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Kenyada // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jun 2, 2010

Where do you live?
K:
I am currently located in Richmond, Virginia. I’m reppin the 804 (pronounced eight-Oh-Foe) babay!!! LOL! What do I do…hmmmm…I do a lot. I am a mommy, sister-girl, full time web/technical trainer, part-time college professor, hairstylist, cosmetology instructor, portfolio-building model and beauty blogger. And no, I am not Jamaican. LOL!

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K:
I actually went natural twice. You know, I actually wanted to do it as soon as I got to college. It was something about buying the relaxer kits that didn’t sit too well with me. I tried and tried, but just couldn’t stop slapping those bad boys in! Finally, during my senior year of college I found out I was pregnant and that’s what did it. Because there really isn’t much research regarding the true effects of relaxers on our systems, I didn’t want to take the risk of having those chemicals absorbed in my system and then into my son’s system. No way! So, I did well with that. I just stopped relaxing cold turkey and let it grow out (with the help of some kinky twists towards the end).

After I had my son, I was fascinated by how long my hair was. I was always the girl with the short ‘do’ so hair was new for me. After I stopped nursing, I decided to see just how long it really was and guess what…I went to the relaxer, girl!!! Held on to that for a quick minute and then chopped it all off again. I just missed my texture. I found myself doing braid-outs on my relaxed hair because I missed the unpredictable-ness (you like how I made that word up?…lol!) of my kinky tresses. I missed the wild, fun hair. I’ve been natural ever since.

When did you transition into natural hair?
K:
So, the first time was 2002 until about 2003 and that was a cold-turkey type of situation. I would just slick my hair back with gel (that was my other addiction) and that would work for me. Once my hair got too long for that I wore kinky twists for awhile, too. The second time I did a big chop and that was in 2005. Yes girl…cut nearly all of my hair off and just let it grow. I was so amazed at what my hair could do. I saw ringlets, coils, waves. I was amazed. I love my natural hair!

What’s your regimen?
K:
Sundays are my ‘love me’ days. I co-wash with whatever conditioner I am using at the moment. I’ve gotten the best results with Taliah Waajid’s Herbal Enhancing Conditioner so far. I usually mix my conditioner with Sugar in the Raw or quinoa for scalp exfoliation. I used to rock twist-outs constantly, but I got a little bored with that and so now I just rock my free tresses and since it has grown so long I’ll pin it up, swoop it to the side or wear a puff. I use Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, Taliah Waajid’s Healing Oyl or Carol’s Daughter Tui Oil on my free tresses. I usually apply one of those products after I wet my hair. I usually wet my hair in the shower daily. Every now and then I’ll flat iron it (like once or twice a year), but I get so bored that I end up letting ‘go back’ with the quickness. I like to call my hair ‘Sha-Zam’ because I can switch it up at any moment. Kinky, Curly, Wavy, Straight.…there really aren’t many limits.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
K:
Shampoo! I used to hate how my hair would squeak after I shampooed it. I started researching and it all made since! Now, that I only co-wash, my hair has grown ridiculously and it feels sooooo soft. I love it. I believe that’s the biggest mistake I’ve made. No Poo for me! (Thanks ‘Curly Girl’!)

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
K:
Co-washing hands down. My hair moves, bounces and flows so nicely. I’ll tell anybody to give it a try. It sounds pretty gross when you first hear about it, but once you are exposed to the truth…it’s the best thing ever. The other thing is letting go of the belief that my scalp has to be greased. It’s all about quality oil and massage — not grease and parting.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K:
Oh, well I’m so glad you asked! There are actually two! For those women that are into makeup, accessories and…ahem..hair..you can visit http://www.essence.com/makeovermagic and play with a few new looks. You’ll see my face first, so feel free to try a few new styles on me. However, you can upload your own photo and try some styles on yourself as well. It’s really fun!

As of February 14, 2010 I launched my own website http://www.alltressedup.net. The focus of this website is all things hair and beauty. While I am obsessed with natural hair and love the natural hair love, I think it’s important to love on everyone. There always seems to be some form of division and I just don’t want our hair to be that dividing factor. I find beauty in it all.

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Karon-Ann
Karon-Ann
10 years ago

LOL @ the “no, I’m NOT jamaican” comment! Us west indians dabble in everything, I swear! 🙂

LOVE her hair so very much! And applaud your decision to stop relaxing for the sake of your baby. Many women opt choose thier “creamy crack” addiction because there are no proven harmful side effects to baby, but you can never be too careful!

she also inspired me to try co-washing again! This summer heat is making my hair very straw-like, and solely co-washing may be the cure!

P.O.
P.O.
9 years ago
Reply to  Karon-Ann

I have heard bad things about co-washing (although it seems to work for some people). From what I have been reading it is bad ingredients in shampoo that cause drying and the key is to get a shampoo that is sulfate and paraben free. Also Lisa Akbari (trichologist) says that using a pH balanced clarifying shampoo once a week is necessary to get rid of buildup. Right now I know that Zipporah Beauty has a shampoo with a suitable pH ( 4 ish to 7), and there are more and more companies out there making shampoo without all the nasty… Read more »

Kenyada
9 years ago
Reply to  P.O.

Hi P.O.,

I don’t use a lot of product at all and try to stay with all natural ingredients and/or those things that absorb into the hair shaft. I agree about the clarifying, but will go with an ACV rinse if things get to ‘build-uppy’. I just don’t like shampoo (balloon-squeak effect). You would never guess that I was grossed out by the idea of no-pooing at first. LOL!

It’s amazing the power we have as consumers. I’ve noticed the variety of sulfate-free shampoos increasing as well.

Peace and thanks for the comment! 🙂

E. Lewis
E. Lewis
10 years ago

love it!! +also loving that she’s a cosmetology instructor like myself:)

Shones
Shones
10 years ago

That 2nd pic with the pearls is just so lovely! To this quote: “While I am obsessed with natural hair and love the natural hair love, I think it’s important to love on everyone. There always seems to be some form of division and I just don’t want our hair to be that dividing factor. I find beauty in it all.” Agreed. Most of the black women I know are still wearing relaxed hair, including some of my closest friends, and I love them and affirm their beauty regularly regardless. But I can’t lie… the thought of a perm, especially after seeing… Read more »

Chai
10 years ago

LOVE it!! very cute personality!! Off to check out her site;-)!

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Black Girl Long Hair, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: Kenyada is today’s style icon http://bglhonline.com/2010/06/kenyada/ #naturalhair […]

binks
binks
10 years ago

Cute and beautiful lady. I so agree with her on shampoo. I LOVE the last paragraph she wrote, that is so true, their shouldn’t be a division factor but just acceptance of however people choose to do their hair at the end of the day

Angelina
10 years ago

Kenyada, I love your spirit and positive attitude! It shows through your writing 🙂 Beautiful pics and hair 🙂

NappyKitchen
NappyKitchen
10 years ago

She channeled Lady Day beautifully.

Ashley
Ashley
10 years ago

Hey! It’s good to see someone from Richmond! I am transitioning now and I absolutely love co-washing! Kenyada, your hair is beautiful and you have such a fun spirit 🙂

Kenyada
10 years ago

Thanks for the love, yall!! Peace, Blessings, Love and Light.

sheezie
sheezie
10 years ago

lovely post! i love the pics!
can ms. kenyada PLEASE share where she got that hot red lipstick from????
por favor!!!!!

Kenyada
10 years ago

@sheezie: All I know is it was some vintage red lip color. The Makeup Artist said they don’t even sell it anymore. :/ That lip gloss was POPPIN, huh? LOL! 🙂 Thanks Lady…

Z
Z
10 years ago

Awww yeah! Richmond is in the house!!! Love your hair gal!

Shameka Smith
Shameka Smith
9 years ago

Girl your hair is thick and that is what’s up, aint nothing worse than going somewhere and getn your hair done, when you aint got nothing to get done. ( like hair on side and in the back) but nothing on the top, Your beautician gone be like oh here she come with her bold head a**, but when you walk in the door they like all smiles with they fake and phony a**, oh let me stop, this aint about me.. but girl your hair look gooooood.

Elaine Morrison
9 years ago

Absolutely beautiful my sister love your hair, overall bio and especially your hair tips. Thanks for sharing. I am a single mom who has done residential mortgage underwriting and investment banking. Presently my career is in Finance Services as a Financial Aid Officer embracing our US Government programs that’s steering educational development for our undergraduate students. I also work with business owners who want to ad mobile and stationary credit and ATM card devises to their business growth.

Blessed,

Elaine
morrowmae@aol.com
also on Facebook

Kenyada
9 years ago

Thank you so much, SisSTAR! Continued blessings to you in your business endeavors. Peace.

Cheryl Lynn
8 years ago

She is beautiful and fabulous. I love her hair philosophy. I love big, wild, and crazy hair too and am determined to get it. I’m six months strong now and am looking forward to what comes this summer when the 4th of July will mark 1 year natural for me.

A Renaissance Woman, indeed. Much of God’s blessings to you Kenyada!

Kenyada
8 years ago

Thank you Cheryl Lynn! I really appreciate the love. Congrats on the upcoming one year of loving your hair!!!!

Thank you so much!

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