This week's Natural Hair beauty is...
Newark, NJHow would you describe your hair?
MY HAIR HAS A MIND OF IT OWN. SOMETIMES I MANAGE TO ACHIEVE THE LOOK I'M GOING FOR AND SOMETIMES IT'S STUBBORN
How long have you been natural?
I ATTEMPTED TO GO NATURAL TWICE BEFORE I ACTUALLY STUCK WITH IT. MARCH 28, 2008 WAS THE LAST TIME I RELAXED MY HAIR (ACTUALLY IT WAS A TEXTURIZER...I CALL MYSELF WEANING MYSELF OFF SLOWLY). I'M APPROACHING MY 3RD YEAR AND I'M STILL GOING STRONG. YAY!
What prompted you to "go natural"?
I DON'T HAVE ONE OF THOSE 'I WANTED TO GO BACK TO MY ROOTS' TYPE OF STORIES. I SIMPLE HAD TO MAKE A CHOICE OF HAVING COLOR IN MY HAIR (WHICH CONSIST OF BLEACHING) VS A PERM.. I CHOSE COLOR AND GAVE UP THE PERM. IF I WOULD HAVE KEPT UP WITH THE DOUBLE CHEMICAL, I WOULDN'T HAVE HAD ANY HAIR BY THE TIME I WAS 40. ALSO, MY HAIR IS ON THE THINNER/FINER SIDE, SO WHEN I'D PERM MY HAIR MY SCALP WOULD BE VISIBLE FOR THE 1ST TWO WEEKS.
In your opinion, what is the main difference between having natural hair vs chemically relaxed hair?
FOR ME THE MAIN DIFFERENCE IS VERSATILITY. I'VE ALWAYS TOOK CARE OF MY HAIR. WHEN MY HAIR WAS RELAXED, I WOULD GET DEEP CONDITIONS, DOOBIES, AND TRIMS ON THE REGULAR.
LATER I'VE BEEN EXPERIMENTING WITH MY TWIST OUTS AND BRAIDS OUTS. I'M TRYING TO MINIMIZE ON USING MY FLAT IRONS SO MUCH...SO ONE MY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS WAS TO NOT FLAT IRON MY HAIR AS MUCH AND I'VE BEEN STICKING TO IT
Do you accessorize your hair? What accessories do you use?
IN THE WINTER I REALLY DON'T. I PLAN ON USING MORE ACCESSORIES IN THE SUMMER
What hair products (shampoos, conditioners, styling aids) work best for your hair? Why?
I'M A HUGE FAN OF TRADER JOE'S PRODUCTS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THEY ARE NATURAL, THE CONDITIONER DE TANGLES MY HAIR AND THEY ARE CHEAP!!!! ALSO PANTENE FOR WOMEN OF COLOR CONDITIONER FOR THE SAME REASONS (EXCEPT FOR THE NATURAL PART)
CO-WASH EVERY WEEK, DEEP CONDITION TREATMENT, MOISTURIZE, AND TWIST OR BRAID WITH WHATEVER PRODUCT I GRAB OFF THE SHELF
What resources, tools, books, videos, etc helped you along your natural hair journey?
YOUTUBE, NATURAL VETS, CURLY NIKKI, PATIENCE, AND MY OWN TRAIL AND ERROR
I CAN BE SO VERSATILE. MY HAIR CAN BE MY OUTFIT FOR THE DAY, IT CAN BE AN ACCESSORY, IT CAN STAND OUT, IT CAN BLEND IN...ITS WHAT GOD GAVE ME AND I'M PROUD THAT I FINALLY GOT OVER WHAT SOCIETY THINKS ABOUT NATURAL HAIR AND DECIDED TO EMBRACE IT. I ENCOURAGE EVERY BLACK WOMEN TO GO ON A NATURAL JOURNEY AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIFE.
This interview should have been up ages ago! I've been a slacker, anyway Chantel and I go way back, we used to work together back when I lived in Jersey. She is super sweet.
I'm pretty sure some of the above info may have changed with regards to her hair products, and regimen so be sure to check out her blog, Natural State of Mind and subscribe to her youtube channel for updates.