Tell me about yourself!
My name is Sonia Roberts. Iʼm a wife, full-time mother of two beautiful curly kids, part- time yoga teacher, California girl who loves life! and Warriors Basketball!
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I am a Big Chopper! As a young girl, I could not wait to get a relaxer. I was allowed to have my hair straightened with a hot comb but I had to wait until I was twelve years old for a permanent relaxer. I wanted to have straight hair that blew in the wind. I was tired of wearing my hair with two big braids or my hair pulled back into one really BIG braid. In high school, I tried to wear my hair natural for a few days but some girls made fun of me. When I walked by they would sing, “Whoʼs that girl with the nappy hair?” Even though I knew they were just jealous and insecure it made me uncomfortable wearing my hair naturally curly. It made me feel ugly. After I completed college, I was much more comfortable being me. At my college graduation party my father saw me from the back and told me he didnʼt recognize me, he thought I was a white girl. That was a huge turning point for me. I wanted people to know what I felt on the inside...that I am Black and I am proud.
Had you always embraced your texture?
It took me years to accept my crazy, curly, kinky, hair. And there are still days when I dislike it. For ME, it was about much more than accepting my crazy, curly hair, it was about self-acceptance, self-love of my entire being. Fully embracing myself as a beautiful Black woman. When I chopped all of my hair off in 2000, it was freeing and amazing.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
Some people couldnʼt believe I wanted to cut my hair. And they really couldnʼt believe I was choosing to wear my natural. The people in the hair salon thought I was crazy to cut off my hair. But I loved it. I was twenty-four years old and single, so my mother asked me if any guys still try to talk to me. Iʼm not sure if she thought it was the short hair or naturally curly hair that made me less attractive. I really didnʼt care about what other people thought because I was loving it. I began dating the man I would eventually marry right after I cut off all my hair. I knew he was a keeper when he didnʼt trip about long hair or short hair.
My hair is very fine, curly, frizzy and dry. My hair is so thirsty most of the time. My son has hair just like mine. It needs a lot of moisture and conditioning. During my pregnancy with my second child I became extremely allergic to any hair products with chemicals in them. The allergies continued post natal as well. Products with chemicals were making my hair break off at the hairline and leaving the back of my neck red and burnt-like. I had to stop using many of my go-to curly products and figure out what worked for my curls. I feel like Iʼm still figuring this out.
Sadly, I donʼt feel like I really have a crazy hair story. I have done blonde highlights when I was in college and thatʼs probably as crazy as it gets.
The only hair related regret I have is trying to use chemical based hair products once I knew I was allergic. I was so addicted to them that I tried a few more times with the same allergic reactions because I liked the way they styled my hair. I was hoping I would no longer be allergic.
My hair routine needs to be fast and quick. I donʼt have much time since I have a five year and two year old child. I also exercise a lot, sweat a lot and feel the need to wash my hair a lot. I often wash and go but I also like to braid or twist my hair at night. My favorite shampoos are Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo and Carolʼs Daughter Sacred Tiare Shampoo. I use Nourish Spa conditioner found at Trader Joeʼs and Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner is my fave. Sometimes I use Carolʼs Daughter Deep Conditioner. Once a week I use Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar or Wedela Rosemary Conditioning Oil. Iʼll put in my hair after I wash at night and braid or twist before bed. If I want extra hold I use Kinky Curly Custard. I also like homemade hair gel from flaxseed. However putting homemade gel in your hair once it comes out of the refrigerator is way too cold! Right now I am loving Mixed Chicks Leave-in-Conditioner. I usually finger comb my hair but once a week or before I braid or twist I use Ouidad Double Detangler. Iʼve used henna on my hair one time and loved it. It helped get rid of my grey hairs and made my hair feel heavy and healthy, full of moisture.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My curl crush is Samio Olowu. She has amazing hair and she is gorgeous. You can find her on instagram @samiorenelda.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
At night I sleep on a satin pillow case. If my hair is not braided or twisted, then I put it up on top of my head, pineapple hair.
How do you maintain healthy length?
What's the best thing about being natural?
Where can folks find you on the web?