All photos by Jhavia Nicole
Q. How long have you been natural? Tell us about your journey.
I have been natural for most of my life save for a few years between the ages of about 8 and 10. I've been tempted on many accounts to either keep my hair straightened or perm it simply because it would cease the seemingly never ending commentary from my peers, however, I love the versatility of my hair as it is too much to change it. It has taken me a long time to appreciate my hair, though. I, for many years, felt like I got the short end of the stick within my family as far as hair texture goes as eldest sisters always had beautiful long fairly loosely curled hair. But as I got older and learned how to better take care of my hair, so grew my love and appreciation for it.
Q. What is your favorite hair style and why?
My favorite hair style is rather simple: picked out, possibly with a headband and free.
Q. What products do you use on your hair. What is your hair regimen?
I've recently been using more natural products and am on the search for a non-expensive sulfate-free shampoo. I've usually wash my hair about once a week or so, unless I work out or go swimming, etc. I condition my hair twice a week and, when I remember, I braid it into plaits and tie it down at night. I moisturize it everyday prior to styling.
Q. What made you decide to color your hair and what product did you use to dye it?
It was actually rather spur of the moment. My sister just dyed her hair that afternoon and had some extra hair color left and asked if I wanted to try out a new color, so, I did and I loved it! I believe I used Dark and Lovely permanent hair color.
Q. What do you love most about your hair? What's the biggest challenge?
The thing I love the most about my hair is it's versatility! I love that I can have it picked out one day and have it in twists the next or straighten it then have it in braids. The biggest challenge is that I feel it takes much effort to maintain as I want my hair to be healthy, but that is a challenge that I am happy to face.
Q. How has being natural affected you overall?
I feel that being natural, especially with my texture of natural hair, has forced me to have more self-confidence than the average. I've had to deal with people making fun of me for having what they define as "nappy" hair, or being told that I would be "so much prettier" if I would just perm my hair, and other such things. It's kind of thrust me into loving myself despite not being what one would typically call a beautiful woman and as I got older helped me be proud to stand out from the crowd instead of feeling uncomfortable about not blending in.
Q. What would you tell someone who wants to go natural?
I would say go for it! But, you must keep in mind that it does take work to maintain healthy natural hair and one must have patience as well as understand that your hair texture may not come out as you expect it to.
Hafsa, thank you for answering my questions! :)