For most of my teenage years I've worn my hair relaxed. It was only when I reached 18 that I decided to go natural. Since then its been three years and I've gone back natural, had locks, relaxed again and now I'm all natural again. This time I'm determined to keep it all natural.
What or who inspired you to do the 'Big Chop'?
My inspiration was my mother, and the fact that I was just frankly tired of the straight hair. I figured I should just get the ball rolling. One day I just got a scissors and my sister gladly cut it all off for me! At first I had mixed emotions. I was glad to have it all off but I was hesitant to wear my hair so short. Big earrings and nicely shaped eyebrows were a must after I did the 'BC'.
What styles did you use for transitioning from relaxer to natural?
In the transition phase I wore braids, mainly afro kinky or I just wore cornrows. I transitioned for about 4-5 months which was just long enough to have a TWA.
Do you have a special hair care regimen?
Just adorable! Look at Zingha's plaits!
I've always tried to wash my hair every weekend, however I do let it go two or three weeks depending on how it feels and looks. If at the end of a week my hair still has a nice gloss to it without being greasy I'd leave it for another. I don't use shampoo everytime I wash my hair. I mainly co-wash (wash with conditioner) as it doesn't take all the nutrients out of my hair and leave it dry. Every three weeks or so, or if I used lots of product, I'd wash with shampoo. I try to give my hair a deep treatment every other week. I do everything on my own. I mainly just use shea butter to seal my ends and I grease my roots with a mixture of oils: coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil (just a tad) and shea butter. In terms of shampoo and conditioner, I'm not too picky when it comes to brands. I alternate between Tresemme, Herbal Essences and Head and Shoulders.
Are there any products you just must have in your routine?
I try not to weigh my hair down with too many products. The only thing I use on a daily basis is a lavender oil and water mixture that I put in a spray bottle.
How do you find being a naturalista?
In my opinion natural hair is all over beautiful. I think it says alot about an individual. It is very versatile and gives alot of room to show personality. However, people often think that natural hair is easy to maintain and all there is to do is wash it. In order to have glossy, strong, healthy hair you definitely have to put in the time and effort. In that respect its a bit of a negative. It takes a long time to wash, condition, treat and sometimes style but its definitely worth it.
Now, I know that you rocked locs at some point. Could you tell me what influenced you to take this step?
I considered having locs because I love to see them. I also like that when you have gotten to a certain point they are relatively easy to maintain. I started when my hair was just about 3 or 4 inches long. I think that if I had waited until my hair was longer I would have kept them. It was extremely difficult trying to keep my hair looking tidy while it was too short to do a proper pin up style.
Did you start them on your own? Or, were they professionally done?
I just had a friend part and twist my hair and then I maintained them from there. For the first few months I alternated used the interlocking method to get some knots in the hair to speed up the process and the palmrolling method to keep it nice and neat. I prefer palmrolling as it is more gentle on the hair.
What is your current fav natural style?
My favourite style is without a doubt a twist out or bantu knot twist out. They're both easy to achieve and they look fabulous.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of making that transition to natural hair?
I would definitely encourage everyone to go natural but I would also tell them how overwhelming the process can sometimes get. I would give them some tips and advice that I learnt through my experience and I'd definitely hope they take the plunge!