Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All Hail the Queen!

When I "met" this sista on Nappturality, we had an "instant" sista girl connection...Let me tell you...She inspired me sooooo much! I would stalk her album, and was always AMAZED at her fierceness and beauty...She's been natural a little longer than I, so by the time I got "hipped" to the information out there about natural hair, SHE was the source of a lot of my learning...Nati was the Diva that I stole all the scarf and earrings with the afro ideas from...I stalked her album every day! She's such a beautiful woman, and so very postive! Nat told me to edit her responses, but I just couldn't...What she says is so powerful, I thought it would be best to let her speak...I'm sure after you read what she says you will agree...

So say hello to Natitwists...Oh, and since I've been preluding each showcase with a song lately, I'mma need yall to bust out, "She's your queen to beeeeeeeeee!!!!" From Coming to America...

1. How long have you been natural?

I've been natural for 7 years 10 months

2. How long did you transisition?

I didn't transition at all. I shaved my head after having a texturizer.

Nat BC'd TWICE!!! This was after her second chop...I fluffy, puffy, Jell-O heart her for her confidence...

I didn't know at the time that I was going natural but I knew I couldn't deal with that crunchy, hard hair anymore, so I just shaved all my hair off. I loved my hair short. I was tired of waking up looking like Gumby. You remember how Gumby's head was sloped? Well that horrible texturizer used to make my hair so hard and crunchy that I'd wake up with lopsided, brillo pad hair.

3. How did you transition? (braids, weaves, straightening, NOTHING....)

While I didn't transition I did have to transition my mind until I felt confident enough to wear my hair in public. I remember getting braids every summer. Well as I was growing out my TWA I KEPT my hair in braids until one day I realized that i was hiding behind those braids. I had to sit down and take a serious inventory of myself. What was I afraid of? Why did I feel the need to hide behind those braids? I finally told myself that I was taking the braids out and that I'd wear my own hair from now on. The problem was that the day I decided to do this was the day before my class(at work) graduated. I took the braids out, washed my hair, moisturized it and patted my fro. Then after I got dressed I put my armor on because I just KNEW somebody was going to have something crazy to say to me about my hair. I walked into work and everybody stopped talking. My heart was beating like crazy. I was ready to cut the first person that said something out the side their neck, lol. But then, everybody was like ooooooh your hair is soooo pretty! I like your hair, etc. I felt sooo good. I knew the night before that "I" liked what I saw but I didn't know how the world would respond. Seeing all my classmates giving me positive reinforcement helped me shut down the silly notion that I had to be concerned with what others thought about my hair.
4. What made you want to go natural?

You know what made me want to go natural? I was tired of my limp, breaking, straight hair. I saw this girl at my job with the CUTEST little curly fro ever and I decided that I wanted my hair like that. My best friend informed me that since I wasn't mixed ***ROLLS EYES HARD**** that I'd need to get a texturizer. I did. Big mistake. I cut that crap out in about 3 months and went natural. I found that my hair was soft and beautiful and that I LOVED it. Additionally as my daughter grew up it became INCREASINGLY important to me that she see herself as beautiful. Well how could I expect her to love herself if her own mother didn't love every aspect of herself? You know? I wanted her to know that everything about her, from her rich skintone to the naps on her head were beautiful and worthy of love and adoration. I knew I needed to be the FIRST example, and so I decided that I would be. Knowing that I was providing my daughter with the gift of self love and self esteem helped me stay the course. I must also mention, even though I'm loathe to mention it, that part of the reason I went natural had to do with my ex boyfriend. He would always tell me that my hairstyles weren't the REAL me. That always puzzled me. How could they not be me? Was I not the one wearing them? He'd always tell me that I should go natural, but I'd always give him the fisheye and tell him that he was just mad because I was constantly getting hit on, lol. Then one day it finally hit me what he meant and I realized that he was right all along.. That is one fact that he never let me live down...

5. How does being natural make you feel about yourself? Has the decision changed anything about you?

Being natural makes me feel beautiful. Honestly it does, even when I'm not having the best hair day (which is not often) I feel my best when I am wearing my napps on display. My hair in its unadulterated state says to the world that I am confident and proud of my heritage and I LAUGH in the face of the media when they try to tell me through pictures and hair products and weave that the only way I can be beautiful is if I emulate a Eurocentric view of beauty. That view was never meant for me so I feel no need to emulate it. Being natural has made me more confident. I know that nobody else has this fluffy, cotton candy, fine, thin stuff and that makes me special. I'm not just the next chick with a wrap or a weave.
Nat...I aint foolin' with you...This is waay too HOT!

6. What do you love about being natural?

I love the self confidence that being natural invokes. I also love seeing little brown girls seeing a chocolate sistah with nappy hair doing her thang. It's all about planting seeds. I also love when people come to me about transitioning, it's a wonderful feeling to know that you've inspired someone to stop "lyeing" to themselves. :)
7. Do you have favorite products?

Yes I have favorite products. My hands down all time favorite products are Sta-so-fro moisturizing spray. I LOVE this stuff. It is the only moisturizer that works on my hair and keeps it moist for dayyyyys. My other must have product is Wen Cleansing Conditioners. I LOVE this product, especially the Fig which is formulated for fine hair. Because I am a strict no-pooer, I use conditioner to wash my hair and these conditioners impart moisture and they get your hair clean without harsh chemicals. I also MUST have VO5 Kiwi & Lime Clarifying Conditioner for buildup and for when I want a good wash. (since I don't use many products I rarely have buildup though)

8. What are your signature styles?

I think my signature styles are puffs. I love puffs because you can dress them up or down. I love wearing my own hair in puffs but lately I've been experimenting with afro textured weave in order to keep my own hair protected while rocking a natural style. My other signature style would definitely have to be yarn twists. Since I've learned to do them 2 years ago I can't go a couple months without wearing them. They are easy, light and natural looking protective style.
Nat's Yarn Twists...Hmm....These look awesome!!!
Directions in her Fotki, below...

9. What advice would you give to transitioners or newly nappy?

My adivce to transitioners and newly nappy ladies is to make sure that you are doing this for YOU. At the end of the day we must be happy with ourselves. It doesn't matter WHO doesn't like it or has something to say, you MUST feel good about yourself. Stay strong and remember that everything GOD makes is beautiful. HE made you unique from the get go, why rush out to be a copy of someone else? Surround yourself with photos of natural women in various situations, i.e.,weddings, corporate america, playing, going out. When you are surrounded by beautiful people that look like you it helps you maintain perspective. It lets you know that going natural is NOT difficult, it IS doable and you WILL get whatever job you want, ANY man you want and have a wonderful life all with a head full of napps just like your non nappy friends do.

(sigh)...I loves me some Nat!!! Thanks so much Nat, you're a doll baby! And if yall need some inspriation...Check out ya girl's Fotki... http://public.fotki.com/natitwists/ It's the truth...For real, for real...


Gia said...

the confidence that came through in your words are beautiful and inspiring!!!! your hair ROCKS!!!!

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cherise said...

Wow! Nat, you are such an inspiration!

DeDe said...

Hi Ree!! I subbed to your blog a few days ago, simply because of the way you put things.

The words Natitwists spoke in her interview were very inspirational. Her advice to transitioners is profound. All of what she said has kept me natural and made me feel so much better about myself. Natural hair has really changed my life. I have pride in being as special as God made me and love how I look.

chariseraynee said...


Thanks so much! Nat is an inspiration, and I'm glad her words inspired you too!!!

cyclekarl said...

I love your hair and gorgeous dark skin.