A Sh30,000 Hairdo, But It’s All Natural

finger coils being made on a customer at Ashley’s salon in Nairobi.
Finger coils being made on a customer at Ashley’s salon in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Most women with kinky natural hair know the headache of maintaining a style for a week. For those who have not mastered the art of wash-and-wear every morning, they end up spending quite some time and money in the salon.

This has led to natural hair professions to be more creative as kinky hair becomes a symbol of expression. One hairstyle that is currently all the rage and is making women dig deeper into their purses is finger coils.

Lucy Njoro, a hair stylist at Nairobi’s Ashley’s Salon who has specialised on natural hair for the last 15 years says finger coils have become common because they hold up to a month.

“Most women want to make the transition from processed hair to their natural hair but usually do not go through it especially when they think about the time needed to take care of natural hair,” says Ms Njoro.

“Some person go to the salon more than once in a week since kinky hair has a soul of its own and needs a lot of pampering before it does your bidding,” she adds.


Finger coils is a good curly styling option for natural hair from the usual Bantu knots that are more common. However, making the curls, using fingers, can be tedious.

To make finger coils, the hair is first partitioned according to desired size and curled from the roots using the index finger.

The process takes about two hours but this depends on whether one has bushy hair or not.

Ms Njoro says before making finger coils, first treat or condition the hair using a good protein treatment to moisturise the hair. This is because most African hair can be brittle and very porous.

Afterwards, a serum which is commonly referred to as hair polisher is sprayed on the wet hair to make the hair glossy.

This, she says, will help give the curls a shine. This is followed by partitioning the hair into small sections and curling it from the root to the ends using the index finger. This process is repeated until the hair springs back into a curly coil.

Curl enhancers can also be used to help give the curls a more defined look. The finger coils can be done on all types of hair textures. However, knowing the type of hair will help determine the amount of oil needed.

“For instance, silky hair may not require a lot of oiling. For those with course or kinky hair, there are products that can be used to help make it soft. But avoid curling butters that tend to leave flakes on the hair after they have dried out,” she said.

For women with brittle or kinky hair, the best remedy is to use lots of protein treatments that help soften the hair.

“I get many clients who complain of dry scalp and brittle hair because they have been using shampoos that are not suitable for natural hair. But all this can be rectified by always moisturising the hair to avoid dryness,’’ she said.