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Name: ShaMecha Simms
Hair Type: 3B-ish
How long have you been natural?:
As of October 2015 it will be 9 years since I made the big chop. I've never looked back.
Why did you go natural?:
I was suffering with psoriasis in my early-20s and could not get a handle on it. It was all over...including my scalp and I just knew it was time to make a change.
Chopping off your relaxed hair isn't usually the first thing people think of to start healing from dermatological issues. However, in my personal belief system, all maladies first start in the psycho-emotional space. In essence, not being comfortable in my skin started with not embracing the canvas I was given. That irritability manifested with me shedding my protective layers until I was raw and exposed.
And I just couldn't do it anymore.
At first, I did a shag style so the change wouldn't be so jarring; but relaxed ends and curly roots just got to be too much so I had my husband at the time drive me to the barber shop and I just let it all go.
Slowly, but surely, I emerged from my new (scalp) and skin into a clearer (literally) world.
A short regimen you can share:
I really love imperfect curls so each day revolves around condition/comb and a touch of conditioner for the day. Since I comb/condition most days build up is almost always a problem so I make sure to cleanse with a clarifying shampoo every 10 days or so.
Weekends are usually dedicated to a mask treatment but I generally leave my hair alone for a small break.
What are some of your favorite products?:
It seems there's a new curly miracle every few months but I really swear by European, particularly French, brands: Theorie (Argan Oil Ultimate Reform Conditioner or Helichrysum) and Klorane Conditioning Balm with Mango Butter are top notch.
If I really want (and have time for) defined waves, I really like Living Proof Prime Style Extender.
I could go on and on about products but my best tip for products I don't like is to use it on my son :0P
His hair can take anything.
What are some of your favorite styles?:
I'm such a traditionalist and here in the Heartland there are such few options for an extra set of hands or visionary to play around with your natural texture.
My goal this year is to master updos a la Janelle Monae.
What is your most favorite and least thing about being natural?:
I love that my hair has its own fan club; it feels great to reflect to the world God's unadulterated artistry that is the individual.
My least favorite thing about being natural is when the wind stops blowing in your hair (another favorite) and you're left with a tangled mess. Either blow all the time or not at all.
What is one piece of advice that all women should have(pertaining to confidence)?:
We all have been gifted with option to filter our "reality" according to our preferences. Your mind's eye, your inner speech, your glowing light is of your own design. Choose to see the beauty in yourself and the world will see the beauty in you.
What natural hair bloggers/vloggers inspire you?:
I really love the Tall N' Curly comic sketch series; it's a great way to connect with the ups and down of being natural and various aspects of similarly-focused women (holistic, natural, positive self-image etc.).
But now that I'm not longer on Facebook/Twitter I've focused on beautiful photos and ideas to pin on Pinterest.
Do you have any advice on going natural?:
Supportive people really make the difference in making the transition so keep those people close especially while you're waiting for your ideal style to take shape.
In addendum to the aforementioned, enjoy the ride to your ideal length/shape. Play with your look if you enjoy that: color, styles, etc.