Where do you live/where are you from? Houston, Texas
What length is your hair? The longest part is just past my shoulders and the shortest meets my lips.
How long have you been on your hair growth journey? My last relaxer was August 2005. I wore my hair loose natural until January 2009, when I decided to loc.
What length was your hair when you began your hair journey? During the time of my last relaxer, my hair was about the length that it is now, just past my shoulders. With loc'ing comes a great deal of shrinkage, intertwining and coiling of the inner parts of the hair/locs. So a lot of the length was eaten up by the meshing process.
Did you transition? If so, for how long? What are your best practices for transitioners? After my last relaxer, I transitioned for about 1 1/2 years, wearing curly/kinky weaves and letting my stylist cut off a bit of the relaxer each time I changed styles. She would braid my hair in a cornrow beehive and sew the weave tracks to my hair. Best practice would be to remember not to neglect your real hair if you're wearing weaves or braids during your transition. And remember to moisturize your real hair during the transition process, so that once you start wearing your natural tresses out, they are healthy, not dry and brittle.
What is the best thing about your natural hair? The best thing is the versatility. When my hair was loose natural, I could style as I wanted, kinky or straight. And with locs, people don't understand it, but my style options are LIMITLESS. I can do anything with my locs that I want to do in terms of styling.
Do you trim at all? When I was a loose natural, I trimmed about every 3-4 months while my hair was in mini-two strand twists. Now that I'm loc'ed, I trim the ends of my locs as I see necessary.
How do you cleanse your hair and how often? What products do you use? I wash my locs once a week standing under the shower. I shampoo with Garnier Fructis Shampoo.
How do you condition your hair and how often? What products do you use? My wash and condition schedule are the same. I condition in the shower with Garnier Fructis Conditioner.
In terms of caring for your hair, what do you do? do you straighten? If so, how often? Is your hair chemically treated? What do you do to your hair on a day to day basis? Do you protective style? Weekly, following my shampoo and conditioning, I add moisture to my locs with a spritz concoction of water, 100% coconut oil and a few drops of various essential oils. I have locs, so I cannot straighten. My hair is not chemically treated, aside from jet black hair color. Daily I wear my hair all down or in an updo. If I choose to wear curls, I set my locs with permrods or flexirods and the curls normally stay until I wash or get my hair wet.
What is your length goal? My length goal is mid back. Once my locs are there, I will most likely maintain them at that length. Who knows, by then, I may want to see them longer.
What has been the most challenging (hair related) thing for you to overcome while on your hair journey? Getting over whether or not my choice in how I wore my hair would affect my job or how I'm viewed in a corporate environment. I came to realize that professional is as professional does. As long as I wore my hair in a way that did not distract me or others from my work, it was a non-issue. I realized that I was hiding behind my own insecurities about my natural hair, deflecting them on how I thought others would perceive it or me.
Is there anywhere online I can follow your hair journey? http://www.youtube.com/user/CorporateNaps
Anything else you'd like to share? Just know that what works for others may not work for you. You have to find the products that work for your texture. Less is always more with natural hair. And remember, your hair is uniquely yours. You may not get the same style that your hair idol had because your texture or thickness may be very different.