1. I have been Natural since November 19th 2009
2.& 3. I’m from Radcliff, KY. I grew up doing whatever everyone else was doing, when it comes to hair, clothes and trends. So to stop getting a relaxer was NOT on the agenda. But I moved to Richmond, VA almost 3 years ago into a town where the population was 95% African American and after being here for 6 six something in me began to change. I saw more and more women wearing their natural hair, and I remember my mother telling me that I had naturally curly hair and that she didn’t know why she relaxed my hair from the start. About a year or so later I began talking to different Natural Women. For the most part they were natural, but not taking care of their hair; or let me put it this way…they didn’t make me excited about going Natural. But I had a conversation with myself, asking why was I so afraid to be different? Was I worried what people would think? Say? But after another year of wondering…I finally did the Big Chop. I tried to grow it out for a few months flat ironing my hair everyday using Cantu Shea Butter…but it started to break off in the front so I just cut it all off.
4. Now I use Jane Carters Entire line as well as Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. I shampoo my hair once a month using Jane Carters Shampoo, Condition it with her Conditioner, after rinsing I then ad: Rosemary Oil, Lavendar Oil, Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner and I usually style my hair with a Shea Butter/Coconut Oil mix in a: Two-Strand Twist, Fro Hawk, or a Wash and Go…or something I do a puff and put Eco-Styler Gel/Let’s Jam on the sides.
5. I would say that this experience has been life changing. I no longer try to fit in with the crowd, I am free to be me now. Its inspired me to write whatever is on my heart so I started Kinky Keenya the Blog via http://kinkykeenya.blogspot.com as well as I partnered with another natural sister and we founded Embracing YOUR Beauty www.facebook.com/embracingYOURbeauty. We are working on our 2nd Natural Hair Extravaganza that will take place at Old Dominion University in May with expected attendance of 700 – 1000. We originally just wanted a home hair party, but God desired greater things, so we hosted our first event in Richmond, VA and had 300 attendees, 25 vendors, 3 sponsors and news coverage.
6. In the beginning people thought I cut my hair because a man hurt me, or I was “black power” and weren’t so positive, but now everyone seems to love it. Even those women that don’t like me have to love my hair because its fabulous. Lol. Its inspired so many women to take the journey to natural. I receive so many calls and emails DAILY from women asking for help and I willingly offer my advice, recommend products and do on site consultations and send them to professionals in the area. Its like a mini revolution right now. We are excited that Embracing YOUR Beauty is not a movement and will be traveling all around the country to empower women the way that we have been empowered.
7. My biggest influence was a girl from church named Crystal. She would always relax and style my hair, but I watched her transition to natural and quite frankly she looked beautiful. She was there when another Natural sister Jenay cut my hair. Crystal put coils in my hair and sent me on my way. And I have to say my little sister Chelsea. I had already cut my hair and she was thinking about it…so she watched youtube videos everyday ALL DAY…after a month or so I decided to sit down and watch what she watched and it helped me along my journey.
8. I have learned that people use their hair as a shield to hide behind. They think that their long hair will make them more confident and that its what men want and without they will be ugly/unattractive. I’ve learned that people say they want to be different but they’re lying, they want to be like Beyonce, Rihanna and all the stars, but little do they know if those women were 100% comfortable with themselves or not being made up by stylist that deep down…they want to love the skin that they are in too and wish they had the confidence/balls to go natural too.
9. I would say take your time, do some research. Get with a professional stylist who knows relaxed and natural hair. Get some education so that you are not surprised by the process. Start exercising and doing things to improve yourself, read some books…get some positive friends. Join natural hair care site like www.naturalsunshine.ning.com. It’s a wealth of information out there…you just need to know where to go to get it and be willing to take the time to learn. Don’t listen to your creamy crack addicted friends lol…talk to some natural sistahs. And start the journey to self discovery…it’s a beautiful journey and worth taking.