July 2014 ~ Natural of the Month: Carlyne
My name is Carlyne, I am originally from New Jersey and I now reside in Atlanta. There are so many other places in between NJ and Atlanta; I love to experience life in different places. I’m hooked and addicted to traveling. I’ve learned so much about life, culture, and people just by visiting new places. I’ve realized that people, no matter where they are from or their culture are the same but life experiences make them different. Anyhow…enough of the “Oprah Life classes” lol let’s talk hair!
LEI: What made you decide to go natural?
Carlyne: Back in 2008 (in college) I got tired of having to get a relaxer . I hated the fact that no matter how much Vaseline, grease or whatever else you are told to put around your edges and ears I would still get burned. I hated the scabs I would get afterwards and the tenderness I would feel every time I ran a comb through my hair. I was done! However, I was so afraid of what my friends thought that I ended up getting a relaxer after not having one for about five months. Then in the spring of 2009 I decided I was going natural no matter what anyone thought or said. Here I am five years later natural and loving it.
Carlyne: I did both. While transitioning I choose protective styles like braids and weaves to keep me from being frustrated with the different textures I was dealing with. After about a year I decided I was ready to wear a fro so I got my mother (who was a beautician for 20+ years) to cut the permed ends off.
LEI: Did you have any fears or were you fearless? If apprehensive, how did you overcome your fears?
Carlyne: I was in my junior year of high school when my mother finally allowed me to get a relaxer. I turned around seven years later and decided to stop relaxing my hair so there was some fear but not a lot. Most people have had relaxers for 10, 15, 20+ years, which makes them apprehensive. They haven’t worn their hair in its natural state for years, so they are afraid of the “unknown”. I knew what my hair looked like in its natural state I just did not know how to style natural hair as an adult. Like, I wasn’t about to walk around with pigtails (lol), so I was concerned more so with the styling than anything. I ended up hopping on YouTube one day and came across PrettyDimples (I think that’s it) and I was hooked from there. She had the cutest styles and most importantly, she shed a lot of light on how to properly care for your hair.
LEI: Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision?
1. I don’t have to anticipate getting burns and scabs.
2. My hair is so much healthier.
3. My hair is so much healthier.
4. My hair is so much healthier.
5. God created me with this head of hair.
LEI: What do you love most about your hair?
Carlyne: I love that my hair is thick and full. I love that I can wear it straight one day and in a fro the next. There’s nothing better than versatility.
LEI: What are some of your favorite hair products?Carlyne: I have a confession: I do not use a lot of products. When I first went natural, I was a product junkie but, as I learned what my hair likes and does not like I learned very quickly that some of the products out there were a waste of money. However, my all-time favorites are: Koils by nature hair and body butters and leave-in conditioner (talk about creamy crack!), Shea moisture products, Hello Hydration conditioner, and good ole olive and coconut oil.
LEI: What is your hair routine?
Carlyne: Here’s another confession: I don’t have one! I do what my hair tells me to do. I wash it when it feels like it needs a wash. I moisturize when it looks and feels dry and I deep condition when it needs it. I used to have a wash day and a whole routine, but it took up a lot of my time. My Saturdays and Sundays were stripped from me and I did have time for all of that! So I respond to my hair according to how it looks and feels.
Carlyne: I will always tell someone who is considering going natural to go natural. I can’t express how much healthier your hair would be. However, be ready to put in the work. Your hair will need some extra care and attention, but it is worth it. Another tip would be to stop comparing your hair to everyone else’s. Just like you can’t compare your life to someone else’s you can’t compare your hair to someone else’s. Stop doing it, don’t start doing it, don’t do it! I may use a product that my hair responds positively to and you may use that same product and get a negative reaction; the problem is not the product it’s your hair. If it does not work for you it just doesn’t work, find something that works for you and stick to it. Most importantly, have fun with your hair. You do not have to be committed to a certain cut, color or style; switch it up from time to time.
Where can we find more of you?