MG Spotlight – Dee

.....Category: MG Spotlights
MG Spotlight – Dee


Kendrea

Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I’m from Savannah, GA, but currently living in Fairfax, VA. When I went natural, I was living in Platte City, MO – a little town outside of Kansas City. In Platte City, there wasn’t a natural scene. I had to drive to KC to have my hair braided on the rare occasions I had it professionally done. My little afro was shocking to a lot of people, I’m sure. In Virginia, there are a lot more naturals around – which is refreshing. I don’t get the looks and questions because I think people here are used to seeing natural hair.

Did you transition to natural hair? If so, how were your experiences?
I had my last relaxer in August of 2005 and I knew that would be my last. I planned it so my last relaxer would coincide with a vacation we were taking at the end of August and with my 30th birthday in September. I transitioned until February 24, 2006 (6 months). I had planned to go a year before cutting off the remainder of the relaxed ends, but I got frustrated with the different textures and took the plunge.

In the beginning, to be perfectly honest, I hated it. I am the girl who had the same shoulder length bob for 15 years and overnight, I went from a shoulder length bob to about 2 inches of teeny weeny afro. It was certainly a shock to my system. In February in Missouri, it’s COLD. I remember leaving the salon thinking I had made a mistake because my neck was cold. :-) Of all things, that’s what I was worried about….a cold neck. I think it took me close to a year to look in the mirror and be 100% comfortable with what I saw. 15 years is a long time to grow accustomed to a look and a 6 month transition didn’t really prepare me for what it would take to maintain natural hair when I was used to a certain system of maintaining my hair for so many years.

Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
There was certainly an adjustment period. ‘Doing’ my hair took longer because I didn’t know what I was doing. I had my relaxed hair wash days down to a science. Wash, condition, dry and comb in T minus 2 hours. My natural hair required more of a time commitment because I had NO idea what products worked for me or anything. Now that my hair is longer, the most significant difference is the length of time it takes to braid my hair when I want it twisted. I have to plan an entire day to wash and style my hair. But, the good news is, I don’t have to wash my hair as often as I did when I was relaxed as long as I keep my scalp clean. And, now that I live in Virginia, on weeks I don’t want to style my hair, I have found a stylist I trust to help me take care of my hair..

What has been one of the best things about have natural hair in your experience?
The best thing is knowing I’m not damaging my hair beyond repair. I also like to ‘teach’ other women who are curious about my hair and may be considering going natural. I can talk about hair all day if someone is willing to listen.

Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
Definitely! I feel so true to myself. I toyed with the idea of going natural several times but would always get a relaxer at

How do you maintain your hair?
I tend to keep my hair in 2 strand twists that I wear for 2 to 3 weeks, a twist out for several days, wash, condition and repeat. I sometimes use a facial astringent to clean my scalp in between washes and I REALLY try to keep my hair moisturized, but I confess to getting lazy at times. Now that my hair is long enough for buns and updo’s, I love to wear my hair up because I find that less manipulation is better for me. My twists last longer and don’t get as frizzy when I’m not constantly handling my hair.

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?
I have to have:

  • The widest tooth comb available
  • Elasta QP Mango butter
  • My favorite black sparkly headband

What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
While I appreciate the fact that different people go through the process of going natural for different reasons, it’s alright to not feel like going natural is a ‘spiritual’ experience. I went natural for purely practical reasons….I didn’t want to be bald by the time I was 40 years old and that’s the direction I was going with my hair thinning at an alarming rate. Falling in love with being natural may not come immediately….but it will come if you are patient enough to wait. Do the research, experiment with products and don’t expect natural hair to be ‘easier’ because it might not be. My hair takes just as much (if not more) effort now than it did when I was relaxed, but the trade-off is a HEALTHY head of bushy hair that’s not thinning out and I will have forever!

Do you have any last comments?
I only used 2 websites for tips on being natural. I found MotownGirl VERY early in my transition. The product reviews were – and still are – invaluable. I also used nappurality.com for links to photo albums of other naturals. In the beginning, I needed to know I wasn’t alone and to get style ideas.

Kendrea


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