May 25, 2011

{Scrts Xpsd} Ariel @Ms_Aricakes

Ariel is no newbie to the natural hair world! She began her second journey two summers ago when she walked into CVS to purchase a pair of hair scissors: she big chopped on July 9th, 2009! She attributes her commitment this time around to the online natural hair community that is rich in content and support. Another major motivation, interning at! **fist go girl!!**  If you catch her on the street in Austin, more than likely she'll be rocking two strand twists or an updo. Ariel writes...

"The number 1 thing I'm LoveN about my #naturalhair is the fact that it's uniquely me and helps me to further express who I am as a person! Love your natural hair. Embrace it because it makes you beautiful and is proof that God didn't make any mistake when He created you from head to toe."

Ariel, thank you so much for sharing your story with LNW readers! Detangling is definitely a secret to retaining length! Considering our hair tends to be kinky, curly and/or coily, its no surprise that our hair strands prefer to be wound around each other. If we do not intervene by detangling, our strands can become matted which leads to split ends, fairy knots and the works! Thanks for reminding us that detangling is essential when maintaining natural hair!

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Want to read more of Ariel's story?

September 2009
Did you Big Chop or Small Snips?

I did the big chop. Throughout my freshman year of college, I transitioned. During that winter break, I broke down and got a relaxer, but just cut a few inches off and started transitioning again. Then, the summer after freshman year while in summer school, I went to CVS, bought some scissors, and did my own big chop. Ever since 7/9/09, I haven't turned back or regretted my decision!

What has been your motivation to continue your journey?
The online community of other naturals has given me the strength and motivation to continue this journey. Everything from YouTube vloggers to regular bloggers to even just people I follow on Twitter have been inspirational. My mom and grandmother weren't very supportive of my decision to go natural, so I always had to look within and to others on the journey to find strength. Another motivation to continue my journey comes from this semester, Spring 2011, that just ended. I had the opportunity to intern with, and just working for a company that inspires people to embrace their God given hair and care for it was a huge confidence booster for me.

What do you enjoy most about having unaltered hair?
The best thing about having unaltered hair is the versatility. I can wear it in an afro, blown out, two-strand twists, braids, braid outs, twist outs, and even flat ironed straight at the drop of a hat, pretty much. When I was relaxed, there weren't as many options, and I love how many options I have as a natural. Plus, I love switching my hair up, so the fact that it's unaltered makes it easier in my opinion.

May 2011
Describe your regimen. Discuss staple products and utensils.
Most of the time, I prefer to keep my hair in low maintenance styles. Usually, my staple style is two-strand twists. I also like simple up dos like the ones that BlakIzBeautyful does on her YouTube channel. My hair is usually in those styles Monday through Friday and then on the weekend, I'll rock an afro puff. Sometimes, though, I'll rock two-strand twists for two weeks and then redo them. As for products, I'm a bit of a product junkie. However, the main products I use are the Creme of Nature Shampoo & Conditioner, Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme (for two strand twists), Karen's Body Beautiful for a daily conditioner, and Kinky Curly's Knot Today as a leave-in conditioner/detangler. I don't have a staple deep conditioner, but I have tried Jessicurl's deep conditioner and Mixed Chicks deep conditioner as well. The only utensils that I use on a regular basis are my shower comb and my duckbill clamps to separate my hair when I'm detangling it. I also have my Yellow Bird blow dryer for when I do blow dry my hair (which isn't often because I prefer to air dry in twists after detangling) and my roommate's conditioning cap for deep conditioning treatments when she lets me use it. lol.

What have been some of the set backs along your journey?
As I mentioned earlier, I haven't paid as much attention as I should to the ends of my hair as I should. Since my last trim in April, I've done more low maintenance styles and made sure that I take care of the ends of my hair. I also detangle more and try to keep my hands out of my head when I am not styling my hair which I do have a problem with at times.

Wash n go or a protective style gal? How do you get this look?
I am more of a protective style gal. I have type 4 hair, and me rocking a wash and go just means hell for me when I try to detangle it later because I already don't like detangling my hair. Usually I alternate between two-strand twists, simple up dos, afro puffs, fro hawks (one of my roommates helps me do them) and braid outs. I used to wear weaves throughout the first 1.5 years of my journey on and off, but I gave those up coming into 2011. Now, if I'm going to wear a protective style that involves hair that's not my own, I'll rock kinky twists or braid extensions.

January 2011
What is your stance on trimming? coloring? Use of heating tools?
When it comes to trimming, I feel like too much of it can be detrimental. I didn't trim my hair AT ALL my first year as a natural, but now, I'm trying to get it trimmed about 4 times a year. As for coloring my hair, I never colored it when I was relaxed and didn't start when I went natural, either. My hair is already dry and I've heard that coloring can dry it out more if you're not careful. My natural hair color is also a preference of mine as well. I try to not use a lot of heat on my hair. The only time I blow dry it out is when I'm getting braid extensions or kinky twists. I also don't like to straighten my hair a lot. It's been straightened professionally once since I've been natural and my mom did it the other time, but since I've gone natural, I feel like I look weird with it straight.

Where do you see your #naturalhair a year from now?

A year from now, I see my #naturalhair longer and stronger than it is now. It's at an awkward length because my hair grows in layers, but I feel like it'll grow out of this stage soon!

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