Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Danielle Keenan and I was born and raised in the Bay Area (Oakland, CA). I am a full time college student and blogger. Also I recently got a job at a little boutique in the mall
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 3 years and counting.
If you have transitioned to natural what prompted your move from processed to naturalhair?
I decided to go natural my freshmen year of college because I would be playing D1 basketball. We worked out for 6 hours a day, which was an dramatic increase from high school, and there was no point on trying to perm or straighten my hair because I would sweat it out by the end of the day. Even though natural hair is a whole lot of work, I only have to deal with my hair when I wash it versus messing with it every single day when it was straight
How did you transition, did you big chop?
Even though I have been natural for 3 years, I did actually cut my hair until the beginning of this year. I cut off about 3-4 inches of my hair... I refused to do the big chop because I just don't look good bald. Hay.. some people actually look great with really short hair but that is just not a good look on me lol
What were the main reasons for your choice to wear your natural hair? (style? Holistic life style change, health, ect)
. In the beginning, playing college ball prompted me to go natural so I didn't have to deal with my hair everyday with and I didn't want to look crazy with my roots all sweated out. But I stopped playing basketball my first semester in college for various reasons. After I quit basketball I chose to continue to wear my hair curly because a lot of people liked my natural hair. Now when I look at my reasons to stay natural a lot of it has to do with lifestyle changes. I am anti-social in the sense that I try to remove myself from main stream society and I chose my own views on what "beauty" is. Yes.. O yes I miss my straight hair and I might straighten it on my birthday..maybeee but I love my curly hair. It has given me so much more confidence and I am more in touch with myself when I don't try to alter my natural beauty.
What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?
I have always had a lot of hair. My mom tried to do the best she could when I was young to deal with my curly hair but most of the time she would blow dry it straight. When I finally got to the age to do my own hair I also chose to blow dry it straight because I just didn't know what to do with it when it was curly. When I was in the 3rd or 4th grade a came down to Alabama to visit my family and my aunt permed my hair. I loved it! When I got home, I begged my mom to let me continue to get perms. Now..I am never getting another perm in my life. All those chemicals aren't just bad for my hair but they are bad for my health. I understand now that my hair would prefer to do its natural thing.. it is not suppose to be straight. I love my curls, especially now since I know how to deal with them
How do you keep your hair looking so good?
I try to give my hair as much love as possible so that means only using organic products and not trying to force my hair to do anything it doesn't want to do. Sooooo my hair care regimen is kind of long but here it goes. First of all I wash my hair every 3 to 4 days. The night before I wash my hair I put oils in it. Before I get all squeaky clean, I wash my hair with Shea Moisture shampoo. After I was out my hair, I put in Lush Retread conditioner and brush through my curls with a wide tooth comb. I finish taking my shower and before I get out, I wash out the Lush Retread. I dry my hair and then put Lush R&B conditioner all throughout my hair. I then put in Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, which adds moisture, body and shine, and concentrate that on my ends. After all of that, I put in Kinky Curly Curling Custard throughout my hair and scrunch it a little. Most of the time I diffuse my hair but I have been styling it a lot more lately (doing twist and braid outs) so it doesn't get extremely frizzy and matted in between washes
What products do you use in your hair? (favourite products?)
Here is my long list of products: Shea Moisture shampoo and Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Lush Retread conditioner and R&B conditioner, Island Naturals Conditioner, Kinky Curly Curling Custard styling gel, rosemary oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and olive oil replenishing packs. All of these products are my favorites.. they really moisturize my hair and keep it healthy but if I had to choose one.. Lush products are my favorite!
What are your go to hair style?
Most of the time I wear my hair in two style. I either wear it down with my bangs to one side or I put it up with hair tie on top of my head. Sometimes I pin my bangs back. I haven't really been experimenting with different styles because my curls are so tight now it is kind of hard to style them. I have been getting tired of the same old look so I have been doing twist and braid outs.
How do you protect your hair in the winter months?
A lot of people are always concerned about the winter months but people totally forget that summer time or whenever the sun is out that is when the most damage to your hair occurs! Not to get all scientific but climate change is really happening, whether people want to believe it or not, and our ozone is starting to disappear. That means that the UV rays given off by the sun are getting stronger and more harmful ones are penetrating our ozone. This can have extremely harmful effects to our skin and hair. During the summer and winter I try to deep conditioner my hair as much as possible. I pretty much deep conditioner every single time I wash my hair. I also try not use my diffuser any more and just let my hair air dry. When I air dry my hair it retains all that moisture a lot more.
Do you have any advice for women starting out on there natural journey?
If you are just starting your hair journey I strongly suggest using all organic products for your hair. Before you go completely natural you need to cut your hair! All those perms and straightening have altered your hair so you have to get rid of those dead ends. Deep conditioner your hair 2-3 times a week. Moisture is key when you have curly hair. Curly hair is the driest hair time so you really have to pay attention to the types of conditioners and moisturisers you are putting in your hair. Also stay away from any type of sulfates in your shampoo... they are extremely drying