Meet Emma… just celebrated her 1 year anniversary and is doing her part in educating the newbies!

CN: How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was in June 2008, and I became completely relaxer free by doing a Big Chop on April 9, 2009. I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary. I planned on doing a long transition, but I quickly grew tired of nurturing the relaxed ends. So I woke up one Saturday and spontaneously chopped it off. After it sunk it, I did not leave the house for the entire weekend because I was too self-conscious. I was terrified of what people would think. I mourned my hair for a couple of days, but life had to go on. Once I got over the hurdle of introducing my kinky hair to friends, family, and co-workers, the rest is history. I never regret cutting my hair. I often wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner.

CN: What is your current regimen?

I love to wear my hair out! I love wash-n-gos, but I have recently begun to wear my hair in protective styles. I wash my hair with a sulfate free shampoo once a week and do weekly deep conditioning treatments. I keep product use to a minimum, and keep my routine simple.

CN: How do you maintain length? Moisture?

I listen to my hair, and try not to manipulate it a lot. I keep everything simple. I know what products it responds to. Therefore, I stick with those products. I don’t use heavy oils, because my hair does not respond well to oil (with the exception of coconut oil). My hair tends to be dry. Therefore, I use mostly water-based moisturizers which my hair loves. Fortunately, because I don’t use a lot of products and incorporate some natural hair care products in my regimen, I don’t get product build-up. I clarify once every two months. I never use heat on my hair, I do monthly Cassia treatments (for strength), and always, always handle my hair very delicately.

CN: How do you protect your curls at night?
I sleep with a satin Bonnet.

CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
Don’t be discouraged. Find your routine. Find the products that work for your hair type. Listen to your hair. If your hair is shedding abnormally, it is telling you something. If your hair is dry, find a good moisturizer for it. I personally prefer water-based moisturizers because my hair absorbs them extremely well. Water-based moisturizers are moisturizers with water as the first ingredient. Hair loves water.

  • Keep your hair moisturized, moisturized, moisturized.
  • Put some thought into the products that you buy. Remember that hair products are not a one size fit all. You may not get the results that you want because you are using the wrong products.
  • Water-based moisturizers are generally good moisturizers and penetrate the hair shaft superbly.
  • Once you’ve found the products that work for you, stick with those products.
  • Minimize or completely eliminate the use of heat.
  • Keep hair manipulation to a minimum.
  • Wear protective styles when possible.
  • Be patient with your hair, and most importantly learn to work with your hair.

CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
I absolutely love the versatility! It makes me stand out. I feel empowered and I love the fact that people are somewhat fascinated by it. I love not having to run from the rain (um, because my hair loves water). I have also realized that my natural hair is a conversation starter. Random people just compliment me on my hair for no reason. Being natural has been an amazing experience for me, and I love being part of the natural hair community.

CN: Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for providing a forum where we can come and genuinely support one another. People tend to underestimate the power of networking and forums such as this one, but were it not for forums such as this one, I would have given up a long time ago. Best wishes to all current and future natural hair divas!

You can catch me on fotki: http://members.fotki.com/Inspired09/about/