Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Cheerleader - Lateshia's Story

As I stated before, I have been blessed to have a lot of support from my family and friends in my transition to natural hair.  One person who was pushing me to the very end was Lateshia.  I watched a lot of Youtube videos about going natural but it was she who was the tangible, real life example of the process that let me know "Hey, I can do this!"  I interviewed her recently on how her journey is going so far.  Read her responses below.

NN:  What made you decide to go natural?.
L:  I have always wanted to go natural but I thought my hair was too thin and wouldn't look right. Plus my hair was so thin (practically nonexistent) at the temple area, I was just scared to do it.

NN:  How did you know it was time to big chop?  How long was your transition?  What was your big chop date?

L:Well suffering from severe anemia, stress, and not to mention chemical overhaul my hair started to thin out really, really bad. I always wore my hair short so I would never go longer than 7 weeks without a fresh relaxer. Anytime I saw curls in the back (of my head) I'd slap some on creamy crack.. Finally after visiting my dermatologist April 6, 2010 and being diagnosed with Non-scarring Alopecia, it was a no brainer for me. There are some things I have control over and I could definitely live without the relaxers so it was a done deal for me.
Because I'd always worn my hair short, I wouldn't say I had a big chop date, but I say May 1st 2010 is my official natural date. All I needed to do was cut the few relaxed ends off and keep it moving. I did that over a 2 month period. I've worn two strand twists with extensions and faux fros for the first 7 months. During that time my hair was totally natural, but I wanted to keep my hands out of it and let it grow.

NN:   What do you love the most about your all natural hair?  What is your greatest frustration?
L:  I love that my hair is thicker than its ever been. Where I had no hair where I'd been relaxing, I now have healthy hair. I love that's is mine, mine, and all mine.
My greatest frustration is realizing I have very tightly curled hair and getting my hair to stretch is a challenge.

NN:  How are you coming on establishing a hair regimen?  What products is your hair loving right now?

L: Now this was the biggest challenge for me. Because my hair is so tight and needs lots of moisture, I realize I cannot shampoo my hair as often as I did when it was shorter. Now I'm trying to stick with shampooing every 1 to 2 weeks depending on the style I'm wearing. Right now I'm rocking my fro so when I get up I just fluff it out, refresh, and keep it moving.
Right now, my hair is loving Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo, Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, and Kinky-Curly Styling Spritz(to refresh curls). For added moisture for hair and scalp, I use Coconut Oil or Cantu Hair and Scalp Oil. For 2 strand twists or braid outs I use Jane Carter's Wrap and Roll.

Thanks Lateshia for being MY cheeleader and motivator!

Lateshia & me w/ relaxed hair - December 2009

TWA June 2010

Stretched Hair January 2011

Wash & go - February 2011  "Shrinkage!!!"

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