My name is Asia Henry, Im from Niagara Falls, NY. Iam the freelance mua of Faceclymaxx in western ny and Im 26. My natural hair journey has been..hmmm, love and hate lol.
How long have you been natural?
Ive been natural off and on since 2011. I started the beginning of that year and come march I gave in to the creamy crack. It was my first time even hearing a natural hair community existed. I saw some beautiful hair journey videos on youtube, watched “400 Years Without a Comb” and decided I would just do it. Big mistake. I hadn’t seen my head full of natural hair since I was a young child, and did absolutely NO real research on how to style or care for it. As a result, I got frustrated and went back to perming.
My second time going back to natural was the summer of 2011. I did a little more research this time about styling, but was still under the impression that if I just left it alone for the most part (like my mother did when I was a child) it would grow. So I would moisturize it a little bit with grease or water, then hide it under wigs. 6 months in, my hair just kept falling out and breaking off. Disappointed, I permed once more, added some quick weave for a couple of weeks, and then big chopped one more time.
That time I thought for sure I was staying natural for good. I did lots of research about what REAL moisturizing was and how to style in a healthy way. It was my first time even wearing my twa in public or taking pictures with it. I loved it and so did everyone else. 6 months into that journey and I noticed my hair falling out AGAIN. It was bad. I would be styling my hair and every time I pulled my hand away from my head, there would be unspeakable amounts of hair in it. I was stomped, and devastated. I thought the problem was moisture, so I killed my strands with every diy trick I could find. Tea and rosemary water treatments, hot oil, added products to my routine, plastic bagging all night. Nothing worked. So I permed.
This time around even my hair didn’t really want to be permed. It resisted the chemicals, and although it got straighter, it looked like maybe I had gotten a texturizer smh. I dyed it twice and wore it as a twa until two months of new growth came in. I cut as much permed hair off as I could without looking so close to bald. Then in January of this year, I cut off the last of the dyed and permed hair. I killed it with moisture once more, it was growing pretty good, then a couple of weeks ago, low and behold, handfuls of hair yet again. Luckily, fellow naturalista told me my problem was probably protein. I had assumed, I was protein sensitive after using a product last year that had light protein and didn’t help my breaking hair.
Ive been doing diy protein treatments every two weeks now until my hair gets stronger and its been working. Turns out, my hair lacks protein tremendously and all that moisture I was adding to my hair was just making my strands even weaker!. My hair is doing great now and I look forward to having healthy hair and working on length retention. That was a long ass answer, but my journey isn’t cut and dry lol.
What motivated you to go natural? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I chose to be a big chopper. It seemed too difficult. My natural hair grows in way too thick to ever blend with permed hair.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
My journey has certainly been difficult. Somewhat due to my lack of knowledge the first few times, and the rest impatience and frustration over my different textures. the majority of my head is 3c and 4a hair. but the hair over my ears is 4c. That makes styling take longer than Id like.
What are some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
I wore a lot of wigs in the beginning and actually still do from time to time when I want to give my hair a break. The majority of the time I wear my twa.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’
I surprisingly got a lot of great responses from people telling me that I “pulled the look off” great lol. Guys were still very receptive, but there have been a few that made it clear, they liked my hair when it didn’t mimic what naturally grew from my head. I have a boyfriend who prefers me natural, and was against me perming the last time, so Im not concerned with those who don’t like it 🙂 I will say that I was greatly offended by one African American girls comment to me that she liked my pictures where I wore my hair “African like”… I just said thank you, she didn’t know any better. Oh yea, it feels great to not worry about my hair getting wet anymore lol.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
Right now I rotate my own shea butter mix, Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1, Aussie “Moist” conditioner, Suave Almond and She butter shampoo, Curlmax curl activating moisturizer and LOTS of water. I also add honey to any conditioners I purchase. I always use eco styler gel to style. The Curlmax activator is a new product, but its been a Godsend! Completely cuts the frizz a lot of twa women deal with, amongst other things. certainly a new favorite.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I don’t have any favorite natural hair yoututbers but I do often times look to Beautiful Brown Baby Doll for tips and Himay10ence for the realness about her journey. I also follow CurlBox on Instagram, just to see what products the ladies like and hate, as well as get a look at other followers results.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I think all women who went back to being natural should know to always do what they think is best for them. There are a lot of naturals who like to tell us how to think and feel about our hair. What to do with our hair, what counts as natural and what doesn’t. The only thing we should listen to is ourselves, and our hair.
Where can people find you for more information?
People can find me on Instagram, Phoenixx008.