I am a legal communications major and broadcast news minor attending Howard University in Washington, DC. Outside the classroom I enjoy writing, reading books, and crafting.
Have you always been natural?
Growing up I never was provided the option to rock my natural hair. I always had a relaxer and thought that just what everyone did. For the most part my hair has always been in some sort of braided style created with the use of extentions. There was a two year period that I cut my hair short like the style made famous by R&B singer Kelis. Of course I grew bored with it as I tend to do with hairstyles and decided that since I done almost every other style out there I should discover what my natural hair looks like. So in short, no, I haven’t always been natural.
When we say natural, just how natural are you?
I am full out natural in terms of there being any sort of relaxer or chemical color in my hair. However, the hair on my head is certainly not all mine. I currently rock a curly braided style which has become somewhat of my signature look. I decided to keep my hair in braids until it grows out some more. My hair grows extremely slow and I know if I kept it out I would mess around with it too much which would lead to more breakage and hassle. I’m pretty much a get up and go kind of girl and I like that wearing braids allows me to do that.
Why did you decide to go natural? When did you do it? How?
I decided to go natural in December 2009. I let my roots grow out a bit and then I did the “big chop”. My stylist got a little scissor happy and cut off way too much because at that point it was about six months since my last relaxer. I definitely never went back to that stylist. She made it hard at first because even though she claimed to be a natural hairstylist she kept advising me not to go natural. That did not make any sense to me. So after the cut I decided to starting wearing my hair in braids and have been doing so ever since. My natural hair is currently almost ponytail length and is really thick. I’d say it’s in the “type 4” range.
How did your family and friends react to your going natural hair-wise and otherwise?
My mom thought “this whole natural thing” was a phase because she said it was for her when she was my age. Honestly, no one has actually seen my natural hair other than my family because it’s always in braids. It’s not that I’m ashamed of it because I am certainly not, it’s just that I want to grow some more before I wear it on a daily basis. If the reaction I get from my curly braided look is any indication of the responses I would get then I think it would be perceived fairly positively. However, I am aware that the texture of my braids is quite different than my natural texture. With any style people will always respond well to your confidence, so if I know I look good they should get that memo too.
Any frustrations with having natural hair?
Since I maintain a natural regime I would say that natural products tend to cost more which really hurts my wallet as a college student. Other than that I don’t have any frustrations. I keep up with natural blogs and learn from others so I don’t make the same mistakes they did on their journeys.
How do you manage to have natural hair and remain professional?
I don’t think having natural hair would should hinder me professionally. As with any hairstyle you want it to look neat. I tend to wear my braids in updos when I have to go to conservative meetings though that way my hair is out of my face and I don’t have to push it back all the time. I aspire to be a lawyer and would have no qualms about rocking my natural hair in court. I’d just have it in a neat updo or come up with new work appropriate styles to try.
What is your current hair regimen?
Since my hair is braided I like to oil my scalp a few times a week with either almond oil, coconut oil, or argan oil. Whichever one of the three I have at the moment. It’s very important that my scalp be moisturized because my hair tends to get dry quickly. I also use Tresemme Freshstart Waterless Foam Shampoo to clean my hair. When I take out my braids I use products from a brand called Shea Moisture. I like their shampoo and deep conditioning treatment because they clean my hair well and keep it soft. I also like Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner. After my hair is washed I oil it and then twist it over night with the Shea Moisture deep conditioning treatment since it also works as a leave-in conditioner.
Please share your beauty regime as well.
When it comes to my face I have combination skin which means that it gets both dry and oily. I am also prone to acne which I don’t have anymore since I took Accutane. It’s a pill that is only used for the most severe cases of acne. It’s controversial, but my dermatologist recommended it for me since I had tried everything else and it worked. On a day-to-day basis I wash my face using the oil cleansing method (ocm). It sounds odd to wash your face with oil, but I swear it works. I have also discovered Neutrogena’s new line of natural products and recommend the cleanser because it has no sulfates, harsh chemicals, or parabens. It always takes me a long to time to choose products to buy because I spend so much time reading the ingredients to make sure there are no things that are bad for the skin in the products. I moisturize my face with grapeseed oil. For my body I mix jojoba oil into Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion, or slather on coconut oil which has a nice scent. As for makeup I like Covergirl’s Natureluxe silk foundation. The ingredients met my standards and it gives me light coverage since I don’t like heavy makeup. It is also SPF 10.
Do you have a hair goal?
My ultimate goal is to have a big mane of hair like Yaya Decosta. I love her hair.
What is the one thing you have done with your hair that you think has made it healthy?
It’s all about the inside out. I eat right and exercise which helps both my hair and my face look healthy.
Any tips for the ladies?
Accept that your hair may not be the texture you want it to be. In fact, it may be 1, 2, or even 3 different textures. Whatever it is, it’s yours to love.