BGLH: where are you from? where you reppin?
ALICIA: I was born and raised in Arkansas and I’ve been migrating between here and Texas over the years. But I’m back in Arkansas..for now..lol.
BGLH: when did you go natural and why?
ALICIA: Well I went natural in ’03 after transitioning 5.5 mos [was originally gonna be 2 years but I got impatient and frustrated with the textures at WAR!]. It was kinda like a happy accident how it actually was put into action. I got laid off from this job and kinda fell on hard times which lead to me not being able to purchase another relaxer! So funny! I’ve been wanting to go natural forever but I was too afraid. I was helping my friend with her transition at the time and she gave me a wealth of info and encouragement. At the time I was already frustrated because one perm [trying a new brand] gave me horrible baldspots with oozing scabs, thining and severe shedding. I switched back to the perm I used for years, but THEN my hair started rebelling! After the first shampoos it was like I needed another perm, I was so frustrated and fed up!!! So when I went so long without the perm, which was like three months, it was NOW or never for me. So I’m glad I made the transition. 😀 I don’t regret it for nothing! I used to always look at pix of my family and be in AWE of the whole 70’s era. They were known for their fros!
BGLH: what products/ingredients do you use? why?
ALICIA: Right now I use whatever works for me and my hair! So I guess I’m not a fully converted natural yet…I’m gonna really work my way to get there though..when i get my money right..lol!
But I can name some of my FAVS: [a] WATER! A must needed ingredient! [b] Parnevu T‑Tree Leave-in. [c] Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil Hair Treatment. It smells so good and makes my hair soft and shiny! [d] I also have a shower comb i just bought and [e] a boar brush…gotta keep the edges smooth! lol
BGLH: what products/ingredients do you stay away from? why?
ALICIA: Too much oil and grease. Fine toothed combs. I haven’t used heat on my hair in years! And scissors when I’m not in a good mood! lol Also rubber bands that are too small or have metal clamps on them..BIGGGG no-no!
BGLH: what mistakes have you made in your natural journey that you’ve learned from?
ALICIA: Worry TOO MUCH about what other people think about my hair! Too much heat [ESPECIALLY the first year]. Going color crazy. Combing too much or not enough especially with the lack of moisture. Lack of protective styles. Being too obsessed with length and texture [my hair is multi-textured I think due to relaxers but I love it now because that’s what makes me unique]. Being afraid to try new things including extensions/pieces [yeah I know..lol].
Don’t be afraid of that! It’s not like you’re neglecting who you are! Sometimes your hair and scalp needs a break plus it’s convenient…STILL keep them maintained underneath..dig?!
BGLH: what techniques do you use for combing and washing your hair?
ALICIA: I always comb my hair when it’s wet. Sometimes I do a co-wash first. Also when I shampoo my hair, I plait it in sections before then scrub my scalp and bring the shampoo down the shaft of my hair. Afterwards I rinse and repeat if necessary. I condition/detangle or wait til I take the sections down to detangle when I apply my leave in and oils, keeping a water bottle handy. Last, twist or plait in sections in various sizes depending on my energy level! lol…
At night 99% of the time I have a cap on it and 89% of the time I twist it or plait it in large sections before bed. I also keep it moisturized, not greasy. And if it feels gross…off to the shampoo I go. And i keep my ends trimmed. I don’t have a set time, but when those ends feel bad I know it’s time. So don’t keep the length just to say you have it if it’s a HOT MESS!
BGLH: are you more a style person or a free-standing hair person?
ALICIA: Whatever I’m feeling at the moment. But I mostly style because I like trying different things.
BGLH: how is your growth?
ALICIA: Well my hair naturally grows fast! It runs in the family. 😀 At first I was impatient when I first went natural, but after the 2nd big chop I was cool and actually appreciated my shorter hair..plus it was so cute. I never really got the chance to celebrate my shorter hair during the 1st big chop because I was so obsessed with length and trying to ‘grow’ it. But now I just care for my hair and let it do wat it do! 😀 And the longer it gets the more you have to change up your regimen so that definitely takes alot of patience as you have to try new things. The main thing to stay patient is just to know why are you natural. Not to try to impress no one with the length. The compliments are nice though..but lately I been thinking about a 3rd big chop..dun dun dun…ha! Well maybe not too much this time, maybe half..I don’t know..well maybe not! *sweating*
BGLH: what’s the best thing about being natural?
ALICIA: Being natural is the BEST thing I’ve ever done for myself and YES I did it for me inspite of all of the naysayers and opposers and funny looks, even from my own family! It’s versatile..pretty much whatever I wanna do to it I CAN! Plus I LOVE BIG HAIR! I always have. It’s fuller and fluffier, much softer and bodyFULL. Most of all, it’s uniquely ME!
People always ask about going natural and they have their conceptions but I always give it to them straight! This is a journey, it takes work and patience. And it takes more maintanance and care than people think. So if anyone is reading this article and is thinking about going natural or is in transition…be patient, set goals, know your motives, get the facts, do your research. There’s many options and supportive sites on the net, especially if you don’t have support like I didn’t. But if you know this is what you want to do, you won’t regret it so don’t let anyone make your step down on your decision. 😀
Alicia is a singer, songwriter, beatmaker, and self-described fashionista.
For more photos of Alicia’s hair (and other things) check out these sites: