An interview with Nekesa of Nekesa’s Natural Radiance Hair Loft
Recently, I was given the opportunity to interview a local Atlanta natural hair stylist and product manufacturer: Nekesa, owner of Nekesa’s Natural Radiance Hair Loft. Since this was my first interview for my blog, I wanted to ask questions concerning her background, hair advice to natural and transitioning women, hair inspirations, and questions related to her business.*
Background: Being a natural hair stylist was the only career choice for Nekesa. Not only is she a mother, wife, hair stylist, and product manufacturer, but she is also taking courses in Comparative Women’s Studies and Film at Spelman College, as well as working as a motivational speaker for high school girls. She speaks about inner beauty and self esteem.
Tiffany: When did you get started?
Nekesa: I began my company in 1997/1998. Before my current location, I had two previous locations. Currently, I am in control of my own destiny. I believe in self empowerment for women, it’s similar to the model used by Madame C.J. Walker. I teach women financial wealth and freedom.
Hair Advice: Nekesa offered many tips on hair products, hair styles, and hair maintenance.
Tiffany: What are a few of your natural hair beauty secrets?
Nekesa: “Hair changes with the seasons. In the fall, I recommend pressing your hair and in the summer time wearing your hair out and loose. A good shape is essential, it offers more definition, polish, and a chic look. For those considering color, I recommend a product known as clear cellophane. This is a color enhancer, and is sold separately from color.”
Tiffany: What is your hair advice to women considering going natural?
Nekesa: “1)Be open to different styles and options. 2)Incorporate your lifestlye. For example, if you’re a swimmer, then keep this in mind. If you like to work out, then take that into consideration when choosing a hairstyle. 3)I recommend extensions and weave (i.e. curly) for those women transitioning.” (For all natural women): “Moisture is your best friend and you have to make sure your scalp is clean. I have a product that is a scalp refresher, which helps stimulate hair growth. It is also important to massage your hair: you have to love your hair.” Moisture based-products are great for your hair. Products with avocado oil and jojoba oil. I sell a hair nourisher with made of olive oil, shea butter, and almond oil.
These products can be found for sale at: http://www.nekesanaturalradiance.com/products.html
Her products are also available for sale at Sevananda Natural Foods Market, located at 467 Moreland Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 681-2831 Phone.
Tiffany: What made you relaunch your product line?
Nekesa: I am changing the packaging; it is going to be “more chic, more fresh, clean, and eye-catching”.
Tiffany: Where is your salon located? Do you hold natural health seminars and events? If so, where?
Nekesa: My salon is located in my an exclusive referral only location. Every 2 months, I hold an event at the Macys of Greenbriar Mall in the community room. It is a free event, where I teach women how to use my products. It is open to both health-care professionals and women that do their own hair.
Tiffany: What made you decide to write a book? What can natural hair fans expect to find in your book?
Nekesa: I love to read and write. This book will “celebrate natural hair and texture. It is a heartfelt story about loving your texture, with tips and hair journeys”. It is due to be published at the end of 2010.
Tiffany: Have you noticed a change in the reception of natural hair?
Nekesa: “Yes, more women are wearing natural hair. It’s more trendy. It’s more accepted than it has been. I guess because there’s strength in numbers. Some celebrities have it. It helps to see it in the media.”
Tiffany: Do you have anything you would like to add?
Nekesa: “Natural hair is here to stay. It should be health driven, about wellness, but also fun enough to be known as an accessory. It is one of the blessings of being a black woman. Living the versatility that natural hair offers.”
Nekesa was also kind enough to include some pictures of her work.