Tell me about yourself!
My name is Christina Chislom and I go by “Chrissy”. I’m 36 from Spanish Harlem, NY and have been Active Duty Air Force for over 18 years and currently stationed in Europe. I hope to complete my Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership degree within the next 3 months, which is currently pending full board approval from the IRB.
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I transitioned, but not purposely becoming a natural, but accidentally. I never really had too many relaxers, only every 6 months starting late in the 8th grade. I used to go to the Dominican Salon growing up getting either a doobie, as we say in NYC, just a bone straight style, or some flat twists and curls. Prior to my “Dirty 30” Birthday, I decided I wasn’t going to get a relaxer anymore to see how my hair would be, not even thinking about the word “natural”. Prior to that I can’t remember the last time I had done a relaxer, so it’s been quite a while even before my birthday. It hit me once I started seeing the different textures on my ends and would just get them cut off. I kept my hair straightened, wavy, or curly with twists until this natural hair movement just bloomed out of nowhere with loads of information everywhere. Then I realized, I guess I was becoming a natural. It’s been about 7 years or so…
Had you always embraced your texture?
I’ve always had long hair down my back and my mother had a lot of work to do. She kept my hair beautiful and healthy. It was long, thick and flowing. I would get it straightened with the hot comb for special occasions and that would last all of just a bit. 🙂 I received my first relaxer late in the 8th grade. I begged my mother for a relaxer, because I would get teased that my hair was nappy only because it wasn’t relaxed like the other girls. I didn’t understand nor wanted my hair bone straight like the other girls. I enjoyed my thick long flowing hair. I now however embrace my natural texture. I always get a good laugh when I’m asked if I’m only black or individuals think I’m mixed as they compare my hair to females they know and see and have said nobody has the texture like you do. Yours isn’t nappy like theirs. I just laugh and shake my head.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
Everyone just went with the flow honestly. If my hair were bone straight, I’d get asked did I get a relaxer and I’d say no, I hadn’t had a relaxer in whatever amount of time it was. Then if it were curly, they’d just comment on liking the style my hair was in. So, they were very much supportive in me becoming all-natural.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
I have a mixture of textures, mostly thick, but also very fine, coarse, thick, coily and curly with low porosity.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
I can’t think of anything crazy that I’ve done, but perhaps color it and I just cut my hair about 4 inches and am having a meltdown about it. But cutting the color out is only going to make it grow much more healthier.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
Being lazy sometimes
What’s your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I’m on and off with my hair routine. I don’t follow a set routine anymore. I co-wash mostly to do a new style and shampoo as needed not even once a month. I do deep condition at least 1-2 times monthly. I style most of the time for the week, which would be prepping on Sunday by washing, conditioning, etc. and twists that I can style in an updo for the week until the weekend. I started off being a product junkie liking and trying everything, but have calmed down since and mostly use what I make.
My favorite products are: My homemade deep conditioners, daily hair moisturizers, oil mixes and cream mixes for twist outs/styling. If I’m using brand products, I enjoy:
Co-Wash: As I Am, Coconut Co-wash, ACV for cleansing
Shampoo/Conditioners: Mane ‘n Tail, Miss Jessie’s Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo & Crème de la Crème
Leave-in: Giovanni Direct, Kinky Curly Knot Today, and Cantu Shea Butter
Oils: Coconut, Olive, Jojoba, Argan, JBCO, CBCO, Avocado, and Carrot
Styling Products: Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme, Eco Styler Gel, Kera Care Twist & Define Cream, As I Am, Twist Defining Creme
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
I love my chunky twistouts, flat twists and mohawks…I’ll look at YouTube sometimes to perhaps get an idea of something I’d like to try, but mostly I’m innovative and create my own styles since it has to be up while in uniform and no more than 3 inches in bulk.
Who is your curl crush?
CurlyNikki (you provide a great hair forum), and Naptural85, I enjoy her tutorials, but there are many great curlies..
How do you maintain your hair at night?
If my hair is in a curly state, I’ll put it up in a pineapple style to maintain the curls or just but my satin scarf and wrap on. If straight, I’ll wrap my hair, secure with bobby pins and put my satin scarf on. I also sleep on a satin pillowcase.
How do you maintain healthy length?
Due to being in the military, considering the Air Force hair standards and my length, I mostly wear protected styles, twists pinned up or any other style I may create, which is always an updo, rarely a bun. On the weekends, I can let my hair down and wear it out. I keep my hair moisturized, washed and deep conditioned when I feel it’s needed. I’ve recently cut off the dead color from my ends, so I should see a better outcome with my ends being healthier and more growth.
What’s the best thing about being natural?
The versatility of my hair is fabulous. I love that I can literally do anything to my hair and be comfortable with rocking it just how I like. I wouldn’t trade being natural for anything…nothing compares to the versatility of being straight, wavy, curly, rocking a fro, a huge puff or a crazy Mohawk or any other style.
Where can folks find you on the web?
I’m not a blogger or big social media junkie…I do have a Facebook page and people can just check me out under Christina Chislom and Twitter @uptwnqt.