Anaïse (it sounds like "Anna-is", it's a french). She is from French Guiana.
Q: What is your hair story? What kind of hair styles have you rocked, before embracing your natural hair?
A: I was 12 or 13 years old when I started relaxing, but I met problems with breakage, lot of length gone and damaged hair! I was 15-16 years old and I thought I would prefer a short and healthy natural hair, rather than “long” and damaged relaxed hair. Then I decided to do a big chop once. Unfortunately, it wasn't so easy at this time because I wasn't enough mature to embrace my natural hair. Indeed, relaxed hair is a standard for a lot of people. I decided to go back to relaxed, as it took a good length.
Q: When and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?
A: I was around 19 years old and I left my country to study in France. So it was easier to wear my hair in my teeny weeny afro again! Before going to the plane, I went to a hairdresser for the big chop again! No laughs, no unkind remarks… it was easier, new friends, new schoolmates, new life, new community! You know, living in French Guyana is like living in a small village, and it’s harder to correspond with a beauty standard or ideal because people like to talk, gossip, and give "advice". Obviously, in France there are many black people who don't like kinky hair and prefer relaxing but in general, "indifference" is the norm. I realized we can be pretty the way we are. Everyone has complexes and some unkind remarks that can hurt, so you can choose to pay them no mind even if it's not easy everyday!
Q: Did you have any big fears about going back to your natural texture?
A: Hum...looking like a guy! But I found great ways to feel more feminine. Since the BC, I've tried to take care of my hair, my skin, make up, jewels, etc.
Q: What are three products you can't live without for nurturing/styling your hair?
A: Organic Root Stimulator's Olive Oil Moisturizing Lotion, Curl Junkie's Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix, Bioshine Intense's aloe vera treatment (Brazil)
Q: What would you say to someone who's thinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected in various parts of their lives?
A: Appearance isn’t the most important thing (humor, intelligence, temper, points of view are far more important in terms of relationships), but people sometimes act like is. Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated for who they are, but you also do your best to be an “attractive person”. I’ve never really felt ashamed about my hair but there was a gap between my natural hair (+ other things) and some TV idols. Today, I feel prettier than ever because I'm not challenging a beauty standard. I understood
there is difference between "my beauty" and "the ideal of beauty".
Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal or professional website? (Optional)
A: I have a blog but if you don't speak french, it's difficult to understand! http://nefertarians.blogspot.com/
Thank you Anaïse! Gorgeous pictures and I enjoyed reading your interview. ~ Karen