Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I am from Detroit, MI. Sometimes referred to as the hair capital of the world . The natural scene is starting to catch on here, but still the minority except for in some social circles. I think it’s being embraced more by men with the dreads. Detroit women are heavy in the weaves, ponytails and wrap hairstyles.
How long did you transition and how long have you been natural?
My main decision to go natural was largely due to me shopping around for hair stylists after splitting from my long term stylist. I kept noticing that each time I went my chin length hair was getting shorter and shorter. And for some reason or another each time I went to get my hair done someone was breaking the scissors out.
Here in Detroit so many people rock weaves that some of the newer stylists don’t know how to properly care for hair. I started to do my own hair, like I use to back in high school when I didn’t have money and a choice. That eventually led to me just not getting a relaxer for quite sometime.
How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
I’ve received lots of support from my family. My grandmother, aunt and mother all have natural hair and don’t relax. My cousin also had just gone through the big chop for her wedding and her hair looked amazing.
We began to trade stories and hair care tips with each other, and the differences in our hair since I opted to just grow mine out.
How you feel about your natural hair?
I really enjoy the versatility of my hair. I can wear it curly or straight and save lots of money from frequent salon trips. I only go every so often and about once a year for coloring. I use to be nervous about stares I would get, but now I get a lot of compliments on my hair texture. I’m amazed at my natural hair texture and never knew my hair was even curly. Now when look back on childhood photos, I long for the length I had then when I was all natural.
My hair is in excellent condition and has grown a lot. I can go to the gym or swim or do any activity without having to worry about messing my hair up.
How do you take care of and maintain your hair?
During the summer months I wet my hair just about everyday! Yes wet! I condition it 3-4 times a week and don’t wash it that much unless I have used a lot of products. My usual hairstyle is the one ponytail puff, but now it has grown too long for a puff. I’ve tried the two strand twist style and wear it down in an afro or my favorite pulled to the side.
During this fall and winter, I’ve straightened it about once or twice a month and left it alone except for if I’m going out , then I’ll curl it. If I’m at home you will usually see me with two big braids. I use and have used Miss Jessies Curly pudding and Buttercreme, Matrix Biolage, moisturizing conditioners, and the brown protein gel for control. Since I don’t have to spend money on salon visits, I’ve experimented with more expensive and salon brand products. I recently tried a hot oil treatment using olive oil, that worked great!
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 would choose water, conditioner, and styling gel. Water for it’s moisture, the best thing for natural hair. Conditioner for nutrients and detangling. Gel for a quick hairstyle.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
To do the research, and learn the pros and cons. Also to be really comfortable with your self and who you are. Don’t pay attention to stereotypes of what society says beauty is and that natural hair is just nappy and unmanageable. Love yourself and how God has made you. Be a trendsetter not follower, believe me your confidence and healthy hair will rub off on others.