A few days ago I posted about a program called Black Girls Run. I discovered the program on the news one night and did my research. I was amazed by both how great program was as well as the natural hair of the founders Ashley and Toni.
I got the opportunity to interview the lovely ladies of Black Girls Run Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks. They share with me how they began their own natural hair journeys, information about Black Girls Run, as well as tips for the African American woman who wants to begin a healthier lifestyle.
If you have not heard about the amazing program, please take the time out to learn more from this interview and by visiting their site BlackGirlsRun.com.

Toni & Ashley

 

Photo Courtesy of BlackGirlsRun.com

Norfolk, VA & New York

 

How long have you been natural?
Ashley: I have been natural for 2 years

Toni: I have been natural for 1 year & 4 mos.

Did you transition or do the Big Chop?
Ashley: I transitioned

Toni: I transitioned for a short time then did the Big Chop.

Why did you choose that route?
Ashley: I had an appointment for a perm and my stylist cancelled on me the last minute. Being that I was a runner I decided to forget about the appointment and embrace my natural hair.

Toni: I was tired of the two different textures

How long did you transition?
Ashley: I transitioned for 9 months and cut it 2 years ago September

Toni: I transitioned for a short time.

What inspired you to have natural hair?
Ashley: Being cancelled on for a perm and the fact that my hair would be much healthier. Discovering my curls was also an inspiration.

Toni: I saw Ashley’s hair, how healthy it was and I decided to do my own transition.

What has kept you motivated to remain natural?
Ashley: I love my hair. It is easy also with working out, and I can wear it straight if I wanted to.
Toni: I want everything healthy with exercise, organic food and my hair. It has become a lifestyle.

What are two(2) natural hair products that you just can’t live without? Why?
Ashley: Giovanni’s Leave In because it feels amazing after a wash and keeps my hair moisturized.
Toni:</em> I use Giovanni’s 50/50 conditioner and Hair Rules Curly Whip and Kinky Curling Cream

What is your favorite way to wear your hair?
Ashley: Wash and Go, I haven’t really mastered any twist out or braid out styles yet.

Toni: Being my hair is so thick a wash and go is my go to style.

What do you love about your natural hair?
Ashley: I love my texture and how soft my hair is and its volume. I always loved big hair.

Toni: It’s easier to manage while on the go, and I don’t have to make schedules around my hair.

What do you dislike about it?
Ashley: Detangling, because it takes me a really long time to detangle my hair.

Toni: I feel like my hair never gets enough water, so I would have to say battling the dryness of my hair.

What tip(s) would you recommend to someone who wants to become natural, is transitioning, or needs advice about natural hair?
Ashley: Have patience and enjoy the process.

Toni: Don’t have expectations for your hair. Take advice but understand that everbodys hair is different.

How do you typically prep your hair as a runner with natural hair?
Toni: I may add a headband and condition more making sure to wash my hair to prevent salt buildup.
Ashley: I usually don’t really do much different besides washing my hair more.

We also got into detail about some aspects of fitness. I thought of some things that many of you might want to know about fitness.

What do you think is the biggest misconception women of color have in regards to fitness?
Toni: Many women think you can’t workout and be cute. When you definitely can be cute while working out.

Ashley: The idea of consistency; fitness should become a lifestyle. You must put in the time and effort. It will take some time to get where you would like but you just have to wait it out.

How do you feel Black Girls Run will motivate women to improve their health and fitness?
Toni: Black Girls Run provides a support system as well as accountability. The women expect me to be there to support them.

Ashley: It helps to educate and give people the information they need about taking the next step in fitness. It is also a support system, as we have workshops and blog posts on how to get started for the beginner in fitness.

What are the minimum and maximum amount of days one should exercise?
Toni: I feel there is not maximum it is based on what your body can handle. You should always listen to your body. The minimum is 2 to 3 days.

Ashley: We use the Couch to 5k program, which is about 20 to 25 minutes of cross training for about 3 to 4 days a week.

What are some quick home exercises you can recommend to someone who is a beginner?
Ashley: Core exercises are great. They help you to work on your form, which is the base for when you’re running. A good core exercise is the plank.

Toni: Many people don’t think about this one much but jump roping is an awesome home exercise. You can spend 20 to 30 minutes doing this; it helps burn calories

Where would you like to see Black Girls Run 5 years from now?
Toni: I would like to see Black Girls Run out more in the community and helping people to understand what it means to be healthy and fit.

Ashley: 80% of the U.S. is obese or overweight and I would like to see Black Girls Run help to decrease that number.

I think this is a great opportunity for African American women to get together. It also helps them to motivate each other in getting and remaining fit. I would like to thank both Toni and Ashley for creating Black Girls Run, as well as taking the time to share their natural hair journeys.

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