My name is Ashley White and I’m 24 years old. I was born and raised in Detroit, but I currently reside in Farmington Hills (a suburb of Detroit). My hair journey has been interesting to say the least. You could say that I’m a newbie and I’m still figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. What’s been funny about my hair journey is that in those moments where I wanted to give up on being natural, someone would come up to me and say “I just love your hair.”
How long have you been natural?
A little over a year now…one year and 3 months to be exact.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I’ve always loved girls who wore big curly afros and I felt like I could never do that because I didn’t have “good hair.” I started wearing my hair curly (with the use of rollers) and I really liked it and decided I would become natural…not just for the look, but because I was tired of putting harsh chemicals in my hair. I’m so glad I went natural… I never felt more beautiful.
I was a transitioner because I didn’t think I could pull off cutting my hair. When I hit the one year mark, I was so tired of my relaxed ends that one day I just cut them off! So I guess I gradually worked my way up to the Big Chop.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
A few months after I decided to go natural, I got called to schedule an interview for a job I really wanted. I knew the place consisted of mostly Caucasians and I was afraid my hair was too “afro-centric” for that work environment. The night before the interview I was going back and forth on whether I should straighten my hair. I decided to be true to myself and I rocked my curly hair to the interview. Not only did I get the job, but my hair gets compliments all the time!
My journey has been a combination of both. The most difficult thing for me is trying to find different ways to wear my hair, especially since my hair is short. The easy part is being able to get up, shake out my curls and go.
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos?’
My favorite hairstyle while transitioning was the curly Mohawk…I used magnetic rollers. I also had Senegalese twists that I adored. Right now, I use perm rods and I love them because my curls are more defined.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTubers, or blogs?
My favorite naturalista on YouTube (and I’m sure she’s everyone’s favorite) is Naptural85. She gives very detailed tutorials and she uses natural products.
What tips/suggestions do you have for other transitioners?
Be patient! We all want the big curly afro or some other desired hairstyle, but enjoy your natural hair journey until you get there. Oh yeah, don’t compare your natural to someone else’s…we’re all unique and that’s the beauty of being natural.