Hey readers! My name is Bonnie and I'm the lucky mama to Faroukjames, whom you may know from Instagram. He's the one with the long and beautiful curls. Farouk is not my only child though, I have two others who are indeed not children any more, in fact they are parents themselves now!
I became a mother at a very young age, having three unplanned children from my childhood sweetheart by the age of 19. Farouk was my only planned child and there is a fifteen year age gap between Lucas and Farouk ( my two youngest boys).
People often assume I wanted another girl ( based upon Farouk's long curls) but that's not true, we wished for a boy. It was to be Farouk senior's first son, so excited were we on the day of the scan, hoping for the news of a boy. However, we were then shocked to only be told "Sorry, we cannot see the sex, only that this baby has heaps of hair!"
photo by @tabzwilson
Luckily, I was prepared. My elder children are mixed (half Jamaican), so I already knew how to braid and care for afro-textured hair. Back in the nineties, having your natural out was not accepted in the U.K, and the internet was not nearly as accessible as it is today. I had to go to the library to find a book on how to braid afro-textured hair. I painstakingly taught myself how to do it. My daughter would cry as I braided whilst my white father, not understanding the culture, would shout at me to stop. However, i soldiered on against the odds lol!
Although I had some skills, I was a bit rusty when Farouk arrived. I initially would do wash and goes only using organic coconut oil in his hair, but as his texture changed from straight to a more curly afro, it needed to be put into a protective style overnight. This routine was essential to prevent meshing because his hair is perfect for locking - he could literally have dreads if it was left un-detangled for a week!
I also introduced Ghanaian shea butter to Farouk's hair along with our personal EDEN favorite, the JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner. I'm currently so busy, as I started back at university two years ago, but these products really help to keep Farouk's detangling time down to a minimum, leaving me more time to focus on my studies.
Unfortunately, Farouk's school rules state that all long hair must be tied back, so his hair stays braided on the weekdays and is let free on the weekends when he does photo shoots and etcetera. However, this routine actually works out really well for him as it keeps his hair in great condition.
I'm so glad that nowadays natural hair is being embraced. I know it's NOT just a fashion trend. The natural is here to stay, as it should be! People often approach me and rudely ask if Farouk likes his hair. I struggle to keep a polite response to that question... why should anyone have to change anything about
themselves to fit into other people's expectations? I love his hair, as does he. He is an inspiration to so many other boys who have or who are thinking about growing their hair out. We plan to continue showing love to his hair and inspiring others with it as well.
To keep up with Bonnie and Farouk, follow them on Instagram at @faroukjames