Friday, November 11, 2011

Hair Stories: Nia

                                     Hair Stories: Nia

Nia thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview!!! So tell us, how long have you been natural?
I have been natural (technically) for the past 9 years.

That's a long time. What/who influenced you to start this journey?
My favorite teacher inspired me to venture out on this journey.  During my high school matriculation I would always ask her questions about locs and what it takes to start the process.  So, I decided that I would begin my natural hair journey before going away for college.  My choice was definite, and I was extremely excited.  I wanted it to be my “new look” as I embarked upon the next chapter of my life.  And so it began Saturday, August 17, 2002.  

Was it difficult for you to leave the creamy crack?
I am happy to say that it was not difficult at all. I was so anxious and actually looking forward to it. I had grown tired of perms and chemicals being put in my hair every other week/month.  My main concern was how my hair would react to the sudden change.  

That's a very valid feeling and a good point that many transitioners don't always think about. How will my HAIR react....Have you ever done a BC (big chop)?
Absolutely!  I’ve done the big chop!  Although my chopping process was gradual, it was big, nonetheless. I can be very impatient so I didn’t want to do it the long way and wait until all of the perm grew out of my hair. Only God knows how long that would have taken.  Overall, my attitude toward it was “it’s just hair” it will grow back, probably sooner than I anticipate. People responded better than I’d expected.  They loved it!  I am very meticulous about my hair. So even during the beginning stages with the twists, which is commonly called “the rough stage”, my locs were still neat and well-kept.  The typical recurring question from everyone was, “Why did you cut your hair?”  Once I explained the reason and sometimes the full story behind my decision, they seemingly understood.    

Now before you locked your hair what styles did you where? How did you transition?
Before I started locs I was the queen of doobies.  That was the easiest hairstyle for me to maintain on my own.  My transition:  My beautician at the time did everything in 3 steps. When I was a senior in high school she cut my hair a little right before the prom (May 2002).  The length was to my chin. Then she cut it shorter again the day before my graduation (June 2002). It was a very short, high maintenance hairdo. Finally, before leaving for college she cut the rest of the perm out and began the twists that would eventually develop into locs (August 2002).

How do you currently care for your locs?
The best haircare for my locs is to keep them consistently oiled and moisturized.  Especially in between visits to my loctician.  I get them washed and freshly re-twisted by my loctician once every 5 to 6 weeks (depending on the current style).  

What have you learned about your hair so far on this journey?
During this journey my hair has taught me a lot about patience.  Also, I’ve noticed that being natural it grows faster, it’s thicker, and the texture is better than it was when I used to get a perm.  Increasing my water intake also helps a lot, and makes it grow faster and fuller.   

What do you love most about your hair?
A couple of things I love most are the convenience and beauty of my locs.  I really don’t like to do my own hair.  I have gotten better at being creative with them as they’ve become longer. But if I don’t have to, I prefer not to do it myself. Even when it was twisted, I enjoyed the convenience to get up and go in the morning.  Before my natural hair journey I wasted a lot of time in the mirror doing my hair, and it was frustrating.  Locs are easy to maintain and very convenient for me.  And most of all, they’re absolutely beautiful. Well, mine are! Lol  There’s nothing like getting my hair washed, my locs freshly re-twisted and styled.  The best feeling!

LOL @ "well mine are" I hear that....What do you like least about your hair?
The thing that I like the least would have to be having such a dry scalp. That’s an issue I had even before going natural.  It’s good to keep your hair oiled, greased, moisturized, etc. in any case, but because of having a dry scalp it’s mandatory that I stay on top of it.    

Have you faced any challenges with your hair?
Honestly, I haven’t faced any challenges with my hair. I’ve never had an issue with breakage, hair damage, hair loss, etc… Nothing! Other than the dry scalp dilemma, all is well.  No complaints!

That's wassup....and if you could use one word to describe your hair what would it be?
One Word:  Enticing!

"Enticing" I like that. What’s the best advice you could give aspiring naturalistas?
The best advice I’d give to aspiring ‘naturalistas’ is to be undeniably sure about your decision and really know what works best for you.  Your personal sense of style in the world of being natural may vary from the one(s) that inspired you.  Be confident, be certain, be yourself, and have fun.  Enjoy the journey!    

What are 3 hair care products you can’t live without?
This is a little difficult because being in the beauty supply for me is like being a little kid in a candy store. There are so many amazing, natural products on the market. But if I had to narrow it down to 3 hair care products that I cannot live without they’d be:
-Glosser (by Luster’s Pink) which contains Shea butter, Jojoba oil, aloe, chamomile, lemongrass, & more
- Olive Oil Moisturizing hair Lotion (by Organic Root Stimulator)
-I make my own natural oils, but I also occasionally use Carrot Oil (by Hollywood Beauty)

Anything else we should know about you?
In March of 2006 I cut my locs off and sported a chic’ short hairdo. I did it because being a woman, sometimes you just want something new, something different.  So I gave in to temptation and made a drastic change.  It had to be sudden or else I would not have gone through with it.  So after cutting them, I went back to a perm and regretted my decision 2 weeks later.  About 6 months down the line I began my natural hair journey all over again. Smh. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and I can’t begin to fathom contemplating something like that again. This time around my locs have actually grown faster and even healthier than before.  I love my locs and I don’t regret anything about my natural hair journey!