Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
Transition was the only option for me! I had a bad LeisureCurl experience when I was 12 that made me REFUSE to want to cut all of my hair off. I actually started and stopped the journey twice before being successful the third time. What made me commit to the transition the third time was that I finally had a deeper meaning for going natural, my 2 baby nieces. That made me stick to it no matter how difficult it got. This process helped me realize how very important your “why” is behind anything we set out to accomplish in life. It gave me the will and I therefore found a way to make it happen – sew-ins, crazy hair styles – whatever it took to make sure I was going to be a positive hair role model for my girls.
Had you always embraced your texture?
Not always. During the awkward in-between stages when I was half natural, half relaxed hair, I didn’t know what texture I was growing. What was growing used to be my hint that it was time for a touch up to “get rid” of those thick, curly roots. It took a change in my perspective to understand this was new terrain I was going to have to get accustomed to. During those beginning months, I used to flat iron my hair weekly for work. This proved futile, because it was ruining my curl pattern.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
Well, my parents have always encouraged me to do whatever it is I desire in life. However, like most parents, they had their opinions. My dad tried to convince me that ‘men prefer women with straight hair’ & my mom expressed that she had ‘been there and done that with the natural movement in the 70’s’ and she was not interested in going back. My friends that were natural cheered me on and the others had a “more power to ya” feeling about it. When I would express "my why", my reason for deciding to go natural, it somehow put everyone at ease and they understood. That was very powerful to me.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is thin, fine, very soft and moderately porous in texture.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
The craziest thing I have ever done was to pose for photos for my mom’s hair scarf/bonnet company, and then put myself on the Internet. I have become a somewhat famous meme. Every time someone wants to create a meme about black women in a hair bonnet, my picture seems to be the one they use. At first, I thought it was funny and limited to a few people that I knew. Next thing I know, my friends are tagging me on Instagram where Snoop Dogg, Keyshia Cole and MaryMary are posting my meme! Whaaa?!! I even had a friend who was traveling in Jerusalem and said she saw her tour bus driver scrolling through his newsfeed and up pops my picture wearing a G-Wrap bonnet. I’m famous. But not really.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
Getting that LiesureCurl! My mom worked as a hairstylist at the time. When I expressed my interest in this “non-greasy alternative to the jheri curl", she neglected to tell me (or I didn’t listen) that I would have to cut out the relaxed portion of my hair and only the virgin hair would remain. What? As they began to cut my hair down to an unexpected TWA, I cried my eyes out! I thought I looked like a boy and at the awkward age of 12, this was not the best time for this experience. The craziest thing about it is I was using a treatment and gel activator to style my hair exactly the way it looks now in its natural state.
What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
The wash & go is my friend! It suits my lifestyle perfectly. I wash my hair with Ouidad Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo about once per week or week and a half. I then use Suave Naturals Conditioner (can you say $1/bottle?!) – a ton of it! And then I apply Coconut oil throughout my hair (from root to ends) finger combing my curls. Next I use the Denman brush as a final detangler and curl enhancer. Finally, I apply Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls throughout my hair. Then comes the goofy part – I prop my blow dryer in a drawer in my bathroom vanity and have it blowing on high (it’s about waist high). And this indirect heat dries my hair as I apply my make up. Lastly, if I have time, with my hair dry about 80%, I use a concentrator nozzle on my blow dryer and “stretch” my curls by pulling them at the root and placing the blow dryer there for a few seconds while I pull chunks of my curls at the ends (gently). Boom! Read to walk out the door.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My favorite hairstyle is the wash & go. I admire all of my fellow curlies who have the patience (and upper body strength) to do twist outs, flat twists, etc. That’s just never been something I have had success with. I easily get bored or my arms start to hurt. Or I get hungry and I stop in the middle.
I wash & go my hair and air drying it in my car mostly. On occasion I love to go to the salon and have my stylist deep condition and flat iron my hair. It's always great to see how much my hair has grown. Instagram is my favorite source for hairstyle inspiration. I can get lost in all of the beautiful pages dedicated to curls and mo’ curls!
Who is your curl crush?
Do I have to pick just one? Tracee Ellis Ross is my biggest one. She rocks her hair in so many cute styles.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
The wash & go is my go-to style, so I can typically get two, maybe three, days out of a style when I pineapple my hair and put it up with G-Wrap hair scarf or bonnet. My mom created the products out of frustration that her scarves wouldn’t stay on at night when she slept. And I am proud to say, they do stay on and keep my hair gorgeous and moisturized (shameless plug for Mom www.ghairwrap.com)
How do you maintain healthy length?
I get my hair trimmed on a regular basis as well as I keep it moisturized with coconut oil and/or olive oil.
What's the best thing about being natural?
The freedom! I love that I can work out, sweat, hop in the shower, wash, leave in my conditioner and step out the door looking fabulous! I wore my hair relaxed for the better part of my life and it never grew past a certain point and it consistently shed. Since I have been natural these 5 years, my hair is the healthiest it has EVER been. I think my naturally curly hair is a more accurate reflection of my personality – fun, bouncy and free!
Where can folks find you on the web?
A few places! Intagram and Twitter @ghairwrap and Facebook – G HAIR WRAP