How long have you been natural?
I started my transition February 2004. I transitioned for 4 months before making a decision to do the big chop. I have been completely natural since June 17, 2004. January 17, 2006 will be a year and 7 months of being completely free.
What was the factor(s) that made you stop relaxing your hair?
My previous place of employment was very stressful. I left that job for a new job in March 2004. February 2004 I noticed that my hair in the center of my head had completely broken off, due to stress, so I made a decision to stop relaxing for a while. I didn’t want to do anything to my hair except for wearing it in a ponytail. At that time, I didn’t know what to do with my hair.
Around the month of April, I went to Red Lobster with my best friend and saw a female with natural hair. Her hair was really cute. I don’t know why but until that point, I never really noticed or I guess cared to notice natural hair. I stopped by her table to ask her who did her hair. She told me that her hair was natural. Out of curiosity, I wondered what my hair would look like in it’s natural state and if I could in fact pull an afro puff off, so I decided that I would not relax my hair and that’s where I started my search for information on natural hair care.
How do you maintain and take care of your hair?
When I did my first chop, my hair routine was so different, because I was learning what products worked and which ones didn’t, but now I have a completely different hair routine. First let me say that I do not visit salons. That was one of the coolest factors for going natural. I do not miss having to miss half a Saturday just to get my hair done.
My favorite style is my curly puff, because it’s so easy to do and I notice that I don’t keep my hands in my hair as often when I’m wearing the puff. Eventually when I get more length, I would love to try a roller set, to see how that turns out.
As far as the product list goes, I absolutely love my unrefined shea butter and monoi oil (scented coconut oil). I also love my black soap (that I use to wash my hair and face) and my castor oil that I use for treatments. I honestly haven’t found the bomb conditioner yet, so until then, I’ve been using Suave conditioners like the Humectant, Biolage, and the Awapuhi. I don’t use the Milk & Honey or Coconut Conditioner anymore because my monoi oil takes care of that. I’ve started using Pantene Hydrating Curls Conditioner and so far it’s been a great product.
Where have you received the most support for going natural?
My biggest support came from my sister. She was so supportive of me going natural, even though she wasn’t natural. My biggest inspiration was absolutely hands down motowngirl.com. When I decided to go natural, I had no idea what to do. I joined one yahoo group and someone mentioned the link the same day I joined so I went to check out that site, motowngirl.com. I learned all I needed to know to get started with motowngirl.com. I can’t recommend any good books or magazines. I hate to sound so shallow but if anybody asks, all I can tell then is motowngirl.com, and that’s for real.
How did your friends/family/co-workers react to your natural hair initially?
Everyone was shocked that I had actually gone through with cutting my hair, because it was SO short. But no one had anything negative to say. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually inspired a lot of other females to go natural, which makes me extremely happy. My mother had a leisure curl and decided to go natural. You’d think she still had a leisure curl.
What made you start your hair web site/ hair journal and how long have had it?
At first, I did it only because I noticed a lot of other people with hair sites and photos. I thought it would be interesting as well to track my hair growth progress too. So I first opened up a fotki account. I later closed fotki and opened a picturetrail account. I’ve had my account since October 2004. Here is my hair journal site. I’m in the process of opening up a freewebs account so I can share my own experiences in words with other transitioners or naturals looking for advice and counsel.
Would you like to share any advice for newbies?
My first advice would be to KEEP THOSE ENDS WELL TAKEN CARE OF. I cannot stress that enough. I NOW clip my ends at least every 2 – 3 months. It is a must! Keep the hair moisturized really well. I know it may be hard to keep the hand out of the head (HIHD—Hand In Hair Disease), but you must. Some women may find that the first year, the hair seems to grow pretty slowly. Be patient and know that all good things comes to those who are patient. The second year will be a blast. My hair growth this year has been phenomenon.
Any final thoughts?
I would most definitely like to thank you Motown Girl, for giving me the opportunity to share my hair experience with other natural beauties from all over. Your site has helped me so much with my natural hair journey. You are indeed my natural hair heroine (that’s feminine hero ).
I want my natural hair beauties to know that it is okay to love your hair. Don’t let anyone discourage you. This is what God gave us. I know my God is indeed an awesome God and that He doesn’t create junk. If He thought our hair was ugly, horrid, or unacceptable, He wouldn’t have created it. All things God made, He made lovely. We are lovely women. Please learn to embrace your little curlies. They are a big part of what you are…Something Special.
Check out Howxcellent’s hair journal!