Where do you live?
A: I live in Chattanooga Tennessee. It’s one of those towns that’s hard to explain unless you’ve been there. The landscape is really beautiful, we have an interesting art scene that is booming right now, and we are steadily working to be more progressive! It’s hard to say that I rep only one town because I have traveled & lived a lot of places and they have all left impressions on me… so shout out to Atlanta, Virginia, Boston, Texas, Berlin, Paris, and Italy!
Right now I work for a few different companies doing graphic design and marketing. I have a degree in photography and do freelance photography. In the future I will be opening a “creative mecca” here in Chattanooga.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
A: I toyed around with going natural for 2.5 years before I finally did it. I started to think about it in 2000. I had a good friend that did the big chop (shout out to Shanda). Back than the only information I got was from www.nappturality.com. I should have stock in that site I spent so much time on it. I did the big chop on July 4 2002. MY INDEPENDANCE DAY! I just walked into the bathroom got the scissors and started cutting. I came out a new woman!
Going natural has affected all areas of my life and I started to look at things a lot differently. I had to ask myself why I was in my 20s and had never seen my natural hair.
What’s your regimen?
A: When I first went natural I just did the best I could. I kinda went on auto-pilot for a while. I saw a girl at the gym (God bless her) and she had natural hair. I asked her how she did it and she explained two strand twists to me. So for the first half of my journey I would two strand twist out like nobody’s business.
In the past few years I have gotten more adventurous and started really taking an interest in my hair. I use coconut oil as a daily moisturizer. I just got turned on to the Flexi Rod set and I love it! I also henna every one to two months. I love the color, and the shine. I have started to pre-poo and had nice results with that. I use a combination of Beauty for Ashes God Head shampoo & conditioner with Miss Jessie’s no suds shampoo and conditioner. I also use Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding and a few other of their products but there’s no substitute for good ole shea butter.
I’ve also experimented with making my own products. This is fun and can be relatively inexpensive from your local health food store that sells herbs. Plus there’s a wealth of information online for recipes.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
A: I think my biggest offense is sleep. When I’m tired I just fall out. I don’t wrap my head every night. I know when I was doing it my hair really responded to having that break at night. It thanked me by growing. My crown has always been where my hair grows the slowest and this is where most of my sleep damage has taken its toll.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
A: The best thing I do for my hair is LOVE IT! The second best thing I do for my hair is MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE…did I mention moisture! My hair gets dry very easily and I have to stay on top of it. Lately I have been doing a monthly steam treatment to combat the dryness. I also maintain moisture daily with coconut oil.
How does your hair express who you are?
A: My hair in its natural state best expresses who I am. I just feel more at ease now in my own body. I NEVER liked going to the salon, or even back in the day when Mom would press and curl me she would have to find me hiding under my bed before she could get that heat anywhere near my head.
I think what being natural means to me is more fully appreciating who God made me to be. Acknowledging and letting your hair do what it naturally does is one of the most freeing things I have ever done.