Full of life and energy, Kim is passionate about many things: her family and friends, her studies and yes, her nappy roots! My little cuz lets you into her world on having a natural high!
N. Hey, cuz! Take our readers through the early stages of your journey and transition phase.
K. My natural hair journey began in 2001. I was tired of the burning from the creamy crack and the effect the chemical mix was having on my skin. So, I wore my hair for almost 10 years natural. When it cut my relaxed hair off I found out later that it was really me doing the Big chop! In fact, it was the worst day of my life. I will say that because being a new natural, I was not sure what to expect and there were still alot of straggly ends I had to deal with. So I tend not to call it a 'BC'. For me, it is more so an uninformed spontaneous- "I am tired of my hair lets chop it off and put braids on!" moment ( o;
|Back in the day!|
That same year, I entered the Barbados Community College (BCC) sporting braids. I rocked every single style of braids until my hair got longer. That went on for about 3 years. Another way of coping while transitioning was wrapping my hair, which at that time I had no clue was a protective style. That really helped with the growth of my hair.
N. You have been natural for quite a while mostly having free, flowing hair. You wear your hair in dreads now. Tell us about that.
K. Ahh, this decision was long in coming. My first set of locs were done back in 2005, but I did not like the look and at that time no-one gave me a proper 'introduction' into the world of locs. I did not understand the process and so I took them out. Only lasted 2 weeks. After that I went through many phases. At one point I even texturized it. BIG MISTAKE! My second journey brought with it renewed vigor. I would also be admiring my sister's hair and I was itching for a new journey. So with much encouragement from my loctician, Nola and her sister, Sheba, I started afresh on October 16, 2010. Many people did not think I would last this time either because I love to do my hair and experiment. But it has been 7 lovely months and my hair is FLOURISHING. So, yes, my hair was started professionally by the best loctician in Barbados (are there others?), Nola. She, too, is a loc rocker.
N. What is your hair routine like and, are there any must have products for you?
K. Right now, I get my hair re-locked every 3-4 weeks. I keep that style for 1-2 weeks. I moisturize with tea tree and jojoba oils and raw shea butter with olive oil. For a quick touch-up I use ECO Styler Gel. In addition to the oils and ECO styler gel mentioned above, I'd have to add Head and Shoulders to the list.
|Locs at 5 months.|
N. Any favourite styles you may have?
K. I just love to wear my hair open. I prefer it that way. No style, just uninhibited. Dare I even say 'unruly'.
N. What has the feedback been like for you being a natural hair girl? Positives? Negatives?
K. Of course there has been mixed reaction. There is still a level of ignorance about our natural hair and our natural beauty. But the explanation for that is another blog, another story. What I will say is I understand why people at work may ask me- "What are you doing with your hair?" or "What is going on with your hair?". Even- "You think you should do that?" I understand. My response is usually- "I'm comfortable with me. Are you?" Being natural for as long as I have, has brought much confidence. It makes me stand out. I am comfortable enough to rock any form of natural hair. Whether it is short, long, bushy or otherwise. It's me. It is who I am. It is a part of my beauty. The more people come into that comfort zone, the less I'll hear those silly questions.
I must admit though that many of my friends do support me and some have even taken that step to having natural hair. Trust me, when people see you and that confidence is radiating, they WANT to become part of it. Welcome to the enlightenment.
|Recent pin-up done by Nola, Kim's loctician|
N. Some words of encouragement from Kim to ladies who might be thinking of wearing natural hair:
K. DO IT! ;O) How can you look bad with your own natural hair? It's yours! It's part of you! Celebrate yourself. It is not only a physical process but a mental one as well which involves liberation. That is how I see it. It is liberating when you forget society's opinion and enjoy being YOU!
When it comes to locs, understand that it is a process, a journey. And, it comes with a mixed bag of emotions. Some days you will love your locs. Other days, you wish they were not on your head. See the changes and appreciate the tedious matting process that it will go through.
There is nothing more to add on that note!
Thank you, Kim!