Welcome to another edition of Hair's My Natural Beauty - a series of informative/inspiring/insightful Natural Hair interviews showcasing the various textures of natural hair.
This week's Natural Hair beauty is...
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is free-spirited, rebellious, sensitive and more than a little bit goofy, like me. I have fine strands, but I have a lot of hair on this big head of mine. People have told me that it's 3C/4A, but I'm not all the way sure about that system. It's curly in the back and on the sides, my crown is kind of wavy and frizzy and the front is just frizzy - it really doesn't have much definition at all up there.
How long has your been in its natural state?
I've been fully natural for almost 2 years. I transitioned for 3 years prior to that.
What prompted you to "go natural"?
I was going through big changes in my life at the time. Some people call it a "quarter-life crisis" - that time in your mid to late twenties when you start to reevaluate your perspective on life and yourself. I find that as women, we often look to do something different with our hair when we are going through changes. I'd always had long-ish hair, but just like everyone else, I've always struggled with it. My hair and I had this loving/abusive relationship. I decided to grow out my relaxer with the hopes that my natural hair would be thicker, stronger and healthier.
In your opinion, what is the main difference between having
natural hair vs chemically relaxed hair?
For me, the main difference is versatiility. I can do so many different things with my hair now. Even when it's just in a bun, I feel like it "says" more than it did when I was relaxed. Instead of bone straight being the texture for every style I wear, my hair texture is like a chameleon and it's different every time I style it. Sometimes it's wavy, sometimes it's poofy...it could be big curls or little curls. Even when I straighten it, I don't do it bone straight because I want my texture to still shine through. I see many relaxed women with unique, healthy, beautiful hair. But for me, cutting out the relaxers really set my hair free and showed me that I was covering up all this beauty with chemicals. I parallel my natural hair journey to my life because it taught me that the more I show the true "textures" of who I am, the more confident and self-directed I would be.
Are there any particular styles that you favor
when styling your natural hair?
In September 2010, I decided that I want to grow my hair to waist length by December 2011. So, I've been wearing mostly protective styles. My most frequent styles are buns and braid outs styled in various ways. In the summer, I rock a lot of ponytails as well. When I feel the itch, I'll blow my hair out and set it in rollers or pin curls. I've learned that stretched styles work better for me because my hair gets so tangled and knotty. I adore twist outs and wash n gos but I keep them at a minimum for that tangly reason.
Do you accessorize your hair?
I don't accessorize often, but I admire accessories in everyone else's hair! The ones I use most often are headbands and scarves. I've also done the occasional flower behind the ear. When it comes to overall style, I definitely consider my hair to be my best accessory. :)
What hair products work best for your hair?
Answering this question could turn into a post all by itself, so I'll try to keep it brief. I've listed most of my current favorites below. I have my go-to's but I also like to keep a strong bench in case I run out or can't quickly replace something. My hair loves water-based, creamy conditioners and light oils and butters. I prefer shampoos that don't strip my hair too much. Typically, I'll put conditioner or oil in my hair before I shampoo it to help with this.
Curls Creamy Curl Cleanser, SheaMoisture Shea Butter Shampoo
A thick, slippery co-wash conditioner
Aussie Moist, Tresemme Naturals, Herbal Essences Helly Hydration, Pantene Curly Series
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Pantene Curly Hair Deep Treatment
(I typically add EVOO or castor oil to these)
Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In, Infusium Moisturizing Leave-In, Fermodyl 619 for curly hair
Creamy Leave-In Conditioner
Kinky Curly Knot Today, Cantu Shea Butter, Giovanni Direct Leave-in, Deva One Condition, Yes to Cucumbers
Creamy Moisturizers/Styling Creams
Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer, Carol's Daughter Hair Milk, SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade, Bee Mine Hair and Scalp Moisturizer, Homemade shea butter, coconut oil, aloe mix, various other oils
What is your hair regimen?
In the summer I wash every two weeks or so and co-wash in between as needed. In the winter I wash once a month and rarely co-wash. I've done two henna treatments so far (loved it!) and plan to do treatments every other month going forward. Everytime I wash I either pre-poo, deep condition, or oil rinse. I also dust my ends quite often. When I'm twisting or braiding my hair, I always cut off any hair at the end that looks scraggly.
What resources helped you along your natural hair journey?
The first resource I found was CurlyNikki.com and it was a game changer for me. I also used BGLHonline.com and Long Hair Care Forum to find a lot of helpful information and advice. Nowadays, my list of natural hair blogs is crazy long but I continue to learn from the online natural hair community.
Hair's my natural beauty because.......
My hair reminds me that I'm free, I'm complicated, I'm unique and I'm loveable just the way I am. It reminds me that I can try different things and not let the fear of failure hold me back. It makes me feel empowered and creative. Lastly, my hair is symbolic of that crucial time in my life when I started seeing myself as beautiful even with all my quirks and kinks and idiosyncracies. That's something I never want to forget. :)
GG's interview was super informative, don't you think?
Definitely check her out at http://www.thewritecurldiary.com/
Her site is full of wonderful wisdom & inspiration
Her site is full of wonderful wisdom & inspiration