*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
N: My name is Nadia! I’m from Boston, Massachusetts. Born and raised! But my parents are from Haiti! Ayiti Cherie! I am a full time waitress. I’m working towards going back to school to get a degree in communication. I love sports and hope to someday be a TV journalist!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: I went natural kinda randomly. I told my stylist at the time that I wanted curly hair and I was begging her for a texturizer. She told me I needed to grow out my relaxer and cut that all off before I could do that so I started growing my hair out. About a month in, I started researching curly hair and came across sites like BGLH and CurlyNikki and found out I didn’t need to have a texturizer to have curly hair. My natural hair was already curly! Who woulda thought right? Lol. It seems so silly now that I didn’t even realize what my natural hair could do!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
N: I started growing my hair out at the end of March, beginning of April 2009. I have never been afraid of doing drastic things with my hair so after 3 months of “transitioning” on July 17, 2009 I went in to my stylist (for the last time) and had her cut off all my relaxer. I was left with about an inch of hair. I didn’t really know about transitioning and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have had the patience to transition for long anyway, so I just cut it and got it over with. During those 3–4 months I would just go in every couple of weeks and have my hair washed and set. That’s it. No special tricks or anything.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
N: Going natural has affected me in so many ways! I have a new confidence about myself that I didn’t have before. I know it’s cliche to say but when I big chopped it was like a new me was born. When I was relaxed I was always doing something to my hair to give me an edge whether it be funky cuts or colors. With my natural hair I don’t need to work hard to have a unique look or edge. It just happens naturally, pun intended!
I’ve also learned so much about just taking care of not only my hair, but my body in general. I’m much more aware of the products I buy and what I consume. It’s a constant struggle, but I am working to be a better person and live a more organic and healthy lifestyle. And last but not least I have made so many new friends and connections since becoming natural. The online natural hair community is amazing and everyone encourages each other and offers tips and great advice. If I ever have any questions about my hair I know I have many options to turn to and get answers. I’ve even made real life friendships through people I met online because we share this “natural” bond.
How would you describe your hair?
N: My hair is very thick. It also shrinks to about 50% of its true length. In the front when wet it’s a looser wavy curl and in the back it’s tighter curls. It’s a mix of 4a/4b for those keeping track. Sometimes I struggle with the two different textures because when I do twistouts the back will last for a week and the front will last for maybe 2 days at most without retwisting because it doesn’t hold the curl as much.
What is your regimen?
N: I used to do all kinds of craziness when I first went natural, but now I try to keep it as simple as possible. Once a week (usually Sundays) I wash my hair. First I finger detangle with olive oil and then wash my hair in four sections with a sulfate free shampoo. I’ve been trying to find the perfect shampoo for me and that has been a little difficult. Currently I’m using Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash (yes you read that right, BABY, lol) It’s 99.9% natural. Then I coat my hair with Aussie Moist and detangle again with a wide tooth comb. After getting out of the shower depending on the week I’ll either do a deep conditioning treatment or a protein treatment. For deep conditioning I use Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque and add honey. For protein treatment I just started using Renpure Organics Amazing Miracle Deep Reconstructor, but I’m also going to be experimenting with Joico K Pak Reconstructor. I henna once a month.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
N: My hair stays in twists for 5 out of 7 days a week. I spritz daily with aloe vera juice and water and mix and seal with either coconut oil, vatika oil or castor oil (straight from Haiti) depending on the season! I used to wear puffs all the time because I was lazy, but I’ve noticed my retention hit a wall so I’ve gone back to protective styling 90% of the time and in just a couple of months I’ve already noticed a big difference. My edges are growing in thicker and that’s always been a problem area for me, even when I was relaxed.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N: When I first went natural I dyed my hair a lot and that was definitely a mistake. It looked good, but I’m sure it wasn’t good for my strands. Now I henna monthly so I have a nice red tint to my hair without any damage. Every time I get the itch to color I always remind myself that healthy hair is what’s most important to me! Also like I said before wearing my hair in puffs constantly was damaging my edges. I also used to wear my hair in a fro a lot, and while it’s really cute it sucks when it comes time to detangle! So now I keep my hair stretched for less breakage. Also knowing when to trim my hair. I would see splits and single strand knots, but not trim because I didn’t want to lose length. Well your hair is just going to keep breaking if you don’t nip those in the bud so to speak. So now if I notice excessive splits or knots I take out my scissors and trim all over before they can do anymore damage!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N: The best thing I believe I do for my hair is keeping it well moisturized and sealing. My hair almost never feels dry because I’m obsessed with making sure to moisturize and seal twice a day!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: I have a tumblr: http://omgnadia.tumblr.com and I just started really getting into my vlog: http://www.youtube.com/user/THExtremelyperfect. Right now I’m doing a weight loss challenge, but I hope to do videos about hair and fashion in the future if there is an interest! I weigh in on Sundays! Come check me out. Also I’m on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/xtremelyperfect.
Anything else you want to add?
N: Thank you so much to all the contributors/writers of BGLH! You are one of the major reasons I went natural! I totally recall browsing the site and being in awe of the beautiful naturals who grace your pages. I’m so honored that I can finally be a style icon! Seriously I feel like I’ve won a Grammy lol!
And for those who are transitioning or thinking about going natural: You can do it! As cheesy as it sounds don’t give up when the going gets tough. You’ll be so happy you stayed strong! Going natural is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I just wish I had done it sooner!