What inspired you to go natural? How long have you been natural?What styles did you wear before this decision?
I went natural for two reasons: I was done spending money at the salon, and I was afraid that my hair was starting to fall out because of the relaxer. Still, I had no idea how to care for my hair even though I have been natural for most of my life. Youtube videos didn't come for another year, so I didn't even know what transitioning was. For about a year and a half, I would wash my hair and then blow dry it or flat iron it straight since that's all I did in high school when I was a natural. The length was ok, but it was still above my shoulders. It wasn't until 09 that I realized that the heat was almost as bad as the relaxer (at least the amount that I was using) so I clipped my ends up to my ears and that's when I began my journey.
What were the responses you received in response to your natural hair decision?
Thankfully, I now live in an eclectic area, so going natural wasn't a shocker to most people I interacted with. Everyone in my immediate family is natural now, so that should be some indication as to how my family responded.
What is your current regimen? How do you maintain length? Moisture? How do you protect your coils at night?
What products do you use in your hair?
I cowash my hair once a week in the colder months (I won't say winter because we have two seasons here: rain and summer) and twice in the summer currently with Suave RosemaryMint conditioner. I detangle with my Denman brush while the conditioner is still on, then I rinse and apply either a leave in (Sleek and Shine) or a shealoe mix coupled with olive, coconut oil or grape seed oil to the ends. Then every day its water and sealed with oil. The shealoe I do maybe twice a week as needed. Those are the only products I use currently.
Maintaining length is pretty easy now. I just keep my ends protected in twists or buns, allowing it one or two free days a week. I keep it watered like a plant, and I make sure I keep up with my trimming. I don't apply a lot of direct heat either (that was my biggest mistake along with letting my hair be in twist outs for more than a few days) and I make sure to wrap it up at night.
What advice would you give to women thinking about wearing their hair natural?
I think the best part about being natural is I feel organic, ya know? Like I no longer have all these preservatives to compete with. Plus I can do more with this hair than I could when I was relaxed. I don't feel like I'm hiding. I didn't do it for anyone, I did it for me, and think that is so important when making this decision, you have to do it for you, because if you get caught up in what other people think, you will go back to the creamy crack. Also, know your hair. Don't take what you see everyone else doing with their hair and automatically assume your hair is going to do the same thing. Trust me you will be discouraged if you do that. Rock what you've got!
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