Where are you from?
E: I am Brazilian and study nursing. My ancestors were Africans and Indians. I was born in Brazil and never wanted to leave my country. Despite the internal difficulties of being an emerging country, Brazil is beautiful and we are proud to live here and be part of this wonderful people.
What is interesting about Brazil?
E: I love the cultural diversity of my country, we have many influences here. But what really attracts me is the openness of the Brazilians, we love to welcome new people and make sure they feel all right here!
What is the natural hair scene like in Brazil?
E: The majority of Brazilian women have curly hair. Natural hair here is increasingly rare, when there are new chemical treatments Brazilian women almost all prefer to use them. I believe that Brazilians are conditioned to find curly hair strange and do not accept it as it is. I have met with some who thought my hair was weird and suggested that I do some kind of smoothing. The curly hair is an aberration, and for them it should be “tamed”, unfortunately.
Tell us your hair story.
E: Well, I’ve relaxed my hair from ages 9 to 18. Last year I looked at pictures of myself and felt that my hair did not fit at all with who I really am; my personality was not reflected in my hair. I love all my color and the history that it carries, I recognize that many blacks fought for that one day I could live as a free woman with my physical characteristics. I felt it was unfair to not honor their effort. So I decided to return to my normal state. I used braid extensions to grow my hair out, and now it’s totally natural. People’s opinion are divided, there are those who think my hair is too stylish and those who believe it’s ridiculous. I do not care, I’m happy as ever.
What would you like to see in your country in terms of natural haircare?
E: I would love to find beauty salons that take care of natural hair and not try to change it. It would be good if there were more products specifically for natural hair.
Why do you like being natural?
E: Being natural is synonymous with freedom for me.
Is there a blog/webpage/fotki where we can find you?
E: You can find me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/elidaquino
*Some international BGLHers don’t speak English as a first language and thus give shorter interviews.