There’s no point having hundreds of high heels when you’re primarily in school, and you don’t even go out on the weekends (speaking to my former self here), or $300 pairs of jeans when you can’t wear them to work, and they don’t even fit you well. And for newbie naturals, don’t be intimidated by the swarm of information online – you’ll end up quitting the game if you try every single suggestion. Focus on learning and loving your hair by interacting with it on your own.

Ijeoma-Eboh-Geometric-Dress

 

Thank you Ijeoma for sharing your beautiful hair and dope fashion with our readers!

{click photo for larger view}

Ijeoma and I talked this past fall about her views on natural hair within the blogosphere. Read all about it beginning on page 43 of the latest issue of EMBRACE Magazine!

Keep up with this fab twenty-something on her social media channels below…

YouTubeFacebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Google+ | Pinterest

xoxo

Toia B.

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