Greetings Everyone..I pray all is well with everyone.
Well we have another treat of a feature today with Kai McKinnon. Kai is a beautiful natural whom I've had the pleasure of meeting on Facebook. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kai at the World Natural Hair Show on September 10, 2011. Kai was an absolute pleasure to meet in person along with her beautiful baby girl and her two beautiful sisters. Her smile is even more beautiful in person than on pictures..So, without furthur ado, meet Kai McKinnon.
1. What Inspired You To Go O'Natural?
My natural journey started, like so many others, with the birth of my daughter Olivia Marie. At the time, I wasn’t even thinking of going natural. I had shoulder length hair that had grown longer and thicker during my pregnancy and I loved it. I put flat twists in during and after the birth so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. About 3 months after the baby was born it started falling out by the handful! I knew I would lose some but this frightened me. I was afraid to comb it! I lost all of my sides and my hair was so thin. On top of that, all the yummy smelling J&J baby products I received during my baby shower was causing my baby’s skin to break out and her hair was so dry. I turned to the internet for help. I came across a lot of websites talking about natural products and the reasons for dry thin hair and I started using only all natural products on her. The Shea Moisture baby line is wonderful! I then made the decision to go natural to be an inspiration for her. How could I raise her to embrace and love her self if I wasn’t doing the same? I dove right in and soaked up so much information. I found your website during a search and spent a blissful week reading your posts from day 1. I learned so much information and felt so ignorant about what relaxers had been doing to my hair. I had been relaxed since I was 10. I was going to do a long transition for a year. I used curlformers which I loved and roller sets-no heat! I stopped using chemicals cold turkey and started with all natural products starting with the Shea Moisture line which I heart! About 3 months in I got Senegalese twists which I loved. I kept them in for about 6 weeks using a daily leave in conditioner spray that I made myself. After 6 weeks I tried to take them out and my hair was so matted and tangled that I spent 3 hours trying to detangle. I gave up and yanked and pulled and tore until I was left with hair to my ear, a sore scalp, and tears. I went to the salon the next day and did my BC. I have never regretted that decision and I’m in love with my TWA!
2.How long have you been a beautiful natural?
My last relaxer was January 15th and I did my BC on June 26th. I did another mini buzz to shape and get the last of the frizz off on July 15th. I have about 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches of hair right now. If anyone would have told me a year ago I would have a Grace Jones and love it I would have called them crazy!
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 definitely feel there is a stigma about “good vs bad hair.” I hear comments like “oh I could never go natural because I don’t have that kind of hair”. I tell them there is no such thing, hair is hair, it’s all good hair because its GOD given. Stereotypes are perpetuated in music videos and on tv because all you see are long haired (weaved) women. Very rarely do you see natural Black hair and when you do it’s always loose wavy curls. Until we learn to embrace what grows naturally out of our hair we will never overcome the negative stereotypes that other ethnicities place upon us.
4. Do you feel as though most black men are supportive to natural hair? How about other nationalities?
I think that it is starting to become a little more accepted by our Black men, especially as more and more women embrace it. My husband is still struggling with his acceptance though. He supports my decision, yet doesn’t really care for it yet. He thinks my hair cut looks better than he thought it would but doesn’t really touch it because he says it reminds him of a boy. I tell him he’s just going to have to get used to it and I’m doing it for our daughter. Plus, its hair! It will grow out again. I think other nationalities are more accepting because they are used to Black women being “creative” in our hair styles and they view this as another way we can style our hair. I will say I’ve been getting a lot of positive response from all men since I cut my hair. I think its because I have stepped up my makeup and style game to match my new found confidence and love of self!
5. How do you maintain such beautiful coils?
I don’t have a strict regimen but I make sure I cover the basics. I co wash a few times a week, shampoo maybe once a week or when I want to try a new product on freshly washed hair. I try to deep condition once a week using Shea Moisture DC mask and add olive oil and honey, and I moisturize with water or water based leave in and seal with an oil or butter. My favorite products right now are Shea Moisture for shampoo/conditioner, V05 Moisture milk for my co washes, Kinky Curly Knot today for a leave in, and Kinky Curly Curly Custard for my wash n go’s. For moisture I love shea butter based moisturizers and I use Naturalista Cosmetics Juicy leave in and your Natty Butter. I usually do a wash n go and put in a headband. I also did my first teeny afro. I sleep on a satin pillowcase.
6. Do you have any words of wisdom to pass on to others striving for a natural lifestyle?
Keep it simple and DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! I dove right into finding as much information as possible so when I was ready to chop, I was ready! I knew which products I wanted to try, I had a basic regimen, and I knew how to maintain my natural hair. If you jump right in without any background information you are apt to slip right back into a perm because it’s “easier”. Also, start off simple. I could never find a basic regimen. Here’s a good one: Co wash 2-3 x a week, shampoo on Sundays followed by a DC. Wet hair with water or use a water based leave in conditioner, seal with a butter or oil. Cover your head or pillow with satin. That’s really all you need! Also, try not to become a product junky. I admit I was obsessed with products until I found all of things I like. Find some good bloggers and facebook pages like this one and enjoy your new freedom!
I hope you enjoyed Kai's feature as much as I did!!!
Thank you for joining us to read our feature. If you would like to be featured on All Things O'Natural, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the header 'I've Got A Story'.. Until next time, a bientot!