My name is Naomi Alves from Brooklyn, NY – I recently received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from CUNY Medgar Evers College. A little about myself – I’ve been dancing since I was 13-years-old, where I trained at the Harlem School of the Arts in ballet, modern, jazz, and Hip Hop. I’ve performed with Rod Rogers Dance Company in New York City as a company member, with Christina Milian for the Fresh Air Fund Benefit concert and guest appeared on the Dr. Oz Show “Supplement Superstars 2011” with Louis Van Amstel from Dancing with the Stars. Television syndicates Sherri Shepher, Ugly Betty, and print Ads for Hair Care Rehab by Audrey Davis Sivasothy, Karen’s Body Beautiful, NuNaat Cosmetics, and Hype Hair Magazine.
My hair was relaxed at 10-years-old; luckily, it wasn’t a forced choice; my mother gave us the option to have relaxed hair or locs. I chose a relaxer because, like some children, managing my hair was impossible. I hated combing my hair! Nonetheless, like every girl, we experiment with our hair. I’ve had long weaves, pixie cuts, relaxer, wigs [ I love a nice wig], color, etc. You name it; I probably did it – Probably…
How long have I been natural is not necessarily the question; rather, my choice to go back to being natural stemmed from analyzing my monthly costs – plus my hair was no longer responding to relaxers. Therefore, I went back natural four years ago.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I began transitioning unintentionally with small roller sets and leaving them in as a style. After about six months, I did the big chop. On February 20, 2009, the night before my mother’s birthday, I was washing the conditioner out of my hair when I realized I couldn’t pass the comb through my natural hair and relaxed ends. I reached the peak of my frustration, and began took the scissors and began chopping my hair off. Talk about feeling liberated.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair texture is a 4C – which definitely requires an overdose of moisture for maintenance.
What do you love most about your hair?
What I love the most about my hair is learning what it does and doesn’t respond to. Along with hair styles and products that are best for moisture retention and maintaining my curl pattern.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part of my hair journey is the courage it took me to cut my hair; and taking so long to appreciate the crown which stands upon my head. Has it been easy or difficult? A little bit of both. Just like an addict, I’m sure us naturalist have urges to put a relaxer in your head. That’s me. Then I remind myself as to why I went back in the first place.
What some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
My favorite current dues are two strand twists, cornrows, and my big wig! I love easy maintenance.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My mother certainly wasn’t expecting to come home on her birthday and seeing me with short hair! Lol. The response from my peers was positive.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
Lots of H2O! I think depending on your hair texture, water is required on the hair more than others. That does not mean you should stop drinking water that is a definite requirement. Nonetheless, I use a brush to detangle my hair every night. I spritz it with a bottle of filtered water and apply oil to my scalp every other night. My favorite products to use for moisturizing are Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and African Pride Hair Oil. To co-wash, I love using Organics Hair Mayonnaise and Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
My favorite natural hair vloggers are Naptural85 , Nikkimae2003 , Prettydimples01, and Taren916. Shout out to Taren Guy who did a great job at AFROPUNK Presents Girrrl Riot: An Evening With Taren Guy. It was a pleasure working and meeting with her, she’s such a sweetheart.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Follow your instincts with every decision you make, it will never lead you wrong.