When/Why did you decide to go natural?
How long have you been natural?
I am natural since 2007. At age 14, I had my first relaxer. I thought straight hair was prettier. I’ve relaxed my hair for 2 years until I bought a flat iron. I never had a problem with relaxed hair. My hair was healthy and my mother knew how to take care of my hair (natural or straight). After I became familiar with the flat iron, I thought: why should I relax my hair if I could get the same results with the flat iron?
My first big chop was at age of 16/17. It turned out that I didn’t flat ironed my hair in a healthy way. Since the BC I’ve never touch a relaxer again. In 2007 I was completely natural. For 3 years I’ve take care of my hair, until in 2010 I bought a new flat iron. I straightened my hair with too much heat & too much products. Having a big chop for the second time wasn’t something I wanted. So I let my natural hair grow out and the damage part I’ve cut little by little.
Is being natural what you expected & how did you transition?
My hair was always big and ‘difficult’ to take care of. As a little girl I’ve always had 6-8 braids, because It took so much time to achieve a great style and after a great style my hair would be very hard to detangle. So Yes being natural is what I expected. Natural hair takes time, the right products and geduld. My hair is at bra-strap length. My hair type is 3c/4a. It is kinky/tightly curled. You could compare my hair with the hair of Tanika Ray and Kelis. My hair is heavy elastic and is easy to blow dry when it is wet. I did a big chop and I did also a lot of protective syling when I was transistioning. A lot of Twist-outs and braid-outs.
What are some struggles your natural hair presented for you ?
The biggist struggle was not really my hair. I found it diffucult to search for the right products. It took me a long time to figure out which products where perfect for my hair. Then you have the small natural hair struggles.. I can’t wear a hat with my wash n go, it will not fit.
Did you ever feel like you had to compensate for being natural? ((Wearing make up or dressing up))
No not at all. It’s just the opposite. Just like Martin Luther King jr said “the hair is the richest ornament of women”. This is my hair and this is who I am. I feel most at ease when I did my Wash n Go & my hair is big, voluminous, frizzy and all up in my face. I don’t feel like compensate with make up or dressing up, because my hair is the cherry on top.
My advice is do not compare your hair with others. I few years ago I did nothing else but comparing my hair with celebrities and other girls. I was jealous of the girls with long curly hair. At that time I wished my hair grew faster. Now I just let my hair do her thing. Being natural is not easy, but it is such a beautiful thing.
Where can you be found via social media?
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.