Photos by Melanie L. Brown for Steed Media Service
Why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural to strengthen my hair. After over 20 years of having relaxed hair, my hair has suffered from breakage along with other issues; so going natural was the only way of saving my hair.
How do you take care of your hair?
The most important way of maintaining care for your hair is to keep it moisturized to reduce any type of brittle and just overall damaged hair. I’m no expert on caring for hair, but I’ve heard that as long as you keep your hair moisturized whether you’re relaxed or natural, it should keep your hair healthy. I like to use virgin coconut oil mixed with water and tea tree oil in a spray bottle to spritz every day. I would use certain hair lotions like coconut milk along with any other hair lotions that make my hair smell good.
What are your two favorite styles of wearing your natural hair?
I’m a big fan of protective styling, so my favorite style is a more Afro-kinky crochet which is very similar to my hair texture and I also like to have my hair in an up-do Afro-ponytail. I’m not really versatile when it comes to hair styling. I like to keep it simple.
Two emotions you experienced while going natural?
Embracing my natural hair makes me feel kind of like an African goddess and I also feel like I made a good decision of choosing this health hair journey of becoming natural. Before I made my final decision of becoming natural, I thought it wasn’t for me, but after years of suffering from damaged hair from when it was relaxed I knew I had no other choice, but to go natural and just give my hair another chance! My hair is now healthier after being chemical free for over a year now!
Overall benefits of going natural?
One will definitely have healthier hair, but to be honest the cost of natural hair maintenance I believe is much cheaper than maintaining relaxed hair. I have heard that there are hair salons that do specialize in caring for natural haired customers, but I know many women who are natural that take care of their own hair. Many like to experiment to see what works and what doesn’t works for their own hair. One doesn’t necessarily need to have a beautician. However, some women may visit the hair salon if they would like to get their hair straightened professionally. I have yet to visit a salon. I just have my mother tend to my hair, who is natural as well.
What are your favorite three products for your hair?
I mostly use Shea Moisture. My hair has seemed to respond well to its products. I have coarse hair; so I use the Kinky Coily Shea Moisture products like their shampoo and conditioner, leave-in conditioner, curling cream, etc. I also use certain oils like coconut oil, tea tree oil, and grape-seed oil to lock in moisture, and shea butter. So, my favorite products I would have to say are coconut oil, tea tree oil, and shea butter. These products can be used elsewhere on the body as lotions, so anything portraying versatility is my favorite product!
What would you tell a personabout going natural?
It doesn’t cost much to mantain, and it’s easy to manage.
I am natural because …
I wanted to have long beautiful healthy hair and the only way I could get that was to eliminate chemicals being placed into my hair.
One thing that surprised you about going natural?
Seeing how long my hair is after stretching it. I have a very short Afro but as I stretch my hair it’s shoulder-length, so I experience a bit of shrinkage when it comes to my hair, but many other naturals do as well.
Has anyone ever asked to touch your natural hair?
Oh yes! However, I only let certain people that I know, or who I may have just met someone and we may have had a conversation about the natural hair journey touch my hair.
What are your social media handles?
@RubyRed on Twitter, @ReeAnna on IG