It’s time for an all new edition of My HAIRStory! I couldn’t round out the year without doing another one. As you all may know by now, this is one of my favorite features on this blog! ww yeah! It’s always such a privilege to get a sneak peek inside the natural hair journeys of black women from across the globe! I’m so lucky to be the one to bring these tales to you!
For my last feature, I shared the story of naturalista Adrienne, who dropped some very important gems for the newly natural. Today, I am tickled pink to share my latest feature. Why? Because she is a friend that I met ages ago on a natural hair forum. Not only that, she’s also a dope sista with awesome hair! So, are you ready for a little loc love this month? Let’s get started!
1. How did your HAIRstory begin? How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural for 17 years. The first time I went natural I used an herbal” relaxer to straighten my hair. That lasted about 9 months until I got frustrated and ended up going back to the relaxer. The second time I went through a transition for about a year wearing extensions, then chopped off the relaxer and started wearing twists.
2. What was your greatest motivation for going natural?
One day, I spotted a woman at the local mall wearing twists and decided I wanted that style. I asked her where she got it done and that’s when I found out she did her own hair and that she wasn’t wearing a perm. That’s when I made the decision to go natural a second time.
3. What was the biggest challenge at the start of your journey?
Natural hair wasn’t as popular as it is now when I started so there wasn’t a lot of information and support groups out there. The natural hair websites and blogs that are around today didn’t exist back then. It was a lot of trial and error and bonding with other women you met who were also natural.
4. Were the people in your life supportive of your decision to go natural?
My parents were. It was my dad in particular who was always against perms. Even when I was wearing relaxers and jheri curls, he would tell us we should be going back to afros! LOL
5. What have you learned about yourself by going natural?
That it’s okay to be different and to go against the grain.
6. What was your biggest misconception about natural hair that changed by going natural?
That kinky hair is not versatile. When I first went natural the only styles known were afros, cornrows and locs. What can be done with kinky textured hair is so diverse. Now there’s twists, twist-outs, coils, bantu knots, puffs, etc. There’s different grades of kinky hair and one person can have a variety of textures on one head.
7. What’s your go-to hair style?
I’ve been wearing locs for the past 3 years. Before that, I wore mostly twists and afro puffs. Occasionally, during warmer months I’d do a wash n go.
8. What products are on your “can’t live without” list? Why?
Currently I’m using a gel and hair spray from Ancient Blends to twist my locs. I don’t have a specific product I can’t live without ’cause I’m always on the lookout for new stuff to try, but I don’t consider myself a product junkie.
9. What products would you NEVER use again? Why?
I don’t use anything with beeswax. Especially now that I have locs. I’m also careful about using products with “butters”: shea, cocoa, mango butter, etc. My preference is to keep my products liquid-based to avoid buildup. Plus, it’s easier to wash out of my locs that way.
10. Who’s your hair crush(es)? What do you love about their hair?
I don’t have a specific crush on any one person. A lot of styles from random folks on the street are what I admire. I envy anyone who knows how to style loc updos because I don’t have that skill at all, LOL
11. What’s your goal for your natural hair?
To keep it as healthy as possible. I would like more length but not obsessed with it because with proper care it will eventually grow long.
12. What advice would you give to someone at the start of their journey?
Do your research. Check out the natural hair groups, blogs and youtube videos online. Join meetup groups if they’re available in your area. Some of your best resources will be other folks like yourself who are going through trial and error with their own hair. Don’t be afraid to experiment, enjoy the process. Remember everyone’s hair is unique. Have patience, don’t get too caught up in the latest trends. With practice, you’ll learn what your hair can and cannot do and what products will and won’t work.
13. Finish this sentence with three words: My HAIRstory is….
Poetry in motion.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today, Sudana! I especially love your advice for a more easier way to prevent loc buildup. Perhaps, there a lot of loc-stars who may find that info handy! If you enjoyed what she shared, too, be sure to check out on her blog, Creative Urbanista. You can also find her on Instagram, and Twitter. Go show her some love and let her know Audrey sent you!