Where do you live?
L: I live in Baltimore Maryland. I feel kinda outta place here though. I’ve been here all my life but when I went to NY I felt like I was home. It was really strange. I work full-time at Johns Hopkins University but I also manage a monthly rap session that’s about to hit blogtalk radio in the winter of 2011.
Why did you go natural?
L: I went natural back in 1993 but after struggling with styling and maintenance issues, I went back to the relaxer about a year and a half later. It was hard on me and I wasn’t as ready emotionally. I made a more firm decision to go and stay natural back in 1998 and have not looked back.
I stopped relaxing my hair for about 3 months in 1998 and then because I’m impulsive, I just chopped all the relaxer off one day. I went extra hard. I had a little under 2 inches of natural hair at the time. I wore coils and bantu knots for a while and then loced my hair. I wore locs from 1999–2006. In 2006, I did the same thing but for different reasons. I chopped my locs off at the new growth and grew out the fro that I have now.
Going natural has helped me to see both my positive and negative character traits more clearly. It’s assisted me in reconciling my personality and accepting myself more fully. For example, I stand more firmly in my boldness and work on correcting my laziness. I’m a work in progress and so is my hair. Thinking about it retrospectively, I notice that when my hair was loced, my life was about structure. Now that I have a fro, I notice that my spirit is a little more free. I miss the sassy styles that a relaxer affords but there’s nothing quite like marching in your naturalness. My hair, my style, and my person command attention.
What is your regimen?
L: I don’t follow a strict regimen. I co-wash most of the time. I rarely use shampoo. I try to use moisturizing conditioners (Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, Aussie 3‑minute miracle deep conditioner) but I also use conditioners by Suave… because a sistah is ON A BUDGET! I use Madina online shea butter, Eco Styling gel, and Africa’s Best Herbal Oil as styling products. I used to buy Qhemet Biologics products (Amla and Olive Heavy Cream, Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm, and Honeybush Tea Soft Gel) because they are super moisturizing but haven’t in a while.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
L: The most common mistakes I continue to make with my hair are not keeping my hair properly moisturized, not drinking enough water, and not protecting my ends. Like I said, I’m a work in progress. I’ve managed to maintain my length in spite of myself though. *grin*
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
L: The best/most effective thing I can, will, should do for my hair is accepting it… its thickness, the density, and the texture in all its glory. A good hair day for me is inspiration for other women who are natural or who are considering going natural.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
L: I’m on Facebook and will be on the radio soon.