Saturday, February 18, 2012

TKK Natural Hair Spotlight-Jeaneen Alise

What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Jeaneen and I’m from Riverside California (born and raised in sunny Southern California)
How long have you been natural?
I honestly haven’t been keeping count, but if I think back I’d say about 3 years now (I relapsed the first year).
Why did you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural because I noticed that my hair was thinning out. It’s funny, when I was younger my hair was super thick and it was a PAIN to comb it (plus being tender headed didn’t help either). But no matter all the trouble my hair gave me, I was really proud of it. Overtime I could feel my texture changing. With many years of relaxers, I noticed that my hair was more manageable. You’d think I’d be happy - but I wasn’t. The change put me on high alert and I started noticing every little thing about my hair (the limp texture after a relaxer, the high amount of breakage with a high amount of hair left on the bathroom counter top). It was finally the appearance of a tiny bald spot that freaked me out. From that point on, I was done with chemicals - but it wasn’t an easy break.

For starters, I had some internal struggles. When you grow up with a negative perception of “nappy hair” it’s hard to shake those feelings. My main concern, was the presentation. I remember what my uncombed hair looked like when I was younger and I just couldn’t picture me with that on my head on me as an adult. It took me a couple of attempts, I had even relapsed and went back to relaxers for a while -- but after about a year of growing my hair out with braids, I got brave enough to go fully natural......and MAN was it liberating.
With all those other non-natural hair styles, I had realized that I’d been hiding. The amount of confidence I had with my real hair was a bit overwhelming at first. I got A LOT of compliments and a lot of notice. With natural hair, what you see is what you get and I had to bite the bullet and just OWN it -- even on good or bad hair days. Now I’m so use to it, I couldn’t have my hair any other way. I thoroughly enjoy taking care of my natural hair and the cost savings are amazing too. Yep, you’d pretty much have to club me over the head to make me go back to relaxed hair.

What is your hair type and how would you describe it (kinky, curly, wavy, spirally, etc)?
I’d say 4b or 4c (It’s definitely in the 4 category)
What is your hair care regimen?
For Weekly Styling:
  1. I wash (see bi-weekly washing below) on Sunday and twist out with apricot kernel oil and water. It leaves my hair soft to the touch. I don’t really re-twist during the week cause I honestly don’t have the time. I give my hair a breather (Monday-Saturday). At night I satin cap it and in the morning I fluff it out with water and sometimes a water/ oil mix (applied with a water bottle and sprayer).
  1. Once a month I use clay on my hair -- that’s right CLAY (volcanic ash rather). I learned, through some experimentation that clay is the best thing for turning my hair back to it’s natural healthy state. Oh man - the curls I get are AMAZING! I use a mix of French Green Clay, Terraessentials Hair Wash (lavender), Apple Cider Vinegar & water. This mix gets all the left over build up out my hair, it’s great for dangling and works wonders on your face was well. Volcanic ash naturally sucks up dirt and toxins so why not use it on your hair? You can use this mix without Terraessentials! I just use it because it has some great essential oils in there and I have a couple of bottles left over. I usually leave the mix on for 15-20 minutes - I re-wet it first with a few squirts of water, then I plastic cap it. If I want to get my hair super clean, I re-wet it - plastic cap it - wrap it with a t-shit towel and take a nap (LOL).
  2. Bi-weekly (or weekly) I use Curly Kinky Come Clean. After the wash and with my hair still soaking-wet, I apply a shea butter mix (with various oils) - then twist my hair with apricot kernel oil and water. You have to try it! It truly leaves my hair soft to the touch and it maintains my curls all week. I was using grapeseed oil and EVO but that left my hair waxy feeling. Apricot Kernel Oil gives it a natural soft feeling.
  3. Conditioning...humm -- now here’s the crazy part... I don’t really need to condition my hair but for those random times that I do, I just soak my hair in water, plastic cap it and wrap a t-shirt towel over my head. I go about my business or even take a nap. Sometimes I will apply the shea butter mix to the soaked hair.
What are your favorite hair products?
I truly can’t live without - Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel Oil, Water, French Green Clay, Terraessentials Hair wash (Lavender), Curly Kinky Come Clean, plastic caps, satin pillow cases, satin caps, denman brush D3 and t-shirts (on clearance in the men’s department at Target) that I can cut to make towels.
What has been your experience as a natural? Good, bad, or ugly? How has it affected you?
Like with any other hair routine - it’s work but it gets better as you learn how to manage your hair. My overall experience is definitely GOOD! I’m so glad I managed to repair the damage chemicals have done to my hair and again -- I’m saving soo much time and money. I no longer feel like a slave to relaxers, the beauty salon and appointments. I also don’t feel a slave to worrying about what other people think cause I know I look good :0)
What is an important piece of advice you would give to a newly natural?
Do your research, trial and error made me really love my hair and the process. I get so excited seeing and touching those curls. Just have fun and experiment with all sort of products and oils to find what works for you.

Final thoughts or words of wisdom?
Learn to love what GOD has given you cause it truly is a gift! Black hair is sooo beautiful - you can do so much with it, but it’s also very fragile. Once you loose your hair by mistreating it, it’s possible that it will never come back. Your hair is your crowning glory, so put fourth the time and effort to take care of it -- don’t try to seek the easy way out. Be proud of your hair and rock that natural!

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