How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for about 12 years
What made you decide to go natural (or stay natural if you never relaxed your hair)?
Where do I begin on this question :). . . Up until about 12 years ago, I always had my hair relaxed and pressed during my childhood years. Until that day came. . . DONE! DONE! DONEEEE! It was a typical Saturday at the hair salon. Arrival time was 8 am and of course my hair stylist over booked his clients. It was about 5 of us all for 8 am. Imagine that.
Any who, It was finally my turn to get my hair done. Of course, the shampoo girl prepped me for my relaxer etc. She started to apply the relaxer and I abruptly stopped her. I asked her why my stylist wasn’t doing it. She explained he was too incredibly busy. Go figure. Any who, I told her that I wanted the licensed stylist I made an appointment with to do my hair. Long story short he added the perm and the shampoo girl rinsed it out. By the time the shampoo session was over with I had an unattractive bald spot in the back of my head.
This was most likely due to the relaxer being on my head too long and/or it not being washed out thoroughly. I also felt the stylist rushed the application. On top of him not being very sympathetic. On that very day I vowed to never perm my hair again. I tell this story so descriptively because from the start this appointment was a headache. The bald spot was the icing on the cake.
Big Chop, shot term transition or long term transition? Why?
After leaving the hair salon with an unfashionable bald spot, I refused to let anyone touch my hair. I didn’t even want anyone to style it for me. (Yes I was so serious lol)
Therefore, the process began of teaching myself how to take care of my own hair in it’s natural state. Did I know what I was doing? Sure didn’t 🙂
I decided to grow it out with a long term transition, naturally because hair grows and eventually I could cut the permed ends off. This was simply my thought process. It also seemed more of a gradual change that I could work on. Cutting off all my hair was a bit much for me.
During the time of my transition, there weren’t any “how to” blogs, many specialty books etc. I was able to find one great book “No Lye” by Tulani Kinard that I referred to as my hair bible. This was one of the only sources of guidance, besides my own experiences.
What is your hair care routine/regimen?
My routine consists of a weekly shampoo and 30 min deep condition. I clip my own ends every 3 months. After washing and conditioning, I style my hair in a protective style for the most part.
What are your top 5 ‘must-have’ hair care products/items? Why?
Ummmm top 5 must haves are Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Retention Cream, Motions Lavishing conditioner, a wide tooth comb, bobby pins, silk scarf.
What are your favorite styles to wear?
When it comes to hairstyles, I love a simple two strand twist. I can pin it up, wear it down etc. It has a lot of versatility, all while keeping it in a protective style. This style can then be loosed out and wore in versatile ways given the body that is created from it being twisted for a few days.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your hair or about your journey before going natural?
The only thing, I wish I knew was how much happier and content I was with my hair in its natural state. I honestly never was happy with my hair when it was permed. I always felt something was missing. Too much maintenance was involved with getting it relaxed every 6 weeks or in between perming sessions, chasing down a hairstylist for appointments, paying them for a hairstyle I really wasn’t content with etc.
I am a shake and go kind of person and find more gratification with doing things myself. So I just wish I would have gone natural sooner. Other than that, I am thankful for the all that I have learned in the steps I have learned them.
What is the most important tip you’ve learned throughout your natural hair journey that you think every natural should know?
The biggest tip I have learned and what I feel everyone should know is that it’s just hair. Ditching the perm is the first step to more simplicity with hair. Although it can take more time and patience for natural hair, the thought process is simplicity.
What are thoughts on the natural hair community/movement?
The natural hair community has grown a great deal. I remember being joked for my natural hair journey over a decade ago because it wasn’t popular. It’s so good now seeing so many women being comfortable with their own natural hair.
Shedding the perm is not something new; it just came back around in a bigger way. In the 1970’s the black community traded their straight hair for afros/braids etc as a way to show their black pride. Today, its for health reasons and to simply showing this is me; I am happy. This affect has trickled down into other positive vibes.
Now, there is an overall consciousness to be healthy, lose weight, raising self esteem etc. Because you just can’t have healthy hair, right? So I think over all its a wonderful thing 🙂
Where can the Naturally Glam Fam find you online? What will they find on your site/blog/vlog?
Come over and visit me on my Natural High. Its a natural hair and Lifestyle blog at www.thenaturalhighblog.com
We are also on IG and twitter at naturalhighco
Stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway! 🙂