What was your journey like?
I had a perm in my hair once or twice. I had horrible experience with a hair stylist in Burlington, NJ. She left the relaxer in my hair and it left burnt marks on my scalp. I never really needed them because my hair would not take. Growing up, my father used to do my hair. Once my parents got divorced, things change. My mother can only french braid my hair, so my older sister did my hair until she left for college. Me and my sister are 5 years apart. Back then in the 80’s their were no products for mixed chicks, but come to find out white girl products have always worked in my hair.
I wore my hair in ponytails and braids in my childhood. I had one or two awesome hair stylist and I had horrible ones. If did not know how to handle my hair that would make things worse. In high school, we went on a search for a new hair stylist because moved from Vineland, NJ to Deptford, NJ. Two totally different environments meant less hair dressers. Then, finally we found Ivana an old school hair dresser. She became my best friend. When I went away to college at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA where my hair textured changed. Instead my hair being wavy, I literally just woke one day, (no lies) washed my hair, and it was CURLY! I was like really, wow this is different. So I embraced, but I struggled for years finding the RIGHT PRODUCTS. So, I always had to wear my hair straight, twists or braids. I was so frustrated! September 2009 changed my natural hair journey forever. My sister suggested I check out hairlista.com with founder Sunshine from Canada. I found curly hair girls! I was so excited to hear the product suggestions, hair journeys and advice. I lived on there 24/7. I checked out YouTube hair videos. I was a natural girl addict. I’m actually a featured Hairlista!
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
My family has been very supportive. For years, I was my mother’s hair stylist; I helped her transition from a relaxer to her naturally curly, 3c/4a texture. I was her hair mentor and supported her every step of the way. I would wash and style and encourage her to be the natural her. My mother loves afros! The 70’s is her era of fashion and style. She has two afro puffs in her high school picture, pure beauty.
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is super thick, wavy and curly texture. My hair is super fine/thin on the edges, then super thick waves/curls through the remainder of my hair. Also, I would define my hair as BIG as Diana Ross wigs/hair pieces from back in day!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
I love to experiment with color. I have been dark red, hot red, black, honey blonde, and now platinum blonde. My next thing to try is overshadow with BLUE, PINK, PURPLE, basically all colors of the rainbow!
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
RELAXERS and TIGHT PONYTAILS.
What’s your current hair routine?
I have 2 yearly regimens for 2 different seasons: fall/winter regimen and spring/summer regimen. The Fall/Winter Regimen is pretty simple. I go to Dominican Republic salon in Philadelphia/South Jersey or if I’m in Atlanta, GA I go see my hair stylist from California named Marlon Douglas. He is the truth; I saw his hair game at work when I was a senior year at Clark Atlanta University. He been my stylist now for 10 years. I go to see him if I’m in Atlanta. I basically get a roller set or blow out once a month. I go to a DR salon about 5 months out the year. Then Spring/Summer starting in April each year I wear my natural hair. I do clarifying treatment once a month with Apple Cider Vinegar/H20 mixed in a spray bottle and leave on my hair for 45 minutes then rinse. I co-wash two times a week. I use Aloe Vera Juice as one of my Leave In Conditioner. I also use Aloe Vera Gel to lay my hair flat for definition. Every wash day I use JBCO (Jamacian Black Castor Oil) on my scalp. JBCO is one of my staple products. I use VO5, Suave, any conditioners to co-wash my hair. I use Aussie Moist Conditioner for my moisturizer. I LOVE CONDITIONER! I use a leave in conditioner called Miracle Worker. Then, I seal with the beautiful smell of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I cut my hair regimen down to the bare minimum at one point my hair regimen took like 8 hours. I realize need to keep it simple, plus I need that time for other things in my life. I’m not a fan of my hair the 1st day, because I look like a poodle dog. The 3rd or 4th day as my hair expands, I have more body, volume and life.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
I like wearing my BIG curly hair out. My hair is inspiration is Diane Ross and her beautiful daughter Tracee Ellis Ross. Tracee is so fierce, stylish, creative and out-of box like me. I have been following her for years.
Who is your curl crush?
Naturally Niece & HeyFran on YouTube, that’s my friend from Canada! I meet her on hairlista.com and she super big now. I’m super supporter and proud of her. We go way back when everyone was on hairlista.com. She always has a new style and video every week. Now HeyFran, I love her hair and style. She is bohemian, culturally inspired, vegan, and loves homemade hair products and food recipes. She is AWESOME! I hope to meet both beautiful queens one day.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I wear a loose bun on top of my head. I use a satin pillows and my whole bed set is SATIN. Yes, I know it sounds super slippery, which it is but retains moisture for your face, body and hair.
How do you maintain healthy length?
My favorite protective style is a my loose bun. Buns don’t put a lot of tension on your hair.
What’s the best thing about being natural?
I can be FREE to be ME. I’m not a fan of the Corporate America look, even though I work with corporate client. That stiff bun and super greasy looking ponytails IRK ME! I love how diversified my look can be: twists, braids, buns, waves/curls, up-dos, protective styles. The list goes on. I’m very free, spiritual, and my look is different each day. I’m Jersey Girl, you might catch with some light tan Timberlands on with my jeans, t-shirts with a bun. Then, following day I wearing a dress with my waves/curly flowing like the wind. I’m out-box thinker, and my clothes, hair and style are the same.
Where can folks find you on the web?