This week’s naturalista has great taste, mad skills in the kitchen and is surviving away from home…
Special Kinks (SK): State your name and country of birth
My name is Shelly-Ann Nurse, age 35 and I am from Barbados but I currently reside in Bermuda.
SK: Tell us about yourself chica.
Shelly-Ann: I am a down-to-Earth, straight to the point individual who dares to be different in trying new things and stepping outside of the box. I am a professional Chef with a passion for cooking. I love to make people laugh and I enjoy living my life to the fullest.
SK: How long have you been natural or transitioning?
Shelly-Ann: I have been natural for 2 years and I transitioned for 2 months. (SK: Only 2 months??!! *Faints* lol)
SK: Why did you decide to go natural?
Shelly-Ann: My reason for going natural simply was because I grew tired of the perms and after seeing so many women going natural I fell in love with the looks and versatility of natural hair, and wondered how would MY natural hair look, so I decided to try it and haven’t looked back since!
SK: Why did you choose to big chop (B/C) or transition?
Shelly-Ann: The reason I B/C was because I wanted to experience the entire process eg: TWA etc….and after feeling my new growth from my last relaxer I fell in love with the kinks and just couldn’t wait to see my natural curl pattern. (SK: Ohhhhh…now those two little months make sense! Props to you. I feel like I will miss that TWA stage too, but not enough to B/C yet still *hides face*)
SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped after a short transition?
Shelly-Ann: It was quite easy for me in the beginning with my TWA just because I am accustomed to wearing my hair in short texturized styles, so that part came as second nature to me honestly. As for transitioning… I hated it, too much breakage and having to deal with the two textures was becoming overwhelming. (SK: At 8 months, I feel like Job with my patience over hair lol. #DontJudgeME,’cause I aint judging her #Hmph!)
SK: What is your hair regimen?
Shelly-Ann: My hair regimen is quite simple, I don’t fuss too much with my hair for example, sealing my ends every night etc. Chile’ please ain’t nobody got time for that. Lol (SK: *pretends to whistle* I’m sure some of my readers will be like, ‘Oh no she did not just say that. But me, *looks away* some days fuss ain’t necessary in my books neither lolol)
SK: Right, continue!
Shelly-Ann: Right, I also co-wash and DC (Deep Condition) once a week EVERY week excluding the week of my Carmel treatment. I do a Carmel treatment once every 4 weeks and that’s the only time I shampoo my hair. I will do a protein treatment using Organics Hair Mayonnaise when I feel the need to but that’s usually once every 6-8 weeks depending on if I think it’s needed. I DO NOT use heat on my hair!!!
Since I am a Chef my hair has to be covered at all times when I am working so I wear my hair in protective styles all week long until it’s time to DC or unless I am going out and decide to do a twist out. (SK: Am I the only one who thought…mmm yummy, when she said caramel, until she then added treatment? Lol)
SK: Name your favourite products (Watch the Product junky-ism come to the fro lol)
Shelly-Ann: My favorite products would have to be Etae Carmel treatment, it’s like crack in a bottle hands down the best; another alternative is making your own from scratch.
Organics Hair Mayonnaise, Argan oil Eco Styler gel, ANYTHING from Eden Body works Coconut Shea line, Camille Rose Almond Jai twisting butter, Aussie 3 minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner, (another crack in a bottle) lol Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner (I find it works best as a leave in) and good old raw unrefined Shea Butter! (SK: We’ve traded the creamy crack for fruity and healthy crack it seems lol, but the emphasis is on HEALTHY )
SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?
Shelly-Ann: Since more women are choosing to go natural it’s been quite easy to source products here but they are very pricey compared to the U.S, so sometimes I just go online and get any sales I could find especially the BOGO (Buy One Get One, either free or 50 per cent off) sale so that really helps.
SK: Favourite styles?
Shelly-Ann: A cooperating twist out lol (SK: Shooooooooot every naturalista wants cooperating strands. I’ll say a prayer now for you all and that far-fetched dream *ehem* I mean hope. Lol)
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.
Shelly-Ann: A great hair day would have to be when my twists come out super defined and as I said above just cooperates and go with the flow. I love how my hair is growing; it’s nice and thick but it at times the thickness becomes frustrating especially when it’s time to wash, DC and comb. (SK: Mm Hm, you are preaching to the choir!)
SK: Do you have any hair crushes?
Shelly-Ann: Nimsay8838, MsDanti 1 and thebonafidestyle. (SK: Well we may soon have a treat for Shelly *fingers crossed*)
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, especially as Chef with daily hair restrictions?
Shelly-Ann: Natural hair is in our DNA. It’s what we were born with, whether it’s kinky curly, wavy, straight Caucasian etc. It’s you, its me, it’s what the good Lord blessed each of us with. So with that being said, why should we try to conform to what society deems as good hair? Once the hair is not outlandish but is neat, tidy and well groomed for the office/school, I don’t see why it should be a problem. We need to embrace who we are! (SK: #preach!)
SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?
Shelly-Ann: My hair is “Fierce”, my hair is ME! (SK: #simplicity)
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!
Shelly-Ann: I would love to lighten my hair and dye it silver grey or a soft pastel lavender but I worry about breakage……but a girl can dream! (SK: That she can. Dream of grey strands and a cooperating twist out lol)
SK: Do you believe that more Caribbean naturalistas need to try DIY (Do It Yourself) products since we have access to so many plants?
Shelly-Ann: I am all for trying DIY products but at times it can be very time consuming, but it would be quite interesting to see what types of products we can come up with here in the Caribbean since we have such a vast variety of plants and herbs we can choose from.
I think we would be surprised in some of the concoctions we can make. I am sure many of the new and upcoming entrepreneurs who have launched their product lines are sourcing their natural ingredients from afar, and we have access to so much of that stuff right here in our own backyards. So I think it could be very beneficial.
SK: Well finally, after eating up so much of Shelly’s time, we just asked her, what would you say to anyone considering if to go natural?
Shelly-Ann: I am always encouraging women to go natural. I tell them to embrace it, give it a try, you may just like it and majority of the time they fall in love with it. Don’t stress about the stereotyping and hair charts, curl patterns etc just find what works best for YOU! Yes it is a trial and error process, which requires lots of patience, but trust me once you have embraced it, found the right products and you have a routine going, you won’t regret it!
Thank you and happy growing Shelly-Ann. It was a pleasure interviewing you; bits of seriousness and some good laughs.