Tell us your name and where you are from?
My name is Bianca Walker. I’m originally from Kenya, in East Africa. Now I live in New York City.
What do you do? Is there a resistance or compatibility with your hair in your field of work?
I own an online vintage shop called Global//Nobility. There’s no resistance to my hair, and I love that. People recognize me by my hair and expect to see it. If I wear it tied up or dry it a different way, folks freak out. It’s funny to me. I’m just glad to be in a culture that embraces the way I like to wear my hair. I don’t worry about it looking ‘right’ or being ‘done’. I just take care of it and wear it in my way. When other people compliment me because of it, it’s really nice.
How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural for about 9 years. A couple of years ago, I tried La Brasiliana and wore my hair in straight blowouts for a while.
Describe your hair? What is your regimen?
My hair is big and unruly! The strands are super fine, and there’s a lot of it. With care and attention, it is very versatile. It also blow dries and straightens very easily. For years, I wore it relaxed to make it ‘more manageable’. That was completely unnecessary.
My regimen is pretty straight forward. I rarely use shampoo unless it’s the non-foaming kind without sulfates. I condition and detangle in the shower every 3-4 days. When detangling, I use a ton of regular conditioner along with some oil-based leave-in treatment or deep conditioner. I put my wet hair into 12-15 two strand twists or braids immediately afterwards. Because my hair will just hold on to the water, I often let them dry a bit, then open the twists and split them up, so that there are 24-30 smaller twists that will dry a bit more. I do this because I found that each section becomes longer and more defined with increased drying time while in the twists.
On shoot days or if I want to wear it out, I take the twists out once they’re almost dry. Otherwise, I’ll leave it overnight. I do my best to re-twist or re-braid before bed because my hair looks so much better that way in the morning, but sometimes, I just chuck it into a high bun and lay my head down. I pay for doing that the next day when I need to run through the whole thing or recondition.
What is your best hair advice?
Eat loads of vegetables, drink lots of water, and exercise.
Everyone has different hair and different (hair) needs. I’ve noticed that a big part of caring for my hair is spending time on it and with it to figure out what it needs to be healthy. A lot of those things are specific to my hair, but a healthy diet and lifestyle is universally good.
What is the strangest comment, request or hair story?
I’ve had some weird moments with strangers in regards to my hair. One afternoon on the train, I noticed this lady just looking up at me from across the car. She kept looking and looking. It was so weird. She then comes over to sit next to me and says, haltingly, “Uh, I have a question. What made you decide to not do your hair today?” I almost died laughing inside. She was older and old school, had her hair done like A.J. Johnston (who’s beautiful) in Baby Boy, but very thinly veiled her confusion and judgement. Before I had a chance to answer, she starts talking about how she loves natural hair and wishes she could just rock her hair the way she wants to because it’s so brave. Goes to show that many people just restrict their expression because they’re afraid or because they’ve accepted what they’ve been told by others.
On the flip side, another woman on another train was looking and looking as well. She was smiling at my husband and I, and before she got off the train, complimented me and gave me a bunch of free Miss Jessie’s products!
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Right now i’m putting all my style ideas and concepts into the Global//Nobility Shop, so I dress very minimalistic. Many times, I’m all in blue and very casual. If I’m going out or to church, I’ll rock loafers and a blazer, weather permitting.
What advice would you give to people who might be afraid to show their true fashion for fear of being judged by others?
Fear of being judged is real and I think that everyone experiences it to some extent. From my own experience, I’ve seen that the most critical people often judge themselves harshly and vice versa. Fear of being judged can often be a passive aggressive front for one’s negative projections about people and events. It’s important to balance a critical eye, which I use to determine for myself if something works or doesn’t, with a compassionate heart for people. Many super stylish looks border on looking full-on crazy, but all of that is judgement and subjectivity. I believe madness and genius are opposite ends of the same spectrum with irrelevance, mediocrity, and well-put-together-ness in the middle. I know for sure that there are greater challenges in life beyond the fear of judgement. We, as people, need to get beyond that issue to be effective and purposeful in whatever we are called to do.
When it comes to your style who, what or where does your inspiration come from?
First my mum, but now the city, the creatives, the guys.
If you could name one person from the past whose closet you would love to raid, who would it be?
It’s my job to raid closets of the past!
Do you have a blog/website?
I do. Global-Nobility.com and Shop.global-nobility.com. My husband, Rog, and I also partner to create content for our visual communication site, Speakingpixels.com.
What makes you an Urban Bush Babe?
I love my big, natural hair, and I love thrifting for unique, vintage clothing. Also, I feel like Nikisha and I are kindred spirits. She’s a lovely person.
I love New York City, and I love my husband! #marriedlife