When did you decide to go natural? Why? Did you big chop or transition?
I was inspired to go natural by my friend Jamila of College Curlies – she had started blogging and turned me onto all the information out there, so I got really curious. I was in love with all of the curly styles and the ability to do my hair myself was really appealing. I started transitioning my freshman year of college. My last relaxer was at the end of February 2010, and I cut it almost a year later at the beginning of February ’11. My big chop story was on CurlyNikki! Way more detail in that post.
What is your current regimen?
Lately I style every week, sometimes every two. For a while I washed with Jane Carter’s Hydrating Invigorating Shampoo and conditioned with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, which I love. Since I’ve been home for the summer I’ve been using my little sister’s stuff, which is Nature’s Gate Henna shampoo and conditioner – both great. I also picked up some Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter conditioner and I really like it so far, especially because it’s so cheap. I detangle with conditioner (just got a shower mirror so I don’t have to get out to do it, yay!) and a wide-toothed comb, and then style with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and seal my ends with Trader Joe’s coconut oil. A medium sized braid out was my go-to for the last six months, but I’ve recently returned to chunky twists and I’m loving that. I re-twist with a little spritz of water and some more product if I need it (in front of Cosby Show and Living Single re-runs, very important part of my regimen). My routine is pretty simple (read: I’m pretty lazy).
Describe your hair-
I haven’t bothered to type it really, but it’s coily in the front/top and gets tighter and you move out, until its frizzier on the low sides/back. My hair is super thick but I need to work on length retention – it can get really dry and I tend to get single strand knots. I need to deep condition more!
What do you love about your natural hair?
I love that I’m in charge of it – when I was relaxed, I never felt like my hair was “done” unless I went to the salon. It’s really nice to be able to do it myself. And I can’t lie, I like the attention I get when I go out! It’s fun when people notice your hair and ask questions about it. I’ve been doing all my yearly doctor’s appointments and I think I’ve encouraged a few nurses and medical assistants to try wearing their hair natural.
What have you learned throughout your journey? Advice for others?
Going natural was definitely an exercise in going for it. Before I bc’ed, I was really nervous because I auditioned for commercials and things in New York – I was worried that I wouldn’t be as successful with shorter hair. But it worked out great, especially because natural hair is huge in advertising right now. I did a Subway commercial that aired in New York earlier this year and just shot one for Joe’s Crab Shack that should be out in the fall. For me going natural is also about accepting what you have. While transitioning, I spent so much time on blogs and on YouTube obsessing over other women’s textures and how I could get mine to look like theirs. I also hear a lot of women tell me that my hair is pretty, but that they couldn’t go natural themselves. That comment drives me crazy! The way your hair grows out of your head is perfect.
Where can we find you on the web?
I don’t tweet much, but you can follow me on Twitter (@ohsoadarable).
Anything else you’d like to share?!
I just graduated a year early from New York University with a BS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, and I got a full ride to do my Masters in Speech Language Pathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill medical school! I was also accepted into UNC’s lactation consultant certification program through the school of public health, so I’ll be doing that as well. I’m so, so excited to be a Tarheel come August! My goal is to practice in a pediatric hospital – I’d love to work in the NICU as a feeding specialist (SLP’s also cover swallowing disorders). Any fellow natural SLPeeps out there? It’s also really important to me to use my lactation consultant certification to promote breastfeeding in the African American community, particularly among teen moms. (Nikki, thanks for helping to spread positivity about breastfeeding by talking about it on your blog!)
Your hair looks great. I absolutely love Shea moisture smoothie. It's the best stuff ever. Good luck with your studies and good luck with continuing the natural hair process.
Your hair is very pretty & how lucky were you to be in a subway commercial they have great subs!
Hey! I am a fellow natural SLP! I am currently the lead SLP at my school district and currently working part time for a pediatric rehab facility. I am also in school working on my doctorate degree in administration and supervision for SLP, writing my dissertation now. Good luck in your studies!!
Lovely! I love hearing other people's natural hair story. It makes me proud to see another natural rockin' their natural hair no matter the reason. Awesome story!
Amazing! I love hearing people succeed in life (and with the hair journey) C:
brains and beauty!! congrats. love your simple hair care. i have just converted to a simple plan and I am loving it.
Congrats and good luck with your future endeavors!
Ha. After reading this post this morning, I just saw you on the Subway commercial this afternoon!
She has amazing skin!
Beautiful article. She and her mother has nice teeth!!!
Hey, I met you at the curlynikki meet up in Charlotte. My friends and I sat across from you and your mom. It was nice chatting with you both. Thanks again taking our picture. Be blessed in everything you do in the future.
Ditto on what the others said. She is one of my fave to be featured. Her hair, ohmygoodness! Her attitude. Her brains! Love it when natural women are featured who are both positive and intelligent. It proves that beauty is really only skin deep.
Much success to you in your future. And I have now become inspired to change my hair (again) after I just did it the other night. One of the many perks of being a natural woman 🙂
lovely story. hair is beautiful. congratulations on your academic achievements. a great big welcome to the Tar Heel state. hope nc lives up to your expectations.
All around beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story Adara. I LOVE the photo with you and your Mother who is also natural…I'm working on my mother lol 🙂
I absolutely love her. She is def one my of fav features.
Banging hair, and I hate single strand knots!
Adara is a beautiful girl, with brains to match! GO GIRL!
Type 1 diabetes I was diagnosed with.
I love your hair! I have trouble typing my hair my friend who is natural 3b/3c said my hair is a 3c/4a, even my other friend who is 4b. I do not really care natural hair naturally fabulous and gorgeous no matter what type everything God made is beautiful especially our hair even he knows. I also use Shea moisture curl milk and smoothie I like and my mother does too. I plan on at graduating in a year if everything goes right health wise I just was diagnosed at 21 I am 22 with type diabetes I became really ill I thought I was not going to make so college was brought to a stop for a.while. now I am back and ready keep going. I want to find a natural style for.when I graduate to.fit under my cap my hair is big since it has grown and I keep of stretched to minimize the little sneaky evil single strand knots, so twists outs or braidout are my bff's for life lol.
Wow! I love your hair! Congrats on all of your accomplishments! I have been thinking about becoming a lactation consultant and seeing this story was very inspirational! God Bless!
Yea for a fellow CSD major 🙂 I'm also studying to become an SLP and I'm natural as well. So glad to see a fellow curly with similar aspirations! Congrats on graduating and your scholarship so proud of you! Your hair is beautiful!!!!
um my favorite naturally glam girl ever! love the hair, love the attitude and love her diverse interests [hair, acting, health, and that super specific career she's seeking– clear idea of what she wants to do in life!] How cool– I literally danced in my seat when I saw that still of her subway commercial…. I was all excited like I knew her lol. Congrats on everything!
what an inspiration. I love the future plans as an SLP and lactation specialist. I'm an early childhood special ed teacher and work closely with SLP's. Very important work. I've also volunteered in a NICU and think a feeding specialist is very necessary. I also commend you for getting the positive word out about breastfeeding.
Your hair is amazing too…congrats on the commercials.