Hair Diary: Cheryl

Meet the flawless Ms. Cheryl Johnshon... 3 copy

 

 

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GlamSavvy Life: We all have a hair journey. Tell us a little about yours.

I was taught to despise my natural hair, like many young black girls. I was told it was nappy and ugly and, to be beautiful, I would have to make it long and straight. I got my first relaxer at the age of 9 and struggled with my hair and the abusive relationship we had until I was 20. At 20 years old, my boyfriend at the time encouraged me to wear my hair natural. He thought my nappy hair was absolutely beautiful and soon I did, too. After 8 months of wearing my afro, I asked a college friend to lock it for me. From that point forward, I saw myself with new eyes. I started to really think I was beautiful. Before going natural, I only liked my face if I was having a good hair day. On a bad hair day, I hate everything from my too big forehead and too high cheekbones to my too big lips. It’s crazy how much my sense of self-worth and self-esteem was connected to my hair. Of course, there is a point where you realize: IT'S JUST HAIR! That was my most freeing revelation - that black hair grows just like anyone else, and all I have to do it is enjoy it, long or short and just keep it healthy.

GSL: What's your relationship with your hair like now?

A professor of Multicultural Literature once asked me about my “hairstyle” to which I responded that my hair isn't just a style, my hair is my proclamation of self. My locks represent my natural beauty, my culture and my freedom from aesthetic assimilation. I’ve had my locks for almost 14 years now. My hair is a significant part of my personal style. It’s my most distinguishable physical trait and a source of pride for me.

GSL: That's great! What do you love most about it now that you've accepted it so gracefully?

What I love most about my hair is the texture: the tight, soft coils that twist and tangle to form each lock. I love my soft, nappy hair.

GSL: Does anyone or anything inspire you to style your dreads in any particular way?

I’m so lazy nowadays that I rarely style it. I will curl it up from time to time, but I usually just pull it back and tie it up using my own hair.

GSL: Tell us a bit about your hair care regimen & maintenance. What are some of the products you absolutely can’t live without?

I’m very simple. When I first started out with going natural, I bought into every crazy and expensive hair product I was told to get, but after a few years, I learned that it’s just important to keep my hair clean and oiled. So, my favorite things to use are Peppermint Castor Soap as shampoo and Pure Shea Butter to twist it. I sometimes use Mango & Lime Locking Gel or protein gel to twist it. I’m not very picky as long as it doesn’t include beeswax - which attracts lint and dirt that cannot be combed out.

GSL: How do you feel about people touching your hair?

The same way I feel about them touching my face or body, it’s invasive unless we are close. If someone asks, I will not tell them no, though I’m not crazy about it. I hate it when someone just touches my hair without asking. I liken it to touching a pregnant stranger's stomach. I don’t think of my hair in a spiritual sense, but it’s a physical part of my being, I just want my personal space respected.

GSL: Do you have a favorite beauty blogger?

The GlamSavvy Life, of course! Your sense of style is so classic and glamorous. I love it.

GSL: Thank you!! What hair advice would you like to send off for our GSL readers?

Love you hair, enjoy it. Black is beautiful and “nappy” hair can be special, sassy and glamorous, if you treat it well. It’s an extension of your style and beauty but remember IT’S JUST HAIR. No physical trait should define you. In the words of India Arie “I am not my hair.”

XOXO, The GlamSavvy Team