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Ray Symone // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Sep 15, 2011

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Introduce yourself!
R: I am Ray Symone from Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m currently a full time student working on a Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting. I hope to one day own my own tattoo shop and be a part time Art Teacher to little kids.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
R: A lot of things got me to make the decision. I wasn’t the normal kid. As far back as I can remember I always wanted natural hair, but at the time I didn’t know what that was called. I wanted my hair to be big and fierce, but I continued to get perms because I thought that was what black girls were supposed to do. Afterward I would wonder why my hair wouldn’t get big and curly.

In 2009 when I became a freshman in college I started doing my own research and started learning about the damage perm could potentially be doing to my hair and the rest of my body by seeping into my pores. After that I vowed to never go back to the creamy crack.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
R: I tried to transition once before during my junior year of high school, but failed. My freshman year of college I went to school out of state so I transitioned that whole year under sew in weaves. My last perm was August of 2009 and in August of 2010 I did the Big Chop. I got tired of dealing with the two textures and simply went into the bathroom and chopped it all off myself. Most liberating thing I’ve ever experienced! I sported my TWA for a while, but ultimately decided to let it grow into semi-freeform locs.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
R: It’s changed me spiritually and mentally. It’s like as my natural hair grew in, I also grew up. I’m more conscious of my actions now and how it will affect the younger African American generation. I have a 10 year old little sister who goes to school in a predominately white area and sometimes I hear her ask my mom why can’t her hair be long and straight like the other girls. It breaks my heart. She has a head full of beautiful, thick, curly hair that when pressed out is down her back. I hope by rocking my natural tresses I’ll be able to set an example so she’ll learn to appreciate her own beautifully nappy hair.

How would you describe your hair?
R: It’s very thick and kind of crazy. It likes to do its own thing and is naturally a reddish brown color. Since I’m semi-freeforming I just sort of let it do what it wants.

What is your regimen?
R: I use three main oils: sweet almond, jojoba, and grape seed oil. Since I’m semi-freeforming I only retwist my hair once or twice a month. For that I use pure aloe vera gel. I wash weekly with Dr. Bronner’s Almond Shampoo or Black Soap and afterwards I do a light palm roll with the aloe vera or sometimes just oil and water. I barely use conditioner because my locs are still young (only 9 months), but on occasions when I do, I use Giovanni’s Smooth as Silk. Every two weeks I do an ACV rinse to make sure my scalp stays clean and so I don’t accumulate any build up. I moisturize daily with one of the oils and my spray bottle, which is just water and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Overall my regimen is pretty simple.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
R: When I was relaxed I made the mistake of coloring my hair…A LOT. I’m an artist and we all know artists like bright colors and change, so when I hit high school I was constantly dying my hair and cutting it. My hair was severely damaged by the time I decided to go natural. I haven’t colored my natural hair at all. Sometimes I feel like changing it up, but I don’t want to waste all the progress my hair has made. It hasn’t been this healthy in a very long time.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
R: Just leave it be and keep it moisturized. The more I let my locs do their own thing and feed them, the better they look.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
R: I have a YouTube channel that I run with my boyfriend about our loc journey. The link is http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLocBlock#p/u.

I also run a blog on Tumblr and can be found at http://raysymone.tumblr.com/

Anything else you want to add?
R: If you’re thinking of going natural, but are a little hesitant, just go for it. It’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Some people say it’s low maintenance, which I know isn’t true for everyone, but it’s healthier for you. Rock your God given hair with pride; nappiness is nothing to be ashamed of.

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About Meosha

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

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Delightbunnie
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Delightbunnie

Awesome, are you me?
Because I was the same way growing up too. I wanted big hair and become an artist.

I just have a fro. 😀

Annie L.
Guest
Annie L.

Um…those are the hottest locs I have ever seen (sorry Leila Hathaway 🙂 wow, just wow! They remind me of that famous Lauryn Hill photo, but lovelier and much edgier IMO. You said you’re growing them out but the current length and styles are awesome and the bow is genius btw.

I would’ve loved if my older sister could’ve paved the way for my hair acceptance when I was young. Good luck with your BFA!

*My curly inspirations folder loves this site*

mangomadness
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mangomadness

I love your hair and your regimen. I like the idea of semi-freeforming. If I where to loc my hair, I would do something similar.

uniqzoe
Guest
uniqzoe

This lady is a pure beauty!! Love the hair, the skin, the style…all of it.

The dreadlock blog
Guest

I love, love,love her hair!

MsKroberts
Guest
MsKroberts

Great hair! If I were to lock i’d definitely want my to look like that, very nice. I’d like to know, being from Indy, how do you view the nautral hair “scene”? I think we are kind of sleeping on it and the beauty/benefits of it. I’d love to see some natural hair meetups etc. hosted here.

Amma Mama
Guest
Amma Mama

She’s stunning and her locs are hot!

Tiffany
Guest

Wow looks great.

Peace, Love and Chocolate,
Tiffany

tynnae
Guest

that is beautiful i never would have thought of semi-locs that is great it looks good on you and i would have to try it for myself when i get my locs again.…i combed them out twice cause i missed my fro lol! i know crazy but thanks for sharing your journey

RaeChardonnay
Guest

You just made me want to loc my hair. Trying to hold out for about 5 more years though! 🙂 Pretty young lady!

Angie
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Angie

She’s pretty. Love her hair

Dee
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Dee

I think it’s sweet that the two of you are on this journey together and taking the time out to be creative in documenting it : )

AUNTIE
Guest
AUNTIE

WOW! YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFULLY INTELLIGENT! IF ONLY I HAD A NIECE LIKE YOU. WITH YOUR WISDOM, FREE-FLOWING SPIRIT, GORGEOUS HAIR, BOAH! WOULD I BE THE LUCKIEST AUNT IN THE WORLD. LOOOOOOOOVE YOUR HAIR!!

christy hyman
Guest
christy hyman

Love it!!!!!!! I am cultivating locs myself and the process takes forever (currently on fourth month) but this sista looks wonderful. Best of luck with your education and entrepreneurial plans

Eboni
Guest
Eboni

I saw her first on tumblr (on Dread Envy) and have always loved the way her locs look. I started my locs on August 20, 2011 annndd this is EXACTLY (or quite similar) to how I want mine to look! I’m difinitely considering semi-free forming my locs. I need to get back on Youtube now, lol.

All locks & natural hair in general is beautiful, and there’s something sexy about being able to let your hair do what it wants.

she’s my new loc inspiration, lol.

Jasmine
Guest

you are so adorable. you make me want free formed locs, which before this i never knew about.

dyhnic
Guest

love the short locs but she should put the hair from the top in the locs.

Shawn
Guest
Shawn

Bee-yuu-tee-ful

BSQUARED86
Guest

Love her hair and their youtube channel! Awesome!

CurlyJan2009
Guest
CurlyJan2009

Excited to see your story! First time I have seen a Hair Icon from Indianapolis!!! Represent!!! Your locs are beautiful!

NYLondon
Guest
NYLondon

Gaw-jus!! Lovely head, lady. although — ahem — twisting fortnightly isn’t exactly semi-freeforming. But as you said, your hair looks best when you moisturise and keep it moving, so in time I’m sure it’ll cure you of your hand-in-loc condition lol and you can keep that wonderful body and texture even as your locs mature.

Reece
Guest
Reece

Beautiful!!!

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