Why and when did you do the big chop?
I always wanted to know what my “real” hair looked like. Unlike myself, most people seem to have tons of pictures of their hair before pressing and relaxing.
I started getting my hair straightened at an early age (probably about age 3). All through high school I was the girl with the pretty hair. It was just past my shoulders, thick, and well taken care of by yours truly.
However, I still wanted to know what I really looked like and what was so wrong with my hair that I “needed” a relaxer. So after my graduation in May 08 I transitioned with braids, rod sets, and twist outs for six months. On November 22, 2008 I decided I was ready to ditch my relaxed ends.
My mom tried to help me (BIg Chop) but she punked out on my half way through. So I took an emergency trip to my cousin’s hair salon to finish my BC. When she turned me around in the chair I saw myself for first time as I truly am – how I feel. I never felt more beautiful in my life and I will never forget that moment.
What is the general attitude of your friends and family since you embarked on the natural journey?
Everyone loves my hair now (smile). They’re always amazed at how versatile I am with my hair and that makes me feel good. My granny would prefer me to wear my hair straight but I think she’s getting used to the idea that I just am not fond of that style anymore.
My mom was iffy at first but now she’s like my hair’s personal bodyguard if anyone starts talkin’ smack. At the end of the day I’m happy with my appearance and that’s the most important thing.
What are some of your hair do’s and don’t(s)?
Moisturizing and sealing
Finger detangling with LOTS of conditioner
Shampooing when needed
Trimming when my hair tells me its time (ratty ends, hard detangling session)
Too much blow drying (leads to split ends)
Not taking my time to detangle thoroughly
Trying to make my hair do things it isn’t in the mood for
Has wearing your hair in its natural state affected you professionally?
No, I have not experienced disapproval in the work place or at the predominantly white institution that I attend. While at the same time I never “hide” my hair when I go on interviews, as long I look pulled together that’s all that matters.
Describe your signature hair style.
I guess the best way to describe it would be Funky Sophistication. I tend to do a lot of up dos. I love the glamorous look (I draw a lot of inspiration from old movies on TCM). At the same time I LOVE my chunk twistouts and braidouts, they highlight the funky side of my hair styling.