When and why did you start your hair journey?
I officially started my hair journey the summer before my junior year of high school, so it's been a year and a month since I decided to transition to natural. I got tired of straightening my hair and having to keep up with it relaxed during soccer season and decided it was time for me to accept my natural hair since I haven't seen it since about fifth grade.
Describe your hair for us.
My hair grew to about armpit length, the longest it has ever been relaxed this summer. I kept it trimmed usually but let it grow out for senior photos. I trimmed it after since that will be the last time I straighten it until graduation. My hair is very dry, also due to the climate of my home state. I've never looked into terms of porosity or hair type yet. My hair is also very thick.
What is your current regimen?
My regime became very simple since it was either sleep or do my hair junior year. I shampoo once a week with Hello Hydration or a sulfate-free shampoo depending on how "dirty" my hair is. I follow with a DC of either 3-Minute Miracle or Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque. If I straightened my hair previously, I use henna and follow up with 3MM to prevent heat damage. Then I dry my hair and add Cantu Leave-In Conditioner. During winter I usually co-wash with Aussie Moist mid-week to add a little more hydration to my hair.
Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
My hair goal is to not straighten my hair until I graduate, but that may change depending on how my hair looks by May. To achieve this, I just usually keep my hair out of my way (in a bun or ponytail). I also plan to BC (big chop) in January.
How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
Keeping my focus off my hair (besides what it usually needs) is basically how I achieve these goals. Mini chopping has also helped the growth of my hair and keeping me on track.
How has your hair journey impacted other parts of your life?
It has made me more aware of what I put on my body and inside as well. I try to keep my body care products as natural as possible unless the "el-cheapo" brands are on point for my hair and body. I also eat more healthy now. Hydration has always been important for me while playing soccer.
Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
I've only had mini scares with heat damage, my last one being with senior photos, so I'm swearing it off for now. Henna really helps my hair in those situations!
What are your favorite protective styles?
My favorite is a braid/twist out on wet hair, let dry over night, and I usually wear it down for 1-2 days and bun or ponytail until my next wash day.
What are some of your favorite products?
Aussie Moist is one of my favorites. I also really love henna, it's kept me from so much potential heat damage and makes my curls pop during wash day!
What do you love most about your hair?
I love with each wash day how I fall in love with my curls. It's a weird thing to some people but I enjoy seeing how far I've come from only wanting straight hair to accepting what I was born with.
How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
My mom, who is white, has been my number one supporter. I practically had to beg her in the first place to relax my hair because I wanted to "fit in" and have straight hair, so she is super happy I decided to go natural. I haven't heard any doubting, my family and friends have been super supportive with my decision.
What advice would you give someone just starting out on their journey?
I would say try a lot of styles, you'll never know what looks great or not. Also, being a product junkie is totally avoidable. Simple is best (but there's nothing wrong with loving hair products!)
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
- Aussie Moist
- Bobby pins
- Hair ties
- Fresh Colorado water for drinking :)
Where can we find you on the web?
I have a twitter, although I'm rather obnoxious on it (_shockieee) and a less annoying Instagram (kaylashock)
Thank you for sharing your story with us Kayla. Your hair is lovely!