Q. Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
A. I am from Richmond, Virginia and I have noticed a lot of naturals, mainly on the college campuses. Also, if someone attends various cultural festivals, you are bound to see many beautiful natural heads in the crowd!
Q. Did you transition to natural hair? If so, what were your experiences?
A. I have been natural since September of 2006. I did transition to natural hair and it lasted for about six months. For the first couple of months, managing two textures was not that bad. I wore braids for about one month, and the rest of the time I wore rollers curls.
However, around the fifth month, the two textures started to get a little overwhelming. So on September 26, 2006, I got my mother to cut all my relaxed hair off for me. It was definitely a liberating experience!
A. To be honest, I did not receive that much support initially. I found people were very negative about natural hair. They thought that it would not look right on me, and they only had stereotypical images in their head of unkempt, unhealthy, natural hair.
After they saw all of the styles that I could create with my new look, combined with how healthy how healthy my hair is, others began to take notice and have more positive feelings towards natural hair in general.
Q. In your opinion, what has been some of the best things about having natural hair?
A. Some of the positive things about being natural is all of the wonderful people I get to chat with online on various hair boards and hair albums such as the ones that are on Fotki.
When I first decided to go natural, I did not know just how hard it would be to go against the norms of society. But through the support of others, including MotownGirl.com, I was able to break free of all of the negativity of society and wear my hair the way that God intended me to.
A. I try to keep my routine as simple as possible. I try to wear my hair in protective styles such as braids, twists, flat twists, and other styles about 3 weeks out of the month, and wear “out” styles such as twist outs, braid outs, and puffs and afros for about one week. This helps to reduce the single strand knots I have on my hair, and also cuts down on the amount of time I spend on my hair throughout the week.
I only use shampoo on my hair once a month, and I conditioner wash my hair about every 2 to 3 weeks. Overall, I have learned that less is better when it comes to natural hair. The less manipulation done to my hair, the healthier my hair is.
Some of my favorite hair products are World of Curls Comb Out Spray, World of Curls Curl Activator Gel, water, and Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel. I have never used heat on my hair since I first big chopped in September 2006.
Q. What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
A. If you are thinking about going natural, keep it to yourself. Although you may be thrilled about it, or may even seek approval from the people around you, I would suggest that you do not do this at first. The reason why is that a lot of times, you will receive a lot of negative opinions about natural hair because of the way society views natural hair.
Instead, you should go online and research about natural hair and how to care for your hair, how to transition, and just absorb as much information as you can. Browse hair albums, join hair forums, view YouTube hair tutorials. In the beginning, all of the information will be very overwhelming! Believe me, I know! But soon, you will be a pro at natural hair!
Also understand that everyone starts from somewhere. Having a big beautiful afro takes times and nourishment. You won’t have a Pam Grier fro three months after your last relaxer, but with time and patience, you will get there!
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. I love my natural hair and I wouldn’t have it any other way!