*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
E: Elizabeth Antoinette, Elizabeth or Eliza…Just never Liz or Lizzy, haha. I’m from Portland, Oregon born and raised. Reppin’ the City of Roses! GO BLAZERS! I teach Vinyasa yoga in Portland. I blog, model, sing and own and operate my own Etsy store, Cardamom Handmade. I sell scarves, cowls and beautiful handmade things.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
E: My decision to ‘go natural’ came as a natural evolution of my desires to live a more organic, healthy and sustainable life. I realized one day the harsh chemicals in most hair products were not only harming my hair; they were also taking a toll on my wellbeing and the earth…and I was paying out a small fortune in the process.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
E: I’ve shaved my head many times throughout my life, usually after pivotal emotional experiences, but my most recent transition (and obviously the one that finally stuck) was about 2 years ago towards the end of 2009…
On a hot summer morning I was attempting to straighten my hair in my sweltering bathroom, sticky and sweaty getting ready to go to a pool party where I’d spend the entire night trying not to get my hair wet. My frustration was growing and the whole experience started to feel so excessive and comical, and even a bit masochistic. So I grabbed the clippers from the vanity and took it all off, right then and there. I rinsed off the remaining bits of hair and sweat in the shower and stepped out feeling like a brand new woman. 🙂
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
E: It’s definitely changed the way strangers treat me. Most people have assumptions about me based on my hair, and sometimes they’re right…but usually they’re wrong. I spent a lot of time in the beginning defending my choice to wear my hair natural as if it was some radical political statement, and not simple the way my body grows it. People touch it on the train without asking. I’ve received unimaginable insults from the mouths of complete strangers, and answered a myriad of personal/inappropriate questions. I try my best to take it all in stride; I think most people just don’t know any better.
How would you describe your hair?
E: My hair is extremely thick, and there’s a ton of it. It gets really red in the summer, which I’ve always loved and it grows as fast as bamboo.
What is your regimen?
E: First of all, I don’t shampoo my hair at all. Ever other day or so, I condition my hair with Everyday Shea Lavender Scented Moisturizing Conditioner, which I buy at Whole Foods. I love this stuff because my guy and I can both use it (he’s got really long hair) and it comes in a giant 32oz bottle. In the shower I wet my hair, condition and detangle with a wide-tooth comb and leave it in a bun while I scrub up and all that jazz. I rinse it in lukewarm water and wrap it loosely in a towel on top of my head while I wash my face, and let it air dry while I do my morning asana practice. Once in a while, if it’s feeling particularly dry I’ll do a pre-shower scalp and hair massage with jojoba oil.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
E: A big mistake I made in the beginning was feeling like there was a ‘right way’ to have natural hair. I poured through blogs and websites for the perfect hair care routine, only to find thousands of beautiful natural women, each with their own story, routine and style! Don’t put yourself in a box! Your hair is as unique as you. Let it show. 🙂
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
E: Like the Beatles say: LET IT BE. SERIOUSLY! In my opinion, the best thing you can do for your hair is accept it as it is. Make friends with it and move on to focus on more important things. As long as it knows you love it, everything will work itself out. 😉
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
E: My blog: elizayogaom.blogspot.com
My shop: etsy.com/shop/cardamomhandmade
Anything else you want to add?
E: I’m always in a transitory state with my hair. In high school it was straight and more neon colors in a year than I could count. I’ve had both a mohawk and no hair at all. Recently I’ve thought about shaving it or letting it dread, so check back and we’ll see what it looks like in a year… 😉