Interview with Shameka Poulson

10:03 AM Keenya Kelly 1 Comments

How long have you been natural?
At the end of this month (July 2011) I will have been natural for 4 years and 9 months.

What made you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural because I desired healthier hair. About 5 years ago I suffered from severe shedding due to a prescription medication I take daily for migraines. This along with getting relaxers caused me to experience severe breakage. The condition that my hair was in was unbearable to me so I decided to make a change.

What did you do to transition to Natural?
It all happened so fast for me that I didn’t really have much time to transition. During that short period I mostly wore my hair in rod or roller sets because that was the only way for me to mask my hair breakage as well as blend the two textures at the same time. I did the Big Chop in October 2006, right before my birthday! (Turns out that was the best birthday present I could have ever given myself!)

What did and do your friends and family think about you going natural?
My friends and family absolutely LOVED it when I made the choice to go natural and they LOVE it even more now! I get compliments all the time and I’ve even inspired a few friends to go natural as well! There’s a Natural Hair Movement going on I tell ya! Natural hair always comes up as a topic of discussion at family get-togethers one way or another!

Did it matter to you?
I step back a second as I answer this question because my first instinct is to say no, but anytime you make a decision of change in your life you want to have the support of your family and friends and I’ve been blessed to have just that.

Have you ever had self esteem issues?
Thankfully I’ve never had self esteem issues when it comes to hair, but as far as having a little added on “thickness” when it comes to weight… Well, that’s a whole ‘nother story! Lol

A lot of women battle with needing to be light-skinned with long hair....have you ever had that issue?
I’ve always focused on having healthy hair as opposed to wanting it to be long. Even in my relaxed days I was always one to switch up my “do,” whether it was getting it cut, adding a little color, braids, weaves… I’ve tried it all.

Do you have any challenges in your professional environment with your natural hair?
Thankfully I do not have that challenge but I do believe that when it comes to hair and many other things as well, you have to set a standard as to what is appropriate and what is not. It doesn’t matter whether you’re relaxed, natural, black, or white that’s just a part of the professional world.

What have men said to you about your hair?
I get quite a few compliments from guys saying that they’re lovin’ the natural look and how beautiful it is to see a black woman rock her natural hair with confidence. A lot of men are most definitely diggin’ natural hair.

What's your favorite thing about being natural?
My favorite thing about being natural would most definitely be how healthy my hair is. My hair is the healthiest it has ever been. When my mom looks at my hair now she says how she wished she had never relaxed my hair when I was younger had she known it would have been so much healthier and gorgeous if she didn’t.

Least Favorite thing?
Fairy knots (aka Single strand knots) since I mostly wear my hair in twist outs. But I’ve most definitely learned a lot since first becoming natural and patience is the biggest key when it comes to avoiding them.

What products have you been trying out on your hair?
I’ve been using VO5 Moisture Milks, Suave Naturals, and TRESemm√© Naturals Conditioners for detangling. Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner to wash and deep condition. Giovanni Direct Leave-In as my leave-in conditioner. Olive, coconut, and jojoba oils for detangling as well as sealing in the moisture. And SheaMoisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk as my moisturizer/styler.

What's your Fave?
SheaMoisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk… Love the way it moisturizes my hair and defines my twist outs!

Least Fave?
Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo… It’s not moisturizing at all to me. It makes my hair feel as if I’ve used a clarifying shampoo as opposed to a moisturizing one. I usually add a little conditioner to my hair while this shampoo is still in before rinsing to avoid my hair having a stripped feeling.

What's your hair type?
4a/4b (Mostly 4b)

How often do you deep condition your hair? What do you use?
I deep conditioner my hair every time I wash it, which is once a week. Currently for deep conditioning I use Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner.

What is your weekly regimen?
I’ve just perfected my regimen so I’m excited to share…. On a dirty head of hair I first saturate my hair with oil (usually olive oil) and lightly finger detangle with the pads of my fingers for a few minutes and I finish off by giving myself a gentle scalp massage. Next, I mix a few squirts of conditioner in a spray bottle of warm water and shake until mixed. I spray the mixture all over my hair to dampen it and I continue to lightly finger detangle for a few more minutes with the pads of my fingers. After that, I separate my hair into 4 sections and detangle each section separately using my detangling comb and adding more water/conditioner mix if needed. I shampoo and condition each of the 4 sections separately in the shower and add deep conditioner to each of the four sections of hair and put into large twists. I then cover my hair with a plastic cap and continue to deep condition over night covering the plastic cap with either a satin scarf or satin bonnet before I go to bed. The next morning I rinse the conditioner out of my hair with cool water while the twists are still in. Lastly, I take the twists out at this point adding leave-in conditioner to my hair and sealing it in with either a hair oil or moisturizer. I then style as desired. (Majority of the time this is medium sized twists… I’m a twist out kind of chic!)

What would you say to someone considering going natural or one struggling with their natural hair?
I would most definitely say to have patience and learn how to probably care for your natural hair whether it’s browsing over natural hair blogs and vlogs or chatting with a natural hair beautician. Most definitely take the time to learn how you can make transitioning into becoming natural a smooth one so it doesn’t become frustrating or overwhelming. Learning for me was half the fun and I still continue to do it to this day.

Any final comments:
I would like to thank you Keenya for having me as a guest on your blog. I’m most definitely a girly girl who’s in to hair and makeup. I hope I continue to inspire more women to join the Natural Hair Movement. J


1 comment:

  1. Very nice interview ladies!!! I've recently decided to go natural (May 2011) and it was Shameka and her beautiful natural hair that helped me make this decision. I excited and can't wait for my natural hair to grow!