Friday, January 7, 2011
My Natural Inspiration - Introducing Amanda!
I know when I first told you all that I was going natural I mentioned my cousin who inspired me to follow in her footsteps for healthier hair. I finally decided to get her to share her process with us here. We are slowly taking those steps to show, at the very least, all the little girls in our family that natural is beautiful!
(Here she is with relaxed hair)
1. What made you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural because I hated EVERYTHING about relaxers: the process (dealing with new growth/hair breakage, getting the "itchies" when you know that you are about to get a touch-up, and the burn! ugh!) I also did not like the way it made my hair feel and it did not help that it was making my already fine hair, thinner. I was so frustrated with the same style and lack of versatility. I have always admired natural hair and its beauty and uniqueness. My friend Danielle and I had talked about going natural and she did the big chop almost instantly, which really helped to encourage me to keep going with my decision.
2. I know you hid this decision from some family members, why? Do you think many women feel the same way about making the decision?
I kept my decision from most of my family members because I was not sure if anyone would be discouraging and I really needed to stay firm with my decision on my own. I do think that many women feel the same way because it can be very challenging to commit to such a huge change without support.
3. When you finally revealed your hair to everyone, how did you feel? How was the feedback?
I felt great - I was a little nervous but I loved my hair and I was so excited and proud of myself for staying dedicated! I received a lot of positive feedback from all of my friends, coworkers, and family, except for my Grandma -- which was expected since she loves herself a hot comb and frowns (literally) when she doesn't see "good hair". But everyone else loved it and supported my decision 100% which made me feel extra confident about my decision.
(This is while she was transitioning)
4. How long did you transition before you did the BC? How did it feel?
I transitioned for about 6 months and wore Lace Front wigs (good riddance!) during that process. It was definitely exciting to know that when I reached a comfortable length that I was going to say bye-bye to those lifeless relaxed ends. I was anxious and somewhat nervous to see and feel my natural hair since I couldn't remember what it looked like.
5. What favorite products does your hair swear by?
I have experimented with a lot of products and have finally found some favorites. I like Kinky Curly products, especially the Knot Today as a leave-in conditioner and the Curling Custard for Wash-n-Go's. Giovanni's Direct Leave-in is also great, especially during the colder months. My hair love love love LOVES Aubrey Organics conditioners, the Honey Suckle Rose, White Camellia, and Island Naturals conditioners are phenomenal and for a deep protein treatments their GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner is amazing! I have also recently discovered the Curls line at Target and really like their Goddess Curls Gel and the Passion Fruit Curl Paste.
6. Do you plan to keep it short or grow it out?
I definitely plan to let it grow out, although it is very cute short, I would like to see how big it can get!
7. What advice would you give newbies to the process?
Patience! There were countless times of frustration, but thanks to supportive family and friends, and great resources such Curly Nikki's blog and videos on YouTube, I was able to stay motivated. I have learned that everyone has different hair and you have to be patient to discover what works best for your hair. Don't give up!
Here she is today in her natural elegance!
Gorgeous, isn't she?!
I'm so proud of you!!
(Hugs for the interview!!)