Tag Archives: hair story

Hair Crush: Fay’s HairStory

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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 do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love the feel of it … the ease of it. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been.

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.

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Natural in London, England: Rella’s HairStory

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
Hi! I’m Rella J. I was born and raised in London, England, but both my parents are Nigerian. I am a singer/songwriter/musician/university student/natural hair lover

What do you like most about your homeland?
I am a very proud Londoner. Mostly, I love the diversity. I have truly been spoilt growing up here and sometimes I forget that the London demographic isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of England. I love that there’s anything and everything to do and I love how many different cultures you experience by growing up here.

I wouldn’t really know how to describe London in a couple of pictures or sentences. It’s a really busy/bustling city, but then you have quiet residential areas and big parks all within 15 minutes of each other.


What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
I would say that relaxers and weaves are the norm, but natural hair isn’t shunned. It definitely is becoming more prevalent and I love that. I love walking down the road and seeing more fellow naturals. But, I also look forward to the time when I don’t use the term fellow natural, if you get what I mean?

What was your hair like during your childhood and teen years? How did you feel about it? How was it perceived by others?
What was my hair like? I wouldn’t know. My childhood. I have very vivid memories of my mum calling me to sit between her thighs and get my hair done. The afro comb, the wooden parting comb and the tub of Dax or Blue Magic; weapons in the war that was doing my hair (lol). My hair was always hidden away in thread, single plaits and then canerows/cornrows. At 15, I graduated to weave and the only time I saw my hair was to take one weave down, wash and put the next one in. It was always something to be hidden away.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
At 17, I had been wearing weaves for two years and, one day, I was like, “So, am I gonna do this for the rest of my life?” I was sick of constantly being aware that the hair I was wearing wasn’t my own and feeling embarrassed if somebody touched it and felt tracks … when it was really windy outside, worrying if my parting was still covered. I was like, “I don’t want to live like this.”

Then, one day, I was on my way back from a performance and I was joking around with one of the musicians that had played for me. We started play cussing each other and I made a joke about his dreads, comparing him to another dude we know with dreads. And then, he was like, “But that’s not your hair.” That was the final push I needed. I went home and I was like, “I am never wearing weaves again, I want to wear my hair – however it is!”

What has your natural hair journey been like? How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
It has been a journey, a learning process, and is ongoing. When I first told people that I was going to start wearing MY hair exclusively, some were completely supportive, some didn’t know why it was such a big deal and some didn’t think it was possible to do, because nobody really did unless they had more “manageable” hair. But, after a while, wearing my hair became completely normal to everyone.


What do you see as the challenges of being natural? Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live?  If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
At first, it was finding products and practices that worked for me and learning how my hair behaves. The accessibility of products was an issue, but now that natural hair is becoming more popular, more prouducts are available in the UK. And more product lines based in the UK are being created, which is great. I also found that once I trashed the mentality that I can only use “black” products on my hair, I had so many more options from which to choose. As for practices and learning how my hair behaves, that takes time, perseverance and trial and error. Also, once I stopped expecting my hair to do things it couldn’t, there was less disappointment!

What is your regimen? Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products? Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them? 
For the most part, I finger detangle, add my prepoo mix (coconut oil, honey and conditioner) then put my hair in twists. When I’m ready to wash my hair, I shampoo my scalp, rinse, take down a twist and condition, then retwist. Once out of the shower, I blot my hair with a cotton t shirt or a microfiber towel and finally I apply a leave in, seal with castor oil then braid. The next day, I take my braids down and normally do some kind of updo/ bun. If I can’t be bothered, I’ll wear a scarf or style the braids somehow.

I prefer natural products, because they tend to work better for me and I don’t really need to worry about what I’m putting in my hair. I get most of my products online. There are a few international products that I’d love to try, but shipping costs are crazy or the international price way more than the normal one. But, as demand increases, some products are becoming more accessible.

Are there salons that cater to natural hair where you live? Are stylists trained in handling natural hair? Do you go to a salon?
Specifically to natural hair? Not that I know of, but I haven’t really looked, because I do my hair myself. But, with London being the place that it is, I’m sure there is one somewhere.

What do you enjoy and/or love about being/going natural? Has the journey taught you anything about yourself?
I enjoy being able to take care of my hair myself and the independence it gives me. I love how completely my hair represents me. I love when  black people say to me, “I didn’t know our hair could look like that” or could be worn out. Or, when a black girl sees my hair and feels better about hers. I love that when I have daughters, natural hair will be completely normal to them.

Do you have a Hair Crush?
Every natural that I see. I love natural hair that much lol!

Who do you follow online?
Who don’t I? To name a few, you (obviously).
Natural Belle: www.hairspiration.blogspot.co.uk
Curly Nikki: www.curlynikki.com
Healthy Hair and Body: www.hairandhealth.blogspot.co.u
Unitedkinkdom: www.unitedkinkdom.blogspot.co.uk
YouTube: fusionofcultures, bronzeqt, MsVaughnTV, Girlsloveyourcurls, Naptural85, BlakIzBeautyful and many, many more (lol).

Anything else that you’d like to share?
Well, I guess if you want to hear any more about me, you can find me online.

Hair:
Blog: www.naturalinlondon.blogspot.com
YouTube: anaturalinlondon
Twitter: @naturalinlondon

Music:
Blog: www.rellajay.blogspot.com

YouTube: rellajmusic
Twitter: @rella_j_

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So, I found Rella’s hair blog several months ago and asked her to share her hairstory:). I also listened to one of her songs and was so impressed by her talent. That being said, she didn’t share any of her music, so I am ;). Check her out!

Tales of a Transitioner: Nancy’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Nancy and I go by NancyM when I comment on Hairscapdes and other blogs. I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I have a wonderful husband and 2 great kids. I love to spend time with family and friends.

When did you receive your first relaxer?
After begging my mom for a year, I got my first relaxer when I was 13 years old. I loved it and at the time, it helped me fit in with the other girls at my school, who all had relaxers years before me.

Why did you choose to go natural?
Several reasons; I really can’t point to one. My relaxed hair was well maintained and reached past mid-back length. I just wanted a change. Long relaxed hair just hangs there and really doesn’t do much (AND the longer my hair grew, the thinner it looked). I wanted something different. I also wanted more fullness in my hair, which was impossible for me with long, straight hair. Also, salon visits for me took HOURS because of the length of my hair. I was exhausted. LOL!

Are you a long-term or short-term transitioner, and why?
I’m a long-term transitioner. As of August 2012, I am at 18 months of transitioning. My original plan was to go for 24 months of transitioning, but now that I have more new growth than relaxed ends, the urge to chop is strong. I’m not sure that I’ll make it past this fall, but we’ll see … . My reason for a long-term transition is the same as many others: I didn’t know how I would look with short hair and I wasn’t ready to find out. At this point, however, my new growth is down to my shoulders, so that’s why I may chop earlier than 24 months. My transition has not been as hard as I’d thought it would be, but I credit that to all of the info that can be found online with quality sites like Hairscapades.com, CurlyNikki.com, and others.

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
First off, I really like it. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was going to get since I hadn’t seen my natural hair since I was 13. My initial reaction was surprise at the different textures that I’m finding on my head. So far, I’ve found looser coily hair in the front and nape and kinky-coily hair in the middle/crown. Also, I notice that my new growth can be dry and needs more moisture than my relaxed hair does.

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Most of my family and friends didn’t notice that I was transitioning until I told them. However, I’ve received only positive responses. As my husband says, “Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.” 🙂

What is your transition routine?
My regimen is pretty simple:

  • Daily: Moisturize and seal (yes, I put some form of moisture and/or oil in my hair everyday); Sleep with a satin scarf AND on a satin pillowcase – this is a habit from my relaxed days that I will never change.
  • Weekly: Pre-poo with an oil and sometimes conditioner; shampoo wash; condition; apply leave-in; then roller or rod set ( I also use a hooded dryer at times to speed the drying process when I can’t air dry).
  • Monthly: Henna gloss; deep condition; then roller or rod set; Protein treatment (sometimes I do this quarterly); I also trim my relaxed ends as needed.

What is your staple transition hair style?
My staple transition style is definitely a bun or ponytail; however, I do the occasional braid out or half up/half down style as well.

What techniques/products do you to manage the demarcation line between your relaxed and natural hair? 
I manage the two textures by keeping my hair well moisturized. As I mentioned, I moisturize every day. I was a product junkie for the first 6 months of my transition, but these products have stood the test of time:

  • Shampoo: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisturizing Shampoo; Suave Naturals Almond + Shea Shampoo; Aussie Moist Shampoo; Tresemmé Naturals Moisture Shampoo
  • Conditioners: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisturizing Conditioner; Suave Naturals Almond + Shea Conditioner; Aussie Moist Conditioner; Tresemmé Naturals Moisture Conditioner or Moisture Rich Conditioner
  • Leave-ins: One ‘n Only Styling Cream; Infusium 23; Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine; Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship
  • Moisturizers: Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Olive Oil Moisturizer; Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in
  • Oils: Coconut oil (must have this oil on hand at all times); argan oil; olive oil; sweet almond oil; grapeseed oil
  • Henna: Jamila henna; I use the same method that CurlyNikki has posted on her site under Henna Gloss.
  • Protein: I use the ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

Of course, I know that these some of these products may change once I’m fully natural.

What is the most challenging part of transitioning and how have you been able to overcome or cope with it?
The most challenging part of transitioning was making the decision to do it. I had been considering going natural for years before I actually did it. I think that the wealth of info on the internet and sites like this one really helped me conduct the research I needed to move forward with this decision … and I haven’t regretted it at all.

What has been the most fun/best part of going natural? What do you love most about your natural hair and/or going natural?
I LOVE HENNA! This has been the single best thing I’ve done to my hair! I would have never even tried it had I not read your story and Nikki’s story on CurlyNikki.com. Since I’ve started to henna back in August 2011, my dandruff has disappeared, breakage has minimized significantly, and my hair feels great. Also, I know this is going to sound weird, but my scalp looks so healthy when I part my hair. Oh, and the subtle auburn color is the bomb!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Sure! Well of course there’s you, CurllyNikki, Naptural 85, and Jennell of KinkyCurlyKoilyMe, just to name a few.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?
Same as above and many others… The list is far too long. 🙂

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
My advice would be to do your research, then go for it! For me, having the knowledge gave me the power to make the decision.

Hair Crush: Bri’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Pretty simple. I am a fun, bubbly, energetic dancer, who is a mother of two and goes by the name of Bri Rose.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I’ve been natural since birth. My mother refused to put a perm in my hair, so I really didn’t have a choice of being natural or not. However, I wore my hair in its natural state every now and then. I just started wearing my curls habitually a year ago.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
Well, since I’ve worn my hair naturally before, it really wasn’t a big deal. The only reaction I receive from my family or anyone that knows me is when I cut my hair. My family despises cutting hair in general, when it pertains to the women in my family, to the fullest. And my response to them is, “It’ll grow back.” But they (family/friends) embrace natural hair; they wear their hair natural as well too.

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 is to not get bored with my hair, and to not cut it when I get bored with it. I have yet to overcome this challenge! But, when it approaches, I will definitely put a sign on every door in my apartment that will say, “DO NOT CUT BRI!!!” For the time being, I map out when I get my ends trimmed, making sure beforehand that it’s necessary and not routine.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love how much body my hair has in its natural state. As I’ve gotten older, my hair became thinner. However, when I wear my curls, I have a lot of body aka frizz. I love when my hair gets frizzy to a certain extent. I embrace frizz.

What is your current regimen?  Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
I really don’t have a set regimen and that’s mainly due to my schedule. I now basically go off how my hair reacts to styles. For example, if I do a twist-out and it doesn’t come out how it normally does on a regular basis, then I know it’s time for a wash. Or, if my scalp itches more than usual or my hair becomes limp, I know it’s time to wash. I learned quickly that my hair does not react well when it comes to regimens whatsoever, so I play it by ear.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Invigorating Shampoo, Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner (used as DC).

 

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it?
Not too often. When I start to notice that simple styles are not holding or my hair is too frizzy, that’s when it’s time for a trim. When I do get a trim, I definitely flat-iron my hair since I have yet to find a salon that can consistently and properly cut curly hair in Chicago.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
My hair crushes are IvyCharlaine, Taren916, Andreaschoice and ShamelessMaya.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
I follow Shameless Maya, Andreaschoice, MsVaughnTV, Naptural 85, Taren 916 and Ivy Charlaine.

Where can we find you online?
Follow me on Twitter: @BriRose26
Instagram: @BriRose26
Bloglovin: BriRosePleaseStayCurly

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
My piece of advice to a new natural is to go natural because you want to. Don’t do natural because you think it’s the trend, because you will be discouraged way too easily. And surf the web, find what works for you. It’s going to be trial and error, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Much love,

Bri

Hair Crush: Valerie’s HairStory

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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?
I transitioned.

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.

Where can we find you online?
You can find me on my blog, Curls2Envy.com, and on my Facebook page, Curls2Envy.

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!

Natural in London: Paige’s HairStory

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Remember my review of the TLC Naturals products a couple of months ago? Well, here’s the HairStory of Paige, the “natural-preneur” (yes, I made that up!) behind the line!! She’s not only the president, she’s a client too ;)!!

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Who are you and from where do you hail?
My name is Paige-Ellean. I’m from London, UK, and I am passionate about kinky, coily and curly hair! I am also a formulator and owner of TLC Naturals, a luxurious hair and body product line, hand-crafted from the finest natural and organic ingredients.

What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
Although the general norm for Black women in the UK is to wear their hair in a relaxed, permed or weaved state, there are a growing number of women embracing their natural hair texture.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I got fed up of the use of chemicals on my hair and body and I also wanted to embrace my own natural hair texture. Coming from a background of the use of alternative therapies and the use of natural plants for cosmetic, medicinal and therapeutic uses, it only made sense to apply my herbal knowledge and expertise in caring for my hair.

Did you transition or big chop or are you currently transitioning?
I DID try to transition … very unsuccessfully for 3 years! I just didn’t have a clue at the time on the right techniques for caring for my transitioning hair. In addition, although I wore bantu knot-out styles to hide the two textures, I still suffered an immense amount of breakage. Finally, I had enough and went for the Big Chop in December 2009.

What has your natural hair journey been like?
My natural hair journey has been a wonderful experience of learning and self-discovery.

How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
My family and friends were initially shocked, but after seeing the overall health and progress of my natural hair, I am pleased to say that I have converted a few of them over to the natural side :D.

What do you see as the challenges of being natural?
Acceptance is a major challenge for the natural hair community – from other people accepting our natural hair texture to we ourselves accepting what constitutes as being natural for us.

It’s bad enough that outside communities do not accept our hair and still have negative opinions of natural hair, curly hair and dreadlocks. It is particularly saddening when we ourselves bicker over what we think is natural … whether it is to do with the issue of curl definition or not, the use of chemical colours or not, the use of heat (e.g. hot combs, flat irons ) or not and so on.

Not everyone who embraces their natural hair will embrace a natural lifestyle – using natural products, using natural colorants, abstaining from chemical or mechanical processes that cause damage to the hair. This does not make them more or less natural. There should be no “I am more natural than you” vibe among us.

What is your regimen?
My current regimen includes wash day every fortnight: I prepoo with coconut oil, then I wash my hair, and deep condition afterwards with eggs, honey and olive oil. Once every 2 months, I henna-indigo my hair. I always follow my henna-indigo sessions with a deep condition and then a hot oil treatment, using TLC Naturals Shea Baobab Nourishing Hair Oil.

In between wash sessions, I rinse my hair weekly with ACV. Sometimes I brew some rosemary and add it to the ACV. I follow up with TLC Naturals Hibiscus Rose Moisturising Leave In Conditioner & seal with TLC Naturals Shea Baobab Nourishing Hair Oil. My hair style post-wash is normally a bun. If I am wearing twists or braids, I use the TLC Naturals Choco Shea Decadent Hair Butter.

I find that my haircare regimen is much more simplified than before and I have the TLC Naturals products to thank for that. My hair stays moisturised and retains natural curl definition for much longer than before and is also progressing at a better rate.
I have very fine and delicate hair along my edges and slow growing edges are the bane of my life. This is why I never do protective styles longer than a week and I never do small braids, twists etc. Once a week I apply TLC Naturals Grow It Hair Cream to my edges. It is made with MSM, Indian ayurveda plants, growth enhancing herbs and stimulating essential oils. The downside to this product is that I have new growth literally within 5-7 days. This would normally be a great thing, but my gray hairs ALWAYS pop up around my edges leading to extra henna-indigo sessions, which as we all know is not a 15 minute job.

Do you use/prefer commercial or natural products?
I prefer to use natural products – purely because I know that, a) they work and b) they are more healthier for me. I am not dying to be beautiful and I refuse to put my health at risk by using chemical-ridden products. Natural products don’t just make your hair look great, they improve the overall condition of your hair.

Are the products that you like and want to try readily accessible and affordable? Where do you purchase them?
I use my own products, naturally, which evolved from recipes that I have worked with consistently. I launched my product line and made my products available to the general public on the insistence of my readers from my natural hair blog, Care4Curls. They saw my hair bloom as I started making and using my own concoctions, so they naturally wanted a piece. I was only too happy to share. The products can be found at TLC Naturals (http://www.tlcnaturalsonline.com).

Are there any things that you think are unique to where you live? If so, what and why? How do you think they can be overcome?
I do not think there is any one particular thing that is unique to us here in the UK. The only problem I see here is access to quality products for natural hair care. Unlike the US, where there are dozens natural hair care brands to choose from, we only have a handful here. However, I can see this changing in the near future.

Anything else that you’d like to share?
I firmly believe in the efficacy of natural products and natural ingredients. Just like the body thrives when fed a healthy, natural and organic diet, so too does the hair bloom when “fed” natural and organic products. Like I said at the beginning, I am passionate about natural hair. However, natural or not, coloured or not, straightened or not, you can never go wrong when you use natural and organic products on your hair.

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Were your PJ senses tingling? Super-intrigued by Paige’s natural haircare line and itching to try it? Then have I got a giveaway for you!! Stay tuned for the announcement later today!!

Hair Crush: Tameeka’s HairStory

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THAT’S RIGHT!! The #CurlWhisperer herself, aka Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses aka the woman who worked magic at this haircut party and this one … is back to share her very own HairStory!! 

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
A humble and blessed mother of three and wife, striving for the success, which I know is coming. Licensed Professional Master Celebrity stylist specializing in Natural Tresses for well over 15yrs.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural since 2000. I chose to go natural after having a Paul Brown relaxer put in my hair back in 1999 that just made me a slave to the Dominican salons. I never wanted my hair straight, I just wanted to tame it a bit. However, it destroyed all of the life out of my hair;(. After a year of straightening, I gave up.

Did you transition or big chop?
I actually have done both, transition as well as the big chop, several times through the years. The first one was back in 2000. I slowly transitioned by trimming an inch and a half every 3-4 months. It took about 3 years to be completely natural. I was sooo stubborn at that time and did not want to loose my length *lol*. I had no patience for the other time, which was back in 2009. I had put a ” texturizer” type of gentle chemical in my hair back in 2007-2008, just to help tame it a bit because it was so dense. It looked great and everyone loved it. However, my hair changed shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2009. So, I just went to work one day and chopped it off! My husband, as well as others,  thought that I was nuts, but I looked cute! Lastly (I hope *lol* … ;)), my most recent big chop was just a few weeks ago, 18 months since the birth of my last child. My hair went whacky on me once again. The hormones loosened half of my head, literally one half side *smh*. And, of course I’m not happy with the dramatic difference in textures, so I decided to chop away once again and allow it to grow in a bit more uniform.

7/26/12: My most recent 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?
At first no one believed that it was my hair, because they were so used to me having bone straight hair. People couldn’t believe that all my curly tresses could straighten out as they did, so it shocked many. Everyone I ever met after going natural absolutely loves my wild hair. They either want it or state they wish that they had my tresses ;).

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?
Wow. My biggest challenge was the pregnancy and the hormonal changes that ultimately affected my thick density and tightly coiled tresses. I have since big chopped twice, deep condition faithfully and have started back up on my prenatal vitamins to help promote faster hair growth, as well as add essential oils to my hair products and diet.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
It’s what I’ve been blessed with, it’s healthier, fun, sexy and, although many are natural, I definitely stand out in a crowd. I love that my hair has versatility with being natural. I’m not the same ol’ Plain Jane. My tresses have attitude and represents me as a fun, free-spirited person.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
Currently, I wash and go, whereas in the past, I was subjected to diffusing the hair due to my gradual transition. As far as product application, that still remains the same. Just thorough application of my product throughout hair to define my tresses, so I can get as many days as I can out of my wash n go prior to pulling it up some way.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I tend to play with lots of different things so that I may have good feedback for my clientele. I often use things they may have stumbled upon or suggest. I try just to see whether or not it may be useful for the next head of textured tresses that sits in my chair. As of now, I have Organix shampoo and conditioner and mask, Curlisto’s Natural Coils line, which is a cleanser, conditioner, leave-in, defining lotion and mask. I also have natural shea butter, rosemary essential oil and Vitamin E essential oil; I tend to add into other products sometimes. And lastly, Curlisto Unruly Paste and vegetable glycerin for shine.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style is either a pull back with a “full fluffy fluff,” a slick back tight bun or a soft twist sloppy bun, it all depends on the length at the time. Unfortunately, my go to styles are worn more often than I would like considering I’m a mother of three and a very busy women catering to everyone else’s hair. 😉


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I trim my tresses about every 6-8 months, which is recommended. I have often provided myself with a trim, as well as see other stylist for maintenance. It would all depend on scheduling. I often have to fix/tweak my cuts/trims after someone else has done it ;(. As far as recommendations go, I would suggest that you really do your research on both the salon and the particular stylist. Keep in mind that what you read can be fabricated, so if you’ve read, as well as seen some photos and or heard from word of mouth, that’s generally the true testimony and should help make your decision easier. There are some very truly talented hair stylist.

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?
It just plain and simple makes it so much easier! No more 4 hour long tedious visits to the Dominican salon *smh*. I devote that time to my little ones. As far as work, I’m my own walking advertisement!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Chaka Kahn!!!!!!!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades
The Curvealicious Chronicles
YouTube (various)
Naturallycurly.com
Napturallycurly.com

Also any sites that my clients refer me to; I have to stay in the loop.

Where can we find you online?
Website: www.jadedtresses.com
Facebook: Jaded Tresses
Twitter: @JadedTresses
Instagram: @ JadedTresses

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t knock it until you have tried it. You were blessed with your tresses, embrace them.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Healthy hair is the best hair and will provide you with the most versatility. So, take good care of your tresses and your tresses will be good to you!