Freshly Chopped!



Where are you from?
I cur­rent­ly live in San Fran­cis­co, but am a native Min­nesotan and proud of it! I divide my time between Oak­land where I work as a con­sul­tant spe­cial­iz­ing in strate­gic plan­ning, pol­i­cy research and civic engage­ment and in San Fran­cis­co where I live. I’m an avid bik­er, food­ie and mural­ista with an exten­sive cos­tume clos­et.

When and how did you tran­si­tion into nat­ur­al hair?
My tran­si­tion can be summed up as a quest to max­i­mize enjoy­ment of sun­shine plus a series of last minute appoint­ment can­cel­la­tions. I got a relax­er in Novem­ber of 2008 and let it grow out for a bit so I could get corn­rows before head­ing on a 2 month adven­ture to Brasil. For my entire life, braids have always been huge­ly impor­tant in my trav­el because I do not have to wor­ry about my hair at all dur­ing the trip.

Three weeks into this trip my braids were look­ing kind of tired and frizzy and so I found some­one to do a new set for me in Sal­vador da Bahia, the Afro-Brazi­lan capi­tol of the entire coun­try. Every­where you go in the region, peo­ple are get­ting their hair done in pub­lic. In the streets, beneath umbrel­las, at cor­ner stores, on the beach, every­where, it was pret­ty cool. I got mine done at this cul­tur­al cen­ter where peo­ple were danc­ing, mak­ing music, cook­ing, doing yoga and halfway through the 12 hours it took to do my braids, my braider, Fabi­o­la, told me, “I’m going to give you the best advice you’ll ever receive: go nat­ur­al.” And there I was in a Brasil­ian par­adise, where there are more nat­ur­al heads than not, everyone’s hap­py and I was like “well, I just don’t see why not”.

Then I got home in July and got over it this whole “nat­ur­al” idea. I mean, Brasil­ian Cas­sidy was into it, but San Fran­cis­can Cas­sidy was a real­ist. So I made an appoint­ment to get a relax­er. But then when I took my braids out, my relaxed ends were all mat­ted and my nat­ur­al hair was so soft and man­age­able. I cried as I tore through the mat­ted pieces try­ing to prep my head for the relax­er, and then even­tu­al­ly can­celled my appoint­ment for a relax­er the next day and made one to get braids because it was so obvi­ous to me which part of my hair was health­i­est.

Then in Novem­ber, it was a delight­ful­ly sun­ny week­end in San Fran­cis­co , and I was real­ly sad because I was about to spend the next 12 hours inside get­ting new braids in rather than play­ing in the sun. The hedo­nist in me won so at the last moment, I can­celled my braid appoint­ment and made an appoint­ment for my Chop. And that was that! Tech­ni­cal­ly I tran­si­tioned for a year between my last relax­er and Big Chop, but only 4 months of that was inten­tion­al.

What mis­takes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
Not pay­ing atten­tion to ingre­di­ents. I bought into a prod­uct line that was heav­i­ly mar­ket­ed and because of the price I just went with it and bought their prod­ucts and used their styling tech­niques. But my hair was kind of dry and always felt sticky, but it wasn’t until I tried some cheap stuff that worked BETTER than what I was using that I began to ques­tion what I was using and if it was right for me. I’m picky about what ingre­di­ents are in my food and I need to do the same for what I put in my hair. So I did some research, made some adjust­ments and my hair and I are much hap­pi­er!

What’s the best/most effec­tive thing you do for your hair?
Keep­ing it hydrat­ed! My body loves water, plants love water, every­thing that grows loves water and so I apply this same log­ic to my hair. But because it takes a cool 24 hours for my hair to dry after a co-wash I keep a spritz bot­tle filled with water and essen­tial oils in my office. Spritz­ing it allows me to start the day with much need­ed mois­ture and because I bike to work every­day, it helps me rid of the nasty com­bi­na­tion of bed head and hel­met hair that I arrive with. When­ev­er I take off my bike hel­met and look in the mir­ror, I always laugh because its so fun­ny to me how so much hair can become so flat and…trapezoidal.

I have a no-poo/co-wash reg­i­men that uses DevaCare no-poo week­ly and co-wash with Trad­er Joe’s Tea Tree Tin­gle about 3 times a week. Then I apply some leave in (Kinky Curly Knot Today usu­al­ly) and mois­tur­ize and seal with a com­bi­na­tion of veg­gie glyc­erin, pure coconut oil, avo­ca­do oil, and jojo­ba oil. I do a deep con­di­tion about once a week by adding hon­ey and olive oil to a con­di­tion­er and leav­ing it on for as long as pos­si­ble. I want to buy as many of my prod­ucts as pos­si­ble from a gro­cery store! Not in terms of big com­mer­cial brands, but raw, nat­ur­al ingre­di­ents. Salons and prod­ucts didn’t exist 300 years ago, and peo­ple were tak­ing care of their hair with the nat­ur­al good­ies found around them, so there’s no rea­son I can’t do the same! 

Your wash-n-go looks awe­some! How do you achieve that look?

WashnGo 1
C: I love Wash’n’Go’s and I love wear­ing them for 2, 3, 4 days at a time. My head is cov­ered in these tee­ny tiny spi­ral curls and I feel as though this style real­ly lets them shine! Here’s what I do:
  • Co-wash using some­thing creamy and thick with lots of slip, real­ly mak­ing sure I mas­sage and clean my scalp and roots.
  • Con­di­tion using either the same con­di­tion­er or anoth­er ( I switch between Suave Nat­u­rals Trop­i­cal Coconut and Trad­er Joe’s Tea Tree Con­di­tion­ers) and real­ly focus on the ends and mak­ing sure they’re well coat­ed. If there are any big snarls, I’ll get them out doing some fin­ger detan­gling.
  • Plop with a t-shirt for 20–30 min­utes which reduces my dry­ing time by 8 hours
  • Apply a leave in (Kinky Curly Knot Today), mois­tur­iz­er (gro­cery store bought veg­gie glyc­erin—it’s great for my cli­mate), and seal with an oil (extra vir­gin coconut oil). Now my hair is prepped.
  • Style by tak­ing about 3″ sec­tions of hair and smooth­ing on a styling gel such as Kinky Curly Curl­ing Cus­tard or Eco Styler. I do this all the way around my head, mak­ing sure that each sec­tion “slips” through my fin­gers and stretch out the curls as I apply. This usu­al­ly takes about 15 — 20 min­utes. Any longer and I feel as though I’ve spent too much time.
  • Shake it out! I shake my hair side to side and with my head upside down to give it vol­ume and let the curls get in posi­tion for set­ting
  • GO!

Then for the next cou­ple days, all I do is spritz, shake, and go!

What’s the best thing about being nat­ur­al?
Two things come to mind: 1. that I no longer have to fight a part of myself that I was born with. I mean it took a lot of effort, time, and mon­ey to get it to do the oppo­site of what it does nat­u­ral­ly and I’m total­ly over that! I’m now at peace with my hair and I feel as though my hair, now thriv­ing and curly and boun­cy, is at peace with me! 2. that I no longer have to avoid rain, swim­ming, show­er­ing with­out a show­er cap— all these reg­u­lar activ­i­ties that require water I can now dive into [lit­er­al­ly] with­out think­ing twice! In fact, as I men­tioned ear­li­er, my hair loves water! Bring on the agua! It is such a great feel­ing!

And final­ly, how does your hair express who you are?
It’s unique, it’s dis­tinc­tive, it’s healthy, it’s hap­py, it’s fun, it likes to eat well (includ­ing the occa­sion­al expen­sive, 5 course meal), it’s par­tic­u­lar in its tastes and real­ly enjoys vaca­tions (pro­tec­tive styles).

Right after the Chop
For more of Cas­sidy check out her blog

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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22 Comments on "Cassidy // Natural Hair Style Icon"

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I’ve been brows­ing online more than three hours today, and this is the best arti­cle I’ve come across. I’m a arti­cle fiend so I’ve actu­al­ly read a lot already.In my opin­ion, if all site own­ers and blog­gers made as good con­tent as youhave, the web would bemuch more use­ful than ever before.

Motywac­ja to stan w którym jeste? gotowy do podj?cia wszys­t­kich dzia?a?, które powiniene? podj??, aby prowadzi? jeszcze lep­sze i bardziej dostat­nie ?ycie. Naukow­cy nazy­waj? motywacj? stan gotowo?ci cz?owieka do podj?cia ?ci?le okre?lonego przez niego dzia?ania. Motywac­ja kieru­je Tob? tak, aby? uzys­ka? jak najlep­sze rezul­taty poprzez wyko­nanie rzeczy, których wyko­na­nia powiniene? si? podj??. Na przyk?ad po to, aby zmieni? swo­je po?o?enie psy­chiczne czy fizy­czne albo men­talne w celu zaro­bi­enia pieni?dzy, nawi?zania lep­szych relacji z inny­mi lud?mi czy te? popraw­ienia swo­jej kondy­cji fizy­cznej. Je?li jeste? ?wiadomy swo­jej motywacji i dzia?asz w ?ci?le okre?lonym kierunku, to kierunek ten nazy­wa si? celem. Motywac­ja to… Read more »

I real­ly am lov­ing her exu­ber­ance! Inspir­ing­ly beau­ti­ful lady!


You kind of remind of Pam Gri­er. Has any­one ever told you that?

Lateshia Mitchell

I think we have the same tex­ture hair. So cool.

Thanks for the point­ers


Tried this 2 weeks ago. Day 1 hair: Real cute. Day 2 hair: umm­mm it was hard…even when I mist­ed it w/water to loosen it a bit. Day 3 hair: my scalp began to itch. Oh well.


yes…definitely mist and shake the next day… do you put any­thing in your water?


I tried this Sat­ur­day. Looks good on day one, but on my hair, it shrinks up and gets real­ly tight. So.…I have to mist it w/water to get the curls pop­pin again.


Thanks for the tips on w-n-g’s!!! Tempt­ed to try this in the morn­ing, with a few changes. First: Oyin Hon­ey Hemp after my co-wash, then seal with my coconut oil. I’m pumped!!!!


thank you every­body for all the sup­port and com­pli­ments! I’m glad and flat­tered you read the inter­view! (and my nana express­es the same) I love this com­mu­ni­ty!



My my my, some­one is pho­to­genic! I espe­cial­ly like those first few shots.


This was a great post. PS- that feed web­site isn’t work­ing for me ;o(


Last 3 pic­tures — cutest hair ever


i love your pho­tos! your ener­gy comes through on the inter­view. great style and hair!

your hair is B-E-A-U-tiful! this is like the best wash n go EVER! I am only going in to my 4th month of being nat­ur­al and only have about half as much hair as you,I think, and was won­der­ing if the method worked just as well when you had short­er hair? Please let me know because I have been tempt­ed to use the eco styler and such to get this look, and I think your great wash n go results have final­ly con­vinced me to do it ^_^ if see­ing my hair would give you a bet­ter idea of whether… Read more »
Amma Mama

awwwww sooooo CUTE!
And I love the sto­ry of how you went nat­ur­al and the peo­ple doing hair every­where. Sounds like a beau­ti­ful sight :-) You look GREAT!


Beau­ti­ful!! I love these pics as well, very nice. :)


What an inspi­ra­tion! Such a gor­geous girl, with a great style. Love the red lips!


her hair is adorable, glad that she isn’t hid­ing its boun­cy curls any­more with a relax­er! I wish that my hair was that UNIFORM…part tight spi­rals, part fluff, part loos­er curls, lol, I would love a wash and go uni­form fro like that!


pret­ty woman, pret­ty hair




I love love love this inter­view! Its tak­en an inter­na­tion­al trip for me to real­ize that I need to tran­si­tion to nat­ur­al too… I can­not wait for my hair to get there! {patience, I know =/ lol}
& cheap­er prod­ucts work bet­ter on my hair too..