Tuesday, September 8, 2009


SHARI D. ....
A Completely natural Grad student at University of Minnesto

NM:Where are you from? I’m from Choudrant, LA

NM: Why did you make the decision to go natural, and when did you do it?
People often ask me this question and expect for me to give a really “deep” answer about my blackness or something, but the truth is it was June of 2005 I was in Minnesota for 3 months and hadn’t had a perm since April 2005 (2 months before I went). I didn’t have a hair stylist and refused to use a box perm (thinking my hair stylist back in LA would kill me), after finding out the prices to go to the salon in MN were double the prices in LA I decided to “go natural” until I got back to the south. Little did I know those 5 months would be so freeing and liberating! After 5 months of getting to know my hair and looking on blogs (like this one) and websites (such as Nappturality.com) I began to embrace my napps and kinks and curls! I mean really LOVE MY NAPPY-KINKY-CURLY fro! I transitioned for a year and did my BC May 2006 after seeing the India Arie Video I Am Not My Hair video for the 1st time!

NM: What products/ingredients do you use?
My hair regimen is really SIMPLE! The only products I use are Suave conditioner (they have a great variety of scents), Carol’s Daughter Hair milk (it really defines my curls), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and ingredient for my hair smoothie! Sounds like a lot huh...but it’s really low maintenance!

NM: Could you describe your regimen?
Weekly regimen: I wash my hair weekly and I don’t use shampoo only conditioner (most of the time suave because it’s cheaper and very light). For moisturizer I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (yes right off the kitchen aisle in the grocery store lol). Since moving to Minnesota I have started using some Carol’s daughter Hair milk. I really like it because it defines my curls when I want to wear a wash-and-go! Most of the time I just wear a twist out or just my natural curls in a fro or pin up.
Bi/Tri-Monthly Regimen: Since I don’t use shampoo the conditioner can leave build-up so I clarify every two months with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (1 cup of water for every tbsp of ACV). Also for deep conditioning every 3 months (or whenever necessary) I make a hair smoothie with a banana, avocado, honey, and olive oil and let that sit on my hair for an hour. It makes my hair SO soft!

NM: What mistakes have you made in your natural journey that you've learned from?
I wish I would have known that I shouldn’t straighten my hair at first so much. It damages your curls and changes your curl pattern. My hair is still very curly, but I can tell the difference because of the straightening. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have sacrificed my curls for a week of “fitting in” with the mainstream culture. This comes back to realizing that this journey is not only a physical one but a mental one as well. You have to be mentally ready in order to really love your new look and not care that others aren’t as accepting or ready for it as you are!
NM: Where do you get style inspiration from?
I guess it comes from the way I feel every day. I love being different and trying new pin ups and styles, so I guess it comes from my mindset that my curls are wonderful and I want to showcase them for everyone to see!

NM: How does your hair work for your life?
Being a graduate student, I don’t have much time for my hair so it works GREAT with my schedule! My twist outs usually last for a week so I “comb” my hair on the weekends (usually Sunday nights and untwist them Monday mornings before class)!

NM: Did it take long for your hair to grow out?
Not long at all! When I BC’d I had about 3-5 inches of natural hair. But it grows really fast, once a year I get Marley Twists to grow my hair out without messing around with it, this causes it to grow REALLY fast! Some days I wake up and I’m like, “Wow my hair has gotten so much longer! When did this happen?”

NM: What's the best thing about being natural?
I LOVE when “permies” ask me about my hair and I get to educate them on how GREAT it is to be au naturale and free!

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