Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone
Well, this is a treat today..Meet the gorgeous Luladey Kinfe-Michael. A conscious and exceptionally spirited international beauty who has an awesome story to tell, so stay tuned..
1. What inspired you to go natural?
So why I went natural...to be completely transparent babe...it was so much more than hair to me. I got to a point where any amount of artificiality started to make me itch. literally! Be it in foods, products or people even. This included MYSELF! Here I was grieving over the illness of a parent, Thank God, God spared his life, but my fathers illness was very traumatizing for me. The smoke screen that I knew had existed was now lifted. My failures, my progress and lack there of, my passions that I wasn't fulfilling, were now directly in my face and I couldn't ignore it any longer. It was scary, it was depressing, it was a wonderful bolt of inspiration all at the same time. After a series of events, over about 1-2 yr period, I found myself without a job, car gone, at war with family daily...to say it was a huge financial n emotional crisis would be putting it lightly. But I'm working through it all...I am def a work in progress but I have been relearning everything lately. My birthday is Dec 31st, and like many others I used the new year as a new start. I made the conscious decision to release myself of my past. Past "friends" past events, past pain, past behaviors and yes past hair=) I didn't want to get relaxers anymore so why was I holding onto the dead ends then? I took my kinky twists out, washed my hair then looked in the mirror and just started chopping away. As more hair fell, the more empowered I felt. The more I giggled at the baby afro looking back at me in the mirror. Then shock set in...oh my goodness...what am I going to do now??? I never dealt with my kinky b4. I've been killing my hair since I was in high school and forcing it to do what I wanted, how can the roles reverse now???
But I started to search youtube videos, facebook and the rest of the internet and then met you =) Blogs like yours and other fb page give women like me inspiration and a sense of support even if its via technology. My hair being cut was not the beginning of my journey to natural, nor will it be my end. I had to take responsibility of my life, and my body. It was time to grow up n admit that I had maturing n growing to do. If you know that you are damaging your body your mind your spirit by the things you consciously do, yet continue to do so...what does that speak about my character? My people? My family? My upbringing? My history? My future? I could walk around like a proud African all I want but the reality was I was tainted by westernized thinking and behavior. I could keep judging others n their faults or I could fix my own, and God knows I am a mess! But honey I promise you I'm getting it together. I am still thankful for my misery and my joy. I WILL be an example because one day someone WILL be lifted by my story. We both know without a test there lives no TEST-imony. Someone will assume I couldn't possibly understand their strife and trials, "shes such a pretty girl who knows no struggle"...then I will sit down and share my story of being broke, feeling broken, the pain I felt from family, my mother who taught me forgiveness is key to feeling joy again. (that one I'm still working on) I will discuss accountability. Blame can only hold ground but so long. We are responsible for our actions, the company we keep, the opportunities we seize and the one we allow to pass us by. Hold up, I only mean that in figurative sense..GOD's plan is so much bigger than ours. We think we do everything, if i work this hard I will get this promotion then buy this house n marry this man....well Nique, I am 31 (but looking good, like 19=) single, living with my mother n no longer making any apologies about where I am at in life! Just confessing that to you made it real for me. I will no longer replay pasts injustices in my head, or say I shoulda coulda woulda. I will however, do my best everyday to fulfill my purpose God has been trying to reveal to me, I have be ignoring Him. That is the most important part of transitioning to natural...
One cannot know where "their natural" state stands if they don't ask the one who creating them to begin with. My advice to others would be start with self inspection. Who are you really? Not what u say you do, you like, but who are you really...what have your actions described about you. How do your family and loved ones feel in your presence. The fruits of your work show what? Are you truly honoring God in what you do? If God is not honored, neither are you, your family, your people...if your only out for self, how natural is that? By nature we were created to Love. Period. Everything comes under that umbrella. Full-stop. No force is greater. Everything good comes from it. Everything bad comes from lack of it. Since God is Love, I am Love and that is all I have to give.
2. How long have you been a beautiful natural?
My last relaxer was in May 2010. I never have been a big fan of hair salons one, because it costs way too much money and two, I can do a better job of hooking my hair up by myself! I always came home and did something to it anyways. I recently chopped my hair off myself, about a month ago, give or take. Maybe two.
3. In regards to natural hair, do you feel as though the same stigmas of hair type exist, for example, do you hear people use the term 'good hair' or 'good grade of hair' in regards to certain hair textures?
I hear the term "good hair" now more than ever. More so with women, in or out my generation. I have received more compliments on my hair n look more than ever. Maybe I'm coming into my destined "image", maybe I'm a chameleon and just gifted in knowing how to adapt, or maybe people just place too much judgment on image, and assume a more "earthy n natural" state defines one character. Maybe they're all correct=) I had been getting relaxers since I was in junior high, so I really had no idea what my actual hair looked like. It was beyond time...
4. Do you feel as though most black men are supportive to natural hair? How about other nationalities?
Black men being supportive? Hmmm...well I know that many (say) our women should rest assured in what they were given than what they can buy BUT the women that many go for are sporting sewn on wigs, tracks, relaxers, press n curls...anything but an un-manipulated state of hair. I think many black men are not natural themselves so how can they judge what is natural on their counterparts? To me, natural means the opposite of artificial. Simple but so much deeper than u think. Natural would be, how God intended. Since HE IS the CREATOR OF ALL, any chemical or man made manipulation of his creation would water down its natural state. When I first cut my hair, I would blow dry then press it. Yes I didn't have a relaxer but was my hair really being honored under all that heat n torture. If somebody pulled n pressed on you, wouldn't u straighten up too? But to be completely honest, I was scared to see what my hair would look like, as much as I was excited too. I didn't know what the proper products would be to make sure my hair stayed moisturized and stress free Yes your hair can be stressed. Just like our muscles in our bodies tighten up, so can our hair.
5. How do you maintain such beautiful coils?
Maintenance...well thanks to YOU I'm more knowledgeable than ever on products that work for MY hair. Thank you btw=) I have literally fallen in love 'Hello Hydration' by herbal essence. I love the smell and how it feeds my hair. It's true to its word/label. I think I'm just realizing that 'co-wash' means using conditioner as a shampoo. So I recently purchased the 'Avalon Organics' Lavender shampoo n I LOVE the smell as well. I'm an emotional person who connects and embraces her senses on a regular basis. I want something that not only is 'good' for me but smells good or in-turn makes me feel good. Smell can be as healing as touch you know. I use Shea Moisture as deep treatment, I've tried it as a leave in as well. Last week I took the advice of one of your videos n picked up the Shea Moisture Smoothie too. Actually those pics were after the first time I used the smoothie stuff. After washing my hair with Avalon Organics Lavender shampoo, I basted and rinsed with the Hello Hydration. After wards I spritzed with this leave-in spray my girl hooked me up with, smells like tea n its by carol's daughter. She knows how expensive the transition to natural has been, and since I've been out of work she has been nothing but a jewel to me. To moisturize I have found that I LOOOOOOOOVE the consistency, the smell, the effect of your O'NATURAL NATTY BUTTER!!! I mean its yummy, its soft, its shine w/o the greasy n its home made=WITH LOVE so it gets no better! Only problem, I need more mamma. What do I have to do be on your team and get a regular supply sent to me like I was your favorite person after the flk under your roof?? daily maintenance. I have mixed together some oils as well that I also moisturize with. It was an old bottle of 'seven oil' that I filled with extra virgin olive oil, rosemary and tea tree oil. I'm in trial and error phase...I re-twist every night for the most part and twist out with your butter or the oils now that I ran out.
6. Do you have any words of wisdom to pass on to others striving for a natural lifestyle?
Your presence has helped so much, not just your product but your words of wisdom. You not only know but you share. That is big. So many do better for them SELF but don't get others better. Like Will Smith said on an interview, if your not helping to make someone else better, then your really wasting your time. You Nique are a queen. You know better so you've decided to do better. You are doing better for yourself, your family and you are now educating as many people as possible. You are a JEWEL in my eyes. A woman who obviously is a giver and a nurturer by nature. I appreciate you. Thank you for all that u do. I ♥ U.The over all pic...natural is your real authentic self. Lets get back to that. Side note...I've met mad dreads and what I will call "fruit n berry" girls...these are the ones that will sleep with your man, cheat on their partners, cuss randomly just because they know how, behave very selfishly but then want to go to the local poetry clubs, wear oils, smoke weed and listen to reggae and call themselves righteous. Natural is not a look. It is a state of mind that probably takes a life time to conquer. Going back to your roots...making it back to God. Now that is your natural state.=) Bottom line, surround yourself with positive people on your journey.
The Beautiful Luladey..Enjoy:
Well, I hope you Lovely's enjoyed Luladey as much as I did!!! Visit facebook and request Luladey Kinfe-Michael as your friend.she's such a beautiful person.
If you have a story to tell and would like to be featured on All Things O'Natural, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use the header 'O'Natural'
Have A Happy Healthy Day