Describe your hair for us.
Natural hair, medium density, fine strands.
How long have you been natural?
When did you start your hair journey? What inspired you?
I began my natural hair journey in September 2008. My mother, after hearing me complain on numerous occasions about the deteriorating condition of my hair, suggested it. She never wanted me to relax, but somehow, at the tender age of 12, I’d convinced her. Since I was very nervous, I joined a healthy hair forum, read Curly Nikki and MoptopMaven religiously, and began my research. After 9 solid months of transitioning, I big chopped the week of my birthday!
What is your current regimen?
My regimen varies. When my hair is in protective styles, I’m super low maintenance. In fact, I recently tried something new and kept my most recent style in for 7 weeks without washing my hair at all. However, my hair still flourished because I used a moisturizing product, which was amazing for scalp health (Njoy Essentials, if anyone is curious). While this might not work for everyone, it worked for me and I’m glad I tried it!
|Moraa in her JGA length check shirt|
When my hair isn’t in a protective style, I am a bit more “diligent.” I wash my hair 2-4 times a month, because it has a tendency to be dry. Also, while the products that I use vary, the regimen remains the same: (1) Finger-detangle with an oil; (2) Cleanse with a conditioner or moisturizing shampoo (depending on my scalp); (3) Deep Condition with whatever slippery conditioner I have on hand; (4) Detangle with a comb, followed by a Tangle Teezer; (5) Apply the Kimmaytube Leave-in and style my hair in chunky braids or twists.
What has helped your hair flourish the most? Protective styling and careful detangling!
Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
YES. Plenty. My most recent set back occurred in November 2013, when my new stylist told me I needed to cut off a significant amount of hair because my ends were very damaged. While I had always taken great care of my hair and had a solid regimen in place, I wasn’t diligent with detangling and trimming. Because my hair is very tightly coiled, it’s very tangle prone. As a result, the best way to see split ends is when it’s stretched; however, because I avoided stylists like the plague and I was so opposed to using heat, I was unable to see the true damage. Welp, that was all fixed when I had a hair cut. I bounced back by going into 6-7 months of protecting styling, and I’m working on maintaining and retaining.
How has your hair journey impacted other parts of your life?
When I began transitioning, I researched relaxer ingredients and I was shocked to learn what was inside them. This was my segue into a healthier lifestyle. I learned about the importance of reading labels, which led me to question what I was putting inside my body. I eventually transitioned to vegetarianism and then veganism. I’m pretty grateful for all the information I learned.
What are some of your favorite products? How do you choose products?
Some of my favorite products are:
• Hello Hydrations Conditioner
• Aubrey Organics White Camelia Conditioner
• Njoy Essentials Oil
• Kimmaytube Mix
I found them a variety of ways – either by trial and error, word of mouth, or YouTube!
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural?
I was very lucky. My family was totally on board.
How did you deal with people who doubted you? What motivated you to keep going?
While I didn’t deal with others doubting me, I faced self-doubt in the beginning. To keep myself motivated, I often reminded myself of why this was important to me . When that didn’t work, I looked to my core inner circle to jolt me.
What advice would you give someone just starting out on their journey?
(1) Do whatever works for your hair! There are so many hair “rules,” but not all of them will apply to you. (2) Try to remember that everyone’s journey is different; while someone might achieve waist length in 4 years, it could take you 5 or 10 or 12, and that’s ok!; (3) and for the natural haired gals, thoughts of relaxing doesn’t make you a traitor… I promise!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
(1) Water, (2) Conditioner, (3) Hemp Oil or Njoy Essentials Oil, (4) Comb (5) and Scarf
What do you love most about your hair?
Where can we find you on the web? Instagram: @sweatsleeprepeat | Twitter: @foreversweetm
Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful hair with us Moraa!