When/Why did you decide to go natural?
Bianca: For the longest time I was relaxing and dying my hair with no intention of stopping, but over the years the heat and chemical damage made my hair thin out and constantly break. I had never thought about going natural before, until my hair started shedding and falling out. I thought I was going to have to make a drastic change and possibly cut off all my hair. That’s when I came across some blogs that talked about natural hair and it peeked my interest so I did my research and In March 2012 I decided to give my self the “big chop”.
How long have you been natural & is it what you expected?
Bianca: Since march 2012 (2 and a half years) Yes and no. I though I would immediately fall in love with my natural hair, but when I “big chopped” it was the complete opposite, I felt so insecure and had no idea how to care for my natural texture. I couldn’t understand why the hair products I used before weren’t working with my hair now. It was definitely a learning curve to find the right products but I also felt that there was an underlying issues it was so hard for me to let go of my long straight hair because all my life that was what I considered to be beautiful. I really had to dig deep to redefine my concept of beauty. Being natural really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned so much, about myself in the process and now I can’t imagine myself without this big curly hair.
What stage are you at in your natural hair journey & how did you transition?
Bianca: Right now I’m all about the big fro. I’m trying to grow out my hair longer, but we’ll see how that goes because I’m very scissor happy. I always struggle with this question because my hair has a variety of textures in it. From tight coils to loose waves you get everything in one. So I just always refer to my hair as being very curly. For those that are familiar with the hair typing system, I would say my hair falls anywhere between 3B, 3C & a little bit of 4A, with medium porosity. For around 11 months I stopped relaxing, dying and blow-drying my hair I resorted to French braids and perm rod sets to blend my new growth with the rest of my damaged ends. Initially I wanted to transition for as long as possible because I didn’t want to have short hair, but after seeing how drastic the difference in texture was, and health was in the new growth compared to the rest of my hair I just cut it all off.
What are some struggles your natural hair presented for you?
Bianca: I would say that learning how properly care for my natural hair was the biggest struggle. I couldn’t understand why my hair was just not responding to the hair products I used before (back in my relaxed days) It wasn’t until I started researching all natural ingredients and focusing on the health of my hair that I was able to create a routine that worked for me.
Did you ever feel like you had to compensate for being natural?
Bianca: With my big chop I did feel the need to try and compensate, I would wear big earrings and statement necklaces, pretty much anything to draw the attention away from my hair. I know now that I reacted that way because I was feeling insecure with the short hair, it took me months to get used to it. Even when my hair started growing out I would wash it every two days to avoid getting too much volume or frizz. But now it’s a completely different story, the bigger and frizzier my fro gets, the more I love it.
What are some words of wisdom/advice/ or inspiration you have for any one that may be considering following in your foot steps in to the natural world?
Bianca: Some advice I wish I knew before was to stay away from applying direct heat to your hair, (blow-drying and flat ironing) Heat damage is the worst! The only way to come back from that sort of damage is by cutting your hair. I also recommend that you focus on the health of your hair, once that is taken care of the length will come on its own. Its always best to find products with natural ingredients that will nourish and help moisturize your hair. Keep away from products that contain parabens, sulfates or silicones because over time they build up on your hair making it dry and brittle which can lead to breakage and split ends.
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