Tell us your name and where you are from?
My name is Hanna Thedros and my journey on earth started in a small town in Sweden called Uppsala. Shortly after my birth, my parents, who are from Eritrea (East Africa), decided to move south and Gothenburg became my hometown. Later in life, I moved to Stockholm to study and to try “the big city life”. After finishing my studies, I decided to try my own wings and packed my life in one suitcase and moved to Paris. Three years later and I haven’t regret it for one second.
How long have you been natural?
Since the day I was born. My mother did not like the idea of putting chemicals in my hair so she used to braid it in different styles which made it easier for me and for her to take care of it. I have to say that my dad was pretty good at taking care of my hair too. I have four sisters with the same kind of hair so my mother needed an extra pair of hands when it came to washing, detangling and braiding our hair.
What do you do? Is there a resistance or compatibility with your hair in your field of work?
I work as a store manager at American Apparel and the company often encourage us to be as natural as possible so there is no resistance to how I style my hair.
Describe your hair.
My hair is part of my identity and if I would describe it with one sentence would I say: manageable soft curls and very unpredictable.
What is your hair regimen?
I don’t have a special regime. I try to find different ways of taking care of my hair to see what works best but in general, I wash, deep condition, moisturize and style.
What are the three biggest factors you attribute to your length?
I have always done what my mother used to do, which is trim it often and protective hairstyles. But I owe a lot to my genes, my hair has always grown relatively quick.
What is your usual go to style?
A big afro!
What is your nighttime routine?
Depending on my hairstyle, I either braid it in two big braids or divide my hair in eight sections and twist it. If my hair is dry, I add some moisturizer and then I put a silk scarf on to protect my hair
Your top three favorite products and why?
I have not tried that many different products for my hair yet but one brand I like is “Organic Olive Oil”.
Your best hair advice?
Don’t compare your hair to others! Listen to your hair, try do find what is working for your hair and stick with it. Oh, and deep conditioning!
Ultimate hair crush
What is the strangest comment, request or hair story?
I don’t know what it is with people but they somehow think that it’s ok to touch an afro, just like that! I go on defense mode each time that happens and I can tell you, I’ve been in numerous situations where I’ve almost ended up in jail protecting my hair. I remember one time when a guy, that was standing behind me in a bar, started touching my hair. After almost breaking his arm, he excused himself saying that he could not resist touching it and that it looked so “comfortable”.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
My style is easy, comfortable and chic. I never wear anything that I don’t like or don’t feel comfortable with and I dress after my mood. I’m one of those who can’t pick out and outfit the night before, I need to feel what I want to wear that day the same day.
What advice would you give to people who might be afraid to show their true fashion sense or natural hair for fear of being judged by others?
I’m not going to lie, I have been there myself. Today am I a young woman proud of every cell of my body but it took hard work to get here. It was difficult growing up in a society where your skin tone and hair is nothing but abnormal. With the years I learned to love myself the way I am and I have never been this comfortable in my own skin.
I would say to those who are still struggling to “find” themselves; look no more. It’s right in front of you. Live your life the way you want, dress the way you like and wear your hair the way you would love to. “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken!”
What would you say to others who judge individuals negatively for their personal fashion style?
People who will have something negative to say about someone’s personal style are those who wish that they had the same courage to dress the way they wanted to. I love the fact that dressing the way I like, is helping me to feel free and in control of the way I like to present myself. Don’t be an ignorant mind and let people express their style the way they love to.
When it comes to your style who, what or where does your inspiration come from?
My inspirations come from people around me and the environment I live in. Paris is an interesting city when it comes to style, fashion and trends and I have learned a lot about my own style by living here. Even though I’m surrounded by one famous fashion house after the other, I’m not really interested in seasonal trends and “it” things. I prefer to get inspired by people on the streets instead of models on a cat walk.
If you could name one person from the past whose closet you would love to raid, who would it be?
Favorite stores and places to shop for vintage or thrift
There are so many good vintage/thrift shops in Paris that I have hard time picking out a favorite but I guess I have to say “The Kilo Shop”
Most embarrassing moment
There was this one time at work, I had just started working in the shop, and my task for the evening was to keep an eye on the fitting rooms and provide with good service for the clients. One client wanted to try some t-shirts and when the client left the fitting room I asked (addressing the client as a man in French) if he found what he needed and the client just left without answering back. Then, a friend of the client came to me and said “she is a girl, not a boy”. I wanted to die! Even though she looked just like a boy, I was so ashamed of not paying more attention.
What is your favorite life lesson
“Maktub”, which means that everything is written. This has helped me to trust my instincts and not to be afraid to go with the flow. I know that as long I am listening to my heart will I never end up in a bad place.
Current music playlist and favorite book
I’m old school by heart so I love listening to soul and funk from back in the days. I don’t have a current playlist, but what I always listen to is a radio station called “Generations.fr” where they play funk and soul nonstop.
My favorite book is the “Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
Favorite restaurant and dish you would not want to live without
One of my favourite restaurants in Paris is called “Tico” and I love this place not only for the amazing food but also for everything I learned from working there. It was my first job in Paris and it became my second home.
What I could not live without is Eritrean/Ethiopian food. Hard to choose a dish but they have something called “the traditional plate” where you can have a little bit of everything.
Do you have a blog/website?
I have a blog ,‘Déjà Vu The Blog’ that I started when I moved to Paris so that my family and friends could be a part of my adventures in my new city.
I love putting an outfit together but what I like the most is styling people. I find great pleasure in helping people find their own style and make them feel good about who they are. Last year, I decided to start a styling project that would allow me to do just that and to work with people all over the world. I named it “Styling on Distance”, (SOD), so if you feel like you need a hand, some inspiration or a new outfit; let’s get together and make it fab!
And, I would also like to thank you girls so much for this amazing site! I’m learning so much about my hair and you guys are doing a great job bringing Bush Babes around the world together.
What makes you an Urban Bush Babe?
Looking at you girls and all the other Urban Bush Babes you have interviewed or mentioned on this site, an Urban Bush Babe is a proud woman who is not afraid of showing the world her true self. She is natural and not ashamed of her hair and her heritage. I am all that and I love me. There is no way I will hide from what I really am or try to please others by holding anything back.