Category Archives: Hair Story

Meet a SuperNatural-Dainya W.

Wash and go-6 months natural on March 10th

How long have you been natural? I began transitioning from relaxed to natural at the end of March 2010. I did twist outs, pin ups, and tried not to straighten my hair often for about 5 1/2 months so I would avoid losing any of my curl pattern. I then took the plunge and got the big on September 10th, 2010. I will be 6months natural on March 10th.

 

Easy transitioning style: Senegalese twists. I began transitioning in March 2010

September 10, 2010, Day of the Big Chop after 5.5 months of transitioning

Position in SuperNatural UIUC I am the Vice President of SuperNatural. It has been such an amazing experience watching the group evolve and become something really meaningful on the U of I campus. The group started with President Sydney Stoudmire accidently going natural and realizing she not only loved it, but she was not alone on this campus.

Major I am a sophomore majoring in Advertising.

A month after the big chop

Why did you go natural?I got my first perm at the age of 5 years old, so I had no idea what my natural texture was. I have wondered my whole life what my real hair looks like and why I went through so much effort each month to relax my hair. I was faithfully getting touch ups every eight weeks, and after about 3 weeks my hair already looked like it was in need of another. I tried to go natural my junior year of high school, but kept hearing negativity from peers about how I need to straighten my “nappy hair”. Also, my hair had been long and permed my whole life so I wasn’t ready for such a drastic change.

Long, relaxed hair during high school-no extensions added

Shorter cut to remedy damage-health over length!

After I met the President of SuperNatural (Sydney Stoudmire) my first year at U of I, before the group was ever even thought of, we had a discussion about hair. She told me how she accidently went natural and how she absolutely loved it. She was still learning how to take care of it, but overall enjoyed being able to wash and go and try new hairstyles. I then thought, I really want to do it this time, it would be so cool to go natural, especially since I had already gotten a shorter hair cut.

Dainya and Sydney-Vice President and President of SuperNatural UIUC

What is your favorite attribute of your natural hair? I overall love how I can either rock really curly hair or a bigger puffier look. It’s almost like I can switch hair textures.

Describe your hair. I would describe my hair as versatile. I can wash and go and have really nice curls, I can do twist outs and have a more wavy look, I can brush or blow dry my hair into a big fro, or straighten it! You can do so much with natural hair! I would also say my hair is dark, curly, coiled, thick, sometimes messy, and very big. I just can’t wait for it to get shoulder length in its natural state!

What has been people’s reactions to your hair? The question I dread so much to answer lol. I have gotten both positive and negative reactions to my big chop. I am not gonna lie, most black males do not like my hair. Some love my texture but most hate my hair length. It is almost as if guys think my hair will not keep growing and that all girls with natural hair have short hair as well (silly boys). It is very apparent that guys were more attracted to me with my long straight hair, even my short straight hair. But some guys really love it, so it just depends, but women need to realize it is not all about what guys think, you just have to be confident and show them that you are beautiful no matter how your hair is.

Older women absolutely love my hair, girls my age like it, but always tell me they could never do it because they “don’t look right with it” or “its looks nice on you but…” I understand all the excuses I hear, but you never know until you try it, and I think natural hair works for everyone!

First puff @ 3 months natural!

How would you describe the natural hair movement on UIUC and the general population? Is there even a natural hair movement to speak of? It is hard to identify whether or not there is an actual movement on this campus. Now I do believe there is a movement within the black community as a whole in America, so many more women are going natural and rocking their fro’s.

On the campus, however, I feel that girls are still feeling pressure to live up to a certain standard of beauty that consists of straight hair, whether it is short, long, or fake. There are also a lot of girls who do not have perms on this campus, but because they straighten their hair so much their natural texture has altered tremendously and does not curl the way it used to. I have also heard some negative feedback on this campus about girls going natural. Some people believe that girls who do not have perms think they are better than girls with relaxers. I personally cannot relate to that mindset and do not believe most naturals think that way. I did not stop getting perms because I thought I was too good for them. I stopped getting them because of curiosity, I was sick of trying to live up to the social norm, and most importantly the health of my hair; relaxers are very damaging and prevent your hair from growing as fast as it can.

Fun random fact about yourself! I am planning to go to Australia next year! I am super excited to study abroad for a semester and I think it will be such an amazing experience. Also my hair will have grown so much by then so I gotta show those Aussies how cool black hair is 😉

Recent straightening/length check-my hair has grown so much since I stopped getting relaxers

Where can we reach you?

Follow me on twitter- www.twitter.com/dainwayne

I am on Facebook as well.

I also have a tumblr account, but I really need to update it, lol.

Esperanza Spalding-inspired blowout/twistout @ 5 months natural

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Trial and (NO) error Transition

Kim J.

A relaxer once seemed so much more manageable than my curls. However, the last time I actually saw my natural hair, I was in pigtails, barrettes and playing in my mother’s make-up.  My truth was that my hair in any form would always scream at me in the morning or lay the right way with a product. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this truth until now. With every relaxer, my glory locks of love began to get shorter…… and shorter… and shorter. My ends began breaking so much that they looked like loose string hanging from the trim of an old tattered dress.

At that moment, I began imagining my future FRO ….but “how am I supposed to get there? Not the big chop!” at least for the moment. On the day of my last relaxer I had done everything I could have possibly done wrong before application of the creamy stuff. I wore a head wrap for a week, I scratched, rubbed and the night before I even conditioned my hair. FOOLISH! I know that now but I had an interview the next day and this was an emergency (May 12, 2010). So I sat through the burn and at that point I remembered something my beautician once told me “relaxers aren’t supposed to burn” but I knew that it did EVERY time so I knew that this product wasn’t meant for me. I began my “trial and transition”. My beautician cut my hair really low in the back, gave me bangs and shaped it in a bowl-cut. My hair was fine until those six weeks crept up on me and at that point I became really handy with a flat iron but only every once 2 weeks). I tried flattening the back and only a light bumping in the morning or wearing rollers but I honestly hated wrapping my hair, putting in rollers or anything that I was supposed to do right before bed. I also wore head wraps with a big knot to the lower right/left side, and braids. After I grew tiresome of the creative ways to hide my two-textured hair I cut off all my hair except for ½ and inch in late August. It was exhilarating and I was filled with a new excitement but it took a full 24 hours before I was comfortable wearing it openly in the public or at work. The fact that my boyfriend’s TWA was longer than mine left me a bit self-conscience but I realized that it’s mine and it GROWS! So I strutted my hair proudly. I went through several products and found that thicker products work well with my hair texture because it gives it more waves and it also locks in moisture for days. I then realized that as long as I clean my hair and moisturize it, it will grow until my heart’s content. I also read a study that on average, hair grows about an inch every 1-2months. Thus, it’ll be back before you know it!

My Suggestions:

–           If you are transitioning with a large amount of relaxed hair and some natural, stay away from flat ironing because it changes the curl pattern of your texture.

–          Don’t spend so much on products, do your research before purchasing anything . Watch product reviews on YouTube and try to find someone with a similar hair type to receive suggestions.

–          Don’t envy someone else’s hair, your hair is lovely as well!

Here is a picture timeline of my journey:

 

January 2010

 

May 2010

August 2010

October 2010

 

November/December 2010

February 2011

The Birth of SuperNatural and Sydney’s Personal Hair Story

Syndey S.

My name is Sydney Stoudmire, and I am the President and Founder of SuperNatural. I’m often asked what the purpose of this group is, and what motivated me to create it. The answer isn’t too complicated, but it does require a bit of my personal history.

Hair Story

My relationship with my hair has always been a difficult one. I had my first relaxer at the age of three because my hair was coarse and kinky, which is synonymous with “hard to manage.” I started experiencing breakage by the time I was 12. It was only made worse by the fact that I was a very experimental child who loved dyeing my hair. By the time I graduated from 8th grade. I had the Nia Long circa Fresh Prince of Bel-Air hair cut because it had broken to the point where that was the only style I could pull off.

Once I started high school, I thought I was grown enough to start doing my own relaxers. My hair definitely paid the price. My ends were split beyond repair, and continued to break. It was the hair color I did just before starting college—reddish highlights—that made my hair scream, “Enough!”

I started wearing weaves my freshmen year of college. I felt like I had finally found the solution to all my hair problems, but the weave eventually started to take a toll. My hairline began to get thinner and thinner, until I had literally created a new one that started about an inch farther back than it was supposed to. By then, I became dependent on the weaves, because underneath, my hair was jacked up! It took me another year or so of abusing my hair before I finally decided it was time for another approach.

In June 2009, I decided to start wearing my natural hair out.  Underneath all of the weave was two years worth of virgin hair. My hair was as kinky as it was the day I got my first relaxer, if not kinkier. I wasn’t used to (or comfortable with) handling hair of my texture and I had no idea where to start. I took to the internet and began research natural hair. I found several blogs and YouTube “Gurus” who offered advice on how to care for afro-textured hair. These resources were a godsend, but there was a certain real world element that was missing for me.

SuperNatural

Around this time, I began to notice that there was a staggering increase in black women on campus were cutting off their relaxed hair and rocking cute little afros. I secretly wished I could approach them and ask what they did to care for their hair, or how they achieved certain styles. I fantasized about an organization where women who, like me, had recently began wearing their natural hair, could come together for support, motivation, and inspiration.

It took me a lot of courage to make the decision to create this organization for obvious reasons; I was worried that people would think it was frivolous, unnecessary, and stupid. And worse, I worried that we’d encounter objections to the organization about it being an “anti-straight hair” cult. Eventually my concerns were put to rest because, when I solicited the opinions of my peers, the overwhelming response was that this campus wanted an organization like this. By May of 2010, I began taking the steps toward making this organization come into fruition, and we made our campus debut in August 2010.

As I said earlier, my personal history (and hairstory) is closely tied into what motivated me to start SuperNatural.  I was certain that I wasn’t the only black woman who had received a relaxer at an early age, and had no idea what her natural texture looked like; that I wasn’t the only woman who was at a loss on how to style, maintain, and nurture her kinky tresses; that I wasn’t the only one who secretly didn’t feel as confident with my fro, as I did with my straight hair or flowing weaves; that I wasn’t alone in wanting to go back to relaxers because my natural hair was just “too hard to manage.”

This organization was started to serve as a support group for black women who are struggling with these same issues. So far, SuperNatural has served its purpose and I have very high hopes that we will grow to be much more than “just” a hair group.