Naturally Fierce Feature: Chanel

I’m a 30-something, single mom from New York, currently residing in Boston MA.

How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural almost two and a half years. I have not had a relaxer since I was about 4 months pregnant with my last child of 2010.

What motivated you to go natural? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I had my hair braided shortly before I went into labor and continue to do so for the next year. I was never real big fan of weaves but had decided to get one because I worked in an office in the downtown area and was one of the only a few African Americans working there at the time. I wanted to appear professional and be accepted by my peers.

But after losing my job, I wanted my hair styled, but I had grown tired of burning my head with the relaxers and long hours in the shop. I have also grown tired of box braids and the hours of sitting in a chair with a numbing buttox to have them installed (AMEN). I toyed with the idea of locs but decided they weren’t for me,  so I jumped online and beginning researching natural hair. After few months reading and Youtubing,  I decided to go for it!! I took the braids out of my hair, washed, conditioned and two strand twisted my hair that night.

I guess in my heart-of-hearts, I transitioned because……. I was afraid to big chop. I mean as black women, we are conditioned to hold on to our length at any cost…lol

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?  Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
I think of me the most memorable part of my journey has to be the beginning,  just letting of the weaves, the braids, the notion that I’ve gotta have the long hair.

I used my hair as a crutch,  if my hair wasn’t done, my whole world was upside down; NO matter how cute my dress and shoes. I look back and remember times I called in to work or would skip an event because, I couldnt get a hair appointment. I remember sitting under a hair dryer like a zombie at 6 a.m. in the morning every Saturday morning to beat the crowd. It seems silly now, but this is the life that I live before I went natural.

What are  some of your favorite hairstyles?
I think one of my current favorites is defitinely the faux bun. I love a good topknit.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’
So far, I’ve had a great experiences being natural. The most memorable moment was afterwearing my hair naturally few weeks,  a woman with a beautiful natural afro, walked up to me and complimented me on my hair. I was so proud.

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My regimen is pretty easy breezy I cowash and then use a leave-in conditioner (As I Am products), then I follow the LOC method using Cantu Shea butter and coconut oil or Jamacian Black Castor Oil. Lastly, I two strand twist and rod set.

As a mother of four kids preschool to second grade, I’m really busy and don’t have a lot of time to manipulate my hair.

What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I started out on I watched the young lady who does kinky coily me has been really helpful. My Instagram buddies @fashionably natural, @my natural high, @Egyptian cake, and @Etcblogmag,  have all been really helpful and encouraging at times where I just want to give up, sit down and get a relaxer. (dont do it)

It’s truly inspiring to get on Instagram and see these beautiful girl share their gorgeous curls, coils, fros and more. Its like a not so secret sisterhood,  everyone’s always willing to share what works what doesn’t work what might work.

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I like to say to any of my sisters wanting to join this Journey; DO it!  It’s been a wonderful experience and I have meet some fabulous ladies. I have been inspired to start bringing more natural things into my life… umm food, cleaning products just all things natural. It hasn’t always been easy, because I had to find out a lot of things about myself, but it’s definitely a worthwhile journey.

Where can people find you for more information?
You can find me on both Twitter and Instagram: @Chynna617

Love your pics! Glad you are ‘doin’ you boo!’

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