Monday, October 4, 2010
A: I've been natural since 2007. I've transitioned from super short hair to braids, from wearing a relaxer to natural hair and many styles in between since the early 1990s. I stopped relaxing my hair in 2006 because I knew the chemicals were damaging my hair and scalp. My scalp was constantly flaky and dry and wouldn't respond to anything until I tried a medicated shampoo and stopped relaxing my hair altogether. When my scalp and hair started to look and feel better, I decided to get back to my roots, so to speak. I have been switching from natural hairstyles (two-strand twist outs) and two-strand twists/braids since 2007, and I enjoy the versatility very much. I'm learning more about various products I can use and different techniques to styling my afro/curly-kinky hair.
A: The most amazing aspect of having natural hair is that it gives me much more freedom than before. With relaxed hair, I was limiting my activities based upon their impact on my hair. Would it rain? Will I sweat a lot? Would the curl fall out? Now, I just go and my hair follows. I'm a dancer with a community group in my city and sweating just comes with the job. Additionally, I have a daughter who is now 5 years old. When she was 3, she told me that she wanted "straight" hair like her friend at pre-school. Because of her, I designed and created a line of t-shirts that I am currently selling and promoting. My website is at http://www.ohnaturaldesigns.com/.
The fact that she inspired my t-shirts gives this little girl so much pride in herself and her beauty. She is bi-racial, and she sees herself in me as I see myself in her. I want to give her positive images of our beauty and self-awareness, and simply by wearing my hair the way I do does just that. She lovingly calls our hair, "crazy hair," and I LOVE that! She currently prefers to wear her hair in two-strand twists every day. When I take her hair out, she loves that it looks like mine does. For me, that's amazing.
Q: What is your maintenance routine? What products do you love?
A: My routine is the following: I wash my hair every 7-10 days with shampoo or just conditioner. I put two-strand twists in my hair every 2-3 days using water, Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey and Tui Jojoba and Shea Butter Hair Sheen for moisturizing and twisting product. I also use Pantene cleansing shampoo and Carol's Daughter Mint Rosemary shampoo.
Q: What advice do you have for any one that is considering going back to their natural texture or getting their hair loc'd?
A: My advice would be to talk to women who wear natural hairstyles or locs and see what they do to maintain their hair and talk about challenges. I would advise someone to look for the many resources out there (Facebook pages, blogs and websites) and let them know that no one has to do it alone. It's a huge step I believe because so much power has been placed in and on the hair that black women and girls wear. Wearing natural hair is extremely empowering. I would also let them know that trying different products is important to find the right ones for them; the same goes for hair styling techniques.
Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey (for example: facebook, fotki, tumblr, twitter, and more)?