Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I am from Buffalo NY, the natural scene is scarce. However, you know what they say, when you’re natural, you see more and more naturals. I think people are coming around!
How long did you transition and how long have you been natural?
My transition lasted for five months and have been natural for fifteen months now!
How you feel about your natural hair in the beginning?
I had doubts. I had to transition my mind first. It was the most revealing thing I could have done to become one within myself. I had to get rid of thoughts like “good hair vs. bad hair”, in reading and getting in touch with myself, I learned, there is no such thing, hair is hair and all of it is good!
How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
My mother had sister locs, so no issues there, my husband was a great supporter and friends were just “waiting to see this”.
Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
I have become more confident, educated, and get this, learned that I too was racist. Yes, black people looking at others who are natural saying things like “Oh, she know she needs a perm” are racist. Well, I can honestly say that at one time, I used to think this way, boy was I wrong about a lot of things!!!
What has been the best thing about being natural?
I wash and condition my hair once a week myself, however, I go to the salon every four weeks for a treatment and every eight weeks for a trim (shout out to Sittin Pretty Salon). I use all organic products and just let my hair do its own thing!
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?
Distilled water, clear gel, goody ouchless band. Distilled water is clean and my hair loves it, clear gel is the best gel for the hair and does not coat the shaft as dark gels do. Lastly, an ouchless band is essential for some sort of style (gotta look good even stranded on an island!)
What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
Here is my two cents worth of advice:
1. First and foremost educate yourself (go on the internet, read some books and magazine articles, talk to someone with natural hair – There is a lot more information out there now than there was even a few years ago when I went natural).
2. Make sure that you are realistic about your true hair texture. Find a baby picture or something and see what you are going to have to deal with. Some people tend to think that they are going to have the same experience that some cancer patients have after growing their hair back after chemotherapy. They think it will grow back in a different texture. I have yet to see someone who went natural who ended up with a different texture than the one they were born with. I could be wrong….
3. Embrace your natural self and always walk with your head up! Be confident even on those bad hair days (yes you will have them) when you aren’t even sure what is going on with your head. If you look like you did it on purpose, no one will question you.
4. Make the decision for yourself. Don’t do it because your friend did it or because there is a cute, afrocentric guy at the spoken word spot that you want to get next to, but he is only interested in natural women. Going natural can be a very emotional experience and if you didn’t make the decision for the right reasons you may not be ready to deal with all those emotions. If you have been programmed for a long time to see nappy as the opposite of beautiful you will have those love-hate moments with your hair.
5. Getting back to being realistic (#2) don’t try to do everything to your hair that everyone else does to theirs and get frustrated when it doesn’t look right. Natural hair is so diverse and your texture may not allow for the same styles that other people can do.
6. Be patient!! It will grow, you will get better at styling it, you will find the right products…it just takes some time and some experimenting! If you are truly committed to going natural you will soon learn why people call it a journey.
Any final words?
I’d like to thank MotownGirl – one of the first sites I surfed was yours and you helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’d like to thank all of the ladies on Fotki who posted pictures of themselves for people like me to see as inspiration! God Bless.