My name is Sarah Woldekidan, I’m 23 years old and hail from the DMV. Born in DC, raised in Maryland and received my Bachelor’s from Virginia Tech. I am a proud Eritrean-American, 1st generation born in the USA. I am currently working my way into the Women’s Basketball world and hopefully, will help women athletes gain the respect they deserve.
My hair journey didn’t begin with a huge epiphany to be natural. While I was in college, I didn’t have time or the money to go home and get a relaxer so it would be months before I could do anything to my hair. After a while, I started to realize that my natural hair texture is a lot fuller and curlier than what I was use to and I fell in love.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 5 years. I got my last relaxer in October 2008.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
It just happened really. When I first started to transition into being natural, there weren’t as many go to sites as there are now. I would Youtube different ways to maintain my curls without heat and I just tried different things. I never did a Big Chop but I did cut off 12 inches on my hair in August 2010. I had a bob for a while and my hair is just getting back to the length it was before. I cut my hair because I wanted all the straight pieces gone and I just wanted a new look, something fresh and very different from my usual style.
How would you describe your hair?
I would simply say THICK! It is definitely an eye-grabber. My hair is huge and curly and soaks up moisture like a sponge!
What do you love most about your hair?
I love how full it is! It took me a while to accept the thickness but now I wear it out all the time. I prefer my curls over my straight hair and I think that takes a lot of confidence to do. My hair has really shown me how to appreciate my natural state rather than to conform or be “in”.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part is when I cut 12 inches off my hair. My family was in shock and my friends loved it! It has been fun to see the natural nature of my hair and how I have changed over the years with my hair. My confidence is at an all time high and you have to feel good to allow what is outside of the norm. And the fact that people are loving my hair makes me feel even better because natural hair is becoming accepted and it’s beautiful!
What are some of your favorite hair styles?
I usually just pin some of my hair up for work because the chaos, that is my hair, can be annoying but other than that, I just wear it out or in a pineapple ponytail.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
There are so many different hair textures within my family, they absolutely love my fro and how massive it is. My mom and I have been able to bond over our hair. She is now cancer free for 5 years and because of chemo and radiation, her hair texture has done a complete 180! It went from loose waves to super tight coils. She asked me to help her embrace her new tight curls and it has really been a fun experience to watch her rock her curly fro! In the dating scene, I know some people prefer straight hair but now my mentality is this, ‘if you can’t appreciate the bigness that is my hair, you can keep it moving!” My natural state isn’t just no make up and sweats, it includes my fro and possibly even my flats twists or braids before bed, Felicia style. I rarely deal with people that don’t like it so I haven’t had too much trouble these days. lol
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I use very minimal products but I love trying new things. I wash my hair with Tresemme Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner and sometimes Palmer Olive Oil Formula Conditioner to combat the frizz and lock in the good oils. After I wash my hair I split my hair into 6 sections and apply a bit of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to each section and twist it a bit. I wash my hair once a week but I do wet it during the week, every other day because my hair gets very dry. After that process, if I am going out I will use my Conair Diffuser but if I am going to bed, I just let it air dry for a few minutes, put it in a pineapple ponytail then sleep on a satin pillow. I am very simple and low maintenance when it comes to my hair.
What are some of your favorite Youtubers?
I absolutely LOVE Taren916, Shameless Maya and ItsmeRayeRaye on youtube. They are amazing!
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Honestly, I am no hair guru but I do think that embracing the curls and kinks will help your self esteem. Let your hair out and stop trying to make it something it’s not! I feel sexiest when I have my hair out. It feels amazing to be myself and when somebody else loves it, it tells me that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing and that’s loving myself for what I have.
Where can people find you for more information?
I am on Twitter and Instagram under the same name, Simplyfocused11