CN: When you first chopped, what were your thoughts and feelings? How do you feel now?
D: I remember that day like it was yesterday. My 4-year-old sister was the one who inspired me to go natural. She has healthy and thick natural hair that is usually either in cornrows or twists. Since she was the only black child in her school, she would come home from school and complain that her hair wasn’t straight like her friends, mine and her mothers. It broke my heart. I told her, “Your hair is beautiful. I wish I had your hair.” One day it clicked. I could have hair like hers. The plan was to transition as long as possible which only turned out to be 3 months. None of my transition styles held up well in humidity My permed hair turned against me and started to fall out. Frustrated, I said, “Let’s do this.” On August 17th 2010, my hairdresser, who is also natural, came to my house to do the deed. When I first chopped, I hated it! I wanted to cry. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, “What the heck did I just do?” I thought I looked like a boy. Short hair was something I wasn’t used to seeing. After she shampooed and conditioned my hair, she put it in a little comb twist. I started to feel a little better. I loved feeling and finally embracing the little curls in my hair. I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. I still can’t!

CN: How did you cope with the responses from your family and friends?
D: I received so much positive feedback from everyone, even strangers! It was weird at first since other people liked my hair more than I did. I was getting compliments every day. People were telling me I had the face for it. I’d never received that many looks previously. I was shocked.

CN: What are your plans for your hair?
D: I definitely want to grow it out. I want a huge “black power” fro. That’s my ultimate goal.

CN: Do you find it necessary to ‘doll up’ your look to feel more feminine? If so, what are your favorite accessories, or go to ways to glam up your look?
D: Well, I’ve always worn big earrings and studs occasionally. My motto is if I can’t put it on my wrist, then it’s not big enough. After the big chop, I was insecure about my short hair. I found them necessary. While I was never a fan of makeup, I found myself starting to wear that too. I was using it as a security blanket. My mom helped me out of my makeup phase, but big earrings will always be a part of my life no matter how I’m rocking my hair. I’ve recently become obsessed with headbands. There are so many types, and depending on where you go, they’re an inexpensive way to jazz up your look

CN: How do you keep it moisturized?
D: Since I live up North, I haven’t been able to get into a co-wash routine because it’s freezing outside. I have to use a mixture of oils in the morning and at night because my hair gets very dry really fast. It was that way even when I had a perm. I also apply conditioner daily

CN: What products and techniques do you use to style? How often do you style?
D: I’ve been rocking the fro for a while now, but I’ve tried some fun styles like a braided Mohawk. My must use product for picking out my fro is the Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner. It softens the hair and makes it easy to manipulate without having to wet it. I also love coconut oil. It smells nice and gives my hair a healthy shine. Picking out a fro every morning is killing my hair. So, I just started two-strand twisting my hair, and I can already tell the difference. I’m learning that the key to getting healthy long hair is to moisturize it; use a protective style; and leave it alone.

CN: How do you get your waves or curls popping?
D: I’m still trying to figure out my hair type. The curls are really loose and almost nonexistent all around my head, but the middle of my hair is filled with tight spirals. The product that gets my hair on 1 level is the Kinky Kurly Curling Custard. I love it. To refresh it, I just use some of the leave-in conditioner, and the curls come back to life.

CN: How do you preserve your curls at night?
D: I wear 2 silk bonnets because if I only use 1, it doesn’t stay on all night.