Where do you live?
S: I like in Jacksonville, Florida but I’m moving to Baltimore in the summer. (yay!) I’m a full time student at the moment. I’m double majoring in sociology and Spanish and my minor is political science. I wanna work within the community and be an advocate for animal, environmental and human rights.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
S: My best friend and I had originally planned to go back-packing across the country and I needed a way to keep my hair and not have to worry about it for a couple months. Carmen, my best friend, has dreads and I thought “well, why not let my hair lock!” So I grew out my fro and when the time came to get it twisted I had already fallen madly in love with her. I played with my curls constantly and I didn’t want to loose that element so I put off locking my hair. I think that I will eventually, but not any time soon. I really want a HUUUUGGEE afro.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
S: I’ve been a weaving sistah since I was 14. lol. I loved long, wavy/curly sew ins. My sister could do them, so they were my go-to style if I didn’t feel like getting a perm. I transitioned for 4 months. I didn’t even plan my big chop. I was just taking out my weave getting ready for another installment when I just thought “hmmmmm…let’s see where we are.” So I unbraided my hair and washed it. I stared at my reflection for like 10 minutes then I went into a trance, I grabbed some safety scissors and (I was so scared) cut off my permed ends. IT WAS AMAZING! At first I couldn’t stop running my hands through my head. I was like woah…”it’s nice to meet you..I’m steph”
Being natural has had the most positive effect on my life! I feel like my inside matches my outside and that’s a pretty big deal for me. I thought my other hairstyles were pretty but my look never seemed…cohesive. My clothes, my smirk, my walk, my attitude, everything else made sense except my hair. And I couldn’t figure out why. But after I cut my hair I realized the reason my reflection didn’t look like me before was because it wasn’t really me..well not all of me.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learnt from?
S: DON’T TRY EVERYTHING AT ONCE! Ohhmyygoodness my first 2–3 months I was piling on leave in conditioners and anything that claimed to have extra virgin olive oil. lmao. my hair was sooo greassyy! I read in blogs/forums that our hair needed to be conditioned and that was the most important thing so I went into overload. I also know now that you have to figure out your OWN regimen and not to compare your growth to another natural. We all accept that we’re different but sometimes we forget that saying applies to our hair as well. Learn your hair, not a regimen.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
S: Waaatteerrrrrrr!! She gets plenty of water. I refuse to do anything to her unless she’s moist. I deep condition once a month (mayo, avacodo, coconut milk..whatever’s available) and I did my first trim in December. I plan on doing that every 4 months. This is my 6th month being natural ; )
What do you use in your hair?
S: I keep it super simple. My hair doesn’t like to weighed down..she needs her wiggle room. I use
I wash my hair once a week with Garnier Fructis fortifying cream conditioner triple nutrition.. I might shampoo, it depends
At night I twist it into chunky sections..I guess they’re extra medium sized.lol.wrap them in a scarf and undo them in the morning. FLUFF LIKE CRAZY.I love big hair so I pull and stretch as much as possible.
How does your hair express who you are?
S: It’s loud, extraordinary and sarcastically arrogant, indifferent to anyone’s opinion but super soft.
I’ve been approached so many times by women who say things like “your hair is so pretty, I wanna go natural but I’m scared”. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back! This is just awakening apart of you that’s been dormant. And unlike relaxing your hair, this is waaayy less of a commitment. You can always straighten your hair if you don’t like how it turned out. I’m not about bashing permed or weaved heads, it’s about realizing that you have a choice and exploring all options.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?