Tag Archives: naturals around the world

Natural in London: Sharron’s HairStory

Standard

misc 086

Who are you and from where do you hail?
Hey all! I’m Sharron from London, England.

What do you like most about your homeland?
I think London is a great place to be in the summer … such a nice atmosphere being in the heart of London when the sun’s shining. I also like that it’s very multicultural.

London

What is the hair norm for black/brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
There’s definitely more weave and relaxer wearers than there are naturals. But, I see a lot more natural ladies nowadays. It’s no longer perceived as an oddity to wear your hair natural. I love seeing someone wearing their natural hair; I always give a little smile. I just find all the different styles you can achieve by wearing your hair natural refreshing.

What was your hair like during your childhood and teen years? How did you feel about it? How was it perceived by others?
I remember my mum doing ‘chiney bumps’ (similar to bantu knots?), when I was younger and I remember her greasing my scalp with Dax, lol. My hair flourished under her care. When I started doing my hair myself, I use to do some crazy stuff to it. I actually cringe when I think about the abuse I bestowed upon my poor head!! I used a hell of a lot of gel … nasty, alcohol-ridden gel. I would use hotplates to dry my hair from damp as I didn’t have a blow dryer at one stage … *shudder*. Let’s just say, I’m surprised I still have hair. In my era, everyone had natural hair anyway, so it wasn’t an issue wearing my hair natural.

If you relaxed your hair at some point, why did you (or your guardian) make that decision? When and how long were you relaxed before you decided to go natural?
I relaxed my hair at the grand ole age of 18!! The only reason I relaxed my hair was because it wouldn’t ‘hold’ a style. I would straighten it all nicely and then as soon as I left the house ‘poof.’ What I didn’t realise then is that my hair was doing what it was suppose to do … curl up. I was trying to force my hair to go against type. If I knew then what I know now … how many times have we all said that?? I was really excited when I got it relaxed and was actually amazed when I stepped outside and my hair didn’t ‘grow.’ I remember bopping down the street with my new Janet Jackson windswept hairstyle.

Windswept

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I always say my decision to go natural wasn’t a conscious decision, it was forced upon me!! I love colour and curls, so even when my hair was relaxed, I would constantly colour and curl it as I didn’t like limp flat hair, I like big hair. I would put ringlets in my hair and rarely wore it straight. No one told me that you shouldn’t really use heat on relaxed hair, so I was not aware I was damaging it. To be fair, my hair is very strong, because it was years before it finally started to break and say, ‘enough is enough woman!!’

I decided to put it in a weave as I couldn’t think of anything else to do with it as nothing would stop the breakage … ApHogee treatments, nothing! I gradually snipped away to maybe 6 inches? At the time, I think it was bra strap length. As I was wearing a weave, cutting it didn’t bother me. I honestly thought I would be wearing weaves for the rest of my days as I didn’t ever consider wearing my hair natural as I couldn’t imagine it would look ‘smart’ enough.

This is where the decision was made for me. One weekend, I decided to remove my weave myself and do a treatment before getting it put back in on the Monday. When I removed my weave, I saw that I had a patch, no, a landslide where I’d been constantly wearing the same parting!! From that day, I stopped wearing weaves and was forced to deal with my hair in its natural state.

What has your natural hair journey been like? How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?
As I was forced to go natural, my decision wasn’t discussed with anyone. I will say that the last 3 years is when I’ve really learnt what works for my hair and how to get it to do what I want it to do … now I’m not working against type.

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?
I honestly think looking after natural hair requires more effort than relaxed hair. It takes longer to wash, detangle, then you have to twist/braid it if you wear twist/braid outs. Luckily, there are more products targeted for natural hair now, although not as much as in the States.

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?
My regimen is quite a lazy one. I’ve taken to doing clay washes recently as it requires less effort then shampooing and conditioning my hair. When I do clay washes, I can get away with not conditioning my hair you see!! Lazy! I also try and henna once per month, but as we’ve previously discussed Shelli, henna loosens my curls to the extent my hair looks like heat damage in parts. I make my own Hair, Bath & Body products. So, I use my leave-in conditioner, a bit of flaxseed gel and JBCO & Nilotica Balm to seal, and then twist my hair.

Kinky G

Are there salons that cater to natural hair where you live? Are stylists trained in handling natural hair? Do you go to a salon?
I have never been to a natural hair salon, but my friend took her daughter to one to have her hair straightened (they used a hot comb). When she washed her hair a couple of weeks later, her gorgeous curls had heat damage and was straight and stringy in places.

What do you enjoy and/or love about being/going natural? Has the journey taught you anything about yourself?
I love not having to run from the rain, I love not having to worry about my hair sweating out at a club, I love the versatility and I love that I’m not smothering my scalp in chemicals. So, my landslide was a blessing in disguise.

Flat twist

Do you have a Hair Crush?
I love your hair Miss Shelli, Curly Nikki and Teyana Taylor (with and without bits added).

Who do you follow online?
You, Curly Nikki, Fusionofcultures (I think she is the cutest thing ever with great hair). I’m sure there are others …

Anything else that you’d like to share?
I can be found at my blog: www.fortheloveofkinks.wordpress.com
My products can be found at: www.sheadecadence.co.uk
Twitter: @shea_decadence and @theloveofkinks

Thanks for having me and keep up the good work!

Collage

**************************************************************************************************************

Awwww sookie sookie now!! You had the Pleasure Principle cut Sharron!! Get it girl!! LOL!!

Are you a natural outside of the US? Want to share your “international kinky, coily, curly” HairStory? Then answer the “Naturals Around the World” interview questions here and e-mail them to me (with 5-10 pictures) at hairscapades@gmail.com 

Advertisements

Natural in London, England: Rella’s HairStory

Standard

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_

***************************************************************************************************

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!

Alissa: Natural in the Bahamas

Standard

by Brittany of Island Curls

Hi Shelli! My name is Brittany, aka KinkyIslandGirl, and I frequently view your blog, as well as your updates on Facebook. I was happy to see that you were looking for guest bloggers, because I have recently started a natural hair blog that has an island twist, because I am from the Bahamas (though I reside in Minnesota). The blog is called http://www.islandcurls.blogspot.com. Below is an article featuring a Bahamian lady that I would like to share with your readers, if you would allow me. Thank you!

*************************************************************************************************

Say Hi!
Hello, my name is Alissa. I’m 22 years old, born and raised in the Bahamas. Both of my parents are Black.

When and how did you transition into natural hair? Did you transition or big chop? How did you take care of your hair while going natural?
I have always been natural.

Do you love your hair? Have you always loved it?
There was a time when I disliked being natural. I wanted straight hair, because all of the celebrities I liked had straight hair and I thought I would have more versatility. I was tired of tangling and ponytails. As I grew older, I learned how to take care of my hair, which made it more manageable. I also learned more hairstyles and techniques, which I think make my natural hair more versatile than any other texture. Learning to love my hair was a process.

How would you describe your hair?
My hair is a 3c/4a texture. I have more of a S-curl/wavy texture around my edges and a tighter curl texture in the middle of my head.

What is your hair regimen and nightly routine?
I wash and deep condition once a week. I oil my scalp at least twice a week with olive oil or another natural oil and I moisturize and seal my hair everyday. Every night, I plait or bun my hair and wear a satin cap to prevent breaking.

How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
To retain length, I make sure to always sleep with my hair in a bun or plait under my satin cap. I moisturize and seal my ends everyday. I wear protective styles most of the time. Those are styles that protect my ends from breaking by keeping them up and off of my shoulders and clothes. I only use a wide-toothed comb on well moisturized hair after finger combing. Sometimes I detangle while conditioning my hair. I avoid products with petroleum, alcohol or mineral oil and only use natural oils on my scalp.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
I burned off and damaged the ends of my hair with hot combs and flat irons for a few years until I learned healthy hair habits. I had to cut it a few times to fix that. I also used to wear my hair in a puff a lot when I was in high school and I used an afro pic on it while it was dry. That broke my hair a lot. I used to shampoo and not condition not knowing how harsh shampoo is. I used to use vaseline on my scalp, pink lotion on my ends and slick my hair down with gel and beeswax. I was terrible and the list goes on and on.

What’s the best thing you do for your hair?
The best thing I do is add oils to my routine. Whether it be on my scalp, mixing it with my deep conditioner or sealing my ends.

If you were going away to a deserted place and could only take 3 products, what would they be and why?
Woowwwww! My garnier fructis shampoo, Elasta QP deep conditioner and definitely my extra virgin olive oil.

What is your go-to style?
The high bun… All day.

Who is your hair idol?
A vlogger named Megz who taught me so much of what I now know about black hair.

Any last words of wisdom?
Good hair is healthy hair. Spend time learning how to take better care of yours.

Ebony: Natural in Brazil

Standard

Who are you and from where do you hail?
My name is Ebony and I am 32 years old. Although I currently live in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I am originally from the Bahamas. My hair experiences at home are very similar to those expressed by Claudine in her post about Bermuda, so I’ll focus on my recent experiences as a natural in Brazil and previously, in Cairo.

I moved to Brazil last summer, after living in Cairo, Egypt for two years. Cairo, while full of culture and revolution, was not the easiest place for a single, Black woman to live. At first, when I was too preoccupied with not getting lost, I didn’t notice a lot else; I figured out local grocery stores, how to get to work and back and made a few friends. And then, I started paying attention to other things. Like, the way the sub-Saharan African woman were leered at, the way I was sometimes followed (and propositioned) by men on the street, the ex-pat men who fawned over all shades of brown as something exotic.

Please don’t get me wrong; as a general rule, Egyptians are great … but, as we all know, it only takes a few incidents to taint an experience. Because I am “light-skinned,” when my hair was straight, I could “pass” for Egyptian and I got less flack/more positive attention. But one of my best girlfriends, who wore her hair in braids, was often mistaken for being up for anything and had to frequently defend herself from physical harassment. It was as though the more “African” you looked, the bigger a target of derision and harassment you became. It was incredibly disappointing and demoralizing.

It’s with this experience that I moved, with relief, to Brazil; I reasoned that such a purportedly open culture would provide me with a much needed 180 to what I’d experienced. And I was right!

What has your natural hair journey been like? If you relaxed your hair at some point, why did you (or your guardian) make that decision?
I have been natural for over 10 years now, after having a relaxer for the 10 or so years prior to that (transitioned). A relaxer was the norm in the Bahamas and I thought it was a great treat when my mom finally allowed me to get my first ‘perm’ when I was 12. I do regret it; I should have listened to my parents who told me it was a bad idea. My little sister, by contrast, never got a perm and can now sport a beautifully full head of locs that will never be mine. Sigh.

My hair has always been fine, but I’m convinced that it was thicker back in the day. This is my biggest peeve about my hair, I think, that there’s so little of it … but we always want what we don’t have!  I don’t actually remember why I decided to grow out my relaxer, but it was probably either because I was tired of sitting in a salon. I like to be in and out.

What do you like most about your homeland?
What I enjoy most about being here is that women of all shapes, ages and races take pride in their appearances and wear what makes them feel comfortable (even if it may provoke others to look at them goggle eyed). I find this confidence and celebration of femininity so refreshing and healthy.

What do you see as the challenges of being natural in Brazil? 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 haven’t found that the same sense of self-confidence that I talked about above translates to hair. Brazil is famous for the Brazilian Blowout, which combines keratin and formaldehyde in some crazy mixture so that you can wash and go or blow your own hair out more easily. When I was growing up, there was a saying, “If it can blow, you can go” and that is the sentiment here as well. Straight hair, the longer the better, is everywhere. The few exceptions to this are the women who have more of a natural wave and have lots of length; this seems acceptable.

But we all know that this hair-hateration isn’t anything new or unique to Brazil. But maybe the tide is turning? Just this month, Sony Music was ordered to pay over half a million dollars in compensation after releasing a “hair-ist” song in 1997; the song is all about a black woman who smells bad and has hair like a scouring pad (Google “Veja os Cabelos Dela [Look at Her Hair] for the full story).

Shelli: And/or you can check out the article on CurlyNikki here.

What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?
To be honest, there are not very many “visibly Black” women where I live, although almost everyone here has some brown in them. When I do see Black women out and about, I feel the urge to give them “the nod” as we pass each other (like Black folks do in US cities where they’re not in great numbers). These women are usually travelling to work as domestic help in affluent homes – but that’s another story – and tend to have relaxers, whether WnG or straight. I have seen only a handful of other naturals on the street and usually in an artsy context (street/artisan fair, music concert, etc.).

I should clarify that I live in São Paulo, which is the most formal/professional city in the country; people here tend to be more conservative than, let’s say, people from Rio. When I visited that city, I did see more naturals out and about, but still not as many as I would have expected. I’ve been told that I have to visit the north to get a better sense of the Afro-Brazilian community.

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?
I tend to wear my hair in its curly form, but pulled back. Since people constantly comment on how young I look – which never sounds like a compliment in a professional setting – I tend not to wear my curls down. I did once and it sparked a huge reaction; people sought me out to tell me how much they loved my hair and that I should wear it out more often …the irony of it being that the majority of the women here straighten their own hair.

I’ve become more determined to get serious about maintaining my hair recently because, when I got to Brazil, my hair was falling out in clumps. At first, I wasn’t bothered. Then, when my husband started to agree that it was unusual, I went to see a dermatologist. A hormone imbalance meant that I was experiencing – wait for it – male pattern baldness.  She prescribed something to balance me out, super duper hair vitamins (containing keratin as a main ingredient) and a topical solution. Five months on, I’m beginning to see some of the hair grow back.

I wish that I could say I have a standard regimen, but I don’t. I try to use, as much as possible, organic hair care products, even if that means stocking up for the year when I travel to the US or UK. I sometimes pre-poo with EVOO and try to co-wash until I can’t take it anymore. I use some sort of leave-in regularly and sometimes use this old-school Alberta VO5 hairdressing crème that my aunt used to use back in the day. After reading Shelli’s posts on protein treatments, I’ve been looking up recipes for treatments I can whip up myself.

 Do you go to a salon?
When my hair needs a trim, I tend to take to it myself and then get my husband to even it out; he hates doing it for fear of messing up, but I’d rather take the chance than try to convince a Brazilian hair stylist that “yes, I really DO want you to cut off more than that.  t’s okay.  It’ll grow back.”

Who do you follow online? Anything else that you’d like to share?
Without having girlfriends to talk to face-to-face about hair, it’s been invaluable being a part of these online hair communities. In addition to Hairscapades, I also follow Black Women of Brazil, Black Girl with Long Hair, and have recently come across Gisella Francisca, a blog by a curly in Rio.

Thanks to Shelli and others for being so devoted to “the cause” and to you all for sharing so freely.

Tchau,
Ebony

Claudine: Natural in Bermuda

Standard

Remember Claudine’s Henna and Me HairStory? Well here’s Part II of her HairStory as part of our new natural hair interview feature, Naturals Around the World!!

***********************************************************************************************************************

Hi again. My name is Claudine and it is a beautiful, sunny day in Bermuda today! I climbed a ladder to take the pictures … never had done that before *LOL*!

All Bermuda houses have white roof tops because we catch the rain water from the roof into our
water tanks which are underneath our houses.

Natural Hair Environment in Bermuda

Prior to about 5 years ago, the majority of the naturals wore locs. Non-loc’d naturals seemed to have picked up momentum in the last two years. I would say that Bermuda is probably at the beginning stages of embracing kinky natural hair.

Transitioning and Product Access Challenges

Nearly three years ago, when I had decided to go natural after transitioning for 1 1/2 years, my former black male hairdresser at an upscale hair salon cut my relaxed hair off. He didn’t have a clue of how to work with 100% naturally kinky hair and all he was talking about was me getting a chemical texturizer (instead of admitting that he doesn’t work with natural kinky hair!!). So, I was disappointed with the results … and never returned.

I had transitioned using the Miss Jessie’s hair products … would you believe that I was paying $80, $75 and $65, respectively, for the Baby Buttercreme, Curly Pudding or Curly Meringue and Rapid Recovery? Our Bermuda dollar is at par with the American dollar. I continued using the Baby Buttercreme when I went natural, keeping my hair in two strand twists and wearing a twist-out the day before I washed my hair. My goal was to grow long natural hair without chemicals and non-loc. At that time, Miss Jessie’s was the only brand sold in Bermuda suitable for kinky hair.

I’ve had to resort to researching online and making purchases online of hair products for kinky hair. I tried the Kinky-Curly, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, Curls and then Qhemet Biologics hair products via online purchases. One of our major pharmacies (Black-owned) now carries some of the popular kinky hair products such as Curls, Kinky-Curly, Uncle Funky’s Daughter and Jane Carter Solutions. They started about 1 1/2 years ago with Curls, a year ago with Kinky-Curly and this Fall 2011 with Uncle Funky’s Daughter and Jane Carter. It was frustrating that the products were flying off the shelves and it would be months before the pharmacy replenished their stock!!

Shelli: Are the prices still very high compared to the costs here or are they comparable?
Yes, the prices are still very high. That’s because Bermuda shopkeepers imports their goods and they have to pay Government customs duty; and then they have to mark-up to make a profit. For the Curls Whipped Cream, I pay $26.95 a jar. I tried to see if it was cheaper for me purchase online and ship it to Bermuda. It cost me more to bring it in myself by the time I pay the shipping fee and the duty. That’s why it makes more sense for me to purchase items online, only if they don’t carry it in Bermuda.

Shelli: Wow, that is just crazy that you have to spend so much more!! Have you tried natural butters and oils as an alternative? Just wondering if you tried oil/butter mixes and they didn’t work or just haven’t gone that route.
I’ve tried 100% jojoba oil and 100% coconut oil. Between the two oils, neither one of them absorbs into my hair, but the coconut oil gives my hair a wonderful glossy sheen. I think I have a heavy hand in applying the oil in my hair as I always have to put a towel on my pillow at night, because the oils always soak through my head scarf or bonnet for the first two days. From my observation, I guess I shouldn’t be using the oils alone as if they are styling products to obtain curl definition … duh! LOL! But I certainly need to look for ways to stretch the Curls Whipped Cream. I’ve just started trying the “Kimmaytube leave-in conditioner” under the Curls Whipped Cream … that result … was not bad at all. My twist-out hair did not stay elongated, it went into a curly afro, but my hair stayed soft and moisturized.

For the Kimmaytube leave-in I use KC Knot Today, fresh aloe leaf which grows wild in some parts of Bermuda (and it is a lot of work to scrape the slime from the inner leaf part … the inner fillet part does not dissolve and the pieces look like gel balls in your hair that you have to pick them out!), 2 tsp Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa serum (I must check the Caribbean Market to see if they sell the Jamaican Black Castor Oil) and 2 tsp jojoba oil.

In regard to henna, I wouldn’t be surprised if I am the only natural who has used BAQ henna in Bermuda, but I might have company soon, as I have a cousin who’s hair is natural wants to try it.

Cutting/Trimming and Salons

I trim my own hair on the beneficial days as per the “lunar hair cutting calendar.” I have not had any success with hairdressers here in Bermuda. One female hairdresser (whose hair is chemically texturized), trimmed my hair in 4 large sectioned chunks … girl I am not lying … and then charged me $85 and insisted that I should get my hair chemically texturized!!! After this, I vowed never to set foot in that particular salon again.

Most recently, in Aug 2011 when I got my grays colored, the hair dresser’s assistant tried to untangle my hair in its dry state before washing it … girl, I thought to myself that she’s a little stupid. These hairdressers really don’t know anything about caring for natural hair.

So, I am now a DIYer when it comes to maintaining my hair as I am determined to grow my natural hair long. I like my God-given natural hair and have taken on the challenge in mastering the ultimate care of my hair, with a limited choice of hair products suitable for kinky hair which can be purchased locally. I used relaxers in my hair for 24 years and always wore my hair long, just at the lower part of my shoulder blade.

My Regimen

At present, I co-wash my hair once a week, try to deep-condition every two weeks and clarify shampoo and henna once a month. I am not so creative with my hair … just do two strand wet twists and then twist-outs when dried; every now and then I will do bantu-knot twist outs.

I have been using the Curls line for nearly 2 years and just last month, I began trying out the Qhemet Biologics line. I am not fussy about Qhemet. I prefer the Curls overall.

Shelli: Anything else that you’d like to add?
I like the idea of your site containing global hair perspective! I’ve heard of a group on FB called Thirsty Curlz, which was started for Bermudian naturals. I don’t use Facebook, so I haven’t seen it for myself. LOL … you must be saying who doesn’t have Facebook in this day in age :-)! If you are able to join, you can probably obtain more information on a variety of Bermudian experiences with natural hair.

Naturals Around the World

Standard

Natural in …

Last month, I re-blogged a post that blew up everywhere! It was written by Chy’s Curlz and  it was about the African vs. African-American Natural Hair Practices. I re-blogged it, then CurlyNikki and finally BGLH and a firestorm of comments ensued! It became one of the 10 most viewed posts on BGLH of 2011!!! Anyway, after reading the post on my site, a Facebook friend prompted me to really think about the international community of Black/Brown women who have their own hair journeys and experiences. She was especially excited about the opportunity we have, in this age of the internet, to share information around the globe.

So, I began developing this idea about how Hairscapades could become a platform for  those in the international community who are contemplating going natural, transitioning or are already fully natural. I thought about how I could make this a space where everyone can share their stories, their challenges and their successes and also provide this from the perspective of their cultural experience. I figured these insights might help broaden all of our understanding, as well as serve as inspiration for those within and without the storyteller’s corner of the world. Finally, I contemplated how I could develop Hairscapades into a resource for information that isn’t limited to the United States of America.

It’s a work in progress, but I have a few questions now because of a few great ladies who have already submitted their “free-form” stories (those will be posted in the upcoming weeks). I’m still putting together other ideas, but this is what I’ve come up with so far!

Naturals Around the World HairStory Questions

Who are you and from where do you hail?

What do you like most about your homeland (attach a picture or two that give a feel for your city and/or country /show a favorite place)?

What is the hair norm for Black/Brown women where you live? If natural hair is not the norm, is it becoming more prevalent?

What was your hair like during your childhood and teen years? How did you feel about it? How was it perceived by others?

If you relaxed your hair at some point, why did you (or your guardian) make that decision? When and how long were you relaxed before you decided to go natural?

What prompted your decision to go natural?

Did you transition or big chop or are you currently transitioning?

What has your natural hair journey been like? How has your decision been received by family, friends and people in general?

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?

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? 

Are there salons that cater to natural hair where you live? Are stylists trained in handling natural hair? Do you go to a salon? (If you’d recommend it, provide contact info, including stylists name.) 

What do you enjoy and/or love about being/going natural? Has the journey taught you anything about yourself?

Do you have a Hair Crush?

Who do you follow online?

Anything else that you’d like to share?

OPTIONAL: Provide your story in your country’s national language!

So, that’s it. I’m open to other suggestions though and would love to hear your thoughts on other questions that you’d like answered or those you think that I can eliminate!

Ultimately, my goal is to present diverse perspectives on Hairscapades. So, if you have a story that you’d like to share, please e-mail it to me at hairscapades@gmail.com, with 4-6 pictures of your hair and a pic or two of your city/region/country, with the subject, ”Around the World.”

And stay tuned tomorrow for our first “official” Naturals Around the World HairStory, “Claudine: Natural in Bermuda!”