Curly Q of the Week: Kalea Lucas

Curly Q of the week presents Kalea Lucas, a business major at the University of Cincinnati. Lucas has been a naturally curly girl all of her life. Growing up with a mother who rocked her natural hair on a daily basis, she never saw fit to chemically relax or alter her daughter’s curl pattern. That is not to say it was easy growing up curly. Lucas remembers countless times of struggle when she would have to deal with the thicker and curlier pattern her mom was not used to handling. When asked what her favorite products to use were, Lucas says, “I really like Shea Moisture to maintain my curls. Their Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my favorite. I also like to use Jamaican castor oil on my scalp. When I do a wash-n-go, I use Shea Moisture’s Strengthen, Grow, and Restore Leave-In Conditioner.” Lucas mostly likes to style her hair in a twist out. In the colder, winter months though she says,”I try not to do a lot of wash-n-gos. I mostly leave my hair up in a bun.” Lucas’ piece of advice for all curly haired girls is, “I love my hair now but when I was younger I was so obsessed with perfecting it. I also wanted my curls to look a specific way, and when they didn’t I would get really upset. So, I would just say that no matter what your curl pattern is, or how you rock your hair, just love what you’ve got!”

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Meet The Interns: Maya Lewis

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Hi! My name is Maya Lewis and I attend Agnes Scott College. I will graduate in 2018.

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

I’ve been natural my entire life.

What is the most memorable part of your natural hair journey?

My mom has been a huge part of my natural journey. When I was looking to get a perm in middle school to fit in, she was the one person who taught me how to care for my natural hair instead.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

My natural hair journey has been just that- a long journey. I’ve had to grow into myself, and learn how to love natural, barefaced me. Before my journey, I genuinely didn’t realize how much courage it takes to rock natural hair; there is a different appeal to it, you have to hold yourself differently and accessorize to compliment your style. I have so much respect for women who devote their lives and entire careers to loving natural hair and educating women about it. I never realized how much patience, strength and creativity my favorite youtubers must have as they create and share new looks just about twice a week.

What is your favorite part of your hair routine?

On a regular day, I find that more people approach me to compliment my hair when it’s natural as opposed in a straight style. Also, different types of guys approach me depending on my hairstyle.

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

Washing out my deep conditioner and feeling how soft my hair is! I detangle before I wash my hair so after deep conditioner my hair is butter soft and I can run my fingers right through it!

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

As I Am Leave in Conditioner, Cantu Coconut Curling Cream, and I can’t imagine living without Ecostyler gel.

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

My #MCM has to be Michael B. Jordan, but currently I’m having this obsession with detective Amaro from Law and Order: SVU  (blame Netflix). And I love love love love Lisa Bonet forever and always (with Beyonce as a close second-obviously).

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Meet The Interns: Tatyanna Hunter

My name is Tatyanna Hunter. I attend Hood College and will be finished in December 2015, and will officially graduate in May 2016.

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

I went natural in March of 2014. I did the big chop!

What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?

The deciding factor that made me go natural was when my hair broke off when I got a perm. My hair was growing long and healthy with perms for years, but early in 2014 my hair broke off and I was devastated because I lost so much length. From there, I started seeing more natural celebrities and natural women on social media and I decided that I wanted to become a natural sister as well.

How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?

My perception about myself and other have changed since I’ve been natural because I see more confidence in myself and other women when they have natural hair. When I see women with natural hair I see that they have a sense of pride in their natural beauty and that is awesome.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

People have approached me differently because I actually get more compliments on my natural hair than I ever had when I was getting perms regularly. A lot of women come up to me and call me “sister” or “natural sister” and I think that it’s cool that wearing my hair naturally kind of opened me up to a new sisterhood and community.

What is your favorite part of your hair routine?

My favorite part of my hair routine is wash day! I love washing my hair because it feels so great and soft. I love seeing my shrinkage and seeing how my hair looks naturally right after I finish washing it. It’s a long process, but also a very fun and relaxing process as well.

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

My top three must have hair products are all Shea moisture products because its my favorite brand. From the Leave in Conditioner to the Curl Enhancing Smoothie to the Curl and Shine Conditioner.

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

My top three must have hair tools are bobby pins, satin bonnet, and my deep conditioning cap.

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

Aside from my lovely boyfriend, Shawn, my #MCM is Shia LaBeouf and Youtube star Jacksepticeye. My #WCW has to be my favorite singer/celeb Ariana Grande and the amazing fashionista Stacy London.

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Meet The Interns: Chyna Jones

Hey! My name is Chyna Jones and I am double majoring in Psychology and African American Studies with a minor in Women Studies. I am an aspiring race and gender studies professor. I plan on specializing in Black feminism, masculinity and family dynamics in the Black community. I attend the University of Alabama and plan on graduating in May of 2018.

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

I went natural August 6th 2013 after transition for second time.

What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?

Around tenth grade I realized I was depending on weaves and perms to feel “beautiful”; even at such a young age I realized that this wasn’t healthy for my self-esteem or self-worth. I spent a lot of time on YouTube searching for styles I can achieve with my real hair. I found myself being more attracted to the hairstyles that the ladies with ” big hair” could achieve. As I was doing my research, I learned that “big hair” is referred to as natural hair and that I too can achieve this look.

How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?

Big chopping forced me to accept who I am and what I looked like. It was difficult ( I spent many nights wishing I could get my hair back or change certain facial features) but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I do believe peoples’ perception of me has changed but I try not to pay it much attention unless it’s positive.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

I have noticed that guys treat me differently since I’ve went natural; some men praise me while others have negative comments to say. As for other women, I just get a lot of curious stares and questions which I don’t mind at all.

What is your favorite part of your hair routine?

My favorite part of my routine is definitely styling my hair the morning after I did a braid out, twist out or bantu knots. I love the feeling I have after undoing and picking out my hair. I feel as if I can take on the world!

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

Coconut oil, Jamaican Black Castor oil, Miss Jessie’s Leave in Conditioner

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

Hooded dryer, flexi rods, perm rods

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

I should say my boyfriend is my Man Crush Monday but I have to give it to O’Shea Jackson Jr. because he looked amazing in Straight Outta Compton and my Women Crush Wednesday is always a tie between SZA and Solange Knowles.

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Meet The Interns: Chloe Pearson

Name, College, and graduation year

My name is Chloe Pearson I attend East Carolina University with a graduation date of 2018.

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

I have been natural my whole life but about five years ago decided to embrace my curls.

What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?

In middle school I started wearing my hair straight, so I would get my hair done every week. With my hair texture it is hard for my hair to stay straight it always wants to revert at the roots and ends. I was involved in dance at the time and often sweated out my hair. I was tired of my weekly routine and decided to try something new going into high school.

How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?

My perception of myself hasn’t really changed, I have notice that I tend to be more confident when I where my hair out whereas when I first began to go where my hair out I was self-conscious about what others would think. My perception of others isn’t influenced by my hair choice.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

I get a lot of stares from people at my hair and occasionally random people touch without asking. People always give more complements when my hair is straight, and maybe that is because I don’t straighten it very often.

What is your favorite part of your hair routine?

Detangling my hair while washing or co-washing is my absolute favorite part of my hair routine.

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

I love, love, love Carol’s Daughter products and use them religiously. My hair needs moisture but not products that are too heavy and leave it overly saturated. My must haves are Coconut oil, Carol’s daughter’s Tui leave- in conditioner spray (mixed with Carol’s daughter hair milk), and Lottabody’s Moisture Me: Curl and Style milk. I guess that is four but I mix my leave in spray with hair milk into one to make a more moisturizing spay.

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

My Denman brush (modified) and wide tooth comb are my essentials, curl formers come in handy when I want to curl with no heat.

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

Lately my #MCM has been Broderick Hunter. My #WCW is SZA her HAIR!!! But I also love her music and she seems to have this amazing spirit.

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Meet The Interns: Taryn Daniels

Name, College, Graduation Year

Taryn Daniels, American University, 2017

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

I’ve been natural all my life. My mom was really wild with her hair when she was younger but when she had me, she was team natural all the way. I guess I grew up knowing no other way.

What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?

What made me stay natural all these years was the great appreciation I have for my hair. It beautiful and it works with me, even when I dye it weird colors and accidentally cut it. It sticks by me, like a partner in crime…Is that weird?

 How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?

I love my natural hair, always have. However now that I am wearing it out again, versus in braids or a weave, I find myself having to work a little harder to be confident in my skin. Having natural hair has made me much more observant of other naturals that I see on the street. I think I have like ten hair crushes a day. Seeing other women wearing natural hair with such swagger, make me want to stay confident with my hair at all times.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

They like to touch my hair A LOT. But on a more serious note, I think there is a stigma in our culture about natural hair versus straight hair. It is perceived that straight hair symbolizes an ideal beauty, when in fact everyone should be seen as beautiful. I have noticed that with a weave or braids, sometimes I receive more blatant and outright attention from the opposite sex. While this isn’t always the case (nor is it an experience that everyone has), it has to stop! Everyone is beautiful! End of discussion.

What is your favorite part of your hair routine?

I love when my hair is fresh and clean, so my favorite part of my routine is definitely washing it. The only other thing that could top that is when I deep condition it, because then I get to start experimenting with styles.

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

Two of my three must have hair products are my Chargrin Valley shampoo and conditioner bars. I was wary of using shampoo in the shape of a soap bar at first, but it makes my hair so soft! I use the Babassu Marsh Mallow shampoo and the Butter Bar conditioner. My third must have hair product is my Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioning repair cream. I love the way it smells, and it makes my hair so soft when I want to style it.

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

My wide tooth comb, elastic hair ties, and my headscarf. I basically go everywhere with them. We are kind of a package deal.

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

I can never choose just one! At the moment, my #MCMs are Michael B. Jordan and Dylan O’Brien. What can I say? I am a sucker for hot guys who are also really goofy. My #WCWs are Zoe Kravitz because I am obsessed with her vibe, and Ariana Grande because I am OBSESSED with her music and her voice!

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SG7’s Natural Hair Experience

I was a part of a group, SG7, during my senior year in high school. The group was formed for Loveless Academic Magnet Program’s showcase, Showing Our Other Side (SOOS). We stepped, sang, and danced. As of today, we all rock our natural hair. This excites me because we are all able to be a part of the natural hair community, along with sharing ideas with each other and helping each other out. I have interviewed my fellow group members so that they could share how they feel about their natural hair.

Questions:

  1. When and why did you go natural?
  2. What do you like about being natural?

Deborah Bethea: “I went natural the winter of 2010. I honestly did it impulsively. I had heard of it, but didn’t really know what it was about. I am grateful I took the step because I love it. It suits my multi-faceted personality because of the versatility (my favorite part).”

Ryan Scott: “I believe I went natural the summer of 2012 because my hair was VERY damaged from excessive hot tools and relaxers. I like the versatility. One day I can have a curly wash and go and the next a nice blow out, and I know my hair is still healthy.”

Brittany Dallas: “I did the big chop on November 23, 2014. I never planned to go natural. I wanted braids to start off my freshman year in college in order to have a hairstyle that was easy to maintain. So, in order to do that I stopped getting a perm a few months before school started. After wearing braids from August to November, I decided to go natural. I’ve loved it ever since because it makes me feel like I’m doing what’s best for my hair. I find it easier to care for my hair and style my hair now that I have a twa.”

Carla Aviles (Puerto Rican): “Personally, I have always preferred natural hair on African Americans. I don’t know much about what being natural means to different people, but from what I have seen, I like the look of it. I think it is great for someone to embrace their natural hair and be able to do different, beautiful styles with it.”

Kristin Mays: “I went natural in the winter of 2012. I got my first perm in the fifth grade and it started off fine but around the ninth grade, I got a lot of damage. In my junior year of high school I decided to go natural. I love how much healthier my hair is and how many different styles I can do with my natural hair.”

Destiny Turner: “I went natural in September of 2014. I wanted to explore my curl pattern and see what all the hype was about. Plus my permed hair just wasn’t pretty to me anymore. I love the versatility and freedom of my natural hair.”

Although we went natural at different times, we have motivated each other through the wonderful process of going natural.

When and why did you go natural?

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Meet The Interns: Kiana Ward

Hello! I am Kiana Ward, a current student at North Carolina A&T State University and I am expected to graduate in the year of 2018. I went natural January 2nd, 2014, and I big chopped.

My deciding factor on going natural was that I just wanted healthier and more even textured hair. I had grown tired of the straight ends and the breakage and I just needed something different. Still today, my perception of myself varies depending on my social group. Some like my curls and others do not. When I receive compliments on my curls, I love them. When there’s criticism, I find myself trying to change my look. I have definitely experienced a difference in treatment since going natural…especially with the guys. But I enjoy my hair either way. It’s mine!

My favorite part of my hair routine would have to be deep conditioning. I love the feeling after you’ve detangled and shampooed. It is amazing. My top three hair products would be Coconut Oil (any brand, honestly),Aquage Seaextend Ultimate Colorcare with Thermal-V Strengthening Conditioner, 16 Ounce( love it! live by it), and Shop CurlyInCollege© – Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer for Unisex, 8 Ounce.

My top three hair tool…I don’t really use any tools. However, I do use my paddle brush whenever I wear my hair in a bun. Bob Pins are very useful also.

My #MCM has been and will always be A$AP Rocky, and my #WCW is the beautiful Jade Kendle from Youtube. I love you guysss.

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Meet The Interns: Hana Ford

My name is Hana Ford. I attend Temple University and I am apart of the class of 2018. I went natural June 29, 2012, so I have been apart of the natural hair community for approximately two and a half years. I was attempting to transition however I simply did not have the patience so I just decided to do the big chop.

The main thing that made go natural was the overall health of my hair. I was starting to experience lots of breakage and I tried everything to fix the problem, but I just was not successful in doing so. Every since I cut my hair I have become so confident in myself and I have started to value myself for the queen that I truly am. I think other people definitely perceive me as a much more confident and outgoing individual since I went natural.

Since I have cut my hair I think people have subconsciously placed me in a group with all the other women and girls who have natural hair. I have much love for the natural hair community, but I have an identity outside of my hair and each person with natural hair is different in their very own way.

My favorite part of my hair routine is styling my hair because there’s always numerous options. My top 3 hair products would have to be coconut oil, Cantu Leave In Conditioner, and Organix’s extra penetrating Argan oil. My top 3 favorite tools are my fingers of course, a Denman brush for detangling, and a wide tooth comb so I can pick out my fro from time to time.

My current #WCW is the model Wakeema Hollis. She’s absolutely stunning and she rocks her natural hair in photo shoots which I absolutely love. My #MCM would have to be Pharrell because he is both timeless and ageless and he’s an icon in the music industry.

 

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Meet The Interns: Chekaylah Bradley

My name is Chekaylah Bradley. I attend Troy University and plan to graduate in 2018. I went natural in 2009, but unlike the decision of most people to do the big chop, I transitioned. I decided to go natural because my hair was breaking off from the perm that I had at the time. Although I only had the perm for two years, it did more harm than good to my hair.

Since I have been natural, I have naturally built a lot of self-confidence within myself. I was used to having longer straight hair before I went natural, so I had to get used to the shorter kinky textured hair. The perception I have of myself has changed as a result of my increased self confidence. This, in turn, has helped me support others more.

My confidence has allowed me to shake off all of the negativity that has come my way. I have not had the experience of being treated differently because of my natural hair, but I have experienced the negative opinions of those who do not care for natural hair. The negativity does not just come from people who are complete strangers to me, but also from those who are close to me.

Maintaining natural hair is not an easy task. It it takes time and patience. However, I really enjoy styling my hair because it gives me the opportunity to experiment with different styles and find out what works best for me. In my hair regimen I must have the Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle, and Olive Oil. Although I do not use combs and brushes often, I like to use flexi rods, CurlFormers, and a lot of bobby pins.

My current Man Crush Monday is Troy Polamalu and my Woman Crush Wednesday is MahoganyCurls. They both have beautiful natural hair.

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