We typically profile style icons on Monday but we’re switching things up a bit in anticipation of our ‘1,000 follower festivities’ this weekend and early next week. Sunshine debuted on BGLH as a guest blogger on July 2, 2009.
“My getting the big chop had the least to do with my hair and more to do with letting go of a person who was a creation of the media and pop culture and a need to follow the herd… I really believe that natural hair acceptance can be the catalyst to propel our people to new heights. Sounds far fetched, but I believe that if we can learn to love ourselves in our natural state and see the beauty within us, we can start to see the beauty in each other. I believe that once this is accomplished we will have more pride in ourselves, our culture and our communities…
Is that too much pressure to put on natural hair acceptance? I don’t think so.” ~Sunshine
BGLH: Where are you from and what do you do?
Sunshine: I was born and raised in Chicago but I currently reside in an itty bitty town in South Carolina. My husband is a Marine and this is where we are stationed. I guess by “what do you do” you want to know what I do for a living, in which case I am a wife and incubator (I am pregnant with our first child!). Aside from that I am starting my own natural products business.
BGLH: So, you’ve told your big chop story on BGLH before. How long have you been natural for?
Sunshine: I just celebrated my 1 year nappiversary! I wore it short for a while after my Big Chop, I have just started letting it grow about 6 months ago.
BGLH: Usually naturals starting out have a tough time getting their hair looking cute. But you’ve been cute since the big cut. What are your secrets?
Sunshine: No secrets really. I just play around in my hair a lot. I usually don’t try to style it into any certain look, I just mess around in it and figure out what looks good on me.
One thing I keep in mind always when doing my hair though, is the shape I want to achieve. I know what I like, which is volume on top and not so much on the sides. I think that shape frames my face best. So no matter what, if I stick to that shape, I know I’ve got a winner.
And I keep it moisturized.
BGLH: It seems you already had a great sense of style before going natural. In what ways have you incorporated your short natural do into your style/aesthetic?
Sunshine: Good question! Learning that I didn’t need all the hair and weave in order to be beautiful also made me realize that I didn’t need all the designer clothes and latest fashion must haves in order to be beautiful either. With that in mind I have become a bit of a minimalist when it comes to my style. The most exciting thing on me at any given time will usually be my earrings. Other than that I like to keep it really simple. I am finding that I feel more beautiful knowing I am not relying on extras to feel stylish. So in essence my short natural look kind of spread all over and took over my style!
BGLH: Can you pick one of your favorite styles and give us a tutorial for it?
Sunshine: My favorite style, if I have to choose, would be the one shown in the pictures with the pink dress. I don’t know what to call it, but it started out with two strand twists all over my head.
After deep conditioning my hair and letting it air dry ‘til the point of being about 85% dry, I did the two strand twists all over using my Coconut Confidence (which is a blend of Shea butter and coconut oil) to moisturize each section as I was twisting and also to seal the ends. At the end of each twist I rolled my hair in between my fingers into a tight little curl to ensure the twists wouldn’t come out. Then I slept on it. I wore the twists for a whole day without touching them at all. The next day I finger combed the majority of the twists out in the back and sides of my head leaving the crown twisted. Then I fluffed until I achieved my desired shape which is big on top and tapered looking on the sides and in back. I try to make the front stand up as much as possible since I like volume. The result looks like a cute cut when it’s really just a TWA with style!
BGLH: What products do you use?
Sunshine: I am an all natural girl when it comes to products.
I use pure raw unrefined Shea Butter and virgin Coconut Oil combined, a spritzer made with water, Olive Oil and Coconut Oil and for deep conditioning I make a Banana Honey Conditioner using half of a ripened banana, a little honey and a little baking soda mixed together in a blender. On the rare occasion that I use any commercial product it’s VO5 for co-washing, but I add honey and baking soda to it.
BGLH: What (if anything) has changed in your life since/because you went natural?
Sunshine: So much has changed for me as a result of going natural (we may need a whole new post for this question!). Like I said in my hair story, my getting the big chop had the least to do with my hair and more to do with letting go of a person who was a creation of the media and pop culture and a need to follow the herd. I cut my hair so I could learn to love myself no matter what and learn who I really was underneath it all.
As a result, I am definitely more confident, but in myself and my talents and skills as opposed to my looks. I have stepped my game up as a result of being natural and I’ve reevaluated what is important to me. In letting go of the old superficial, materialistic, vain person that I was before I have made way for the person I was destined to be. I am working towards a business with my husband and thinking more about the future and less about designer labels and fancy cars. My goals now focus more on leaving something behind for my children, helping my people, and fighting for beauty equality so one day natural hair will be the norm and our future women can tackle the even bigger issues plaguing our communities.
…I really believe that natural hair acceptance can be the catalyst to propel our people to new heights. Sounds far fetched, but I believe that if we can learn to love ourselves in our natural state and see the beauty within us, we can start to see the beauty in each other. I believe that once this is accomplished we will have more pride in ourselves, our culture and our communities. Perhaps then we will be more apt to support black businesses and move from our position on the bottom when it comes to wealth, businesses and ownership. Start to build up our communities and strengthen our unity as a people.
Is that too much pressure to put on natural hair acceptance? I don’t think so. I think it is just the start we need to get moving in the right direction.
Definitely check out Sunshine’s blog which is amazing (especially for the newbies)!:
You can find her products shop here: