Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I was a transitioner. I stopped getting relaxers in 2011, but continued to get my hair blow dried and flat ironed. I had no designs to explore at the time nor did I know there was such a large natural community out there. My daughter has beautiful long hair and I got into natural hair care for her. She’s a ballerina and in competitive dance. Many of her friends from the dance studio are Caucasian. One summer in 2013 at her national dance competition, I hosted a sleepover for the girls, which included swimming, beaching and pre-teen giggles. My daughter noticed that when they emerged from the water her friend's hair was straight and her's was not. I gave my daughter all sorts of examples of beautiful, natural haired women, all except myself, and that’s when it hit me. And so my journey began.
Had you always embraced your texture?
I’ve had a relaxer since I was 12. I never knew or could recall what my natural texture was like. Here I was in my 40s and had no idea. How sad is that?!
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
Everyone loves it! My mother can’t seem to figure out how it looks so good without a relaxer. My husband thinks it’s hot when done, but hates the time I have to give to it. I am pretty much out of reach on Sunday’s because it’s hair time. It conflicts with regularly doing my daughter’s hair. Can’t do both heads every weekend. I work in advertising and am client facing. It has been well received at the office also.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is very dense, thick and course. I have yet to do the porosity test. Not quite sure why it’s so important.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
I avoid "crazy" like the plague in all facets of life, including hair. I’ve always had great hair, even when relaxed, because I keep it simple but fab!
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
I should have started this journey before my hair started going gray. I probably would have explored with a little crazy!
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I have to cover my gray every 3 weeks, so darn daunting. Ugh! It adds 2 more hours to an already long routine. I wash every Sunday. This winter, I’ve been rinsing with a green tea, nettle leaf and a few essential oils for extra moisture and protection. During this time, I begin my detangling in the shower with Trader Joes Spa conditioner. I make a hydrating DC concoction each week. I either let it sit while I do house duties, prep for dinner or sit under the dryer. I typically co-poo unless I feel there is a lot of buildup. Then I use a natural shampoo like a Trader Joes brand or Shea Moisture brand. After this is the styling. My absolute favorite brand for styling is Karen’s Body Beautiful. Her Sweet Ambrosia leave-in is the business for maximum moisture and her Butter Love cream along with Eco Styler argan gel provides me the very best definition and hold for my flat twist outs! My hair is never crunchy feeling. I am also loving Ynobe Shops green tea and aloe hydrating dew along with their coconut cream moisturizer to re-moisturize my hair every couple days. This is by far the best duo for my mid-week rub through. I do not retwist. I judge my products on their ability to last me through the week. If a curl goes rogue here and there I will roll it with a perm rod during the week, but that’s it. In the summer, like every natural, I battle the humidity. I’m currently exploring ingredients to help me combat that. My goal for 2015 is to reduce the amount of time I spend on my hair. Maybe I’ll try wash n go’s next summer. I think I’m ready.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
I started this journey with a tapered bob cut and still had relaxer on my ends. So, I started with flat twist outs. I have not ventured away from this style as it very professional looking and has become my signature look. I’m able to get a top bun now that my hair has grown a great deal in just a year’s time. I have probably learned the most from Naptural85. She has provided me time saving tips and all around knowledge about various natural products and ingredients.
Who is your curl crush?
Too many and I don’t know their names or anything. I post a lot of images on my pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/blkwomannucleus/a-natural-affair/. Other than Naptural85, who is just a wealth of information, I really like my hair and love the way it looks so I have a crush on my own hair
How do you maintain your hair at night?
Bonnets where banned from the bedroom when I got married. It’s been over 15 years! I use a satin pillow case to sleep on. I’m not quite able to pineapple yet, but I just lift my hair up since I sleep on my sides. I use two clips to keep my part on each side from getting puffy and that’s about it. Get up and shake it up!
How do you maintain healthy length?
I have always been a proponent of freshly trimmed ends even when relaxed. Every three months I go to my stylist to get my ends trimmed, and yes I give myself a break and get my hair blow dried and flat ironed. In the beginning, I did the 6 month no heat challenge, but that was too long without a trim in my opinion.
What's the best thing about being natural?
It keeps me looking youthful! I’m 48 and I think it’s the best I’ve ever looked!
Where can folks find you on the web?
I’m pretty much on all social sites except Instagram. I know it’s everything right now, but I felt the need to contain the narcissism.