Where are you from?
S: I’m originally from California, grew up in Los Angeles and knew that as soon as I graduated high school, I had to move on.
I currently live in Chicago, where I’ve been for the past seven years. I love it here! Winters (and summers) are tough on my hair, but I think I make it work.
What hair products do you use?
S: I rarely shampoo my hair, but I co-wash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration every few days for wash-and-gos. I find that my hair is happier when I leave some conditioner in when I get out of the shower. In the winter, I combine Mixed Chicks leave-in and raw shea butter and put it through my hair while it’s still wet. In the summer, I use Mixed Chicks with Curls Goddess Glaze, which helps reduce humidity-induced frizziness. For protective styling, I use the Mixed Chicks leave-in and shea butter and do twists.
What has been your biggest hair mistake?
S: In college, I heat styled on an almost daily basis. I was obsessed. I lost a lot of length, but after college I got wise.
What do you love most about your hair?
S: On a good day, when my hair is looking its absolute best, I feel invincible. I feel strong, and real, and honest, like I have nothing to hide. I also love that I don’t have to rely on anyone else to make my hair look good. It does that all on its own.
S: I have never had a relaxer. My mom and both my older sisters had relaxers that severely damaged their hair. By the time I came around, my mom knew better and put me in all kinds of braids and twists.
At 5, I think I started bothering her about getting my hair straightened (I was probably affected by all the relaxer commercials on tv) so after a long search, we finally found a wonderful stylist from Belize who washed, conditioned, and straightened my hair once a month. 13 years later, I was still going to her, still getting my hair pressed, and it had grown to waist length.
When I graduated from high school and moved to Chicago for college, I was suddenly on my own, had to teach myself how to do my own hair, and really struggled for quite some time. That’s when all the major damage started.
Do you have any words of encouragement for new naturals?
S: I was really scared when I first decided to be curly, I had no clue what I was doing and that embarrassed me. I was so used to having straight hair, I knew what I looked like with straight hair, I knew the way I acted, I knew my habits and my life had order. Doing the same old thing was easy, having straight hair seemed easy to me.
Right before I officially decided to go curly, I finally realized: What could be easier than just being myself? No coverups, no excuses. It took some time to get used to the new me, but I’m so, so happy I made this decision.
Do you have a blog or website?
S: I’m a graphic designer and am really influenced and inspired by images. My blog, newbry, is where I post all the things I find that I love to look at: http://newbry.tumblr.com