Where do you live?
K: I live in Lafayette, LA. I am a 9th grade Algebra I teacher.
Why did you go natural?
K: My siblings and I used to spend every summer at my grandmother’s. My sister and I would cry when my grandmother would wash and comb our hair because it was so thick. So when I was 7 years old my grandmother put our first relaxer without our mother’s consent. My grandmother went natural at the age of 66 years old and when I saw the texture of her hair, it made me curious about what mine would look like if I went natural too.
I went natural in December 2002 after I had my 4th son. I was just ready for a change. By that time, I had gone 8 months without a relaxer and I did the big chop myself (bad idea). I cut my hair where the waves stopped and the straight began. My husband was livid, but I actually loved it. My hair was about 3 inches long.
I LOVE MY NATURAL HAIR!! It has actually boosted my self confidence. I love the versatility of it. I’m never bored. If I want a relaxed look, I straighten it with a flat iron. If a want a free look, I wear it wild, If I want a sophisticated look, I twist it up. As a teacher, my students look forward to seeing how my hair is going to look that day. That’s kinda fun to see their reactions.
I teach at a predominantly white high school, so its fun to play with diversity and allow my students to recognize beauty in being different and also discuss our cultural differences. It also creates an opportunity for me to model to my young black female students about taking pride in their afrocentricity, if you will.
What’s your regimen?
K: I use Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Cantu Shea Butter to moisturize, and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk to define my curls. When I where a simple curly puff, I use a light gel to lay my hair down.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
K: When I first went natural, I had a very hard time finding affordable hair products that would not dry out my hair. The most important thing I’ve learned is to not to use products with alcohol-based ingredients in it.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
K: The most effective thing I do for my hair is to keep it moisturized and sleep with a satin cap at night. I love not having to continuously put heat on my hair.
Anything else you want to add?
K: This is the longest and healthiest my hair has EVER been in my life. One of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made.
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