Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
Hello! My name is Reneè Dumas, also known as Shanna Reneè. I am 24 years old. I currently live in Edgard, Louisiana. I attended West St. John High School and am an alumnus of the Class of 2007. I also attended Southeastern University in Hammond, Louisiana to major in Mass Communication. I graduated from River Parishes Community College (in Sorrento, La.) in 2011 with a degree in Liberal Arts. I am also a freelance makeup artist, an aspiring natural hair model, and a very popular naturalista.
How long have you been natural?
I’ll be 4 years natural in May.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? Why?
My journey to natural hair actually came about without me even realizing it. My hair was going through the “growing out stage” because I had been rocking a Mohawk (I actually shaved both sides of my head, lol). I was at the point in my life where I just wanted a quick fix for my hair, so I wore quick weaves and sew-ins. I would not get perms; it didn’t make sense, because as soon as I took the tracks out, fresh tracks went back in. My cousin was natural, so she strongly suggested that I make the decision. One day I got annoyed with detangling the two textures so I grabbed a pair of scissors and that was all she wrote! I haven’t looked back since.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair is really curly-kinky. I have many different textures in it, which range from tightly curled to loose. It’s very easy to manage when freshly done. Now as it gets old, that’s a different story lol.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love that I can have options with my hair. I can create simple, but fierce styles and I don’t have to pull out a curling iron or anything that requires heat to be used.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy, difficult, or both?!
The most memorable part of my natural hair journey would have to be when I cut my permed ends. I was so shocked at myself for doing such a thing, but I definitely don’t regret it. I saw myself as the naturally beautiful person that I am, without the permed, long hair. My journey with natural hair has been both easy and difficult. The easy part was that I accepted my hair for what it was and embraced it. The hard part was learning what products worked best for me, what styles I could achieve with my length, and not expecting the exact same results that I saw from other naturalistas on YouTube. It’s all about getting to know your hair and working with what you have.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’?
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural’? Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I think a lot of people were shocked that I’d cut my hair because I’ve always had a nice, soft, texture of hair. They were like, “Why did you do that?” The reaction I got from my family. All I can say is thank God I didn’t care about anyone’s opinion about my hair. My parents were not a fan of my hair at all. I think they would have much preferred if I had wore tracks until my hair grew out, then permed it. My boyfriend at the time hated it as well. He didn’t have anything good to say about it. On the bright side, my best friends loved it! They supported me and encouraged me to continue on this journey. Nowadays it’s a totally different story. My family loves it. The compliments and support that I receive about my hair is amazing! Everyone loves my hair, both men and women. It’s great to see that people are more open-minded and love the “natural look.”
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My hair routine is simple. I use all my favorite products that I know for a fact will give me the best results. Before I can wash it’s a MUST that I detangle with some type of conditioner, hair oil, and water, all mixed in a spray bottle. I then wash with Aussie’s Moist Shampoo, Pantene’s Truly Natural Clarifying Shampoo, or Shea Moisture’s Organic Yucca & Baobab Thickening Shampoo. I condition my hair with Pantene’s Truly Natural Deep Conditioner or Aussie’s Moist Conditioner. If I want to deep condition, I use Softn’Free GroHealthy Milk Protein and Olive Oil Really Deep Conditioning Treatment. My hair loves this stuff! Once my hair is clean and conditioned, I then apply Giovanni’s Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner with either my Motions Naturally You! Hydrate my Curls Pudding or Pantene’s Truly Natural Defining Curls Styling Custard. Then I two-strand twist my hair into 7 twists. I pull the twists to the opposite side of my head and secure the twists with hair pins. I let my hair air dry over night and I wear a wig to work the next day because the really thick parts of my hair are usually still a little damp. The day after, I style to my liking.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
Some of my favorite natural hair blogs areCurlyNikki.com,Blackgirllonghair.com,BlackNaps.org,Naturalisdope.com, andGlobalCoutureBlog.net (of course lol). My favorite YouTubers are Taren Guy, Nikkimmae2003,Colored Beautiful, African Export, My Natural Sistas, and CurlybyNature21.
Do you believe that your natural hair is sexy/exudes confidence?Most definitely, both sex appeal and confidence came from my hair! Honestly, I was never this confident about myself before. I feel like with every inch that my hair grew, grew some confidence along with it. It’s a great feeling because not only do I see the positive change in myself, the people that I’m close with do as well.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I want the readers to know that we are all beautiful! Being a natural is much bigger than hair. It’s about being the person that God created us to be and loving yourself, despite the adversities/stereotypes that we are faced with. Natural hair is sexy, professional, and beautiful!
Where can people find you for more information?
You can find me on Facebook at Shanna Renee’ and on Instagram @Naturally_Beauteeful