1. Tell us a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Shana Marie Daves. I was born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, California where I currently live. Right now, I’m in graduate school studying clinical psychology, specializing in research related to creativity. I love my natural hair. It’s a part of my identity. I spent a good portion of my life coloring, flat ironing and doing all sorts of things that were temporarily pretty but ultimately damaging to my hair. In undergrad, I decided to switch things up and I haven’t looked back!
2. How long have you been natural?
I’ve been chemically natural for twelve years. It just didn’t work for me. When I did relax my hair, I insisted on going to the salon in order to avoid severe damage. Having a relaxer requires continuous upkeep, which I could not afford and I felt like I was getting the same results from chemical relaxers as I was from thermally straightening my hair. I stopped thermally straightening my hair seven years ago.
3. What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
Honestly, it was the money! It was so expensive to pay for visits to the salon, extensions, etc. I still purchased quality hair products, which can be expensive as well, but it was still much more cost efficient for a college student. I taught myself to do my own hair and noticed the significant improvement in moisture retention, length and strength. I never BigChopped. My hair just kept growing and the chemically treated mostly just fell off, but I still trimmed it from time to time.
4. How would you describe your hair?
My hair is predominately 3C and partially 4A in the center. It’s pretty thick. After I wash and detangle it, my curls are super defined but it’s really flat. Second and third day hair is big and fluffy again.
5. What do you love most about your hair?
I love that my hair has personality. I always feel like I have a “style” even when it’s down, in a ponytail, or in a bun. It’s very expressive.
6. What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
It’s been pretty easy and a lot of fun. I have learned so much about beauty products and techniques so that I can help others as well. However, random people touching and flipping my hair can be scary and invasive.
7. What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
I love doing a bun with a retro rolled under bun. Most days I just wear my wash and go with a side part.
8. What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
It’s really been positive. Every once in awhile I will run into a person who will say that they liked my hair better when it was straight or light, etc. People will have an opinion on hair, clothes, and everything! I don’t think on it too much.
9. What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I will typically use a sulfate-free shampoo once per week. I’ve been using Mizani Curl Balance. I love to deep condition with Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask. I also like Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey and Manfura Oil Conditioner & Deep Conditioner. I use Kinky Curly’s Knot Today and Curl’s Crème Brulee Whipped Curl Cream for daily styling.
10. Who is your hair crush?
Ms. Kreesha Turner! Her hair is lovely!!!
11. What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I love ItsMyRayeRaye, SunKissAlba, Naptural85, Hey Fran Hey, and Curly Nikki
12. Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
I’m a huge proponent of the power of forgiveness. Remember it’s for you not them. While we allow other’s to penetrate our thought, emotions and actions they are out there living life. Forgiveness=Freedom!
13. Where can people find you for more information?