The natural hair community is expanding more & more. Let's #support our sister from Germany. Even if you can not attend the event but only press #followme on Instagram is sufficient https://www.instagram.com/jona_curlyhaircare/ .
Get to know, what Jona means ...
BP : Welcome Abina , could you please introduce yourself to our
ABINA : Yes, of course. Thank you very much for having me! My name is Abina Ntim, I ́m
29 years old and I live in Hamburg. I graduated in cultural anthropology and
wrote my master thesis about natural hair as a knowledge based phenomenon.
During my studies I worked in the field of market research to get a more practical
overview and decided to combine the two fields in order to found JONA curly hair
care. JONA is a platform that aims to educate people on natural hair by giving
workshops and individual advice.
BP : We discovered you through Instagram. Since we do not only have
german readers and naturals, could you please explain what JONA
means and represents ?
ABINA : Sure, JONA stands for Join Our Natural Association. It represents a positive and
confident way of dealing with your afro-textured hair. For a lot of us it hasn ́t been
natural and obvious to know how your hair naturally looks like as well as how to
handle it. Furthermore it ́s not even really self-evident to love your hair and feel
comfortable wearing it natural.
Creating JONA was an affair of the heart to me. Growing up in the late 80 ́s in
Hamburg, there were rarely any options for Germans to get informed about afro- textured hair in a natural state. I relaxed my hair from the time I was 6 years old
until 2011. Due to the fact that I colored my hair at the same time I experienced
damage and hair loss. That ́s when I realized that I needed to change something
and did my research about natural hair care.
Even though nowadays people know more about the severe side effects of
relaxers, there definitely still is a lack of knowledge. So I then founded JONA in
order to react to the missing services on Natural Hair in Germany.
My goal is to create a platform where people get to know their hair including their
needs and empower them by giving natural hair workshops and individual advice.
With afro-textured hair, hair is never “just hair“. If we take a look at history we can
clearly see that African hair was used in many kinds of ways to express certain
ideals. In the 15th century for example, in lots of Westafrican societies hair was a
symbol of ethnical/religious identity or social status. During transatlantic slave
trade the hair of Africans was cut off to dehumanize them, taking away their
identity and creating the idea of straight or looser-textured hair as more attractive
or desirable. This concept of favouring western beauty standards exists until now
and in some countries still has an effect on professional chances. Even though
today ́s natural hair movement is not necessarily a means of political statement,
but also a way of styling preferences, I think that dealing with our natural hair is
not only a way of empowerment but also a way of accepting and loving ourselves
just the way we are. This is what I like to communicate through JONA.
The workshops that I ́m giving are made to educate and to strengthen self-esteem.
We don ́t get to see a lot of people in mainstream media who wear their afro- textured hair natural. Especially for kids and young adults, I think, it ́s important to
be able to identify with role models who also look like them.
When it comes to hair education, I give step by step instructions on how to care for
their hair and possibilities to style it. I also aim to provide a place where we can
come together and talk about our individual – lets say – experiences and
The service of individual advice is to care for the individual needs, meaning to
build a hair care routine including products, techniques and schedules to achieve
individual hair goals.
BP : How do you like the idea of Black Pepper Magazine?
ABINA: I think it ́s fantastic! I absolutely love the idea of an online magazine that creates a bridge between People of Color around the world. Facing contents like natural
hair, culture and womenhood is a reaction to what people are really dealing with.
Unfortunately in mainstream German media those topics are not treated diverse
enough. So I ́m happy and honored to be a part of the first issue of the magazine.
BP :Many of us are struggling with Hair Porosity . Can you give us the
simplest and most effective way to moisturize different type of Hair
ABINA : First of all I ́d like to point out that it ́s a complicated topic which nevertheless
should be understood in order to know what type of products and treats your hair
Sulfate shampoos, chemicals and direct heat make the hair cuticle rough so that
porosity is getting higher. In order to keep the moisture, the first step would be to
eliminate those habits from your hair routine.
The easiest way to moisturize your hair is to wash your hair on a regular basis.
That doesn ́t necessarily has to be with shampoo but also can be with co-washing
products. Everyone should follow up with some kind of conditioner (deep
conditioning is key!) and leave-in product afterwards in order to keep the moisture.
The way you ́re applying these products depend on your porosity level. There are
a lot of tests to get to know your porosity type but I suggest the most reliable way
is to take a look at how your hair reacts to moisture and water in particular.
If your hair struggles with getting wet and takes a lot of hours or even days to dry,
your porosity level is pretty likely to be low. This type of hair struggles with
receiving moisture. But once it is moisturized, the hair will hold on to the moisture
much better than other hair types.
If your hair dries fast and instantly gets wet when in contact with water, your hair
probably is high in porosity. That means that as fast as this type of hair can absorb
moisture, the fast it runs away because the hair struggles with holding on to
Low porosity girls and boys who have a lot of difficulties with bringing moisture in
can use a conditioner on the top of the dry hair before wetting and washing it. This
process acts like a wetting agent and makes it easier for the next steps that would
follow up. When it comes to shampoo, you should make sure to use a clarifying
shampoo about once a month to remove the product build-up. People with low
porosity hair can get away with moisturizing their hair about once a week. They
need manipulation like indirect heat for the moisture to even get into the hair. The
easiest way to achieve this is to use a hair therapy wrap or steamer when deep
conditioning. The last rinse of water should be with warm water so that the cuticle
doesn ́t closes. You can also apply your leave-ins or moisturizers in the shower to
take advantage of the cuticle-opening effect of steam. But before applying products
make sure that your hair is not fully wet but damp. Just with any other natural hair
type you should make sure to seal in your moisturizing product.
People with high porosity hair should moisturize their hair more often like every
other day because as fast as the hair absorbs moisture, the fast it looses it. After
washing the hair, deep conditioners can be used without the use of heat. Different
from low porosity hair, this hair type needs protein a lot. So doing a protein
treatment about once a month can add strength and help to keep moisture in. In
fact in doesn ́t even have to stay on for that long. The last rinse should be with
cool water. When applying products, sealing the moisture is more essential than
with any other hair types because you need to make sure that the moisture can not
run away that easily. In between wash days a spray bottle with cold water in it can
be used to re-moisturize the hair.
I could go way deeper into this but since you asked for the most simplest way
that ́s what I suggest.
BP : Thank you Abina for being part of the first Issue of Black Pepper
Magazine. One last question. Do you sell any products? Where can
we purchase your products ?
ABINA : Thank you! I do. I created the “magic satin caps“ that protect your hair and style
at night from breakage and dryness. On the outside they are made of beautiful
African wax print, on the inside they ́re made of satin. This will allow your hair to
glide and don ́t cause friction, therefore less breakage, more moisture will be kept
and the hair has better conditions to grow. Besides that your style will stay in place
and your face will be protected from getting any hair products on it.
I also offer statement shirts. They are a way of showing your surrounding what you
stand for and what you believe in but also to answer questions you ́re tired of
asking like (What do you put in your hair to make it looks like that?) “Coconut Oil,
Shea Butter, lots of water & conditioner“.
I ́m also working on natural hair care products that are designed to fit all natural
You will be able to get these via the Onlineshop, which is still in the making. Until
then you can purchase my products on my Facebook and Instagram page and
follow for more inspirations and updates. Looking forward to see you there☺.
At the Sisterhood Bazaar Event in Berlin, Germany .