Where do you live?
B: I live in Toronto, Ontario. I am reppin’ Canada and Nigeria! I am a full time student and part-time counselor for children.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
B: To be honest, it was kind of an “accident” that I went natural lol. Initially, my plan was to start taking better care of my hair since I was experiencing a lot of breakage when it was relaxed. I was browsing hair care on the web and happened to read about stretching the time in between relaxers, so that was my original plan. I figured I would just let the relaxer grow out for a little while and take really good care of my hair and then relax again. Eventually the whole process just became so tedious with all the experimenting I was doing and having to deal with the two textures. I was so frustrated with the tangling at the demarcation line that I decided to just get it cut. After I walked out of the barber shop, I never turned back…that was it for me and Hawaiian Silky relaxer!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
B: I transitioned from June 2006 using kinky twists, braids, and weaves and finally did the big chop in Summer 2007.
In what ways has going natural affected your life?
B: Truly, it has had a positive impact on my life.The whole process of “going against the grain” and changing our own perceptions about our natural texture is empowering. It is very difficult to break habitual behaviours. In this respect then, to have stopped relaxing after so many years should be seen as an accomplishment. To learn from scratch how to take care of our natural texture properly when generations before us did not pass down this information, is an accomplishment. These accomplishments in hair are not trivial as they act as springboards to other areas of life. If you can learn how to care for kinky/curly hair, you definitely have the ability to learn new things in other areas of your life.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learnt from?
B: Mistaking oil as a mosturizer when I was a new natural. I would throw olive oil on my hair and wonder why my hair felt so crunchy lol. But I’ve learned since then that water is necessary for moisture. If water is not a top ingredient in a product than it’s probably not a great moisturizer.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
B: Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize! And leave it alone…I saw the most growth in my hair when it was in protective styles for most of 2008. This is because I was able to retain length during those months of not constantly styling it. In 2009, I didn’t see any drastic growth comparable to the previous year and for most of 2009 my hair was in “out” styles. So this year 2010, I will do more protective styles to test the accuracy of my conclusions on length retention.
What do you use in your hair?
B: I have found that keeping it simple works for me. My most used list includes: H2O, castor oil, shea butter, coconut oil, shampoo and conditioner. I like to add peppermint oil to my shampoo because it smells refreshing and makes my scalp tingle (great for added blood circulation).
How does your hair express who you are?
B: My hair is resilient yet still delicate…bold in appearance yet soft to the touch…My hair is an expression of me because it is a part of my being and that is how God intended it to be.
What’s the best thing about being natural?
B: Hands down, for me, it would have to be not having to endure the burn of the relaxer anymore! I really hated that burning sensation lol.
Healthy hair is beautiful hair. Don’t let other people define what texture is “appropriate” for you. Educate yourself on the facts so YOU can make an informed decision. And this goes for every area of your life…you should invite good advice but don’t let people make your decisions for you.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
B: Yep, you can find me on youtube @ www.youtube.com/user/MissAfrobella