1. How long have you been Natural?
I went natural once before back in 1992 but wound up getting a relaxer again in 2004. So, my official last relaxer was 2004 so I guess I have been natural for the past 8 years, lol?
2. Why did you become Natural?
I was just SO sick of not accepting my natural hair! I was never one to relax often (usually only twice a year or so) but it never felt right to me. I mostly did it out of pressure from family members and society. My Mom, coming from a long line of mixed ancestry, didn't have curly hair and never knew what to do with my hair since it was so long and super thick. So her sister-in-law suggested a relaxer when I was about 5 years old and that was how things went up until I was about 17 or 18.
3. Was it a hard transition? How did you transition?
Actually the transition really wasn't that hard. Luckily for me I have always marched to the beat of a different drum than most of the people I've come in contact with so I was able to deal with any negative comments fairly well. I basically stopped relaxing in 2004 and just wound up getting a short, chin length hair cut soon after. I have since grown it out and cut it short several times since then, so I never had to do a BC.
4. Did your age aid in your decision to go Natural?
I think age did play a part in my decision. I had just turned 30 and was very comfortable in my own skin so I felt like there was no time like the present and just went for it! I'm sure it didn't hurt that my boyfriend at the time (now husband!) was very accepting of everything about me including my curly hair, lol!
5. Does your age make it easier or harder to be Natural?
I think it definitely makes it easier because I just don't give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks about anything that I do anymore, lol! If they don't like it? Tough cookies, you know?!
6. Do you see many Older Naturals in your area? If so, what styles are they sporting?
Well, I am originally from New Jersey (very close to the NYC area) and when I was there I did see a lot of Natural women of all ages, actually. I currently live in Buffalo, NY and it seems that many of the women around here are not really into the whole Natural thing? Especially the younger women...they are super relaxed and weaved up most of the time, lol. I have noticed of the few Naturals that I have seen, most have been older...probably 35 and up. As for styles..most seem to be rocking wash and go's or twist outs.
7. How do you primarily wear your Natural hair?
Sadly, I am NOT a girly - girl( I'm more likely to wear combat boots with my dress than heels, lol!) and have never been big on getting my hair done so, I take the lazy way out and just do a quick wash and go and usually wear it up in a messy bun! It doesn't help that I am a Nurse as well, so the bun thing is quite conducive to that sort of work environment.
8. Favorite products and/or product line?
Well, I personally do a slightly modified version of the Curly Girl Method (also known as CG). Basically, I don't use any products that contain sulfates and nearly everything I use is all natural. I do, however, shampoo once or twice a month along with co-washing (conditioner used n place of shampoo) at least once a week. My favorite line has got to be the Kinky Curly line. I LOVE their products! The smell is wonderful and my hair just seems to love it! The leave -in conditioner is PHENOMENAL! If money is tight I do cheat a bit and use Tresemme Naturals conditioner to wash and detangle, followed by either extra virgin olive oil, almond or coconut oil and more Tresemme Naturals as a leave -in. If it's extra humid out I'll apply some Ecostyler gel for hold. I love their olive oil version!
9. Any words of wisdom or encouragement for other Older Naturals already Natural or thinking about it?
All I can say is do what you feel in your heart and FORGET what anyone else has to say about it! If it makes YOU happy than that is ALL that matters! That goes for everything in life not just hair! Also do some research first so you won't go blindly into the world of natural hair care because it can be a bit overwhelming initially.
Peace & Love
Thank you Sharon! Your story is inspiring as well as informative and your hair is gorgeous! We come in all types of backgrounds but we all love our Natural hair. I enjoyed reading her story as well as her taking out the time to explain terms like the Curly Girl Method or her version of it. She's awesome.
Check out my new feature next Monday which is my Older Natural Feature day. Come and share your story with us as well.
Take care Naturals,