*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
N: My name is Nelda. I currently live in Sacramento, Cali but I rep “mi pais” of Panama City, Panama and BK, NY! I am just beginning my career as an R.N.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: I started asking myself why did I continue to relax my hair. I believe that is when I started to toy with idea of becoming natural. I started to realize those reasons for relaxing my hair were not very healthy either physically or mentally, so I went natural!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
N: I have been natural for almost seven years!!! I know it’s crazy because when you look at the length of my hair it obviously does not seem so. That is because I have BC’ed (big chopped) THREE TIMES! (haha) I laugh every time I think about it. The first time I BC’ed was Dec 04′ and the last time was Jan 07′. The first time I BC’ed I was quite embarrassed by natural hair and did not feel very attractive so I just relaxed again. When I did relax I did not feel like I was being true to myself so I BC’ed again. The second time I BC’ed I had this false idea that natural hair was “resilient and tough”, it could withstand anything, so I dyed my hair three or four times and finally I texlaxed. The texlax of course ruined what little healthy hair I had and I BC’ed again. I wore my hair in a very short caesar like curly cut for a couple of months just to prove to myself that I was beautiful with or without hair and finally began growing it out in Jan 07′. There, you have my WHOLE hair history, haha!
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
N: Natural hair has made me even prouder of the skin I am in ;)
How would you describe your hair?
N: Hmmm… I’m 4a/4b. Kinks and curls around. Very think with medium/fine strands and a few dense ones here and there.
What is your regimen?
N: To wash I use Aubrey Organics White Camilla Ultra Smoothing Shampoo or Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Shampoo. I also use the same Aubrey Organics conditioners. The shampoos are amazing!!! They never leave my hair stripped. A staple conditioner for me is Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner. I use this as both a deep conditioner and leave-in. It is BOMB!!! I have used this conditioner for 3 years straight and it has not failed me yet. As for moisturizers I use Knot Today Leave-In, a coconut oil/shea butter mix, and Shea Butter Leave-in by Shea Moisture. You can hear more about my regimen on my YT channel.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
N: Simply said, I keep my hair in protective styles 70% of the time. I know most naturals hate hearing this because twists and braids do not seem as sexy or glamorous, but this is the best way for me to maintain length and moisture.
I like what kimmaytube said in response to a question several youtubers asked her. “How can I have “cute styles” all the time AND grow my hair longer?” Kim responded with this ” I do not need my hair to be glamorous all the time because I do not see my hair as being the only thing that I have going for me, so
my hair does not have to be glamorous. I can be glamorous in the way of my dressing. There are so many ways to be glamorous and feminine.” I partly agree with this only because I do believe protective styles can be both glamorous and
sexy as well.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N: Hmmm… That would be coloring and texturizing my hair. Both caused me to cut off many inches of hair. If you do decide to color your hair never dye it more than 3 shades lighter than your natural hair color.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N: Protective styling and deep conditioning. My hair would absolutely fall apart if I did not do both of these things on a bi-weekly basis. I am also very gentle when handling my hair.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Anything else you want to add?
N: Natural hair is so versatile. I love it! There is no other racial group with hair quite like ours. This is truly a gift that should be nurtured, appreciated, and held in high esteem.
– Make patience your best friend because you will definitely need it on this journey.
– Do not compare your hair with anyone else’s.
– AND HAVE FUN!