How would you best describe your hair?
What is your hair type?
What was it like for you growing up with textured hair?
Growing up, I was always told “girl, your hair is too thick” and for the all of my childhood I considered that a bad thing. In my mind, if hair salons charged extra and nobody ever wanted to deal with my hair, it must mean its a problem. I had length, but it was never neat because for the most part I was the one who dealt with my thick head of hair. I received my first “Just For Kids” texturizer at eight-years-old because my mom thought it was just easier to manage that way. By high school I was relaxing my hair every 6 weeks. I remember wanting to embrace my natural hair during my senior year of high school and quickly reverting back to relaxers after being discouraged by family and friends and the fear of the unknown that I saw within my new growth.
What made you decide to embrace your naturally coily hair?
Funny, but true story. I was in college and came home for my usual 6 week relaxer. I went to my then favorite Dominican owned hair salon and sat in the chair. The hair technician greeted me and started the usual process, but this time my hair was just not having it. I literally jumped out the chair when she applied the first comb through to my roots of the relaxer. It was so embarrassing. I looked like a child but I had her wash it out immediately and I never looked back.
How have your family, friends and co-workers reacted? What was your response to them?
My mom was so very nervous about natural hair for me as a professional in corporate America. (I won’t lie, I was too.) Thankfully, I have a good mentor that ensured me that how I choose to wear my hair, so long as it’s neatly kept, shouldn’t ever be an issue in my workplace. My coworkers had the typical questions like “how do you get it like that?” and “how long does that take?” but those subsided pretty quickly. Shockingly, it was friends, acquaintances, and even strangers that gave me the most confidence about my natural hair from the very beginning. It was the random compliments on the streets of NYC that did it for me. It’s like they saw my afro’s potential way before I even did.
How did you transition to wearing your natural texture?
After my horrific relaxer experience, I wore my hair in Bantu knots (twisting almost every night) as a transitioning hairstyle. Then, when I was tired of that, I wore braids and weaves for about a year before I got tired of the messy tangles and just cut it all off. Big chop. Just me and my favorite pair of scissors.
What is your current hair regimen?
Currently, I mainly do twist outs; they’re fast, easy, and I can bet on the results. I also do wash and gos but mainly in the summer months because I need less drying time.
Are there any techniques or methods that have made a big impact on the way your hair looks?
Yes! I’ve found that using moisturizers and oils before application of gel, whether this be for wash and gos or updos, make for so much more control over the updos and far less crunchy curls for wash and gos. Also, always deep condition; no matter what and if you can do so with oils, conditioners, and honey.
Any advice you’d like to give other women who may be in the transition phase or need some encouragement in their hair journey?
Just do it! Don’t be afraid of what people will think or say. You never know, they may just surprise you and feed you nothing but positivity and compliments. Plus, it will get easier as your hair begins to grow. Have faith in your journey and take tons of pictures along the way. I have a whole album that I look back and am amazed at my own growth.