Your hair is? Relaxed
When did you start your hair journey? What inspired you?
I guess you could say that my HEALTHY hair journey officially started when I went natural in May 2009 but my current relaxed hair journey began August 2014. I would say I was inspired by my desire to wear my hair straight on a consistent basis (while still maintaining healthy hair) and to make choices that I felt simplified my life. I am a busy, homeschooling mother of 2 young boys (with a baby on the way). Choices these days mostly revolve around my faith, family, simplicity, and practicality.
Describe your hair for us.
My hair is Type 4, low porosity, and somewhere between “below shoulder blade” and “bra strap length”.
What is your current regimen?
I relax every 3-4 months (month 4 I braid my hair to get by with minimal manipulation) but am planning on stretching until June this time around because I’m pregnant. That should be SPECIAL! I wash my hair once a week using sulfate free products and then follow up with a spray on leave in conditioner and then with the AMAZING Jojoba Oil. I try to alternate every other week between styles using heat and heatless styles. At the very least, I will alternate every other week between a flat ironed style and a style using heat but low manipulation (like a flexirod set that I can wear for an entire week without combing). I also just started incorporating regular protein treatments and deep conditioning.
Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
My hair goals for the next year to year and a half are to achieve stronger, thicker, longer hair. With that being said, because I am pregnant with baby #3 and my hair typically sheds and thins during pregnancy (and a few months after) I should just be grateful to have hair! Lol! But in all seriousness, I’d like to continue to prove to myself and others that relaxed hair can be healthy hair. A goal that I HAVE reached is to be more intentional about taking care of my hair in a simple, no fuss way. There was a time when wash day was a pretty stressful, time-consuming thing – SO OVER IT!
How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
With the simple, intentional hair care goal, I achieved this by 1st recognizing the need to do it, figuring out the needs of my hair, and then implementing a simple, effective regimen. As far as the goals I’d like to achieve in the next year to year and a half, I think that will involve minimizing breakage (which has been an issue in the past), getting regular trims, and doing more protective and low manipulation styles.
Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
Living on an island with high salt and chlorine water levels (coming from the shower head) for close to 4 years, my hair got brittle, dry, crunchy and damaged. That’s when I was natural a year and a half ago and I am just now getting to a place where I feel like my hair has recovered from that. It sounds crazy but I think with that particular situation, relaxing my hair and getting inches of damage cut off helped. It gave me a clearer picture of trouble spots and also helped me retain moisture consistently throughout my hair.
How has your hair journey impacted other parts of your life?
I think African-American women are at an interesting crossroads. There are a lot of societal and cultural pressures telling us what to do with our hair. My hair journey has challenged me to think for myself in all respects, be willing to ask and answer tough questions, to embrace who I am, and to realize that my hair doesn’t (nor should it) define me.
What are your favorite protective styles?
I’m simple: The Halo Braid and two chunky flat twists. From the end of month 3 to the beginning of month 4 of my relaxer stretch I braid my hair with extensions… usually in large braids because even though I love the look of smaller ones -“ain’t nobody got time for that!”
What are some of your favorite products?
A water based moisturizer (undecided on a brand), Jojoba oil, Hair Therapy Wrap Cordless Thermal Heat Wrap, Creme of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner with Argan Oil from Morocco, and Smooth ‘N Shine Polishing Styling Gel (to set curly hair styles).
How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
Psalm 62:6-8 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
There will always be doubters, critics, and haters. They’re a dime a dozen. I seek not to be moved or validated by negative outside factors such as these. It gets you off track. I’m not perfect and it’s not always easy but when I keep my eyes on things that have eternal value and recognize who and whose I am, it definitely helps!
Also, special shout out to my incredible husband and kids who think I am pretty much Superwoman!
What advice would you give someone just starting out on their journey?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the journey. From the time I went natural and did the big chop to relaxing my hair and experimenting with new styles, I tried to enjoy the moment and find something to be grateful for during that season…even if it’s just the challenge that I’m grateful for. When I was natural and did the big chop, that next year where I yearned for length sometimes seemed to drag by. Looking back, that was easily one of my favorite hair phases.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
- Jojoba Oil
- A sulfate-free conditioner
- Wide tooth comb
- Bobby pins, and
- My Creme of Nature Leave in Conditioner
What do you love most about your hair?
The ease of straightening it and the versatility. I don’t wear wigs or weaves (with the exception of braids), so it’s nice to be able to straighten my hair easily and quickly one day while getting fantastic, voluminous curls the next.
Where can we find you on the web?
Thank you for sharing your story Kayla! Beautiful smile, beautiful hair!