I would first like thank you for featuring me in your blog!
My name is LaDonna and I’m 21 years old from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a medical assistant at an Express Care clinic in Strongsville and a Nursing student at Cuyahoga Community College. Both of my parents are African-American and I have 3C/4A type hair.
How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural for 1 year and 2 months now and I absolutely love it!
What motivated you to go natural? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I had my first relaxer when I was 11 years old. It was one of those kiddie relaxers and it damaged my hair so badly that my edges fell out. Despite that horrible side effect, my hair was still straight and silky and that’s all I wanted at the time. For about 9 years, I continued to have relaxers in my hair every 6-8 weeks. Eventually my hair started to break off more than it already it. I had cut it into a short bob when I was 17 but I did not see my hair getting healthier with the relaxers. I wanted to see what my actual hair texture was like. I haven’t seen it since I was a child. I had tried going natural 2 other times before I actually did it. I was not ready to experience my natural hair and I did not know how to take care of it. My sister and my friend was already natural and they motivated me to stick to it the third time. They were very supportive during my natural hair journey. I had my last relaxer on September 30, 2011 and I transitioned for 7 months before I did my big chop. I transitioned with roller sets and Bantu knots to blend the two textures. I also tried a curly sew-in as a protective style. It was a lot of work to transition because I was dealing with two completely different hair textures. One day, I was about to put my rollers in my hair when I noticed how long my natural hair had got. I was so eager to see the real texture of my hair, so I grabbed some scissors and cut away. On March 25, 2012, I became natural and been in love with my fro ever since.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
My natural hair journey has been both challenging and difficult but I love every moment of it. When I first went natural, I did not know how to care for my hair. I watched a lot of YouTube videos, read product reviews, and went to my sister for advice. Though, all of these things were helpful, one of the biggest challenges was finding a hair routine that works for my hair. It’s still a learning process for me. My most memorable moment during my natural journey was the reaction of my former manager, an older Black woman who wore wigs and weaves. She told me “you need to do something with you hair. It’s raggedy and unprofessional.” The reason why this is so memorable for me is because this is one of the only negative comments that I have received about my hair. This was very hurtful, but I try not to let the comments of one person affect who I am.
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
I love my flat twist outs, pinned up styles, puffs, and fro hawks! They are so cute and they are really easy to do. When I first went natural, I did a lot of roller sets and wash-and-go’s, mainly because I didn’t know any other styles that I could do with my hair.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I’ve had a mixed experience as a natural. I’ve received a lot of compliments on my hair. People stop me all of the time to ask me what type of products do I use and how do I get my hair so curly. While, I receive nice comments, I’ve also received some negative responses. Some people tell me that I should go back to relaxers or I should straighten my hair more often to have better opportunities. Other people tell me that they can’t go natural because of their hair texture. They tell me that the only reason I’m natural is because my hair is curly, which is completely not true at all. My father was not very receptive to my natural hair. He would always make comments saying that I wouldn’t find a job with my hair in a afro. The negative comments from my father did not stop until he saw that my hair texture had nothing to do with being a successful healthcare professional. My mother, on the other hand was very excited and supportive of my natural hair journey. So much that my sister and I inspired her to become natural as well.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My natural hair regimen is quite simple and inexpensive. I “prepoo” with raw shea butter for about 20 minutes. I wash my hair once a week with Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo. I then deep condition with Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner. Every few days I cowash using Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter Conditioner. Daily I use the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and I seal with Hot 6 Oil to do my hair styles. I try to stay inexpensive and use what I know works best for my hair. All of the products that I use can be found at your local beauty supply store or at Target.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I love NaturallyCurly, Black Girl Long Hair, and Curly Nikki. On YouTube, my favorites are HairCrush and Naptural85.
How do you feel now that you are natural?
Feeling sexy with an afro: I get so annoyed when people believe that looser curl patterns are the only form of sexy natural hair. Being sexy with your natural hair is all about confidence. You have to believe that you are hot with your hair or nobody else will. Try some bright colors, colorful lipsticks, hair accessories, and ear rings to help complete your hair styles. Experiment with new hair styles, you’ll be surprised what your natural hair can do.
Working in a professional setting with as a natural?
I’ve seen many women work in professional settings with their natural hair. I work at a clinic in a predominately White neighborhood and I receive compliments from both my patients and my coworkers. They love my hair. Sometimes I wear it pinned up or straight, but the majority of the time, I wear my hair in a fro with a head band. Not all work setting are acceptable to every hair style, you could be surprised as to what would be acceptable in your office.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I just want everyone to know that anyone can go natural. There is no specific hair type to be considered sexy or beautiful. Being natural requires you to love yourself and love the person God made you to be. Going natural should be your personal decision. You shouldn’t want to be natural just because another person has a certain hair type that you want. You should accept and love your hair and treat it with respect. Also, love every bit of your natural hair journey, even the hard parts, because this is how you will learn what works and doesn’t work.
For more information:
Instagram name: love_myfro