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!
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.
- When and why did you go natural?
- 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?
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.
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.
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.
I don’t have to be a rocket scientist or see constant natural hair memes to realize I’m a product junkie. The photo above (featured image of the post) is a picture of some, I REPEAT SOME, products that I have. I have more than that, but I couldn’t carry all of that to the table LOL.
So, I’ve come up with a few questions for myself about the product addiction I have.
- Why do you buy so many products?
- How much have you spent on products so far?
- How often do you use your products?
- Do you have a favorite or your choice of favorites?
1. I have so many products because I’m also a shopping addict. I can’t go into a mall without buying something because I feel the need to always buy something! Every time I watch a hair commercial on TV or on YouTube, I want to try the product out and use it for myself, try it on my mom’s hair who is natural as well, or do a product review on it. Also, it seems like a lot to someone, but to me… each product has its own purpose.
2. Honestly, just on 5 bottles of Organix I’ve spent $26. So I know I’ve spent about $250 -$300 on the hair products shown in the picture. The beauty store in Charlotte that I go to, prices their products a little high.
3. Honestly, I only wear my natural hair out about half of the year because summer is CURL SEASON (to me at least lol) and because I enjoy wearing protective styles (wigs) more.
4. My favorite products are Aphogee 2 Minute Protein Reconstructor, Organix Kukui Shampoo, and Pantene Cowash.
Photo Source: http://www.letmeletyouknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Product-junkie.jpg