Monday, February 27, 2012

February Feature- Meet Stephanie

Hey All!

As well all know, the month of February is coming to an end, and I have one more feature for you guys! While on your HHJ, you meet a lot of great people, be it in the streets, Forums, blogs (like mine ;) lol) anywhere really, and she is definitely one of them! I have grown to adore her, and her curls...and maybe envy every once in a while lol.

Anyway, Stephanie was kind enough to let me ask her a few questions, and share a piece of her NHJ with me. She is a woman of the Military, so for all those ladies who are stationed out somewhere, or are part of another branch, and are contemplating starting your HHJ or NHJ. This is for you!!

So let's meet her!





Hey there! If you don't mind, could you please introduce yourself, and tell us where you're repping? 
A: My name is Stephanie Ramsey and I am stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. I've been in the military for 6 years. Natural for almost two years. I'm originally from California.

How is the natural scene there?
A: I've seen a few naturals here. There's not very many women of color here. But of the ones that are here I have seen a handful of naturals and it surprised me!


Where did the idea of going natural come from, what was your inspiration?
A: I was inspired to go natural in 2009 while I was on deployment. I had met a girl who had beautiful waist length hair. She told me she was 5 years natural at the time and she had done the big chop. Prior to meeting her I never considered to stop relaxing my hair.


What made you choose transitioning over doing the Big Chop?
A: I ended up transitioning unintentionally. At the time I was doing research on natural hair maintenance and products and had stopped relaxing my hair but had no idea that there was a name for what i was doing. 

Was there anything that proved to be a challenge while trying to manage those two textures?  
A: The biggest challenge for me was trying to keep moisture in my hair. My hair always seemed so dry.


What helped you get through those tough times?
A: Deep conditioning and cowashing. I cowashed whenever my hair felt dry and I wanted to give it a quick rehydration.


Many of us are obsessed with trying to figure out our texture while transitioning, was that one of your concerns? If not, what was your main focus?
A: I didn't care about texture that much. My biggest concern was trying to figure out why my hair was so tightly curled in the back but in the front it was a frizzy, poofy mess. lol


When did you finally Big Chop?
A: In May 2010, I decided to BC. I cut off all my hair myself. It was a freeing experience! I loved my new look. I got a lot of compliments and many girls ended up BCing and going natural after they saw my hair.



Are the products and or methods any different from those you used while transitioning?
A: YES! When I was transitiong I used a ton of big name, expensive products but these days I get my products from the 99 cent store and they've been working great in my hair. My favorite products are Suave (for my deep conditions), VO5 (for my cowashes), Vitamin e oil, Method of Style activator gel and Vital Care shining gel thats all I use on my hair and they work great!



Would you say there are any advantages or disadvantages to being natural? 
A: No disadvantages! I had a lot of issues with my relaxed hair. I always had scabs and extremely bad dandruff. Sometimes my scalp would even bleed. :( But since I've been natural I haven't had to deal with any of those issues! Being natural is amazing! I love my kinky curls!



Are there any tips or tricks you have learned on your Natural Hair Journey that you would like to share with contemplating beginning one?
A: Don't be afraid to try new products or styles & dont feel like you have to spend a ton of money to find a quality product. 



Is there any way we can we catch you?
A:  I'm on Facebook... I've shared pictures of my hair throughout my journey and product reviews on there.






Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February Feature- Meet Amber

Hey All!

I meant to post this feature yesterday, but sleep got in the way lol. This Feature is a tiny special because it is my very own sister. ^_^  I have been helping her with her hair lately so I figured it would be great for her to share her struggles and triumphs with her natural hair.






Where are you from, what are you reppping?
A: Well, I'm From NY! otherwise known as the best city ever. lol j.k No, I'm from the Bronx, but I've lived all over.

When did you decide to go natural?
A: Actually, it wasn't really a decision. One day I just stopped getting perms. It was probably around 2005 ( my freshman year of H.S) and I just never got another one since.

What made you chose Transitioning over going through with a Big Chop?
A: Like I said before, I kind of just fell into transitioning. I learned that term from you lol. My hair has been sort of like a gradual thing. 

Since your decision to go natural, have you experienced any flack or comments from family or friends because of your decision?
A: Oh my goodness. That is the single most annoying comments one can ever hear. I've heard all kind of stuff, from : you look like you got electrocuted, you look like a q-tip. Why doesn't your hair do that(While pointing to a relaxed girl), Can't you fix it? Don''t you ever comb it?....My personal favorite is my mother. She says I look like Michael Jackson from the Wiz. Yup, these are all true. Even my mother makes fun of my afro. Such is life when you're different, I guess.

Has any of those opinions affected how you, if so, in what way?
A: At first it made me want to run straight to the Dominican Hair salon. It felt so weird that people would stare, or always have something to say about. Now, I'm a little better because my boyfriends is very supportive and told me not to let close minded people affect me. So I'm much more confident. Well, you too, because you're my personal stylist. wink.


If you had to describe your hair, how would you?
A: Hmmm, I guess I would say it's curly, and big. It's thick, and I mean thiiick with 3 i's. It definitely has flair, I love my curly afro.



Have you had any difficulties or setbacks since your decision to go natural?
A:  I like twist outs and bantu knots mostly. On a regular day, I just wear it in its natural state. Lately I haven't because I need to cut my ends though.

Do you have any "Go To" products, or a set regimen?
A:  I don't really have any products I use regularly, but I am fond of Shea butter. That provides one of the best shine I have see, and I have dry hair.


What is your staple style?
A: I love what I learned was called Twist-Outs. I gives my big hair soo much definition, and I always get tons of compliments when I wear my hair that way.

What do you love most about your hair, and how does it compare to your relaxed days?
A: I love that my hair is versatile. I can pretty much do anything I want with it. I don't have to pay loads of money as I did when I relaxed it, and It doesn't matter if I get it wet. lol


Is there any tips or tricks you would like to share with someone who is thinking about transitioning?
A: The only suggestion I have for girls trying to transitioning is to MOISTURIZE. My hair had gotten so damaged once when I didn't condition and comb it through it often enough.

How can we keep up with you?
A: I have a Fb and twitter, www.facebook/bambi11791 and  @LuvBambii. Catch me there any time!








Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feature February- Meet Alicia

Yes y'all I am doing it! (Lol)   I could not wait until February to do these Features!

 Today's Feature is actually a good friend of mine I meet over on my home forum; Black Hair Planet.  Remember Secret Santa? She was mine! Lol. So she was the one who gave the review on my Bebe Shea'loe, so I thought hey, why not feature her! (LOL) She really is a good friend of mine though, we began our HHJ around the same time so I know her journey is one worth The highs and lows are what makes each individual story unique...

So I would love nothing more for you guys to learn hers!  =)





If you don't mind, where are you from, and what are you repping now?
A: I was born and raised in Massachusetts but I've been living in Georgia for 12 years.

How is the natural scene there?
A: The naturals are in great abundance in Metro Atlanta. There is not a day that goes by where I won't see at least 1 natural....In fact I usually see more than 3 a day. see lots of ladies who are just starting out on their journey with TWA's or longer. It is a wonderful feeling to know so many ladies are trying a different route in caring for their hair.

Was that a determining factor that lead you to go natural?
A: No. I didn't see as many naturals around when I first started transitioning. The final straw for me was being tired of finding someone I trust to give me a relaxer. I didn't trust salons and my friend who normally relaxed my hair moved away. I was already 5 months post and instead of searching for someone to do my hair; I decided to continue on relaxer free and try natural. It was always something I said I would like to try.

Did you automatically do a Big Chop, or did you transition and what made you chose that route?
A: My initial goal was to transition for 18 months. I was afraid of what I would look like with short hair. A little after a year, I was over the transition. I was tired of fighting the two textures and was too anxious to see my true texture. So I BC'd after 13 months.


How long have you been natural?
A: It will be 2 years on February 9th. I have been relaxer-free for 3 years.

Do you follow Andre Walker's hair typing system? If so, what do you consider your hair type to be?
A: I do follow Andre Walker's hair typing system. My hair is 3C/4A.


Is caring for your natural hair any different  or more difficult, in comparison to when you were relaxed?
A: I think that caring for natural and relaxed is hard work. When relaxed, I spent a great deal of time straightening my hair, and keeping my hair straight. And the whole relaxer process was a nuisance for me. With natural hair, the detangling, and styling keeps me quite busy. But if I had to absolutely choose, I would say that caring for my natural hair is less difficult. I style my hair in twists so that I don't have to manipulate it too much. In the mornings I literally get up, and go.

Have you had any setbacks?
A: Yes, lol. After I BC'd I did not cut, trim, dust my hair for almost a year! I went a year and a half with only 1 trim! I had about 4 inches of dead ends that were just hanging there. Not even my best moisturizers and oils could penetrate into these ends. They had to go so I cut my hair from APL back to almost SL. But I have come a long way since then. I am now BSL. I also struggle with a never ending battle with my edges. They are on the thin side and are very sensitive. I keep my hair twisted 80% of the time to avoid having to pull my hair back tightly.

Do you follow a set regimen, if so what are your staple products?
A: I do follow a regimen that I've been experimenting with over the past couple months. Many may not agree with my regimen but so far it seems to work for me. I wash my hair every 3 weeks with a Sulfate Shampoo like TreSemme Moisture Rich. I DC every 3 weeks after my wash with coconut oil mixed into either Lustrasilk Cholesterol Shea Butter & Mango, Silk Elements Megasilk, or Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Calming Conditioner. I rinse and will moisturize with either Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner or a homemade spritz. Later that day or the next day I start twisting using SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothing or Curl & Style Milk and ORS Lock and Twist Gel. Sometimes I like to apply my castor oil mix on my ends. I use a lot of product when I twist because I can't re-moisturize while my twists are in or I will experience heavy frizzing. I wear the twists for 2 weeks and the twistout for 3-4 days. Then I will cowash with Trader Joe's (and also moisturize with it) and a couple days later start the process all over again!

Is there any tips, tricks, or advice you would like to offer to someone who is thinking about transitioning or doing the Big Chop?
A:  1. Invest in lots of conditioner, lol.
2. Understand that transitioning is not a walk in the park. It takes work and can get very challenging. At the same time it is very rewarding in the long run. As long as you stay focused and keep a realistic goal, anyone can do it! Transitioning is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Where can we find you?
A: I am always on Black Hair Care Forum (forum.blackhairplanet.com). Otherwise, you can find me at http://public.fotki.com/ac22ford/





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