R: I’m a senior at University of Southern California. I’m from Prince George’s County Maryland. I’m a PG girl in a LA world!
Why did you go natural?
R: Like ALL my hair decisions, I decided to go natural because I felt like it. In high school, I was known for constantly cutting my hair, so I decided why not do the same without the relaxer. Along with trying new styles, I knew going natural would save me tons of MONEY! As a broke college student, money spent on getting a relaxer wasn’t worth it and gave my hair no body and volume like I love. I had been thinking of going natural for a while, however, my ultimate decision came when I wanted to wear my hair wet and my hair was relaxer-free and curly in the back (because it was previously shaved) and the top was a bone-straight relaxed mess. I liked my curls in the back and decided then that I would be cutting the top and would be officially ‘natural.’
I’m a firm believer that hair can and will grow back and the shape of your face shouldn’t dictate what kind of styles you’re allowed to wear. It’s all about confidence to me. So, in 2009 of November I decided to rid myself of all the permage. I let it grow for 2 years, straightened it for the first time at the 2 year mark and hear I am, bald. Lol.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
R: I feel like I’ve bonded with people solely on hair. It’s kind of funny how many people can be fascinated by…hair. It’s almost a science. Going through every phase of my hair has attracted different kinds of attention, yet I still exude my own confidence, which encourages other people to try to go natural. I’ve had people laugh because my hair was so short, but that didn’t affect my confidence because it’s my decision and I know that I’m still beautiful. Also, I knew that there were so many people who respected me for being so confident in my skin that if I dare let other people affect me, I’d be going against the things I encouraged them to do.
How would you describe your hair?
R: My hair is very curly and gets EASILY tangled. It’s pretty much the same texture all around, thick when dry and very soft and curly. I can honestly say it does what it likes so I leave it alone a lot. Now that I’ve cut it very short again, it’s very fine and straight. But when it grows to a length that a curl can form, it’s very curly.
What’s your regimen?
R: Before I Cut My Hair: When my hair was long and curly, I rarely used many products. I typically washed my hair 2–3 times a week. Depending on how tangled it was, I would comb it out. Combing my hair makes it much curlier, so if I’m wanted definition, I’d comb my hair thoroughly. The only product I am use is Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo and Conditioner. At times I use castor oil to seal the leave-in. When I did twist-outs, I would cowash with Giovanni, and then 3‑strand twist my hair using Nairobi setting lotion or Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Wrap/Set Mousse.
Now I just wash my hair with Giovanni and use whatever oils I have at the moment and brush it. Short Hair Don’t Care!
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
R: Not combing my hair. When my hair was short I didn’t have to worry about it because there was nothing to comb. However, now, I have to comb it frequently or else baby locks will begin to form. Also, I realized that combing my hair showed the definition and curls so much better! Once finding the right conditioner, the process was more like 15 minutes as opposed to an hour.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
R: The best thing I do for my hair is not doing too much. Keeping my hair moisturized in the simplest way worked best for me. I feel like when you leave your hair alone, the natural oils from your body alone will help it grow. Trying too many products doesn’t help most people because they want instant results, when in fact their hair may just want to breath and relax.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
R: I don’t have a blog or site dedicated to anything really but I do have a Tumblr (http://iamnaphtali.tumblr.com/) or you can follow me on twitter (@I_am_naphtali).
Anything else you want to add?
Don’t be afraid, just do it. If you decide to commit to naturaldom, laziness is not an option. I feel like most people think they’ll have instant curly hair without realizing that a twist-out or deep condition is what led to the desired shape and form. Lastly, length isn’t everything. So enjoy the adventure because that’s the only way you’ll be able to stick with it.