Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carmen~Natural Inspiration

Meet Carmen,over the years she has learned to enjoy her journey ,work with and understand her natural hair texture.

How long have you been natural?

I've been natural for ten years as of January 2010.

Have you ever had a relaxer? If so ,What's your story? What made you want to decide to go natural?

I did have a relaxer for about 10 years. I had the infamous 80's "curl" and then I transitioned to a relaxer my sophomore year in high school. I was in high school during the early-mid 90's, a time when Afrocentricity was really being celebrated in hip hop & youth culture. After seeing some of the hip hop stars of the 90's with locs and natural hair, i.e. Lauryn Hill, Arrested Development, Das EFX, etc. I really wanted locs. I had actually fantasized about locs/natural hair for several years, but I just didn't know how or where to begin. In the summer of 1999, I reconnected with a friend who happened to be natural (at the time when we met up she had been wearing locs for about 7 years.) She was very encouraging and supportive and suggested the big chop as the best way to begin my journey to locs. Coincidentally, due to a bit of a financial strain, I had stopped getting relaxers (the cost was just a bit more than I could handle on a new teacher's salary, lol). So, in January of 2000, I did the big chop. I've been natural ever since.

How would you describe your hair type?

My hair type is super dense, coily and very tight, with a high percentage of shrinkage. My hair is just like the little coily wire you find in an ink pen.

What is your regimen? What products do you use to maintain the health of your hair?

My latest regimen is simply to do a conditioner wash once a week. If my hair feels like it has a ton of product build-up I'll use Burt's Grapefruit & Soy shampoo or Cream of Nature Shampoo to get it really clean. To keep my hair moisturized I use Cantu Shea Conditioning Treatment or S-Curl Moisturizing Spray. For daily styling I either band the hair or put my hair in several twists to kind of stretch my little coils. My daily styles range from either a chunky fro, a shrunken fro, a puff, or just free hair with a head band. About once a month I trim my ends by using the twist and clip method.

Do you have any long term goals for your hair?

I just want my hair to be healthy.

What tips would you give,to the newly natural ladies?

There's lots to discover about your own natural hair. Enjoy the journey. One thing that I've come to realize about my little coils, is that my hair growth is shown by volume, not length. My hair grows up and out, not down; I can see my hair growth by how big it is. I had to adjust my thinking and expectations on what hair growth looked like for my natural hair texture. So, just know that tightly coiled dense hair, can and does grow.

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