My name is Shannon Louis and I am the owner of Essence of Motion. I am originally from New Jersey but I am currently living in Dallas, TX. While running my own company I also wear the “corporate america” hat working in sales for Robert Half Technology. I started Essence of Motion in 2011 with the intention of making it a dance company, however I’ve learned so much on this journey as an entrepreneur and have been able to create Essence of Motion to be more of a “gateway to a healthier lifestyle”. More details can be found about us by visiting www.essenceofmotion.net
How long have you been natural? This is always a loaded question for me because most people consider “natural” as never receiving a perm. Well, although I’ve never had a perm in my hair I was a HEAVY user of the hot comb and flat iron my entire life. I started my “heat free” natural journey in September of 2012 and have fallen in love with MY hair!
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why? I was motivated to become natural because I workout often and it became very hard to maintain pressed hair.
How would you describe your hair? My hair is a mixture of all types of textures. I would say I’m probably a 4A/4B mix. My hair LOOKS way thicker than it truly is. Its very soft and somewhat fine, but it does kink and tangle very easily if I dont follow my regimen!
What do you love most about your hair? I love the versatility of my hair. I have learned how to create chic and classy up-dos and wild funky afros that make feel free. I literally think of my hair as a part of my personality now LOL… is that odd?!?! but I have to admit you can probably guess what kind of day I’m having by just looking at my hair
What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?! I think the most memorable part of my journey has been people being fascinated with it in general. I literally had an older white male reach over and squeeze my high puff pony tail (PAUSE)…now part of me did want to get super hood jersey on him… but I learned to chuckle and laugh at these things because I truly believe that our hair really is phenomenal… so much so that people are just simply intrigued and cant hide it LOL :-).
I also remember spending countless weekends watching youtube to figure out what homemade treatment to try or hair style to put my hair in… it really became a slight obsession!
What are some of your favorite hairstyles? My favorite styles will always be twist-outs and bantu knots. I am a huge HUUUGGGEEE fan of Naptural85. I always tell anyone who asks me for my regimen to just go and look at her youtube channel because THAT has been my regimen LOL. I tried other youtubers’ techniques as well such as HeyFranHey and BeautifulBrownBabyDoll, but I just seemed to connect more with Naptural85′s techniques.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others? Well working in a very conservative corporate america environment, I’ve definitely experienced some “looks” but what I noticed is the more comfortable i became with wearing MY natural hair, it was really no big deal. So I think the biggest reaction for me is my own reaction to revealing my hair. The more confident I became, the more I loved my tresses, the more everyone else just adapted to my new look!!
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)? Ok so I am BIG on co-washing! I only truly “shampoo” my hair about every 3 weeks. My favorite products are Shea moisture curling smoothie, terresentials mud wash, natural shea butter, coconut oil, and Miss Jessie’s pillow soft curls. I usually co-wash my hair weekly with Cantu Conditioner (not the leave-in conditioner) or Trader Joes Tea Tree TingleConditioner. I always moisturize my hair with my homemade shea butter and coconut oil mixture (I simply blend shea butter and coconut oil with an electric mixer and store in containers). I have found that having a daily moisture regimen is key. So, I make a point to always add a spritz of water and seal with shea butter and coconut oil. This has helped me retain length.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, vlogs, or blogs? Naptural85, HeyFranHey, BeautifulBrownBabyDoll
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words? Your natural hair journey really begins with YOU!! You have to learn to LOVE YOUR HAIR. I know this sounds super cheesy but its true!! When you begin to feel confident in rocking your tresses exactly the way they are it becomes more enjoyable. Best wishes to all my curly girls around the world
Where can people find you for more information? IG @essenceofmotion online www.essenceofmotion.net