Hi everybody! My name is Breora and I’m from Denver, Colorado. I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri where I am studying to be a Psychologist.
How long have you been natural?
I decided to go natural in 2011. I transitioned until I did my “big chop” in 2012.
What made you go natural?
My hair was very long and thick as a child but when I began to get relaxers, my hair broke off like crazy and my hair stopped growing! I even had horrible chemical sores on my scalp after every relaxer. I felt like there had to be a better way to manage my hair. I was always interested in different hairstyles and different lengths but being natural was the only thing I never considered doing to my hair. I thought being natural was something that I absolutely could not pull off. But eventually I decided to give it a try and if I did not like how it looked on me after 6 months, I would just go back to a relaxer. But soon after my big chop, I learned that being natural is not something you can “pull off” …it’s a part of you. It’s how God created you. After my big chop, my hair grew back so healthy and thick and beautiful. I could never go back to a relaxer.
How did your friends/family react to you going natural?
My mother absolutely loved my hair and she even considered going natural. My other family members supported my decision which was very helpful. However, I was the first of my friends to be natural and wear a TWA. I got a lot of criticism from some of them about my decision. They told me that my relaxed hair was beautiful and I looked prettier with straight hair. They had no idea the damage that the relaxers did to my hair. But when my hair began to grow back strong and healthy, they soon joined the natural movement!
What is your hair regimen? Favorite hair products?
My regimen: I deep condition once a week. I use a cheap conditioner like Suave, a tablespoon of Black Jamaican Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and honey. I mix it all together then I put it in the microwave until the oils melt and put it on my hair. I put two shower caps on my hair to hold in the heat. Then I let it sit for about an hour (or until I finish a homework assignment) and wash it out. I love to wash my hair with Crème of Nature’s shampoo and conditioner. I use Cantu’s leave in conditioner and curling cream all the time. My absolute favorite hair products are Black Jamaican Castor Oil, and Cantu’s curling cream. I use it throughout the week.
How does your hair affect your career and lifestyle?
Being natural has changed my lifestyle. Living in a community where the majority of women have long, straight, blonde or brunette hair makes my kinky hair stand out in a big way. I do get a lot more attention and it is never negative. My lifestyle has changed because I learned that beauty is subjective…there is no standard of beauty. Being natural has enabled me to share with girls with hair like mine that you do not have to be afraid of being you.
What is your favorite hairstyle, or protective style?
As I mentioned before, I do different things with my hair all the time. Currently, it is very short so the only way I can wear it is in a TWA. However, when my natural hair was longer, my favorite style was Bantu knots and let my hair down. Then when my Bantu knot got old, I put it in a fro-hawk.
How do you manage to retain length and moisture?
To retain length: NO HEAT!!!! When my hair was longer, I finger detangled every two weeks. I was also very gentle…no tight rubber bands, headbands, or hair ties. I was especially gentle with my ends, since that is where my hair tends to break. I also never go to bed without putting a satin bonnet on my head. But the most important thing is to be patient. You hair is constantly growing so don’t give up on it. Did I mention no heat?!
For moisture: My hair is naturally dry so I have to moisturize it every day. I use Black Jamaican Caster oil or Coconut oil. Keeping my hair moisturized keeps it from breaking off. Also I had to keep in mind that no matter what I put in my hair, it will not grow as fast and it will not be moisturized if I do not drink water. Water is really what keeps your hair going.
What advice can you give to those who are thinking about going natural?
Do it when you’re ready. You won’t like it if you do it for a trend or if you’re unsure. Also, do your research on it before you do it!!! Lastly, be confident in yourself and be patient with your hair!
Would you like to add anything else?
When I decided to go natural, I did my research on products and I used the brands that everyone mentioned. I quickly learned that what works for some people does not work for me. So do some experimenting on your own, figure out what works for you. Knowing how to care for your hair is trial and error you won’t get it right all the time but don’t give up on it. Your hair will love you for making this decision.
Are you on social media?
Facebook: Breora Page I