Natural Spotlight - the gorgeous Hayley Chisholm! Enjoy :-)
Me: Hayley, 21, student.
How long have you been natural for?
I have been ‘natural’ all my life and I used to straighten and blow-dry my hair quite often. However, in the last few years, I have drastically reduced the amount of heat on my hair to virtually none.
Why did you decide to go natural or what inspired you?
I decided to ‘go natural’ -stop using straighteners, hair-dryers- when I began university in 2008. This wasn’t really a conscious decision at first. I had moved out of home and hadn’t yet bought my own hair dryer or straighteners when I had to wash my hair, after getting a swimming membership. I realised that if I was going to be swimming several times per week, washing and blow-drying, then straightening my hair, would not be a process which would be viable over a long period of time.
Curly afro with breakage :-(
How long did it take you to transition? What were the main problems you found while transitioning?
It took me a while to get used to handling my hair without straightening it and also figuring out how often I should wash it. I was worried about chlorine damaging my hair, but also worried about washing my hair too frequently, which actually resulted in my hair becoming very dry, and eventually breaking after a year. I decided to cut quite a considerable amount off at this time!
What styles did you use to transition with?
I was very fond of a curly Mohawk, or a standard puff. I would often do two French plaits, or cornrows whilst swimming. This was a manageable/transportable style where I didn’t have to spend an hour in the changing room, returning my hair to a ‘fit’ state to be seen in public!
What were your favourite products while transitioning?
I used Dark and Lovely hair moisturiser, which I thought at the time, was good to use, but it is actually very greasy and does not absorb into my hair. I used Dax to slick back my hair with some Dark and Lovely hair gel. I washed my hair with just standard shampoo herbal essences, as I thought this was less harsh on my hair.
What are your favourite products now?
I love eco gel made from olive oil; it’s not heavy on my very fine hair. I also use Jamaican castor oil and beeswax on my scalp. I use an organic olive oil moisturiser and occasionally some Dax when I want my hair very smooth. I have a spray bottle to wet my hair when I want to style it and an array of scarves and ouch-less hair bands to tie my hair.
First time straightened hair in 6 months after 2 years of regrowth.
How have people responded to your new look?
At first, people didn’t embrace my ‘new look’ and was often told I was brave for rockin’ my hair a certain way, which made it very difficult not to give in. However, over time I guess people have got used to it and ask for tips/advice now and again. I’m very amateur in the natural hair field though!
Have you got any advice or words of wisdom for other new naturals or transitioners?
I know this is cliché but...
- Stick to it and you will see results
- Remember it always gets worse before it gets better!
- You don’t have to have a particular length/texture of hair to be natural, what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you.
- Just be patient and research before you experiment.