Tell us about yourself. My name is Chryel Smoot, I live in Baltimore, MD and I am 55 yrs. young. I work for Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services as an Administrative Assistant.
How long have you been natural? I started locing my hair 5yrs ago after going to salon on my birthday and being very disappointed with the service.
What motivated you to transition?
On my 45th birthday I made an appointment to get my hair cut and styled. After waiting 4 hours for the stylist to come to work, I made the decision to go natural because I just could not take the attitude of the young ladies who are doing hair now.
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I was a big chopper. I made the decision at that point to go ahead and cut off all my hair so I could start fresh. So when it was time for my next touch-up I went to the barbershop and had the guy cut off all my hair.
How would you describe your hair?
I would describe my hair as course which I found to be easier to loc.
What do you love most about your hair?
I love the length of my hair because I never thought my hair could grow long. It is easy to style and doesn’t take up time in the morning when I am getting ready for work. I travel by public transportation so time is of the essence.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
My hair journey has been easy, not difficult at all. I never had that difficult phase during the locing process. A lot of ladies I work with started locing after me and they didn’t like the twisting phase before the hair begins to loc. They didn’t like the phase where the hair takes on a mind of its own and does whatever it wants to do. I didn’t go through that, my twists were cute!
What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’?
I didn’t have any transitioning hairstyles. My hair was cut very close like a guy first and I had to let it grow out about 2 inches before Renee (lady that started my locs) could twist it. Now that it is five years later and I have a nice length, I love looking for new styles to try.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I get a lot of compliments from men more than women. Men seem to love natural hair. Women are so funny about things. They sometimes feel threatened if they give you a compliment. At least that is how some of them are here in Baltimore.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
Now that I have started maintaining my hair, my regimen is Tea Tree Oil, Jojoba oil, and olive oil to keep my hair from getting dry because of coloring. I shampoo with Cream of Nature Kiwi & Citrus shampoo every two weeks to three weeks. Depending on how much I sweat, sometimes I may go a month before shampooing. I color my hair every six to eight weeks depending on how I feel and when I get tired of seeing my gray. My color is honey blonde and I use either Texture and Tone or Cream of Nature. The honey blonde goes good with my skin tone. I think if someone is coloring their hair, the color should go well with their skin tone. I see too many young women with fiery red which doesn’t not look good on everyone.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I have two people that I follow on YouTube, Dr. Tamika Grizzle @GrizzleRocsLocs and Joy Marilie – Joy’s Journey. I find that their styles are easy to do and don’t require a lot of pins. Their hair is much longer than mine is so some of the styles I am unable to do, but I enjoy watching and once my hair reaches that length, I will be able to do those styles.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Love your hair it is a blessing from God. Don’t complain because there are women who don’t have any hair due to chemo treatment or medicine they may be taking at the time. They would kill for a full head of hair. #Keepitreal #Keepitloced #Keepityou!
Where can people find you for more information? I am on Facebook @chryelsmoot.