Where do you live?
W: I live in Brooklyn, NY, however I was born and bred in the DMV aka DC, MD, VA area (Washington, D.C.). I currently work at Sony Music Entertainment and provide PR for a Chicago based music marketing platform called “The Music Experience”.
Why did you go natural?
W: Dreads were always something I had considered because my mom had them, my aunties rocked them…so I suppose I was next in line. The second semester during my freshman year at college, I made the trip to the hair salon and told her to take it all off. She did. I bought some big hoop earrings, put those bad boys on and called it a day!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
W: I was never the type of girl that was good with handling curling irons, flat irons, hot combs etc. and I was always deathly afraid of getting burned in the process of styling my hair. I wore perms throughout high school but the up keep was so exhausting AND expensive. Going natural was a slow process because I didn’t exactly know how I even wanted to look. First, I cut my permed hair into a bob. Then, I decided that I was tired of getting perms altogether. I began rocking two cornrows everyday while in college. But, that too bored me after awhile and wasn’t very flattering for my big head lol. Of course my hair began to break off from me not keeping up with the perms so I knew something had change. After a year of no perms I followed through with the big chop.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
W: It’s funny because, I often think of India Arie’s song “I Am Not My Hair” when I have conversations about my dreads. I didn’t know when I began this journey, but the truth is, I made the decision to go natural because my personality, my interests, my beliefs (in many ways) didn’t correlate with what I was doing to my hair. It may sound crazy, but I became much more comfortable with myself as my dreads sprouted. I embraced my beauty fully and with that confidence I believe others did as well. So, as I think about that song, I think “No, I am NOT my hair but it represents a huge part of me and how I feel about myself.” Me changing its length or its color or its style is indicative of what mood I’m in.
How would you describe your hair?
W: My hair is free-spirited like me. We don’t take each other too seriously, so some days my dreads fall right into place without much maintenance and other days…well, we can’t get it together and no ponytail, bun, curl, or corn row looks right. But fortunately, my hair is thick and I have lots of locs so my hair always has body. They seem sexiest when I just let them fall as they may.
What’s your regimen?
W: I wash my hair with whatever shampoo is at my disposal at the time. I need to condition more. However, I use Jamaican Mango & Lime locking gel or creme wax for my hair. The creme wax makes it softer. I also use a medicated solution from my dermatologist to prevent dry scalp and moisturize with Cantu Shea Butter sheen spray. But my hair holds moisture easily so really, I only need to use that maybe once every two weeks. I maintain my locs myself unless I’m getting them curled.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
W: I used to retwist my locs way too often, like once every two weeks. About 4 years ago they became very thin around the edges. On top of that I was experimenting with color…blonde to be exact. So I stripped them of their natural color around the same time I was retwisting often. One snapped and I panicked. I ceased retwisting and had a professional loctician nurse my edges back to health. I made a vow to only color twice a year between the transition from warm weather to cold weather. I will only retwist once a month. Because honestly, locs are beautiful without all the maintenance. They become full bodied. I keep my color options as close to natural as possible (black for winter and auburn for spring/summer)
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
W: The best thing I do for my hair is to give it breathing room. I don’t use alot of products. I don’t manipulate my locs too often. And it makes a BIG difference. A lot of times, locs can thin as they grow but I haven’t had that issue and I attribute it to just letting them be. I do, however, try varied styles that don’t require retwisting or products but I try not to weigh them down with color or products.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
W: I’m best found on Facebook or twitter: @wbuggs or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/people/Whitney-Buggs/8904177
Anything else you want to add?
W: I heart BGLH and cheers to all the women just beginning their natural hair journey!