April 2014 ~ Natural of the Month: Amanda
Hello my natural loves! My name is Amanda, and just like many of you I am a natural hair fiend! Lol! I am 22 years old and a born and raised New Yorker! I don’t live in the city but I live close enough! I recently graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and hope to further my education and get my Master’s degree. I’m a lover of all things fashion, makeup, and hair. I spend a large amount of my time primping and dressing up, I’m a girly girl and I always like to look and feel my best! Some of my other hobbies/talents include cooking, drawing/painting, and cake decorating. I come from a pretty big family, with a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins. In my immediate family there is my mom, dad, 2 brothers, and an older sister. My mom, my sister, and myself all used to relax our hair. I went natural first, then they soon followed. My mom has not straightened her hair at all since going natural!
LEI: What made you decide to go natural?
Amanda: What motivated me to go natural was my beautiful aunt. She had a head full of curls and I loved and admired them and knew my hair could do just that, so I decided to give it a try and stop relaxing. I also was tired of my hair looking so limp and stringy and wanted my curls back.
LEI: Did you transition or BC "Big Chop"?
Amanda: I did not do a big chop. I didn't even know what a big chop was at the time when I went natural. I did grow my hair out a pretty significant amount though before cutting off about 3 inches of relaxed ends. When I did this my hair was about shoulder length. I guess I would say I transitioned. I was a senior in high school when I decided to stop relaxing my hair, “going natural” wasn’t as big of a phenomenon back then as it is now so I didn’t really know the terms, I just knew I was going to stop putting a relaxer in my hair.
LEI: What were your fears going in and how did you overcome them?
Amanda: I didn't really have many fears when going natural, if anything I was more annoyed/embarrassed by the straight stringy ends at the ends of my hair, but once I cut those off I was good. I often don’t care too much about what others think so it was pretty easy for me to embrace it.
Amanda: I am happy about my decision to go natural for the following reasons:
1. I’m not putting harmful chemicals on my head.
2. I am naturally beautiful.
3. My looks match my personality now; big hair, big personality.
4. I look more unique.
5. I don’t feel the need to fit in with society’s ideals of beauty.
6. My self-confidence increased.
7. Increased versatility. My hair can do so many things now, straight styles, curly, afros, curly fros, braids, twists, buns, etc. The styles I can do are limitless.
8. Overall I just feel like I’m meant to be natural and I’m glad that I am.
Amanda: Some of my favorite natural hair companies are Carol’s Daughter, Shea Moisture, and Ms. Jessies. I also love to use coconut oil, ecostyler gel, and tressame hairspray.
LEI: What is your hair routine?
Amanda: I don’t necessarily have a hair routine, because I am always doing something different with my hair, however, what I would say I do most often to my hair would be a braid out with perm rods on the ends then stretch with a diffuser and pick. I wrap my hair in a tank top at night and fluff in the morning. This style usually lasts me about 3 days. After that I’ll wear my hair up for about 2 days and then wash. I straighten my hair about once a month and do some touching up in between, but I’ve been trying to limit the amount of heat I apply to my hair.
Amanda: Anyone can go natural in my opinion, but having the confidence in yourself is necessary to really rock it. Not everyone will like your hair or understand it, but that is not the point, liking and understanding yourself inside and out is. I would also say don’t get caught up buying a million products all the time, all you need is a few staple products. Lastly, the best advice I can give is to just have fun and embrace it!
LEI: List your social networking sites so we can connect with you further.
Amanda: You can find me on instagram @mandajesspanda and for business inquiries my email is email@example.com