Friday, November 25, 2011

MANE-ly Speaking

Who are you?
My name is Shamar Chin. I am 21 years old and I am currently a junior at Wesleyan University studying Earth & Environmental Sciences.

3 words you would use to describe yourself.
Driven, bubbly and quirky

Why did you go natural?
I was 8 years old when my hair was first relaxed (long time ago).  Clearly at this age I did not appreciate my mane, instead, I was caught up with crying about how thick my hair was.  As I got older I grew tired of the maintaining relaxed hair. No matter what I did, I was never satisfied with the state of my hair. The brittleness, constant breakage and my lack of patience made the process painful and tiring. I have attempted to go natural a few times, this time being my third try and my second big chop. Each time I had a different experience and this time around I feel like I am more prepared to take care of my hair. All in all, I was killing my hair and it was time for me to stop. 

Was it difficult or easy to go natural?
Going natural has definitely been difficult for me despite the fact that this is my third attempt.  I tried to transition once and I gave up after 5 month, so once I made the decision to go natural again I knew I had to big chop. Both times I big chopped I did it myself and it was quite impulsive. Chopping my hair off was the easy part.  This journey has been difficult for me because I am in the awkward phase. My hair is not short enough to slick it back and go and it is not long enough to pin it up. I feel like I am at a standstill point and it is very frustrating because I like to change the style of my hair on a regular basis. Another difficult thing is learning how to take care of my hair because what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. It is also hard being in this climate because it is cold and dry for most of the school year which is quite harsh on my hair.

4 words to describe your mane.
Thick, coily, big and sponge-like

Tell us a little about your regimen.
For my protein treatment, I use an egg and mayo and allow it to dry on my hair for about 2 hours. 
I deep condition my hair every other week with some coconut oil, mayo, jojoba oil, a conditioner and olive oil. 
After I wash out this deep conditioner I apply avocado oil to my hair.  For shampooing, I use a sulfate free shampoo (Organix is one of my favorites).
Everyday Regimen:
  • I wet my hair using a spritz bottle. 
  • I apply mane n’ tale as a leave in conditioner. 
  • If it is humid, I apply vegetable glycerin to my hair because it is a humectant.
  • I apply some cantu shea butter and seal in the moisture with castor oil. 

What have you learned on your natural hair journey?
I am learning to be patient. I have a long way to go before I reach my ultimate goal and I know that it won’t happen overnight therefore I constantly remind myself that patience is key. I am also learning to love myself and appreciate my natural hair.  I have also become a stronger person during this journey because there are days when I feel like giving up but I have to tell myself to keep it together and be strong. 

MANE-ly speaking.. (anything else you would like to add)
Everyone is beautiful in their own way. I have made the decision to go natural but I am not against straightening your hair because at the end of the day it’s your happiness that matters. Whatever you do, do it for the right reasons. Also, if you are thinking about going natural, give it some thought because it is not easy. Do some research about how to take care of your hair, decide if you want to transition or big chop and figure out if you would want to use extensions to make your journey easier. 

Follow Shamar on Twitter @Sham_Cee


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