Tell me about yourself!
I’ve been a stay at home mom the last two years and have been selling health and wellness products all the while. I just added fitness and beauty products to the mix. I used to be a total chemical junkie. I love having found a bunch of ways to kick the chemical habit to make my home safer and family
healthier. Little by little!
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I did the Big Chop - TWICE! The first time I only managed to stay natural for a couple of years. I just think I thought it was easier to relax my curls, even if I rarely ever blew it out straight. The second time I read more about the how and the why of embracing my natural curls and realized nothing could be easier than accepting my unprocessed hair and joining a community of empowered natural beauties! I’ve stuck with it ever since.
Had you always embraced your texture?
Definitely not. I think I started straightening it before I was even double digits. Then I didn’t try wearing it curly really until I was an adult. I tried everything. Straightening, micro braids, mild relaxers to loosen the curl. Even once I went natural I tried twistouts and braidouts and whatever I could find to try that would change my curl pattern. I wanted these perfect spirals that were never meant for me. Luckily, I got over it when my doctor of all people asked me why I was bothering with twistouts with curls like mine! That was my "Ah Ha" moment for sure.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
Some of them really encouraged it. Some even said they wanted to try it themselves. Still, people seem surprised when I say I’ll never go back to a relaxer again. They seem shocked when I describe it as a way of life. I never want to expose myself to those kinds of chemicals again!
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is pretty thick. It’s full of zigzag and fractal curls - and one side of curls is thicker than the other! Thank goodness I learned about cutting it while dry, or it’d never look remotely even!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
When I was younger, I used to always DIY. I colored it constantly and cut it all by myself. I think about that now and can’t believe it. I actually trim curls on my own (but only after reading a lot about how to do it!), and I never chemically process my hair anymore, not even to color it.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
That I got a relaxer two weeks before my wedding, which was about one or two years after my first Big Chop. I just didn’t see myself as rocking a big fro on my big day and instead went straight and sleek. It looked nice enough, but I didn’t get back to natural for years after that. I can only imagine how long and healthy my hair might be now if I’d stayed natural this whole time!
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I wash one to two times a week. If I have time, I throw some of the Sally’s Cure Care Conditioner on my hair before I get into the shower. I cowash using the same. It’s so inexpensive, and has so many rave reviews, so I put time into playing around with it. (Before that I used Deva Curl Conditioner, which I do love but the bargain hunter in me does not.) If I’m in need of a wash-wash, I just grab some baby shampoo! I’m really sensitive to scents and have a bunch of allergies, so this stuff is great because it’s so gentle and without unnecessary additives. After I cowash, I condition again, combing through with my fingers (I never, ever use combs or brushes on my curls!) Lately I’ve been rinsing all the conditioner out and wrapping it in a microfiber hair turban while I finish my shower. So, when I’m dressed and take the towel off, it’s barely damp. I use more Cure Care, running it through my hair with my fingers. Lately I’ve also been using a little detangling spray, too (thanks again to my little one’s supply of gentle products) I try to get it worked in without totally soaking my hair again. Then I diffuse it as best I can after letting it air dry a bit. If I want super big hair, I wait a while and diffuse it a second time, trying to blast the roots as much as I can. While it’s a frizzy look, for me, I found accepting my halo, trying to love it, makes me sane. I hate taking the time for my hair to air dry. I’d rather just learn to love looking wild!
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
Bobby pins are a curly girl’s best friend. They make any kind of up do super easy. So since I can’t stand my hair in my face, I usually use a bobby pin, sometimes with a flower or other accessory, to keep my hair from falling into my eyes! I’m really into seeing just how big I can make my hair, though, too. I’ve been watching Tracee Ellis Ross on Black-ish and try to channel her! My little one has a head full of curls, too, and I want him to be comfortable with whatever he decides to do with it some day. I loved teaching him that my hair was curly and his was, too. His crazy, wild curly hair that everyone always tells us they love - that inspires me to rock my natural curls, too!
Who is your curl crush?
I adore - ADORE - Sherri Saum. Her hair is AMAZING. Every time I feel like cutting mine (I was always one of those people who gets the urge for a change and chops off a bunch of my hair only to regret it) I just think of her. I will be one lucky lady if my hair grows to be even half that long and healthy. It’s beautiful!
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I am always so uncomfortable in any kind of scarf, so I got a silk pillowcase. Now that my hair is finally growing out, I also put it up in a silky scrunchy. It’s not quite a pineapple, because I don’t bring it all the way up front, but it gets the job done. It keeps it kind of protected while keeping me comfortable, too.
How do you maintain healthy length?
I feel like my hair has grown a lot lately, and I think it’s because I’ve been making sure to get more nutrients in my diet. Lots of fruits and veggies, in whatever form I can. My nails have started growing so fast, so I know my hair is, too. I’m also looking forward to getting better quality vitamins, too. I know that makes a big difference. It makes sense that not everything can be about what we put on the outside and that trying to make it healthy from the inside out should have an effect, too.
What's the best thing about being natural?
Spending less. Feeling healthy. Feeling unique. Learning to love myself more. There’s something so special about deciding it’s not just OK, it’s absolutely freaking cool to look the way I look, without using a ton of scary chemicals to fundamentally change who I am and how I’m made. It makes me feel simpler, less high-maintenance (whether I really am or not!)
Where can folks find you on the web?
You can find Shawn Sayner on facebook or lookfeelbefit on Instagram and twitter. :)