I’m Samio and I’m from England.

How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural all my life, I’ve experimented with hair dye along the way but in terms of my curls I’ve always kept them natural/chemically straightend free.

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What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
Although I never chemically straighten my hair, I did seriously damage it with excessive bleaching. It had started off with highlights but then I got so obsessed with filling in the roots that at one point I was dying my hair every two weeks. My hair got lighter and lighter but as it did, it got dryer and weaker, until eventually it started to snap. By then I’d been every colour possible, including experimenting with green and bright orange.

In the end I decided my experimental hair dye days were over and so I got my friend (and trained hair dresser) to give my hair the ‘big chop’!

My friend was so shocked when she saw the awful condition my hair was in because I’d managed to hide I so well. My friend has cut my hair ever since and in the early days she kept an eye on me making sure I didn’t do anything silly with my hair again, now she’s the only person I trust near it with scissors. It was the best decision for me to start again with my hair or really it was the only option.

I don’t ever regret experiment with hair colour because I think it’s something I needed to get out of my system whilst I was younger. Now I appreciate my hair so much more and don’t even think about dying it!

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
I always found it hardest when my hair was shortest. I’m a very confident person so I was never afraid to go out in public with short dark hair after people had been used to seeing me with long blonde hair for so long. It just felt like something was missing, as I felt my hair had been the thing that showed my personality. It made me determined to get my hair back to its former glory and so that’s when I started taking an interest in what was actually good for my hair. I had to learn to be patient for once too.

The most memorable part of my journey was when I had a weave, it was when my hair was still very short but just long enough to braid. I got my friend (the one who cut my hair) to help me do the weave the first time. Neither of us had done a weave before and I bought three packs of hair. I looked like a Bratz doll, it was a little over the top but at the time I liked it and I had to make up for no longer having my fro. After the first time I started to do my weave myself.

It really helped my hair having the weave. I’d take it out every two weeks to wash my hair and the condition it was in each time was amazing. Eventually it grew long enough that I felt comfortable to wear my own hair out again and it was in amazing condition when I eventually did. The weave had worked well as a protective style over the months.

What are some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
After I’d stopped wearing a weave, although it was nice to have my natural hair out again, I did occasionally miss the length of the weave. I decided to make my own three quater wig so I’d keep only a small part of my own hair out, which I’d straighten and curl to blend with the wig and make it look natural. I only wore the wig on special occasions and it gave me more confidence when I wanted to dress up. Once my hair got longer I stopped wearing it.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
When I first showed my folks my weave they were surprised. I’d told them I had it done but I don’t think they expected how different I’d look when they saw me. They had never seen me with hair like that before, my Mother and Grandma especially have always preferred my natural hair.

What is your hair regimen (including fave products)?
I wash my hair every few days. I use flawless, which is a two in one wash and conditioning product by Macadamia. If my hair feels like it has a lot of product built up in it then I’ll use a shampoo. I use a coconut shampoo by Inecto but I don’t tend to use that too often.

A product I like to leave in my hair is Aussie conditioner. I use the wash out Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner as a leave in, as I find it works well in my hair at keeping my curls defined. I also love Macadamia oil treatment treatment on my hair as it keeps my hair soft, in good condition and it smells great. If I have any frizz that needs to be tackled, Twisted Sister Curl Activator cream is great for running through my hair and bringing my curl definition back.

I’m doing a braid out I like to use Inecto’s coconut conditioning treatment. I apply this to my hair whilst it is still damp and then run some Macadamia oil treatment through the hair before braiding. I’ll wrap my hair in a head scarf and then leave it. When I take my braids out (usually the next day), my hair is left feeling silky soft and the products keep the curls/waves intact once I’ve taken the braids out.

Inspirational words?
If you want something in life work hard for it and be open to new opportunities that come your way as you never know where they may take you in life.

Where can people find you for more information?
You can find me on my website and blog here: http://www.samio.co.uk/blog/
Twitter & Instagram: @samiorenelda

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