How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
This is actually my second go around being natural. Four years ago I did it and everything was great…until I relaxed again. This time I’ve been natural for a little over a year. I was experiencing a lot of breakage in the crown of my hair and also in the back. A lot of the hair loss was health related so when I started on my meds, I decided it was probably time to go natural too. I know that getting a relaxer every six weeks was probably making things worse.
Did you transition or big chop?
A little bit of both actually. I did a half chop in August, where basically my hairdresser shaved the back of my head and then trimmed the rest of my hair so it was in a pretty sharp and interesting bob. Man, when I first heard those clippers…I was shocked, but quickly got over it. After that just I kept getting trimmed. I think I still have some straight pieces to cut off in the front.
What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest challenge right now is that I think my hair is at an awkward length. It’s not a TWA where the maintenance is really low, but it’s not long enough for much else. I’ve been experimenting a lot with flat twists lately, because I like the stretch it gives to my hair. I’m still trimming a lot of my hair so it’ll be short for a while, but I’m not touching the bangs because I want them even with the rest of my hair.
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
The big hair! I love the big, curly look. It gets extra big because of the Maryland humidity, but I like it. And curly hair seems so much more interesting and edgy. I feel like it really compliments my personality.
What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I try to wash my hair with a sulfate free shampoo once a week and deep condition. Sometimes mid week, I’ll co-wash and every night I moisturize and seal. Usually, I’ll flat twist each night for a more defined twist out. If I don’t flat twist, then I sleep in a plastic cap and just pull it up into a bun for the next day. My regimen changes often, but mostly I try to keep it moisturized and tangle free.
What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I really love this aloe-vera spritz that I got from Butters-N-Bars, along with their Grow Butter. For deep conditioners, I really like the Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent Conditioner. Still trying to find other staples though.
What is your “go to” style (share a picture of it, if you have one!)? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My “go to” style is a twist out. This style is easiest for me to achieve and it’s great for blending in the lingering straight strands of hair that I have. I also like taking a twist out and pulling it up into a sort of puff. If I’m not in a twist out, than my next favorite style would be twists. They’re easy and I don’t have to do much in the morning. Just pin them up and go. It’s probably the only protective style that I do. I don’t wear buns too often, probably because I put them in too tightly.
How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
I went to a SuperCuts for a trim in early May and it was awful (not the cut but the way they handled my hair). I won’t cut again for a while. Occasionally when I wear twists I’ll snip off any raggedy ends, but mostly the scissors stay away!
Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Not really. I feel like I think about my hair (and natural hair in general) a lot and spend a lot more time on it. But, because it’s still a learning process right now, I’m okay with it. I am surprised at how many people love natural hair. I feel like I get a lot more compliments on my hair now, which I wasn’t expecting.
Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
I love Yaya DaCosta’s hair! My plan is to get my hair to look like hers eventually, maybe not exactly but hopefully volume and length wise.
Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
On YouTube I follow Naptural85. I simply love her hair! I’m setting her up as my twist out idol. I look at all the usual curly sites (naturallycurl.com, curlynikki, longhaircareforum, etc).
Where can we find you online?
I have a blog and I’m trying to figure out how to jazz it up and think you’re a great inspiration for something like that (my blog seems so boring compared to yours lol). http://naturalembrace.blogspot.com/
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t get discouraged. Sometime it’ll seem like your hair isn’t growing or cooperating in the way that you would like. But, if you keep taking care of it, you’ll see results (even if they are slow ones). Also get a support group. It feels great when you know you’re not alone and other people are possibly going through similar hair struggles.