I love when naturalista’s recommend others or even pass on contact information from interested parties.
Thank you all for being so open and willing to shair and via my forum. Graci! Gracias! Merci! Thanks!
Now let me introduce you to a true Caribbean beauty.
- SpecialKinks (SK): State your name and country of birth
My name is Rochelle. I was born in Nevis and reborn in St. Martin.
- SK: How long have you been natural or transitioning?
I’ve been natural all my life except for a six year hiatus near the end of high school and part of my college experience.
- SK: Why did you decide to go natural?
In some way I wouldn’t really call it a decision; it just happened. I was natural well into my teenage years and simply dealt with my hair. Although I broke a lot of combs in my childhood, I didn’t have a yearning to have my hair changed. Plus, I was fortunate to know how to braid and plait it so when the gift of a hair salon experience came I just took it. No deep thought or crisis.
And with that same languid movement, one hot summer in New York, I discovered an upscale and earthy natural hair salon, went in and got a big chop. That was about 2002. It was my first time in a salon that gave me all the TLC every woman desires without having to alter my hair. I went back several times. It was so wonderful to relax physically and mentally because my stylist specialised in my hair. She did not fight and complain about it and she had no intention of giving me a tight, uncomfortable style.
- SK: Why did you choose to big chop or transition?
I’ve never transitioned. I chopped up to about three times, two inches at least. Because I am my own hair manager and I deal with my hair manually. I can’t go three days without doing something with it, I know my pet peeves, and one of them is dealing with hair that is in-between. Having thick roots and skimpy ends annoys me. Where did I get the skimpy hair ends from when I’ve never transitioned? Heat damage. I believe by now I’ve learned my lesson. (SK: Heat damage is a real nemesis…Grrr! Congrats on conquering this monster.)
- SK: How easy or difficult was it in the beginning stages when you chopped or started your transition?
The style part of chopping was frustrating, but because I was active, I did less with it, opting mostly for twists and head wrap styles. What got me the most was, believe it or not, the ghost hair that appeared often due to in my ‘longer’ hair habits and I had to alter my routine quickly to minimize my frustration. When I cut most of my hair off, I felt settled and quiet in my spirit having established balance in my hair again now that the severely damaged ends are gone.
- SK: What is your hair regimen?
Good question, it changes every week and I guess that would make it a regimen anyway. On a good week, I cowash or shampoo/deep condition my hair depending on product buildup. I use homemade aloe juice as often as the time permits and spritz it in my hair as I go. I love using solo oils, meaning pure castor oil or pure jojoba. Right now, I am in the experimental stage, using the new products I retail, mainly by Alikay Naturals, Obia Natural HairCare and Sweet Soul Magic. It is exciting. For example, I’ve incorporated Bentonite Me Baby(clay) into my ‘regimen’. In the end, once my scalp is clean and my hair gets a frequent dose of water, conditioning and moisturizing, I am happy.
Oh, and at night I cover my head with a satin bonnet and whenever I wash, my hair it is either in plaits or I simply allow water to run through for a pretty long time lol.
- SK: Name your favourite products
Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner, Shea Yogurt, Bentonite Me Baby and the Coconut Milk shampoo & conditioner, Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel, any creamy V05 conditioner, Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo, Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner. (SK: *opens arms wide* Come give me a hug, us product junkies must stick close together, especially when I have found ways to make our slew of products all work! lol)
- SK: How easy or difficult is it sourcing products that you love to use on your hair where you live or reside?
Absolutely easy. The market in St. Martin is flooded with products. There are plenty options. And as mentioned before, I supply products as well.
- SK: Favourite style
A well-behaved twistout (SK: Oh stop it! Well-behaved twistout? Most days that is an oxymoron 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.
My hair tangles rather easily. It is like— when I am not looking it sits on my head tying mini knots near the end of itself.
- SK: Do you have any hair crushes?
No not really. I love any quality image with a fun style, like the ones I display on my Facebook page. I try to crush on my own hair; it’s but a small indicator that our partnership is growing.
(SK: Yup, she has a Facebook page…what is it? Check out the next post!)
- 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?
Why are there no bald heads in your establishment? Do you prefer a horrid, comical weave (please note not all weaves are) over a beautiful cornrow updo? I will skip all efforts to change your mind as it is only your decision that can change it, but I will not pass up the opportunity to show you pictures of polished, shiny and defined curls, pictures of unified cornrows and precision cut afros. Before you decided my brown eyes are also inappropriate, what is it that you want? And don’t tell me a general category of something is not allowed. It is like saying skirts are not for the office. And by the way, this endangered species that is now back from the brink of extinction is called my hair and I am positive, depending on the industry, you hire persons for their tremendous talent. ‘Afro Textured Hair’ has a professional look just as processed and straight hair have dishevelled looks. (SK: *standing ovation and cat calls* … *tear drop* I am so proud of my Caribbean beauties *sniffs LOUDLY*)
- SK: Describe your hair in one word, and why?
Mine. There are still very little who’ve crossed the finish line of using and growing what they have. I’m excluding those special cases, like cancer and alopecia. You might say but Rochelle, a lot of women are ‘joining ’ the natural hair movement, and if that is the case why is it still difficult to spot the well-cared-for heads that have the knowledge within and the external proof, the ones that can go a whole year without depending on a hair stylist or a hair piece. I am not bashing anyone. If you love pampering and changing up your looks, do you and I will continue to describe my hair as mine as long as women continue to ask me if it is.
- 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!
Girl, I’ll opt for being boring right now. I’ve done red hair and worn a weave that people seriously didn’t recognize me in. No adventures planned at this time, just loving and caring for my hair as I go.
Whoo-wee! It was a pleasure interviewing Rochelle and if she looks familiar, have you ever heard of ‘Don’t the Break the Comb’? Well click this link and expect the next post… Travel to St. Martin and Don’t break the comb