Lucky Chicoro (pictured below) is writing a book about growing natural hair because, as you can see, she has lots of it! In these photos her hair is flat ironed…
this is her natural texture
I asked her a few questions about her book Grow It (available on Amazon.com in February 2009), and her own natural hair journey.
BGLH: Your hair looks amazing. Do you know how many inches you actually have?
C: No, I do not know how many inches I have, but right now the bulk of my hair is about two to three inches past my waist.
BGLH: Have you always been natural? When did you decide to go natural?
C: I got my first relaxer at 18 years old and then got another relaxer after college. The girls with hair texture closer to mine, who had very long hair, usually had relaxers. At the time, I thought getting a relaxer was my ticket to longer hair.
What made me decide to go natural after the second and last relaxer was that I had to constantly baby my long, relaxed hair. Also, I would get my hair relaxed bone straight. After one washing, it was never straight enough. I would then press my hair with a hot comb, over the relaxed hair. It literally began to disintegrate from the ends up. I was a terrible abuser of my poor hair.
BGLH: When did the focus change from just being natural to actually growing your hair out?
C: I went to get my hair done for my 8th grade graduation. My hair was natural but it had see-through ends. It really was in bad shape. The stylist cut my mid back hair up to my shoulders. I was devastated. From that day forward, I decided to find out how to gain back the length that I had lost.
BGLH: What is the biggest misconception women have when it comes to growing out afro-textured hair?
C: The biggest misconception women have is the belief in the existence of that one, ever elusive, magical hair growing product. It doesn’t exist! There is no such thing as a magical product that can grow your hair. Afro textured hair does grow! The key is finding a process that is repeatable. I think products are very important and they are fun to discover and use. Products are like the bulbs and lights on a Christmas tree with roots in the ground. They accessorize. A good solid process is like the trunk of the tree. Without the trunk, no matter the amount, or price or variation or how colorful the light bulbs and ornaments may be, you are going to end up with a dead ugly tree.
BGLH: Where exactly are you in the process of creating the book?
C: The book is called, “Grow It!” I have completed writing the book. Currently, I am at the book production stage. I decided that this book will probably be around long after I am gone and I want to have it be as professional as possible. Therefore, I am going through the process of having a cover designed and having the interior professionally designed. I am getting the book ready for printing. I expect the book to be available on Amazon no later than February 2009. There are no pictures in the book, but I do have an accompanying website that will have lots of downloadable articles and tutorials for readers.
BGLH: Many women have long natural hair… what pushed you to take that extra step and write a book educating Black women about growing out their natural hair?
C: My definition of long hair is midback, to waist and beyond. I rarely see women with hair texture like mine, or coarser, with long hair. Most of the women that I see with long natural hair have a straight, wavy, silky texture of hair. In my small world, women with texture closer to mine, who have long hair, generally tend to have hair that is relaxed, not natural.
I have been writing this book off and on for many years. The death of my father, the realization that our time is limited, was a big impetus for me to get this book written. I really wasn’t sure that I had anything to add to the hair care discussion. Over the years of seeking the magical product or way to grow my own hair, I have finally learned that great hair care is process based. It took me many years to discover this. The fact of the matter is that once I implemented my process, it only took about two years for my hair to start to reach my waist. It isn’t a secret and it is quite simple. The hard part is sticking to the process and being patient and persistent and consistent. The process that I elaborate on in the book is a six (6) step process consisting of detangling, cleansing, conditioning, moisturizing, protecting and growing the hair.
I started receiving notes in my Fotki [online photo album] from women who told me that information from my hair albums had really helped them. After that, women started asking me advice and they told me it really helped them. Thus, I decided to put what I had learned in one place and make the information accessible to women all over the world.
BGLH: Some might say that pursuing long hair is superficial. What do you say to that?
C: On the surface, focusing on hair seems like a very superficial endeavor. It really is not. So often, when women learn to be successful in their hair care, it creates a feeling of empowerment. You have set a goal and accomplished it. That same process you used to reach your hair goal can now be transferred to generate success in other areas of your life. Success in one area of your life begets success in other areas of your life. It can be a never ending cycle of success. You begin to feel empowered to improve how you eat, your body, your relationships, your career, your finances and etc. In my mind, the book is not just about hair, it’s about knowing yourself, identifying what’s important to you and how to achieve the great things in life which we are all capable of doing. It sounds rather ambitious for a hair care book, but hair, or the lack of it, always makes a powerful impactful statement. With the book, I hope to inspire the readers to move toward their own inner greatness!
BGLH: What hair product can’t you live without?
C: The only thing I need is at least 1/4 cup of pure water. No joke! This of course would not be ideal, but it would be enough for me to manage and still be able to groom my hair so that it would be presentable and remain healthy. I can find whatever else I need in any reasonably developed country, in any part of the world. I just need an empty spray bottle, some kind of natural oil, some vegetable glycerin, some inexpensive conditioner and something with panthenol. If I am lucky, I might be able to find some pure, natural, unadulterated essential oils, too. Mix it all together with water and I am ready to go!