1. Tell us a little about yourself (career) and your hair journey.
I’m a fourth year medical student from the Houston, TX area and am going to graduate
and receive my MD (Medical Degree) in June. School has been my sole career for over
a decade so I am happy to be near the end. I am anxiously counting down the days!
My natural hair journey began in November 2007. I was a freshman at Xavier University and had been seeing all these beautiful women walking around campus with natural hair. I remember one in particular, she was super pretty with such admirable swag. I thought, “Man, I love her style. I love her hair. She is so dope. I want to be just like her”. During my first extended break from college, around Thanksgiving, I went home and told my mom to help me cut my permed hair off. I had been watching one of my all time favorite Youtubers, RusticBeauty, and transitioning for about 5 months. After the big chop, I protective styled for over 6 months with braids and had several inches of growth after no time. Since then, I have been loving every minute of my natural hair.
2. How long have you been natural?
This upcoming week of will make 8 years! Time his flown by!
3. What motivated you to go natural?
I was motivated by two things. The first was seeing so many naturalistas on campus
when I first began college. It was like a culture shock. When I was in high school, there
were few black girls and no one was natural. It was like, if your hair wasn’t straight, you were losing! So, I was constantly straightening my hair to have that sleek look.
Consequently, my hair was in horrible health so my second reason for going natural was to regrow my hair, to optimize its overall helath.
4. Were you afraid to express your natural side? Why?
I was absolutely afraid. I was so self-conscious. I remember when I initially did my big
chop. Several of my loved ones told me I looked horrible. I was so sad and actually
regretted that I had made the decision to cut all my hair off. So for me, it was more of
developing the confidence to embrace my natural side and thankfully it did not take me too long to do so. Looking back, I cannot believe I had that mind-set, that I was so
caught up in the world’s idea of beauty that I could not see or embrace my own. Sadly, I realize that many women struggle with this very same thing, however, I am excited that over the past few years the natural hair phenomenon has gotten as big as it has which has certainly helped a lot of women embrace their individual natural sides.
5. How would you describe your hair?
My hair is such a diva, bold and with a mind of its own. People ask me all the time what my hair type is and I kind of avoid the question because I have so many “types” it’s not even funny. I have loose curls, kinks, waves and even a patch in my crown that
sometimes refuses to curl. I have to baby it and give it special attention and only then
will it do a little something. But my hair is very versatile. I can do a lot with it and it
usually cooperates. It is very thick and pretty long as well. The longest part of my hair is the back which is tailbone when stretched. It’s big. It’s fluffy. And I love it!
6. Did you take the transitional route or did you do the BIG CHOP and why? What
were some of your favorite transitional hairstyles?
I transitioned for about 5 months before my BC. During this time I would do roller sets
and braid outs and buns. After the BC, I kept medium-sized braids in for almost six months. I would just be sure to moisturize often and take down the front when it started looking aged to redo them. It definitely helped.
7. What are your favorite hair products?
If I were trapped on an island, I would be fine as long as I had my Herbal Essences Hello Hydration to co-wash, my Gernerics Biolage Conditioner and olive oil to DC, my
(diluted) Infusium 23 and JBCO to moisturize and massage in my scalp throughout the
week and my Qhemet Biolgics Amla and Olive Oil Heavy Cream to apply for added
moisture as well. I love these products and use them consistently. I also like using
Motions Define My Curls Crème for my protective style twists as well as Shea Moisture Curl Smoothie and Aloe Vera Gel for twist and braidouts. Oh, and I can’t forget my Eco Styler to slick down my edges and baby hair ;-)
8. Who are some of your favorite natural hair YouTube Vloggers?
I love Naptural85, Mahogonyknots, Quest for he Perfect Curl/ Elle and Alicia James.
These are the ones I have watched consistently throughout my journey but there are so many random Vloggers I come across from time to time who are awesome!
9. Where can people find more information about you?
I have a blog at medschoolnaturalista.com which has more details about my regimen,
however, I do not update it as often as I would like due to school and just being busy but plan to update it very soon. I’m also on IG pretty regularly @Curly_MD_2B.
10. Any motivational or inspiring words for our readers?
Sure! I absolutely love that women are embracing their hair and the natural hair
community has become so popular. To me, it allows us to can come together, bond
and fellowship, even if its just electronically. I would encourage women to remain patient as they work to optimize the health of their hair as well as to realize that hair is a reflection of total health. While we want our hair to be long and we are constantly seeking the new product that will “make our hair grow”, we have to understand that we need to be healthy on the inside to physically manifest healthy on the outside. So adopting a healthier diet, exercising, increasing water intake and working on minimizing and coping with our daily stressors can really complement hair growth efforts.
As with anything, consistency is key so I’d like to encourage everyone to keep
working towards a healthy regimen. Results will come. So many women talk about
how their hair doesn’t grow or how their growth has been stagnant. Don’t be afraid
to try something new or even to start over a bit. There was a point when my hair
wasn’t growing as well, it was dry and unhealthy to where only the back would kind
of retain length every now and then. I finally decided to grab my scissors and cut off
some inches in attempt to “start fresh” and remove those dead ends. And it helped!
Most importantly, I want to emphasize that it’s not all about length. It seems like
that’s everyone’s end goal but healthy hair is beautiful hair. And confidence displays
beauty….so embrace what you were blessed with and rock the heck out of it :-)