Her Confessions |▶ Natalie Live

by West Parsons on June 25, 2013

in her confessions

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 4 years
What made you decide to go natural?
Hmmm, it was a great big buildup of things really.  I had been relaxing my hair since the age of eight.  Simply because my single working mother just didn’t have time to maintain a child’s natural hair.  Relaxing made it easier to manage.  But by the time I was a teen, and then into my 20s, I had grown so accustomed to having gorgeous straight perfect hair, blending in with all my white friends, in a white community that I felt, it was the only way to wear my hair.  I realized my ideals of beauty were completely warped and that I needed my hair to be straight in order to fit in with society.  So I decided to reprogram my brain, go natural and really get to know me just as I am.  Also, Chris Rock’s Good Hair movie was incredibly jarring.  It really became apparent that a percentage of black women were ashamed of their hair.  I was extremely saddened by that and I wanted to be apart of the change.  AND, I met a beautiful Eritrean girl who wore her hair naturally like it was no thang and it inspired me to do the same.
the tiny closet 2 afro scarf
While natural, what is the one biggest regret /mistake you made?
Continuing to Use the tangle teezer when my hair began getting longer (more shoulder length).  The Teezer killed my hair.  Thankfully I revived it overnight (whoa!!!) with Dove’s restructuring conditioner.  That stuff works miracles.
What is the craziest hairstyle or treatment you have done to your hair?
It has to be when I bleached it and had caramel and chocolate lowlights put in.  I got so many compliments all the time, my head was spinning!  It transformed my whole look.  I even lightened my brows to match the whole aesthetic.  It was a wow look for sure.  But bleach is no good for kinky hair in the end.  My hair began to just break off after several months so I eventually had to cut it again.  We had a good time though!
 the tiny closet 3 afro puff
What is your current relationship with your hair?
Acceptance.  I accept it for what it is and I have grown to be very happy with it.  I’m not a huge fan of the natural hair industry.  I think it’s wonderful that curly girls have way more options than even a few years ago when it comes to wearing curly hair – but I think a lot of companies feed on the insecurities of curly girls that just don’t like their curls/coils/kinks and wish their hair was “better” or had bigger curls or longer curls, etc… I learned early on through the trials and tribulations of maintaining my beast of a mane that if I chose to wear my hair naturally then I had to accept it the way it was.  Otherwise, I’d never be happy and having natural hair would ALWAYS be an uphill battle.  I would also be a slave to product.  As long as my hair is healthy and manageable, whatever texture or shape it comes out, I have to be happy with that.  Aint no cream, serum, potion gonna change my hair.  And if I wanted it changed so much, I might as well not be natural.  There’s nothing wrong with that either.
What is the trick or technique are you most thankful for finding out about?
My mother was a stylist.  A really good one.  She was obsessed with the science of hair, particularly curly to extremely kinky/curly hair.  She spent years mastering managing that kind of hair and taught me everything she knows.  I am VERY thankful for that.  If it wasn’t for her, I’d be believing everything the natural hair industry is claiming and I would be completely lost.  One big thing: apple cider vinegar is a superior shampoo, detangler and shine booster!  A great technique for shiny curls: running your hair under freezing cold water before styling.  Also, I only finger comb.  I don’t use utensils – only fingers and only when my hair is soaking wet.
 the tiny closet 5 afro printed skirt
What specific products can you not live without?
Conditioner.  No particular kind – just conditioner.   If there’s no conditioner or vinegar in the house, I’m screwed.
What advice would you give to someone considering going natural?
First, I’d say have a real talk with yourself.  Know that natural hair maintenance is NOTHING like straight hair maintenance so prepare yourself to have your daily routine completely change.  You will understand this more by watching lots and lots of videos of girls maintaining their natural hair daily.  This talk with yourself should also include considering the reality of the work it takes to keep natural hair healthy.  Are you willing to put in the time?  Second, know that you will need patience and time to see your newly natural hair grow and evolve (it takes minimally a year to see only the beginnings of your natural hair’s potential).  So if after 3 months you’re not seeing what you expected, you aint seen nothin yet.  Wait.it.out.  I’m almost positive you’ll be glad you did.  So patience, acceptance and being honest with yourself are all things to consider.
the tiny closet 1
Where can we find out more info about you and your hair?
Twitter| @thetinycloset
Instagram| @thetinycloset