|Shivonne & Allison|
Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
I'm Shivonne. From Miami by way of Kingston Jamaica. I sing, dance, work with numbers..legal assistant & student, I also teach.
I'm Allison aka Cinni. From the same place Shivonne is. I blog and I'm also a student that dances
How long have you been natural?
S: Rae! How long have I been natural? I started growing out my hair in July 2002 & i cut off the perm in 2003. So that would be… 8 & 1/2 years? Yeah. I first permed my hair in june 99.
A: My last relaxer was June 2009 & I cut off the relaxed ends in April 2010 so I've technically been natural for a year and a half. Got my first relaxer in Dec. 2005 so I've been natural most of my life.
If you have transitioned to natural what prompted you more from processed to natural hair?
S: My hair was breaking.. it was a hot mess. Thinning, split ends..just crazy. I was growing my hair out to give it a break from the relaxer to get its body back but as it was growing out, I realized i missed my hair. How much I like the texture of my hair so I thought to hell with it and let it go natural.
A: I missed having big hair. The processed hair was boring to me and I would purposely try and leave it curly to give it body but wasn't working. I just wanted big curly hair so that helped in the transitioning.
How did you transition, did you big chop?
S: Negative to the BC. I was afraid of what I would like with short hair (I was in high school at the time) so I pretty much just braided it.. cane row (cornrow for those of you who don't know what that is) and as it started growing out I double strand twisted (rope twist we called it in Ja) and would clip the ends as I went along til I felt comfy with the length I had.. whole process took a year.
A: I didn't transition very well.. I ended up doing the BC after 9 mths of just awfulness. I would fry my new growth every week by blow drying and flat ironing my hair. I had no idea what I was doing.. found natural hair sites way down the line & started to apply things I learned but I couldn't be bothered with the 2 textures so off the permed ends went.
What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?
S: They would probably be my mom washing it and getting shampoo all in my face & now not being able to eat papayas because of it. Chiney bumps, my mom did a lot of that and plaits so as I was growing out my hair I remembered those things. Also about the soft texture of certain parts of my hair because my hair has 3 or 4 different textures. Sitting down getting hit in the head with the comb.. Yea those would be them.
A: I just remembered the process it was when my mom used to wash my hair. I used to dread washing it because my neck would always hurt from the weight of my hair hanging over the wash tub to get it done. Sitting in between my mom's legs as she prepared to plait up or chiney bump my hair with the burst, comb & a jar of Blue Magic. You would think I would be turned off from going natural with those memories but I loved all the fluff of my hair and wanted it back so the memories of my long thick bushy mane helped me stay on this natural journey.
What does having natural hair mean to you?
S: It was a style choice initially. I fell in love with my hair all over again. But it has influenced my life. I think it really made me more mindful of body and my health; what I put into my body, how I'm treating it. I drink WAY more water now than I did when I first went natural 9 plus years ago. My style choice became a really great choice :-)
A: It started off as a style choice but during the transition process it started to become more than that. Made me realize I didn't have to conform to the norm (hey that rhymed lol) no but seriously it made me realize that I don't have to have my hair straight 24/7 to be beautiful. Also I started to become aware of what products I would use on my hair and skin so going natural influenced healthy choices in life when it came to my body.
How do you keep your hair looking so good?
S: I don't do much with my hair right now honestly. I wash it with Garnier Fructis' three oil shampoo and then I re-twist my roots with Organic Roots loc & twist gel and then go bout my business lol. Once my hair starts frizzing I'll put some Organic Roots Smooth 'N Hold Pudding or whatever products my hair nerd of sister has listed LOL. That's it. Pretty basic. It's partially why I locked my hair...less stress.
A: Since I've moved to the UK, my regimen has changed a bit. I now shampoo my hair every 2 weeks versus every week (The cold has made me lazier lol) When I shampoo I deep condition usually overnight. i Detangle my hair in the shower with conditioner in and when I rinse out the deep conditioner, I apply a leave in then an oil and just do couple braids. That’s very easy for me. Oh and on the week I don't shampoo, I may co wash.. if not just apply a moisturiser.
What products do you use in your hair?
A: I use Lush's Soak 'n' Float bar (shampoo) I also use Dr. Bronners Castile Soap but I didn't get to bring a bottle with me but best believe when I go home for Christmas one is coming back lol. If i co wash I use Tresemme Anti Breakage Conditioner (this isn't much of a have but i needed something over here and it has slip) . I've been using Shea Moisture Anti Breakage Masque to deep condition since I've been in the UK and the Thickening Milk as my leave in. Shea Moisture products on a whole!!! Curl & Style Milk, Curl Enhanching Smoothie, The Shea Butter Restorative Condish & Deep Treatment Masque + Purification Masque are my faves. I also have a thing for coconut oil, olive oil and I've been dabbling in Burt's Bee's Baby Oil.
What are your go to hairstyles?
S: Go to - out, if frizzy then a ponytail. Favourite hair style: hmmm. whatever the hairdresser comes up with. I leave them to their creativity as long as they don't make my head look any bigger than it already is, make my face look weird or give me something I can't go to sleep with.
A: Go to hair style is a bun. Most of the time its a high bun but I switch it up and do a low one as well. I also love to wear my hair out whether its a wash n go or a braid out. Used to do a lot of twist outs but I'm now a lover of braid outs.
How do you protect your hair in the winter months?
S: I've lived in tropical climates ALL my life. I nor my hair know what winter MONTHS are. Almost winter days? maybe. Those days I just wear a wrap, tam or hat. All other days my hair is fully exposed to the elements. It seems to protect itself pretty well.
A: See, right up there where Shivy talks about tropical climates? Yeah see that's all my hair has known and I've only been in the UK for 2 months now. Its still Fall but its colder than what I'm used to… Protecting it? I'm not sure I am :| LOL. I try not to wear it out but I do… Sometimes I wear a hat or you know.. my bun. I've been trying to consciously use butters in my hair more since its colder.
Do you have any advice for women starting out on there natural journey
S: Don't give up especially if you're doing the transition process. Be patient with your hair and get to know your hair. Find stuff that will help your hair to grow whether deep conditioning or trimming as you go. But definitely don't give up. Be patient. It is worth it cause natural hair so frickin' rocks! Just because its that much cooler and so versatile.
A: Yeah what she said up there LOL.. yeah pretty much that & try your best to block out whatever negativity you encounter on your natural journey because it will happen but don't let that defeat you. Surround yourself with positivity, keep loving yourself & embrace what grows out of your scalp. god gave it to ya!
Check out Allison's blog here