My name is Paulah, I’m 22 years old and I currently live in Ann Arbor, MI. I’ll be moving to Washington, D.C. soon to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at George Washington University. I’ve been natural for almost 4 years. Although it wasn’t always an easy journey, I fall more in love with my hair every day and I will never relax again.
How long have you been natural?
My last relaxer was almost 4 years ago and I cut my relaxed ends off about 3 years ago.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was motivated to transition by two close friends in college and eventually my entire group of girlfriends went natural. I was too afraid to big chop because I did not want really short hair, so I had this whole plan of how I would transition for a really long time, just cutting the ends slowly until my relaxed hair was gone. That didn’t really work because I got sick of the two different textures so after a year I cut off my relaxed hair.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is very thick and I have different textures throughout my head. Some parts are kinky and other parts are more curly. Also, my hair has a mind of her own so I just try to work with her as best as I can.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love all the different things I can do with my hair. I can get a fabulous twist out one day and have a thick mane of straight hair the next.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
My journey has been both difficult and easy. It was difficult when I first started because I didn’t know what I was doing. Now it’s fairly easy because I’ve gotten the hang of things. The most memorable part of my journey was when I stopped blow-drying and started rocking twist outs on wet or air-dryed hair. I felt like I had finally become comfortable enough with my hair to just wear it as it is and that was a major milestone for me.
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
My favorite transitioning style was a bantu knot out. My favorite natural styles are flexi-rod sets and Marley twists.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
When I first went natural, I mainly did it to grow my hair long. That is still my goal but now there’s a spiritual aspect to it, which is about accepting my Blackness and my unique beauty. I remember my mother saying that I wouldn’t be able to grow long hair and I was determined to prove her wrong. I don’t think she intended to be negative, she was really trying to point out that I shouldn’t believe that I can buy a bunch of hair products and all of sudden I’ll have hair down my back. She was right, being a product junkie does not mean that your hair will grow. I had to learn how to take care of my hair in order for it to be truly healthy.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I wash and deep condition my hair once a week. Usually I’ll do a twist out or just keep my hair in a low bun. I love coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, Alba conditioners, and rosemary oil. I’ve recently started using Jamaican Black Castor Oil and I think I like it. Also, every 3 months or so I’ll henna my hair.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
My favorite Tumblr page is naturalhaireverything. Shoutout to Mel for always posting my pics/videos when I submit them to her, I appreciate it. I love Naptural85, Nikki Mae, and Alicia James on Youtube.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I would say that if you’re considering going natural, just do it. It is liberating in so many ways – I don’t have to hide from rain or swimming pools and I just feel like this beautiful Black queen when I walk around with my ‘fro. And anything you can do with relaxed hair, you can do with natural hair and it will probably look ten times better!
Where can people find you for more information?
I’m on Instagram @DownAzzJawn. My Youtube page is youtube.com/downlikejawn. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to hit me up with questions or just to say hey girl!
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