Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I’m from New York and there are gorgeous naturals everywhere!!
Did you transition to natural hair? If so, how was your experiences?
Well, I grew out my relaxer in 2001, but was a slave to my flat iron because I didn’t know what else to do with my hair. Of course after I stopped that I had tons of healthy growth, but these really shoddy ends. So actually, August 26, 2008, I chopped them off myself and I love it!
Did you have any support during your transition?
Well, in the beginning my mother said in the most polite terms that she thought it looked nicer straight. My fiance echoed the same sentiments. Some loved it, some hated it, some swore up and down I HAD to have a weave (my hair looked like a lion’s mane, no joke it was that big.) Now they are both supportive of my natural hair, and Poppa (that’s my fiance lol) even sends friends my way for hair advice.
Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
For one, my hair doesn’t have that horrid burnt smell it used to have.
It’s a shame, but for the longest I thought it was natural that my hair smelled burned. I know better now! But wearing my hair natural has become a new education of sorts for me. You really learn about the chemicals that are in a lot of things geared towards African-American women, or heck anyone in general. I read labels on EVERYTHING, whether it’s food for my hair or my body.
What has been one of the best things about have natural hair in your experience?
Meeting lots of lovely ladies on the Nappturality board, I actually made quite a few great friends! Lots of people are also prone to asking me questions about the products I use, how I style my hair, what should they use on their child’s hair, and it’s great!
I’m also amazed at the multitude of looks I can achieve with my hair now that it’s natural. I was able to do my first fro~ish look recently, and I was happy as a pig in mud.
How do you maintain your hair?
I won’t lie, I am a self-proclaimed product junkie. My nickname is “Head Product Pusha” on NP, and “National Ambassador for the PJ Society” on Long hair care forum, but I am diligent about conditioning, conditioning, conditioning, and wearing my hair in protective styles. Most of the time my hair is in double strand twists! You don’t realize the stress that your hair encounters on a daily basis, but twists keep damage at bay for me.
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?
Oh sheesh, only three??? Well…if I absolutely have to choose three… Jamaican black castor oil, which is my recent discovery. That oil is the BEST lifesaver for my hair in this frigid NY weather, and you can also use it for your body, internally as well. Karen’s Body Beautiful hair milk (preferably egyptian musk) because it is THE best darn moisturizer and detangler in one.
Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream. One, because I love the scent of castor oil (is that weird?), two, because it is an SUPER thick moisturizer and you cannot go wrong with it, three cause it’s chock full of ayurvedic ingredients which I LOVE! It feels sooo nice on your scalp!
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
Stick with it!! Everyone is going to have an opinion on your hair, be it good or bad. Smile and say thank you at the good ones, and ignore the bad. At the end of the day you are making the best choice for yourself and that’s what counts.
Also, have fun! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles (or products, you know I had to put that in there). And no matter what anyone tells you, natural hair is NOT hard to deal with. I promise you. Other: A BIG THANK YOU to allll of the ladies that have supported me throughout this entire process. I know I wouldn’t have come this far without you, and you know who you are! I’m also happy to help anyone that wants advice, so feel free to hit me up!