LaTresha's Journey

7:49 AM Keenya Kelly 0 Comments

How long have you been natural?
I have been completely natural for 2 years and 4 months, but I’ve only been a “healthy” natural since January 2011. 

What made you decide to go natural? 
At the time I was rocking my hair short, but I was tired of the maintenance that came along with it.  Plus I wanted to sleep, instead of “sleeping cute” lol.  I didn’t realize I was going natural….for a while.  I just needed change.

What did you do to transition to Natural? 
I actually did the Big Chop.  My hair was already short, so I decided to chop off the rest of my permed ends.  I quickly realized I had no idea how to care for my hair so within a couple months I was wearing braids and weaves. 

Why did you opt out of the Big Chop? 
I did the Big Chop

What did and do your friends and family think about you going natural? 
I think everyone was stunned and shocked.  I’ve had a perm since I was about 5 or 6 years old.  My stylist was for sure, but she respected my decision to go natural and still does my hair.  All of my friends were supportive.  I did have to educate some of my family members on my decision to go natural.  My grandfather thought I was wearing a wig lol. 
Did it matter to you? 
Of course it mattered.  It can be a struggle when no one else in your group of friends or family “looks” like you.  It’s nice to converse with people who understand what you’re going through.  I found a lot of support online via blogs and YouTube.  
Have you ever had self esteem issues?
Yes, but it was my weight that troubled me.  At my heaviest I was 227lbs and I was tired and sad.  I took charge of my life and shed 70lbs by eating healthier and working out.  I re-gained my confidence, energy and outlook on life. 

A lot of women battle with needing to be light-skinned with long hair....have you ever had that issue?
No, I’ve never had that issue.

Do you have any challenges in your professional environment with your natural hair?
No, not at all.  I get a lot of compliments on my hair whether I have it out wild and fierce, straight, or tucked away in a bun.  I’ve even had the CEO of the company come up to me and compliment my hair.  I believe his exact words were, “I love your hair!

What have men said to you about your hair?
I’ve only received positive attention and feedback from men about my hair.  They‘ve said it’s refreshing to see a girl rock her natural curls with confidence.  I’ve been told I look exotic and beautiful on a different level.  They stare at it and some will even ask to touch my hair.  J
What's your fav thing about being natural?
I love the feeling of being free!  I love that water is the ultimate moisturizer…oh how I used to run from it!  (My hair that is lol) I like being in charge of the health of my hair.  I know my hair better than anyone else.  Also knowing I can wear any style I want and that my hair will never look like anybody else’s, because God made us all unique.  I love each kink, curl and coil that grows from my scalp.

Least Favorite thing?
When I’m lazy, tired or sick and it’s wash day lol 

What products have you been trying out on your hair?
I only use Tree Naturals products.  This is my line of products that I produce and manufacture.  Outside of my own products I will use Eco-Styler gel on my edges and Kinky Curly Curling Custard from time to time.  I use the Tree Naturals Bamboo, Fig & Lotus Flower Deep Conditioner, Rice Flower & Shea Leave-In Conditioner, Whipped Hair & Body Butter, Hair & Body Oil (sandalwood, fig & vanilla) and the Coconut Lemongrass Curl Refresher Spray.

What's your Fave? 
My fave is the Rice Flower & Shea Leave-In Conditioner!  This stuff rocks…I’ll sometimes use this leave-in as my styler.  It leaves my hair sooo soft and moisturized and it smells soooo yummy!!  Also the whipped hair & body butter!!  Gotta have that too J  I can’t live without them!
Least Fave? 
Miss Jessie’s….over priced and the ingredients are far from natural. 

What's your hair type?
I hate all the hair type mumbo jumbo.  I have healthy hair….point, blank period.

How often do you deep condition your hair? What do you use?
My hair used to be severely damaged (during the early part of my journey) so I’ve gotten into the routine of deep conditioning weekly.  However, since my hair is color treated I have to deep condition my hair once a week.  If I can’t then I will definitely do it the next week.  I use Tree Naturals Bamboo, Fig & Lotus Flower Deep Conditioner and I sit under my Huetiful Steamer!!  That’s the best invention since the Denman brush or tangle teezer….another fav!

What is your weekly regimen? 
Once per week I shampoo with Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus or Moisture Retention Shampoo, detangle with Aussie Moist conditioner, deep condition with Tree Naturals Bamboo, Fig & Lotus Flower.  Once per month I will do a Cassia treatment (mixed with conditioner, oils and honey and a splash of orange juice) and also once per month I will do a honey and oil pre-poo treatment.  I usually will do a wash & go, twist out, braid out, bun or up-do.  I make sure to use leave-in all over my hair and my whipped hair butter on each section and I also add more butter to my ends to seal them up.  I’ve been trying to keep my hair in protective styles now that it’s getting colder out.  I pineapple my hair at night or will put in 5 or 6 chunky plaits or twists.  I sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf at night.  To refresh my hair in the morning if I’m wearing a w&g, twist/braid out I will spritz my hair with Tree Naturals Coconut Curl Refresher spray and add a little oil.  Usually by day three I’ll add a little leave-in or butter.  That’s it!  All of my styles last me a full week.
What would you say to someone considering going natural or one struggling with their natural hair?.  
Make sure your reasons for going natural are all your own and educate yourself so you can have a game plan.  Also it’s okay to have hair idols and hair crushes, but crush on your own hair first.  J  Don’t be so concerned with length, (keep it in your radar of course if that’s your goal), but focus your attentions on having healthy hair!  Once you’re there, OWN it!!  There is nothing sexier than a woman or man that can rock a natural style with confidence. 
If you find that you are struggling with your natural hair, get to the root of the problem…literally.  Do you need a trim to get rid of unhealthy ends?  Do you take care of your scalp? How often are you deep conditioning your hair?  How often do you moisturize and seal your hair?  If you don’t know or are having difficulty, then you should start with building a simple regimen and only use a few products at a time.  Trust me, less is more!  Also, smile for the camera!  Take pics of your hair so you can document your journey!  It helps to look back to see how your hair is progressing.  Pictures don’t lie!!  J If you do this and you are still struggling, maybe it’s time to get some braids or a weave to give yourself a break.  After a couple months, you’ll be back in love with your natural hair!

Any final comments: 
Thanks Keenya!!!  You’re a blessing to us all!  Keep up with me on my YouTube page for tutorials and my website for product info.