1. Tell us a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Kenvie Draper. I’m originally from Indiana, but currently living in Alaska because my husband is in the military. I’m a stay a home mom of two: a 17yr old and a 4yr. I have been natural for at least 15 years or so, and love everything about it. I decided to go natural after getting a relaxer in college and the edges of my hair fell out! I knew from that moment I would never get another relaxer. On top of that, I hated going to a salon and sitting there for hours!
2. How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have always embraced my curls, shrinkage and all. I feel like they make up a part of who I am. It’s part of my beauty, my uniqueness, and sassiness. I Love how versatile my curls are when it comes to styling and coloring.
3. What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
About 14-15 years ago I big chopped, I desperately needed a change. I have always felt sexier and more confident with short hair. I remember the day that I stepped completely into my confidence. I had just cut my hair and my cousin took me to a MAC store where I made my first higher end makeup purchase. I bought a 263 brush and espresso eyeshadow for my eyebrows, a chestnut lip liner, Oh Baby Lipglass, and the rest is history. That fueled my love for all things beauty related and encouraged me to do what I love which is makeup artistry. I ended up working at the very store I made my first Mac purchase and after the chapter was over I continued to freelance.
4. How would you describe your hair?
I would describe my hair as bold, unique, edgy, bright, sassy, versatile, and just simply fabulous.
5. What do you love most about your hair?
What I love most about my hair is how expressive I can be with it. I get to be me with no apologies and can change it whenever I feel I need a change.
6. What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
It has been both easy and difficult at times. The most difficult part was finding the right products that worked for me, figuring out styling techniques, and the trial and error of bleaching and coloring. Once I got the hang of that it was smooth sailing.
7. What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’?
The style I enjoyed the most while I was growing my hair out to a big afro was my bun I created using Marley braid hair. It was sleek and easy also a great protective style during the cold winter months. My current favorite hair style is my mohaw. I love everything about it. The shape the color and just how easy it is to take care for.
8. What have your experiences been as a ‘natural’? Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Being natural has been an adventure for sure. Since I’ve been natural, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences. I receive complements and some questions that make me laugh. For example, “how do you get your hair like that?”, “Does it hurt”, and my favorite “can I touch it?” I love when I take a picture and send it to my parents after switching up my hair, they always have something funny to say, especially my dad. He makes references to a box of crayons, wish I remembered to take as a joke.
9. What is your hair regimen ?
I am such a product junkie! If something new comes out I have to try it. My current favorite products are As I Am co-wash in between deep cleansing in which case I’ll use Cream of Nature Argon Oil shampoo. To deep condition, I absolutely love Mixed Chicks deep conditioner. It softens my hair like no other and it helped with detangling when I wore twistouts. For a leave-in, I use Eden Body Works. I also used their coconut curl defining cream when I did twistouts. It kept my curls from being frizzy and kept my curls on point. My favorite oil is by Curls it’s the Kukui Nut Oil. To keep my hair moisturized daily I’ll dampen it with water mixed with JBCO in a spray bottle, then apply Dark and Lovely Au Naturale anti-breakage from root to tip mender. Then I’ll apply their super soft hair butter, it’s an amazing combo! My hair loves it. It works very well for my son’s hair as well even though we have different textures. My son hair seems to love the Shea Moisture JBCO line. As a detangler for him, Kinky Curly knot today is awesome. Another product line that I dappled with is Mizani. It worked okay for me but great for my daughter. Her curls are a lot looser than mine and my son’s. For edge control when I wore my puff, nothing came close to Curls Passion Fruit Control Paste. It layed my edges without build up or stiffness and added a nice shine. Recently I’ve been trying out the Shea Moisture JBCO edge treatment and I like for me but love it for my son.
10. What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
When I first decided to grow my hair out I went on YouTube and searched for “natural hair” and I remember watching almost all of Lovely Anneka’s videos. I also watched Jenelle B. Stewart’s hair channel and Naturally Nellzy. They helped me a lot as far as styling and healthy hair care practices. Also gave me great insight in products.
11. Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
The one piece of advice that I would offer to anyone is to be you and be confident! Don’t let others dictate how you should look or dress. If it’s makes you happy and feel good about yourself be like Nike and just do it!
12. Where can people find you for more information?
To see more of me, my hair, and some makeup looks you can follow me on Instagram @KenvieD. I am also working on editing a few videos that I have recorded to start a YouTube channel that will be Kenvie D. I am also on Facebook at Kenvie Williams-Draper and Makeup by Kenvie D.