CB:What inspired you to go natural? How long have you been natural?
Kay:My original decision to go natural was in November 2009 when I reached armpit length for the first time. My hair was already chemically natural but I had flat-ironed it so much over the years that it had lost all of its curl. I was excited to have reached apl, but figured, what's the point of having long hair if it's not even healthy? So I decided to stop flat ironing my hair so much. I still kinda struggled with the issue though and even had a period of time where I debated on whether or not I should go back to heat training--I was that frustrated with my hair. Fast forward a year and a half later and my hair was still apl and my ends looked like trash, so I knew I had to end the charade soon.
But the catalyst came one day when I literally fell in love with this one particular curl of new growth in my crown. It was so small and delicate and springy and I wanted all of my hair to be like that. There was no turning back after that...and now I can't find that one curl in my head anymore because all of my hair feels like that. :) I rocked mini twists, twistouts, bantu knotouts, braidouts, goddess braids, and even had waist length box braids for a couple of weeks. Then I went ahead and did the big chop on April 19, 2011 after a 16.5 month transition.
CB:What were the responses you received in response to your natural hair decision?
Kay: Once I went natural, I didn't receive many negative comments like I thought I would...probably because I had transitioned for so long that wearing a wash and go looked just like wearing a braidout or twistout before I big chopped. I don't think many people noticed the difference right off the bat. The worst comment I got was from a friend after I walked outside right after I chopped. He said, "what's with the Afro?" I said, "I cut my hair." He shook his head and that was it. Most other people were either fascinated or had good enough sense to keep their thoughts to themselves. :)
CB:What is your current regimen? How do you maintain length? Moisture? How do you protect your coils at night?
Kay:My current regimen is really simple, especially since I've been in long-term protective styles since June: I moisturize and seal every night by spraying my hair with a water, conditioner, and oil mix and I sleep on a satin pillowcase or in a satin bonnet...or both. I deep condition weekly and clarify monthly. I dust every 4 months and search & destroy as needed. Even when I'm not in long-term protective styles, that's still my regimen, except I oil rinse and detangle before deep conditioning and I braid my hair up at night after I moisturize and seal.
CB:What products do you use in your hair?
Kay: My staple products are Herbal Essences Totally Twisted, Hello Hydration, and Long Term Relationship conditioners, Shea butter, grapeseed, olive, coconut and Castor oils, honey, and any moisturizer from Shea Moisture, Hollywood Beauty, or Africa's Best Organics. I don't really have a staple shampoo, as I only use shampoo once a month (I clean my hair with conditioner weekly).
CB: What would you tell a new natural, or transitioning diva? What's the best thing about being naturally beautiful?
Kay: I would tell any newbies to the natural game or transitioners that the the most important thing is finding out what works best for your hair. If you spend a lot of time obsessing over how to make your hair look the way Suzy Q.'s hair looks, you'll never find the beauty in your own.
CB: What's the best thing about being naturally beautiful?
Kay: The best part of being natural is the fact that even when my hair looks a mess to me, all I gotta do is add an accessory and I can still rock it and everyone else will think I spent hours doing my hair. Straight hair required too much attention to make it look good, in my opinion. Too obvious when there's a hair out of place. Another thing is that being natural has caused me to pay more attention to the health of my body in general, not just my hair. I'm actually moving towards having a completely natural skincare regimen too, and so far it's working wonderfully!
CB: What mistakes have you made in your journey? What have you learned?
Kay: During my journey I've learned that it's not necessary to have a million different products. I'm fine with a few conditioners, an oil mix, a shampoo, a cream moisturizer, and some stuff from the kitchen. When I first started out on this thing I was a product junkie, running out to buy everything I heard about on BHM or LHCF. But you can't give a product a chance to work if you throw it to the back of your cabinet after a week because you're buying something else you just heard about.
CB: Please name three products that you cannot live without
Kay: With that being said, I can't live without some kind of oil, some water, and some conditioner. When I think about stuff that I need to buy for my hair, oil and conditioner always end up at the top of the list.
Well, that's all for now...follow me and my natural journey to tailbone length hair at http://www.hautepinkheels.blogspot.com/