27 February 2013

Hair Talk With Samio



Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Samio and I'm a model from England, I'm also soon to be opening a website selling bags that I design and make myself, so watch this space.
How long have you been natural?
 I've been natural all my life
What kept you from relaxing your hair?


The thing, or should I say person, that kept me natural was my Mother. When I was younger the trend was to have poker straight hair, for a lot of my friends that came easily but for me my hair couldn't be more opposite. My mother said I couldn't have my hair relaxed until I was older, because she knew I'd eventually appreciate my hair. It took a while, but she was right and now there seems to be a general desire to have big hair. Now my friends are always asking me for tips on how to add volume to their hair.
If you have transitioned to natural what prompted your move from processed to natural hair?
I've never fully relaxed my hair but I did go through a period of having bleached hair, which after a long time left my hair really damaged. I finally decided to start again with my hair, I went for the big chop and grew my hair back dye free.

What were the main reasons for your choice to wear your natural hair?
I think the point I finally started to wear my hair out was when I got to college (or end of high school in the US), I'd gone from leaving school where I'd always felt so self concious about my curls, to going to this new place with new people. It was like a fresh start to be a new person and that's when I finally started wearing my hair out as opposed to in plaits and buns as I had done all through school.  
What are your earliest hair memories? How did these memories influence your hair journey today?
Oh my gosh, there are so many. There have been so many tears and tantrums in the past over my hair. A funny one I remember was when I was about 13 and one of my best friends (who was the nominated hairdresser of our group), offered to cut my hair. She straightened it first and then I let her cut it (she had no real hairdressing knowledge by the way), the results were disastrous. After washing my hair the curls obviously sprung back and my hair was so short. She's still one of my best friends I just haven't let her come near my hair with scissors since. Now another friend of mine cuts my hair but she is actually trained in hairdressing, so I have learnt.
What does having natural hair mean to you?
Initially I always thought it was a style choice but when I really think about it I actually feel quite empowered by my hair. Without it sounding cheesy, it feels amazing now to walk into a room full of confidence with my big hair, something I would have never imagined when I was younger. I feel confident and attractive with my hair and it's a trademark of who I am. 

How do you keep your hair looking so good?
 My favourite hair product is Aussie conditioner. I use Aussie miracle moist and then leave some in after washing, it works wonders for my hair. If I feel my hair needs more moisture I will add serum (any brand), and I like to use coconut oil spray. I also like the Twisted Sister products; The curl activator cream and spray are great for refreshing my curls the next day. Technique wise, unless I wash and dry my hair on the same day I'll do a braid out. I put some of the Twisted Sister cream through my hair and then put my hair into about 5 plaits. I'll wrap it in a silky headscarf and then leave it like that until the next morning (or when I'm ready to take it out). Once I take out the plaits I'll go through my hair with an afro comb to bring back the volume again and make it BIG.


What are your go to hair style?
My favourite way to wear my hair is out and big, which I archive by just washing and drying as usual or doing a braid out, with added help from an afro comb. I also like to do different up dos using bobby pins. I'll often wear my hair in a puff for convince and then tie a headscarf round my head and tie it in a bow at the front. If I'm maintaining a braid out I'll wear a head scarf or stick a wig on. 


How do you protect your hair in the winter months?
In the winter months my hair car regime doesn't change too much, if my hair is looking particularly dry I'll usually add more coconut oil or serum. I'll also try and have more days where I'll leave my hair braided with product in when I can. 
Do you have any advice for women starting out on there natural journey?
1. Don't give up, the road can seem long but it's defiantly worth it and the start is always the hardest part.
2. Look for plenty of blogs like this one, find websites, ask for advice, speak to people; It will give you lots of encouragement and ideas and also make your natural hair journey a really fun one.
Tell us about your style?
My style is a random mix of all the the things I like. I don't consciously follow fashion. I buy what I like and if it's 'on trend' then that's fine but if not I'm not really bothered. If I feel good in what I'm wearing then I'm happy.

What are your favourite places to shop?
My favourite place to shop is Asos, I probably buy from there about once a week because it's so convenient and they always have new stuff in. I love eBay for all the great bargains you can find, it's amazing how little I've paid for some great items on there. High street wise I like Urban outfitters, they always do good shoes. And then I like all the rest of the other high street shops. I'll shop anywhere if I can find something unique and for a good price, I'm not overly fussy where I get my clothes. I think it's how you put together and style an outfit rather than where it's from. I just usually avoid items that are displayed in the shop windows or on the mannequins as they are always the go to items that everybody buys.
 How did you get into modelling?
When I went to University, photography students started asking if I'd model for them to help with their projects. I started to build up a portfolio from that and then I found professional photographers were asking me to do test shoots for them, so I started getting better images in my portfolio. From that I started getting people contacting me offering me paid work but it wasn't until after I graduated from university that I decided to join an agency and start modelling properly.

How is you natural hair perceived in your job roll?
My hair seems to get me a lot of work. I'm lucky that I get regular work and I think I can thank my hair for a lot of that, although I am often miffed when I get booked for a shoot and they want to straighten my hair, but I guess that shows they like me for more than just my hair at least.
How do you protect your hair from heat styling on shoots?
It varies how I protect my hair. Often on shoots I get there and they will say something like  'Today we are straightening your hair, we have half an hour to do it in', then hair stylist will be go go go, to get it done. In this case hair care goes out of the window and I don't mind too much because it doesn't happen all the time and it is my job. But I do often wish I'd been told prior to the shoot and then I could have prepped my hair, which would always make things easier for the hair stylist. If my hair has been straightened on a shoot though I usually make sure that the next day I do a deep condition on my hair. There are times when I turn up to a shoot and they tell me they are leaving my curls natural and the hair stylist may only have to give it a quick spray and a tweak, which is always great for my hair.

My website where you can also find my blog - www.samio.co.uk Instagram and twitter @samiorenelda  

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