"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Natural Queen : Kiianah









Hi ladies!

 I am so happy and excited today to introduce to you the Natural Queen for the month! 

Not only is she just wonderful, and has been so supportive and helpful on my natural journey, but she is also the owner and editor of the amazing blog, "Rockin' it Napptural!"




I had the honor to ask her a few questions and learn about her natural journey so far : 



What is your name? Use a few lines to describe yourself and what you do in life.


Hi there, my name is Kiianah and by day I work for the federal government as an editor. By night I can be anything from a writer, researcher, performer, jewelry designer, consultant and relationship therapist, lol.



Why did you decide to go natural?




I decided to go natural because I had just grown tired of watching my hair fall out, thin, break, you name it. My hair was in such bad shape and I was doing everything I thought I could to nurse it back to health but nothing would work. I thought that going natural would be the best option for me because I was done with relaxers.



Was there a particular event that made you decide?




I started researching natural hair in 2008. I saw a lot of gorgeous women who looked so beautiful with their short afros and shaved heads but I just wasn't ready to chop off all my hair, I just wasn't comfortable with that so I started getting weaves installed and quick weaves. That went well for a little under a year when a friend of mine pointed out that my edges were completely bald. I hadn't paid much attention at first and once my hair was weaved-up, lol, I didn't think anymore about the hair under it unless it was itching. Not only were my edges balding but I was also dealing with a large patch of excessively dry skin in the front of my scalp. I used prescription topicals and meds but nothing worked. I was literally crying because my forehead and edges, along with a few other spots in my hair were pretty much bald, I mean baby's bottom smooth bald. I knew I had to do something so I said that was it, no more relaxers and initially, I was going to lock my hair.




Since when have you been natural?




After stalking the Internet for a year and having a breakdown over the state of my hair, I did my BC September 3, 2010. So, I've only been natural for about 4 months.






Transitioning with weaves




Did you transition?


I did transition, I wore a few weaves, cornrows, braids, roller sets-you name it. Once my hair became unmanageable because of the two textures, I just cut off all the hair that was relaxed. At first, I was debating if I wanted to lock my hair but once I discovered CurlyNikki.com and all of the beautiful women that were wearing their hair natural, I was hooked on free flowing natural hair.



If so, how long and how did you manage your hair during this period?




I only transitioned for 8 months and wore lots of extensions.



What were the reactions around you?




Most people didn't know I was transitioning because I wore my hair in protective styles. I had a friend that was transitioning with me and we pretty much motivated each other and did a lot of research together. My friends and family were very supportive, although my mother was totally against it at first. She definitely hated the locks idea and then couldn't understand why I would want to walk around with a "nappy head" but she slowly came around. Once I chopped, I thin people were pretty much surprised that I made such a drastic change from what they were used to seeing.






Pre BC short bob





How did you handle those reactions?


I was happy that my friends and family were supportive of my decision. Most people know when I make my mind up to do something, not much will deter me from my decision so regardless of how they felt or reacted I still would have proceeded with my choice to go natural. My mother did eventually grow to understand the nature of natural hair. I made sure that as I became more educated about natural hair, I wanted to educate her as well.







What is your basic hair regimen?


For the first month of my journey I pretty much did wash and go's, I didn't use a lot of product until my second month. I wear a lot of twists so I only cowash maybe 2-3 times a week usually with VO5 Hair Milks of Herbal Essence. I usually shampoo once a week with a sulfate free shampoo because I use a lot of creams and lotions on my hair. I deep condition weekly and I always try to deep condition overnight as my schedule permits. I will either do finger coils or chunky twists on the weekends. When I finger coil, it can last me a week or more. If I do chunky twists, I usually keep them in for 2 days and wear a chunky fro for the remain



What are your favorite products?




Shampoo : Shea moisture organic black soap shampoo (sulfate free), curlisto natural coils sulfate-free shampoo
Cowashing : VO5 Hair Milks, Herbal Essence: Hello Hydration, Hydralicious or Totally Twisted, Aussie Moist conditioner.
Moisturizing : Raw coconut oil for my scalp, Beija Flor Naturals Licorice Root Scalp Elixir, EVOO, coconut milk
Deep Conditioning : Shea Moisture Deep Treatment masque, Organic root stimulator deep conditioner
Leave-in : Curlisto natural coils leave-in treatment, Cantu shea butter leave-in, Long hair lovers Luxe leave-in
Styling : Bee mine bee hold curly butter, Ecostyler w/ olive oil

BC

What are your favorite hair styles?

I love so many styles, especially the twist-and-curl but my hair isn't long enough to try it so my go-to style is pretty much finger coils. It was the first style I learned to do when I went natural and it would take me almost 4 hours to complete but I've got it down to about an hour now.





What are the three things you love the most about natural hair, and why?

I love the versatility, the uniqueness of its texture and how it brings out the natural beauty of the wearer. I've always beleived that you can see the true beauty of a black woman when she embraces her natural self, but that's a whole different topic, lol.






What are the three things you like the least about natural hair?

Hmm, sometimes styling can be tedious. I think it's because my hair is in an awkward stage and length, there aren't many styles that I can take advantage of, especially because I have no idea how to cornrow or do flat twists to save my life. As I mentioned before, it used to take me about 4 hours to fully twist my hair. I know once I've retained enough length, the process will come much easier. For those mornings where I don't have time to really devote to styling my hair, I've always got a a drawer full of beanies/tams in every color!






Do you have any natural hair inspirations?


I love Leela James' hair, it's big and bold and demands respect but fun at the same time. I've always been a fan of Cree Summer's hair, I used to be in awe of her hair when I was younger watching "A Different World." I also love Kim Cole's newly revealed natural hair, she looks so adorable!






If you had to choose 1 person that really helped you through your journey so far, who would it be?


My best friend Stephanie. She and I had decided to lock our hair together, that was the initial goal. I would do extensive research on locs and how to maintain them. And I also ran into a plethora of information on natural hair. That was it for me, I was hooked. Her and I both decided to take the free flowing natural route and I'm glad I did.






2 months after BC



Is anyone else close to you natural?

Yes, one of my closest friends is natural, she wears her hair pressed for the most part. My sister did her BC about a month and a half ago as well as my mother, who was initially against the "nappy hair thing." Go figure, lol.




What would you say to someone who is thinking of going natural?




I would say, if it's something your interested in, go for it! The natural hair "journey" is one you have to experience to really understand how liberating it is. Do your research! YouTube was my go-to resource before going natural. There are also many support communities that will embrace you and support you along the way. The only thing that's stopping you, is you! I have yet to meet a natural that says she misses her relaxers or that she made a mistake by going natural.








What do you know/have now and wish you'd known/had before going natural?




I wish I had known that my hair was not very fond of the cold weather. I wish someone would have told me the effects of glycerin on the hair during winter months too. One thing I've noticed that I've acquired since going natural is the ability to see the beauty in almost everything. I know it's cliche and I've never been a superficial person but I am able to embrace people more openly and unconditionally than before. I think it was because I had to come to terms with how I felt about and viewed myself. I was so comfortable with myself after chopping off my hair that it felt good being able to go to work confidently, in a corporate environment with a tiny little bush of nappy hair.




Did you make any major mistakes concerning your hair care? If so what was it?



I don't think I've really made any mistakes from what I can think of except the fact that sometime I forget to sleep on my satin bonnet, which I know is a big no-no!


4 months post BC





In one word, describe how your journey has been so far.




Refreshing






Do you have any regrets? Is there a chance you might perm your hair again?


Nope, I've never even considered it as an option. I know at some point, I may get my hair pressed and trimmed but that is as far as I'm willing to go.



Where can you be reached? (Youtube channel, blog, twitter, facebook etc.)











and you can follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/RockitNapptural

Please add at least one word to complete the phrases:


"I am fearfully and wonderfully made

"I love to perform
"I think my hair is fierce
"I think the world is unpredictable
"I like theater
"One moment is not enough to get everything done that I need to
"We could do anything we want in life, whether natural or not
"I want to go back to school
"I wish I were someplace warm
"My hair is simply gorgeous


Thank you so much Kiianah for taking time out to share your story! And thank you for being so supportive, encouraging and taking time out to help other natural sisters! May  God reward your awesome work and effort! Amen.
Do not forget to check out her amazing blog here!

I hope you have all enjoyed Kiianah's wonderful story, and have been inspired and encouraged like I have. If you would also like to be featured on DatFunkyFro, please follow this link and you could also be a Natural Queen Of the Month!





8 comments:

  1. You look so cute & I love your blog :)

    FOLLOWED!

    Make sure you stop by Alee's Perspective sometime and say whats up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mum has good skin. So I just briefly took one of her SKII to use, which I assume is a moisturizer. It's good man I tell you! She gave me a small bottle of eye cream before but the effects weren't that great and I stopped using. But my mum's eye cream is good! I can feel it reacting once I applied it

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Alee. and Gillion for passing by!

    Thanks Carmen for taking time to read!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Funbi's for allowing me to share my story and also for your support! Thank you gorgeous ladies! Many blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Kiianah! It's a total pleasure!
    God bless

    ReplyDelete
  7. @ Alee. Thanks sis for following!!

    ReplyDelete

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Funbi's
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