Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Valerie. I have been natural for 3 years. My whole life I was told that I had unruly unmanageable hair. It has been a long hard journey. Once I thought I had everything down pat with the “Curly Girl Method,” I discovered that something still was not right. Well ladies, as if caring for curly hair isn’t hard enough, I discovered I am protein-sensitive as well. So, right now, I am on a journey to find what works best for my hair sans protein.
How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for a little over 3 years. I decided to go natural because I finally wanted to see what my REAL hair looked like.
Did you transition or big chop?
How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
My mother was shocked at the fact that I actually went through with it and my older sister was negative about it (she is relaxed). I simply told them that I love the hair God gave me. My mother decided to go natural with me. My sister likes my curls, but always comments on how she liked my straight hair better.
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 obstacle is the fact that I am protein-sensitive, which doesn’t allow me to experiment with a wide range of products. The way that I am overcoming this obstacle is reading the ingredient labels on products before I purchase them. A small obstacle is the dry patch of hair at my crown.
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I am not going to lie … I love the attention I get because of my hair. Before, I felt almost invisible and insecure. Now, I can’t hide even if I wanted to.
What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
**I do not use sulfates, silicones nor proteins in my hair.**
- Wash 1 or 2x a week with a sulfate-free and protein-free shampoo; I wash in 2 sections.
- Detangle hair in front of mirror with conditioner (saves water). I use a paddle brush for ends and a wide-tooth comb for my roots. I detangle in 8 sections, 2 sections in each quadrant.
- Deep condition 1x a week with my Hair Therapy Wrap.
- Put in leave-in conditioner (5 sections: 2 in the back, 1 in the crown and 2 in the front).
- Seal with a oil or butter (I stop at this step if I want to achieve a twist out).
- Rake and shingle in gel (for WnG).
- Apply finisher.
- Diffuse for a WnG or air dry for a twist-out.
- Protect hair at night by sleeping in a satin bonnet.
What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Shampoo: Cream of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate free Shampoo
Conditioner/Deep Condish: GVP Conditioning Balm/Curl Junkie Rehab
Leave-inL SheaMoisture SheaButter Leave-in, CJ Smoothing Lotion
Butter: Oyin Burnt Sugar or Sugar Berry Pomade
Gel: Koils By Nature Peppermint Gel
Satin Bonnet: Ebonnets by EboniCurls
What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My “go to” styles are twists and a beanie, WnGs and twist-outs.
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 try to trim my hair every 6-8 months. My hair is trimmed while it is in its natural state by Luisa V., the owner of Luma Salon, 397 East Altamonte Drive #114, Altamonte Springs, FL. I would recommend her 100%. She has beautiful curls herself.
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?
No, not really.
Do you have a “hair crush?” Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I am my own “hair crush.” But, I do follow a few people for their wonderful advice like DenimPixie and Naptural85.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
It’s just hair. It grows back. Do what you want with it. It’s your hair, no one else’s.
Anything else that you’d like to add?
I love my curls!