Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I’m originally from California, but I relocated to Memphisn TN three years ago. There is not much of a natural scene here in Memphis. However, there are more and sisters here becoming natural, but it’s slow process.
How long did you transition and how long have you been natural?
I transitioned for maybe a month. I will be natural two years on July 26.
How you feel about your natural hair in the beginning?
The best word to describe how I felt about my natural hair is – freedom. I felt free after chopping off my relaxer.
I was so excited about my new found freedom and confidence that I almost immediately started a website to document my natural journey.
How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
I was shocked at the amount of support that I received. In fact, my mom went natural one month after I did and all three of my younger sisters are also natural now. My hubby is totally in love with my natural hair. In the beginning, he couldn’t keep his hands out of it. Having such a supportive family makes it that much easier to face the world with natural hair.
Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
I’ve always hated beauty salons. I feel so happy now that I do not have to deal with hair appointments and stuff, but that is only a minor difference. The big difference comes from the amount of confidence that I’ve gained. I cannot even describe how I feel about myself now that I am natural. Being natural has also encouraged me to pursue different things related to being natural.
Like I mentioned before, I started a website soon after going natural because I wanted to inspire other women to go natural. I also started a natural hair comic strip called Val & Nadine. In May I released a 200 page collection of my Val & Nadine comic strips.
What has been the best thing about being natural?
To me the best thing about going natural is the fact that I have now learned how to do my own hair. When my hair was relaxed, I did not know how to do anything with it. Now I can braid, twist, trim and wash my own hair. I guess this is partly where the new found freedom comes in. I am no longer dependant on anyone else to do my hair (except maybe when I want cornrows – I’m still learning!!)
How do you take care of and maintain your hair?
First off, I’m a big fan of protective styling. Not only because it lessens the amount of stress that the hair goes through, but also because it allows me to go weeks at a time without messing with my hair (freedom once again!).
I also deep condition my once a month, use conditioner to wash my hair, keep it trimmed, tie it down at night and make sure that it stays moisturized.
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 cut down tremendously on the amount of products that I use in my hair. If I was stranded on a deserted island, the only things I think I would need is distilled water mixed with oil, conditioner to keep my hair clean and a scarf to tie it down at night (LOL).
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
I’m like NIKE on this one. My advice is “just do it!” As far as dealing with negativity related to natural hair, I would tell people to let the negativity bounce right off. There is no way to please everybody all the time, so I feel that pleasing yourself is the most important thing in the world. If you have love for your natural hair, then it will radiate around you and make it harder for others to be negative about your hair. Oh and one more piece of advice: always walk with your head up like you’re the Next Top Model!
Any Last Words?
I just want to say that this website has been a tremendous inspiration to me and had a large influence on my decision to go natural. I hope that if nothing else, something that I say or do will be as inspirational to other ladies out there. God bless!