Where do you live?
D: I’m from Texas. I am currently a 4th year college student in DC studying International Affairs and Journalism & Mass Communication.
Why did you go natural?
D: I missed my thickness. I had started perming my hair when I was 12 years old. It started out looking nice and luscious, but overtime it became limp and thin. The main push was when I transferred to a college in DC. It was so difficult to find someone to do my hair. The few salons I would go to always ripped me off and did not do the perm well. That was when I started to hate my dependence on the perm and looked into the possibility of going natural.
My last touch up was March 2010. After it was done, I decided that would be my last perm. I had thought of doing the big chop first, but I did not feel confident that I would like how I would look with really short hair. I transitioned for a year with individual braids. In March 2011 I did the big chop. I became pretty tired of individual braids by that time so I decided to try out the fro first.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
D: It has added a higher level to my constant evolution. I have more confidence and courage to be myself without holding back or downplaying anything. It has also created a deeper bond between my hair and I. Due to the time and effort it takes to maintain my hair and get used to it, I have a better sense of my hair and myself.
It has also affected my interactions with people. I can’t walk down the block without at least four people saying “rock the fro,” “that is one beautiful bush,” “I love your hair,” or “hey foxy brown.” It took me a while to get used to all this attention, which made me a little self-conscious…but I have learned to embrace it.
I find the reaction to my hair from certain people to be very intriguing. Older black men and women love my hair because it makes them reminisce of the days they had an afro. They comment on how big their bush was and how much they loved it, then they congratulate and encourage me to keep doing what I am doing. I enjoy these encounters because both parties feel good at the end of it. We even start chatting about Afro-Sheen, Angela Davis, and Soul Train, which makes them laugh because they are surprised I know what they are talking about. Encountering my hair seems to transport them to happier times…which really makes my day. On the other hand, some women around my age and older continue to give me a back handed compliment by saying, “I like your hair, is it yours?” When my hair was permed, everyone accused me of wearing a weave or a wig. Now that my hair is natural, they still accuse me of being fake. Can’t win.
Overall, I have gained more respect. Not that I was abused before, but I seem to have to deal with a bit less rubbish now that I am natural.
How would you describe your hair?
D: I have beautiful coils. It is very thick, but also very bouncy and fluffy. It gets tangled easily, so I must braid it at night and carefully comb it. When I fully blow dry my hair, it becomes semi wavy. It is usually cooperative, unless I neglect to moisturize it.
What’s your regimen?
D: I wash it about every two weeks with Wen and Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie. I use Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter to oil my scalp because it is very light and smells good. Every morning I use Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Sheen. I braid and moisturize my hair every night with either the Healthy Hair Butter or Wen. I wear it out as an afro and in different up-do styles. I have also started an affair with scarves.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
D: I no longer use Organic Root Stimulator Shea Butter Lotion every night: it builds up and makes my hair stick together. I no longer use SoftSheen-Carson Sta-Sof-Fro Hair & Scalp Spray and Conditioner because it makes my ends brittle. I’ve done well with staying away from heat products. When my hair was permed I was guilty of using the straightener too frequently.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
D: Moisturizing. My hair seems to have a character of its own… a very vocal character. If I miss a night of moisturizing and braiding my hair, it screams in protest the next morning by not cooperating with anything I try to do.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
D: I added “blogger” to my list of talents this past January. I’m still having a lot of fun with it www.dagnyzenovia.com
Anything else you want to add?
D: As Eartha Kitt once said, “Beauty is not something to be dressed up. The Gods have done that. So keep it simple and let it shine all on its own.” As Michael Jackson once said, “If you enter this world knowing you are loved and leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in-between can be dealt with.” As Under Cover Brother once said, “You touch the fro, and you’s gots ta go.” Just have fun with your natural hair because… as India Arie once said, “I am not my hair.” 🙂