1. What’s your name and where are you from?
Hey, y’all! My name is Shavela (Sha-vee-la), and I’m from Dallas, TX.
2. How long have you been natural? Why did you decide to begin your natural hair journey? And did you Big Chop or Transition?
I’ve been fully natural for 2 years and began transitioning 5 years ago. I last relaxed my hair in August 2012, and opted to just keep my hair flat-ironed instead. I wasn’t ready to sport my natural hair texture at that time, mainly because I disliked the fact it wasn’t a silky texture. I thought nappy was ugly. This is also why I didn’t big chop. I figured since I didn’t have those silky baby hairs, I would end up looking like a boy with “beady beads” everywhere (LOL, smh). In retrospect, I wish I did. I hear it’s quite liberating, and I would love to see my curls grow in from scratch. I’m definitely leaning towards big chopping in the future- maybe once I’ve reached “hair goals”.
I stopped flat ironing my hair in 2013 and began the process of learning to care for my natural hair texture. I got my first professional cut in September of 2015, which removed the rest of my relaxed/heat-damaged hair. I got another professional cut in January 2016 and my latest cut in April 2017. In between, I lightly dust my ends with hair shears.
The best advice I can give to transitioners is: don’t be afraid to chop off your relaxed/heat-damaged hair. Your transitioning hair is going to require different care than your fully natural hair and both textures respond to products differently. I wish I didn’t spend time learning how to handle/maintain transitioning hair and just spent that time learning my natural hair texture and what it likes instead.
3. Who is your hair crush/hair inspiration?
I have so many haircrushes! I couldn’t possibly name them all, but a few naturalistas on Instagram who inspire me are: @itsreallyrelle (of course!), @queenelizabette__, @theimperfectnatural, @naturallychantal, @neptunesquest, @brigiteeeee, @kim_xoxo, @jaiologie, @naturellesunkissed, @lazyfollicles, @naturally_bigmama, _@bubsbee..the list goes on!
4. What is your go-to hair style?
My go to style is a Bantu knot-out. It was one of the only styles that worked for my transitioning hair, so I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting that style. Keep an eye out for my YouTube channel launch! My first tutorial will show how I Bantu knot my hair.
5. What is the one product that you cannot live without? Why?
I cannot live without deep conditioner! A good deep conditioner helps me retain moisture and maintain the health of my hair. I deep condition whenever my hair needs it. I don’t deep condition on a weekly schedule, because I’ve experienced moisture overload doing that. I mainly listen to what my hair needs at the time; that works best for me.
6. What advice would you give to a Curlfriend who has just begun her natural hair journey?
1) Focus on learning what works for YOUR hair and what YOUR hair likes. Don’t get caught up in “natural hair rules.” Everything doesn’t work for everybody, so don’t think you have to adhere to every natural hair tip.
2) Please try not to compare your hair to another natural’s hair. I know that’s way easier said than done, but that’s a major key and will save you some heartache- trust me, lol. Even if your texture resembles someone else’s, you might not have the same porosity or density as that person, so what works for that person may not work for you.
3) Enjoy your hair at every stage. There’s some things you can do with short hair that you can’t do with long hair and vice versa. The longer your hair gets, the more time it will take to maintain it so enjoy that TWA!
4) No matter what your hair texture is, remember it is beautiful as is! God created us (including our hair) in God’s image, and everything God made was very good so that means your natural, God-given hair is good too! Love your hair, and it will love you back.
7. How can we connect with you?
I’m currently active on:
Stay tuned for my YouTube channel!
Thank you Shavela!
- If you have additional questions that you would like to ask our Curlfriend, please feel free to share in the comment section.
- Expect to meet our next Curlfriend in November 🙂