CN: How long have you been natural?
NB: I've been natural on and off since 2008 and have Big Chopped 4 times. Well, wait, what is the definition of a Big Chop?
For some reason there's a lot of debate in the space about that. But in my opinion, it's when you chop off a significant amount of hair, relaxed or not.
So yeah, I Big Chopped 4 times. I had a natural mohawk with shaved sides for a while and then wore the Rihanna style by adding weave to the middle. After I got tired of that, I shaved off the middle. When that grew out a little, I bleached my natural hair 4 times in one night because I wanted it white. Ruin. My hair fell out and I big chopped again. Now it's natural but I only wear it out in the summer when it's hot. During the year I keep it in a protective style- wigs or weaves. I wear lace front closures (sewn in) with my hair braided down underneath.
How do you maintain your natural hair while it's hidden away in protective styles?
I give myself one week in between weave installs so that my hair can breathe and live a little. I wash it, deep condition it and get my ends clipped as necessary. You're not supposed to put product in it before the weave because it builds up and makes things heavy. So you have to figure out what kind of sprays work for your hair that are light but keep your hair moisturized.
I've learned that natural hair is a lot of trial and error...you have to keep trying new ish to see what works for you. What works for someone else may not work for you. Some days water works so well for my hair and like my hair is happy to have water in it, and then other days it's like, 'no, why did you do that?!'
Any advice for folks thinking of going natural? Especially those that may be hesitant or worried about what others will think.
You should just do it. Why not?! I went natural because relaxers were just annoying. It would hurt and my scalp would scab over, so if you're dealing with anything like that, just say f' it and go for it! Don't think about other people! Don't think about what family will say, they'll love you anyway and get over it. They'll just want to talk about it a lot! The only thing you may have to consider is your work environment. Like if you work in a predominately White office, you may have to succumb to styles that are more 'traditional', like mainstream ish. It's such a strange thing to say that the hair that grows out of your head is unprofessional.
It's tragic. Have you ever wore your natural hair on GirlCode?
I actually took off my wig on one episode. The reason why I'm not planning to going forward is if you keep changing your hair, it makes it hard for people to recognize you. I wear the curly wig so there is that level of recognition. I can change what I look like in my life but when I film things, I braid the weave and put the wig on, on top of it. So sometimes I have three layers of hair on my head!
Three layers of hair?! Well damn! Any new projects you'd like to share?
I'm auditioning for new stuff all the time. The second half of this season of Girl Code premiers next week. Also, I'm going to the Grammys on Sunday and co-hosting MTV's Red Carpet, so that should be a lot of fun.