What inspired you to start growing natural hair? How long have you been natural? What styles did you wear before this decision?
I actually just got tired of having very thin, brittle, dry and oddly colored relaxed hair. My hair would go through phases of reaching shoulder length maybe a little longer and then breaking off to different levels. I got to a point where I had to admit that I was not able to take proper care of my relaxed and dyed hair and needed to try and grow my natural hair. I stopped using relaxers by mid of 2009 and by the end of 2010 I had my natural curls. I did not big chop I would just trim my ends off as my hair grew.
My family was very supportive. My mother actually did not want to relax my hair back in the day. I had begged her as a child, she eventually gave in. She kept telling me my curls were beautiful as a child and so did my father. My sister actually stopped using relaxers before I did. Basically I had lots of family support. My friends supported me and did not make a big deal out of it since they saw I was happy. I had an incident with a manager in my previous workplace where I was “asked” to straighten my hair to which I said “NO!” Apart from that, I mainly got positive feedback.
How often do you wash and style your hair? What are your favorite styles to wear?
I have a wash day routine which I do once a week. I do not use shampoo, instead I use my Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanser, Detangle with Conditioner apply one of the 3 Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Deep Conditioner (DC) treatments, rinse my hair and then style my hair. I have a few “favorite” styles: Twists / Twist-outs, Wash-n-Go, and Buns.
What products do you use in your hair?
Cleanser, Detangling Conditioner, DIY Moisturizing DC (once a week), DIY Protein DC (every 4- 6 weeks), DIY Strengthening DC (once a month), DIY Leave-In Spray, DIY Leave-In Cream, & Aloe Vera Flax Seed Gel.
I learned that I needed to be patient, loving, gentle, not to stress and not to give up! I think I kept on expecting my hair to miraculously turn into a head full of lovely bouncy curls overnight during my transition (after years of overdoing the chemical treatments). I realized that if I wanted my hair to grow in a healthy way I needed to nurture it and protect it. It is not magic! I also was not aware of protective styles, doing DC’s (deep conditionings) etc., during my transition stage (I wish I did). When I did finally find out about protective styles, DC’s etc in 2011 I saw a difference in my hair. It just seemed to become healthier and I was seeing an increase in growth.
What advice would you give to women contemplating growing natural hair?
Do research, ask questions, get onto forms, and watch YouTube videos… just do loads of reading. Keep in mind the research is for you to have a general understanding what you really need to know is YOUR hair. We all have fingerprints, but no two people have the same finger prints and I believe the same goes for our hair. While two people might have curly hair that have similar curl patterns, thickness, etc it does not mean if you use the exact same products you will get the same results. So after you have done your research you need to then find out what works for you. Apart from knowing your hair I think patience is another important point. It will take time till you know what your hair needs, likes and wants but it is not mission impossible just mission patience.
I love it! I am sometimes envious (in a good way of course). But I love it! Curls are so versatile and come in different forms, shapes, sizes, patterns, textures etc. It makes me happy to see women rocking their fierce curls!
What are 5 hair items/products you can’t live without?
Detangling conditioner, Leave-In Conditioner, Water, hair bubbles and my wide-tooth comb for some styles.
How can you be contacted?
My Blog: www.maicurls.wordpress.com