Occupation: Senior Fraud Investigator, Capital One Bank
When did you start your natural hair journey: I started my natural hair journey on March 28, 2012.
Why did you: I knew that relaxer was an unhealthy chemical and not necessary for me. I never could understand why I did not appreciate and love the natural hair I was blessed with. I missed my natural curls so now that I am older and I have the resources to maintain it, I decided to do the big chop.
What products do you use: Aloe Vera Juice, Carol’s Daughter, Aunt Thelma’s Shea Butter Cream, Coconut Oil, Caster Oil, Shesentit, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in, Trader Joe’s Shampoo & Conditioner, Curl’s Control Paste & Shea Moisture Castor Oil Leave-in Conditioner.
I am always experimenting with different products. I wash my hair twice a week “only” with conditioner, this is called “co-wash”. Once or twice a month I use shampoo to clarify, I do this because using shampoo EVERY TIME I wash strips the moisture from my hair and our hair needs to retain moisture to be healthy. At nights, before bed I spritz my hair with water and I use my Aunt Thelma’s Shea Butter Cream or some Olive Oil to lock in the moisture, then I tie my hair with a satin head tie or sleep on a satin pillow case. I also make sure that the ends of my hair are always moisturised, I do this by using oil or cream and then braiding it and tucking the ends in, this is a form of protective styling. The ends of your hair are the oldest parts of your hair so you have to take extra care of it. I also try to stay away from heat; this can damage your hair. I only flat iron my hair once or twice a year.
Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge is finding styles for work and formal occasions, but YouTube saved me. Many natural hair accounts give me great ideas, they share easy and fast styles for all occasions.
How does your hair make you feel: It makes me feel good; every time I look into the mirror I see this beautiful black natural gift from God. It’s not easy to manage, it takes work and care to keep it maintained, but I love the results. It was a long journey and it will continue to be a challenge, but I am enjoying the process of growing it, and learning new and wonderful ways to handle and care for my hair. It’s mine, it’s me, it’s part of who I am, it’s part of what makes me different. I love being natural!
Advice to other naturalistas: My advice is to keep it moisturised, the first year of going natural is the hardest, but after that you will be so happy you stuck with it. When you want to give up, check YouTube. Lots of natural hair sisters share their struggles and show ways to care for your hair; they all have different inspiring stories. My favourite YouTube channel is: naptuals85, she is awesome, if you look at her old videos you will see she started with the big chop and now she has a beautiful head of hair. She also shows her entire journey, I learnt a lot from her. Love the skin you’re in, love the hair on your head, care for it and have fun with your beautiful hair, it’s part of who you are.
If you wish to share your story as a “Naturalista” please send your responses to these questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “I’m a Naturalista”.