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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 😉
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.