Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sisterhood of the Spiraling Strands: Elena

I kinda love Elena. She's smart, driven and has already accomplished a lot at just 25. She's traveled the world, going all sorts of places from Nicaraugua to Tanzania, and got her Master's degree in Public Health from Yale. Now she's in med school in South Carolina. She's pretty much your all-around bad-ass chick (although she'll probably shake her head and start chuckling when she sees this)... and, oh yeah. She has gorgeous locs. :o)

Age 25
Professional Student
Charleston, SC

Describe the fabulousness of your hair.
Well, I have thick, medium length (just past my shoulders) locs. My hair is black and the texture is more wavy than anything else, which made for a very interesting year-long locking process!

What's your favorite thing about your hair?
The color… its naturally jet black. I love that and really can’t see myself coloring my locs.

What's your favorite product to use? Why is it great?
Anana shea butter... It’s a honey and vanilla shea butter that’s light, doesn’t buildup and smells great! I also never have problems with my scalp; I think this product has something to do with that.

What's your favorite style to rock?
Ummm… I mostly wear my hair pulled back. Not necessarily because its my favorite style, but because its easy and I know how to do it.

How long have you been natural? And how did you get there?
Well, my last perm was in December of 2002. I cut my hair (the drastic, going natural cut) in December 2003 and started locs June 2006.

The journey??? I had only permed my hair for 2 years. I was out of the country for 6 months (January through June 2003) and couldn’t get a perm. When I got back, I was like, “Why am I perming my hair again?” and just didn’t get another perm. I cut my hair on a dare! My friend (to remain nameless) was like, "You’re a punk, you won’t do it." I told her to make the appointment -- and the rest is history. I rocked 2-strand twists and the let out until I decided to loc. I started my locs with 2-strand twists (the length was beyond my shoulders) and it took a year, mostly because of my hair texture.

How would you describe your hair's personality?
Defiant; diva-like; refuses to get in line; determined to maintain its identity as wavy; frustrates the hell out of me at times....

I think my hair is like a confident woman who knows who she is, is comfortable with that and says to hell with anyone (including me) who seeks to change that!

What have you learned about yourself or your hair?
About my hair... I thought my hair was nappy! From all the hair stories and memories from my childhood, I thought my hair was nappy and difficult. That’s not the case. My hair is thick and has pretty much been long since it started really growing around age 2. I’d had a standing hair appointment every two weeks since I was 10. I thought my stuff was nappy and required serious reigning in. When I went natural, I discovered it was difficult because of its thickness and length. The actual texture (wavy) kinda eases some of the pain when dealing with it.

About me... I’m not as attached to my hair as other people are (to my hair). My mother didn’t speak to me for almost a whole day when she saw my first cut. I think hair is hair; it’ll grow back or not. I love mine, but its just hair.

What has surprised you most?
My locs... they look and behave nothing like what I expected. I've learned to love them though.

What are you still trying to learn?
I need to learn how to style my locs.

And finally, tell us your favorite part about being natural. :o)
My favorite part of being natural is allowing my hair to have a personality.

Before the locs or the twists

Twist mode.

More twists.

Formal locs.

Inauguration weekend with twin sister Marlena.


Anonymous said...

what a beautiful afro....and the twists OH-lala! =] i love the locs too my aunt is getting those soon

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