HairStory: Ebony Hope

Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
My name is Ebony aka Afrobuttafly. I am a talkative, friendly, opinionated person. I love to laugh. I find pleasure in the simple things in life. I love to help people. I’m very into going green, conservation and things of that nature. (No pun intended) I live on the internet. I’m smitten with kinks and all things natural.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?

I have been natural since September 26, 2008. I decided to go natural because I had never seen my natural hair before. I was relaxed at the age of about 4 by my grandmother because she said she could not handle my hair. My mother continued to relax my hair from then on. So I wanted to know what my natural hair looked and felt like. I was tired of relaxers and frequent shedding. I wondered if my hair could grow beyond shoulder length.

Did you transition or big chop?
I transitioned for about 6-8 months then I did the big chop. It was a spur of the moment decision, influenced greatly by the big chop of Saleemah Cartwright. I watched her video on youtube and was amazed that she could just cut off all of her beautiful long hair. I thought to myself, if she can do it I can do it. In the wee hours of the morning I walked into the bathroom, grabbed the shears and embarked on my natural hair journey.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
Some of them were obviously surprised. Some people didn’t like it. I don’ think they really understood what this decision is all about. My response to them was basically it’s hair it’ll grow back even better. Now that it has grown tremendously, many of them compliment my hair.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle and how have you dealt with it?
Shrinkage, knots and tangles are my worst enemies. I had done research for about two years prior to actually deciding to go natural, but I still was not prepared for the knots. As I learned tips and tricks from other naturals online they have become easier to deal with. I’ve learned how to stretch my hair and make detangling simpler. I know how to handle these issues and though I despise them, it’s not that big of a deal anymore. I also had to grow a thicker skin to face the ignorant and insensitive remarks other people make. That too has become less challenging over time. I became more confident and firm in my resolve to stay natural forever. Most times I just overlook it.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love being able to scratch my scalp whenever I want to. I love not having to run from bad weather. I love the feeling of liberation and strength I experience after going natural. I love being apart of the natural hair community. I love how big my hair can get. I love the simplicity of styling. I love being different from the majority. I love the feeling of joy and oneness I feel when I see other naturals on the street. I love how having natural hair is urging me to become healthier and more natural in other areas of my life.

What is your current regimen?
I shampoo once a week , co-wash 2-3 times a week and deep condition 1-2 times a month. I like Shea Moisture’s shampoos along with Aussie and Tresseme Naturals conditioner.

What is the product “you cant live without”?
My homemade leave-in spritz. It consists of grapeseed, olive and other random oils, vegetable glycerin, water, conditioner, and anything else I have around that does good things for my hair.

What is your “go to” style (share a picture of it, if you have one!)?

My go to style is the afro/puff. It’s super easy, cute and quick. I smooth my edges with eco styler gel or any moisturizer and a brush. On either damp or stretched hair I tie a piece of stocking around the front of my head, then pull the two ends which makes the stocking slide up past my hairline. I  can make it big or small by depending on how high up I allow the stocking to slide while pulling the ends tightly. I tie the loose ends into a bow. That’s it!

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)? If you go to a salon, would you recommend it.
I have no regular schedule for trimming my hair. I just do it whenever I feel it’s necessary. I do it myself sing what I call the twist & snip method. I put my hair in large twists all over then snip the end of each twist with shears.

Do you have a “hair inspiration”? If so who?
I have many. The internet is teeming with gorgeous naturals. I would have to say Saleemah Cartwright is my main inspiration because she unknowingly encouraged me to do the big chop. Also her hair is just beautiful. I can only hope that one day mine will be as long, healthy and pretty as hers.

Where can we find you online?

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
This journey is not an easy one, but usually nothing worthwhile comes easily. The benefits of going natural outweigh the challenges by a ton. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. It can be a very freeing, empowering experience if you go into with the right motives and expectations. Please do research before you go natural. Watch videos, read blogs and forum posts. Learn about healthy hair care practices beforehand. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Be open to trying various styles and don’t give up if they don’t come out right the first couple of times. Build a simple regimen and stick to it each week. Your hair is unique to you so don’t compare it with that of others. Products that work for others may or may not work for you. Length will come, worry about health first and foremost. Seek encouragement and advice from other naturals whether it be on or off-line. Be firm in your resolve to go natural and embrace all that comes with it. Enjoy your hair!

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity to share my story. I love reading the stories of other naturals as well. Keep it kinky. } ! {


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Posted on October 24, 2012, in Curls2Envy Guest. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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