*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
C: My name is Charaia. I live in Colorado Springs and I am relatively a Colorado native. I’ve lived here since I was two. Currently I am pursuing a degree in Organizational Management at Colorado Christian University while working as a full-time nanny. I enjoy allowing my creative juices to flow so I work as a paint instructor at an art-studio nearby. I’m also a thrifter who devotes every Saturday morning to searching for quirky and stylish clothes and old vinyls. The rest of my time is spent painting, singing and taking pictures of people around me.
How long have you been natural?
C: I began transitioning the Summer of 2011, but got restless with dealing with two textures so I decided to chop it all off in my bathroom Thanksgiving night in 2011. I have been natural for about 7 months!
How and why did you transition into natural hair?
C: My younger sister Shaina inspired me to go natural. When she decided to do the big chop and then transition into dreads I thought she was absolutely crazy! I kept thinking to myself “I would never look good with a TWA”. Growing up in a predominately Caucasian community I felt the tension to strive to look like everyone else while embracing all of myself. As I transitioned and started to fall in love with my loose curls I felt the freedom to truly become natural.
My choice to go natural was really fueled by my desire to change my own perception of beauty and then the perceptions of those around me. Beauty is straight hair, but it is not just straight hair. Beauty is when one finds who they are, embraces that, and allows it to be displayed for all the world. I loved my curls and I didn’t want to live within the fear of how my outer appearance would be embraced. My transition process was very simple. I stuck to twists outs, buns, and braids. I only transitioned for about four months before I did the big chop so it was a short process. I just couldn’t wait to see how my curls looked!
What are your must-have products for shampooing, conditioning and styling your hair?
C: I have to laugh at this question because hair styling has never been my forte. My family teases me for my lack of hair knowledge. With that being said, the products I use on my hair are very scarce. It took me a while to find products that work for me and I am so grateful for all the natural hair resources that are available through YouTube and blogs! I would be bald without them!
As of right now I use Shea Moisture Shampoo to wash my hair every week (depending on how my hair is feeling). I recently began using Cantu Shea Leave-In Conditioner with a little jojoba oil and aloe vera juice. I am absolutely in love with that mix and I use it when I twist and detangle my hair. Finally, I use Olive Oil Ecostyler Gel for twist-outs, baby hairs, puffs and buns. I don’t believe being natural needs to be expensive and I am learning to find products that work for me and sticking to them.
What is your signature hairstyle?
C: I have begun to embrace how my hair looks in a wash and go. My hair suffers from extreme shrinkage, but I love the pop of my natural curls without any manipulation. Most days though, I rock a twist-out because it lasts up to a week and a half. I usually do about 8–10 twists and use Cantu Shea Butter to twist my hair. I take them out from the root and I love the thick curls that are formed. I think this still works best for my thick hair because it allows it to look full, but not like I haven’t done it.
Did going natural affect your style choices at all?
C: Absolutely! Being natural is already out of the box for someone living in Colorado Springs so I think that encouraged me to go out of the box with my style. I literally search for items that express freedom, boldness, and uniqueness just like my hair does everyday. Since being natural, I have started rocking turbans and headscarves, floral and tribal print, and bright colors.
How would you describe your personal style?
C: Floral. Vintage. Floral. Lace. And more floral. I actually don’t buy any of my clothes new because I enjoy finding items that are unique and old. I enjoy being bold with different prints and colors, but what I wear has to fit my body in a classy way. I think my style reflects my “black sheep” type of personality. So when it comes to my style I truly strive to find things that are different. Here’s a confession: I love when people ask me where I got my outfit and I tell them a thrift store knowing they can’t go out and buy it for themselves! I’m so bad!
I believe Coco Chanel answers this questions best when she said “A lady should be two things: classy and fabulous”. Find what makes you exude both of these and that is style.
What are the three favorite things in your closet?
C: Aw man. Everything! If I had to decide I would say my mustard yellow scarf. I love it because I can wear it around my neck –naturally– but I can also rock it as a turban with pretty much anything. My second favorite item in my closet is my floral dress that I bought from the Arc. It’s wonderful because with the help of tape and safety pins I can change the length of the dress and essentially have several dresses in one –it’s wonderful! Lastly, I am in love with my cowboy boots. They are old and rugged with scuffs and a hole in the bottom, but I can’t let them go.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C: Yes, I am on Instagram as charaia_camille (I know, creative). I post a lot of pictures of my outfits, style, and life happenings. I also just started a lifestyle blog that I intend on being fully dedicated to, and that is klassnkinks.tumblr.com.