It’s update Thursday and the wonderful songstress with a bubbly personality and dedicated spirit, Rhea Layne is this week’s #HSW featured naturalista.
But let me let her tell you all about herself.
Rhea: Hmm, myself in three sentences. I’m a fun, outgoing and loving person with a huge heart. I’m a big family person and I’m very loyal to my loved ones. I love and has a strong passion for music and the arts, and I just landed my first movie placement! (Listen Careful sung by Faith Callender, penned by yours truly- placed in the recently released local film “Next Pay Day”. Go see it in Olympus Theatres today!).
- SK: So where are you from Rhea?
- Rhea: Barbados
- SK: Age?
- Rhea: 21
- SK: How long have you been natural or transitioning?
Rhea: I started transitioning in the summer of 2013, and went full naturally a year later in 2014.
- SK: Why did you decide to go natural?
Rhea: I was thinking about it a lot. I missed the natural texture of my hair and the reason I straightened it in the first place was because I had no idea what to do with it! Lol! It’s very thick and curly, and at age 12 when your mom is like “you need to start doing your own hair!” it can be a little overwhelming! On top of that I was wearing a lot of weaves over my straightened hair and just letting it grow out, and one time when I took it out to wash it, my hair just got really tangled and that’s when I did a..chop. Not a huge chop, but a chop! LOL!
- SK: Why did you choose to big chop or transition?
Rhea: I chose to transition because my head is huge and I can’t imagine it without hair! :O (SK: Girl, I feel you on that. #NoJudgement, in relation to my own head of course lol)
- SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?
Rhea: It wasn’t too difficult. I continued wearing lots of weaves and other protective styles – Senegalese twists, box braids, crochet braids, faux locs; anything that would keep my hair out of the way and allow it to just grow and be healthy. I definitely made sure to give it frequent treatments and take care of it at the same time.
- SK: What is your hair regimen?
Rhea: Weekly co-wash (Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser w/ Silk Protein & Neem oil) and deep condition (Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque). Bi-weekly full wash (Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo w/ Silk Protein & Neem Oil). Daily and nightly (if necessary) moisturizer (Profectiv Mega Growth Daily Leave-In Strengthener, and a mix of bergamot, olive oil, and castor oil) Technique: twists/braids, bantu knots, scarf.
- SK: Name your favourite products
Rhea: Anything Shea Moisture! Or Mixed Chicks, but I mostly use Shea Moisture products.
- SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?
Rhea: It used to be really hard – none of the beauty stores sold Shea Moisture stuff! But with so many girls going back natural, it’s in high demand and I’m seeing a lot more of it now (even fake ones, so ladies beware of that!).
- SK: Favourite Style
Rhea: I love frohawks, bantu knot-outs and twist outs! Sometimes a nice wash and go works too. 🙂
- 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.
Rhea: I have a love/hate relationship with my extremely tight coils! Sometimes I just love the definition, other days I just hate the shrinkage! Some days you just wish your hair would operate differently. Some days you want the lovely locks to flow, others you want it to fro. Mine always fros – no matter what! I would also love it if my curl pattern was consistent – are you 4A or 4B? It’s just all over the place! LOL! But all in all, I love my mane!
- SK: Do you have any hair crushes?
Rhea: Not really. There’s women whose beautiful hair I’d admire when I see it, but none that I gawk over regularly LOL! Maybe to flatter her a bit I’ll say my best friend Shantal aka Hairaconda is my hair crush! I really do love her hair! 🙂
- 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?
Rhea: I would say to employers that while I agree that there is a professional mode of dress to be observed, to implement any rules that indirectly discriminate against any one group of people under the guise of professionalism is still discriminatory. To outlaw styles like twists, afros, and other hairstyles that essentially can only be worn (in most cases) by one racial group is discriminatory and in effect is asking that group to change what they were born with to meet a professional “standard” that does not run akin to the natural standard (i.e. the norm at birth) for people of our kind. The same goes for teachers. I would ask them how they could be expected to teach poems like Colonial Girls’ School and ask girls to love themselves as they are while simultaneously telling them that the way their hair grows naturally is inappropriate. I would advise them both that natural hair is beautiful, because it is diverse and interesting and because God only creates beauty. We were told a long time ago that we are not good enough, and it is now time to proclaim that we are. In the same way that people of other races are allowed to wear their hair as it naturally grows out of their scalp, then so should we. (SK: *standing ovation*)
- SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?
Rhea: I like to call it my mane. It’s like a symbol of my pride, strength and courage in myself to be myself, much like what a lion represents. It’s also magnificent and pretty like a lion’s mane!
- 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!
Rhea: Before last summer I was terrified to do ANYTHING to my hair! I always wanted to experiment with colours, but I only recently got the courage to go purple. I experimented with my faux locs – I did them with blue wool, and so now I’m thinking of dying my actual hair electric blue! I also have wanted to shave my sides for a while, but my friends keep discouraging me – they say I’ll be angry about it within hours and miss my hair LOL! Maybe one day, we’ll see!
- SK: How have persons be responding to your natural hair change?
Rhea: I definitely think it’s an opportunity for versatility, and I’ve always loved the idea of being diverse. For that reason I’d experiment with all kinds of textures and styles in my videos.