*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
K: My name is Karolyn, a lot of people call me Kay. I live in Grand Cayman, repping for Brooklyn, Jamaica and England. :) I’m a physiotherapist, a wife, a mom, a poet, a writer, and a published author. I recently published a book of poetry called Bluebells Don’t Really Ring You Know (available on Amazon).
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
K: I tried going natural about 13 years ago and that didn’t go too well. I transitioned for almost a year but I found the two textures hard to deal with, I had no idea how to care for my natural hair and absolutely no styling ideas so I soon reached for the relaxer again. This time around my daughter who was then 4 years old started not liking her hair and wished for her hair to be straight and ‘pretty’. I felt like a hypocrite because I was telling her that her natural hair was beautiful yet I was doing everything to change my natural texture. So to show my daughter that I can embrace and love natural hair I made the decision to go natural.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
K: I think I may have transitioned for about 2 months if that much, and then did a big chop 18 months ago (October 2010). I had about 2 inches of natural hair!
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
K: I have developed so much confidence as a result of wearing my hair natural. It is amazing how quickly you realize that going natural is not considered the norm, so you have to develop a thick skin in terms of fielding some ignorant questions from people. For example I’ve had someone ask me “so you don’t comb your hair right?”
How would you describe your hair?
K: My hair is thick, coarse, very kinky in places and looser coils in others and absolutely beautiful!
What is your regimen?
K: I think over the last few months I’ve finally gotten a regimen that I can stick to. The most important one to me is my nightly moisturize and seal routine. Every night (no matter what style I’ve sported during the day) I spritz my hair with water (or sometimes a rosemary essential oil and water mix) and finger detangle. I then moisturize with a butter, my favorite 2 being Afroveda’s Shea Amla and Afroveda’s Hemp Seed Lock Twist and Roll Butter. I then seal with an oil or pomade and re-twist or re-braid. My favorite oils/pomades are Hairveda’s Vatika Frosting, Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade and Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey.
I shampoo weekly with Queen Helene Royal Curl Shampoo. I cowash mid week with either Tresemme Naturals Moisture Rich Conditioner, or Aussie Moist. Whenever I shampoo I also deep condition. I’m currently using a mix of conditioner, honey and olive oil for deep conditioning.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
K: Recently I’ve been noticing a lot of single strand knots and a few split ends. This came about when I had been neglecting moisturizing my hair regularly. So I’ve had to trim quite a bit off my hair (about 4–5 inches in the last 3 months) and I am now religious with my nightly moisturize and seal regime. This, along with the trimming, has made my hair a lot healthier and it retains moisture so much better now. I’m hoping the length retention will come soon.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
K: I used to take my hair for granted and sometimes I’d only moisturize once a week even though my hair was visibly and palpably dry. I also didn’t used to detangle regularly. Now I finger detangle every night and use a wide tooth comb once a week after I deep condition to help with detangling.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
K: Finger detangle and moisturize and seal nightly.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
K: I respect all who do a blog, I just don’t have the time! However, you can find me on YouTube as HappyNappyKinks.
Anything else you want to add?
K: I have learned so much about my hair and myself along this journey. Who would’ve thought I’d have the determination and patience to continue on this natural journey?! YouTube has been an excellent source of information on styling options as well as how to take care of my hair. My daughter has learned to love her hair and now thinks her hair is beautiful.