I got to interview Frankie! Do you know how happy I am? :)
When did you and what made you decide to go natural?
I went natural January 2011. I was away in college and it was hard keeping my hair maintained by myself, only getting it done when I came home for breaks. I also wanted to have curly hair and hoped that going natural would do the trick.
Did you big chop or transition?
I transitioned for a year and a half, clipping my ends. I was one of the people who was not so brave to try and big chop.
How did you manage your hair while going natural?
At first, I was treating it just like how I treated it while it was relaxed: tight ponytails, flat ironing, and blow drying. Then, I embraced my hair for what it was and tried twist outs and bantu knot-outs, which eventually gave me great results.
My initial reaction to my natural hair was frustration! It was so hard dealing with two textures and I never really know much about styling hair or anything. I was used to ponytails, but after awhile, they were no longer working for me so I knew I had to try something else.
How did your family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
Since I grew my hair out, no one really knew I was natural until i started saying it, or until I started wearing my hair curly. I have always been complimented on my hair, although there are those comments by people who I believe just don't have the courage to start this journey.
What does this journey mean to you?
It means a lot to me! I finally embrace my hair for what it is. I also am able to try styles and everything for the first time. I love reading and watching videos about hair and educating myself.
What is your daily regimen (including your night-time routine)?
I really don't have a daily routine, because my schedule is really hectic. I basically just make sure my hair looks presentable for the day, which might be just wearing a beanie. Then, at night, I make sure to put on a silk cap.
What are your go-to hairstyles, which is your fav. and how do you achieve it?
I know a minimal amount of hairstyles, so I do not really have go-to's. At the moment, I only know how to do twist outs, wash-no-go's, frohawks, and bantu knot-outs. Bantus might be my favorite, even though they take me longer to do, but they do produce a very nice style, instead of just wild curls everywhere. I have been practicing flat-twisting, french rolls, cornrows, pin ups, and pompadours. All of my styles are achieved by first spritzing with water, adding in my castor and coconut oil mix, my leave-in conditioner (basically the L.O.C. method) and either a curly gel or a curl refresher.
How do you deal with hair issues such as: breakage, shrinkage, length retention and moisture?
Since I stopped applying heat to my hair, I really haven't had that much breakage at all. So, I think no heat has really played a larger factor. I have serious shrinkage and honestly, there's not much I can do about it, so I let it handle itself on its own. For length retention, I just make sure to keep my hair moisturized and massage my scalp sometimes to stimulate growth. For moisture, my spray bottle comes in handy!
What products do you currently use, and how are they working for you?
Right now, I am experimenting with products. I really loved the Silk Elements Mixed Silk lines, but they were discontinued, so I have been searching for something new. I just came upon the Pantene Truly Natural line and I plan to see how that goes for now. I use a little of everything. I have a box under my counter just for hair stuff lol.
Hand-In-Hair syndrome an issue I have now only that....it's not my hand. Do you have this issue? Do people ask before touching your hair or they just randomly reach out and touch (or grab) it? How does this make you feel? What is your reaction to this?
(This question made me laugh lol) I have always struggled with everyone wanting to touch my hair. From when it was relaxed and people used to ask if it was my real hair and they would randomly start searching for tracks, until now, when people want to feel if my hair is soft or not. I think now, it's more of a peeve because touching my hair can add frizz or completely mess up the style. So, I'll snap, then quickly apologize, and then explain why I do not like people touching my hair lol. I do think it is rude because you don't know where someone's hands have been! I feel like someone can be putting bacteria in my hair!
What have you learned throughout your journey?
Patience is a virtue! Patience for growth, patience when trying a new style, patience while waiting for your hair to dry, patience while detangling! You must have patience with natural hair. And for me, my patience has been paying off.
Any advice for those who are considering going natural, are currently transitioning, are newly naturals or "Nana" naturals?
Do not let anyone else's opinions affect you. If you want to go natural, go ahead and do it. But make sure it is something you are willing to commit to. Like I said, you need patience. You have to be willing to learn and willing to spend money to buy stuff. You have to learn to take care of your hair. It's like a class course; you have to stay on top of your game to get the results you desire!