Where do you live?
K: I live in Knoxville, TN soon to be Arlington, TX. I’m reppin’ Mississippi (yep the whole state) and East Tennessee! Currently I work in a contact center for Whirlpool but my last day is Friday because I’m relocating….deuces!!
Why did you go natural?
K: It was all on a whim. I didn’t have any bad relaxer experiences or anything. I had tried styles while I was relaxed and they always ended up in natural type styles like curly afros or 2 strand twists. I had a curly afro while visiting NYC and a lot of people thought I was natural. When I got back to Mississippi one of my friends asked “I wonder what you would look like completely natural?” and the transition began.
How did you transition into natural hair?
K: I transitioned using rod sets and micro braids. I had a REALLY bad experience after the micro braids. I took them down and washed my hair. My hair was SO FREAKIN knotted in the front. I tried for 3 days to get the knots out and finally I ended up cutting the knots out so I walked around for like a month rocking scarves because my hair was WAY shorter in that one section. Finally, my Mama was like “Why don’t you just cut off the relaxer?” So I went to a hairstylist at the local Wal-Mart and told her that I was going natural and she cut off my relaxed hair. My original plan was to transition for a year but 2 different extreme textures was a little much. So I ultimately transitioned for a total of 6 months. I wish I would have big chopped sooner.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
K: When I first BC’d, the guy who I was kickin’ it with stopped talking to me completely. But it did’t bother me much because if he didn’t like me with a TWA, then why would I want to keep him around.
I eventually think it’ll affect me in future jobs. That’s why whenever I interview, I keep it in buns and I just bust out my fro, twist out or whatever funky style after I get the job. My Mom prefers the twists though. She doesn’t like my massive fro. I think it reminds her of the struggle of the 60s & 70s.
How would you describe your hair?
K: I would say my hair is 4c because once it wet, it curls up into a small fro….MAJOR SHRINKAGE. It is also HELLA thick (I know why my Mama relaxed it to begin with). They say 4c is the roughest type of natural hair but I’ve learned to embrace it. It can do so much!
What is a brief description of your regimen?
K: I wash it weekly. I’m all for protective styles including a wig or two. I’ve only tried this in the past year and it has proven to be very beneficial. My hair is very thick so I detangle it before I wash it in the shower and also afterwards. As it grows longer, I try to keep it in low maintenance styles. Whenever I wear ‘out’ styles, I re-twist or re-braid nightly to avoid tangles.
I use whatever shampoo I can get my hands on, most recently it’s the Jane Carter Solution Moisture Nourishing shampoo. Before that it was Pantene Relaxed & Natural shampoo. For Detangling, I like V05 & Suave conditioners because they have a lot of slip. To detangle, I use my Tangle Teezer in the shower. I follow up with a moisturizing conditioner like Nature’s Gate, rinse and then Giovanni’s Leave-Conditioner (this is a must have for me). Then I detangle again using my modified Denman brush.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
K: Washing my hair “guerrilla” style was a major mistake I made for like 2 years. It should have dawned on me years ago how much hair I was shedding by not detangling first. I have to wash my hair in sections otherwise it will get tangled like you wouldn’t believe! I have to wash it in about 8 sections for. It takes about 6-8 hours from the pre-poo detangling to the end style but it saves me a lot of shed hairs.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
K: Keeping it moisturized. I live in the South and will be moving to a hotter location in a couple of weeks so I use a vegetable glycerin mix to moisturize it during the summer. In the winter I use the stuff you can find in the stores like Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K: I have a blog but it’s nothing worth writing home about. Hopefully I’ll have time to keep it up: mcjsmodernlife.blogspot.com I also have abandoned fotki account: http://public.fotki.com/LuminouzFlame/my-journey-to-nappt/
Anything else you want to add?
K: Your hair may not be as curly or have the texture that you want (or thought) but learn to love it and take care of it regardless. You’ll avoid a lot of wasted money and time.