How long have you been natural?
I have been natural this time around for coming on 3 years in March of this year.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I transitioned this time. The first time I went natural was in 2001. I lived in NJ at the time and was going to school and I really wanted to try locs. It was one of those hair dresser nightmare stories. The loctition was jealous of my hair so when she went to do it (my hair was waist length), she cut it very uneven up to my ears. Long story short, I did the big chop unwillingly in 2001… then two years later moved to CA relaxed my hair (because it was the 'in' thing to do) and then about 3 years ago got tired of relaxing all the time and let it grow out.
Okay, so my mom is White (Finnish actually) and my dad is Dominican and Black… so needless to say my hair is just as mixed as me ;-). In the back, I have a very springy type curl. The kind you can pull and they bounce right back up… then the more you come to the middle of my head it is very coarse and the curls behave in a “Z” type pattern so I would say the center is somewhat of a 4b. On the sides there are areas like a 4a but also a 3c, basically very mixed, just like me! The front half fizzes, while the back half curls. And my actual strands are fine, but there is a lot of actual hair follicles, so my hair is very dense and thick, but fragile. So I have never been able to use that 4b,3c, 2a, chart. I have just had to dig in and build a relationship with my hair. It took a lot of trial and error in figuring out what my hair likes. And I learn things new every day.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love how versatile it is. I can wear it big or in a defined curl. Or straight! (although I barely wear it straight).
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
When I was transitioning, I wore it up a lot and out of the way, but if I was going somewhere special, my go-to hair style was a side Mohawk.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I cause a lot of commotion here in AZ. People are always touching my hair without asking and here in Tucson, most people think I am wearing a piece and my hair is not real. I'm always asked the question, “how did you get your hair to do that?”. To which I respond-- “I grow it out of my head that way, lol". I will never forget when I started wearing my hair in a full fro and I hadn’t seen my mom in a couple of weeks (about a month). I met her out for dinner and her eyes just bulged out of her head and she was like “what are we doing here?” lol, I just told her “accepting me for all of me, this is my hair”. See, at that point, there was nothing anyone (not even my mom) could say that would make me feel uncomfortable with me and who I was becoming.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My styling regimen has nothing to do with me and everything to do with what my hair wants to do for that day. I have learned to love my hair no matter how big or wild it wants to get. I have a really good relationship with my hair and have learned to just let her be. I used to try and do twist outs and braid outs and all sorts of things for natural hair, (I was on youtube like daily lol)… but then in this journey of finding my hair, it's true form and texture, and me, I realized I needed to stop trying to use every product on the market, so as to have a more defined curl, or to look like this person or that, or to just even get all my curls to match, and just let her (when I say her I am speaking of my hair, she has a mind of her own) be free.
Now my care regimen is a little different. I wash my hair with shampoo only if I have a lot of product build up or I feel like I have been out in the dust or swimming etc. But in-between those times, I co wash once a week and do my deep conditioning treatment then too, and leave in conditioner is my best friend. But for the most part, you will see me with my fro out in full effect. I will do a lot of wash and goes and leave my hair like that for 3-5 days before co-washing again. The longer I leave it the bigger she (my hair) becomes and I honestly love it that way. If I want it bigger right after washing, I will take my diffuser and blow dry it. As for my night time routine, I put my hair up in a pineapple and wrap with a silk scarf. Then in the morning, I can just let her down and go!
Where can we find you for more? You can find me on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/user/naturallycreative101
Daily hair posts and what I am up to on Instagram: http://instagram.com/kiki_kyanamarie
On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/kyana.marie.39
And on twitter at: https://twitter.com/SangKyanaMarie
I love comments and questions and I try and answer everyone that I get messages from. Hope to meet all of you beautiful naturals there!