Thank you for sharing yourself with Secret Curl Society!
I am from Dallas, TX and am currently a professional wife, mother, and home office manager. I enjoy reading and working with preschool aged children in Bible class and other settings. I look forward to taking my business and childcare experience with me when I transition back into the “working world”.
( Thank you for how you have chosen your words, you have one of the most honorable professions this world has every known. Thank you for the work that you do as it directly impacts our society and future generations. I just had to say that, now for the interview….- Janelle)
1. Have you always been natural?
As a child, I had a press, “Wave Nuevo” or curl, and then a relaxer. I wore a relaxer until I had a few negative experiences with my relaxer following the birth of my first child, then I “returned to natural.
2. How did you transition?
The first time I went natural, I transitioned with braids until I had enough new growth for a chop with some extra. The second time, I went to a barber for my “Big Chop” and wore a hair cut for about 9 months (shout out to Wilkerson’s Barber Shop).
3. What do you love the most about your hair?
I love the super coily curl pattern and the way my hair looks in twists. I also love that I am able to wear many different looks and feel a different kind of beautiful on any given day or week.
4. Secret Curl Society is about leading women and girls in embracing their hair in it’s natural state as this can help a woman accept your entire being. Have you been able to relate to this? How has wearing your natural texture enhanced other areas in your life?
I love my natural hair because it is healthier, my scalp is healthier than with chemicals, and I don’t feel “out of sorts” if I can’t get my relaxer by that 6th week. I love myself and I love my hair. Because I have accepted me, I am more brave and more daring when it comes to trying new hairstyles, and even clothes and makeup. That extra confidence goes a long way in other settings such as work, out and about, and communicating with my children.
Naturals are redefining beauty standards. People have forgotten that an afro is just like wearing your hair “down.” Natural hair can be fun, fierce, and professional. Before I saw it done on others, I do not think I could have truthfully made that statement. I was not one to look at celebrities and beauty magazines and I am amazed at how the “natural movement” has met new highs. I now see Black natural hair families on commercials, in magazines and as leading ladies in movies. My view on beauty has always been from the inside out so if you see yourself as beautiful because you do not have to hide behind your hair then go for it… You were beautiful anyway.
Hmmmm. I did not feel less beautiful because of my hair or my look but perhaps less confident. Different hair gives me a different feel. Kind of like the “big hair don’t care” movement. But for me, it’s “long braids” or “wavy weave” “braid ‘n twist.” Each style presenting a different “don’t care” attitude. I do not link beauty to hair or clothes, but a package presentation. If I don’t like my hair, I better add makeup or a nicer outfit to compensate for that minor detail. I do not like to wear a fro for more than a day or so. I have learned to be creative and take the good with the bad and put some attitude with it to reinforce the otherwise lack of confidence that wants to sneak in.
My hair has caused me to wake up extra early, stay up late, and have last minute changes for me and my family. However, it is easier for me to style my family’s hair. I hook them up with twists, braids dreads, or whatever cause I feel like I can do theirs better than my own. I take pride in that.
I see a stylist for conditioning, trims, and styles. I like to play with my hair to see if I can find a style that I can do myself but never more than a couple weeks before I’m back at the salon.
6b. How do you hope your children will view their image/beauty and what will you do to help them?
My kids are aware that their hair is different because other kids have lots of questions. (They are the minority at their school). I’m glad their are no problems because I’m not sure how I would handle that today. I pray that my children will love themselves and what God has created. My son to see himself as strong and handsome, loving women who are their best, complete selves, (hair included). My daughter to see herself as free, creative, and nonconforming. I can only be the best example, me.
I see less commercials for” Just For Me” and more for “xxx the natural hair cream” so growing girls now are probably less likely to look negatively on natural hair styles as many women did and do when the “movement started back recently. I only hope that it fosters more creativity and building up versus tearing down. (Thinking of “School Daze- A Spike Lee Joint)
9. How does Culture play a role in our view of beauty and hair? What role did your culture play in your view of beauty and hair?
Culture said jheri curl, updo, big ponytail, bangs, etc. We thought if “so and so” could rock it, then so can I. Culture can also alter our view of ourselves if our “rock it” doesn’t look like hers. I thought for a long time that my hair was thin and short and therefore I had not received the best hair. Sounds negative, but because of my view, I always got my hair styled different ways making certain I was well kept and presentable. I am aware of what I say to others and my children regarding their hair and physical appearance.
Hair talk is like an ice breaker for some women. I find it easier to start a conversation with a stranger with great hair than before. I have always given compliments, but now there is a conversation that follows versus the thanks and keep it moving. I’m not sure that we love each other more, because I have found that for some, there is just more things to hate on. I do agree, however, that there is a new appreciation for women from women; love yourself more, love others more. I must add that women are freer when it comes to sharing their beauty tips. It used to be this big secret so that only one can be beautiful, I’m glad that has changed.
11. Tell us about your hair regiment? Do you do at home haircare, or solicit the support of a stylist? What is working for you and what does not work for you?
I do not have a hair regiment. I use a stylist mostly, and use leave in conditioner, curl creams, and co-washes at home. I have not found the right combinations of products to achieve home maintenance hair. (I do a lot of research, but not a lot of follow through).
12. Do you have any particular personal hair goals ( regarding, health, length or style?)
Basically, healthy hair and scalp at any length makes me smile.
13. What social media bloggers or natural hair gurus do you follow or have been inspired by?
my natural sistas and lovingly and naturally designed.
Thank you for your perspectives and for sharing yourself and your family with us.