Tell me about yourself!
My name is Autumn. I’m 20 years old, I am a Christian, and I am from Chicago.
Have you always embraced your texture?
Nope. I relaxed, flat ironed, and hot combed my hair the first 15 years of my life, and even then I did not like my texture. I had always found it difficult.
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I was a transitioner. Freshman year of high school (2010) I was required to take swimming class every day for Physical Education, and after a few days of swim-cap-struggles I thought, “Hey, straight haired girls can just hop out of the pool and wash their hair; why can’t I do the same?” Then I began to research natural hair. I found videos on YouTube of BeautifulBrownBabydoll, Taren916, Naptural85, and Mahoganycurls, and I fell in love with natural hair. I saw that I did not have to straighten my hair for it to be beautiful, and I decided that I would not be getting a relaxer again. I gradually saw my kinky-curls emerge.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
I began showing some of the videos and pictures I’d been finding to my sisters and my mom, and I think they liked them too. They saw me wearing two strand twists, twistouts, braids, braidouts…etc. and pretty soon, they stopped straightening their hair as well. My friends were very supportive. They’d always compliment me on how cute my twists were, or how thick my hair was getting.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is a mix of fine and course strands, it is thick, and I believe it has a lowish-normal porosity. My curls/kinks are small (they range from bendy straw to tea stirrer in diameter, but they are not zigzags).
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
Disclaimer-This will probably be more embarrassing than crazy:
Upon leaving the swimming locker-room one day I had resolved to just wear my damp half relaxed, half natural hair down-and-out the rest of that day (I had forgotten my comb, I lost my ponytail holder in the pool, and I hadn’t had time to look in the mirror), but when I got to my next class I realized that it was picture day. I took the picture. I hoped for the best. I looked a hot mess… but I was smiling. I was also one of the top ten students in my class, so that lovely photo graced the main hall of my high school for an entire year (but I always had a nice laugh about it).
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
I regret how many years I spent being ashamed of it, instead of thanking the Lord for it. My hair is unique. It is a gift, an extension of my personality, a wonderful teacher of patience and gentleness, and my crown.
I wash and style my hair (about) every three days.
1) I saturate my hair with very warm filtered water in the shower.
2) I separate my hair into four sections and clamp each one out of the way.
3) I wash the scalp of a back section using a Shea Moisture shampoo (Curl & Shine), scrubbing my scalp with one shampooed hand and holding the ends of my hair together with the other hand. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse.
4) I use V05 Strawberries and cream and/or Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner(s). Don’t rinse. Clamp the section up and carry out the shampooing and conditioning on the other three sections of hair. And clamp them all up.
5) Shower (my body).
6) Turn the water to cool, and rinse out every section of hair (one at a time) and clamp back up.
7) Turn the water to super-cool and do a final rinse of the clamped hair.
8) Dry hair by squeezing each section firmly with a big cotton T-Shirt.
9) Apply virgin coconut oil from roots to ends.
10) Style hair with fingers.
Every other week my second-to-final rinse will be an organic apple cider vinegar one (2-3 tbsp per 2 cups of cold water), which I leave on my hair for 3 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My favorite style is down-and-out because it naturally dries into a kinky-fro, and I’m happy I finally have the confidence to wear it. Pinterest pics, YouTube videos, and a want for low maintenance styling inspire me.
Who is your curl crush?
I have a few: Razorempress, FrogirlGinny, and MinimalistBeauty (Dawn Michelle).
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I pineapple it, and wrap it with a satin scarf (or bonnet).
How do you maintain healthy length?
I only finger-comb (and in the shower), and I just try to be gentle and not play in my hair too much throughout the day.
What's the best thing about being natural?
Learning to embrace this beautiful and unique God-given part of me.
Where can folks find you on the web?
I am Autumn WWJD Bolling on FB.