Thursday, August 25, 2011

Shine On! - Our Natural SOLHSista Sophia

Welcome back SOLHSistas! I hope everyone had a refreshing and fun-filled summer! It was wonderful getting to know so many beautiful women this summer through individual consultations and SOLHair Parties. Thanks again for introducing your friends and family to SO Lovely Hair.

Now I’d like to introduce you to another dynamic SOLHSista, Sophia!

She truly puts the SO in SO Lovely Hair! Not only is she my videographer but she’s SO beautiful, SO funny, SO smart, and SO talented. She has tried every style, product, technique and color for hair. She was a real life human chameleon!  But now she’s back on the path of NATURAL healthy hair. And her knowledge of healthy hair products, styles, and techniques runneth deep. Let’s see how it all started!

Thanks Sophia for letting me pull you from behind the camera! Your hair journey has been interesting to say the least. How did it all begin?

As a child, I remember my hair just always being a mess. (lol) I was known for breaking combs and brushes. It was long, thick, and relaxed as far back as I can remember. My curls were “too thick” and I was too "tender headed", as my mom always said--which was partly true.
But my hair was long until 6th grade. My dad took me for what was supposed to be a trim and I had the lady chop my hair off to my ears :) It was a hot mess and my mom was so mad.
My hair would only grow to about my shoulders and it would break off.  So I’d cut it again--all the while relaxing and coloring.

So when did you start your healthy hair journey?

I stopped getting relaxers when I was about 18. I started looking at all the white girls around me with long flowing pretty hair and thought, “They don’t do all this mess to their hair and it grows! So maybe I need to chill out with all of that (constant flat irons, blow dryers, coloring, manipulation)”. My friends at the time didn’t flat iron or blow dry often, if at all.  One of them said she never even used a brush or comb in her hair. She just finger combed it when it had conditioner in it. That made a big impact on my techniques.
It’s ironic but the good traits I learned for my hair, didn’t even come from women with my type of hair. Those techniques were the start though.

That’s interesting. I haven’t heard that source of inspiration before. How did you transition from relaxed to natural hair?

At first I just trimmed little by little and before long all the damaged and relaxed hair was gone. It didn’t take long. I loved the thought that my hair was natural! I wasn’t so sure of wearing it curly though. To straighten it, I’d use big barreled curling irons after I blow dried it. Then I met my best friend the flat iron :) I was flat ironing my hair daily to keep it bone straight--flying in the wind! Since it was natural, thick and curly it wouldn’t stay bone straight long.  So I’d flat iron every time I came home. to keep it straight. 

Then I colored it blonde.  When the stylist removed the towel from my head, all the other clients’ faces made me afraid to look in the mirror--and for good reason. It was fried! I failed to mention this was my third time in 3 months having my hair lightened. Each time I went lighter and in more areas. My hair was literally falling out with each hand movement through my hair. But by the next day I was rocking it (with blue contacts).  
I saw a picture of myself and thought “What in the world am I doing?! I’m constantly trying to wear my hair like someone else instead of ME.”  I colored it back to black and started the healthy part of my natural hair journey.

So at this point did you realize natural hair doesn’t necessarily mean healthy hair? 

Natural hair def doesnt mean healthy hair. I was natural for years before my hair was actually healthy. All the heat, and coloring was jackin my hair up left and right. If your not taking care of your hair properly natural or relaxed you can still have very unhealthy hair.
So I started getting online looking up natural products and finding sites for woman with hair like mine. Forums became my best friend. I learned so much about hair, MY hair, product ingredients--everything. I’d spend hours reading up on everything I could about natural hair.  My hair grew so fast and became so thick. I loved it!

I’d only flat iron it maybe twice a year. It was down my back!

Did you have any set backs? If so, how did you overcome them?

In 2010, an hour and a half into just BLOW DRYING (my stupid comb attachment kept breaking off because my hair is so thick). I got a relaxer again--without thinking twice. I regretted it instantly!!! It didn’t feel the same, not even close. Then I knew I had altered my hair in a way I really didn’t like. I'm not anti-relaxer, I’m just anti-ME-having-a-relaxer.

I missed my natural hair. So Feb 2011 I big chopped and cut off my bra strap length hair to about half an inch long (curly).
What do you feel are some of the benefits of having natural hair?

I love everything about natural hair. It’s versatility, strength, beauty. To me it says, “YOU can take your views of what is beautiful --and toss them!  Me and my big, curly, frizzy, nappy-headed, brown-eyed, brown-skinned self is beautiful!” It’s unique and beautiful. I’m no longer scared of rain, pools or showers. It no longer takes a fortress to keep the water away from my head.(lol)

 I love that! Can you tell us a little about your routine?
I take biotin and some other vitamins. I try to drink at least 92 ozs of water a day. I keep a close eye on what I put in my hair and how I take it out. I didn’t use to tie my hair up at night till this last relaxer bout. But now I literally can’t go to sleep without tying my hair up. I moisturize and seal daily. I do wash-n-go’s daily. If my hair feels dry I’ll put it in twists and that usually takes care of it being dry. I deep condition when I remember to. I really just do what it needs based off how it looks and feels. I’m trying to stay away from direct heat as much as possible. That’s basically it. I just use natural products with all natural ingredients. Keep my scalp stimulated with oil massages. Take care of my body from the inside as well :) I know it will pay off in the end.

Thanks for sharing your hair story with us Sophia! If you’d like to follow Sophia’s hair journey check out her YouTube Channel at

Till next time Ladies!!

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