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Kelly // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Aug 23, 2011

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Where do you live?
K: I live in Chicago right now, but I will forever rep Detroit, Michigan (Southfield really, but it’s 3 minutes away from Detroit.)

What do you do?
K: I am an Acting Major at DePaul University. So I’m an Actor : )

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K: I’ve always identified more with my curly hair. Even when I had my relaxer from age 13 to 17ish I would often wear it “curly” because it made me feel more me. I was blessed with beautiful curls and when I was younger my mom would let me rock it natural. As I got older I went from braids to straightening to relaxing. It was a thing of the times. Everyone was getting their hair straightened and I wanted to fit in.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
K: It was a slow transition honestly. Around freshman year of college (age 18) I stopped getting relaxers, but I still had a lot of the product left in my hair. I would go back and forth between straight and curly in a sort of identity crisis. At first I stuck to straight hair, but Chicago weather and my movement classes in my acting program were letting my hair have it. I was ultra self-conscious back then so naturally I was nervous, but as the year went on I learned how to deal. I found what worked for me. I focused on growing my hair longer and eventually a relaxer became a thing of the past.

The summer of freshman year was a tough one. I just made the cut in my acting program. Naturally the identity crisis came in full force. I became frustrated with my hair. I didn’t know what to do with it. I would wear it down, but spent most of my time in the mirror trying to get it “just right” before going out. I eventually came to the conclusion that a chic new haircut was what I needed to start sophomore year. I cut my hair into a bob, which looked wonderful when my hair was straight, but like a helmet when it was curly. Obviously I was devastated. I spent the rest of that summer wearing it in ponytails and pinning it up until it grew back to a decent length. As soon as that happened I discovered something very interesting. My curl pattern had changed. It went from the wavy half processed looking curls to full on ringlets! I could wear it up. I could wear it down. I could put it in bantu knots. My fashion became bolder as well. I would try anything and everything. I opted for more color over black and my bohemian side came out to play. I changed my eating habits, changed my faith and essentially revamped my life.

Now I’m not saying this to be over dramatic, but I seriously believe that my hair was a direct representation of what was going on inside my mind and heart. Hair is an adventure, much like life. Right now I’m growing my hair out after another big chop, but who knows, a month from now I may decide I want it short again. I am living in the moment and rocking who I am. I went natural because I know that I am enough and at the end of the day it’s just hair.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
K: It forced me to be BOLD! I have always been a wacky, silly, random, artsy person, but now my hair has become an extension of that. There is no better feeling than waking up in the morning and saying, “What interesting thing do I want to do with my hair today”. It forces you to work with what you’ve got. It channels creativity while building self-confidence. : )

How would you describe your hair?
K: It’s thick, but the curls are soft and playful. When straightened it behaves like a number 1, but it’s quick to get back to its natural texture. I am definitely a 3c. Some people have told me differently, but I am sticking to that.

What is your regimen?
K: I use Pantene Pro V for relaxed and natural hair when I shampoo and condition. Then I use a curl crème called Curl Crème Brulee from the Curls hair line. After that, I spray with Shea Moisture’s Reconstructive Elixir and let air dry in the summer. For my day after curls I rub some of the Body Shop’s Coconut Oil Hair Shine on my hair to tame the frizziness and smooth the edges.

In the winter I simply add Aloe Vera Gel after the Curl Crème Brulee and dry with a diffuser. I only wash my hair every 3 days or so, but I wet it in between if necessary and let it air dry. I use a microfiber towel that I got from Target for $1 to dry my hair after I put products in.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
K: The relaxer is at the top of that list, but second place is going to a salon to get it cut while it’s curly. Now I know most people are like “WHAT?!”, but seriously when I got my big chop done I did not get the direct results I wanted. It was cute, but it looked a little too 80’s hipster for everyday wear so I got a pair of household scissors and cut it myself. It was actually quite liberating. I knew it would grow back so I just tried it. Thankfully the curls disguised the tiny mistakes, but eventually I got it to a place where I didn’t feel weird walking out the door. Now I have upgraded to letting my sister cut and trim my hair and maybe one day if I find a natural hair salon in Chicago that knows how to deal with my fro I will try it out. Until then, I will keep it in the family.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
K: Every now and then I will go on websites like Curly Nikki or NaturallyCurly.com and find all natural treatments for my hair or skin. I have tried the avocado conditioner and I really liked it. It’s like a spa day for my hair and I feel more relaxed and refreshed after doing it. I will also try little things I read in magazines like putting a protective spray on my hair when I go to the beach (something I picked up with my host family while abroad).

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K: I’m so glad you asked because I recently started a blog and I am trying to get it going. My blog is Buddah Beauty.

Anything else you want to add?
K: “CREATE, PRAY, LOVE”

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About Meosha

Just another lover of natural hair and expression. - Style Icon Coordinator for BGLH

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Iesha
Iesha
9 years ago

Go Southfield!! I grew up in Southfield, but I now live in Southfield. Anywho, I LOVE YOUR HAIR and you are super cute.

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago

Fabulous hair and attitude, good luck with your career!

Aprille
Aprille
9 years ago

My Auntie Terri forwarded this link to me with no description and I was so confused, but then I saw your picture and said “Oh, it’s Kelly!” You look beautiful hon! I am so glad that you are embracing you. There’s no better feeling in the world than looking at yourself in the mirror and NOT having to fuss with yourself forever. I’m so proud f your accomplishments. Keep going and make your dreams come true!

Candis
Candis
9 years ago

OMG>.u look just like Jill Scott in some of your photos… ROcK On GYrL!!!!

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