How long have you been natural?
I went natural my senior year at UAlbany Jan 2011, right after the new year I did the BIG CHOP. Then I cut it again in February of that year because I wanted it all even and there were still some straight pieces.
What made you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural because I wanted the texture back of how my hair was before I decided to perm it in 8th grade. I would look at pictures and see how healthy and long it was before I started using the creamy crack. My hair was still long but it started breaking when I began to experiment with highlights. I felt like my hair stopped growing. The summer before my senior year of college my aunt did the big chop. It looked so good on her, I was truly inspired. Two of my sister’s friends also did the big chop. I saw the confidence within all three of them. They were strong, proud, intelligent women. I wanted to embrace what God gave me naturally. That New Year I talked to my friend/teammate Jessica about it and she agreed she wanted to do it too. So before track practice we went to the hair salon and we cut it all off! I will never regret that day, it was so liberating!
What is the trick or technique are you most thankful for finding out about?
How to tie my hair up in a nice puff, since I can’t use normal hair ties because I have so much hair. My aunt taught me how to use a scarf to do it. That comes in handy all the time! Also putting my hair in four parts to wash and detangle my hair. It may take a while but it saves me some time and pain of detangle this head of mines.
What specific products can you not live without?
My Argan eco styler gel for wash and goes, my curls come out perfect, well defined and no frizz. Jamaican castor oil for my scalp, Tresemme all naturals conditioner, makes it easy to detangle my hair, keeps it soft. I also use it as a leave in conditioner.
What advice would you give to someone considering going natural?
Patience is key! It took me awhile to figure out what works for my hair, and I’m still learning new things. Don’t worry about how much your hair is growing or not growing. I don’t think about my hair much and I think that’s the reason why I’m surprised at the length is it every time I decide to do a blowout. Hair needs to be kept moisturized twice a day at least. Once you go natural your confidence as a woman grows tremendously. It’s a power that is given. You realize how society influenced your decisions and made you think natural was not beautiful. Today there are so many stories of women that inspired me to keep going, and not give in. It will be hard in the beginning but its worth it. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who has confidence in her natural beauty.
What is your current relationship with your hair?
I absolutely love my hair! We have our good and bad days, but mostly good. As long as I’m patient when washing and styling we get along well. I never knew I had this curly texture I forgot all about it. My hair is very versatile. I get more compliments for my hair in its natural state (afro, curly, kinky) than my blow that I do at least every four months.