Where do you live? Where you reppin’?
C: I’m from Washington, D.C. I’m currently a student at Swarthmore college outside of Philadelphia. I’m studying Political Science, but I also sing.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I did not get a relaxer until I was 13 years old, and when I did, I knew it was going to be temporary.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
C: I transitioned for a whole year using extension braids and twists. I got my braids re-done every 6 to 8 weeks. Before I got my braids redone I would go get a conditioning treatment and have my ends trimmed. This worked really well for me. The new, natural hair that I grew was soft and strong.
In what ways has going natural affected you?
C: I am now my own hairstylist. Every 3 months I get my ends trimmed professionally, but I am the one who does my hair daily and deep conditions it weekly. When I had my relaxer, I went to the hair salon every two weeks and let the stylist tell me how my hair was doing, if there were any treatments I needed, etc. Now I know my own hair and what it needs. I understand it for myself and I love that. Doing my hair everyday does get tiring, but everyday is also a new adventure, a new opportunity to get to know my hair, its capabilities, and its beauty.
The second biggest change would have to be being introduced communities like BGLH. The natural hair culture is a special one, filled with some amazing and inspiring women.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learnt from?
C: My biggest mistake is trying to make my hair do things it doesn’t want to do, and I make this mistake all the time I must admit.
A huge mistake I made 2 weeks ago actually was trying to blowdry my hair with Ms. Jessie’s Curly Meringue in it. HUGE mistake and totally my fault. I decided after I put the product in my hair that it was too cold to wear my hair wet so I decided to blowdry it. The product became gummy and stuck to my hair. I had to brush it out, breaking my ends I’m sure 🙁
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
C: Water is my hair’s best friend. Simply spritzing my hair daily with my mixture of water, jojoba oil, and olive oil makes it so much more manageable. Also, washing and conditioning often is great for my hair. I usually wash my hair 2 to 3 times a week, unlike most naturals. My hair loves this because it craves the moisture and I can’t stand product buildup.
What do you use in your hair?
C: My favorite product line is Hair Rules. I LOVE this stuff. I use the daily cleansing cream, the quench conditioner, the curly whip, and the leave-in conditioner. The products have a light scent that I love. They leave my hair super soft and never make my hair feel dry in any way. The curly whip makes styling my hair super easy. Hair Rules is kind of expensive however and I have to order online, so when I run out I use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle to co-wash with.
Last but definitely not least: WATER!
What is one of your favorite styles?
C: My favorite style and the easiest is my wet-set which I wear all spring and summer, and in the fall and; winter if I have time to dry my hair.
I use Hair Rules Curly Whip to achieve this style and all the styling is done in the shower.
- Co-wash or use a cleansing cream– if you have any product buildup you should also clarify first.
- Condition – whatever conditioner you please. I use Hair Rules Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner. I comb it through with a wide-tooth comb starting at the back of my head and moving towards the front.
- Style – While my hair is soaking wet I apply the curly whip with my fingers starting at the back. I part my hair with my fingers and coat my hair with the product. I do this all the way up to the front of my hair.
- Finger comb – I comb the product through my hair with my fingers. I usually flip my head over and comb it that way as well. I comb it through in lots of different directions to make sure it will have volume.
- Re-wet hair – Lightly re-wet your hair. This re-activates the curl. I simply throw some water over my hair with my hands while in the shower.
- Dry – If it is warm outside I usually just let it air dry. Otherwise, I sit under a hood dryer for about 20 min.
- When it’s dry I fluff it with some shine serum.
How does your hair express who you are?
C: It’s bouncy and lovely, kind of like me 🙂 But it is also an expression of my self-love and self-worth. I try not to make hair seem like more than it is, because it is just another way to express yourself, an accessory. But it is also an important display of my ancestry. I’m so proud to be a Black Woman! I love that my hair shows my African roots.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: I sing so I have a YouTube account with a few videos of me performing: http://www.youtube.com/user/Cecily3490
Anything else you want to add?
C: I want women to embrace their natural beauty wholeheartedly. I have nothing against women with relaxers. I think women should be able to play around with hair and have fun. I just wish more Black women knew how beautiful their natural hair is and how beautiful they can look with it.