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Xihuanel // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Nov 10, 2011

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Introduce yourself!
X:
My name is Xihuanel and I’m 20 years old. I currently live in Los Angeles, but I’m originally from Oakland. I’m in my 3rd year at UCLA studying World Arts and Cultures with a cultural emphasis. I am also Project Director of two projects on campus called SANAA, (Social Awareness Network for Activism through Art) and the other, AEP (Afrikan Education Project). I work with the youth within these two organizations in Compton, California every Saturday. I help plan curriculum and field trips. I am also an aspiring filmmaker and create projects in my spare time.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
X:
I have been natural my whole life, but coming to love it is another story. I never knew how to do my hair when I was younger and did not know what products to use. I usually just wore my hair up in a bun and used Pro Styl gel. As I grew up I began to experiment with different curly hair products because someone mentioned Pro Styl is really bad for your hair. Towards my junior year in high school I wore my hair out and realized my hair is beautiful; it is what God gave me, so why not embrace it. From then on I had fun experimenting with different hairstyles and color.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
X:
I transitioned into my natural hair junior year in high school. I would straighten my hair at least 5 times a year. Not often because of how long it would take. When I started really wearing my hair out and wild I felt empowered in a way. I definitely experimented with different hair products until I found the right combo. I always use a set of products in unison because they all serve a different purpose, whether it’s to strengthen, lengthen, keep it healthy, control frizz, add shine, etc.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
X:
Going natural has affected me in the sense that I became more confident with myself in my truest form. I feel that natural hair is beautiful and feel that hair is such a big issue in the black community. By being a light skinned black person, I do know that my hair is coined as “good hair”, but that is a reflection of the internalized sentiments we have gained throughout our existence in this country; formed out of survival and then transformed by our culture.

I see how many of my fellow black female friends have deep seated issues and it is truly a touchy subject, so I am very careful as to how I bring it up, or how I deal with it. I recognize my position in this dynamic as having “good hair”, but I would love to see the day where “good hair” and “bad hair” are no longer in our vocabulary as a people. I always encourage my friends to go natural and embrace it. Although I do receive annoyance, I feel that it must be said, “your natural hair is beautiful”. We need to hear it enough to believe and embrace it. I love my hair and what it means as far as my roots and my ancestors go. They are in me with everything that I do, and my hair is a beautiful reflection of the beauty of my people.

How would you describe your hair?
X:
I would describe my hair as thick, loose curls, thinner on the edges and thicker towards the middle of my head. The curls are tight and my hair has lots of volume.

What is your regimen?
X:
I use a lot of Garnier Fructis products such as the Leave-In Conditioning Cream and the Anti-Frizz Serum. I also use the Fiber Gum Putty. I use a shine product called Hair Polisher by Fantasia. I only comb my hair in the shower. I wash my hair about every 3–5 days. Right when I get out of the shower I put the conditioning cream in. I put the fiber gum throughout my hair, which controls the frizz. Then I put in the cream to set the fiber gum. To finish it off, I put the hair polisher on to get that good shine.

Tell us about your hair color?
X:
My hair is sort of blonde with an orangish hue. I got it done by my friend. She is a Hair Stylist. I have died my hair every year since sophomore year in high school. My hair takes color well, but I always make sure to deep condition it with hair mayonnaise and one egg for protein. I leave that combo in for about 2 hours and afterwards I wash it out with warm water. My hair always feels so soft and healthy. I also get my hair cut about every 3–5 months depending on how it feels.

How do you retain length and moisture in your hair, especially now that you have color?
X:
I think constant trims, deep conditioning and the hair products I use help keep my hair healthy.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
X:
You can check my blog out at www.ekscreates.tumblr.com. I post a lot of pics of natural hair beauties. Also to check out my org SANAA: www.mysanaa.webs.com and my Radio Show: www.creativemindradio.podomatic.com.

I had a radio show for the past 4 years at my past job, Youth Radio based in Oakland. My show was based on new music, current event issues in the community, discussions on race, gender and life in general. Check Youth Radio out at www.youthradio.org.

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About Meosha

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

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Aliyah
Aliyah
9 years ago

I love the hair!!
I’m from Oakland too! (heeeeey! lol)
Where did you get that shirt from in the first picture??? I WANT IT!!! So cute!! lol 😉

Carla
Carla
9 years ago
Reply to  Aliyah

Yay, I’m from Oakland too!

Aliyah
Aliyah
9 years ago
Reply to  Carla

*high five*
We go!! lol

merry
merry
9 years ago

i liked her, especially the comment about having light skin/good hair. i like when people have a sense of who they are, how they are perceived, and how they fit in the larger picture. i guess that’s called consciousness.

i’m wondering where she gets her aztec sounding name from.

anyway, good luck to you.

June
June
9 years ago
Reply to  merry

Her hair is gorgeous and she seems well-rounded, smart, and self-aware. Kudos to her. I love reading about young women that are on the path to doing wonderful things.

I just wish people will stop drawing the line between skin tone and hair pattern. Your skin tone has nothing to do with how “textured” your hair will be.

Cee Cee
Cee Cee
9 years ago
Reply to  June

I really liked this interview and she has lovely hair and she is doing such amazing things! This is how young people should be spending their time! I wish that my hair took color and would remain healthy. Up until the last 5 years I was a serious hair color chick but I realize it was really drying my hair out so no more (hello visible grays at 30!! Yikes). I have to agree with June though about connecting complexion with hair type. People of all complexions have an array of hair textures. I am an example of this being medium… Read more »

Selah
Selah
9 years ago
Reply to  Cee Cee

It’s that UCLA education! Go Xihua! On your way to big things 🙂

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  June

I don’t think the author herself assumed that correlation, that light skin and “good hair” were inseparable, but attempted to highlight that these stereotypes are still very much alive and well in 2011 — in many countries, cultures, age groups, ethnicities — whether acknowledged publicly or not; and that she is self-aware enough to recognize and understand the roots of this ignorance rather than downplay its effects or be apathetic towards the issue.

I really liked the article, very lovely hair, we’ll be looking out for your projects!

merry
merry
9 years ago
Reply to  June

i wouldn’t necessarily disagree with june. but, even though that’s what she said, i gotta believe she sees the complexity a bit more.

generally though, i do think that lighter-skinned girls have a greater tendency have looser curls.

i’m cuttin her slack cuz i like her and she’s only 20 and she goes to ucla and she’s from cali. lol.

Jade
Jade
9 years ago

It’s interesting, because to many other peoples, having any type of textured/afro-texture hair no matter how “loose” is considered “bad hair.” Just goes to show how complex these notions are and the work that must be done to destroy them.

Gigi
Gigi
9 years ago

I LOVE your hair color!!! I’m currently in the process of coloring my hair, and I’m super excited! Plus I think you’re my hair twin [my curls look just like yours] yay! 😀

Amma Appiah
Amma Appiah
9 years ago

This was a great interview. She appears to be a very focused 20 year old student. That is inspiring 🙂

Liz
Liz
9 years ago

Gorgeous hair!!!i’m waiting my hair to grown, hope will be as beatiful as yours…been natural for 2 months!!=) kisses from Brazil!

Curliegirlie
Curliegirlie
9 years ago

Honey, I LOVE your color. Lol, your hair is generally awesome, but not many people could rock that color. I’m uber impressed with it.

Barri
9 years ago

Love this, from her hair to the fact that she has a head on her shoulders! Great post!

UKcoils
UKcoils
9 years ago

I like this sister! It’s refreshing to hear a light skin sister who doesn’t deny that colourism and racial hierarchy unfortunately exist in society, which sometimes gives them an advantage over their darker/tightly coiled counterparts.

Although I agree light skin and loose hair aren’t always mutually exclusive. Features tend to cluster together. There’s a higher tendency for light skin women to have looser curls, hence the phrases ‘light skin girls with good hair’ or light skin light eyes’

Anyway, beautiful curls! Good luck to Xihuanel with her studies!

Inka
9 years ago

She’s so pretty. AND she has my fave piercing; the vertical labret! Also, that color is fly on her.

amorsiempre911
amorsiempre911
9 years ago

I was wondering how the name Xihuanel is pronounced?

shug avery
shug avery
9 years ago
Reply to  amorsiempre911

I’m also curious about how to pronounce her name. Beautiful hair and excellent articulation “good hair” by the way.

xihuanel
xihuanel
9 years ago
Reply to  shug avery

Hey thank you loves!! 🙂 its pronounced (she-wah-nel)

amorsiempre911
amorsiempre911
9 years ago

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/LupusAwareness.jpg[/img]

chingchingcha
chingchingcha
9 years ago

beautiful! best of luck to you in all that you do. 🙂

Gerpha
Gerpha
9 years ago

Reading this interview has made me want to be featured as well. Who should I contact?

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