Where do you live?
C: I run my very own handmade jewelry business, PeaceImages Jewelry (http://peaceimages.bigcartel.com), in the City of Angels by way of San Diego. Lived in St. Louis for 5 years, and in a month I’ll be moving to ATL with my fiance. Life is for the living and I intend to do just that. But I’ll be a Cali girl for life 🙂
Why did you go natural?
C: Every relaxer I can ever remember burned. And not a little annoying burn, but scabs-on-my-scalp-afterwards burn, and only after being on my hair for 7 minutes at a time. Then the neutralizer shampoo burned even more than the perm, because my scalp was so raw. (I cringe as I type this…) After a while I just realized that perms weren’t for me. No two ways about it.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
C: I’ve always been very experimental and impulsive with my hair. One day, in 2000, after letting my touch-up lapse I just decided to stop perming altogether. I flat-ironed my hair for about a year, dyed it using Feria in 2001 and all the permed hair broke off. Wore a pixie cut until I got tired of maintaining it, then cut it Amber-Rose short and rocked my natural little coils (which got GREAT reactions from passers by). Let it grow back out chemical free, in 2002, and rocked weaves when I felt tempted to re-perm it! I did love me some straight hair!
When I was finally ready in 2004, I began rockin’ the fro full time. My mom will be the first to tell you that the relationship between me and my hair was a religious one! I mastered my hair in its permed state. I could do any style, keep it in for days, change it up in a flash! It was my “thing.” It took me a long time to get used to hair that was going to do whatever it wanted, no matter what I did to it. Releasing that control was a process. It still is a process some days…
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
C: Honestly, I’m not sure I can say that I’ve gone “natural.” I am chemical free, but I’m also guilty of using products with petroleum in them, toothpaste with fluoride and blowing out my hair so it looks straight when I need a change. I run a business that demands nearly all my time, so I do what works for me, and I take care of the hair I was given the best way I can. Learning to work with the texture and thickness of hair I was given has taught me to accept, love and appreciate myself 100%. This is me. Take it, or leave it 🙂 And that is freedom!
How would you describe your hair?
C: I don’t know my hair type, all I know is that it’s EXTREMELY thick, and strong. I hear this question often: “Giiiiiirl, how do you deal with all that hair?” I’ve done SO many things to this mane, and she’s bounced back each and every time (relaxers, cut, heat everyday, hard gels, heavy extensions, wigs, bad weaves, good weaves, color). Her coils can’t be tamed. I blow it out, the fro is back in hours. It grows fast, is very soft, easy to detangle and shrinks like a son of a b*tch 🙂
What is a brief description of your regimen?
C: I use Motions shampoo, conditioner and leave in conditioner 2–3 times per month. I moisturize my scalp and ends with Motions Marula Natural Therapy Scalp Oil, or coconut oil every night before bed. Shea Moisture works best for moisturizing my hair. I wash in the shower and keep it sectioned off in 4 parts during the entire process start to finish. It minimizes tangling and makes it easier to manage! The whole point is to keep my routine as basic as possible because my business demands 100% of me all the time!
If I want to style, I braid my hair while it’s wet with a mixture of shea moisture, lottabody and eco styler olive oil gel. If I can’t wait the 48 hours it will take to dry fully, I use my hood dryer, on a cool setting, for about two hours.
My mom blows my hair out for me, and insists on using Royal Crown to keep it protected. She is old school and really doesn’t give a damn that basically it’s olive oil and vaseline. lol.… I love my mom so much, and no one has been caring for my hair longer, or better, than she has. So I don’t argue. I just shut up and enjoy the wonderful bonding that takes place between a mom and daughter when are doing each other’s hair 🙂
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
C: I’ve learned that my hair speaks to me. It tells me what it likes, and what it doesn’t. And when I don’t listen, I get into trouble! Also, I’ll never color my hair again unless it’s with henna.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
C: I moisturize! In addition to the products I listed above, I drink lots of water and take fish oil supplements! Southwest weather is very dry and arid, and moisturizing is something I have to do daily!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: My new website! http://www.peaceimagesjewelry.com
my Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peaceimagesjewelry
and my boutique! http://peaceimages.bigcartel.com
Anything else you want to add?
C: To the people who are transitioning, and to whomever else this applies, this is YOUR journey. Go through it in your own way, on your own time. No one is judging you if you rock a weave to make your transition easier, or to change up your options, and no one is judging you if you end up re-perming because you aren’t quite ready to take this on. Everything happens in its own time and IT’S JUST HAIR. I really think we take it too seriously sometimes. We all just need to love each other and support each other no matter what part of the journey we’re on.