Naturally Fierce Feature: Lyneka

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1. Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey. 
My name is Lyneka, but I go by Neka. I am 26 years old. I am originally from Boston (Go Pats), but I currently live in the DMV. The more I learn about natural hair, the more obsessed I become. I am also the ultimate goofball.
2. How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural since 2010, but I did not start really embracing my hair until last year. I was very self-conscious about rocking my afro in the beginning. Prior to being natural, I always wore my permed hair bone straight for about 10 years. How boring! Having a fro was a drastic change and initially killed my self esteem. But not anymore. I am fierce and fabulous!
3. What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was motivated to go natural because my permed hair did not look healthy anymore. I decided to get gold streaks. Not only was my hair permed and bleached, but I also went to the Dominicans to get my hair blown out. Big mistake. I transitioned by cutting off the bleached ends. Because I was not comfortable in my hair, I still decided to straighten my hair to blend the two textures.
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4. How would you describe your hair?
My hair is THICK. It is the definition of shrinkage. Please do not let the pics fool you. It is stretched to the max! I have never been able to do a wash and go. When my hair dries, it is about two inches long, but it is healthy and I love it.
5. What do you love most about your hair?
I love that my hair is not afraid to be the center of attention. Definitely a conversational piece. I use the term piece because it is a work of art. If my hair looks good, I feel good!
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6. What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
The most memorable part of my journey is when I finally shrugged my shoulders when it came to getting the “perfect” fro. I would spend all day trying to look like other women on YouTube instead of being happy with myself. It was not easy at first. It was like my natural hair broke down my self confidence and I had to find it in myself to build it back up. A little deep for some hair huh? lol

7. What are some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos’?
After I stopped trying to blend the two textures, I started doing twist outs. They are still my favorite go to styles until this day. I am not sure if I even made it a year with transitioning. My stringy ends and my thick roots did not make for a good hairstyle.
8. What have your experiences been as a ‘natural’? Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Since I have been natural, I have noticed that other women give me compliments. Now, maybe I am looking too deep into this, but I feel like the natural hair community is beautiful. Women are not afraid to support one another. One time, as I was walking down the street, a woman yelled, “Yess Honey! Your hair is everything!” I have never experienced that type of love while my hair was permed.

9. What is your hair regimen?
No matter what natural hair products come out, I always need my olive oil and Aussie Moist or Aussie Strong. My hair loves that stuff… LOVES it. I used that combination as a deep conditioner and hot oil treatment. When it comes to my afro, I recently fell in love with the Shea Moisture JBCO line.
10. What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
My favorite YouTuber would have to be Naptural85. Her hair is thick, versatile, and  beautiful. I am sort of new to Instagram. I have not had it for a year, but I am quickly realizing what it has to offer. I have never seen so many beautiful natural women in my life. Since Global Couture has reached out to me, I have added it to my list for additional inspiration. I swear I have been living under a rock.
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11. Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
If you do end up following someone on YouTube, please make sure that they have a similar hair type as you do. I started off watching Taren916. I studied her videos and would quickly become discouraged when my hair did not come out as her hair did. I had to accept the fact that my hair would never look like her’s and love MY hair. I am my own kind of beautiful!
12. Where can people find you for more information?
You can find me on Instagram @__NeekNeek__ (Two underscores in the front and two in the back)
***Dating While Natural***
In the past, I would meet men who found me attractive, but still used society’s standards of beauty. They would say “I would love to see how your hair would look straight” or “why did you stop perming your hair, it looked so much better straight”. When I met my current boyfriend, I had twists in my hair. When he saw the picture of my afro, he couldn’t wait until I took my twists out. He liked me best in my natural state.
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