“Natural hair shouldn’t be something that catches people’s attention for negative reasons, it should be something normalized in the black community. It’s so crazy how accepting yourself for who you are can be so strange to some.” ~SugarySnowPea
BGLH: Where do you live? Where you reppin’?
SugarySnowPea: I live in NYC! To be more specific, I live in Harlem, and I’m extremely proud to say so!
BGLH: Why did you make the decision to go natural?
SugarySnowPea: Well I decided to go natural upon finding fotki and nappturality.com. After I found all of these beautiful black women rocking un believable heads of natural hair I was very inspired and wanted to find out all about putting an end to using chemicals. I was growing dissatified with flat, boring, straight hair and because I’m not into weaves and what not, wearing them was out of the question, so I decided to try being natural for something new and a much healthier option for my strands.
BGLH: When and how did you transition into natural hair?
SugarySnowPea: I transitioned for 15 months starting in January of 2007. I tried to wear kinky twists but they only lasted a month. I hated the feeling of fake hair on my head and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep my hair healthy with it. I basically twisted my own hair and wore faux puffs (meaning I added gel to my new growth and slicked my permed strands up into what appeared to be a straight looking puff and because my hair was longer I tucked the ends under.) I did these two styles plus a couple of braidouts for 15 whole months and MAN did that seem like forever.
BGLH: In what ways has going natural affected your life?
SugarySnowPea: Being natural does change things. I don’t care what anyone says, once you go natural, if you have a natural mind set you are changed. Hair is just hair to some people and to others, their hair is an extension of themselves. Being natural means that you have said “Hey, I like myself for exactly who I am, or at least I like my hair exactly the way it grows out my scalp. I don’t have to give into societal norms for what beauty is. Having hair straight and long is NOT the only way to identify myself as beautiful.” Everyday as a natural you are going to get attention, you may get stares, so you have to be a strong and confident woman to wear your hair naturally. Hey I live in New York and I still get the “whaaatt?” stares every once and a while, so I think natural hair has almost forced me to feel beautiful without others approval and to love me regardless of what others may think.
BGLH: What are your products and regimen?
SugarySnowPea: The dreaded products question! Haha! I don’t like being asked what products I use because people are usually either disappointed or think I’m straight lying!
In the beginning I was really into reading up on the latest best all natural products to use, but I had to be realistic. I’m a struggling college student and though I may drool over some of the products out there, I just can’t afford them. I’ve found wonderful cheapies that keep my hair thriving.
I co wash my hair at least twice a week and much more frequently if my hair is loose (free of braids, or twisted styles). I deep condition my hair once a week, however if my hair is in a protective style I’ll deep condition every two or three weeks. Once a month I clarify my hair (this is the only time I actually use shampoo) and do a protein deep condition, and this is extra important now that my hair is colored. In the winter, protective styles like twist or braids are the easiest styles to manage while in school and during cold weather. In the summer, I usually wear puffs and braidouts the most. No matter what,
I always keep my hair moist, I never let it dry out, all my products including my daily spritz include veggie oil because oil seals in moisture.
Co wash: V05 moisture milk conditioners
Shampoo: Sauve Naturals
Deep Condition: Suave Humectant, veggie oil, and another Suave Naturals conditioner or a V05 one.
Protein Condition: Lekair
Pomade for twist/braids/braidouts: My own shealoe blended butter
Spritz: fav condish mixed with veggie oil and water
Gel: Any clear or brown gel that is alcohol free. Best for my hair: IC Fantasia, and Softee Protein gel
BGLH: How does your hair express who you are and what’s the best thing about being natural?
SugarySnowPea: Oh my gosh! What a great question! This captures the whole essence of why I adore natural hair so much. No matter what your mood is, you can express that through your natural hair. If I’m feeling pretty reserved and low key, I slick my hair back into a neat tightly coiled puff. If I’m in the mood to be flashy and eyecatching I’ll rock a huge braidout or frohawk. If I just don’t have the time for out styles I can wear twists for weeks before having to take them down and then rock a beautiful twistout for up to a week. I know that no matter where I go I’m going to be unique. When you rock a relaxed style, it’s hard to be different fromt the crowd, or special. WIth natural hair, you’re going to stand out because no natural head is alike to another.
BGLH: Anything else you want to add?
SugarySnowPea: If you’re thinking about being natural, I say just do it! If you don’t like it, if it doesn’t suit your personality, you can always go back. I think if every relaxed, texturized or frequently straightening woman out there would give natural hair a chance and stop feeding into Beyonce and Tyra’s next fad they would find a whole new strength they never even knew they had; one thing is for sure, we’d have many more naturals than we do today.
Natural hair shouldn’t be something that catches people’s attention for negative reasons, it should be something normalized in the black community. It’s so crazy how accepting yourself for who you are can be so strange to some. What should be strange is how overwhelmingly people, not just African American, try to change themselves to emulate characteristics that are from some other ethnic background. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you and that’s totally fine, but don’t knock the women who have the courage to make the change for themselves.
For more of SugarySnowPea, check out her fotki page: http://members.fotki.com/sugarysnowpea/about/.
You can also find her complete hair coloring regimen here: http://journals.fotki.com/sugarysnowpea/the-color-chronicles/