Hello mane embracers, I hope your crowns are flourishing and your skin glowing. Thank you for stopping by and welcome to my what’s natural hair to you series featuring Monica Kalyonge
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Monica; What’s Natural Hair to you
Who’s Monica…..as a person and a naturalista(lazy natural, all protective styles and styling natural etc)
Monica is a simple human who loves flavored tea, chocolate and dancing. In terms of natural hair, I am a somewhat lazy natural. I like to be effective. I normally opt for simple hairstyles like braid outs and when it’s time, I just throw my hair in a bun. I wouldn’t say I am much of a protective style person nowadays. I used to be though, back when my hair was shorter.
What was the inspiration behind embracing your natural hair
I embraced my natural hair because I was inspired by images online of women wearing their hair proud. I also find it less stressful to have healthy natural hair. At this point, I have incorporated the natural hair lifestyle into my life so it’s just become something I do.
What’s ‘perfect’ hair to you?
‘Perfect’ hair is healthy hair.
What advice would you give to naturals struggling with natural hair/those stuck on the same length like forever
I would tell them to reevaluate their regimens. Sometimes your hair needs you to switch something up in order for you to see progress. If your goal is length, perhaps you should consider making protective styling a big part of your regimen if it’s not already. If you already protective style regularly then check how you take care of your hair while protective styling.
If you wear a lot of wash and go’s and notice that you always get single strand knots and split ends then perhaps switch to stretched styles which reduce the risk of your hair tangling up on itself. In summary, evaluate our regimen and alter as required. Also, don’t obsess over your length. Enjoy each stage.
Which is your protective style and why?
Box braids simply because they are the most convenient for me. The style allows me to put whatever color I want on while allowing me to access my scalp and hair easily. I do also do weekly protective styles like fancy buns. These tend to last me a week or so.
Ever got a mean comment about your hair or found yourself in a situation where your hair was labelled unofficial?
In the initial stages I would get mean comments. I started in 2014 and the movement hadn’t really caught on in my environment. People thought I wanted to do locs, others thought I was obsessed with my hair because I actually took care of it. On some level I understood that their comments came from a point of ignorance but it did affect my esteem.
I have never been told though that my hair is unprofessional. By the time I was getting into that professional environment, way more people were embracing their hair. My hair was also long so it was a point of fascination for whatever reason. Then again, I am in the creative field and this allows me to be a bit more free with how I wear my hair.
Tell us about your YouTube channel, the inspiration behind it, its purpose and how often do you post.
My YouTube channel is me just throwing my creativity out there. I don’t really have a specific direction that I am moving in. However, I do incorporate things that I love. I do love hair and some of the videos there represent that love. I am trying to figure out where I want to take it. As for posting, I can’t comment. Once I feel I have gotten some rhythm, my life goes in a funny direction and I can’t concentrate on it as much as I would love to. I’ll figure it out though, no pressure.
If you were to wear one style for the rest of your life, which style gets lucky.
The one style would have to be a braid out. I can do a braid out in my sleep!
Do you think natural hair is overrated?
No, I don’t think it’s overrated. How can your own hair be overrated? I just think as a society at large we still suffer from internalized standards of beauty that are not ours. There is nothing overrated about how natural hair grows out of your head. However, that is no basis for anyone to judge anyone for how they choose to wear their hair. I am happy to see that we are unlearning and slowly headed in a more self accepting direction in terms of hair.
What’s your top 5 tips you can swear by?
⦁ Signing out remarks/comments.
Love your hair as it is. Don’t compare it to anyone else’s. Once you accept your hair as is and see the beauty in it, you will learn to let it flourish in it’s own way. What you choose to do with it from there (cut it, loc it, relax it etc) will then come from doing what actually works for you, not from a point of feeling like your hair is substandard.
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