Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Big Reveal

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Samantha and I just so happen to be the founder of this blog and a few others. I'm a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, blogger, activist, Jesus follower and in uni studying architecture.

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for about 4 years now.

When did you get your first relaxer and why did you get it?
I'm not exactly sure when I got my first relaxer, but it was between the ages of 4 and 6. However, I big chopped and then got a relaxer between the ages of 7 and 8. Each time, I got a relaxer because I wasn't born with a manual. Haha. My parents didn't know how to manage my hair and therefore, my hair broke many combs. Actually, it broke every comb in the house at some point.

What made you decide to go natural?
Well, I was 13 years old (same month as my 14th birthday) and I didn't know what my natural texture looked or felt like and I was just so curious about it, what I can do with it and how I can grow it out to the length it was while I was little.

How did your family and friends react to the idea of you going natural?
Oh my! They were not having it! My mum told me that she's not going to help me out with it (shout out to my mamma who's natural now), my paternal grandmother thought it was a bad idea because my hair was "too tough," my dad was cool with it, my brother wasn't (and he still tells me to get a relaxer because straight hair is more attractive, according to him) and some of my friends liked the fact that I was going natural while others told me not to do it and to just get another relaxer.

What's your hair journey been like so far (and how has it changed your perception on some things)?
My hair journey has been pretty eventful! I heat damaged my hair during my first year natural (and grew out the damage), I lost a bit of hair from box braids (with extensions) that weren't installed well (my hair fell out), my hair got cut by a stylist when I didn't ask for it to be cut and (fast forwarding) I have damaged hair (and not so "BigHair") right now, from a bad weave (which I might add was my first weave as a natural and my first weave in about 7 years). Besides those, my hair journey has been pretty nice, discovering new styles and products and just having fun switching between long (stretched) hair and short (shrunken) hair.
My natural hair journey has made me realise that people look best when they embrace the natural things about them. It also makes them happier. And I guess that it has made me realise that so many people are scared or very judgemental and we just have to accept that because we can't please everyone so, we just need to be happy with who we are.

Picture from shortly after I noticed the damage.

What is your daily hair regimen (including your night-time routine)?
This changes a lot. I would say that daily, if my hair was set in a bantu knot out, I saturate my hands in oil, take down the knots, separate the curls, fluff out my roots, pin up a bit of the sides and that's it. If I'm doing my lazy girl style (which is actually kinda chic), I take my hair down from a low ponytail, shake it out and fluff it out with my hands, put it in a low ponytail again, braid the ponytail, attach pre-braided extensions to it, tuck in my hair and then pin the extensions round my head forming an elegant halo braid (or series of halo braids). At night, I just divide my hair in 4-6 and put it in loose bantu knots (to preserve the initial style) or I leave it in a low ponytail (no extensions) and cover it in a satin scarf (although i don't care much about the scarf now that I have a satin pillowcase and duvet cover).
I should add that I wash my hair every Saturday after my workout (because I don't have the time to do so, any other day), shampooing once a month and co-washing every week. I stretch my hair out using a blow dryer on a warm-cool setting just to speed things up for myself.

Do you think you might be changing or incorporating new things to your regimen soon? If so, what do you have in mind?
I would deep condition more often, if I could. Right now, my schedule is too hectic because of uni so, I can't change much.

What are your go-to hairstyles, which is your fav. and how do you achieve it?
My "lazy girl" halo braid and bantu knot out are my favourite hairstyles and they are described above. As a side note, I always do my bantu knots over a braid out or an old twist out for best results.

What are your must-have hair accessories and tools?
Bobby pins! You can never have enough of those! Those little guys disappear like it's nobody's business. Metal-free ponytail holders are also a must-have and if you're in uni and not on the best schedule, a good blow dryer with a cool setting is good too.

How do you deal with hair issues such as: breakage, length retention and moisture?
The only day I comb my hair is on wash-day and in the shower with conditioner in my hair and under the shower stream. I seal my hair with oil and shea butter or Shea moisture's restorative conditioner and some times, Shea Moisture's Gel Soufflé too (that product is so moisturising). I also try not to touch my hair much and I sleep with my hair covered in a satin scarf or on a satin pillowcase (and I dry my hair with an old shirt instead of a towel).

What products do you currently use, and how are they working for you?
I use the shampoo, conditioner and gel in the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus line and I really like the products. They are moisturising, minimise frizz, have slip and are not too heavy. I use Shea Moisture's Restorative Conditioner as a leave-in and detangler and it's awesome for those. I also use extra virgin olive oil and Terressential's Mud Wash in Lavender and Cool Mint and I like both. The lavender mud wash leaves your hair feeling so soft and nice and the cool mint stops itchy scalp (and dry scalp) quickly.
(I also use the deep conditioner by Midas Naturals and can't wait till it's back in stock because it is AWESOME).

Hand-In-Hair syndrome -  an issue I have only's not my hand. Do you have this issue? Do people ask before touching your hair or do they just randomly reach out and touch (or grab) it? How does this make you feel? What is your reaction to this?
It's actually not been so bad in the past year. People actually ask now if they want to touch my hair (most of the time) and I'm cool with it although if someone doesn't ask before they touch my hair, I get a bit annoyed (esp. if I don't know the person/I'm not close to the person) and I calmly tell them to ask next time. Oh! And I make sure my hair's not been messed up each time (gotta do that!)

What do you love the most about being naturally curly?
Versatility! Not just with hair styles, but with hair lengths too! I can switch up my length daily. My hair has a personality of its own too and it's beautiful and just so unique!

Any advice for the natural teens, parents, kids and grandparents?
You do you, boo! Go natural, stay natural if you want to. Try different styles and learn how to take care of and style your hair by yourself because not every hair stylist knows how to properly care for curly hair and you'll be able to treat your hair better than anyone can once you master what to do.

Where can we find you online?
On here, of course.
And on:

p.s All pictures without extensions are post-damage and all curly hair styles are day 3-4 hair.

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