September 2014 ~ Natural of the Month: Kala Garner
Hi! My name is Kala Garner. I'm from San Diego, CA and I love to cook, read and inspire, drink wine and talk about natural hair! I spend most of my time working as a Network Engineer but maintain a blog (thekglifestyle.com) and YouTube channel (YouTube.com/thekglifestyle) as well. I have a younger brother and have been the proud parent of a red-eared slider turtle for 13 years. :)
LEI Lady Mag: What made you decide to go natural?
Kala: I decided to return to natural at the age of 17 after being relaxed for about 3 years. I recognized that the relaxer was a harsh chemical that I didn't want anywhere near my body. I then straightened my hair constantly for about 9 years which resulted in severe heat damage.
LEI Lady Mag: Did you transition or "Big Chop"? What was that process like for you?
Kala: Well I transitioned without knowing it at the age of 17, and then transitioned or grew out my heat damaged hair 9 years later at the age of 25. About 2 years ago I cut the remaining pieces of hair off to reveal my curls and love it!
LEI Lady Mag: Did you have any fears or were you fearless? If apprehensive, how did you overcome your fears ?
Kala: I definitely had fears and there was definitely a learning curve. When I returned to natural I didn't know how to care for my hair so I experienced breakage despite the fact that I wasn't relaxing. Looking back I REALLY wish I had big chopped my heat damage so that I could have enjoyed short hair. Now I try to create styles that mimic short hair because I think short curly hair is so cute!
LEI Lady Mag: Name some reasons why you are happy about your decision?
Kala: I am healthier, more confident, more in touch with myself. I was living in Sudan when I began transitioning from heat damage and knew and felt more like myself as I embraced the natural hair coming from my scalp. It was one of the greatest decisions I've ever made because now I feel so free!
LEI Lady Mag: What do you love most about your hair?
Kala: I love that it's low maintenance. Once I got my technique and regimen down I embraced the "lazy natural" lifestyle and it's great!
LEI Lady Mag: What are some of your favorite hair products?
Kala: I love all things Shea Moisture, their Purification Masque and Curl Enhancing Smoothie are my favs. Original Moxie's Just Gel and Hold Up are amazing. I still love Tresemmé Naturals Nourishing Conditioner. Pretty much anything from Qhemet Biologics is great but my hair ESPECIALLY loves their Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee.
Kala: I wash, condition and deep conditioning once a week. I'm a serial wash 'n goer Each night I moisturize lightly, pineapple (high ponytail), and sleep on a satin pillowcase from Bed, Bath and Beyond.
LEI Lady Mag: What advice would you give someone considering going natural or who is new to being a natural?
Kala: If you're contemplating it I would say go for it! It's crucial part of being your most authentic self and it's so rewarding. Have fun and don't take the journey too seriously! In addition, to the newbies, write down why you're returning to natural. You may need to return to that to stay focused and not fall back into what once was. Change. It's definitely daunting at first but once you find your favorite routine and products it gets much easier.
LEI Lady Mag: List your social networking sites so we can connect with you further.