Q. Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
A. I currently reside in Bloomington, Illinois. From what I have noticed the natural scene here is fairly new. On a more encouraging note, I’ve seen more naturals popping up over the last year.
Q. Did you transition to natural hair? If so, what were your experiences?
A. I didn’t transition to natural hair, as I already had a short haircut. So I simply decided to chop the rest off to about an inch — my last relaxer was in December of 2004. I have to admit I was kind of self-concious about the shortness my hair in the beginning. The most rewarding part of my experience was when my natural texture came through and it began to grow, I really fell in love with my hair.
Q. Did you have any support?
A. The people around me didn’t have an issue with me going natural, since I was always doing something different with my hair. When I first went natural, I had started dating a guy and he loved it – it was nice having that support.
Q. Has there been any differences in your life after going natural?
A. I feel different because I realize I stand out. Going natural has meant not being afraid to be different. It’s also inspired others around me to want to go natural, along with being a great conversation starter!
Q. In your opinion, what has been some of the best things about having natural hair?
A. Not going to the beauty salon has been great, and seeing growth that I have not seen since I was a child. I also love the versatility of styles I can create with my hair.
Q. If you were stranded on a deserted island and had to choose three items for your hair, what are three things you would have to have for your hair and why?
A. Water, castor oil and a scrunchie to hold my hair back would be my three choices.
Q. How do you maintain your hair?
A. Now that its longer I leave it alone a lot more than before when I had relaxed hair. Basically I detangle with a deep conditioner twice a month and use shea butter for moisture, coconut oil to seal my hair, and gel for styling.
Q. What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
A. Embrace your hair journey and do it for yourself – not for anyone else. Don’t be afraid to be different! Enjoy your hair stages and the locks you were born with.