1. Have you always worn your hair natural? – No. All throughout elementary and middle school, I was natural and hated it! All of my friends got to wear their hair down and I was always stuck with pigtails. I convinced my mom to let me get a perm my 8th grade year.
2. Then, what made you decide to go natural? – I wanted to go natural because I’ve always had scalp issues. I was tired of being burned by perms or not being able to keep them on for the entire period because it was too painful. A couple of my friends had started their natural hair journey and I was amazed at the things that could be done with natural hair. This really peeked my interest in going natural.
3. What are some things that are unique to your hair journey? – I went back and forth for a long while about doing it and would chicken out. But in December 2012, I decided to go for it! I decided to take the long term transition route which was very interesting because I had to deal with the two textures. I transitioned for 16 months and finally big chopped in April of 2014.
4. What are some things about your hair journey that other women can also relate to, some things that most of us go through? – I think that one of the things that women who are on this journey have to go through is the comments from the peanut gallery. I am fully aware that everyone is not accepting of natural hair, but it amazes me at what some people say out loud! I am so fortunate not to have too many of these experiences so far, but I definitely have had a few comments. I also think that just getting to know your curls is something that all women have to go through. I am still trying to find what really works best for my hair!
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? – I haven’t always looked at myself as beautiful. I am quite aware of the gorgeous women in the world. However, I am just now getting to the point of knowing that I am pretty fly! I may not be the skinniest, or have the best hair in the world, but what God did equip me with is just as special as anyone else. I am embracing things like my big eyes, my beauty marks, my hair and even my big ole’ forehead!!! But what I really admire about myself is the resilience and strength that I have to overcome the many obstacles that have been set before me in the past and even at this moment.
6. How has the natural movement affected your generation (30 year old, spankin’ hot women)? Do you think this is a phase or do you think natural is here to stay? – I think that the natural hair movement has affected my generation in a positive way. It is so refreshing to see young, educated, African American women rocking what the good Lord gave us. Working in a public high school where I have so many young girls that look up to me, it was important for me to show them that you can be successful and beautiful in your own skin. I think that natural hair is here to stay because it is so versatile and freeing.
7. Tell us about your ethnic background and how your curl pattern and texture relates to those in your family? – I come from a family of beautiful hair with all kinds of different curl and wave patterns. My paternal grandmother had hair that she could literally sit on! She has always been my hair crush! My hair is just a hodge podge of everything! I have lots of little coils in the middle of my hair and a more of a looser curl pattern on the front part of my hair. I would say that i am between a 4b/4c.
8. Please enlighten us on your hair regiment. What works for you and what has not worked for you? – What I have found is that I have to keep it pretty simple. I pretty much use the Shea Moisture product line, coconut, jojoba and almond oil and Cantu leave-in conditioner. I love doing wash and go’s and braid outs as well. Because my hair is so thick, I moisturize everyday.
9. Do you have any particular hair goals, if so, do tell? – My number one goal is to have healthy hair. There is nothing worse than seeing someone with long hair, but horrible split ends! My other hair goal is to grow my hair out to bra strap length.
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? – Nikki Mae is my ultimate favorite blogger! I LOVE her and hair so much. I can’t even tell you the amount of times that I’ve watched her bc video. Lol
11. Finally what piece of advice or encouragement would you give to other women in regard to their beauty and their hair? – I would just remind ladies that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Whether your hair is relaxed, natural, short or long, we are beautiful masterpieces created by the greatest artist ever. I’d also remind them (and myself) that while it’s great to take care of our outer appearance, we must not forget to do the same and even more for the inner beauty lying inside of us. There’s absolutely nothing worse than a beautiful woman on the outside who carries an ugly attitude in the inside.
Please tell me about you, a little 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 am an AEF College Counselor at Cooper High School. I love working with young people, especially young girls, which is all part of my purpose. I recently started my own blog, documenting my hair and life journey as a young, professional and single naturalista. You can find me at www.naturallyque.blogspot.com.
Thanks Naturally Que for sharing yourself with us as well as your hair and your most wonderful thoughts about beauty. May your natural hair journey be blessed as you have blessed ours.
Janelle Sands- Secret Curl Society