CN: How long have you been natural?
I finally made up my mind to go all out and forgo any chemical processes to my hair altogether in January 2001, with my BC echoing Jada Pinkett Smith when she rocked the super short ‘do. Although, I think mine may have been shorter because you could actually see the skin of my scalp! Whoa!! But obviously no regrets and I haven’t looked back!! 10 years natural and counting!!!
CN: Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
When I was in college, I rocked versions of Toni Braxton, T-Boz and the Halle Berry’s hairstyles that were popular during that time. THEN, I saw Nicci Gilbert, the lead singer of Brownstone and I instantly fell in love with the short, curly and texturized look. Eventually, I worked up the courage to try the style myself and loved it! I did switch back and forth between a texturizer and full on relaxed hair a couple of times during those years. I don’t remember what the catalyst was for me to eventually go “natural”; I just remember wanting to do it. So, it’s safe to say that there was no transition for me, I just went in and let the hairstylist cut it off. Why no transition? I was simply not attached to my hair and felt confident enough to let it go and start anew. I’m attached to it now because I love it more that I ever did when it was texturized or relaxed.
CN: What is your current regimen?
Although I’ve been natural over 10 years, I’ve only recently started to experiment with ways to style and take care of my hair. Thanks YouTube!! I used to do wash and go’s on the regular, but it got to be too much and my styles didn’t last but a day. So now I co-wash and detangle maybe every 1-2 weeks, because I regularly wear my hair in twists or twist-out styles. I do a wash with shampoo 1-2 times monthly, depending on what my hair needs and activities I’ve been involved in, i.e. exercising, swimming, etc. I deep condition at least once a month or as needed. When I’m co-washing/shampooing, I detangle with my wide tooth comb and/or Denman brush, and twist into big sections to prep my hair for the style I may be wearing. I then apply my oils and moisturizing products, and style as usual, whatever that may be at the time.
Shampoo: Tressemme Naturals Lower Sulfates Nourishing Moisture Shampoo
Co-wash Conditioner: Tressemme Naturals Silicone Free Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Deep Treatment: Garnier Fructis 3 Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment
Styling: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel
Mixture of coconut, jojoba, grape seed and olive oils to nourish
Spray water mixed w/ above mentioned oils to hydrate and replenish my hair in
CN: How do you maintain Length? Moisture?
To maintain my length, I try to trim regularly, although it doesn’t always fall into a particular schedule like I would like it to. Sometimes I will trim my ends when they are in twists, but I prefer to do it on dry, detangled hair. That way it allows me to really see my hair and be more accurate when I trim. As for moisture, we all know it starts from the inside out and drinking water is my way of helping that along. As for the outside, my moisture spray is my best friend. I seal it in w/ my Shea moisture when needed, and that has helped me up to this point.
CN: Night time routine?
I sleep on a satin pillow case, as well as wear a bonnet and/or a satin scarf for extra protection. I’ll mist my hair before bed, seal it in and wrap it up! No matter if I’m sleeping w/ my twists loose or have flexi rods in my hair, satin is my Godsend.
CN: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva?
As hard as it may seem at times, be fearless, fierce and be proud!! Do not, I repeat do not think that your hair will be like the next person’s!! It may mimic that person’s hair, but your hair is unique to you. Experiment, research, ask questions and find what works for you and then do you all day everyday. I hear daily how much my hair is loved and that people envy and admire that I wear my hair in its natural state. The new natural or transitioning diva is actually doing what so many others are afraid to do, but want so bad. It’s not bad to be loved, envied or admired for having the courage to go against the grain. Stand out and be an individual. Shine on my natural divas!!!
CN: What’s the best thing about being naturally glamorous?
Freedom and versatility. We naturals have just as many options, if not more, when it comes to our hair and the styles that can be achieved. The constraints of the ladies that are not natural are typically not our crosses to bear. What a wonderful feeling!
CN: Anything else you want to add?
I invite and welcome all new naturals, transitioning and natural “hopefuls. There is more than enough room for us all. Natural is beautiful…
So pretty and thick head of natural hair. I especially like pic #2 with the glasses very nice.
Ladies check out this twist video hairstyle from a fellow YT "SimplYounique" called Edgy Twist Out on Natural Hair.
She is GAWgeous! Lovely, lovely feature!
I remember Shannon from Nikki's FB photo album!!! Nice to read her whole hair story!!! Beautiful hair and woman!
Different hairstyles, jewelry, etc. flatter your face in different ways. Either way, she and her hair are beautiful, to echo the ladies above. 🙂
Is it me or does she look different in every picture?
Your hair and you are beautiful! As an older salt n pepper natural, my eye was drawn to the salt n pepper natural in one of the above photos & I'd like to give her props too; so please pass it on. I love her hair and hair color. Thank you.
Beautiful thick and healthy hair! Keep it up chica!
Pretty girl and cute pictures!! 🙂
Shannon! You look great! What a delight to see someone I know featured on an excellent site that encourages women to embrace and love our God-given beauty! Not to mention that the last time I saw you, I was floored by how beautiful your hair was, so you know I'm taking notes! Give the family my love. -Starla
LOVING the updo in the 3rd pic
Wow! You remind me so much of my daughter! Keep doing what your doing…u rock!
I love her overall style! Very Nice!
I love those mini twists… they look so casual and care free. Very inspiring 🙂
You are such a beautiful woman! I love love your hair..and I commend you on doing it for over 10 years! Wow..your styles are amazing! Thanks for the inspiration!!
You and your hair are beautiful. Sidenote, has anyone ever told you you look a lot like Reagan Gomez-Preston. Anyway, natural for over 10 years, that is commendable. Thanks for sharing.
Love it. Very pretty. She actually reminds me of an old friend.
Beautiful…thanks for the inspiration!