Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Down To Frizzness: Ms. Vaughn & Meechy Monroe!

Their energy is infectious. Tips on everything from make-up to fashion (and of course - FABULOUS hair) can be found on their channels. Thousands of subbies tune in just to see what they're up to next! They are the incredible Monroe sisters (Ms. Vaughn/Meechy) & they are naturally glamorous!

It is so awesome to sit down with two of

You Tubes most darling naturals: The Monroe Sisters! (I’ve been inspired in my own journey through both of these stunning beauties!) Following you has been so inspirational; how was it growing up in such a close knit family?

First of all thank you so much for the kind words. We are happy that we could inspire you in your journey!

MsVaughn- Growing up in a close knit family definitely has its perks but also lots of drama! I think the drama is what has made our lives so interesting and fulfilling though. Between my sisters and I, we’ve always been very close having attended the same schools and even the same University! Even in adulthood, we all live in neighborhoods that are within a few miles of each other. Over the years we’ve simply grown closer and happen to actually enjoy each other. Our parents have helped to develop our relationships because they act as authoritative mediators in our lives which I think is a key factor in ensuring a wholesome sibling relationship.
MeechyMonroe- Awesome! LOL, there is always something to get into and people to share good times with…never a dull moment let me tell you. But at the end of the day when the world may seem a bit cold you’re comforted by the fact that you know there will always be someone there when you need them.

Ok seriously, it seems like we woke up one day & both of you had blown up on You Tube! Because of your approachable (transparent) personalities coupled with an incredible sense of style, hair & make-up, viewers/fans can’t get enough! What has the journey been like?

MsVaughn- It’s crazy because Meechy and I never intended to be so popular. Ever. We literally started our channels to give hair advice to our friends from college who had connected with us via Facebook. We had no idea that there were actually so many more curious women out there who would even care to know about our opinions and perspectives on beauty and hair. The whole time we were simply feeding off the energy that was being given to us. Every time someone would request another tutorial, we were right there to deliver. We are continually grateful for all the love and support.
MeechyMonroe- It’s been an amazing experience for us so far! One day you tape a video to simply assist a few women in their Natural Hair Journey with tips and information and the next you’re listed as an inspiration to so many. I’m blessed to be able to have a platform that so many women are interested in tuning in to.

Name a talent or gift you have outside of hair:

MsVaughn – Most people don’t know that although I’m seen as this Fashionista who puts so much effort into her look, I’m actually more of a “Tom-Boy” most of the time who likes to do push-ups, cook and go camping in my sweat shirt and stretch pants. Writing is one of my favorite pastimes. I actually have a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and have written many short stories.
MeechyMonroe – While in college I was heavily involved with a Modeling Organization that developed my love for fashion and being creative while putting together outfits. I would want a certain look for a particular scene in a show but I wasn’t always able to find it in any of the local stores. At that point I taught myself how to use a sewing machine and began to create pieces and outfits from fabric without using any patterns. It’s been a love of mine since childhood when I would sew by hand, I’ve just gotten better with time.

How long have you been rocking your frizzness? Who was the first to dive into the curly clouds?

MeechyMonroe - I’ve been natural for a little over 2 years now and loving every second.
MsVaughn- I’ve been about 3 years post relaxer but about 18 years pre relaxer. Many do not know that my sister and I were both natural for most of our lives having only gotten perms in High School in preparation for senior prom. I was the first one of my sisters to revert back to my natural hair and it just created this sort of bandwagon-effect which caused the rest of them to begin to look at their hair from a different perspective. Meechy was the first one to discover the YouTube Natural Hair Community which she then introduced to me.

Did you desire a second date following your BC/End of transition, or did you make reservations for a party of ONE?

MeechyMonroe - I big chopped about 3 months into my transition where I vowed I would take off as much as necessary and start my natural Hair Journey off without any permed ends. The following week I found myself snipping at my hair to be sure everything was taken off. I was so tired of those stringy pieces of hair.
MsVaughn- I knew the moment I big-chopped my hair that I would never see another perm again in life. I know this sounds unbelievably decisive, but that’s just how I am. I knew that I would never want permanently straight hair again and this is because my reasons for going natural in the first place were so deeply rooted in the realization that I just wanted to have the “look” that I was intended to have. Besides, I knew that I could always straighten it temporarily if I really ever wanted to try straight hair again.

Natural Hair doesn't define who you are BUT.....

MeechyMonroe – It is a huge part of my life and displays a realm of confidence and self-acceptance everywhere I go. Since becoming Natural I have opened my eyes to so many things and certainly have become conscious on numerous levels.
MsVaughn – Natural Hair is a direct reflection of my level of understanding and content with who I am. People don’t realize that the way you treat your body in terms of the foods you eat, the decisions you make and the stuff that you put in your head (both metaphorically and literally), directly affects your mood, confidence and even your outlook on life. For all the Naturals out there, it’s more than just hair; we have to focus on creating a new generation of future adults who LOVE what they look like, overall. It truly makes a difference.

You are down to the last $20 of your splurging budget. Is it going to tease the product junkie in you, or do you find another glam outfit/shoes to rock?

MeechyMonroe – Normally I keep my staple products down to a minimum and I “try” to stick with what I know works. Okay, I can be a bit of a product junkie. LOL. But if I was down to my last $20 I would certainly head to my neighborhood Goodwill and grab a few key pieces to add to my clothing arsenal instead of adding to my constantly growing collection of hair products. I’m more of a bargain junkie than I am a product junkie.
MsVaughn- I’m so far from being a product junkie! I have my staple products and I rarely stray away unless there is an overwhelming reason to do so. I would use that money to get a manicure.

You don’t have a particular style….you just seem to own IT. How would you describe your styles?

MsVaughn – My style is best described as Funky. It probably has more to do with my personality than anything because whatever I wear has to make me feel like a unique individual. Sometimes I make totally unpredictable styles work to fit my personality and I often wear things that I’ve never been known to wear before... like a skirt, or a lacey, ruffly dress. There are times where I have literally sought out looks for the sole purpose of helping me accomplish the goal of satisfying my “funk-appetite” lol.
MeechyMonroe - My personal style can be described as Vintage Comfy Chic…if that makes any sense. I love pieces inspired by the past that are billowy yet tapered, textured yet sleek, and traditional yet funky. Every now and then you’ll see me step away from my norm but this pretty much describes me in a nutshell.

Because natural manes are so unpredictable, how do you combat feeling defeated on days when your crown seems less than stellar (based your OWN criteria)?

MeechyMonroe – In my mind I never have a bad hair day because I understand my hair and am very accepting of it in all stages. I style it based on the condition that it’s in or the amount of effort I am willing to put out. When all fails simply throw on your favorite lip color, a crocheted hat, and mascara and you should be good to go.
MsVaughn – There are definitely days when my hair is not “done” enough for my taste. But it’s never an issue of texture, it’s usually a deficiency somewhere involving the “state” of my hair. I always find that with the right accessories and attitude, I can literally manipulate people into thinking that whatever is going on in my head was intended! Just yesterday my hair was literally matted from front to back. I did not have time to do anything to it and it was really bad. So I separated some of the matted areas with my fingers, put on some makeup, earrings and pushed the front back with a pair of shades and got a ton of compliments.

CONFIDENCE CHECK: You both exude an air of confidence letting us know you realize (and embrace) exactly who you are. Where does it come from?

MeechyMonroe – I am bred from a family of extremely strong willed and confident women. I think that a lot of what I am today was developed from my family and those that set examples around me.
MsVaughn – My confidence comes from within. I also allow myself to receive compliments and I also give them. Humility is an extremely noble trait that our parents taught us early on. Telling another woman that her outfit, makeup, hair, etc is pretty actually makes me feel good about myself. It also helps to establish your OWN criteria of beauty. For example, the day you have on jeans should be the day that “jeans” rule the world! Why? Simply because you have them on.

Share some secrets leading to a fabulous, happy, HEALTHY mane...promise we WILL tell!

MsVaughn – Some good tips for keeping your hair gorgeous longer is to be sure to take the time each night to prep your hair for bed. Think about the definition that you will want the next day and either braid it or twist it that night before placing a satin bonnet on top! A tip for soft, shiny hair is to always moisturize your hair with water first, THEN add your moisturizer. If you’ve ever wondered why your hair looks so “dull,” this is probably why. And lastly, get yourself a good “go-to” pin up/roll-and-tuck style. This will be your best friend during the work-week when you’re having a “bad hair day” and you’ll be surprised at how glamorous your look will turn out!
MeechyMonroe – Maintain a level of moisture that will allow your hair to flourish. At the end of the day I think moisturized hair is most important and being able to realize when your hair needs it is golden. Dry brittle hair is a playing ground for breakage, frizziness, and an irritated scalp. I find that when my strands are well moisturized, elastic, and shiny I can pull off any style on any given day. Find a good moisturizing agent to use in addition to the most important ingredient of all…WATER.

What was the WORST mane mistake you’ve made along the way?

MsVaughn – Applying color!!! I’m not going to color-bash, but I’ll say this, had I not colored my hair almost immediately after big-chopping, I would have, literally, twice as much hair right now and I wouldn’t have had to struggle as much with my texture. The color made my hair indefinitely dry, brittle and weightless. Towards the final days of my color, my hair looked like hay in a barnyard. It has since been completely removed.
MeechyMonroe – Worst mane mistake? Hmmm…when I 1st realized that my hair was long enough to be pulled up I wore a puff literally every day. I was so excited that I could try a different style that I slicked and pulled my poor hair to death. If I knew then what I know now I definitely would have taken it easy on my hair sooner and opted for more options revolving around twists and loose pin ups, which I got into later.

What advice can you bless new, transitioning or frustrated kinky curly queens with?
MsVaughn – The best advice I can give for new naturals is to be patient with their “newgrowth.” It’s important to understand that this new texture, with which you are being presented, is not a bad thing; it’s simply a new thing. It’s going to take time to get to know your hair all over again. Where things may have seemed easier for new naturals when they had relaxers, the ease of handling was being compensated with damage and stunted hair growth. I encourage new naturals to attend Natural Hair Meetups, subscribe to Natural Hair YouTube channels and view daily Natural Hair blogs because the inspiration and real-life advice is priceless.
MeechyMonroe – Realize what was given to you and work it to your advantage. OWN IT! Learn your hair…listen to your hair…and love your hair. Once you are more in tune with your individual strands be patient and willing to alter your hair care techniques/styles as you hair grows and thickens.

What natural experiments put the glam in your crown? Which ones ended up filed under Campaign EPIC FAIL?

MeechyMonroe - For me as far as glam I would have to say my whipped shea butter that I use weekly and yields very defined twistout results. When my hair is twisted out it literally looks great in any style and I am happy in knowing that its stretched and tangle free. An Epic Fail for me would be experimenting with numerous gel’s to achieve the perfect curl when I rocked my TWA. I had my fair share of sticky, tacky, flaky hair before I got it right realizing that water was my best friend…oh and EcoStyler Gel.
MsVaughn- When I decided to experiment with extensions, I chose kinky ones. I remember trying to do an “updo” style with a bundle of kinky braiding hair extensions for Meechy’s birthday one year and it was a huge hit. I ended up sharing the idea on YouTube and the video went viral as many other popular vloggers attempted the style while giving credit to the originator

What's the most fabulous part of your journey to frizzness?

MeechyMonroe – To me it was being able to be comfortable in my own skin during my entire journey. I reframed from wearing extensions during this process which forced me to learn my hair at each and every length stage. I didn’t take the easier route instead I faced any insecurities head on and learned to accept change. It’s truly opened my eyes and have allowed me to come into myself.
MsVaughn – I love the fact that my confidence and style-awareness has gone up significantly. And to be honest, I’m now more conscious of my overall look and my face which has led me to dabbling more into makeup and fashion. Being natural has made me actually want to stand out amongst the crowd and to be more creative while experimenting with my look. It has taught me to embrace, and almost promote, the things that make me “different” from others. It’s been an amazing journey and I feel that I look my absolute best with natural hair. Seriously, being a woman was never this fun before! lol

Outside of your gorgeous mane, what inspires you?

MeechyMonroe – I pull inspiration from my environment and the world around me. The people, colors, textures, conversations, works of art, places I’ve been. I see beauty in everything and can even appreciate the small things. I am inspired by life itself.
MsVaughn – I’m inspired by so many different things especially fashion and makeup. Sometimes I’ll create a whole look around one color, one earring, or one unique texture. I’m a very creative person so the possibilities are endless as I’m always drawing inspiration from everything around me, especially other naturals.

You are both so free, fun & PROFESSIONAL. How is to have your own identities, yet work with your sister on all of these modeling, video projects & speaking engagements?
MsVaughn – It actually works out pretty effortlessly. Meechy and I have many of the same interests and ideas so we always seem to be on the same page. As with any duo though, we have to take specific measures when it comes to synching our schedules as well as consideration for our individual personal lives. We actually have real fun when we travel to different places to speak to ladies about accepting their hair, bodies, skin, etc. Overall, I’d much rather work with my sister on certain projects when considering facets like trust and compatibility.
MeechyMonroe – It is truly amazing. My sis and I both have our strengths and we are a perfect match building and working off each other. It’s quite natural for the two of us to collaborate as we were inseparable growing up and did almost everything as a pair. It’s quite nice to have someone you’re so close with be your motivation and vice versa. We push each other and enjoy being able to join forces on so many projects bringing in our own personal styles and individuality.

How can our beautiful readers find you on the web?

Monday, October 24, 2011

For LOVE or Curls?

Is it ME?
But why does it seem like some of the products your curls love the most spit in the face of your snuggleboo?

Case in point: My curls were kinda having fun with my test run of Cantu Shea Leave In Conditioner. (Review to come). But the Hubbs can't stand the stuff because it sends his lungs, nasal passage & any other of his breathing mechanisms into a tizzy! Quiet as it's kept, shortly after I started using it, I picked up a pretty crappy cough. Then I noticed right after I took a break from it for a short spell, my own lungs stopped behaving like I licked a dirty ashtray. Oftentimes, 2 + 2 does indeed = 4.

Products with overbearing fragrance additions, intrusive "chemical" scents or just plain stink make the Hubb's flesh crawl. He has a hyper-sensitive (almost canine) smelling device, so I'm left with two choices:

#1 - Increase our insurance policy premiums & pray for the best
#2 - Consider my sweetie's health& break relations with the aforementioned offenders.

I love my Boo, so I opt for #2, which in the end will be beneficial to both of our standards of health & stop choking the heck out of us!

So what about you, Curlies? What products do your sweet'ums hate....if any?

There's 2 sides to every Frizz
natural dancer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Confess: I'm a Chronic Manipulator!

Hiya, Curlie-Pies!

It's been a busy, busy time for me dancing & such. But when I tell GOD has been so good, I am telling you the TRUTH!
Now, down to hair biz....

I don't like to experiment much with my strands when I'm in front of folk.....which has been nearly every day for the last few weeks. Alas, I still like for my wig to look tended to, yes? That to say I've been testing some products to review which has kinda thrown my coils into a bit of a tizzy because none of it involved my beloved Scurl which I had to add back in. My curls HATE being styled dripping wet & come out drier than a blank stare in response to a crappy joke when I try it. No Scurl, dripping tresses, experiments gone wrong (Royal Crown Hair Grease debacle) have all led to my hands being in my hair waaaaaayyyyyyy to much! I'm about on my third wash or rinse this week, grrrrrrr. So I've got to rinse my head one more again, & leave it alone for a minute. I'm not happy & I don't think my mane is either.

Oh & my hair seems to be changing: it no longer likes gel, my twists look plain weird for some reason, and the longer it's puff has disappeared into the land of the ponytails.

So that's what's been going on with me. Are you a chronic manipulator? How do you get over that when your crown doesn't look (or feel) the way you want it to? And how long does it take you to get your hair moisturized after washing?

There's 2 sides to every Frizz,
natural dancer

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting Down To Frizzness: Miss Curve 2011 Chrisandra Wells!

Wow.....just, WOW. That's all I could say upon seeing this young woman's pictures. Her locs are simply glorious; but her holistic approach to natural hair care, self embracement & conquering life's obstacles are refreshing. She is On the Couch & Naturally Glamorous: the reigning Miss Curve 2011, Chrisandra Wells!

Please tell us a bit about your journey to modeling & the honor of being crowned Miss Curve:

Hello everyone! First of all I would like to say it is an honor to be interviewed for your publication and I feel it is so wonderful that we are appreciating ourselves and our God-given beauty in all its many forms. I have had an interest in beauty/fashion modeling from pre-adolescence, during that time I can remember collecting teen fashion magazine and emulating the latest looks. I always loved playing dress up and taking photos. As I approached my late teens I realized that I would not have the stick thin frame of a high fashion model, so I thought my dream would be deferred. Shortly thereafter, I became aware of the growing need for plus models and realized that I fit those requirements perfectly. I have been a freelance model and done a variety of work for commercial and fashion companies, namely Redbook Magazine, Starbuck’s Red Campaign, E-fashion solutions (Rocawear), Cassandra Bromfield Designs, Underwraps of NYC, Urban, Energizer, etc. I have recently been a featured hair model for loc stylist Thando Kafele at various shows such as World Natural Hair Show in Atlanta, GA, Transcendence Natural Hair Show in Brooklyn, NY; Bronner Bros.(Natural Hair Competition) in Baltimore, MD, and most recently the Master Pioneer Award Ceremony held at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, NY.

I competed in the Miss Curve Competition which including an online voting component as well as charity fund-raising. As a finalist I competed against seven other ladies in runway modeling and short interview. I am very excited to have the title as Miss Curve 2011. I represent the curvy natural women of the world! I believe that curves and fashion go perfectly together, and designers have finally realized we look great in tailored clothing that showcases our femininity and voluptuousness. I have been approached by a few designers after winning the title of Miss Curve and I am happy to shoot for them.

Seriously, your locs are ASTOUNDING! You’ve been natural almost your entire life; was there ever a time when you were relaxed? How long have you been growing your beautiful locs?

Thanks for the compliment! I have been growing my locs since November of 2000. For most of my life I have been chemical-free. During the “MJ era” ha –ha I did have a Care Free curl, after it grew out my hair was not processed again until junior high school. I did have a perm for about 6 months and that was the last time I chemically processed my hair.

Natural Hair doesn't define who you are BUT.....
It is a part of me, it does speak for me. It says I am ok with the way I was born into this world. It is a choice to alter oneself, although it is not necessary. It is definitely not necessary (altering oneself) in order to be considered beautiful.

As a pageant winner & successful model, you have to totally accept yourself inside & out. What does self esteem/self embracing mean to you?

I accept my size first. I am presently a full size 16, at a lower weight I am a 14, and I am totally comfortable with this. I possess self-esteem to acknowledge my weaknesses and work on them, and also to be content with all the many talents I have been blessed with that one may not see with the naked eye. This inner appreciation I believe shows through my interaction with others.

You elegantly represent both plus-sized AND natural haired beauties. Have you professionally or personally encountered road blocks along the way in either category?

I have been challenged by society in an unspoken fashion, society does not abundantly portray natural hair models, or models with locs in advertisements and media. Very often Black women are wearing hairpieces and/or weaves which reinforces the concept that we need to add artificial hair in order to be accepted or beautiful.

In terms of my plus size modeling work, I have sometimes been evaluated by peers based upon my degree of “plus sized-ness”. When I have been at a lower weight and around a size 12/14, other plus sized women have told me I was not “plus-sized” or not big enough to be considered “plus”. It is such a boxed world that we make categories and labels for everything. I just know one thing: bigger or smaller I am CURVY!

You are the epitome of length retention! How do you nurture your locs & keep them moisturized?
My locs are waist-length. Thando Kafele of Brooklyn, New York has been my locstylist for 8 years. He deep conditions and styles my locs every 6 weeks and uses Jane Carter Products. I wash and condition my hair with Jane Carter Products every 3 weeks, and I use the Nourish and Shine Cream as well as the Scalp Serum. Her product line has a wonderful scent and is all natural.

Do random people attempt to lay hands in your mane?
Only babies pull my hair, ha-ha. People ask me about it, but rarely if ever touch it.

Do you find your mane becoming the grand topic of conversation?
The funniest thing is that some people have asked me if this was all my hair. I love to hear young Black girls tell me how nice my hair is, that is what makes me the happiest- for us to love ourselves.

What was the WORST mistake you’ve made in your journey?

I can’t say I have made a mistake in terms of what I have had done to my hair. Even the act of chemically processing my hair made me realize that it is unnecessary, and that action has taught me to value my natural attributes more.

What advice can you bless new, transitioning or frustrated kinky curly queens with?

My advice is for them to be re-acquainted with their authentic selves. I know there are a lot of support forums and blogs that they can turn to for help with styling their hair. It is also important for the people in their lives who may not be natural to be educated about certain hairstyles. I have had older women ask me in the past how I would be wearing my hair to my wedding, silently implying that my natural locs were not elegant. This is such a disgusting and disgraceful attitude that we have been brainwashed with these ideals.

What's the most fabulous part of your journey to frizzness?

I like feeling free in the rain, wind and sun.

Outside of your gorgeous mane, what inspires you?

My children inspire me to make them the best people they can be. Art also inspires me to dream and express myself. I am a visual artist and a poet, although I might not have mentioned it.

What’s next for you?

Something is definitely coming. . .I would love to be World Natural Hair Model! That just may be the next thing I’m going for. . .

How can our beautiful readers find you on the web?
Readers can find me on Twitter @CurvyChrisandra Facebook Fan page: Miss Curve 2011 Chrisandra Wells

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cantu Shea Madness - Twisted Updo

Hiya, Curlie-Pies!
So last week was theme-inspired all week at the j-o-b. So on Rock Star Day, I donned my silver hotpants & worked a twisted updo (inspired by the

fab Meechy Monroe) and had a blast! (Note: this was right before dance practice....the outfit was no longer complete).

Have you tried Cantu? What are your thoughts? I love it, but......


There's 2 sides to every Frizz,
natural dancer ~

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy, Healthy & Back!

It's a fantastic day to be curly!
Well, Yours Curly has been dancing/teaching Wednesday-Sunday for the last couple of weeks, hence the sparse postings. In short: a sista's been TI-REDDDDD! The ministry has been nothing short of incredible, so I don't dare complain; God has truly been hard at work opening unimaginable doors.....I've been truly blessed!

Now, as for my mane. Can ya'll believe it, Curlie-Pies? Aside

from a little smoothing around the front perimeter, I've totally ditched hair gel! Not sure if my mane has changed her temperamental mind or if I woke up realizing my strands just don't need to drink it...but I've noticed them increasingly becoming less persnickety! And since I've jumped off the gelly-train, my coils haven't seemed to mind one bit. In fact, they seem happier & frizzless under their Scurl/shea butter umbrella. I've got great sheen, bounce, healthy & RETAINED crown couldn't be giddier!

I'm including shots of my tresses enjoying their simplified routine, which is a simple twist out. Some nights, I pineapple. Others I retwist with no product using the Naptural85 method of stretching which does wonders for me. Even following heavy days of dancing, my coils remain moisturized and in tact.

How about you, ladies? Have have your strands taught you lately?

Preparing for another long week of dancing.....and feeling the joy!

There's 2 sides to every Frizz,

natural dancer

Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Down To Frizzness: Angela Batravil!

Great day, Curlies!
What a joy to bring to you one talented young woman who is an artist at heart and a gorgeous natural! Take one look at her pre-BC pictures & you will truly be inspired by the courage it took to Big Chop her waist length tresses! She's an awesome wife, mother, producer, writer, actress AND director....WHEW! But most of all she's an encouragement to the natural communit

y. Please meet Angela B!

Tell us about you:
My Name is Angela Batravil. I am originally from Philadelphia and I currently live in Los Angeles. Professionally, I am an actor/director/writer/producer. In 2010 I founded Strong Mountain Productions; a Los Angeles based entertainment company where I serve as Creative Director. I am currently rehearsing a stage production I wrote called “Testimonies From The Valley”. I am directing and producing this show and I’m also starring in it along with 6 amazing actors. The show opens on October 14th, 2011 at the Attic Theater in Los Angeles.

Personally, I am a wife and a mother of school aged children. Between work and family I’m a very busy lady.

How long have you been rocking your frizzness?
I’m approaching 9 years with my happy natural.

Natural Hair doesn't define who you are does say a lot about your personal comfort with who you are.

What was the moment of epiphany in your journey?
The real Epiphany for me was about 8 or 9 months into my journey when I realized that my natural hair was actually curly! My hair had been chemically straightened since I was a child and I really had no clue what my natural texture was. When I first went natural I started twisting, and manipulating my hair into so many “styles”, that I still failed to realize what it could do all on its’ own. I was truly amazed to discover that when I wash my hair and let it air dry, it curls all by itself. Wow! It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Because natural manes are so unpredictable, how do you combat feeling defeated on days when your crown seems less than stellar (based your OWN criteria)?
When my hair is doing strange things, I rock a style I call the “Half-fro”. I pull it all over to one side and pin it up. Somehow, no matter what’s going on with the curls (or lack thereof) the half-fro seems to make it alright.

Do random people attempt to lay hands in your mane?
Yes. I’ve had lots of people ask to touch my hair. It doesn’t bother me. I see it as a chance to educate.

Do you find your mane becoming the grand topic of conversation?
Oh yeah. The most common comment I hear is from other African American women with chemically treated or weaved hair saying “I wish I could wear my hair like that”. I always try to encourage women that they can!

The other constant conversation is with other naturals. We always ask each other “What products do you use on your hair?” I really think that most naturals are product junkies. We buy and try a lot of hair products.

CONFIDENCE CHECK: Has natural hair allowed you to dance as if no one is watching, or has your aurora remain unfazed since your relaxed days?
I am much more comfortable with myself since going natural. When my hair was relaxed I had to put a lot of effort into making sure it looked a certain way. Being natural I’m not so concerned. I’m completely comfortable just letting it be. I wear my hair exactly the way God makes it grow.

Share some secrets leading to a fabulous, happy, HEALTHY mane...promise we WILL tell!
Conditioner and moisture are key. 2 of my must-haves are extra virgin olive oil and pure coconut oil. I mix these together in a squeeze bottle and use them daily. Also a good trim every few months is essential to keeping healthy hair too.

What was the WORST mistake you’ve made along the way?
At about 1.5 years I dyed my whole head red. Dying natural hair seems to be a part of most people’s journey. I think when your hair is short and natural for the first time, dying it seems like a great idea to give it some pizzaz. I must say, it was a lot of fun to wear my curly red, but it turned out to be horrible for the health of my hair. It became dry and brittle. No matter what I did I couldn’t stop the breakage. So…that sizzling red hair eventually led me back to another big chop and I started all over again. This time I vowed to never dye it again.

What advice can you bless new, transitioning or frustrated kinky curly queens with?
For those transitioning I would advise not to prolong the big chop. Growing your hair out with braids or wigs before cutting it is a good idea for a short while, but the misconception that you will grow enough natural roots to start with a huge head of afro is just not so. Make the chop rather quickly and get on with the rest of journey even quicker.

For new naturals I would advise to resist the temptation to constantly style your new natural. Instead, get a good conditioner and begin to just let it be. Let your hair find its own curl pattern. You just might be surprised what your hair will do all by itself.

What natural experiments put the glam in your crown? Which ones ended up filed under Campaign EPIC FAIL?
Leave-in conditioners are the best glam secret for my hair! I was not raised using leave-ins. I always believed that when I wash my hair I should rinse it very well to get everything out. Leaving any products in my hair would be unclean. Or so I thought. When I discovered the power of a good leave-in I couldn’t believe I went so long without this knowledge.

What's the most fabulous part of your journey to frizzness?
I’ve experienced many wonderful things from going natural however the most fabulous part is not even about me. In recent years my two older sisters and my niece have gone natural. I really loved watching their journeys. I’d like to think that maybe I had something to do with their choice….just maybe. ;o) Either way, I’m excited and proud of them for making this bold choice.

Outside of your gorgeous mane, what inspires you?
Jesus Christ, my family and art are the core inspirations in my life. These 3 are the reason that I continue to forge forward every day.

How can our beautiful readers find you on the web?
You can friend me on Facebook: Angela Batravil
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Many thanks & blessings for getting down to frizzness!
Thank you. It was my pleasure.