Name: Brittany Thomas
Location: Orlando, Florida
Blog URL: LocRocker.com
Natural Since: 2005
I know some ladies have these interesting stories about why they went natural. They say they felt this need and desire to uncover their true selves. And that they wanted to truly embrace their Black cultures. Um, yeah...that's cool and all but can I be honest?
I went natural because I was broke. It was the second year of my undergraduate career and I was annoyed with spending over $70 a month on my hair just for it to be a mess weeks later. Not to mention that I am a Florida native and how I managed to live here so long with a perm (chemical hair straightener) was beyond me. And so I cut my permed hair off in my dorm room and went from being frustrated and annoyed with my hair to falling head over heels in love with it.
Being natural is about freedom and I'm sure many ladies with natural hair would agree. There's something about not running from the rain and being able to work out without fear of sweating out a perm that just feels good. Being natural means I don't have to schedule my hairstyles around my life. I can't be the only lady who wouldn't work out before a wedding or an event. My natural hair isn't on a calendar. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. That's just freedom!
Brittany's Top 5 Natural Hair Care Tips:
1. Give your hair water, water and more water. Whether you're loc'd, rockin' a TWA (teeny weeny Afro) or a huge Afro, your hair needs water. I spritz a bit on my hair daily. It's as if my hair craves it every morning.
2. Cover the crown at night. I used to go through this crazy misconception thinking that I didn't need to wear a scarf at night because, "Duh...I'm natural." I could not have been more wrong. Black hair is extremely fragile and sleeping on cotton pillow cases can be quite damaging. Do your crown a favor and rock a satin bonnet, scarf or pillowcase at night.
3. Focus on hair health and not length. You can always bet on your hair growing. Maybe not at the speed of light but it does grow. Focusing on maintaining a healthy scalp and hair, I think, is more important than adopting the Rapunzel syndrome and wishing on a star that your hair grows down your back in two weeks.
4. Go to a professional if you want to color your hair. My hair has received more at-home hair dyes than professional ones. But it's better to be safe than sorry, especially if you want to lighten your hair by bleaching. Yeah girlfriend, let's leave that to the professionals.
5. Her hair is pretty, but love your own. It took me some time but I am finally in a place where I love my hair unconditionally. As naturals, we tend to obsess over natural hair photos and videos, which in turn has us lusting after hair textures and lengths that aren't what we have at the moment. Stop that. Love your hair. Love that it has two or three textures going on. Love the way it moves and the way it feels.
Brittany's Top 5 Natural Hair Care Products:
1. Olive oil. A little bit goes a long way and it keeps my hair moisturized for days!
2. Peter Lamas Purifying Shampoo. The ONLY shampoo that removes build-up from my locs and leaves my hair moisturized.
3. Oyin Handmade Greg Juice. The perfect refresher for when I need to liven my locs up.
4. Jane Carter's Leave-In Conditioner. Gives my hair the extra bit of moisture that I often need after I shampoo.
5. Water. Because my hair simply thrives with it.
Curling my locs is one of my favorite styles simply because it lasts forever! It requires just a few hours and a few steps:
1. Wash locs if necessary. If not washing, be sure that the locs are at least damp.
2. To achieve a tight curl, I use perm rod rollers. I use different sizes; larger rollers for the back of my head and smaller rollers in the front.
3. Roll each loc tightly. If you maintain your locs using the palm rolling method, this can be done at that time as well.
4. To ensure that the curls stay, I like to sit under the dryer for one hour. This is completely optional.
5. Remove rollers and marvel at how beautiful your locs look!