A couple of months ago, I did an interview with Ms.Muneri for the Diaries of a Natural Sista Series, about my natural hair journey. In my interview I go over my ups and down and the reasons why I decided to be bold and enhance my natural beauty.
Ms.Muneri : How long have you been natural?
Mlle Parker : My natural journey has been on and off. My mother relaxed my hair in 1996; it really damaged my hair, so I had to remove the perm. In 2009, I went back to perm, and my hair broke again. I never went back to it.
Ms.Muneri : What reactions did you get from your friends and family?
Mlle Parker :
I was not supported by my parents. They wanted me to keep my relaxed hair, just because they thought it looked better and was more socially accepted. Back then, my sister and girlfriends had perms with long hair, blowing in the wind. I was discouraged to go natural. I also had a boyfriend who kept insisting that I perm my hair, but I did not do so.
Ms.Muneri : So, why did you decide to be natural, and how did you feel doing (the big chop) or (transitioning)?
Mlle Parker : I decided to be natural after my last breakage in 2009. I realized that my hair could not support chemical products because it was too fine and fragile. However, I mostly wore weaves or kinky twist extensions as my daily style. On November 2011, I finally decided to let it out and style my hair with no extensions.
The transition was a bit challenging in 2009. I did not know how to style my hair, how to keep it healthy and was not feeling confident with my natural hair, at that time. Everybody around me had beautiful, relaxed hair, looking like celebrities in music videos, and here I was with my nappy hair. So it took time for me to accept it and see myself as beautiful with an Afro. Until I realized that being natural was not only best for my hair, but also a part of my identity and that I was drop-dead gorgeous with my fro.
Ms.Muneri : What was your hair like before you became natural? i.e. texture, length, health
Mlle Parker : I had no volume, I had very fragile and fine hair. My hair was short and not healthy.
Ms.Muneri : What mistakes have you made and learnt from since you became natural?
Mlle Parker : Well, my first mistake was to wash it every day with shampoo and not using moisturizer.
I had no volume, I had very fragile and fine hair. My hair was short and not healthy.
Now, I always twist or braid my hair before going to bed, co-wash instead of shampooing and moisturize every day.
Ms.Muneri : What is your hair regimen and what are the staple hair products you can’t go without?
Mlle Parker :
*Deep conditioning every Sunday – Homemade recipes (eggs, mayo and olive/castor or avocado and oil).
*I wet my hair with water every other day or condition my hair.
*I cornrow or twist my hair using water and oil (coconut oil or Shea butter), every other night.
My hair regimen is flexible; I adjust it depending on what I have to do during the week and the season. I live in Canada, the weather gets pretty dry during winter.
The products I can’t go without are my 100% Shea butter straight from Africa, olive oil, coconut oil and castor oil.
Ms.Muneri : What do you love the most about your hair?
Mlle Parker : I love that they are easy to handle, healthy and strong right now.
Ms.Muneri : What tips would you like to share with those who are thinking about going back to their natural hair?
Mlle Parker :
: I would recommend discovering what your hair needs, trying different products until you find something that is perfect for you. Play with your hair. Yes, this means spending hours in front of the mirror, trying different styles. It is worth it. Most importantly, patience; be patient when you don’t see growth. Also, go on YouTube, there are plenty of reviews on products and styles that are interesting.
If you look in the mirror and you KNOW you look gorgeous with your nappy hair, then YOU ARE. You have to believe it, or no one else will. Be confident and proud to be natural.
Thank you, Ms. Muneri, for this wonderful opportunity.
EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUE BEAUTY.