*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: My name is Anjanae’. I live in New Orleans, born and raised. (: I’m a photographer, and poet mainly.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: Funny story actually. One day I washed my hair and didn’t feel like straightening it for NOTHING, so I was like whatever Ima just leave it like this for a few days. I started to like the way it looked. Then as time went by, my whole mindset changed. I noticed the girls around me and everyyyy single one of them basically had the same look and saw “natural” hair as being nappy or just not good enough for them. It’s like they NEEDED to follow the typical status quo to feel good about themselves. They actually commended me for being able to pull it off and respected it. That’s when I started actually feeling proud of my look. I walked up the street confident with my head held high. I was making people feel beautiful in their black roots all by feeling beautiful in mine. And I’m a very political person in a sense. I LOVE black history and the civil rights movement. It empowered me, so I’ve been natural ever since. I will NEVER go back to reformed straight hair and ponytails, ha.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
A: I’ve never gotten relaxers or anything, so over a year ago I just stopped flat ironing it.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
A: Oh gosh, natural hair has definitely had an affect on me. It’s made me realize that it’s just hair; that we are beautiful no matter the hair on our head. It’s also brought out the issue of racism and discrimination more clearly at times. 98% of the stares and compliments I get are good ones from intrigued people who really like it, but there are definitely some stares of disgust and ugly comments I receive. Natural hair makes me feel proud of my roots, I feel more connected to them. I feel more confident than I ever have. I see sooo many people trying to “tame” their hair, to make it more like our european/white counterparts and to them it’s just the look they want. They don’t realize the reality and history behind it. It’s like we’re ashamed of ourselves. Holding ourselves back by pushing ourselves forward to something we’re not. People make hair such an important aspect of life and going natural made me realize that it’s not.
How would you describe your hair?
A: Well, my hair is very curly with coiled, spring-like curls. One side is actually thicker and more curly than the other. o.O I think that’s due to previous damage though.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
A: I wash it and fully comb it out every now and then and pick any tangles out with my fingers daily. It’s actually become a habit to do that ha. To keep it moisturized I use a lot of olive oil based stuff, hair lotion, doo-gro, etc.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
A: Some mistakes I’ve made are dying my hair, not combing it out and not moisturizing properly. That causes breakage veryyy easily.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: My blog is: www.sadecru.tumblr.com.
Anything else you want to add?
A: I love natural hair, ha. And I’ve actually just recently shaved the sides and back of it. 😀 I kinda got tired of just being “the girl with the fro”. That’s all people noticed, barely even knew my name. I love all the stares of amazement and great feedback, but I’m ready for people to actually see my face now. I find that a lot of people hide behind their hair; use it as a safety zone, and I don’t like that at all. One day I’m shaving it all off (: I’m definitely getting my afro back, but it was time for something new.