Q. Where are you from and how is the natural scene there?
A. I’m originally from Oklahoma, but I am currently living in Texas. I have been noticing more naturals lately, but in both states women mostly wear weaves and relaxers.
Q. Did you transition to natural hair? If so, what were your experiences?
A. I started my transition in November 2005 and I did the big chop in April 2006. I originally planned on doing the big chop on July 4, 2006, but the struggle between my natural and relaxed hair was unbearable – so I made a quick decision to make the cut! It was an adjustment, since when I first became natural, I only had one inch of hair on my head!
Q. Did you have any support?
A. Unfortunately, I received a lot of negative feedback from my family, mostly because no one understood the concept of “going natural”. My reasons for wanting to be natural centered on accepting the African features God blessed me with. We have been conditioned to believe our features aren’t desirable, therefore I don’t think many are ready to let that go. Fast forward three years later, everyone in my family adores my hair.
Q. In your opinion, what has been some of the best things about having natural hair?
A. I love having the confidence to style my own hair. Also learning that my hair texture is not a curse, has been truly a learning experience.
Q. How do you maintain your hair?
A. I usually wash my hair once or twice per week. At night I detangle my hair and put two braids to keep my extremely curly hair from getting tangled. I find that Anita Grant’s Rhassoul Deep Conditioner Cubes are amazing, so that is my main deep conditioner. Lastly I use various products from Carol’s Daughter and other items at the health food store to keep my hair looking nice.
Q. What advice would you give someone who was thinking of going natural?
A. Make sure you think it over – do your research and make sure you’re ready. Whatever your reason (money, political, cultural), it is a major change, especially if you have worn relaxers for some time. Stick with natural products as much as you can. Be creative – you don’t have to purchase hair products. If money is tight, make them yourself at home! Lastly, be PATIENT as it will take time to get to know your hair.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. “Bad” hair isn’t about texture. The best way I like to summarize bad hair is it should be recognized as hair, that hasn’t been taken care of, regardless of texture. Simply put…be nice to your hair, and it’ll be nice to you.