She grew up in Barbados with her parents’ families prior to starting school officially in her home country – Canada, and then frequented the island on vacation breaks. A mother of three including a new born baby girl, this fierce chica transitioned while “preggers”, talk about healthy growth and embracing major changes.
Sitting down with my big cousin Sheryl was a joy, honest to God. It was funny when we both realised that we had embarked on this hair journey to natural independently, but at the same time practically and using the same transitioning process. But it’s no surprise to us, we have always been connected in another way. Love her to bits and pieces and more!
Hair’s her story…
SK: State your name and nationality
Sheryl. My name is Sheryl and I was born in Canada to Barbadian parents.
Sheryl. I’m 42 and fabulous J
SK: When did you choose to transition?
Sheryl. I’ve been transitioning since August 2013.
SK: What led to you transitioning?
Sheryl. In 2012 I switched stylists. At that time I was wearing my hair texturized. Initially, everything was fine with the change in stylists, as you know no two stylists do things the exact same way. However, about six months in, I started to notice that my hair had made a significant shift. I had always suffered from dry ends but my hair had become brittle and stringy. At one point I noticed that my hair would not even curl anymore. When I asked my stylist why this was happening, I could not get a straight answer, which was just crazy due to the fact; she was an expert on hair. Furthermore, they would do a “length check thing” every eight weeks and my hair never seemed to be growing, even after a year. It does not take a genius to realize that if you’re shelling out $80.00-$100.00 every two weeks and your hair looks greyish in colour and does not curl, that you should not be going to the hairdresser. Something had to change and that is when I started to do research and began to transition.
SK: Why not big chop?
Sheryl. For me, transitioning was the only option. My head is much too big for the big chop, the TWA is not for everyone, let be honest. Previously in 2004, I successfully transitioned from a bone straight-bone perm to a texturizer without any problems. So I was confident that I would be able to transition to natural.
SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?
Sheryl. Oh Boy, I could have cried when I started my journey. I had let someone do my hair for so long, I didn’t know what to do with it. My styling knowledge was limited to a slicked back ponytail. So as the new hair grew in I lost the styling battle every time. The gels I used did not keep my hair as flat as it use to. When I put my hand in my scalp, it was just awful. There was that moment where I thought ,what am I doing. People were beginning to suggest that it may be time for me to get a touch up. How embarrassing. It was really about swallowing my pride and let my hair and scalp heal and embrace my second hair life.
SK: What is your hair regimen?
Sheryl. I wash my hair every week including a 45minute deep conditioning. I follow this with a Ph balancing leave-in mix and seal with castor oil or Shea butter mix. Currently I have added a black tea rinse to reduce post partum shedding. I co-wash during the week because I work out and like to keep my scalp clean. Every 8 weeks I do an Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment.
SK: What are your favourite products?
Sheryl. Kinky Curl Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner I cannot live without, I use it for everything. Castor or Coconut Oils depending how dry my hair gets and Shea Butters Mix for two strand twist. AVJ and water as a daily moisturizer, this combo works really well on my hair.
SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?
Sheryl. The only product that I have trouble getting my hands on would be the Kinky Curly. It is sold in Toronto but only in a few stores and it is about $24.00(CAN). If I get the chance to go to the US, I hit Target and buy 3 or 4 bottles at $11.00(USD) to make sure I am well stocked.
SK: Favourite style
Sheryl. I am currently on Maternity Leave for the next year, so I really do not fuss over styling hair unless I am going out. I try and keep things simple by wearing two-strand twists or my hair in a bun.
SK: Tell me about a great hair day or a bad hair day in short, or about a liked or frustrating feature about your hair.
Sheryl. I am in a good space currently with my hair. I do not find anything to frustrating. Going natural has really taught me the art of patience. Like they say “good things come from those who wait”
SK: Do you have any hair crushes?
Sheryl. Cree Summers, I love her hair J
SK: What would you say to employers and teachers out there who think that natural hair is not for the office or the classroom, respectively?
Sheryl. Lucky for me my employer is black, he never questions what I’m doing with my hair, he gets it. As long as it looked professional, I am good to go.
SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?
Sheryl. My hair is growth – I think it shows that I am growing as a person. Going natural takes a lot, a lot and I repeat a lot of patience and commitment.
SK: Name something outrageous or edgy or just different you would love to try with your hair but have not had the guts to try YET!
Sheryl. I would like to try the faux-hawk, something totally out-of- the box for me.