Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Fay, and I am a single working mother of five (three girls and two boys). I have a lot on my plate, but I am grateful for it all. I live in Orlando, FL and am trying to embrace my culture and the redefine the ideal of beauty that has been forced on us for so long.
How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural for the past 3 years. My decision to go natural came after really thinking about what we are doing to our scalps and hair with the chemicals that we put on them for the purpose of supposedly “making our hair more manageable.” I figured God gave us our hair the way it was and since He knows what He is doing, He must have figured we could manage it.
After making the transition, I realized that not only is our hair manageable, but it is versatile, diverse and, most of all, beautiful. We have been taught for sooo long that our kinks and curls and knots and twists are ugly, or to be tamed that we just took it for granted that straight was the path to beauty. But, like this world, beauty and hair comes in many forms. I am complimented wayyy more now with my natural hair by all ethnicities than I ever have been before. More importantly, I love what I see when I look in the mirror and I hope to be an example to my daughters so that they can say the same
Did you transition or big chop?
I did the 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 friends and family did not understand why I cut off all my hair (it was fairly long and permed) and insisted that I would regret it. They all felt like it was a waste of time, since they assumed I would just wind up perming it again. My response was simple … I was tired of sitting through the unneccesary pain of chemical straighteners (I have a very sensitive scalp). I also felt like, in this day and age, black women should embrace what makes them different and understand that that difference is not a curse, but something rare and beautiful.
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 hair challenge initially was my own mental block as to what to do with my natural hair as far as styling was concerned, because I love trying different hair styles and versatility. I overcame that with experimentation and realized that there are endless options when it comes to styling natural hair. There are cornrows, twists, curly fros, box braids, blowouts … I could go on and on.
What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I wash and condition my hair twice a month. I use carrot oil to blow dry it and, after blow drying, I use coconut oil to twist it. I generally leave the twists in overnight and take them out the next day for an easy curly do that generally lasts all week. That’s pretty much what I’ve done since going natural.
What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Definitely carrot and coconut oil. I recently added Shea Moisture Organic Coconut Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk. It moisturizes really well.
How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it?
I have not had to cut/trim my hair at all.
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?
After going natural, I found that it made me rethink a lot of other aspects of my day to day and was the impetus for me rethinking the way I eat. I wanted to be more natural/organic in that area as well.
Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My “hair crush” was definitely Teyana Taylor when I thought her hair was naturally that thick and georgoeus. I’m still not sure whether it is or not.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
I would definitely advise any African-American woman who is thinking about going natural to go for it. It may seem daunting at first, but the pay off is sooo worth it. The money it saves, the confidence it provides and the self-love it promotes. As your natural hair grows, so will your horizons as to what is beautiful about you and in turn your culture and black women in general. It’s cliche but true, “Black is Beautiful,” hair and all. Our daughters deserve to know that.