Tell us about yourself. My name is Kimberly Nichole but everyone calls me Kimmie. I was born and raised in Southern California, but I have lived in NYC for 6 years now. I will ALWAYS consider myself a Cali girl but now I have a little bit of that Brooklyn swag. 🙂 I am a 33 year old Mental Health Counselor who works with mentally ill and formerly homeless youth and young adults.
How long have you been natural? I have been natural since December of 2011, so almost 3 years now.
What motivated you to go natural? I was motivated to return natural by several different reasons. I was sick and tired of how perms were damaging my hair/scalp. I used to get sores on my scalp and my hair was brittle, dry, and constantly shedding. I remember being in the beauty supply store with a perm in my hand and thinking, “NO MORE.” I put down the perm, walked out, and haven’t looked back since!
Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like? I was a transitioner. Transitioning was a bit rough in the beginning and I found that most natural styles did not turn out well with my transitioning hair. I rocked a bantu knot out and braids for months in the beginning. I never did a “big chop” because I didn’t think I would be able to pull off a TWA with my full face, but I did trim 2-3 inches every couple of months until only my new growth remained. I was so happy when I could finally do a twist out without the twist becoming unraveled! I was also inspired by all the fly Naturalistas I saw around Brooklyn. They made being Natural look beautiful and I knew if they could rock their natural styles with confidence then I could too!
Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.) I don’t really keep up with the hair types like “4C” and such but I would describe my hair as thick and kinky, with some waves and some curls.
What do you love most about your being natural? I love that my hair is kinky and happy! Before returning Natural, I never knew that my hair could be this fabulous. I used to do anything to avoid my hair being kinky, and now my kinky hair truly is my crown.
What’s been the most memorable part of your journey? The most memorable part of my journey has been my self acceptance. I have learned to love my hair (and myself) as I am and it has truly been the best experience of my 30s. It took some time before I learned how to make my OWN standard of beauty, but once I did I realized I spent too much time trying to make myself look a certain way and not enough time loving myself how I was created. I’ll never make that mistake again.
What was your favorite style during your transition? What is your current favorite? My go-to style when I was transitioning was a bantu knot out because it was the only style that seemed to turn out right. I would pin it up in the back on wear it in a side puff a lot. I would also get individual braids in the winter and summer time. My current go-to style is a two strand twist out. I love the volume it creates and it makes my curls pop! I also like to use flexi rods to create heatless spiral curls. I still rock a bantu knot out from time to time. 🙂
How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? My friends and family were super supportive of my returning natural! One of my friends even told me that my new curly style fit my personality all along. Even my hubby loves my natural hair now. He loves to play with my curls!
What’s your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets! In the beginning I was a HUGE Product Junkie, but now I’m more into making my own hair products and I find that my hair is much healthier for it. I currently do a hot oil treatment once a month with a mix of olive and macadamia nut oils. I prepoo my hair with one of my homemade conditioners. My current favorite deep conditioner is a mix of organic coconut milk, banana, and organic warm honey. I use a self heating conditioning cap when I prepoo to make sure the nutrients are really penetrating my hair. I wash and condition on a weekly basis and I am currently in love with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner. It works great on my dry scalp! I use old t-shirts to dry my hair which helps reduce frizzing. I also spritz my hair daily with a mix of water, pure aloe vera juice, peppermint & lavender essential oils, and Vitamin E oil. I use a homemade shea butter pomade for my twist/knot/braid outs, which I almost always doon damp hair. I only use heat on my hair once or twice a year when I blow it out for a length check and to trim. I like to keep my hair regimen as simple as possible!
Where do you get hairstyle inspiration? Who is your curl crush? My favorite YouTuber and ULTIMATE Hair Crush is Naptural85! She was my go-to while I was a newbie for learning how to braid/twist/knot out. She still is! I also lovecurrlynikki.com, blackgirllonghair.com, naturallycurly.com, and of courseglobalcoutureblog.net!
What do you want readers to know? Words of inspiration? The main thing I want the readers to know is that you and your hair are perfectly imperfect. Every kink, every coil, every wave, and every curl is beautiful. Don’t be afraid to let your hair be what it naturally is, and don’t be afraid to be who you naturally are.
Where can we find/follow you? People can follow me on my hair journey on Instagram at @kinky_kimmie.