Natural Spotlight: Eliss

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Sidenote: I have been looking forward to interviewing Eliss for quite some time. We have been readers of each other's blogs for years now. I was so excited to get a chance to interview her before she begins a wonderful new chapter in her life. Also, Eliss and her fiancee are avid runners, so she goes to show you that you can maintain natural hair with an active lifestyle.


1. Introduce yourself to us (are you: loc'ed, newly natural, natural-n-pressed, etc.).
I'm a 27 year old, African-American who is natural. I wear my hair in a variety of ways, but it's mostly bunned for now as a protective style.

2. Tell us your hair story. 
Pressed days
I started in 2007. It was my senior year at Spelman College, and I was wearing a sew-in weave. Even though my hair was long and relaxed, I wanted to wear a weave beause I was tired of going to the salon often, and if you live in Atlanta, you know that EVERYONE wears a weave. After a while, I started asking myself, "Why am I trying to look like someone that I'm not," and I decided to go natural. From there, I would wear braids and other protective styles until I cut all of my relaxer off in 2008. From then on, I've been wearing my hair 100% natural, and I haven't had any desires to revert to my previous ways.

3. How did people react to the changes you made to your hair? Were they supportive or against it? 
I didn't receive much support from family. They didn't understand why I would want to wear my hair natural, and they were totally against it. They would often ask me when I was going to press it out, and the rebellious spirit in me would respond with, "Never!" I did venture into pressed styles, but it was for my pleasure and not theirs. My friends were supportive, and many of them became natural as well. When it comes to dating, that's a different story. Being honest, Black men weren't positive to it when it wasn't pressed, but men of other ethnicities were fine with it either way.

4. What's your current hair regimen? 
My time is very limited, so I don't have much time to mess with my hair. Monday - Saturday, I keep it bunned, and I will oil my scalp/seal my ends every other day. Sunday is my shampoo/deep condition day, and my staple products are Oyin Handmade, Giovannni, and Kinky Curly. I make a deep conditioner with a mixture of essential oils, carrier oils, and Giovanni. It's one of the best things I've ever made for my hair, and it responds very well.

5. You now live Arizona with your fiancee. How has the climate change affected your natural hair? 
OMG, I hated Arizona initially because it was horrible on my hair. The climate is very dry, and it was difficult trying to adjust to it. My hair was breaking off, and the hard water made it no easier. After consulting with my stylist in Atlanta, and purchasing a shower filter, I'm fine with it. I now realize that moisture is my best friend, and I keep Oyin Handmade's Juices and Berries around because I have to spritz it often all year round. I also make sure that the products I use are very moisturizing, and Oyin Handmade's products keep my strands healthy and moisturized.
Eliss
6. With your wedding a little over a month away, we're all dying to know: how do you plan to wear your hair on your big day? 
Funny you ask because I was just on the phone with my stylist going over the plans. I will wear my hair natural, but it will be in an updo...that's all I'm saying about that, lol!

7. Many naturals (particularly newly naturals) fear judgement about their hair. What advice do you have for those who are still a bit unsure of wearing their hair in its kinky state? 
The main advice I have for them is to live life in fear, is to live life in misery. If you want to have a miserable life, then let others control your actions. If you want to live a happy life, then let you control your actions...'nuff said.

8. With the internet and YouTube full of natural hair resources, what some of your favorite sites/blogs to visit? 
Yours, of course! Since I've been doing this for a while, I don't look to Youtube or many other websites anymore because I know what works for my hair, and I don't need additional advice. However, I will forever be a Black Girl With Long Hair fan.

9. Is there a blog or website we can follow you at? 
Eliss and her fiancee, Joseph
Sure! You can follow the crazy life of my fiance (until June 12, 2012...he will then be my husband) and I over at http://integratedmemoirs.wordpress.com/

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Serk
AUTHOR
June 14, 2012 10:51 AM delete

gorgeous hair, lovely interview!

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