Dope Natural – Miss Ariel

Miss Ariel!
Thanks for sharing some of your hair journey with us…let’s get started…
How long have you been natural?
Has your family and friends been supportive of your natural hair journey?
my family and friends have been very supportive. in fact, I have helped some transition and also they ask me for tips on how to take care of their hair, and I love it!
Wow that’s awesome! Now tell us what do you do for a living and how does that affect how you style your hair?
I am an insurance agent for State Farm. It has not really affected the way I style my hair. my boss is totally cool with my curls, and I rock whatever hair style I feel at the time.
What kind of issues have you run into with your natural hair?
The biggest issue I have run into with my hair is dryness. but I feel like since I learned that my hair is high porosity I have able to gravitate towards the right products and managing dryness has become easier.
Do you have any go-to protective styles or dope hairstyles you love?
My go to protective style is a bun. it’s also my lazy hair style or I need to do my hair, hairstyle lol.
How often do you use heat to straighten your natural hair?
I only straighten my hair when I’m getting a trim which is about 4 times a year
What is your favorite hair product that you just can’t do without?
I can’t live life without my shea moisture JBCO leave in conditioner
Do you have a stylist that you would recommend? 
 Yes!!! Crystal Newkirk in Cary NC. she is the only person that touches my head besides my mom or me.
What advice can you give to beginners?
 To my beginners, patience is key. love your hair nourish your hair and it will be good to you
You are truly a dope natural! Thanks so much for sharing some of your experiences with us on your natural hair journey!
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Hair Weaves, Wigs, and Sew-Ins – Good Or Not?

My opinion is that  all fake hair can be avoided, but timing and circumstances sometimes makes them necessary. I admit synthetic hair and real hair extensions have come a long way! You use to be able to tell whose hair was and was not “real.” Not anymore, but I think that’s a good thing!

Although I have personally never worn any kind of weaves or extensions in my hair, I won’t say I never will…I love love that weave is mimicking our naturally kinky curly hair! Remember weave use to only be straight and some kind of weird texture. So power to the kinky!

Weave really isn’t something new. It has been worn for centuries as a protective style as far back as the Egyptians! So it’s no surprise that weave is still being used today as such.  Although, I won’t speak against weaves and extensions, I will issue  words of caution…

First, weave and extensions should be installed correctly – meaning if you don’t know what you are doing or you don’t know how to do a weave you probably better leave it to a professional or someone who is familiar with how to install it correctly. Yes, we want to be cute, but not bald!

Second,  be careful about those edges! Nothing I hate more than to see someone with a weave that’s literally exterminating their edges. I just want to go get some coconut oil or shea butter and oil them up. Don’t do it! I have warned you..

Third, and this may not even be something you have thought about, but I have and I just want to say…please don’t be lying to naturals about your hair journey with weave and extensions. Really how does it help others on a hair journey, some dealing with their own self-esteem issues and hair acceptance for us to be pretending we have all those crochet styles because we did a hair journey to get there?  I am all for looking your best, but I don’t and will never agree with tricking people who sincerely want to grow out their natural hair into following me and I am not being real with them.

Bottom line is if you wear weaves and extensions – be dope with it – do you, but be responsible when you are installing them or wearing them and for goodness sake – be honest…most people will still think your hair is dope!

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My Hair Kept Coming Out!

Have you ever looked down into the water drainage after you have washed your hair? What did you see? If you have recently given birth like me you might have been surprised to see what looks like another head of hair growing out of the drain! Believe me I did a double and triple take because I had never lost this much hair before.

I swear I must have looked at that big ball of hair for several minutes even after I got out of the shower. Then, it happened again the next week and the next week…now you know the panic was setting in and it was getting real!

I found out that this was normal and that many women have or will experience this about three to six months after giving birth.  I’ve heard it called “postpartum hair shedding.” Even so, this was not normal for me! I have had two other kids and I’d never experienced this kind of hair loss before. So what was the deal? I know I’m getting older, but the lawd! It seemed like my edges were running to the back of my neck in fury…

My hair shedding was made worse by the fact that I’d stopped my prenatal vitamins without really thinking about it…you know how it is with a new baby…if you remember anything it is a miracle after all the sleepless nights and your unmentionable tender parts! It’s been almost eight months and my hair has finally stopped shedding. So here’s a list of some things that worked to help reduce my hair shedding:

  • Drink plenty…did I say plenty…like a gallon of water! Well maybe not that much but keep yourself hydrated. Water helps keeps your hair moisturized and brings all those absolutely necessary vitamins and minerals to your hair follicles. I tried to drink as much as I could each day.
  • Eat your fruits and veggies! You may see some changes in your waistline, but remember, the vitamins and nutrients in these foods helps to support your head of hair.
  • Take a multivitamin. About a week after I got back on my prenatal/multivitamin I feel like my hair shedding seemed to slow down or at least what I saw in the drain appeared way less.
  • Get your hair trimmed. I got a professional trim about three months after giving birth. I don’t think there is a specific time, but the shedding usually starts around month three to six postpartum.
  • Give your hair a break. Get a protective style that will last for a few days at a time. Let’s face it, after having a baby, our hair is probably not the first priority! But we aren’t trying to look totally busted either and protective styles are dope ways to take care of all of that.

Congratulations to you if you have recently had a baby! If you have not had to experience postpartum hair shedding I am happy for you! But to all of you who have experienced this particular issue you know how disturbing it can be especially if you didn’t know it would happen…hang in there! Your hair will bounce back if you take care of it and take care of yourself!

As always naturals…be dope!


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You Can Have Long Hair – If You Work For It!

Everyone does not want to have long hair. It’s as simple as that. But some of you do and you are who I am going to talk to.

Let’s get real if you haven’t gotten real with yourself already…there are only two ways to get long hair. One, you can add it by installing some hair weave  or two, you could buckle down and grow your own natural hair. If you are in a rush to see length by all means get your weave girl! But if you want to see how long your own natural hair will grow…you will have to learn a little patience.

Speaking from experience as a dope natural that has had long hair for most of my life, it’s not easy to maintain long hair period. Even when I had the creamy crack in my hair, it still took time to wash, condition, de-tangle and style my hair and that was sometimes to the tune of four to six hours of my day or more. With my natural hair it never tops more than 3 hours just because I will walk out of the house with my hair still wet now! Yes I feel I am every woman now! Bring on that rain, snow, ice…my natural can handle it

So some of you have asked me how do I maintain the length of my hair? I will tell you this before I provide you with my methods. Maintaining long hair and keeping it healthy is a mind-set just as it is also a responsibility that takes time. If you don’t have time to spend on your hair each week or at least every other week…sorry but long hair may not be for you right now.

How I Retain Length

  • I get regular trims. Sometimes I do them myself, but at least twice a year I go to a professional to get my hair trimmed. Remember a trimming is just to get rid of split ends not to change your hair style.
  • Keep your hair moisturized! If you are wondering if your hair is moisturized…moisturize it
  • Be patient and treat your hair gently. Even when I am tired, I take time to groom and protect my hair.
  • Learn to love protective styling. There is no way to get around some of the natural environmental abuse our hair has to take, but using protective styles sure helps to keep our hair protected from most issues.
  • Don’t jump on every “next big thing” in natural hair products. There have been some really great products introduced since I have been natural and I am sure there will be more, but everything is not good for our hair so I am really careful to only try products that has ingredients in it that I know will mesh well with my texture of hair.
  • Be stingy with the heat! I like to get my hair flat-ironed too, but I make it a point to only do this three or four times a year. There are some great heat protector hair products on the market now, but even so I would still encourage anyone hoping to retain length to be really careful about using too much heat.
  • Eat a healthy diet and add a multivitamin. What you put in your mouth will affect what is on your head so eat the good stuff to give your hair and body what it needs.

Long hair may not be your goal and that’s okay, but if you are hoping to finally reach that tailbone length as I am (I have about 2 more inches to go) these suggestions will give you a great foundation.

Did I leave something out?

If so, let us know in your comments below what we can add to help out other Dope Naturals!

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Journey To Natural Healthy Hair