NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?
SA: I started embracing my curls on June 11, 2012. On that day, after seven months of transitioning, I did my big chop. My hair was relaxed from a young age, so I never really knew what it felt like to rock my natural hair and I really wanted to see what God blessed me with.
NC: What's your current routine?
SA: I think my current routine is pretty simple. I use virgin coconut oil to pre-poo my hair and I only shampoo my hair once a month. Normally, I use Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Shampoo. To co-wash I use the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Conditioner, or the Body Envy Conditioner (both smell AMAZING). Sometime I will add Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Leave-In, but not every time. I wash my hair in sections because it's pretty thick, and then I pat my hair dry with a cotton t-shirt. Once my hair is to my liking in terms of dampness, I will add Carol’s Daughter Marguerite’s Magic Restorative Hairdress. After that, depending on the style I want, I will use SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Gel Soufflé. I let my hair air dry and the next day I’ll either comb it out into a fro, wear it in a high puff or, if I choose the day before, I will blow it out on low heat for a more stretched and longer-lasting fro!
SA: When it comes to “curls” I am a 4C so my curls are not really defined :/ Whenever I do twist-outs it gives me a little texture and curl definition but once moisture hits my head it is OVER. So my favorite hairstyle is the afro and high puff.
NC: What about your hair stylist?
SA: I have not gone to a hair stylist in about four years. When I DO step foot in a salon, I am either getting braids, twists, or a weave, and I normally wash my hair and do all of that TLC stuff at home, before going in. I also trim my own hair.
NC: Do you color your hair?
SA: YES! My hair is colored and I absolutely LOVE IT! The recent color I am rocking is spicy red from the Dark and Lovely Go Intense! coloring line. I color my hair myself at home and this is the third time I have dyed it. The first time I used brown cinnamon from Dark and Lovely and the second time I used light auburn.
NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?
SA: At night, I will detangle my hair and bantu knot it or I will sleep with my puff and put a silk bonnet over it. I prefer the bantu method because it helps to stretch my hair, but I get lazy some nights, as a college student.
SA: When I first decided to go natural a lot of people told me not to. I got all the lines in the book from, “You’re going to look like a boy,” to “Nappy hair ain’t cute.” At first, I was a little scared because it seemed like I was receiving more negative than positive feedback, but I stuck it out and it is one of the best decision I have ever made in my life!
NC: What is the best thing about being curly?
SA: The best thing for me in terms of being a curly girl is that my hair is authentic to me. I notice that even among the natural hair community, many people may have the same textures and attempt similar styles, but everyone’s natural hair is unique to them and their personality.
NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your life?
SA: My natural hair impacts my everyday life in a positive way. I feel more confident when I have my natural hair out and watching it grow has been a very beautiful experience for me. I also feel that now-a-days, people are more accepting of natural hair and since my hair has grown, I have received a lot of compliments. There are times when negative comments still try to weave their way into my life, but at this point I am so secure in my hair and the way it looks that the naysayers no longer bother me!
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
SA: To those who are looking to become natural or may be a little weary in their journey I would say, PUSH ON! Sometimes giving up seems to be the easier options, but DO NOT GIVE UP! Focus on the end result. Being natural is about more than wearing your hair in certain styles and embracing your natural texture; it's about showing people, “This is who I am and I am not afraid to show it!” All people are beautiful no matter how they choose to express themselves and if you want to show your natural kinks, coils and curls, go for it and do not be deterred by the negative connotations. People saying negative things are not brave enough to step out behind the mask they put on day-in and day-out.
NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!
SA: I am an intern for Embrace Life Media, a network inspiring people through positive conversations and interviews on the web radio show and much much more! At the top of the new year the website will be launching so I am looking forward to that. I am also working on content for my YouTube channel and my personal website. Lastly, I have another project I am secretly working on, but I CAN say it deals with creative writing...