My mother (Queen) and I are the owners of Curl Kitchen ™, it’s family business with visions beyond your imagination. Curl Kitchen is the best retailer of natural and/ or organic hair care products in Chicago. We are in the process of lease negotiations in the meantime customers may shop our online pop up shop at shop.curlkitchen.com. Our brick and mortar store is not open. When Curl Kitchen opens there will be a press release and soft opening.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for about 2 and half years strong. However, I attempted to go natural before and was discouraged from doing so and went back to the perm (which I had had since the age of 8). Then I became addicted to weave. I felt everything had to be perfect when I was rocking it. Weave made me feel like a totally different person and so I was. In hindsight I realize it was a phase I respect it for what it is and learned from the experience.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioned or a Big Chopper& why?
After college I found myself in a different environment with no family my hair began to come out from the root. My hair was still growing and I was still going to the hairdresser prolonging perms and paying for expensive treatments to restore my hair but had no success. In addition to visiting a dermatologist where I was given cortisone shots in my scalp.
I finally I revisited transitioning to natural when one of my best friends went natural first. It was one of those situations where you’re like um…. “you go first girl and let me see”. And let me tell you what I saw. My still beautiful and fly friend transformed into something more through her natural hair journey and its state. Her hair was thick and beautiful and she gave me the courage to try again.
I was far too fixated on length to let my hair go at once. And I was not confident enough in my own skin at the time to big chop. Having said this, I transitioned via sew-ins. However, I regret it. It made me neglect researching before hand and I missed my hair’s growth cycle.
I wish that I were brave enough to Big Chop! I truly respect those who have the courage to do so.
In 2005, I actually cut (more like) wacked my mother’s perm out while she sat the kitchen table in our yellow kitchen with a towel around her neck.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is my crown and glory and I am blessed as I am. I would describe my hair in one of the stories my mom loves to tell. “When I was giving birth to Peggy which took two (2) days. I asked the doctor what is it and the doctor replied I don’t know but it has a lot of hair.” I still have a lot of hair but the strands are fine. My hair texture is loose around the front back and sides and tightest in the middle. My hair also grows really fast in the back then it will start to get stagnant and my hair in the front will take off like a F-15.
What do you love most about your hair?
My hair is very versatile and holds styles very well. It can go from kinky to bone straight. My hair fits me. And I just love it.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
I learned everything the hard way as I have typically done entire life but one must learn from past mistakes and move on. When I finally joined the masses on YouTube and became addicted to natural hair. It was all that I looked at and thought about. And my bathroom began to fill up with products from stores from the internet and my kitchen became the home of essential oils and carrier oils. I would not call my journey difficult. I wore a sew-in and had to accept the heat damage that occurred as a result. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t peachy keen about it but I moved on from it and it has grown out.
I was floored once when a salon advised that they don’t do natural hairstyles on Saturdays, to me this perpetuates the straight hair rule.
My natural hair journey brought my mother and I closer, we even attended the World Natural Hair Show together (this past year). Mother began to grow her locs in 2005.
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
My go to style was a two-strand twistout but my first style was a rod set that was done professionally. It took hours for me to be fully serviced and I paid more than I anticipated. I left the salon feeling unsure of my decision. It was my second rod set that made me feel like I owned it. This was a time span of several months.
I also loved to rock my tresses as an afro or my post old twistout tresses pinned up.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I had a neighbor who hated my hair but who was she to judge. Later, I found this same lady called me pretty. This goes to show that you should not listen to what people say. I have experienced an insurmountable amount of love from men and women of all races as respect to my natural hair. People asking to touch it and even wanting pictures of or with me has been different for me and led me to start my blog www.consciousafro.com. I also wanted to show dark skin women of all ages that there is someone that they can relate to. I’ve even been told that my natural hair is me don’t try anything else.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
When my hair isn’t in a protective style. I do my hair once per week, I DC every other week, cowash in between, and wash my hair with shampoo once a month. I do a clay mask every other month. I also enjoy making hair clays. I cannot leave my house without a daily leave-in spray and restorative curl stray nor can I live without nice moisturizing hair butter. I have recently fallen in love with My Honey Child’s Herbal Cocktail and their Olive You Deep Conditioner Products, accessories, etc..oh my; there are too many to name but the Q-Redew must be mentioned this handheld steamer is magic for your curls.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
Naptural85, Baroness Countess, I Know Lee, Curly Kinky Queen, Curly Nikki, Kimmaytube , My Natural Sisters, Aevin Dugas, Curl Box, …there are far too many too name. I believe in showing love “united we stand divided we fall’ teamnatural all day and night.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
- Goals don’t expire milk does;
- Never let anyone invalidate you;
-; and watch what people do versus listening to what they say.
Most of importantly be blessed and know that you are beautifully made as you are in the here and now.
Where can people find you for more information?
For more information regarding Curl Kitchen please visit www.curlkitchen.com if you’d like to share in my world of style and fashion please visit www.consciousafro.com