Tell me about yourself!
I am a very outgoing person. I love to be around my family and friends. I enjoy singing on the choir, reading romance novels and date nights with my husband of 10 years. I have 3 beautiful children whom I love dearly.
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I was a transitioner. I had my first perm when I was 9 years old. My mother did not know how to handle my hair, so I went to my family members for styles. Receiving a perm was suppose to make my hair more manageable. In my last year of high school, I noticed that my hair was becoming thinner and I no longer wanted to perm my hair. I began to go longer periods of time without perming. Then I finally decided I no longer wanted to use a relaxer. My hair dresser at the time told me I needed to keep relaxing my hair because my hair texture was too thick. That was the last time I went to this particular stylist. I realized that my relaxed hair was really damaged and the ends were breaking off quickly. A friend of mine recommended a stylist who would gradually cut my hair in layers to help with my transition. I didn’t do a big chop all at once; I gradually cut my hair over a period of time. Styling was definitely an issue for me, so I would look at pictures of magazines for inspiration.
Had you always embraced your texture?
I didn’t always embrace my texture. Only because I didn’t know how to style my natural hair. To be honest I wasn’t sure of the reactions people would have to my natural hair. I had to learn how to love and accept myself to truly embrace my natural coils. Websites like CurlyNikki have definitely helped me do different things with my hair and know the best products to use.
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
In the beginning I was always told, “you need a perm!” The temptation was strong because I was used to straightening my hair and thinking nothing would look right if I didn’t. But I knew if I continued to straighten my hair there would be no hair left. The relaxers really damaged my hair over the years. It's hard for people to accept change. It’s important to stay strong and believe in yourself no matter what others say around you. Once people saw the positive change in my journey they wanted to join.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
I once bleached my hair with peroxide. It was a disaster. I had many different colors in my hair and it was severely damaged.
What’s your biggest hair related regret?
My biggest regret is not going natural sooner. Time and money spent on unnecessary relaxers. I love my natural hair so much more than when I would perm my hair. I would have scabs on my scalp, the imbalance of permed hair and new growth and just the general maintenance of having a perm.
What’s your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition and style? Favorite products! Deets!
I style my hair based on my mood. If I’m in busy mom mode I usually wash and condition my hair and let it air dry using John Freida products or Curl Enhancer Smoothie. My hair has a personality on its own. Based on how it looks when it dries, I’ll either wear it up or down. Sometimes I will use a rod set if I want a curly look but not tight curls like a wash and go. Other times I blow out my hair and use a flat iron for versatility. I also love to wear braids. They are so convenient and you can style individual braids in many ways. The key to natural hair is to keep it conditioned and moisturized. I use Olive oil, John Frieda products and the Curl Enhancer Smoothie.
What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you hairstyle inspirations?
My favorite hairstyle is a good ole fashioned bun. Cute and easy to handle. I get my inspiration from all the women in my life. My daughter, my mother and just the people I see everyday. I like to see unique styles but I also like the elegance of a simple style.
Who is your curl crush?
I love Alicia Keys. Her versatility, her curls, braids, and elegant red carpet styles.
How do you maintain your hair at night?
I usually just wear a silk scarf when I’m not too tired to wrap my hair up. I really don’t have a night routine.
How do you maintain a healthy length?
Keeping my hair moisturized and a good trim every 8 weeks. The less heat the better
What’s the best thing about being natural?
There is nothing I can’t do with my hair. I am open to so many more style options with having natural hair. If I want to rock an afro, go curly or straight it’s all available to me.
This article was originally published on CurlyNikki.