Where do you live?
B: I live in Charlotte, NC and rep Philly to the fullest! 😀 I’m currently debating going back to college after taking a much needed year long break.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
B: I’ve always been fascinated by natural hair. I love its element of freedom. Even as a child, I would gaze at old photos fantasizing about the thick and luscious naps and curls I had before my mom put the dreaded creamy crack in my hair.
Once I went away to college I was no longer able to rely on my mom and hairstylist to maintain my tresses, so I relied heavily on a trusty pair of flat irons. As I realized I could go a longer amount of time without the need of a relaxer to manage my hair, the idea of denying myself of a perm altogether began lingering within the corners of my mind. I was also meeting other college women who had decided to go natural, which motivated me even more. I also became a radio personality for the Black Student Union’s radio station at my school and found that many of the topics we discussed were geared towards the insecurities black students face at predominantly white schools. As I became enlightened about my own ignorance towards natural hair and my own insecurities as a black woman I became more adamant towards becoming a more natural me. Besides, why not?!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
B: I received my last relaxer in May 2008, from then on I recieved my first (and very painful) blowout in July, and then I tried micro-braids for about 2 long (painful and itchy) months. Once I removed the braids I tried my first sew-in, which was another torture session. By Jan. 7th 2009, I had had enough and decided to get the rest of my hair chopped off. But to much of my dismay, the front of my hair was heat damaged from all the flat ironing I had done for the sake of the sew-in. I spent $35 for a horrible cut (that was done by a stylist at a natural hair salon) and I left looking as though I still had permed ends. So, about two days later I got the rest buzzed off by a barber at the hair salon I used to visit on a regular basis.
Well, I’m not as self conscious about my hair as I used to be. I used to think long, straight (or slightly wavy) was the standard of beauty. I also thought being natural meant that you were over political and always pushing black pride lol. So, basically I was real ignorant. I feel free and happy that I finally get to see my hair without the help of chemicals. It’s opened my eyes to alot of things and brought about many great laughs (due to people’s ignorance). I love the experience and being able to share it with other naturals…it’s like the best inside joke ever!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
B: I’ve learned to cut out washing my hair with shampoo. I mainly do co-washes (conditioner washes) and hot oil treatments, so that’s been going well. I also have to say adding color to my hair has really brought it to life!
How does your hair express who you are?
B: I feel it expresses a more confident, wild side of me. It tells others I’m courageous and daring, that I like versatility, and that I am not close minded.
What’s the best thing about being natural?
B: 1) I don’t have to run from water! 😀 2) I can wet it and go! 3) I can straighten it without chemicals 4) It’s REAL and it’s ALL MINES!!!
See more of Brittany at her blog http://badexpectationz.blogspot.com