Living No Lye | Jade @Exhibit_Jade
What are your reasons for going natural?
I have actually been natural my entire life. Me nor my sister have ever gotten a perm. But when I was younger, I hated my natural hair, which i just always referred to as "poofy hair." All of my friends had straight hair and I too wanted that. This was wayy before having curly hair was "accepted." For me, it was hard to be attractive with "poofy" hair and I figured if my hair were straight then more boys would like me (I was tall and skinny and just a little awkward looking when I was younger lol).
How did you transition?
My junior year of high school my teacher, gave me something that truly changed my life. She had an extra ceramic flat iron laying around and gifted it to me. From THAT POINT ON YOU COULDN'T TELL ME NOTHING! I was obsessed with straightening my hair because I was finally able to look the way I wanted to, without getting a perm.
But it became an obsession and I over-straightened at times. Though my hair looked healthy, it did not revert back to curly. Which at the time that it happened, I didn't mind because my goal was straight hair and I could care less about curls. It never occurred to me to try and wear it curly. But when I came across TheKGLifestyle's YouTube channel in 2011, she talked about heat damage and opened my eyes to what I had done to my hair. So here began my 4 year heat damage transition journey of: cutting off heat damage gradually, doing a 1 year no heat challenge, experimenting with protective styles, getting a layered haircut to add "spunk" then having to get a Deva cut to FIX the spunk, hair color, etc.
What's your go-to style?
My favorite hairstyles then were braid outs and Bantu knots. They gave me great definition. Now, I can't even remember how I used to do my bantu knots. They were bangin! And that was before I learned how to fluff, so I know if I did them now I would like them even better. My current favorites are 3 strand twist outs, and braid outs still.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced?
To be completely honest, I haven't really faced any emotional struggles. The only thing I can remember is when I started to wear it curly more often, my mom told me that she didn't like it and she liked my hair straightened better. That comment didn't bother me though....Other than that, my family loves my hair. They always comment on how much they love the look and how often I switch it up.
What is your favorite product and why?
*Shampoo: Creme of Nature Argan Oil (very moisturizing!)
*Deep Conditioner: Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Intense Hydration(OMG this has become a new one for me and it's NEVER EVER leaving my side. It's super moisturizing),
*Styler: Cantu Leave In and Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Defining Creme (both give superb definition without having to use gel and moisturize the hair. I usually add castor oil to my jars to boost the moisture as well)
I try ALOT of products..I definitely am an addict. But at the end of the day, I know exactly what works for my hair.
What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out?
I want to start off by saying, nowadays the natural hair movement is sweeping through our world and everyone is becoming more and more comfortable with their curly hair. There is a plethora of bloggers and YouTubers giving information that is SOO extremely helpful with your own journey. I think it's wonderful! But I just want to remind you that your journey, is YOURS and yours alone. Do what you feel is right in your heart, in your life, in your schedule and for your pockets. There is no right or wrong. You don't HAVE to have an exact trimming schedule. You don't HAVE to only look for natural products. You don't HAVE to alleviate grease from your product choice. You don't HAVE to refrain from straightening your hair. The only thing you HAVE to do, is exactly what works for you and your journey. I am of course not putting down ANYONE that does do those things, They are the ones that inspired me. I just think we need more women showing the simplistic side of natural hair. All the rules and "do's and don'ts list" just makes it harder for someone who is a first timer. Find what works for you and stick to it. You will see the health and growth of your hair improve.