MG Spotlight – Cassandra

.....Category: MG Spotlights
MG Spotlight – Cassandra


Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I am in Smyrna, GA, which is right outside of Atlanta. The natural hair scene here is pretty good. Atlanta is one of those Chocolate Cities, LOL. There is a culture here of really caring about your appearance. On one end of the spectrum there are women who prefer to relax or add weaves to their heads, and then on the other end the natural movement. I feel very comfortable with my natural hair here. I even joined the Meet Up group on Meetup.com for women in Atlanta with natural hair.

How long did you transition and how long have you been natural?
I went natural at the end of October 2003. Before the end of that I really didn’t have a transition, per se. At first, I had a short, relaxed cut (think Halle Berry back in the day). Then I decided to go to a texturizer and cut all the perm out for the texturized curly look. My hair was really short and I kept it that way. Probably no longer than an inch.

After a while I got tired of going back for the texturizers and figured, I bet I can get my hair to be curly on it’s own. My hairdresser cut out the last of the texturizer in October 2003 and I’ve been on this journey ever since!

How you feel about your natural hair in the beginning?
In the beginning I knew NOTHING! I just wore it in a short Afro. I didn’t know a lot about products and ingredients. I had no idea what I was doing with my hair or what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wasn’t going to relax. I liked it, others wanted to know what the heck I was doing, and if I was going to loc it. I had been wearing “short” hair since 2000, so I never had an issues about missing the length of my hair. I will say, that I started to get discouraged until I found Motowngirl!!!

How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?

I don’t know that I went looking for any support, LOL! It was already short with the texturizer. I was always doing something with my hair so when I cut it off it wasn’t really a shock to my family.

Back in 2002, when I had the texturizer, I sent some pictures to my mom and she wasn’t worried about my hair, she was focused on the weight I had gained, LOL My brother has locs – they are GORGEOUS but I don’t have the patience. My sisters both have their relaxers, and they don’t feel that they could go natural, but they support me. I even convinced my sister not to relax my niece’s hair so early. :-)

Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
I don’t know that I went looking for any support, LOL! It was already short with the texturizer. I was always doing something with my hair so when I cut it off it wasn’t really a shock to my family.

Back in 2002, when I had the texturizer, I sent some pictures to my mom and she wasn’t worried about my hair, she was focused on the weight I had gained, LOL My brother has locs – they are GORGEOUS but I don’t have the patience. My sisters both have their relaxers, and they don’t feel that they could go natural, but they support me. I even convinced my sister not to relax my niece’s hair so early. :-)

What has been the best thing about being natural?
So many things! Learning about hair, and the fact that “hair is hair” in it’s natural state – some is just more straight than others. I love learning about different products and I am a PJ, I will admit it. I love that when it rains I can just transition to a different style.

Last summer I went to an India.Arie concert in Atlanta with my hair in a huge ‘Fro. It started pouring rain – but after I while I said forget the umbrella. It just became a smaller ‘Fro. Had I known it was going to rain, I would have brought my sock headband and made it a puff. With a relaxer, I didn’t have that flexibility.

How do you take care of and maintain your hair?
Now that it’s longer, I have let the wash & go styles go. I wash once a week with castille soap, or Jessicurl Cleaning Cream. I deep condition with Elasta DPR-11 and some olive oil, OR Jessicurl’s Weekly Deep Conditioning treatment. My main style during the week is twists/twist-outs. Every now and then I’ll wear a big fro.

On special occasions and when it’s in the budget, I go visit Tar’Ra at Bellogique Salon in Atlanta and let her do something different. She’s done a rod set, a flat twist twist-out, and coils for me so far. I try to trim every 8 – 10 weeks. When it was shorter I was trimming on my own, but now I prefer to let someone else do it. I also prefer to have my hair straight when I trim. My scalp needs some more attention, so I ordered Ms. Inky’s scalp butter and am anxious to add that to my regimen.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and had to choose 3 things for your hair, what are three things you would have to have for your hair and why?
Good question! I’d have to have my Asha’s Mane Attraction – I love using it on twists/twist-outs. My castille soap (I like the almond scent), and my wide toothed comb.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
Do it for YOURSELF, not anybody else. For some people it’s cultural, for me it was to stop further damage to my hair. But whatever the reason is, let it be yours. Also, before you start on the journey, do your research.

I wish that I had found MotownGirl.com earlier in my journey because it opened me up to so much information. It led me to Nappturality and all the gals over on Fotki. Come to grips with the fact that you can’t treat your natural hair like you treated your relaxed hair; this might mean a change in products and styling solutions, but it’s all for the best.

Also, realize that you don’t only have to just buy products that are marketed to the Black community. I remember telling someone that I used Suave conditioners for conditioner washing and she said, “isn’t that for white girls?” I said, “no, it’s for hair.” You’d be surprised at some of the products that may work for you.

Finally, really take the time to learn about the texture of your hair. Is it coily or curly? I spent a lot of time in the beginning looking for that Holy Grail product to make my hair look “curly”. I finally realized that I don’t have curls, I have coils – and I adjusted my products and styling accordingly. Your hair is what it is, so, as my good friend Ron would say, “‘cept it and move on.” :-)

Any Last Words?
I’m so happy that I went natural. I love trying new things and watching my hair grow healthy! I want to thank all the girls who have albums over on Fotki.com – for their inspiration and for their support!


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