Q: What is your hair story? What kind of hair styles have you rocked, before embracing your natural hair?
A: August of 2010 was the last time I relaxed my hair before I decided to go natural. My best friend was natural and she always told me I didn't need a relaxed but it took awhile for me to actually research the idea. After seeing many videos and success stories about natural hair, I decided to try it out. I began my transition by straightening my hair regularly. This continued for about 5-6 months until I introduced myself to the natural hair community on YouTube. I immediately became infatuated with the idea of having long, gorgeous, textured hair and began to seek information on how to grow my hair out healthy. I realized that I was not taking the protective route, I should have and I immediately decided to put down the flat iron and do my first braidout. After that, I did braid-outs regularly and occasionally tried new styles like flexirod sets and protective styles that allowed for all of my ends to be tucked. After realizing I was having a lot of breakage, I decided to big chop on July 20, 2011 even though I planned on transitioning for 2 years.
Q: When and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?
A: Most of my life, I have been relaxed. As soon as I was old enough for my hair to stand up against the harsh chemicals of a relaxer, my hair was relaxed. In the time that my hair was relaxed from age 10 to age 23, my hair fluctuated in length. I couldn't really put my finger on why I couldn't get my hair to keep growing. My best friend told me I should go natural because I didn't need a relaxer and at the time, I really felt that I couldn't pull it off. After careful consideration, I decided to go natural after realizing my hair wasn't as healthy as I'd like.
Q: Did you have any big fears about going back to your natural texture?
A: Yes, I definitely had fears going into the process. When I first proposed the idea to my mother, she was not for it at ALL. My friends, however, supported me even though they thought I was nuts. My biggest fear was no one liking the look on me. Before I went natural, I had always worn my hair straight down. I never even wore ponytails. So to go from long, straight hair to tightly curled hair was a very drastic change for me. Fortunately, almost everyone I informed of my journey supported me and understood why I made the decision. Some of my friends even want to try it out themselves and there's no better feeling than inspiring another person.
Q: What are three products you can't live without for nurturing/styling your hair?
A: My favorite product would have to be my Giovanni Direct Leave-In conditioner. I LOVE that product! It makes my hair so moisturized to the touch and I love the consistency of the product. Another product that I can't live without is my EcoStyler gel. Whenever I need to tame my hair to do something, whether it be to slick down my edges or eliminate frizz, I use EcoStyler gel in moderation. Shea butter has also worked wonders during my natural hair journey. I use it primarily for my braid outs and twist outs and I love how it is light on my hair and doesn't leave my hair feeling greasy.
Q: What would you say to someone who's thinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected in various parts of their lives?
A: At the end of the day, what you do with your hair only affects you, it doesn't affect anyone else directly. For those out there that don't want to embrace your change and support your decision to go natural, if they are dear to you, educate them and explain to them why you are going on your journey.
Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal or professional website? (Optional)
A: Twitter = @classCie
Blog - www.classcie.com
YouTube - www.youtube.com/classcie
Here is video footage of my big chop - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuFvYnFE6cI