We are ringing in the new year with a new natural beauty. Our January beauty is the personification of everything we look for in the new year: self confidence, healthy living, awareness and freedom. Chanel hails from upstate New York, and like us believes that her hair is a work of art. We hope her journey inspires you to let your fro fly free in this year.
Chanel | 21 | Upstate New York | IG: vvvnel
Describe your hair. My hair type is 4C—very thick, so dry and full.
What made you go natural? I had a relaxer, dyed my hair too many times, and ruined it with hot styling tools. I decided to return natural to make my hair healthy again. I wanted to wear the fro that couldn’t be achieved with my limp, relaxed hair.
How long have you been natural? I have been natural for 1 year. I stopped relaxing my hair as of July 2014 and I big chopped right before Christmas, December 2014.
What does being natural mean to you? Being natural means being who I really am. It made me appreciate my own beauty. I stopped hiding behind my straight hair and my long bundles. It means going against the beauty standard that praises European features and just being me, a black woman with kinky hair.
What is you current hair routine? I don’t have a specific hair routine at the moment. It changes by hair style. I do wear protective styles a lot, year round to protect my hair—mostly Marley twists, kinky twists, crochet braids, or wigs.
Do you use heat on your hair? I use as little heat on my hair as possible. When I wash my hair, I twist it overnight to dry but, if I am prepping for a protective style I will use the blow-dryer. I never flat iron or curl wand my hair. I do not want to damage my hair with unnecessary heat. I have been there too many times.
What is the hardest part about being natural? The hardest part about being natural is having to fuss with my hair everyday when I wear it out—twisting it up every night, detangling it in the morning and moisturizing it throughout the day.
What is your favorite thing about being natural? My favorite thing about being natural is the versatility. One day I’ll have a fro, the next I’ll have braids, and then twists, then Bantu knots. My hair is strong and healthy and can take on so many forms. It’s almost like art.
What is you favorite hairstyle? My favorite hairstyle is the FRO! I love just wearing my hair out and free. It’s something about it. Afrocentric.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy working out (running, lifting, cycling, skating, jet skiing, volleyball, etc) and traveling.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about going natural? If anyone is considering going natural, do it!
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