Sunday, August 15, 2010

Natural of the Week

Natural of the Week

Meet Pam

Wife, Photgrapher, 
& Fellow Blogger

1.How long have you been natural?

Since September 2008

2.Did you transition? If so how long and why?

I started my transition in September 2008.  I tried keeping it braided so I would not have to do the BC.  That didn’t seem to work for me because as soon as I saw a few hairs popping out through the braids I was ready to take it down and have it re-braided.  This was just getting too costly and taking up a lot more of my time than I liked.  Besides that, I was having major breakage.  So one Saturday morning in February 2009, I called up the hairdresser, made an appointment for THAT day without any family members knowing.  When I got there she asked what I wanted done.  I told her to just cut it ALL off.  She thought I was joking and kept asking me if I were sure.  The picture below shows what I looked like when I got home.  J

3.Did you have any support going natural? or negative experiences when going natural?
If I had to name any one person as far as support, it would be my niece, Shauntae aka Shaun.  We would be up all times of the night experimenting with stuff in and on our hair.  She’s been natural for quite some time now (approx 5-7 years, I think).  She would be at her house, and I’d be at mine, but picture mail was flying back and forth all the time.   
I didn’t rely on others for the support because I knew going in, not everybody would “understand”, nor did they need to but it really is nice to have a support system.  A few years prior, I’d made a half-hearted attempt at going natural, but that only lasted a few months and I went back to MY comfort zone (my relaxer).  I cannot imagine myself with a relaxer ever again even though I had one for 25 years or more.  This time was a lot different.  I was bent, bound, and determined I was going to do it NO MATTER WHAT!!  
YouTube, Face Book, and other naturals I’ve met while on this journey have been my support system.  Honestly, I must say 97-98% of the experiences pertaining to natural hair I’ve encountered have been positive.
Shaun just asked me earlier this week if I think natural hair is just a fad.  My answer was no.  I think it’s here to stay.  For me, it’s been an awakening.  Hopefully that’s the affect it’s had on others and they will embrace their “COILY-ness”. 

4.What is your regimen?
Ok, this is my confession, what had happened was uhhhh….  I went through the product junkie phase, and I have plenty of evidence to show for it.  The basket on my bathroom sink as well as the cabinet underneath is proof.  (LOL!!)   BUT, I’ve recovered, somewhat, and it’s all pretty simple now.  Truly, simple is better!!  Every 7-10 days, I shampoo with “Say Yes To Carrots” Shampoo.  I detangle with either LeKair Cholesterol (only because of the product’s thickness) or with my normal conditioner (Mane and Tail).  I generally do leave conditioner in my hair.  It rally softens my hair tremendously and since it is so thick, the detangling process is nowhere near as time consuming as it once was.   
For the days in between shampoos, I usually co-wash or mist my hair.  My water bottle consists of with 95% water, BeeMine Hair Milk (a squirt or three), and Mane and Tail conditioner (a squirt or three).  This is my leave-in or mid-day refresher whenever it’s necessary, which is rare.   On occasion, I use the Bee Mine Luscious Crème for extra moisture.
So, after I’ve applied my products, I jump back in the shower, and do what I call the “puppy-dog” shake.  That’s when I swish my head back and forth like a little puppy dog that’s just gotten wet.  This actually lifts, and separates my curls/coils.  I keep my hands out of my hair while it is wet because if I don’t, it will frizz.  Naturals, I know that’s hard to do because we generally suffer from HIHS (Hands In Hair Syndrome).   
Now, I must add if there are any sponsors out there wanting a hair model for their products, let’s talk…

5.What is your nightly routine?
Satin bonnet, and night night!!  If I wear my hair really big on any particular day, I will tame her down before bedtime by putting (very loosely) a stretchy band so she will at least go under the bonnet. 

6.What is your go to style?
Wash and go’s just work for me!!  My sister will braid it across the front from time to time, but I don’t do too many of the twist sets, etc…  I will have it pressed about twice a year and that’s generally to get a really good hair cut and to do a length check.  And I can NOT leave out the PUFF.  That is a lifesaver for sure!! 

7. What is the best thing about being natural?
It’s just so versatile.  It can be straight, curly, braided, twisted, wrapped, all in the same week, and I don’t have to go to a hair dresser to do it!
And, I absolutely love the fact that I don’t need an umbrella.  Half the time I’d get caught in the inside with the umbrella outside in the car anyway but now, I can and do just walk in the rain.  It’s just a sense of freedom that I did not have before. 

8. What advice do you have for an aspiring natural? transitioner?
My advice would be to just do what works for you.  There’s no cookie cutter pattern in this journey, and everything that works for me will not work for you vice versa.  Learn your own hair by experimenting.  And most of all enjoy your journey.  No one natural has all the answers.  Everybody has an opinion but none of it is the “gospel”, it’s just that, opinion.  I’ve been told I shouldn’t press it, and I shouldn’t do XYZ, yadda yadda yadda.  I wear it straight, wear it curly, twisted, braided, you name it.  I’ll even break out the afro every once in a while.  I have fun with mine and my advice would be for you to do the same.  After all, it’s just hair.  

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