Hello! My name is Farida Dawkins and I’m a thirty two year old mom, wife, veteran and student of life.
What are your reasons for going natural?
I’ve been natural for five years. I was inspired to go natural while I was Active Duty in the Air Force and reading a book named Nappily Ever After by Trisha R. Thomas. Being away from home enabled a lot of free time to read. I was stationed in Las Vegas, Nevada and the weather there is extremely hot and dry. I noticed my hair became limp, lifeless and dry. I even tried cutting it in hopes of getting the bounce that I once had back into my hair. It was a no go.
While reading the aforementioned book I asked myself, Why do I relax my hair every month? I realized that I had been habitually processing my hair because I was taught by the media and even my own family that my hair was unmanageable, hard to handle and ugly. I thought I NEEDED a relaxer. I thought I didn’t have “good hair.” After I started questioning myself I decided to make a change. Ironically, my mother had went natural years prior and I remember asking why on God’s green earth she would cut her hair. I got it now.
How did you transition (or did you BC)?
I BC’d in 2009 after transitioning for five months. During the transitioning period, I wore my coif in curls and braids. Then in November 2009, I walked into the salon and told the hairdresser to cut off all of the permed ends. She was hesitant. I was ready. After she was done, I had about two inches of soft and curly hair.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
I remember being uncomfortable and self-conscious. I got funny stares and was told my short hair made me look “older.” One time I was in a cafeteria getting lunch and as I was paying for my meal I turned and got the most nastiest and hideous stare from another female on line. I felt like crawling into a shell. As time passed, I became more comfortable with my hair and myself. I no longer bought into the stereotypes about African hair or what good hair is. The hair that grows out my head IS good.
What’s your go-to style? My go-to style right now is a tapered cut with a twist out on top.
What’s your favorite product and why? My favorite products are castor oil, water and glycerine, shea butter and Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. This regimen enables my hair to stay moisturized and curly.
What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out?
Any advice I would share with someone going back natural is that there will be a period of trial and error. Try products that benefit your hair type. Also, there may be a lot of images of softer and curlier hair types and that may look like the “ideal” hair to have. However, embrace your hair and yourself.
Who is your hair crush? I don’t have a specific hair crush but I am loving women who are rocking short hair and tapered hair styles. Its bold and unique!
What is your social media contact info?
I’m on FB as Farida Dawkins, twitter as @faridadawkins, IG as an_imperfectperfection and I have a blog at https://reedad.blogspot.com. Feel free to connect with me!