R: I was born in the Windy City of Chicago to parents of Nigerian heritage, (Yep, 100% Naija) and I still currently reside in The Windy City. I am currently working as a consultant and photographer.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
R: Honestly, the decision “to go natural” never really stemmed from anywhere, it was just the result that would be achieved when I decided to stop relaxing my hair. I had had a relaxer for the majority of my childhood, adolescent and young adult life, so I never really knew my “real hair texture”. But in 2006, I finally grew tired of getting relaxed, I grew tired of having to schedule faithful 6-8 wk appointments to keep the look up, and mostly, I grew very tired of not being able to scratch my head the night before because I knew that my scalp would burn the next day. So in December of that year, it ended my 10 year relaxed hair journey.
I worked with two texture patterns for the duration of going from relaxed to natural because 1. It didn’t really bother me, and 2. Getting a BC (big chop) wasn’t an option. Honestly, it wasn’t much of a hassle. I kept kinky twists, roller sets and sew-ins the majority of the time and when I had about an inch or so left of relaxed hair, I finally just cut that off. My transition took about 2.5 years.
I was very unaware of what it meant to truly go natural, thus no BC, not knowing what protective styles were, co-washes, pre-poos, etc. Natural hair had its own lingo….who knew?
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
R: None, I’m still the same quirky, interesting, lovable person I was as a relaxed woman. But I do think that it’s given off the impression that I’m more confident. My mom and 4 sisters, who are all still permed, and even my dad often wonder how I could pull off such hairstyles and make it look so easy. So I guess in a sense, it has made me much more bold. I don’t worry about my hair getting wet, having bad hair days, etc, because I can either pull it up into a puff, wear it big, throw on a beret or just wash-it-and-go! Ahh…the possibilities!
What’s your regimen?
R: I don’t have a set-in-stone regimen, but I do make sure that my hair is always moisturized. Moisture is the key!
In the winter months, I co-wash about 1x or 2x a week and daily apply castor oil to my scalp, and coconut oil/EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)/shea butter [not in that order but sometimes used simultaneously] to my hair for daily moisture. Dry, natural hair is sooo not attractive, neither is it healthy.
I rarely shampoo my hair, usually about 1x or 2x a month….I don’t get much product buildup, and I’m not a fan of the harshness of shampoos, even those that are sulfate free, so I only do it when I feel like I need to clarify. For this, I use the Organix Shea Butter Shampoo.
Some of my staples:
Coconut oil, EVOO, Castor Oil, SHEA BUTTER, V05 Conditioners, Suave Coconut Conditioner, Mane-N-Tail Detangler, Infusium 23 Leave In, Eco Styler, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In, & Lutrasilk’s Cholesterols.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
R: I wouldn’t really call them mistakes, but I would say, I have really learned the effects of what heat damage could do to your hair. Now thankfully, I found Youtube, BGLH, and various other pages on FB, and thus started to really do research on natural hair because looking back, It’s very miraculous that my hair neither fell out, nor suffered from heat damage.
For the duration of me “transitioning” or growing out the perm, if my hair wasn’t in braids, It was always worn straight. Though I used heat protectants and serums, I straightened my hair every week. Like I said previously, going natural wasn’t something I decided, it just happened, so my aim was strictly to avoid the perm. But in doing research and seeing videos, and reading testimonials, and eventually becoming au naturale, my perspective was altered and this made me cut down on the heat, [I’m currently on a 1 year NO HEAT challenge of my own and loving it!!!!]
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
R: The best thing I do is keep it clean and moisturized! Can this be over-emphasized? I used to hear that a little bit of “dirt” in your hair was good, but um….not a fan of that one…. Something about clean, moisturized hair just gets me excited.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
R: Yes, it’s belovedosaruchi.blogspot.com