*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
N:Peace Curlies! My name is Nirvana and I’m from BX by way of BROOKLYN!!! Lol. I’m currently a Brooklyn college junior majoring in English Literature / minor Creative Writing. I’m also a Cosmetologist with over 10 year’s experience with hair care although I have a preference for natural hair care and styling these days. I’m also a performance artist. Spoken word is my heartbeat
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: I remember the morning the world was informed of Sean Bell’s death. I returned upstairs from the grocery store with a million things going through my mind. I went and got a “BLACK POWER” tattoo and you can imagine the rest was history. I was also tired of feeling like I was conforming. When I asked myself why I was relaxing my hair I couldn’t come up with a reason other than I’d been doing it since I was 11 years old.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
N: In December of 2006 I removed my box braids “transition style”. I had 15 inches of hair! But 12 of those “relaxed” inches had to go! So January 2007 Off with my HAIR! I was reborn. I cried tears of joy and looked at the floor…Saw ALL my hair and cried again! But I loved my TWA.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
N: I find it funny that I am weave checked all the time now that I’m natural as opposed to when I had a weave before. Women thought the fake hair was real. It can be frustrating, but I just laugh lol. I guess we have been told our natural hair is ugly for so long that it’s hard to believe it can look this good! GOKINKY’S!!!
But going back natural has affected my confidence positively in ways I could write a book on. I feel genuine. Different types of men approach me now. It is always with respect. I NEVER fathomed being able to go out without the help of weave or a relaxer and feel fierce! I was never caught without my weave pre-natural. I had long hair, but it was a psychological dependence. Wearing my real hair speaks volumes to little girls and to women everywhere. It makes me feel good when a little girl looks at me and says, “Mommy her hair looks like mine, she’s pretty!” or when I can motivate someone to leave the creamy crack alone and show them you can be just as fierce nappyopolegetically!
How would you describe your hair?
N: In terms of texture, thickness and behavior, my hair has an identity crisis going on lol. The front crown area doesn’t have a curl pattern and has less density. I have to curl it with a spiral iron. It just grows that way. The back and sides on the other hand need NO HELP! I have nice thick straw sized curls. The texture is kinky curly. I have fine delicate strands. I have 14 inches in the back and 12.5 in the front on my last length check in February 2012. I’ve been natural a little over 5 years.
What is your regimen?
N: I’m a protective style girl! For half the year I switch up protective styles. Double strand twists are my staple. Box braids are too arduous so I’ve given them up :( I love 50’s pin up looks and victory rolls, buns and any pretty updos with flowers / feathers of course! I flat iron 3x per year. I think it’s good to smooth the cuticle layer occasionally to combat fairy knots. But I always miss my curlies after a day or two. I wash my hair weekly with Shea Moisture Shampoo followed by their Organic Restorative Conditioner as a leave in. I do double strand twists and seal with coconut oil. Air dry of course. I take down the twists the next day and style. When I need a clarifying shampoo I use Miss Jessie’s Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo. It’s the holy grail!
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
N: I retain moisture with Miss Jessie’s Baby Butter Crème through the week, coconut oils, Kinky Curly Knot Today as a leave in and Organic Root Stimulator Mayonnaise deep steam treatments every 2 weeks. For length retention I trim my hair 2x per year and treat my ends like delicate threads of silk when brushing.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N: Ive run into products that my hair didn’t like, but I made most of my hair mistakes when I was a relaxed girl. I’ve been very lucky up to this point, so I guess beauty school helps in that I know the major Do’s and Don’ts by now.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N: Deep treatments and coconut oils!! I swear by them.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Anything else you want to add?
N: TEAM (4) SHRINkAGE! Your hair is ALIVE! It does what it needs to sustain itself as does all life on the planet through hydration. WATER IS NOT THE ENEMY! It sustains life. On the driest of days it’s able to filter out the smallest particles of H20 from the atmosphere like a plant in order to hydrate itself if you forget to water it. The cuticles swell and the water enters leaving the crown a halo of shrunken kinks sprouting from your scalp. WOW! Can’t you see the brilliance in that? Oh and remember…kinkyGirlsDoitBetter!