Describe yourself in 20 words or less.
Hi, I’m Icela. I’m a sister, daughter, aunt, girlfriend, Filmmaker, Blogger, soon to be Personal Trainer and Natural Hair obssessed :).
How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
I’ve been natural since 2008, which is when I got my last relaxer. Besides for HATING the idea of blowing hours at a salon to get my hair done, I kicked the creamy crack because I just didn’t like the condition of my hair. It was very thin and lifeless. On top of that, the hair around my temple was thinning, which made ponytails and buns a thing of the past. Plus, I always loved BIG HAIR. When you put all that together, Natural Hair seemed like the obvious way to go.
Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned with braids and weave, then chopped off the remaining relaxed ends.
What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?
I was NEVER good at styling my own hair. My mother cared for my hair until I got it relaxed in High School. When it was relaxed, I’d wrap it at night and comb it out. When I transitioned, I had braids, then weave … see a pattern here? I’m not the type to sit infront of a mirror and come up with a style on my own.
How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
Thank the heavenly father for YOUTUBE!!! I’ve learned so much about styling my own hair as a result. I still can’t do flat twist to save my life . . . but I’m learning! Because of YOUTUBE, learning to style my hair is actually fun. Also, if I’m ever in a pinch, I can always depend on one of my trusty wigs :).
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
Versatility and Individuality! Styling options are plentiful and I LOVE being different and standing out in a crowd. My hair helps me do that.
What is your current regimen?
I keep it pretty simple. I henna monthly, wash weekly with Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo, Detangle with Giovanni Deeper Moisture Conditioner, DC with Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose, final cold rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar, use Kimmaytube’s Leave-In Conditioner and seal moisture with Qhemet Biologic’s Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. I may rinse or co-wash my hair in between shapoos with Suave’s Coconut Moisture Conditioner.
Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
The steps have remained the same but the products have changed.
What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I LOVE my Denman Brush! It detangles my hair marvelously! I also ALWAYS have to have a batch of KimmayTube’s Leave-In made for whenever I have to rinse or co-wash my hair.
What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
I workout often so I stick to my trusted puff most days. When I go out on the weekends, I cornrow my hair and sport my wig.
How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I actually haven’t cut my hair at all. My ends don’t look like they need it. However, through Hairscapade’s GOC, I plan to incorporate trims every few weeks.
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?
Since going Natural, I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin. In the beginning, when I was adjusting to my own hair, I had no idea what I was doing and relied on my wigs to get me through. Now, it’s not completely the same. Yes, I still wear my wigs, but it’s not everyday, all day, like before. My wigs have now been relegated to the occassional outing when I’m feeling lazy.
Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Dominique of All Things O’Natural. I absolutley love this woman’s hair. We basically have the same type of hair, so I’m constantly on her blog for hair care tips. And, of course, Kim Love of Kimmaytube!
Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades; All Things O’Natural; Kim Love ~ Kimmaytube; Ms. Vaughn (You Tube); Meechy Monroe (YouTube & blog); The Golden Sparkle (Youtube & Blog); Curly Nikki; Mop Top Maven
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
PATIENCE: You’re going to need ALOT of it when starting to become reacquainted with your natural hair. Even more if you’re transitioning and having to deal with 2 completely different types of textures.
PRACTICE: This is the only way to truly master what works for your hair.
PERSISTENCE: Mastering the 2 previous acts will help you get the hair you WANT. Action is what gets you results!
Great advice Icela and you are working that flower and twist-out in the first pic! Oh, and I love Dominque’s hair too!! It’s gorgeous!
Don’t forget to check out Icela’s journey as we Grow Out! First Wave baby!!