How long have you been natural and how was your transition?
I have been natural since May 4,1994 and I didn’t transition – I went cold turkey – the BIG chop! I started from “scratch”. My hair was falling out from over-processing and I had been contemplating going natural for a few months prior to that. I felt like I didn’t know what my hair looked like because it had been relaxed most of my life. My hair was a part of me I didn’t know. So I wanted to see it!
How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
I received a little support from my close friends. My mom thought I’d lost my mind! (smile) In time she grew to like and accept it. Sites like motowngirl.com and nappyhair.com helped me once I moved into using the internet on a regular basis.
Natural hair sites helped because I got a chance to look at different styles and chat with others who were chemical-free too. I did experience some negativity. I even lost a few friends. I realized that if you didn’t like me because I had a low cut then that was your own insecurity and you weren’t truly a friend to begin with!
When I first went natural I had no clue as to what to do to my hair! I read and “devoured” any and every book on natural hair I could get my hands on! One of the first was: Lonnice Brittenum Bonner’s – Good Hair”. Here are some other favorites:
What is your favorite hairstyle and why?
Two-Strand Twists and my Bushy, Un-Tamed, Festive SUPER ‘FRO!!! Two-Strands because they are so versatile! They are a natural hair staple! You can roll ‘em, plait ‘em, un-twist ‘em!!!
The options are endless! I love my ‘fro because it makes a statement without sayin’ a word!!!
I also love to accessorize with flowers real or fake. It just gives you that extra sumthin’ sumthin’! (smile)
What are your favorite hair care products to use on your hair?
I use Organic Root Stimulator Products on my hair most of the time. They have a Natural Haircare Line that is wonderful! I use their Lock and Twist Gel, Anti-Itch Scalp Oil and Nature’s Shine which is their all natural liquid sheen spray. I also use 100 % Pure Shea Butter. It is excellent for your skin as well.
I also use Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Moisturizer Lotion and Elastic-I-Tea (pronounced elasticity) both are excellent detanglers and moisturizers. Always remember a little of any product goes a long way!
How do you take care of and maintain your hair? I always answer this question by saying “when it’s time to do my hair there’s no one around!” (smile) So, yes, I do my own hair. Every now and then I’ll get someone to do it but 99% of the time I do it myself. I shampoo, deep-condition, detangle and go! Unless I take the time to twist it up. See ..4 for product picks! (smile) As far as products I’d like to try? There are so many out there each promising to do “this or that” I just stick to what I know works. I have a section under my bathroom cabinet with products I used once or twice then I went back to my “old stand-by’s” !
I started as a Natural Hair Stylist/Locktician in 1997. I worked at Soul Scissors Barber Shop until a little over a year ago when I opened the doors of Soul Sister Natural Hair Care.
I have had the dba ‘Soul Sister’ since I worked at Soul Scissors. I came up with the name because at the time when I was trying to decide on a name for my business Cree Summer of “A Different World” fame had a cd out. I was listening to it one day when VOILA’ her song entitled “Soul Sister” came on! I said to myself “that’s it” So Soul Sister was born.
I am very soulful! Like the old folks say “you been here before” (smile). When you hear the word “Soul” you think deeper than the surface,spiritual. When you think of “Sister” you think of closeness, family. You can be anyone’s sister! I started out by accident actually.
I’ve always been good with hair and when I went natural I had no idea what to do with a virgin mane. So since I didn’t know I educated myself (see #2). Upon reading I realized there was a profession called “Natural Hair Care” I realized that I would have to get my Cosmetology License and once I did that I could do whatever I wanted i.e. no chemicals.
I also realized that if I didn’t know what to do with my hair there were probably others in the same predicament. In the beginning I thought I wouldn’t have many clients so I would have to get a part-time job to supplement my income. BOY was I wrong !!! To this day I have never had to get a part-time job ! God has blessed me with a multitude of clients! I haven’t worked for anyone but me for almost 10 years! AMEN to that!
Services offered at Soul Sister Natural Hair Care:
I don’t do any extensions,hair color or press/straightening/thermal styling.
My inspiration was why should I wear someone else’s logo or name across my chest for free! I have my own logo and business to promote! Once people saw me in my “Soul Sister” shirt they wanted one. I now have a “Soul Brother” logo so the Soul Brother’s can represent too! (smile) People love them. I’m all about marketing. I have buttons, key chains, etc. all bearing my logo. I am very pleased with the response I get from my products!
Do you have any advice you would like to share for anyone that is trying to start their own business?
I would say to anyone who has a goal or dream whether it’s opening a salon,going back to school,etc. Put God first in every decision! Pray and ask for exactly what you want!
Keep positive people and positive thoughts abundant in your life. I am blessed to have an extremely supportive family. I have the world’s best husband! My mom helps me by washing my towels (smile) my sister makes beauty supply runs for me, my friends help me with my website and give me advice. It’s truly a family affair at Soul Sister Natural Hair Care! So don’t be afraid to ask for help! I would never be able to do all this by myself!
I also suggest that you keep good records of all expenses and hire a really good CPA. They will quickly become your best friend! Also seek out a financial planner. They can help you set up retirement plans, Mutual Funds, Life and Disability Insurance. It’s always better to be proactive as opposed to reactive.
I also make sure I get away as much as possible and enjoy the fruits of my labor! I just returned from vacation and I am already planning another one I want to enjoy my life to the fullest!
Your “Soul Sister”