Hey I’m Sophia. I’m from Columbus Ohio. Im a 28 year old freelance makeup artist, mama, wife, and natural hair enthusiast. Im mixed with black and white, my mom is black and dad white. The only reason I mention that info is because thats where my hair journey starts. My mom never really knew anything other than relaxing your hair and pressing it with a hot comb. She has burn marks still all around her forehead from all the years she burnt herself with that dag on hot comb! LOL So from the time I was really young she relaxed my hair as well.
In pics from before my first relaxer my hair looked gorgeous. It was HUGE and curly. Detangling sessions were horrible I guess for her…and me. As a teenager I’d see those pics of my hair though and wonder if it could ever be like that again. From about 6th grade on my hair never would grow past touching the tops of shoulders.As soon as it would hit that point I’d need to cut it short again ( by short I mean bob at my chin) because it would break off so bad. When I was prob around 15 or so I started playing around with wash n gos on my relaxed hair and I thought I was too fly.
I also used to color it all the time with box color. Every color from black to blonde (which actually was more of a big bird yellow..major fail) When I think back I was a hot mess LOL just straight fried hair with gel. When I was around 19 or so I decided why am I relaxing my hair theres no need to do all this! So little by little I cut off all my relaxed hair till I was completely natural. I would still color my hair like crazy and I still would flat iron my hair during that time. In fact for YEARS I was natural but would just flat iron it like crazy, sometimes twice in one day sometimes more just to keep it straight.
Then at 24 I found out I was pregnant, at the time I had super light hair, so I colored it dark and that was the end of that for that time frame. During my whole pregnancy I nursed my hair, I flat ironed once during that 9 month period and that was for my delivery. I wore it in a bun 98 percent of that time. It grew so much. It blew my mind. It also got super thick and felt so much healthier after that time.
Around June 2010 my sister talked me into a relaxer. I was attempting to flat iron my hair and it was going horribly. My hair was so thick and long it was taking forever. Without thinking twice I said yes and she came over and relaxed my hair that night. I instantly regretted it. I hated the way it felt. My hair wasn’t itself anymore. It didn’t feel right, it didn’t look right. So around March 2011 I chopped it all off. Since that time my hair was grown pretty quickly. I couldn’t stop cutting it myself though which I wish I had because it would be so much longer by now had I just left it alone.
Currently, I’m at about bra strap length when straightened. I try to only flat iron it once maybe every 2 to 3 months. I really want to go even longer without heat though. My hair is goal is waist length when straight.
How long have you been natural?
Basically around 10 years now with a 7 month break in there.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
The first time I was a long term transitioner the second time I just went ahead and did my big chop. If I had to do it again I probably would of just transitioned. Now though I see all the young girls who watched that whole process in my congregation and I’ve inspired a lot of them to do the same so I guess the big chop wasn’t too bad in that aspect of it.
How would you describe your hair?
THICK. I have 4a hair close to my roots and around my hairline. My curl pattern loosens though as it gets closer to my ends. I have patches though of 4a and patches of 3c.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love how versatile it is. I like it also because its me. Its the way I was made. I think people always look their best when they just work with what God gave them. I feel empowered when its curly. I feel stronger and more confident because its me in my natural state.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?! The most memorable would be the first time I tried to rinse henna out of my hair LOL I don’t henna anymore I actually hated it however the first time I was natural I did use henna and cassia a few times.
What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
I really liked wash n gos and I still do. 99 percent of the time my hair is in a wash n go. After I did my big chop and before I did a lot of braid outs also.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Its odd that I feel a lot of women who are white, compliment me more on my hair than black women when Im out in public. That has probably been the most confusing experience to me.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My hair regimen has always been super simple. I love tressame naturals conditioner and I use that as my cowash and my leave in. I follow with unrefined coconut oil and kinky curly curling custard on top. Thats really be my go to for YEARS now. In the winter sometimes Ill use two conditioners as my leave in and castor oil or evoo as my sealant. I try not to use any silicones in my hair unless im using heat on it. I also only use natural oils and no sulfates unless Im using heat or going back to curly from being straight. I really love Curl Junkie conditioners for deep conditioning but I never have time to do that anymore.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I started out with naturallycurly waaaay back in the day then curly nikki before her blog blew up. I really just search natural hair on youtube and whoever has pretty hair thats who I watch 🙂
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Just be patient. Natural hair is a beautiful thing but when your just starting out, finding what works for you and what doesn’t can be frustrating. Once it all falls into place though its so worth it. Don’t give up on your hair if it doesn’t do what you think it should right away. Work with it not against it. If push comes to shove just put a head band on pull it back and call it day. or week or month or however long you need to wear a boring hairstyle till your hair is longer. Thats what I did. Then one day its huge.
Where can people find you for more information?
I have a blog at www.curlygirlie85.blogspot.com my youtube is www.youtube.com/sophiams85 and Instagram is sophiams85