Many of us naturals have people who have inspired us in our hair journey; they have given us hair-inspiration. For me, that person is my friend Dominique Smith. You can read all about her hair journey below :-)
1. How long have you been natural?I can say that I have been natural for at least 2 years
2. Why did you decide to go natural?
When I was a young girl my mother cared a great deal for my hair. But after years of combing and maintaining it, it became too much to handle. My hair was very full and thick, and my sister had just as much. So, we began to depend on the hair salon. The problem was that our hair needed the care of someone who was knowledgeable in African American hair. The guessing games began in my adolescent years, and continued on throughout college. I never had a knack for doing my own hair…that was my mother and sister's forte.. The experience was stressful; it was a burden to experience hair breakage and damage without any knowledge of a solution. I decided to go natural in graduate school when I realized that my hair was suffering from years of uneducated guesses. When I came home for a visit my mother cut all of the damaged portion of hair off, and I had a short fro of about 3-4 inches. Then I began the process of having my hair braided every couple of months. I cared for my hair with tea tree, and olive oils, and it began to grow. I did this for 1.5 years. I had my hair pressed and hot combed for my graduation. I couldn’t fit the cap on top of my huge fro. My hair had finally returned to its full and natural state, just like it was when I was a little girl.
3.What were some of the reactions that you have received since going natural?
I have received many reactions... plenty of positive, some negative of course. Ironically, I've experienced a lot of resistance and lack of understanding from various family members. Some wanted me to maintain a more traditional, clean cut look. They felt that my hair should be straightened. I have heard comments like “oh this is a picture of you with your hair combed (when it was hot combed and pressed), much better”, or “you look like a crazy”. I have heard “it looks nappy”, or the most recent, “my hair used to be worse than yours when I was younger", alluding to the fact that it was unmanageable, rough, undesirable…
Throughout hearing these occasional comments, the compliments and the confidence have infinitely outweighed every one of those statements. I have had no problem conveying that my fro is here to stay , and that I love it, and I look great! (everyone else can take a walk… because it is my shine!) Since I have gone natural, removed the braids, and embraced the fro, I have never been more sure of myself and the beauty that I possess. Everything else about me seemed to fall in line when the fro came into to the picture. I have found my personality, my look, my style. I have never been more proud to be the Haitian-African American Woman that I am.
4. What is your current summer hair regimen?
My summer hair regimen = Carols Daughter's Marguerite's Magic for twisting and setting, occasional Soft Sheen Carson Wave Nouveau moisturizing lotion.