Photos by Melanie L. Brown for Steed Media Service
Candace Armour talks about the process of going natural and reclaiming her cultural beauty.
Why did you decide to go natural?
I didn’t want to change the state that my hair actually grows out of my head and I also wanted to embrace my natural beauty so I didn’t want to have to make any changes to the way my hair grows out of my head.
How do you take care of your natural hair?
To take care of my hair most of the times I wear it in protective styles so a lot of times I’m wearing weaves or wigs and whenever I do actually wear my hair out I do twist outs or I’ll put conditioner in it and just wash and go but during the winter months I usually either wear protective styles and I probably straighten my hair maybe four times a year but I make sure that I don’t straighten it too often so I don’t alter the state of my natural curl pattern.
Two favorite styles for your natural hair?
One of my favorite styles to do in my hair is the twist out so I’ll twist it out and put perm rods at the end of it and just wash it, put conditioner in it and put that style in. My other favorite style is to do a rod set so I’ll put conditioner in my hair or flexi rods and I’ll wear that and that can last me about a week or two.
Two emotions you felt while going natural?
Two emotions I had when going natural was one I was excited because I really wanted to see what my natural curl pattern would look like but then I also was afraid that I couldn’t really take care of it and that it would be too much work so I was kind of was afraid that I would chicken out and I think I chickened out a couple times but the last time I just made sure I dyed my hair so I wouldn’t perm my hair anymore.
Overall benefits to going natural?
The overall benefits of going natural for me are that I get to embrace my natural curl pattern and also for me I work in corporate America so a lot of times you don’t see black women in corporate America but for me it’s big to be able to represent and wear my natural hair in a corporate setting and a business setting and one of the other benefits is to you just have healthier hair and you’re not damaging your hair the way that it actually comes out of your head.
What are your favorite three products for your hair?
One Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Lottabody setting lotion and Organics conditioner.
What would you tell a personabout why they should go natural?
You should embrace your natural beauty and because it is easier to take care of your hair and it’s easier to preserve your natural curl pattern. You should embrace your natural beauty and you’ll have healthier hair in the long run rather than having permed hair.
I am natural because …
I really wanted to embrace my natural beauty and really be able to represent black women in corporate America without changing the way we look to assimilate to other cultures.
One thing that surprised you about going natural.
My curl pattern and then people’s reactions to my hair when I wore it in its natural state. I work in corporate America so a lot of times I’ll have wigs or straight hair but I get a lot of really good responses from people of all cultures about my hair in its natural state. I’ve actually heard people be like I know you wear your hair in a lot different ways but I like it best when it’s natural.
Have anyone ever asked to touch your hair?
So people have asked to touch my hair sometimes people don’t ask and touch my hair and then say something as they’re touching it. I use to get offended but I realized after going to a predominantly white university that you know you have to let people learn to embrace you like they probably haven’t ever met someone who looks like you so be open to the opportunity to teach about our culture.
What are your social media handles?
@CandaceArmour (IG, Twitter)