What inspired you to start growing natural hair? How long have you been natural? What styles did you wear before this decision?
I was always a natural at heart. Growing up…even in the height of my addiction to relaxers, I would love to look at naturals—especially those who had fros and locks. There was a point in my life where I said I wanted to look like that. I wanted to have an afro. In 2003, I transitioned for a year and fell to the pressure of relaxing my hair again 9 months later. In 2009, I finally stopped being scared of what I thought people wanted of me and started transitioning into natural hair in late December2009/Early January 2010. I had my hair in a relaxer at the time and my hair was thinning out and very damaged. It got to the point where I could only wear certain styles because my hair was loosing length and thickness.
What were the responses you received in response to your natural hair decision?
A lot of people were surprised. Then I got the comments of me having ‘good hair’ to go natural. That really made me angry. I never thought of myself as having ‘good hair’ and until this day, I don’t understand why the term is so loosely used. Other than that, the response has been great and people who didn’t support me in the past are the most supportive of me right now.
I wash my hair every weekend. I usually wear my hair in an updo/protective style during the week. On the weekends, if I am going out, I try to wear twist outs or a fro.
What products do you use in your hair?
I am a product junkie. I’ve used products from Karen’s Body Beautiful to Kinky Curly. Now, my staple products are from Isabis Naturals and Jane Carter Solution. My all time favorite product is the Whipped Hair Puddin’ from Isabis Naturals and the Nourish and Shine from Jane Carter Solution.
I’ve learned that my hair has always been on the thin side. It’s very wavy in the kitchen area and styles that look great on YouTube (styles that I try to emulate from you of course) take a different approach sometimes because of the texture of my hair. I’ve learned that I’m able to retain a lot of length when I wear protective styles during the week and that proper nutrition always gives you a beautiful—healthy looking head of hair.
What advice would you give to women contemplating growing natural hair?
You have to be confident, patient, open-minded and diligent. After my big chop, it seemed like it would be forever before I would get longer hair. It seemed that way, but it was not the case. Take time to be patient in your hair’s growing process…nurture it, be confident in who you are as a natural and practice diligence by perfecting a routine each week for caring for your hair. In no time, your little hair garden will blossom and you will have so many more opportunities from there.
Proud. I see a lot of them more now than two years ago. I always interact with them with a smile or a hello. I feel like we are part of something and that instills a huge amount of pride in my fellow naturalistas.
What are 5 hair items/products you can’t live without?
1. Isabis Natural’s Healthy Hair Puddin’
2. Jane Carter Solution’s Nourish and Shine
3. My Detangling Comb
4. Bobby Pins
5. Avalon Organics Lavender Nourishing Conditioner
How can you be contacted?
My blog is @ www.fleurdecurl.com
My email is email@example.com
Fbook: www.facebook.com/fleurdecurl & Twitter: www.twitter.com/fleurdecurl
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Jenell Stewart, formally known as BlakIzBeautyful is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kinky Curly Coily Me. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.View all Jenell posts.