My name is Alexis and I am originally from a small town in Ohio, but moved to Virginia 3 years ago. I am 23 years old and a recent graduate of Kent State University in Ohio where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Education. I’m a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and love doing community service, anything artistic and I also model.
How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I decided to embark on my natural hair journey 2 years and a few months ago and have loved every step of it. Since becoming natural, I have always embraced my curls. They remind me of my childhood and my thick, curly, unruly hair. My mother even loves getting her hands in it and saying “I feel like I have my little girl back when I’m in your hair”.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was motivated by a Pan-African Studies course that I took while in college called Black Images. We watched a film titled “200 Years Without a Comb” (A MUST SEE!) and that film changed my whole perspective and influenced me heavily. I was also inspired by some of my lovely Sorors (sorority sisters) who had already began their journey. I big chopped on August 22, 2012 after just two short months of transitioning. The anticipation won me over and I big chopped very early, to just about a fade. My BC was the shortest my hair has been, ever, but I added some color, embraced it and ROCKED it!
How would you describe your hair?
Today I would describe my hair as I described it from when I was a child: Thick, Curly, and Unruly. I say unruly for the fact that my hair tends to always do the opposite of what I want it to do.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love my hair’s thickness, fullness and its ability to take well to color and heat. I also love doing blowouts on it. (I know, I know, heat is like the devil for natural hair lol, but my hair bounces back to curls very well after being blown out.) Twist outs on blown out hair give me life!
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
So far, my most memorable part of my journey is my big chop. I felt so liberated and free. I can still remember the shock I felt after I realized that I really cut my hair so low. I didn’t look in the mirror the entire time my hair was being cut and each snip my friend’s mouth got bigger and bigger! And I’ll say it has been easy, yet at times difficult. At the end of the day, it is just hair but everyone has “good” hair days, but we all also have the “bad” ones.
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
While I transitioned I stuck to mainly rod sets. I loved doing them and wearing my hair curly. I also did two braids or two flat twists a lot as well. Once I started to have to battle two textures, the simpler was the better for me! Today with some length I love two strand twist outs, (especially blown out ones)!
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My experiences have been great. I definitely love all the support I get via social media. It’s really refreshing to see women of color come together on something and be supportive and motivational of one another. It’s also great to know that I have inspired a lot of other women, including family members to go natural themselves. I always get a kick out of finding myself on various blogs and sites and when I do fashion shows, everyone always wants “the fro out”. It’s overall just been great!
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
This will sound crazy, but I don’t have a set regimen. I “listen” to my hair. I don’t like feeling like my hair is a hassle or something that I HAVE to work so hard at. When it’s dry, I do a hot oil and protein treatments. When I’ve done styles that require a lot of product, I make sure I wash it. I just go with the flow of my hair. I do deep condition once every week however, and try to co-wash once in that same week. Some of my favorite product brands include: Aussie, Garnier Fructis, Herbal Essence, Organix, Shea Moisture and Miss. Jessie’s.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
From my perspective, the natural hair journey is trial and error and all about finding what works for you and your hair. It is also very important to not compare yourself to others because everyone’s hair is different, including the rate and ways of growth. Being natural also requires a certain confidence because we live in a society where natural hair is becoming more widely accepted, however, there is still a deep history that says our natural hair should not be out because it is “nappy” and looks “unkempt”. Sadly, there are also a lot of individuals who believe that beauty is still the image of European/Western women with long, straight hair. With these negative perspectives a lot of women hold back but JUST DO IT! It is so worth it, and who doesn’t like versatile hair?!
Where can people find you for more information?
Facebook: Alexis Pastor