My name is Reyna and I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m currently in graduate school for
School counseling. I earned my Bachelors degree in Psychology from Miami University (OH). My hair journey has had its ups and downs, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. I love it.
How long have you been natural?
I’ve been 100% natural for 2 years.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I was a transitioner, 17 long months. I decided to transition because I was scared of the big chop. For some reason, I would always say “that wouldn’t look right on me”. But looking back, I do wish I would have started my natural journey with a TWA. And as of late, I’ve actually been considering exploring that option, you never know 😉
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part was the moment when I was actually noticing the growth everyone else saw but I didn’t. It’s easier now that I’m finally learning what works for my hair and what doesn’t. But transitioning was frustrating. I was really focused on what worked for others, instead of trying to figure out my own regimen.
What are some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
I really liked braid-outs as I was transitioning. That’s actually still my favorite style. I did like two flat twists going to the back into a low bun, or actually any bun.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My mane receives so much attention when it’s big and flourishing. People want to touch it, pull it, grab it. I sometimes get those “now why didn’t she do her hair this morning” stares, as well. My family was slow to warm up to my natural hair. They didn’t understand what natural actually meant, especially my Asian mother. But they got use to it. My dad still might hit me with an, “Oh, what’s up, Angela Davis?”. Sometimes I’ll throw on a curly wig or use some Marley hair in my bun, and my mom always has to ask if it’s my real hair or not.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I deep condition weekly, usually with a simple mixture of conditioner, honey, and olive or coconut oil. I recently purchased @CourtneyNaturalHair’s deep conditioner. LOVE! I really like my steamer, I’ve seen such a tremendous difference in my hair since investing. I co-wash weekly as well. The conditioner I’m pretty partial to these days is the Aussie Moist. Moisturizing and sealing is so necessary. I really don’t shampoo wash often, maybe twice a month, so I can’t say I have a favorite. My go-to moisturizer is Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter. Walgreens had a Buy 1, Get 1 Free sale, I stocked up! I keep it simple with the oils; EVOO, EVCO, and Grapeseed. Jamaican Black Castor Oil is incredible for thickness, I hardly use it anymore, but starting this journey it really helped promoting growth and thickness. At night, I usually just do 2 french braids to the back. But if its like a weekend and I’m feeling fancy or know I’m going to release the beast (my fro), I’ll do 4 braids to the back for better definition, and pick it out for fullness. Then I just tie it up with a satin scarf. Sometimes I’m lazy, or at my man’s house, or both lol and so I keep a pillow with a satin pillow case both at home and there
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I really enjoy the articles on Black Girl Long Hair, they’re very informative. Of course CurlyNikki. I’ve been following Taren’s natural journey since when I was still getting relaxers, I absolutely love her. My soror Jade Kendle (LipsticknCurls) has the most amazing curls ever. I’d love to meet her. Shameless Maya, despite having cut off her amazing locs, is still one of my favorite naturals. Megan (ulovemegz), has always been one of my favorite YouTubers, and she’s not even natural! We graduated from the same high school. ItsMyRayeRaye, NaturalNeiicey, MissNikkiMae; I could actually go on and on with a list of my favorites, especially on Instagram, but I’ll keep the list short.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I’m not like a Natural nazi lol I respect everyone’s preference. I’m not against relaxed hair by any means. I was relaxed myself for 10 years, and you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t cute. For those thinking about going natural, transitioners, and big choppers, just keep doing your research and be patient.
Where can people find you for more information?
I have an instagram for my hair, @manilafro. To keep up with more of my personal life, follow @reynaciara, or both!