Where do you live?
F: I’m originally from South Florida, but I currently live in New York City. I’m a graphic designer, comedian and video blogger.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
F: I went natural shortly after I graduated high school in 2002. I had always wanted to go natural but I wasn’t confident enough during my high school years.
After severely damaging my hairline from perming and dying I decided that I wanted to stop perming but wasn’t sure about the alternatives or how to go natural. Once I went away to college I finally made the decision because I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan and there wasn’t a black hair salon where I could get a relaxer. The closest black salon was in Detroit and didn’t have a car and also couldn’t afford to travel there and get my hair done.
I started transitioning with two strand twists and cornrows until I got to a point where my natural hair was long enough to rock a twa. I cut all my hair off the summer after my freshman year of college and never looked back!
Why did you decide to lock?
F: I was a huge Lauryn Hill fan in high school (Lauryn where you at?!) and I always thought her hair was beautiful. She really inspired me to get locs. But I didn’t know anything about them, so once I went natural I started doing research online to find out more about the process and see if it was right for me. So after a year of wearing a tiny fro, I decided to make the leap to locs. I started my locs in February of 2004. So my locs are 6 years old this month!
Being natural has had a HUGE affect on my life. Mainly, it’s increased my confidence. My hair was such a burden when it was relaxed — financially and emotionally. I no longer have to stress about my hair looking good (I usually just wear it down or in a ponytail) or worry about spending $60+ every six weeks to get a touch up. Also, because I’ve made a name for myself by video blogging about my hair, I’ve been given an incredible opportunity to inspire other young women to go natural and have confidence in their natural beauty, which is really cool.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learnt from?
F: I dyed my locs after a year and while I love my natural highlights, I wish I had gone to a professional to have it done. Mainly because some of my locs have thinned where the dye was and I think that was a result of me not completely removing the dye. Other than that, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of maintaining my hair on my own.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
F: I like to keep my roots very neat, so I retwist every 2 -3 weeks. This keeps my hair looking nice and fresh.
What do you use in your hair?
F: I use Jamaican Mango and Lime loc and twist gel, The Jane Carter Solution shea butter moisturizer and Organic Root Stimulator Uplifting shampoo
Can you do a tutorial for one of your favorite styles?
What’s the best thing about being natural?
F: Letting my boyfriend play with my hair and knowing he can’t “mess it up”
Riding with the top down
Walking home in the rain
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
F: Yes! My main youtube channel is http://youtube.com/chescaleigh and I also have a channel just for hair, http://youtube.com/chescalocs . I also have a blog, http://blog.franchesca.net