What is your name, where are you from, and what is the natural hair scene there like?
My name is Athenia….Yes like the Greek goddess and I’m from Memphis, TN. Women here treat their hair like an accessory. Its not unusual for women to buy wigs in different colors and wear them interchangeably often. They also wear alot of quickweaves (the glued in kind) for the purpose of going out to a specific event. However its very popular for guys to rock messy bed hair or locs.
Why did you decide to go natural and how?
Well, I’ve been natural all my life. I chose to loc my hair because I felt it was a more permanent way to express my Afrocentricity. My grandmother raised me to remember my past as the Sankofa. It was 13 years ago when I began the journey of self acceptance and I can’t say that I’ve ever looked back.
Did you encounter any obstacles in your journey?
No. Not really. People did tease me alot when I was younger but my mother used to tell me “You are beautiful because you’re nappy headed and black!” She told me that all the time. I believed her and was able to ignore the ignorance. I would even make my classmates more angry by wearing shirts that had “pro-black” slogans like “I’m happy to be nappy” or “Danger! Educated black woman!” It drove them crazy.
How would you describe your hair texture?
I have very thick hair, but it dries out very quickly. I have to keep it moisturized and oiled regularly to keep my locs from becoming brittle.
What is your styling regimen?
On a day to day basis I fluff and go. If I have rolled or bantu knotted my hair over the weekend, I will just spray it with Olive and Tea Tree Oil and run my fingers through it a couple times. If I haven’t twisted my hair down in a while, I will put my hair in some sort of braided whacky ponytail. If all else fails, I just wear a hat.
What is a typical wash day like for you?
First, I have to clear my schedule for that day because I hate sitting under the dryer and locs take forever to air dry. I use Cantu and Organics products on my hair for the most part. If I color my hair, I use Clairol Texture and Tones. I have color in my hair, so usually if I am going to wash it, I update my color as well. I start early, usually Sunday, and put the color on. I wash my hair once the color has set and then I deep condition. Its a pretty simple routine.
What things do you do for your hair that benefit it the most?
I give myself hot oil treatments regularly. Every two weeks for the most part. My hair soaks up oil like a sponge to water, so I have to make sure I keep my hair oiled. I also use a shea butter based moisturizer between oil treatments to keep my ends from breaking off.
What are some things/practices you steer clear of when it comes to your hair?
Most people twist their locs down once a month, however I find it stressful on the hair. I twist my locs down every 6 to 8 weeks. This keeps my hairline good and full as well as keeping my locs from thinning. I also DO NOT switch products. Once I find a brand I like, I stay with that brand especially in regards to the products I use to color my hair.
Do you have a website/blog/vlog where we can locate you?