MG Spotlight – Risse

.....Category: MG Spotlights
MG Spotlight – Risse


Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia but I’m Active Duty Military. I have lived abroad and have just returned from Iraq. The natural scene in Atlanta is growing. There is a lot of freedom there but the standard of beauty is the weave cut into a hairstyle similar to singer Rihanna’s.

Across the military I have come across many women who are trying to find the courage to go natural. It is frowned upon in the military community and is often seen as unkempt. Can you believe it? In 2008 we are still fighting to be seen as “acceptable” with something as genetic as our God given hair. Times may change but some things remain the same.


How long did you transition and how long have you been natural?
I have been natural and holding on to my TWA for ten years. I often refer to myself as the “Ten Year BC”. My natural received many compliments when it was low-cut but now that it has grown a little I am beginning to get the side comments and stares. My TWA was a way for me to be natural and conform to the military at the same time.

After fighting for our freedom…I am going to exercise my freedom to be me. No apologies.

How you feel about your natural hair in the beginning?
I loved that it kinked and curled. I loved that it was unique and admired. Keeping it low was my way of controlling my hair. This journey for me is a very humbling and spiritual one.

How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
I received more support from myself than anyone else. Although people liked my hair they were not sure that it would be attractive past a certain point. Now that I am married my husband is my biggest supporter. It’s amazing how much we say we don’t but we do care what others think of us. I have made a decision to let go.

What has been one of the best things about have natural hair in your experience?
The best thing about being natural is that I can sweat, swim, and take showers with DH. I love that my hair is always fresh, smells good, and can be done by me. I also love that people often wonder how I get my hair the way it is as if there is a secret.

Has there been any differences in your life from going natural?
When people tell me that I’m beautiful..I know that they are looking at the real me. Not because I have straight hair today and a blonde wig tomorrow. A beauty like ours cannot be imitated and no two naturals are the same.

How do you maintain your hair?
I am only five months into my grow-out. I co-wash daily, add Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk as a leave in, use Redken’s Rewind Styling Paste around the edges, and I’m off.

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?
Conditioner, Water of course, and my Redken Rewind Styling Paste. Conditioner keeps my hair clean and soft, the Hair Milk serves as a protectant from the elements, and the Styling Paste to give me a ‘lil flava.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
Just do it! Don’t feel ashamed nor apologize for being YOU. Look for women that are natural to encourage you.

Any final words?
Thank you soo much Ms. MotownGirl. I feel like I have a home here. On days when I felt like I wasn’t beautiful…your site was an inspiration.


Visit Risse’s hair journal!

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