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Tell us about yourself:
The names Joiya aka Jo Clo. I’m from Mars via California and Arizona
How long have you been natural? And why?
13 years, however, my current hair is reflective of a big chop in September of 2010. My original reasoning for going natural was due to my disgust for unhealthy hair from over processing (i.e. breaking off from flat ironing, perms, braids, etc.), attempting to maintain styles that were not natural to me as a black woman, and failure to maintain straight hair with an active lifestyle. That reasoning shifted to include merely wanting to help adjust misinformed black people’s perception of beauty beyond that of the learned European standard, and forcing people to accept what naturally grows out of my head.

After having been vegan for a year and a half and starting a Facebook page and movement called Health Over Hair (HOH) www.facebook/healthoverhair, being natural was important for reasons that included helping others to see that healthy hair or long hair if that was your goal, is contingent upon your overall health (i.e. mental health, what you eat, exercise, etc.). Now it is really about understanding yourself beyond your hair and self-love. I also take a special interest in redefining sexy for black women, since natural hair has in the past been associated with the opposite.

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How would you describe your hair?
I don’t really define my hair with any standardized system or know what the standards are. I like my hair to set its own standard. Besides, it really does vary depending on the conditioner I use to wash it with, the weather, how many days have gone by before washing it, the amount of product layered in, over what amount of days, etc. But generally speaking my hair has looser curls in the front, kinkier curls on the side, cotton textures in the middle and tighter, smaller curls in the back. =)

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What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I’m a bona fide wash n go girl because it’s the easiest and least time consuming without torturing my hair through some process (my hair is sensitive and impressionable to most processing). I co-wash with Mizani Conditioner, Tresemme Sulfate Free Conditioner or Herbal Essences Hello Hydration and then use Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner. For any cleanup styles or edge cleanups I use an online product called Coconut Curl Pudding by Komaza Care (love them!).

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Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?
I have always liked my natural hair, but have not always accepted it-Myself and many naturals tend to want their curls a certain way or to avoid shrinkage or to have another woman’s curls. In my opinion, that contradicts the point of going “natural” , but rather we should be concerned with allowing our hair to be what it is and do what it does, optimally and naturally.

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What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
My edges are prone to breakage and do not grow as long. Periods of undergoing little to no major processing (i.e. straightening or tight buns), are necessary.

What are your staple hair styles?
Wash n Go all day!

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What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
The Big Chop! I have been natural by way of a transition into my natural hair by foregoing perming and processing and I have also decided to just cut it all off which is a problem for “everybody”! People will say don’t do it and others will be more offended about the hair cut than you, but beauty of the experience is that you get to that point of fearlessness and courage to go against the grain for your own personal freedom. Cutting my hair was freedom

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What is your hair goal?
Large, very Large!

Hair Crush?
hmm…no one in particular, but I genuinely love all natural hair girls!
Anything else you would like the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Self-Love is total acceptance of you-it may be an on going process #thatisall

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Instagram: @xojoclo
and
www.facebook.com/healthoverhair

 


Photo Cred: @genstreetstyle

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Christelle Blanche. Originally born in Dominican Republic and as a military brat I traveled all over the world from ages 2-8, then my family moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina and that was where I was raised. I graduated high school a year early then moved to Charlotte to study fashion at the Art Institute. After realizing how boring NC was, I decided to move to Miami and transfer to the Art Institute there. I have been in Miami for about 3 years now finishing up my bachelors in the arts while doing freelance modeling. I loveee the beach which is why I know it will be hard to leave Miami to pursuit bigger dreams in NYC.

How long have you been natural? And why?
Because I moved to Miami and the humidity would not allow me to have my straight for more than 3 minutes I had to chop my hair and start wearing my hair curly. I had so much chemicals in my hair that when I would try to wear my hair curly it would come out looking stringy and just unhealthy so that’s why I decided to cut my hair. It wasn’t a huge chop but it was pretty big for me.


Photo Cred:@p.rarri

How would you describe your hair?
My hair is veryyy thick and coarse, that’s that Dominican in me lol. My hair goes from 3c to 4a. Certain parts of my hair are very soft and then other parts are not. I have loose curls and I have tight curls my hair is all over the place lol.

Photo Cred:@uhhmazing1

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I have gone through so many different products that I do not even remember which ones worked and which ones didn’t but I can say that I have been using the Shea Moisture brand for some months and I absolutely love it! It is perfect for my thick curls. I use their shampoo, conditioner, and hair milk.

Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?
I didn’t always love it, my natural hair only because I never knew what products to use and I also did not like the length. I felt like a little boy lol. Once I got the right products and my natural hair went from stringy curls to bouncy curls it was a wrap!

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
Oh my god the middle of my hair is the WORST! Its just like a patch on top of my hair that I have to put extra product in it in order for it to not look frizzy and dry.

Photo Cred: @ftwtn

What are your staple hair styles?
I either wear my hair with a split down the middle, to the side or literally like an afro.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I get a lot of attention from guys. I mean not like I don’t regardless — hehe — but they just love naturally curly hair! I also have gotten a lot of jobs through my hair working with different beauty companies including Corioliss, Ouidad and Miss Jessie’s.

Photo Cred: @genstreetstyle

What is your hair goal?
The only issue I have with my hair now is that I want it to grow. It is at my shoulders but I have some pieces that are longer in the front than the back. So my hair goal is to grow it out past my shoulders.

Anything else you would like the readers to know? Inspirational words?
If you are someone who is thinking about going natural please research what types of hair you have first. There are some girls who go natural and their hair doesn’t grow as quick as anticipated or it just doesn’t grow back the same but then a majority of the women who go natural end up loving their hair. Research is very important in this process. I also encourage trying new products. Different products produce different results, you never know what you get until you try!

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?

www.christelleblanche.tumblr.com
IG: @miss.stelle
Twitter: @cocochristelle

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Tell us about yourself:
Cynthia born in Maryland but raised in Douala, Cameroon until my teens when I moved to NYC.

How long have you been natural? And why?
Been natural about 3 years now, could be more, really haven’t kept track. My hair was breaking and damaged and I didn’t care for the way it looked relaxed so I slowly began a transition.

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How would you describe your hair?
I don’t particularly subscribe to hair typing; so don’t want to be inaccurate. I can say however that it is coarser and kinky, very tight curls that only show up when wet. It’s also quite dense in some areas and thinner in others.

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What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I’ve pretty much stopped experimenting and settled in to using Shea moisture products for shampoo and conditioner, also use Aussie moist 3 minute, I like Organix Coconut milk mousse in the place of gel for my twists.

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Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?
I didn’t think about natural hair as an option for years- wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t see it as a viable option especially for someone with coarser hair like mine- call it brainwashed or what you may, it’s just the way things were. I’m very happy now and can’t imagine going back even when I have a bad hair day- those still happen.

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What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
I’m still very lazy about wash days- detangling isn’t always fun.

What are your staple hair styles?
Twists, twist outs, buns, Afro puffs, big big hair.

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What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Everyone’s been great. I initially feared my mum wouldn’t get it but she loves it, the bigger the better she says.

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What is your hair goal?
None actually. I don’t have length aspirations or anything. Just take care of it, make sure it’s presentable always. Maybe a cut in the future.

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Anything else you would like the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Don’t stress your hair failures or woes… It’s a journey, enjoy every step, every length, every style.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
www.addicted2etsy.com