"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra" -Jimmy Johnson

16 September 2013

Hair Talk with Loren Gray, My Queen Naturalista!

Today I am back with a little hair talk with a good friend of mine, Ms Loren Gray aka L Boogie! I will have to tell you why she is called L Boogie another day, but today I am going to call her my Queen Naturalista because she has been rocking the natural hair and look for forever it seems like. Check out our hair talk below and be inspired!

I know you very well, but my readers may not. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi my name is Loren Gray! I currently live in Martinsville, VA but I work and play and pretty much live in Greensboro, NC. I also claim Greenville, SC as home as well. I don’t have an exciting job or life but any time spent with my family and friends I am extremely happy. I truly have an amazing group of people around me.
How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
Oct. 30th will be 5 years. So my story of why I went natural is very simple. My roommate (at the time) and her sister came to me one day and said they were thinking about going natural and wanted to know if I would do it with them. I said sure! I was broke so I couldn’t afford the relaxers and I hated putting them in myself so why not?  And the rest is history.

 Did you transition or big chop? Why one over the other? 
Well after I decided I was going natural I made up in my mind that I was going to transition for a year then do a big chop. Well… 6 months in I wound up moving back home and I needed a change. Plus I just didn’t want to deal with the 2 different textures anymore. So Oct 30, 2008 I washed my hair and told my mom to chop it off! She was more afraid of the outcome then I was. I was so excited! It was extremely liberating for me. 
How did others (family, friends, and colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
I was very excited about my new little fro. But others not so much. Nobody was really feeling my little fro except for me.  My mom and my sister were not about it at 1st but they were always supportive of my decision. I actually had some really close friends that flat out told me that I didn’t have the kind of hair to go natural. They said you have to have hair like … such and such (insert any type 3 loose spiral curled girl). Well now they absolutely love my hair and my mom is now natural, and one of the friends that told me I didn’t have that kind of hair is now natural. (She probably doesn’t even remember saying that. LOL)
What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
From the time I big chopped I was totally in love with my hair! So I never really went through the struggles that most go through I guess. The only real obstacle is just learning what my hair likes and what it doesn’t. Going natural is indeed a process. You have to literally re-learn how to do your hair. 
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
EVERYTHING!!! I feel like my hair fits my personality so well. I just feel more myself with my natural hair. I love that it is wild and crazy. It does what it wants, when it wants. I am not my hair but my hair is indeed me!
What is your current regimen?  
I try to pre-poo once a week with Castor Oil and Tea Tree Oil then shampoo with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo and conditioner. I detangle with either Aussie Moist Conditioner or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, and then I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as my leave in (I do this on a daily basis for my wash and go). Then I use a Shea butter mixture that I make myself to seal in my moisture. 
Are you a product junkie? What are your favorite products?
No I don’t think so. I usually stick with my main products. My hair seems to like the products I use now. But I still have to stop at any and every hair product isle I happen to be near. 

You recently cut your hair, why the change? 
I just really needed a change. My ultimate goal was to have a big floppy fro but it wasn’t growing fast enough for me. But I also really loved short hair so I said while I am young I will cut my hair like I want to. I have plenty of time to grow my hair out. Right now I am just having fun with my hair.  

Before the cut, what was your “go to” style?
I started getting really good at doing a twist out/ bantu knot combo. But on my lazier days I would wear a high puff sometimes I would add a scarf if I was feeling fancy. 

How often do you straighten your hair?
Very rarely do I straighten my hair. I think I have straightened maybe 3 times since I have been natural. It’s just not something I’m interested in doing. Straight hair just seems like so much more work now. Plus I no longer feel special when my hair is straight. I don’t feel like Loren. 

You have colored your natural hair before right? I want to but am very scared too, would you recommend it? Explain why or why not.
Yes, I love color. I have been coloring my hair since I was 15 and I didn’t plan on stopping when I went natural.  I say go for it! The key is moisture, moisture, moisture! LOL!  Keeping your hair moisturized is so important when you have color! 

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways?
My style has adjusted. I have more confidence so in my head I feel like I can pull off any style now. Right now I try to add a little African and Caribbean inspired items as much as possible. Also I am working out more not worrying about sweating my relaxer out. 
Do you ever miss the creamy crack? Will you ever go back to it?
Absolutely NOT!! Not ever! 

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who? 
I have so many hair crushes. Taren Guy! Her hair is AMAZING! All 3 of the Natural Sistas. And in my personal life I have a huge hair crush on my friend Veronica’s hair and her 2 sisters Chevonne and Kelly. All 3 of them have different textures but they are all amazing! Plus I’m bias because they are my friends. 
Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, etc.)?

Well I have been stalking your site (of course), Curly Nikki, Taren Guy, all 3 of the Natural Sistas, Afrobella and Naturally Fashionable. 
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Going natural truly is a life style change so you MUST do you own research. You have to have patience to learn what your hair likes and dislikes. Also having a good dose of confidence is always needed. If you have enough confidence you can do whatever or wear whatever and no one can  tell you any different!  
    Anything else that you’d like to add?
    I see girls with damaged, broken off, relaxed hair… I just want to tell them that relaxers are not the only option. I was 5 when I got my 1st relaxer and that’s because that is the only thing my mom knew how to do, same for her when she was little. So growing up we never knew what our hair looked like in its natural state. I just want to promote healthy hair weather you choose to be natural or not. 

    Loren, a big thanks to you for taking the time to share your hair story with my readers and I! One thing I loved that you mentioned is that having a good dose of confidence is needed if you decide to go natural! Just like with your hair, Confidence is needed in anything you want to be successful for very well put!

    If you would like to be featured as the next  "Hair Talk" section or you know someone who should be please email me at naturallykandiilicious@gmail.com

    11 September 2013

    My Finger Is "Iced Out"!!

    Excuse my absence and even more, please excuse my slang but I am just still overly excited! I know I have gotten ghost for about two weeks but it is only because so many great events have happened in the past 3 weeks. Of course I plan to share all of them with you but lets start with the biggest....

    ...On August 24th, Daren, my boo/best friend got down on 1 knee, asked me to be his wife and "Iced Out" my left ring finger with a gorgeous ring! Even though I have been expecting this for so long, I was so excited and surprised. I even was over come with a ridiculous amount of emotion! Tears everywhere! Who knew Faith cried??! Crazy I know! I can't wait to marry my best friend! I love that man so much!!

    With that said there is a lot of planning that must be done so I will be missing in action for some time but I still plan on sharing some of my wedding DIY since I am so frugal with my $ and I also will be working on our wedding site. Once its up and running I will share the link. I also plan on sharing my proposal story once I get time. Everything else related to the events of the wedding will be on our site. 

    I have a wonderful hair interview coming later this week with a good friend of mine so stay tuned!

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