1. How long have you been Natural?
I have been fully natural for four years.
2. Why did you become Natural?
I became natural because I was tired of looking like a clone!(lol) The whole world seemed to be saturated with black women wearing identical weaves and wigs and I just felt like breaking the norm and standing out as an individual. I think our natural hair is so beautiful and unique and I am so proud to just wear my own.
3. Was it a hard transition? How did you transition?
Initially,i always wore my hair all natural under a weave. I did this for many years and it just was such a wonderful protective hairstyle for me as I lived in the Middle East and the humidity is not kind to Afro textured hair (or any hair for that matter coming to think of it!) My hair was always safe and protected under the weave. When I moved to the UK to be with my husband and son, I decided to stop weaving and texturize my hair. It was a HUGE HUGE MISTAKE!
I know a lot of ladies have had a positive experience with texterizers but sadly, it was not for me. My hair was thriving at first and then it slowly begun to break off. I just gradually let it grow out and at the end of every month I cut off the ends and continued to do this until my hair was fully natural. Dealing with the two different textures during the transition was a challenge. My hair remained in a bun for most of the time and it was fine. I still remember the very first time I was able to do two strand twists! I was walking on the moon lol! I felt like I was finally a ‘natural’ and just felt so proud!
4. Did your age aid in your decision to go Natural?
To some degree, I do believe my age did play a role in my decision to go natural.I think it just automatically seemed OK for me to do because I was of a certain age whereby I had just become comfortable with myself and being me. I did not feel like I needed to hide under anything or use anything as a crutch. The whole natural experience has been extremely freeing to me and I know the confidence to pull it off could have only come with age.
5. Does your age make it easier or harder to be Natural?
My age has made it easier for me to be natural because I am at a point whereby I don’t feel I need to seek anyone’s approval to just be my own true self. I am comfortable with me and I realize that this is what is important. I cannot be too concerned about others approval or disapproval on how I choose to wear my hair and its truly liberating to think this way.
6. Do you see many Older Naturals in your area? If so, what styles are they sporting?
I live in the UK now and I really don’t see too many older naturals to be honest. The ones I do see tend to sport buns if their hair is longer or TWA. Dreadlocks are also quite common with the naturals here. I still find that natural hair still attracts a level of attention especially if its not Locked. I get stared at quite a bit and sometimes it almost seems like some women of colour are trying to figure out why am not relaxed or weaved? Whenever I see another person with natural hair I tend to get super excited and I guess I stare too so am also guilty!
7. How do you primarily wear your Natural hair?
I used to wear my hair in two strand twists majority of the time but now for the summer I am doing a lot of bunning. I just did a major trim so I have to wait for my hair to grow out before I can enjoy my true love the high bun once again!
8. Favorite products and/or product line?
I am really trying to stick to all natural products. My favourites are Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil and Mustard seed Oils. I like Tressemme Naturals Conditioner, Hello Hydration by Herbal Essences conditioner and shampoo. I am really trying to keep the products I use quite simple as I was a major product junkie before and in slow recovery now, one step at a time!
9. Any words of wisdom or encouragement for other Older Naturals already Natural or thinking about it?
The only thing I can say is do what feels right to you and for you. In regards to your hair, don’t jump into a bandwagon because you will not be truly happy. You have to satisfy yourself and feel right about your decisions. I believe that your hair is a true reflection of what is going on inside so be good to your body, eat well, exercise and rest and don’t stress out because your hair will love you for it.
Please find me on YouTube for hair styling tips and simple hair regimens. Stop by and do subscribe and lets just enjoy this journey together.Bless up! xx https://www.youtube.com/user/KenyanMystic
Thank you Irene for sharing your journey with us and letting up peek into Natural hair in the UK. Sometimes many of us here in America forget that this is an international phenomenon and we have many sisters around the world having the same experiences. She’s got a beautiful smile and gorgeous hair and please check out her Youtube channel to find out her secrets.
I am ALWAYS looking for lovely Naturals (30 and older) to share so check out my Contact page for more info.
Take care Naturals,