I live in the United States and my goal is to bring the message of Black hair care to the masses by any means necessary!
What is your hair story (including when and why you went natural).
Well, I'm not natural...I am currently 65 weeks into my relaxer stretch.
My hair stroy is not very significant at all. I started on my hair journey after I found one of the largest online Black hair growing forums back in 2007. I was completly amazed, inspired and motivated by all of the sistas with hair practically reaching their behinds! I'd always known that Black women could have long hair but to see THAT many sistas with not just "long" but LONG hair was an eye-opener for me.
Even though I've always had what is considered "long" hair in the Black community (between shoulder and arm pit length) I wanted to find out just how long my hair could grow. So, I signed up and became active in all things hair growing.
My starting length was shoulder length and I only even started looking to grow my hair faster because I had recently got my hair cut and I wanted my hair back!
2007 was a year of nothing but incorporating EVERYTHING I learned online about growing Black hair including no heat, no scissors and no more relaxers...2008 was a year of scissor-happiness and a failed transition attempt...2009 was a year of remorse for the cutting I did in 2008 but I kept plugging along. I didn't see much<-- scratch that...I didn't reach the length that I had hoped...in 2010 I'm still striving to reach my length goals. I've seen significant improvements in the overall condition of my hair since I've started and I've even gained some length. Not as much as a whole lotta folks who've been growing as long as me, but enough to make me want to keep this thing going. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will make my length goal. I just have to keep on keeping on and not get caught up in comparing how fast (or slow) my hair grows to someone elses.
Why did you choose to stop straightening?
I still heat straighten my hair and will probably never stop doing that! But as far as relaxing goes...I consider myself to be stretching my relaxer. I've not made the decision yet as to whether or not this stretch will turn into a transition.
I'm more cautious this time due to the failed transition attempt in 2008.
Where there any difficulties with your transition?
When I was transitioning (Jan. 2007-Jul. 2008), what I considered difficulties then, I woudn't necessarily condider them to be difficulties now...
Single strand knots - which I found myself cutting out of my hair more time that I would have liked.
The amount of time it would take me to detangle was ridiculous! I went from a 60-90 minute detangling time when I was transitioning to a 10-15 minute detangling time when I ended my transition by relaxing.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you've learnt from?
None that I can think of...I will say, that length progress is not the be all end all to this hair growing thing. Progress can come in the form of increased elasticity or strength to your strands, the thickness of your hair, filling in "gaps" or just sticking to your journey and haircare routine is progress!
What's the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
I stay on top of my 3C's (cleansing, conditioning & caring). The less manipulative my haircare routine is, the better my hair responds.
What was your staple hair style during the transition?
I wore a bun when I was transitioning. And now, 60+ weeks into a relaxer stretch, I'm opting for 2-strand flat twist corn-rows and a wig, briad outs and I'm seriously considering a sew in.
What do you use in your hair/What are you favorite products to use?
My all time favorite product is Bed Head by Tigi Moisture Maniac. This is my daily moisturizer, my leave-in, my EVERYTHING!! My hair responded well to it when I was 2 weeks post and it still responds well to it.
Here are the products I use:
Cleanse:LeKair Cholesterol Plus
Diluted Moisturizing Shampoo (I'm not commited to a brand)
LeKair Cholesterol Plus
Moisture Maniac Conditioner
Henna (mixed with water, honey, peppermint EO, rosemary EO and tea tree oil)
Moisture Maniac Conditioner (this is my leave-in and daily moisturizer)
ApHogee Green Tea Reconstructor
Mane & Tail Detangling Spray
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dabur Amla Oil Gold
Tea Tree Oil
Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil Grease
Fantasia IC Gel w/ Sparkle Lites
Fantasia IC Heat Protector Straightening Serum (when I straighten)
How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
This question doesn't apply, but I will say that my husband was supportive when I was transitioning and was extremely disappointed when he walked in and I had the relaxer on my hair.
Him: "what's that in your hair, conditioner?"
Him: walks away shaking his head in disappointment...
If your hair had a nickname, what would it be? Why?
The THICKNESS...well, because it's SO deceivingly THICK!
What are you passionate about, aside from natural hair?
Aside from BLACK hair (natural, relaxed, in between) I'm passionate about Jesus, my family and my career.
What is your wish for all black women?
This is a loaded question...but I'll answer it as it pertains to hair :) I wish that all Black women can know that they can have the hair length of their dreams if they would just mix some 3C's and some consistency and commitment in a big ol' jar and apply it to their hair every day!
Anything else you want to add?
Just that the power of positive thinking will help you to reach goals in every aspect of your life, including hair growth goals. Stay postitive and use this hair growing thing for what it is - a JOURNEY. Journey's can be easy for some, but for most they are very long and difficult. Stay focused, stay positive and you'll reach your goals.
Things are what you think they are...
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?