1. How long have you been natural? I have been natural for 7 years.
2. Why did you go natural? At the time that I went natural, there wasn’t a lot of info on natural hair care and the term “going natural” wasn’t popular yet. Really, I just wanted to stop relaxing my hair, nothing deep at the time. It was costly and my very thick hair would never get completely straight. My hairstylist would relax my hair and then apply a lot of heat, sooo all of the heat was defeating the purpose of the relaxer. My hair was long, but not very healthy. I was at a crossroads, because I didn’t see “going natural” as an option. I was watching an episode of Girlfriends and was captivated by Joan (Tracee Ellis Ross’s) hair.
After seeing her big, beautiful mane, I was determined to get that hair. Only thing….I wasn’t sure what my hair texture was anymore. So I decided to let the relaxer grow out a bit and began to see some nice wave formations. I let it grow for about a year and a half and then I cut the remaining relaxer off…..let the journey begin. Although I don’t have Joan’s hair, I love my own hair! In the beginning there wasn’t a deep, philosophical meaning to me going natural, but over time, I feel as if I’ve become more free and expressive. My confidence has grown, which it has to when when you’re walking around with enormous hair!
Brandi Cohen for the Big Natural Hair Project
3. Do you have any favorite hair care products? I love Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Thick creams work wonders on my hair. I’m also in love with Jessicurl’s Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment. This product will save your parched curls.
4. Do you have any favorite natural styles you want to share? My favorite style, of course, is wearing my hair out…big and free. I do wear all types of other styles, but I will say that one of my other favorite style is a high bun because it’s the complete opposite. It’s also my go-to sleek style.
5. Is there anything that you do that you want to share? (skills, business, hobby, etc) I’m an actress and I was pretty nervous at times about how I will be cast with my hair being natural. Especially the size of my hair. But I’ve come to realize that at times my hair is what gets me called in for auditions. There are pros and cons to that, though. One con, outside of acting, is that people assume a certain personality/lifestyle comes with natural hair, or that you’re some “earthy” type. Although, that may be true for some, not all naturals are burning incense. (laughs) Just like those who rock short spiked hair, long straight hair, weave, no hair, we are individuals with our own individual styles and personalities.
6. Did you do the Big Chop? if so, what was that like? No, I did not Big Chop.