Meet Nina Ellis-Hervey

9:23 AM Keenya Kelly 1 Comments

Ladies, this has been the best interview I have done so far; for a number of reasons. 
Nina is a feisty little woman!!! LOL Love her!!!
She tells it like it is, but encourages you not to be complacent but constantly progressing. 
You all will be hearing a lot from here over the next year!!!!

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural a total of 4 years.   

What made you decide to go natural?

I went natural during the process of losing 100 pounds.  I was truly interested in ways to ensure I made myself healthy in many areas of my life including my hair.  I knew many beautiful and influential women around me who were so inspiring, natural and free.  I wanted to feel proud of myself overall.  Even though my hair was quite long when it was chemically treated, I knew it was not at it's full potential.  I no longer wanted to be a "creamy crack" addict and HAVE to use something that was inevitably destroying my hair.

What did you do to transition to Natural?

I began my transition back in May/June of 2006.  I decided that the way I would transition was with braids.  I LOVE braiding hair, so I made use of (Healthy) micro-braids and 2 strand twists.  They worked wonderfully.  I also made use of the transition time by trying different products on my hair in preparation for my "Big Chop."  I used products such as Jessicurl, Oyin Handmade, Aubrey Organics and Activator Gels.  My transition ended on March 7, 2007 when I did the BC.

Why did you opt out of the Big Chop?

I didn't do it immediately because I wanted to ensure I was absolutely prepared for the change.  I wanted to make sure that I properly "welcomed" my new hair.  So over the course of 9 months (much like a new baby) I spent time trying and stocking up on products.  I also spent time finding out about other young ladies and their hair care regimens in order to find the best ways to build one on my own.

What did and do your friends and family think about you going natural?
When I first began, many people thought I was a bit crazy.  I always had long hair, and took great pride in my permed hair.  When I cut it, people said things that hurt my feelings and even told me I should have never done it.  Now, many of those same people are natural themselves!  They LOVE what my hair has become and wish they had done the same!

Did it matter to you?
Yes, I will admit in the beginning it did.  I was also loosing a considerable amount of weight and had low self esteem.  My hair was long and beautiful, and it was something I could hide behind, something people thought was lovely.  When I cut it, I was forced to face my insecurities.  As time went on, I had so much confidence I could care less, and now I TRULY wear my hair with pride and grace!

Have you ever had self esteem issues?
Yes, in the past I have.  More specifically before my weight loss.  I didn't feel as if I was living at my fullest potential.  I used to be quite defensive, easily hurt, so when I first went natural, what people had to say hurt me for a bit, until I truly gained a sense of self.

A lot of women battle with needing to be light-skinned with long hair....have you ever had that issue?
Not really.  My mother really kept me shielded from those issues.  I was always taught that I was just as beautiful as the next person and that I should be happy with what I have been given.  So I have usually put that into practice.

Do you have any challenges in your professional environment with your natural hair?
I currently live in Texas where I am a doctorate level psychologist and Professor.  What I have found is that my colleagues are most interested in knowing more about my hair.  They love to see how it will be styled, how different it ill be, and they always ask me questions about it.  I have not had as many difficulties with problems with my hair.  I find that when you are confident, take good care of it and show pride in it, it truly shows!   

What have men said to you about your hair?
I have had some men rant and rave about how they love natural hair, and there are some who don't comment on it at all.  All in all, I have found that most men adore it, and can't imagine me any other way!

What's your favorite thing about being natural?
Least Favorite thing?
My most favorite thing is the freedom in creating an array of styles.  I am never limited.  Also I feel that people NEVER know what my hair SHOULD look like so they usually find something beautiful in every style I choose. I don't have any least favorite things at this time.

What products have you been trying out on your hair?
-I ensure that I deep condition every 2 weeks with a super concentrated and moisturizing conditioner.  I like to mix them with essential oils (Extra Virgin Olive Olive Oil/Coconut Oil etc).  I wash my hair in sections and finger comb.  Otherwise I use a wide tooth comb. (I ONLY comb when my hair is FULL of conditioner).
-I shampoo and do an acv rinse once a month.  I use my "shampoo dilution" method, found on my YouTube webpage.  
-I trim/dust my ends every 6-8 weeks, removing split ends and single strand knots.
-I moisturize every other day with a butter of choice (shea) and mix the butters with essential oils (Extra Virgin Olive Olive Oil/Coconut Oil etc.).  I then seal in moisture with an oil.
-If it is humid outside, I love to use activator gels as they act as a humectant and create the least product build up.  The best are those mixed with aloe vera gel.
-I occasionally blow my hair out for a nice BIG HAIR effect.  This is usually limited to once a month.
-I steam my hair 2 times per month (new to my regimen).
-I make sure that the rule with my hair is it can only be in "Out Styles" only a couple of days out of the month, limiting combing and manipulation.
What's your Fave?
I am loving my own products at this time as I formulated the conditioners to be thick and rich much like I love! They are set to be re-released in November at www.beautifulbrwnbabydol.com
 I also like Carol's Daughter Macadamia and Manoi lines as they work well for when I choose to do a blowout. 

Least Fave?
The only things that REALLY don't work for me are those with too heavy of an oil base.  I have learned to stay away from those. 

What's your hair type?
My hair is QUITE thick and dense.  It has many textures including mostly 4a, 4b and some 3c.  My hair is wiry, kinky and curly.  In some areas it is super soft in texture and in some its as coarse as lambs wool, but I love it ALL the same.


How often do you deep condition your hair? What do you use?
I try to stick to DC-ing once every two weeks.  I like my own conditioners, the Carol's Daughter Manoi line and also Trader Joes Tingle Tea Tree. 

What is your weekly regimine?
My hair is usually in protective styles so I try to stay away from manipulation as much as possible.  But as mentioned above my complete run-down it:

I moisturize my hair often and over 3/4 of the year my hair is in protective styles.  I like to wear twists and create interesting and fun styles so that I don't get burnt out on them.  I am also a fun of wearing my hair in buns.  I realize that maintaining a moisture balance is the BEST thing you can do for naturally curly hair.  Keeping the elasticity with moisture in combination with protective styling makes the perfect equation for length retention for me.

-I ensure that I deep condition every 2 weeks with a super concentrated and moisturizing conditioner.  I like to mix them with essential oils (Extra Virgin Olive Olive Oil/Coconut Oil etc).  I wash my hair in sections and finger comb.  Otherwise I use a wide tooth comb. (I ONLY comb when my hair is FULL of conditioner).
-I shampoo and do an acv rinse once a month.  I use my "shampoo dilution" method, found on my YouTube webpage.  
-I trim/dust my ends every 6-8 weeks, removing split ends and single strand knots.
-I moisturize every other day with a butter of choice (shea) and mix the butters with essential oils (Extra Virgin Olive Olive Oil/Coconut Oil etc.).  I then seal in moisture with an oil.
-If it is humid outside, I love to use activator gels as they act as a humectant and create the least product build up.  The best are those mixed with aloe vera gel.
-I occasionally blow my hair out for a nice BIG HAIR effect.  This is usually limited to once a month.
-I steam my hair 2 times per month (new to my regimen).
-I make sure that the rule with my hair is it can only be in "Out Styles" only a couple of days out of the month, limiting combing and manipulation. 

 What would you say to someone considering going natural or one struggling with their natural hair?

Do your research and find what works best for you!

Truly care about your hair.  Treat it like a treasure.  Keep it protected, armour it with moisture.  Trim/dust your ends every 6-8 weeks and prevent single-strand knots.  Take time to deep condition your hair and make up your own "hair recipes" based on your hair's needs.  Make sure that you take the time to build your own regimen and don't expect for the latest "hair fad" to work on your hair.  Find out what works best for YOU!  

Any final comments: 

 Make sure that you look at going natural as a journey.  Sometimes its easy and sometimes its not so fun.  In the end, you are becoming a better person, you inspire others and you reach your full potential.  There is glory in being you..... 

I have a workout DVD that will be released this fall, and I will soon be re-launching my hair product line, so please stay tuned for updates!


1 comment: