Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I’m Candice. Wife. Mother (to a dog-child). Daughter. Sister. Friend. God-fearing. Natural! Aspiring personal stylist.
How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
My last perm was in January 2010. There was no epiphany or life-changing event that influenced my decision to go natural. I have always been of the mindset of, “it’s just hair” and have never hesitated to experiment with my hair. I do remember that prior to going natural, my mom had begun going organic with all of her food and beauty products. I guess you can say that somewhat influenced my decision.
Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned for about 6 months and then big chopped when I had about two inches of natural hair. I was planning to transition longer, but got anxious about what my hair would look like. *LOL*
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?
One thing that I learned the hard way is that one person’s regimen may not work for somebody else. It’s nice to watch/read what other people do for ideas, but I have wasted LOTS of money thinking that the shine on someone else’s strands could be mine with the purchase of some miracle product.
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
The thing that I love most about my hair is its versatility. I love to hear people say, “I wish my hair could do that. Mine just lays here.” That line cracks me up every time. *LOL* I also love how distinctive my hair is. Although the number is increasing, I can still easily be the only natural in a room.
What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I typically co-wash every 2-3 days with a light conditioner. This week, I’ve been using Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp. I like it because I don’t have to worry about rinsing it out completely as it can also be used as a leave-in. I use apple cider vinegar to clarify about once a month in the winter and more frequently in the summer because I do a lot of playing in the pool. I use Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner when I deep condition. No matter how many other DC’s I try, I haven’t found one that makes my hair any softer. After conditioning, I usually blast my roots just a little with a hand dryer and flat twist my hair using a shea butter mixture (shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil melted and then whipped together using a hand mixer). It dries completely overnight if I do my twists small enough. In the morning, I untwist and fluff and I’m out the door! I usually don’t like my twist out on the first day, but after a night of pineapple-ing its more to my liking on day 2.
The main difference between my regimen now and when I first went natural is the detangling sessions. I miss not having to detangle! *LOL*
What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Well, I am a product junkie in the truest sense of the word, but there are a few products that I always find myself coming back to: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (for deep conditioning), shea butter + coconut oil whip (homemade) and my castor oil (the perfect oil for my hair—not too heavy but leaves a nice sheen).
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 dry twist out, which is how I wear my hair most of the time. I don’t intentionally wear low manipulation styles, but I do find myself doing a high bun quite often for the sheer convenience of it. I used to do two strand twists, but don’t find that I have that kind of time to devote to my hair these days.
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 don’t think I have let anyone else’s hands in my hair since I cut myself a bob the day of my high school graduation. *LOL* I trim about every quarter or when my ends start to look unhealthy. I’m thinking about giving myself an actual haircut for the summer!
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?
Definitely don’t care about walking out in the rain or swimming anymore. *LOL*
Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Tracee Ellis Ross! And my male hair crush is Andre 3000. Love him.
Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I frequent Curly Nikki, BGLH and … Hairscapades! On YouTube I like to watch Naptural85, SimplYounique, & MyNaturalSistas.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I always tell people that being natural, especially when you first go natural, is about trial and error. As much as you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, you also should not be so naïve that you don’t realize when something isn’t working for your hair.