When & why did you decide to go natural? I decided to go natural 2.5 years ago. I was wearing weaves pretty religiously and just got tired of it. I realized that I was using them as a crutch instead of an option. My hair underneath was damaged, dry, unhealthy and just really ugly! lol! I stopped wearing weaves and cut my hair into a short and relaxed style (while under weaves I was texlaxed). I really saw how horrible my hair was at that point. My hair was so thin that you could see my scalp. I've always had fine, thin hair but this was just ridiculous. At that point, I decided to grow my relaxer out for a few months and then wear my hair natural.
How has your perception of beauty changed since going natural? This is actually my second time going natural. I also wore it this way while in high school. For me, natural hair has always been an option. I grew up in a household were blackness and having kinky hair were NOT looked down upon. To me, everything black has always been beautiful. Self acceptance has never been an issue. However, I am truly grateful for this natural hair revolution. When I was natural before, there wasn't much information about what to do with your hair while it's kinky. I was using a lot of heat and all the wrong products. My hair broke off pretty badly so I decided to relax it again. This time around I know I will never go back to relaxers because I've got this.
Were your friends and family supportive of your decision? If not, how were you able to move forward? All of the people that really matter were very supportive. My immediate family has always been accepting of me and my choices. My grandmom and grand pop were totally against it. They asked me why I was going natural? What was I trying to prove? Blah, blah, blah.... They've come around since then though because it's grown a lot. I did lose a few friends in the process but I'm grateful for that. If all it took was a hairstyle choice (which isn't that major in the grand scheme of things) for you to change your mind about me as a person, then I really don't need you in my circle. I live my life for me. If you can't accept that then you need to roll. Some have tried to come back since but I have no interest in having them around. The only circle of mine that flakes belong in is my bowl for breakfast.
How long have you been natural for? I've been natural for 2 years. :)
What’s your regimen? Pre-poo with mixture of oil (olive, castor or wild grow oil), water and a cheap moisturizing conditioner in a spray bottle. Alternate between washing with a sufate free shampoo and cowashing every week. Deep condition with a protein conditioner for an hour. Rinse then apply a thick, deep moisturizing conditioner, let that sit for 5 mins then rinse again. Apply Kimmaytube leave-in, seal with whipped shea mix. Air dry in two-strand twist overnight and take them out in the morning. Rock twist out for a week. Spray with water as needed during the week or just let the steam from the shower moisturize. (I try new products all the time so for me the products aren't important, its the process).
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from? My hair thrives in the summer but you still have to protect your hair from the sun. I always wear hats when I go out for extended periods of time like to the beach or to an amusement park. I also wear hats in the winter to protect my hair from the cold weather. I made a huge mistake rocking my fro when I went to the Bahamas and had to cut off about 2 inches of sun damaged, dry, brittle hair when I got back. I also learned that combing and brushing my hair very often isn't necessary. Fine/thin hair detangles pretty easily on it's own with water, conditioner and your fingers.
What has been your favourite product? Water
Do you have any hair goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them? Not really. I just focus on healthy hair. I feel as though if your hair is healthy, the length will come.
What has the biggest milestone you have faced in your hair journey? How did you overcome this milestone? My hair line was JACKED UP from wearing weaves for so long. It's not 100% yet but it's come a long way. I am very happy with the way it looks. :) I now know that because my hair is so fine, that the best thing to do is leave it alone. Tugging on it with braids, headbands, bobby pins, etc is a no no. For the most part I just rock a twist-out and occasionally do other styles when I get bored with it.
You love your hair because? I love my hair because it enhances my beauty but it's not the source of it.
Where can we find you (a blog, website,Fotki, Youtube, Twitter)? I'm on Hairlista.com as Aliya aka SewDope.
Naturals have more fun because........,? Having fun is what naturals do! lol!