3 Year Anniversary Natural Spotlight: Val

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Val was my very first "Natural Spotlight" and it was only befitting that she be my Spotlight-of-the-Month for my 3 year anniversary. This mom of two boys recently big chopped for the second time and here is her story....

As the first person I interviewed for Natural and Fab, tell me what you’ve been up to with your hair lately?
About two weeks ago I decided to cut all of my hair off and start all over again. At the end of June I celebrated my 4 year natural anniversary and a new look was well overdue. I went to a barber shop and asked him to chop it all off.
As a new mom - for the second time to an adorable little boy - how did you find the time and energy to maintain your hair during your pregnancy? And now that he’s here, what is your routine like? 
During my pregnancy, I maintained my same hair routine that I had pre-pregnancy. I think with anything in life, we make time for what is important to us. I did, however, get my hair pressed more often because I went to the salon and wanted to be pampered. I was not going to pay a stylist to do twists for $50+ so I allowed them to wash, blowout and flat iron it. Whenever I did this, I usually wore it this way for about 3 weeks. Since delivering my son, I just went back to my weekly hair wash and twisting sessions. I would wash and twist it and then the next day I'd wear a twistout. I noticed that I didn't really wear my twists in as I had in the past. Also during my pregnancy, I got rid of my blonde, brown highlights. I got a black rinse (my natural color is black) so I've just maintained that since that time.
Having BC’d for the second time, what have you learned since your first BC and what will you do differently? 
I intend to wear it short for a while. I have no desire to grow my hair out to long lengths at this point in my life. I also do not plan to color it at all. I loved having color in the past, however, it was costly when I got it done yearly. Also it took a lot of work to deep condition and continue to moisturize, etc. and I'm just not up for that at this time in my life either. I have really come to appreciate a more natural look for myself. I think that I could have retained a lot more length had I not gotten color. I was constantly needing a trim everytime I went to the salon and it was due to the lighter strands.

Natural hair has certainly become a movement, having a dedicated space in magazines such as Essence. What your thoughts about the sudden popularity in going natural? 
I think as natural hair expands, more women are looking at it as something that is beautiful and wondering how they can get their hair to do that. I used to receive comments all the time that you had to have a "certain type of hair" to go natural and that's just not so. I think people are starting to see the beauty in all different hair types. Also, I notice a lot more men embracing it.

Let’s talk products. What are you using and how are you using it?
I have never really been a product junky. I don't subscribe to the belief that you have to pay a lot for hair stuff, nor do you need tons of products to make your hair look however you want it. I always laugh when I get the question of "What can I buy to make my hair curl?" My response, "Absolutely nothing". If your hair doesn't curl naturally, then you can roll it up but that's about it. I have always used drug store conditioners to wash my hair and as a leave-in. I also make a butter mix that includes shea butter, olive oil, castor oil and sometimes coconut oil. My son had eczema when he was a baby and I started applying my same hair concoction to his skin and it has smoothed out without anything flair ups. [Note from the Editor: My son has eczema too and using olive oil and shea butter has worked wonders for his skin.]

As always, what advice do you have for the newly natural or transitioners who aren’t quite sure what to do first?
My advice is definitely not for those who need to be hand-held. My advice: chop it off immediately! If you want to go natural, there's no point of holding onto your old relaxed strands. For what? They are like a safety blanket for you. Just dive right on in so you can see what you are working with and how to take care of YOUR kinks and curls. You'll also see that your hair will seem to grow quicker. Also, what works for one person may not work for you. Don't be afraid to try things: styles, products, etc. but also give it some time to know if it works for you. And lastly, stick with it. Rome wasn't built in a day. You are going to receive all sorts of negative comments that you didn't solicit. Be strong and eventually they'll come around. 

Tell us how we can continue to follow your hair journey and everyday musings. 
My blog is 8 years strong now.. www.serenity23.blogspot.com, my twitter  is @serenity_23 and my instagram is kaydenskorner.

Thanks again Val for checking in with us and keeping us abreast of your natural hair journey.


Write comments
August 23, 2013 8:17 AM delete

Very interesting...thank you!

Ella Rich
August 26, 2013 3:45 AM delete

Nice blog and you offer a great number of good points here. Keep up doing that and more and more guys will pay attention to your blog.