Where do you live?
L: I consider myself having dual residency. I was born and raised in DC (Go-go music and Ben’s Chili Bowl have a special place in my heart LOL) but, I currently reside in West Palm Beach, Florida. I am working on getting my jewelry business off the ground and I recently received a Certification in Make-up Artistry.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
L: This is the second time I went natural. The first time I had the intentions of just growing out my relaxer to do press and curls. I wanted to be able to color my hair and keep it healthy at the same time. My stylist at the time refused to do a double process on my hair since it was so thick and healthy even with a relaxer. I didn’t get a lot of positive feedback from my friends and family and even my stylist was pressuring my to get a relaxer. She said it was too difficult to work with natural hair. I was also tired of the chemicals and the way it made my scalp so dry. So I got my last relaxer for a wedding July 2008. Immediately after I regretted it. With the encouragement of my boyfriend I went back to growing it out again. It was one of the best decisions I ever made!
How did you transition into natural hair?
L: I did braid outs. It made the transition to natural hair a lot less shocking for people. I even remember once wearing my hair straight for a day or two while I was transitioning and the regulars at the place I was bar tending being upset. LOL. They all said straight hair didn’t fit my personality.
I decided to do a big chop after 10 months. The two textures where becoming too much to deal with. So with a pair of scissors and help from my boyfriend I cut the relaxed hair off.
Since going natural I have adopted a healthier lifestyle. I try my best to use products made with natural ingredients. It has also made me more conscious of the foods I eat and I exercise more often,
I have received so many compliments on my natural hair and have even encouraged two girls at my job to make the decision to go natural. There aren’t very many woman in my area who are natural. It helps me to stand out and become more confident. I am learning to accept who I am, flaws and all and my hair has a way of saying that.
To me the decision to become natural is more than about the hair. The love and respect that is shown between those of us who made the decision to become natural is beautiful. It seems as if we all relate to each other in a way because we have all at some point had to deal with negativity. We encourage and compliment each other because we know how much it means to get the positive feedback.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learnt from?
L: Well the first time I went natural I pressed my hair every week. I wasn’t aware of the damage the heat was causing to my hair. I have also learned to stick to the products that work best for me. I am a recovering “product junkie” I have a tendency to always be on the look out for something new even when what I’m using is working perfect for me. Oh and I’ve avoided single strand knots by not doing a wash and go everyday.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
L: Shortly after I made the decision to become natural I also made the decision to become Vegetarian. My personal belief is what goes in your body is just as if not more important than what goes on your hair. I take Vitamins daily and drink as much water as possible everyday. But as far as hair maintenance I believe moisture is key. My scalp gets very dry so I am do my best to keep it and my hair lubricated.
What is one of your favorite styles?
L: Well I am still in that awkward length stage so my favorite thing to do is twist outs. I start out with freshly co-washed hair. I then make small twist over my entire head. Making them small really defines my coils. I wear the twist for a day or two and then separate them to a full curly fro. It last for a week that way.
What do you use in your hair?
L: I cannot live without my Giovanni LA Natural gel. It has great hold when I want to do two strand twist without drying my hair out.
Tea tree oil & vegetable glycerin (it works well on my dry scalp)
Sweet Almond Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar (I spray it directly on my scalp to clarify)
Nature’s Gate Conditioner
How does your hair express who you are?
L: My hair is an outward expression of how I feel on the inside. It’s fun, carefree, artistic, healthy, and real. It makes me feel good to not conform to what some may say are accepted standards of beauty. Beauty is all around us and it doesn’t come in just one cookie cutter image. It sounds cliche but there truly is beauty in every woman. It’s just up to us to seek it out.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
L: I am in the process of starting a blog but in the meantime you can find me on Natural Sunshine.