1. Have you always worn your hair natural?
Since I was a little girl, I had a perm in my hair, but I never really kept up with getting a perm every 6-8 weeks. My beautician said, “If you keep this up, I’m not gonna put a perm on it again!” Because I had so much new growth that it wasn’t helping the situation. After I had my son, I decided that I wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love. I noticed when I was growing up that all my white friends were able to do that. I never saw a black woman be able to do it and that inspired me more. After I had my youngest son, I grew out my hair and was in the “transition” stage. The moment I donated it, I call that my “big chop” moment. (But in reality, I already had a “big chop” but I think I count this cause it was for such a great cause.)
2. Why did you decide to go natural?
I wanted to be natural to be able to donate my hair to those that have cancer or other diseases that affected their hare. I will say though, that for me, I don’t like to do that much with my hair, so being natural is forcing me to do more with my hair other than wearing it in ponytails and such. But I am learning more about my patience through being natural.
3. What are some things that are unique to your hair journey?
Well like I stated earlier, I went natural to donate my hair to Locks of Love. The moment I did that was the moment that I thought, Wow, I am able to do something that alot of the black women I knew at the time weren’t able to do. I had several friends that would tell me, just give it to me so I can make some weave. But I had some great friends supporting my decision to do that. And a great stylist (Wall to Wall Beauty) that made sure that once I cut it, I had a cute cut!
4. What are some things about your hair journey that other women can also relate to, some things that most of us go through?
Well probably like others, I feel like I have to embrace my hair. A lot of times, it gets frustrating when a style that looks good on someone else doesn’t look that great on you. I’ve had to tell myself, “You know what….try to find some other way to recreate that style in a way that would work for me.” I also have the problem with finding out what works for my hair and sticking to it. Just the other day I was in HEB and looking at the curly section and a woman noticed me looking at a product. She asked, “Does that work?” Well, I was just reading about the product and told her I haven’t tried that product. I told her what works for me and she said that she would try that. I know some naturals if you’re anything like me struggle to find the right products for you. I feel like the whole line has to work, when in reality, it might be something from this line works with something from another line. I have several types of curly products under my sink collecting dust.
5. What is your philosophy of beauty and how has this natural movement enhanced your view of beauty? Also, how has your natural transition affected how you see your own beauty?
As I’m typing this, Christina Aguilera’s “You are Beautiful” stuck in my head. Lol. We are made in the image of Christ. So everyone is beautiful because we are made in His image. I think the natural movement is reinforcing that. We are seeing more and more in the media that natural is beautiful! But, beauty is something that you have on the inside that permeates towards the outside. I am embracing my natural hair more and more and because of that, I am becoming ok with it and see it as beautiful.
6. How has the natural movement affected your generation (Spankin’ Hot 30 year-olds)? Do you think this is a phase or do you think natural is here to stay?
I think that it has always been around. I think that now maybe the media has caught a hold of the attention, but its been out for a while. Natural hair is healthy hair and everyone wants to be healthy. As for affecting my generation, I think that it is affecting it in a positive way. Just look at the numbers of Youtube videos of women working with their natural hair.
7. Tell us about your ethnic background and how your curl pattern and texture relates to those in your family?
I am African American with a little bit of Cherokee Indian. I get my hair from my dad. Back in the day, his afro was huge. I mean huge! My mom said all you could see was his nose. It was thick and had a curl to it. My hair is ultra thick and curly. I really don’t know the number with it, but people say I have more of a loose curl to it.
8. Please enlighten us on your hair regiment. What works for you and what has not worked for you?
Kinky-curly products worked great for me. At times, I felt that it dried my hair out. I also realized that I need heavy creams for my hair to weigh it down. I am learning more to embrace big hair, but I still have to have my creams. I also tried the TG Catwalk Curlesque line and that didn’t work so much. Or maybe I haven’t gotten down the product to hair ratio. Currently, I use the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus products. I love them!!! I also use coconut oil for my oil also.
10. Do you follow any bloggers, or are you connected to a type of curly hair community? If so, who? And how has that hurt or helped you?
I follow Naptural 85 on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I also follow Mahogany Curls on YouTube as well. I feel like we have the same hair.
11. Finally what piece of advice or encouragement would you give to other women in regard to their beauty and their hair?
Don’t give up. Try something until it works for you. And always remember that you are created in His image. So you are beautiful no matter what.
Please also tell me about you, a bit of a bio. Who are you, what do you do, what is your purpose in life and where can we find you on social media?
I teach Beginning and Intermediate Algebra at TSTC. I love teaching. I feel like my purpose is to teach and motivate others. I love social media. I’m on Twitter (@gmallet), Instagram (gsmallet) and Facebook.
Thank you Gabrielle, you are a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit. We appreciate your sharing so much of yourself with Secret Curl Society!