1. How long have you been natural?
I’ve been joyfully natural for almost 5 years.
2. Why did you go natural?
Honestly, going natural was the surprisingly beneficial result of experiencing a major life challenge, leading me into a ”waiting to exhale” moment, the bathroom mirror, a pair of scissors and hair on the floor. lol!
3. Do you have any favorite hair care products?
My absolute favorite hair care products are carrier oils (extra virgen olive oil, tea tree oil), butters (shea, cocoa) and creams (hair moisturizing lotion). They’re heavier so they define, minimize frizz and really seal in the moisture on my extremely porous hair. My trusted product brands are Shea Moisture, Koils by Nature and Coco Curls. They each allow me to achieve a different look depending on my desire style.
4. Do you have any favorite natural styles you want to share?
My FAVORITE hair dos are natural braided and twisted styles. My stylist Melanie Rosemin of Lucian Locs keeps me looking fun, sophisticated, and eclectic and my hair remains protected in a versatile style for weeks.
5. Did you do the Big Chop? if so, what was that like?
Well, you read the story. YES! I Big Chopped (BC) and I loved every minute of it. Sometimes I get urges to BC again…but I probably won’t; at least not anytime soon anyway. BC-ing allowed me to really discover my beauty and exude my confidence from within. As women, we tend to hide behind the glory of our hair. But when I didn’t have any hair, I could “hide” no longer. I step out the door with a “what do I have to lose” attitude and I didn’t look back. I’ve held my head higher than I ever have before and when I walk into a room my presence speaks before I ever say a word. Transitioning into a woman with natural hair helped me to evolve into a woman of tenacity.
6. Is there anything that you do that you want to share with your fans? (skills, business, hobby, etc)
Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to share with you my labor of love…Carisma Designs, LLC, It’s handcrafted jewelry and accessories. It’s not just jewelry and accessories. It’s a mood! Much of our outer appearance is a reflection of how we feel inside. That’s the same philosophy I live by when conceptualizing and executing apparel for the Carisma Designs collection. I draw from a wide variety of influences and styles. I don’t like to keep myself limited to a particular design paradigm because different people are going to have different needs, tastes, and budgets. My goal in designing handcrafted jewelry has always been to make it as affordable and long-lasting as possible, while making it beautiful and appealing to the people who will be wearing it. Every design I undertake is a new and exciting adventure and pushes me to see what barriers I can break down in terms of how people see their sense of style.
My most favorite elements of jewelry design are shopping for the materials and working on custom orders. The joy that comes from making someone else’s vision come to life is intangible. The feeling breathes life into my designs and thus the mood through which the design was inspired. Happy accessorizing!
1. How long have you been natural? I started my Natural hair Journey in September 2009…Big Chopped September 2010. So I count from my BC to now and that would be 21 months.
2. Why did you go natural? I decided to go natural because I was tired of burning my scalp off with perms and just tired of spending so much money for a “scalp burning treatment” every 4-6 weeks. Once I saw the movie Good Hair, I decided then that I was really ready to let it go!
3. Do you have any favorite hair care products? My favorite Hair Products are Karen’s Body Beautiful Products, Kinky Kurly Knot Today Leave-In, Shea Moisture Products.
4. Do you have any favorite natural styles you want to share? I love to do updo hairstyles and of course the Big Fluffy Fro!! Protective styles that I had done are the Urban Twists by The Damn Salon. I really love it and that will be my go to protective style when I want to add extensions to my hair.
5. Is there anything that you do that you want to share? (skills, business, hobby, etc) I am a Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist of Knotti Kneads, LLC Mobile Massage, which is my own business, in Atlanta and surrounding areas. I also enjoy Photography (Photo Blog: www.knikkimo.tumblr.com) and enjoy capturing moments behind the lens and bring them to life for everyone else to enjoy the art. You can find me on my Natural Hair Blog, www.knottinikki.com or www.youtube.com/KnottiKurls for tutorials and much more info.
6. Did you do the Big Chop? if so, what was that like? Yes I BC’d but it was after a year of transitioning. I was so ready to do it because I got tired of the different textures and so ready to see what my hair was going to do. I felt so confident and free afterwards and don’t regret making this change of loving myself as the way God made me!
Nikki Moorehead, CLMT
Cert./Lic. Massage Therapist
three years now, I cut my relaxed hair off in December 2008.2. Why did you go natural?
was to have longer hair. A woman I attended school with told me that I
could still press my hair and it would be thicker and healthier if I
stopped getting relaxers. But after watching so many youtube videos
with natural hair styles and with tumblrs and google images I decided I
wanted to wear my hair completely natural without straightening it.
3. Do you have any favorite hair care products?
product junkie, but I keep coconut oil as a staple with a sulfate free
shampoo and a good conditioner.4. Do you have any favorite natural styles you want to share?
hair simple, either a twist out, puff, or blow out lol
5. Is there anything that you do that you want to share?(skills,
time, my natural hair has helped me get a lot of gigs because I always
stand out.6. Did you do the Big Chop?
big chop because I was scared my head was too small for a short hair
style. I transitioned for 10 months then cut my hair off, but it was
still pretty short starting off. It was a shock to me at first to be
honest because I was used to having long straight hair but once I got
the hang of what to do with my hair everything started to fall into
place and my hair started growing before I knew it.
I was elated to be able to attend the first ever ‘Naturally Pretty’ event by MimiJ and NaturalChica!
There were many Natural Hair vendors happy to show off their wares, make up artists beatin faces, manicurists, DJ’s, poets, superstars and paparazzi in force!
have a look at these photos and find the slideshow at the bottom!
- When you first chopped, what were your thoughts and feelings? How do you feel now? I did my big chop on January 3, 2011. At first I was indecisive and comfortably in ”half relaxer, half natural” stage. For weeks, I kept having second thoughts because I was afraid of how it would look and if I’d like it. One day, I woke up and said to my boyfriend “Lets go chop it RIGHT NOW!”. We went to the barber shop, and I kept that energy the entire time. Otherwise, I would have talked myself out of it again. As my hair was being cut, all I kept saying to myself was “I can’t believe I’m doing this right now…”I’m not going to look in the mirror until he’s done cutting it off”…”OMG, I’m going to look like a boy”…and my final words(because there was no turning back) was “F*** it! I’m going to own it!” The great part about the experience is that I had a lot of support during the chop, which gave me even more confidence.
I love my natural look! I can’t keep my hands out of my hair, I can’t wait to see how it grows and I’m having so much fun experimenting.
- How did you cope with the responses from your family and friends? This wasn’t hard. I had support from almost everyone around me. Anyone with negative feedback… I just brush it off.
- What are your plans for your hair (do you plan to grow it out, keep it short)? I plan to grow it out(Solange Knowles)and see how I like it. I can always go back to a TWA if I have an issue.
- Do you find it necessary to ‘doll up’ your look to feel more feminine? Most times,Yes for work and going out. When I am in chill mode I’m very simple.
- If so, what are your favorite accessories, or go to ways to glam up your look? My favorite accessories would be big earrings. I like to use color eyeshadow or earth tone colors that pop, mascara and lip gloss.
- What products and techniques do you use to style? How often do you style? I style once a week(Sundays) and hope it last for the week(haha). My weekly routine consist of cleansing my scalp with Devu Curl No Poo; Deep conditon every other week with Shea Butter conditioner or just regular conditon with Jane Carter between deep conditions. For styling, I use Jane Carter Leave-in conditioner or Garnier Fructis Leave-in-conditioner cream, add Kinki Curly Custard or Jane Carter Curl Defining Lotion and always seal with Miss Jessies Baby Butter for moisture. I occasionally do the wet-n-go with Eco Styler Gel and Jojoba Oil.
- How do you get your waves or curls popping? By using a lot of the product I mentioned and defining my curls by seperating them with my fingers.
- How do you preserve your curls at night? A satin scarf lightly tied.
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!
Check out our feature on NaturalChica.com!! http://www.naturalchica.com/2011/09/leon-dale-photography-the-big-natural-hair-project/