My Natural hair journey– Joy Zenz

My Natural hair journey at the Age of over 40

You may Wonder Why I returned to natural  at the age of over 40?

I was brought up in a family of 3 girls and 2 Boys.   My mother had and has always kept her natural short hair. And she always made sure that our hair was  short as well, really really short for easy maintenance.

In our schools back in Kenya, long hair was not encouraged. This meant that we had to have our hair short like small boys.  This went on until I reached the age of 13 and I was given the responsibility of maintaining my own hair. At this age, I left home to go to a boarding High School and that was also the beginning of my hair journey. 

Fortunately in high school which was a boarding school,  natural hair was very much encouraged and controlled.  The only difference now I could have my hair as long as I wanted it to be. No more short hair! little did I know how hard it would be to maintain my own hair especially now that I grew it long. This meant I needed to do something. I had to plait my own hair every night. At first it was fun but later it became more of a burden to do. 

There was  little information about how to maintain natural hair in the market and the only option would be my mother’s option, to cut my hair. As a teenager this was not for me.


Through my friends I learnt new things about how to easily manage my hair. I started to straighten my hair with a hot comb in the salon, which was very popular and affordable at that time. 

Straightening my hair made it easy to maintain since this would mean  for at least three months no washing hair just cleaning the hair with natural oils. This worked quite well for 4 years.

After High School I had the freedom to decide how I wanted to maintain my hair. In the market there were a lot of offers especially hair straightening chemicals, colouring hair which was one of my favourite, plaiting, adding extensions, and the list of options continued for several years.


My residence in Europe was a different story. There were not so many places where I could go for maintenance of my hair. There was also a lack of products, at least the products that I needed, so I had to order them. There was also no hair salon in my area. 

I had to find a new way of managing my hair. Though consulting my friends in Germany  there were other options on how to protect my hair because the weather in Europe was very harsh including the water type. During the winter,  options were having extensions, plaiting hair, or wearing a wig. 

“Wearing a wig was my worst option. Back home I knew wigs were worn by old women… not me please .”

In summer the options were to have your hair relaxed with chemicals or have your hair plaited. Very rarely you would find African women having their natural hair out  throughout the season. 

We have so many women who have no hair at all or damaged hair because of not letting their hair out to enjoy Natural air.  

In my situation in winter  I decided to have my hair covered by either plaiting or adding extensions. 

During the  summer I would have my hair straightened with chemicals and let my hair free until september. This continued for several years now going 20-years. 


After 20-years I decided to make a change on how I treat my natural hair.Thanks to the new  movement of the way African women have started appreciating natural hair in the media. By following up on several Media I finally found a hairstyle that would solve all my problems.


 ……sister locks…. 

wow My decision to have sisterlocks helped me to embrace my natural hair, love my natural hair, care for my natural hair. Life has been so easy for the last 2 months since I made my first sisterlocks during my visit in Kenya. I am proud of myself for finally making the move to have natural hair. 

Maintaining sisterlocks has been something that amazes me until today.  At first it is expensive to start preparing your hair for Sisterlocks but after that there is no cost whatsoever apart from repairs. You will be shocked to know the only thing you need for your hair at this point is only water, yes just water. For the last 2 months I have used only water. By spraying water on my hair and scalp everyday.

Because the water in Europe is very hard I decided to use distilled water in this case to help my hair not to get damaged. There is a special shampoo for washing the hair but you use a little amount of this shampoo once a month. It is recommended every 6 weeks to repair your hair according to how fast hair grows. I have no itchy scalp, no dry scalp and I use no oils on my hair, just water. But after my hair has settled I can use natural oils.


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