16 April 2012

Hair Talk With Kia Chenelle

Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?

My name is Kia Chenelle and I am a photographer and model. I am originally from Baltimore, MD. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.

How long have you been natural?

I’ve been natural since 2001.

If you have transitioned to natural what prompted you more from processed to naturalhair?

I haven’t been natural all of my life but I decided to go natural because something about “relaxing” my hair just didn’t sit right with me. I noticed that my hair was much fuller when I didn’t get a perm. I also hated getting my hair “done” at a salon. That was just insane to me as a kid/teenager.

How did you transition, did you big chop?

When I first transitioned I just stop with processing altogether. After that I cut the ends and started loc’n my hair. I had loc’s for 3.5 years. It was a great experience. After loc’s I cut my hair really low like a man and wore that style for many years.

What were the main reasons for your choice to wear your natural hair? 

My main reason for going natural was because I hated getting my hair done and as a teenager I wanted to make my life a little easier than what it was at the time. I always admired the women I would see with big beautiful natural hair and I wanted that.

What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?

When I was about 10 years old, I was at the mall with my mom and I saw a man with loc’s down his back. I was so intrigued and kept telling my mom that he had the best hair I had ever seen. After that I made a commitment to myself to loc my hair when I was on my own because I wanted to look free and live easy like him. When I was 19 I loc’d my hair and then my hair journey began from there.

What does having naturalhair mean to you? 

Natural hair has influenced my life on a deeper level. It’s not a trend for me. I do it for health and personal reasons. Not only has it help me get to know myself and what my body needs, it helped me to become more confident in how the creator created me. I don’t really care about how coarse my hair is compared to others. It’s mine and I embrace it along with everything else about myself. I know that what I put in my body is direct reflection on my skin and hair so I am careful with those things.

How do you keep your hair looking so good? 

I wash my hair at least 1-2 times a week. It needs it. In between washes I use either Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner to help detangle or L’Oreal’s Natures Therapy Fortifying Deep Treatment. They both smell like how I would imagine heaven to smell! After the wash or condition, I spray in my little mixture of olive oil, shea butter and water. It helps to moisturize my hair and lock it in. I also spray this on daily and rub jojoba or coconut oil on to lock in the moisture.

What products do you use in your hair?

My favorite products are either homemade or by Oyin. Everything by this company smells delicious. Right now I am in love with the Frank Juice by this brand.

What are your go to hair style?

Bald or a fade. They are my favorite styles!

How do you protect your hair in the winter months?

If my hair is bald or in a faded style. I do a lot of headwraps and turbans to protect it from the harsh weather. Recently I decided to let my hair grow into a mini bush and I had really long braids. This was great for protecting my natural hair.

Do you have any advice for women starting out on their natural journey?
Never compare your hair to others. Your hair is your hair. It will grow differently and the texture will be different. Expect to be frustrated sometimes, but embrace it. The journey is well of self love and appreciation.

Tell us about your style?
My style ranges from day to day. Sometimes I am a true New Yorker. And others, I am a vintage and thrift wearing chic. As long as it compliments my body, I am wearing it!

What are your favorite places to shop?
My favorites places to shop are the thrift and vintage boutiques. I find the best stuff there! For good denim and shoes I love Rag&Bone. Comptoir des Contonnier has become my new go-to spot for all things feminine. I also enjoy the accessories at Forever21.

image by Nokophoto

Any tips for young ladies trying to start there own business/blog ect

For any business just make sure that you have a plan. Even though things don’t always go according to plan, be sure to have some type of goal that you want to accomplish on a monthly/yearly basis.

How is you natural hair procieved in your job roll?

All of my work is freelance so I have no issues when it comes to my job. As a model, most clients love it. I look edgy (lol)

My photography site is www.kiachenelle.com

I’m also on Instagram! Kiachenelle

If you would like to be considered for Hair Talk please submit one HIGH RES PHOTO & A BRIEF SUMMARY OF YOUR HAIR &STYLE to naturalbelle1983@gmail.com 


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