Feature Friday: Sunshine Malone
SunShine’s Natural & Loving It!
How long have you been the beautiful naturalista you are today?
Well, that’s sort of a trick question! I have been natural most of my life. Out of 33 of those years I would have to say I was unnatural lol for about 7 of those years, and here we are again!
So how old were you when you received your first relaxer? Why did you choose to relax your hair?
I was 16! I wanted a wrap (doobee) so bad, the kind that covered your eye lol lol...My hair fell out so bad...my sister Tut tried to save it! She put that Aphogee 911 solution in it but no luck! So then I went natural for two years after that then permed and dyed it again at 18! Fell out again lol...I just said I'm over it! Natural it is! Then I shaved my head and rocked a boy cut! I had the best waves on campus!
What/who has influenced you to stay on the journey this time around?
My mother passing away of cancer really opened my eyes to this leg of the journey. I did this drastic, holistic change so to speak and it was natural (no pun intended) for me to get back to a natural state of mind. First, I changed my eating habits and became a vegetarian, then I got rid of all “harmful” cleaning agents and body products I was using….eventually I had my son Cameron, dyed my hair blond (was going through it obviously) and all my hair started to fall out! It was like a no brainer to just go back to what I knew best.
Was it a hard decision to leave the relaxers alone?
Not at all because I always used a “Kiddy” perm anyway. It could only stay in for about a minute and 30 seconds before it would start burning. I would have scabs and everything. My hair really was too fine to have that harsh of a chemical put on it. So no, it was easy! Just like it was easy for me to give up chicken and turkey!
How do you currently care for your hair?
Right now I am doing a protective style challenge for 3 months. I’m doing it with NaturallyFreeToBeMe and TrulyNaturallyCoiled, two ladies who I have come to love on facebook. It’s where you do styles to protect the ends of your hair so that you can maintain length and watch it progress as well. I make sure I deep condition my hair every 1 to 2 weeks in a co-wash which is usually followed by a deep condition using either SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque or Natural Girls Rock’s DeepSolutions. I always use my steamer either a couple hours later or next day. I pamper my hair using an adaptation from KinkyCurlyCoilyMe! I mist my hair with SheaMoisture’s Thickening Moisture Mist, I add My Growth Elixir from Honey Child Hair Love, add Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie (sometimes I opt out), Twisty Locs by HPO Spa Treatments (Shea Butter mix), and then finally I add one or more essential oils (coconut, jojoba, sunflower, grape seed, & olive oil) to lock in the moisture. I found that grape seed oils works wonders on my ends. I usually set my hair in twists and rock twist outs, fros, you name it! I only shampoo my hair once a month if that!
WOW you sound like a true product junkie LOL…so tell me, what do you love most about your hair?
I love that my hair is versatile. The possibilities are endless as to how you can style it and how it can represent you from day to day!
I feel you on that. What do you like the least?
Sorry, I don’t have anything clever to say here! Lol I LOVE MY HAIR!
WELL ALRIGHT BOO!!!! Since starting on this journey have you faced any challenges with your hair?
The only challenge I would say I had was how to cut down on frizz. Thankfully, I have learned that essential oils help eliminate frizz especially if applied thoroughly to wet hair while setting! Our hair needs that moisture and the oils help seal it in!
If you could use one word to describe your hair what would it be?
Freedom…I like that!!!! So what’s the best advice you could give aspiring naturalistas?
Rock the heck out of your hair just like you would if it was straight! The time and effort you put into your wardrobe, your face, your accessories when you got that new head of weave is the same way you should pamper yourself with your big chop, fro, twists, sister locs, etc. You are not second rate, second class, or second best! You are a powerful, organic, woman! POW!
Gurrrrrrl I almost went to church just now…SAY SO!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL…What are 3 hair care products you can’t live without?
Hmmmmmm that’s so not fair
I know it’s hard to narrow it down but just try lol
…okay let’s see SheaMoisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Coconut Oil, and Grape seed Oil!
Now in addition to being a beautiful naturalista, you’re also a budding entrepreneur.Tell us about your “baby” Sunshine’s Natural & Loving It…(SN&LI…)
What was the inspiration behind starting SN&LI…?
Well, it all began when I told Kim Coles that I was natural under my weave (she had just cut her braids out and revealed herself) She was like free yourself! So, I began making YouTube videos (sunshinetildawn) to document my journey and was getting so many questions about my hair. I decided that I was going to start a blog (KinkyCurlyCoilyMe! was like go for it) so I did. However, it didn’t let me answer the questions I was getting quickly. So I thought the page would be used to feature other naturalistas and that I would create the face book page to interact with my natural community more!
When did this all begin?
Oh gosh March 2011, not that long ago really and there are already 3,045 fans! I can’t believe it actually. I am so ecstatic and truly humbled that that many people actually like the page and are staying around to see it grow!
How would you characterize what you’re doing with SN&LI…?
Me (looks around) lol..I just provide a community where people who are natural and supporters of naturals can dialogue with each other, share their stories, and interact with me. I enjoy answering the questions, I enjoy the traditions we have weekly (Way Back Wednesday or Throw Back Thursday and the Hairspiration from day to day). I also like shedding light on some of my favorite pages like ahsiek1118, stylepantry.com, and ILoveMyFro. I truly believe that my page is free from the black stigma that black people don’t help each other like other cultures help each other when running a business. Like my dear friend Yumnah of Yumnah NajahDesigns said, “There is room for all of us to shine at the top!”
Where can we find your products?
I am so excited about the reveal of my natural inspiration tees located at http://naturalandlovingit.spreadshirt.com prices are reasonable, there are many styles, and so many cute catch phrases!
Anything else we should know about you?
Can I tell you that SunShine’s Natural & Loving It! is ME! Aside from being a mom, wife, teacher, doctoral student, and all the other hats I wear, I am human. I am so blessed to have so many people to share this journey with and am truly enjoying the beautiful people I am meeting along the way. NaturallyKira thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share myself with your community. Love yourself, embrace your curls, and spread some SunShine! xoxo