Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekly Feature

Name: Erica D. (Emac)
City and State: Bay Area, California
Profession: Bartender
How long have you been natural?: 2 years

Did you BC or Transition? Why and what was the experience like?

I didn't have a perm for a long time, maybe 5 years. I just never wore my natural hair because I covered it with weaves and wigs. I consider being natural more than just not having a perm. It's more like a state of mind to me

What prompted you to get on this path?
Well, in addition to learning a lot more about Black history in my college career, I was also watching a lot of women on youtube who were successful in making their natural hair look beautiful, healthy, and glamorous. Studying Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Assata Shakur all gave me a deeper insight into myself, the struggles and achievements of Black Americans, and also a greater sense of pride. Watching youtube videos allowed me to question why I did some of the things I did to my hair and also made me confront my insecurities. I found I was insecure about my natural hair and with the information and inspiration on youtube, I was able to build confidence in my natural hair and learn how to care for it properly.

What has the natural experience been like for you?

Great! I love being natural. I love being different and unique and I love that my hair is the healthiest it's ever been. I love the compliments that I receive and I love being able to do my own hair and not have to worry about things like rain and water. I have so much more freedom when it comes to my hair. I don't have to worry about sweating if I want to go to the gym or out to a party. Also, I love washing my hair and not having to worry about blow drying, flat ironing, hot combing, etc. Overall, it's been an amazing experience and I recommend that all Black women at least try it, most will not be disappointed.

Has your life changed since being natural?

Well, I feel being natural is a lot better for me spiritually. I don't know if it was the transformation or just actually being natural but it does something positive and fulfilling for my soul that I can't really describe.It also is liberating because I'm not conforming to the unspoken standards of white beauty that exists in society.

How would you describe your hair? Texture?

My hair is thick and kinky. I have spots in my hair where some hair is more wavy than the rest. I would say the majority of my hair is 4a textured hair.

Whats your hair routine?

I usually wash every other week in the winter. When it gets hotter I will probably wash it every 3 days or so. I love washing my hair and letting it air dry it's just harder when it's cold. I also try to rinse my locs a little bit whenever I'm in the shower. It feels good and is great for keeping my hair moisturized. I often do an apple cider vinegar rinse. I poke a hole in the cap of a plastic water bottle. I fill it up and add about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, pour it through my hair, and let it sit for at least 15-30 minutes and then rinse out. I don't always twist after I wash so if that's the case I just let it air dry for the rest of the day. I'll spray some olive oil or coconut oil in it but only lightly. I also have a water bottle that I spray on my hair every morning. Locs love water and rinsing.

Any growth tips?

Clean Hair! There are really no secrets here. I eat healthy and wash my hair frequently and I feel like it helps my hair grow faster.

What are your favorite products and/or tools?
I like organic loc and twist gel. Water- based products are the best to use because they don't cause build up in my locs. I usually use clips as well when I want to re-twist.

Whats your favorite hair style? why and how can we achieve it?

Well recently I learned how to make my hair look cute in a bun. I put the back half in a mid pony. Then I put a hair net around my locs to achieve a bun style. Pin it and it looks great. With the top half I usually do a hump with a few locs as bangs. Other than that I've come to just let my locs be and wear them down.

If you blog or vblog whats the info?

I have a youtube channel, emac1286, that's mostly about my loc journey and other little random things. My blog is about everything and anything that's on my heart.

Any tips for others considering going on this natural journey?

I believe being natural is the best thing a black woman can do for her confidence. Just go without the extensions, irons, beauty shops, just for the experience if anything. There's something liberating about it. It made me more confident about myself and also just more appreciative of natural African beauty. You don't have to look like the girls on TV to be beautiful. The best thing you can do for yourself is be you and being natural is a great way to do it. Educate yourself as's not necessarily an easy process but nothing in life worth it is easy but you will thank yourself in the future when your hair is healthy and growing. Also, once you've made the decision stick with it! Don't let others try to change your mind or make you feel bad about your decision. Expect the haters and be prepared, but with me I got much more positive than negative comments.

Rock your natural hair with confidence and be unforgiving. People will secretly admire you for it because you probably have the courage that they never did. Also, you never know who you will inspire through your journey so just keep that in mind when it gets tough and only do it if you're ready.

Where can we keep up with you at? Email, facebook, myspace, blog etc....

Is there any other information that you'd like to give us as it relates to your hair journey???

My hair journey was a calling from God. He spoke and I listened. Ever since then I have no regrets about it. It got tough because I was basically learning things I never knew about afro-textured hair. It's new lifestyle basically and when I look back I can't believe some of the things I would do to my hair and how I was miseducated about how to best take care of my hair and what to put in it. Natural products are the best, I can't stress that enough. Treat your hair like you would treat your body and you should be fine.


At May 22, 2010 at 2:26 PM , Blogger LaNeshe said...

Her hair is lovely.

At June 2, 2010 at 12:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im so proud of you. You are so beautiful & amazing


At June 2, 2010 at 9:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent job Erica. You are the BEST! Lova ya..Ma

At June 6, 2010 at 3:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good shit Emac
<3 Domo.

At June 8, 2010 at 10:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

my cousin is beautiful and i could not be more proud of her!

At June 19, 2010 at 2:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

lovn it!


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