This "What Your Story" is coming from YouTube's own, Naptural85.
This lovely Au Natural lady, has a gorgeous set of curls and an array of YouTube videos on some of the cutest hairstyles, and some great homemade product recipes. I encourage each of you, if you haven't already, to drop by her YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/Naptural85) and watch, rate, and subscribe.
I had the opportunity to ask her some questions, and this my friends is her story...
When did you first decide to go natural and what was your motivation to do so?
"I first decided to go natural a little over two years ago. I slowly started to hate getting my hair relaxed because it always looked so limp and lifeless and reeked of fried hair. I started wearing my hair curly and dreading the next relaxer. I would just wash my hair, scrunch it, and pouf it out, and that's how I liked it! Then I decided that I was through with relaxing (after much encouragement from my boyfriend, now my husband) and decided to turn to Youtube for inspiration. I found myself glued to the screen watching countless hair journeys and tutorials, and I was hooked. I knew this was my destiny and I embraced it fully!"
What were some of the initial responses that you received from family, friends, co-workers?
"My mom nearly had a heart attack. I think I saw a slight tear in her left eye... hahaha, no joke though, she didn't get it at first. She was like "Whitney, are you sure? Are you sure? What about job interviews...?" She was just looking out for me, but I told her that I was doing this no matter what, and I explained why. When it came time to BC, she refused, I had to give her an ultimatum..."either you cut my hair, or I will..."she decided to help me out and cut it; she wasn't happy, but supported my decision. After putting some water on it and watching it curl up she became more supportive, and after it started growing, she really became supportive! She loves my hair now and loves supporting my natural videos. My friends thought it was cool; they liked the new look. They liked touching it and pulling the coils out to have them spring back again! And I was definitely the only natural in the office, so I got a lot of compliments after I finally freed my hair from the braids and showed myself. I was nervous at first, but after two weeks it wasn't anything new. And I got a lot of looks from strangers walking down the street, in stores, or in the mall...and I liked that! In the crowd of thousands of straight haired people, I was the only one with big, glossy, crazy curls, and people had no choice but to look because it was unique. They had never seen hair like mine, or an African American woman accepting her natural hair quite like I was, and that made me proud to have the stares. And when running across another African American natural (which is rare where I'm from in Massachusetts) we give each other a smile, and a nod. We both know what that means...a non-verbal fist in the air."
What advice would you give to a newbie of transitioner?
"I would definitely tell them not to give up, be strong, listen to your heart, and do your research. When you are first transitioning and all you really know is permed hair, the thought of natural hair can be really scary. But if you do your research, check out the free information on blogs like this one and on Youtube, you'll be armed with enough information to have you BC-ing in no time! Also, not everyone will agree with your decision. People close to you, who have a huge impact on the choices you make might be whispering discouraging things in your ear, but don't listen to them, listen to your heart and what you want. Know why you want to be natural, remind yourself of the ultimate goal everyday, stay focused, and you WILL have the hair that you long for, and you will be proud that you stuck with it. Oh, and moisturize...lolol!"
Who are some of your natural inspirations and why?
"Oh wow! I loooove CurlyChronicles! Her upbeat spirit and kind personality had me glued to the screen when I was first transitioning. She is such a sweet person and her knowledge is invaluable. I also loved that she was just so nonchalant about her hair. She only showed what she actually knew about her own personal hair care and didn't try and do things that she wasn't comfortable with, so there was a sense of honesty in her videos that I really liked. I also really like BlackOnyx77! She is a cool girl and is also very sweet! She has a lot of great tips regarding hair care as well, I especially like her patented "Hair Toothbrush," lol...no, it's not patented, but it was a great idea that I use sometimes to smooth down my baby hair. I like BeautifulBrwnBabyDol as well. She has a lot of great tutorials for hairstyles as well as inspiration videos. LexiWithTheCurls was one of the first women I saw on Youtube and I fell in love with her hair...I especially loved her Miss Jessie's Tutorials, Fabulous! And last but not least, the infamous taren916. She is the bomb! Her hair is crazy beautiful, and her videos are so informative. I love her video about the cool head wrap she found online, her makeup video, where she showed the quick smokey eye using only eyeliner (I use that tip quite frequently), and she has some really great inspirational, “Reveal and Release” videos coming up that I really enjoy as well."
What 3 products are currently in heavy rotation for you?
"Well, I am not much of a product junkie, I'm sort of like a "mad scientist" and really like to make my own concoctions...but for shampoos and conditioners I use the Trader Joes Nourish Spa collection...in one word, AMAZING...that's all I'm going to say. For cremes, I like to mix my own shea butter cremes with a little olive, jojoba, and coconut oil, as well as vitamin E. I will sometimes use a little Miss Jessie's, my favorite is the Baby Butter crème, but once that's used up, I am sticking to my all-natural shea butter. That's pretty much it though; I like to keep it simple!"
If you would like to tell your story, please email me at email@example.com.