Q&A With Joyce Omondi
We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Joyce Omondi on her current hair goals, what her natural hair journey has been like so far, and what hope or promise she sees for the future of haircare on the African continent. Take a moment to learn more about Joyce from her own perspective!
If you could name one thing about your hair that you love, what would it be?
“Its versatility. I can wear it straight, flexi rod curl it, do a twist out, or even go with the Afro puff. Our hair’s beauty is that it can do all these different things.”
How do you try to stay up-to-date on current hair and style trends?
“I don't haha. I save myself the drama. I look for whatever my hair likes and that’s what I give it. It's much less stressful. My goal has always been to just have healthy hair. At this stage in my healthy hair journey, I’m much more informed and enlightened as to what my hair needs, so I don’t feel the pressure to keep up with the latest trends.”
Do you have a favorite hairstyle?
“I love chunky twists and pinning them in the back. Or holding them loosely in the back and leaving the front open. I just like something really chill that doesn't take much to do, doesn’t pull on my edges, and is easy to take down too in time for wash day.”
What movie or actress best characterizes your hair/haircare routine?
“I don't know if I have one, but Teyonah Parris is definitely hair goals. Her and Priscilla Shirer.”
Name one product you can't live without?
“Water! Dry hair is just a no-no. That’s always done the trick for me whenever I’ve felt my hair is getting unmanageable. Water is so essential in keeping my hair good and pliable.”
Do you have a hair horror story?
“I grew up with natural hair and tried to wash my own hair one day when I was still a child. I basically grabbed a bar of soap and tried shampooing my hair in the sink. Let’s just say the detangling process thereafter was NOT fun.”
Favorite song to listen to on wash day?
“I actually try not to have anything playing because I end up taking too long singing along, haha. I can, however, occasionally be heard chanting, “So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast after I’m done."
What was the biggest challenge you faced during your natural hair journey/transition to natural hair?
“Because I had relaxed hair and had grown accustomed to longer hair, I really tried holding onto length even if they weren’t healthy. So I began texlaxing and slowly transitioned by cutting off those ends over time. But I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to just do the big chop and try out super short hair."
What is one piece of advice you say to those looking to make that transition to natural hair?
“I think one of the biggest frustrations people have is expecting their natural hair to behave the way it did when it was relaxed. A comb is not going to just glide through natural hair the way it did when it was relaxed. I think it’s important to adjust expectations and above all be patient with the journey. Healthy hair doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of good hair care and practices over time.. Learn your own hair, and do what’s best for YOUR hair.”
What inspires you most about the future of hair care in Kenya and the African continent as a whole?
“I feel like we’re finally learning to appreciate that what we have, who we are and how we look like is enough and beautiful. I love that more people are embracing their natural hair and we are redefining our standards of beauty for the better. Even when you look at the star ingredient in Uhai’s hair collection, Baobab, it’s a superfood from the African continent. There’s so much that we can offer the world as individuals, as a country and as a Continent. So it’s exciting to see us lead the world in appreciating and returning to our roots.”
What do you like the most about Uhai Hair’s products, and which one is your favorite?
“What I like most about Uhai products is how they leave my hair feeling moisturized. My favorite products are the conditioner, scalp serum, and styling cream. I like using the conditioner for a quick co-wash when I don’t feel like going through a whole wash day but need to infuse moisture into my hair.