My name is Barbie (that is my real name) and I am originally from Boston but I currently live in Washington, DC. I am a recovering product junkie who occasionally relapses on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for about 2.5 years.
What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I was a big chopper because I had a really short pixie cut and there was no way to really transition that being said what motivated me to go natural/big chop was a combination of hating the hair salon (I loved my hair dresser I just hated spending hours upon hours sitting in the hair salon), my obsession with Tracee Ellis Ross and her hair and my then growing affection for Amber Rose’s low cut. Basically all of those things converged into the brilliant idea to shave all my hair off and grow it back natural.
How would you describe your hair?
My hair, whose name is Lola by the way is so many things; unruly, kinky, curly, annoying and amazing. My sides and my nape are thinner and prone to breakage. The crown is a looser texture the other areas are a bit kinkier.
What do you love most about your hair?
What I love most about my hair is the confidence it gave me. Being natural but especially rocking a super low cut really helped me see myself as beautiful.
What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?
I think the most memorable part of my journey is knowing that I am part of a movement, a community of women who are embracing their natural hair and each other. Being natural or going natural isn’t always easy. Trying to figure out your hair can be daunting and we all know that people can be less than supportive about your decision to go natural. To have a community of women who can help with product suggestions or a just a positive perspective is just so dope!
What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
I always feel like a boring natural. I don’t really experiment with my hair. I have only rocked a puff once and I have never done a braid out! My hair is either in a twist out or in braids.
What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
My best reaction to being natural was when I was rocking my hair in a super low/brush cut. I met a friend’s mom for the first time and her first words to me were, “What happened to your hair?” I was completely taken aback (thinking oh no she didn’t) but I quickly responded with a simple shrug and said, “I shaved it off.” Outside of the occasional disparaging remark about nappy hair, people are pretty positive about my natural hair.
What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My hair regimen is simple I co-wash every week (usually on Sunday) with Nubian Indian Hemp and Tamau. If my hair needs to be shampooed I’ll use U.R. Curly Soya Shampoo. I haven’t been deep conditioning (I know the horror) but I recently bought b.a.s.k. beauty Y.A.M. Nectar and Cacao Bark Deep conditioners so I am going to get back to it. I use Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee (keep in mind a little goes a long way) as my leave-in, a little evoo and then I twist with the Qhemet Alma and Heavy Cream. I re-twist almost every night it’s a lot of manipulation but right now it’s what works for me. Some of my favorite products are the entire Obia Naturals line, Oyin Hair Dew, Koils by Nature Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-in. I could go on and on but I will stop there.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
I like Quest for the Perfect Curl, Curly Nikki, and Urban Bush Babes.
Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words...
Just love yourself, from root to toe.
Where can people find you for more information?
I have a blog which I promise myself I am going to resurrect by the beginning of 2014 www.chichappenz.wordspress.com. I have a YouTube page under chichappenz and I am on Instagram again under chichappenz.
Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily.