Name: Quianna Taylor
Location: Washington, DC
Met this lovely lady while on one of my excursions to DC and I was drawn to her hair. Isn’t it just amazing; peep the hair clip below! Might wanna check her out.
How long have you been natural?
Did you transition or do the Big Chop? Why did you choose that route?
I have done both. When I initially went natural I transitioned. I wore a lot of weaves and cornrows and other protective styles and gradually cut back the damaged relaxed off. I made sure that I kept my hair moisturized and my scalp healthy and took my weaves out every four to five weeks to wash and condition my hair. I did this for about 2 years. But like a lot of women, I was used to processing and manipulating my hair in some kind of way. After I stopped relaxing, I became addicted to color, which can alter your hair’s natural texture. I probably did more damage to my hair with color, than the relaxer, looking back at it. But I continued to grow it out. Then about a two years ago I was having a very stressful time in my life. I wasn’t honoring my hair and body the way I needed to. I wasn’t eating in a balanced or regular way and it was taking a visible and tangible toll on my hair. It started breaking off and thinning out out. November 2011 I decided I needed a change. I woke up and took a shower and washed my hair. When I got out, I grabbed some scissors and cut it all off. And honestly I had never felt so free as a natural woman. I had nothing to hide behind or conform to.
What inspired you to have natural hair?
I unintentionally went natural. I got a bad perm that gave me a really bad burn on my scalp. As a result I decided that I would not relax my hair for about six months to a year. Around this same time I was growing and redefining what I thought beauty meant and how that idea of beauty related to how I see myself. At that time I decided to begin embrace who I am, and a large part of that was embracing my natural hair texture. Now I see natural hair everywhere and I think it is all beautiful.
What has kept you motivated to remain natural?
For me, this is one of the easiest ways to remain true to heritage and honor them, while honoring myself. I am a mix of African American, Jewish, Irish, Cherokee, and Creole. My genetic makeup is very diverse and multifaceted. My hair is a made up of many textures, and each different texture is a part of who I am.
What are two(2) natural hair products that you just can’t live without? Why?
Crème of Nature Conditioner with Argan Oil because I co-wash and condition my hair with it. And Olive Oil because it’s awesome as a moisturizer and a sealant. But my new favorite products are Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer and Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Curl Definer. I apply these to wet hair and flat twist. Let my hair air dry overnight and remove. My hair is moisturized and set for about 5-6 days, which is fantastic!
What is your favorite way to wear your hair?
I love flat twist outs. That is my go to hair style because they are quick and easy to maintain.
What do you love about your natural hair?
It is 100% me. Even on bad hair days.
Sometimes it just will not cooperate. Oh…and I can’t wear low ponytails anymore. It requires too much time and gel. (BTW I Love Ecostyler)
What tip(s) would you recommend to someone who wants to become natural, is transitioning, or needs advice about natural hair?
Be patient and kind to your hair. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Don’t color excessively. And lastly get your hands in there, get to know your hair and just have fun.
Embracing my natural hair has opened my eyes to embracing culture more fully. I created a line ethnic inspired jewelry called Soul & Substance (www.soulandsubstance.etsy.com). My items are inspired by and take their cues from tribal jewelry.