How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 10 years.
What made you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural for 3 reasons. When I was 18 yrs old, I got micro braids put in my hair. When it was time for me to take them out, I started taking them out like you’re supposed to. I unbraided them, but by the second day I was tired of taking them out so I started pulling them out, which was the craziest thing to have done. Because of that, I pulled my hair out. My hair was a little past my shoulders and when I took the braids out, I lost my length and thickness. The ends of my hair were very thin. I cried because I didn’t know what I was going to do with my hair. I was so mad at myself. Even with a relaxer I always had thick and full hair, relaxers never gave me a problem or took my hair out, so that was not a reason for me to stop getting relaxers. Since I lost so much hair I decided to go natural.
The second reason for going natural was that I was 18 yrs old and my mom wasn’t going to pay for me to get my hair done anymore. I didn’t have the money to pay for my hair because I was in college and I didn’t have a job.
Also, when I was in high school my ex used to always tell me that I need to stop getting perms, I don’t need to be putting chemicals in my hair, and that I’m burning my brain cells and my hair wasn’t meant to be straight and etc. So he was another factor in my decision to go natural.
Big Chop, shot term transition or long term transition? Why?
I had a short term transition. I decided to go natural in August of 2002. I transitioned until October 2002. While transitioning I gradually cut my hair and I waited until my new growth was 2 inches before I cut all the relaxed hair off. I couldn’t do the big chop because I wasn’t used to short hair so I had to gradually cut my hair to get used to the shortness. On October 25, 2004 I started my locs and I have had them for 8 yrs now.
What is your hair care routine/regimen?
I really don’t have a regimen. I wash and condition my hair every 2-4 weeks using Eden Body Works Peppermint and Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner. After I wash my hair, I put oil (whatever I have on hand) on my scalp and retwist with Organic Root Stimulator Lock and Twist Gel.
What are your top 5 ‘must-have’ hair care products/items? Why?
My top 5 ‘must-have’ hair care products/items are Organic Root Stimulator, Eden Body Works shampoo, pipe cleaners, scarves and the Cool Cap. I have been using Organic Root Stimulator since I went natural. It works great with loose natural hair and locs. I love it. I love how Eden Body Works shampoo makes my scalp feel; it feels so refreshed. I love wearing pipe cleaners in my locs. I wrap my locs around the pipe cleaners and I can bend them in any kind of way to get a cute style. Whenever I don’t feel like doing my hair or it looks a mess, I wrap my hair with scarves. I style it in so many different ways. I just found out about the Cool Cap and I love it, it cuts the drying process in half.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your hair or about your journey before going natural?
The one thing I wish I knew about my hair before going natural is how fun it is to be natural.
What is the most important tip you’ve learned throughout your natural hair journey that you think every natural should know?
The most important tip that I have learned about being natural would apply to those who have locs, since I have been loc’d longer than I have been a loose natural. The tip is to just let your locs be. Don’t try to always manipulate them.
What are thoughts on the natural hair community/movement?
I really don’t know what to think on the natural hair community/movement. I think with social media it can be too much. It’s all you hear about. But on the other hand being natural makes you more confident because you are going against the norm. So people want to talk about and brag about it and they feel good about it. As women we love our hair, so we are going to talk about it. So as long as we have social media, we are always going to hear and talk about natural hair. So we should just accept it. I post a lot of pics to Instagram and all of that because I love my hair. So going back to what I said; if there is going to be social media we are going to talk about our hair and how proud we are of it, because we are going against the norm.
I will say this; all these different products are a little bit too much. There is so much out there that everyone wants to try them and become a product junkie. Me personally, I don’t use a lot of products. When I find something I like and that works for me, I stick to it.
Where can the Naturally Glam Fam find you online? What will they find on your site/blog/vlog?
I can be found on YouTube- http://youtube.com/1Carmyn. I also have a facebook fanpage- http://facebook.com/youtubersmileywitdalocs. In mid-January 2013, I will be launching my line of handmade jewelry – Uniqueness by Smileywitdalocs.