1. What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Millicent Swift and I’m located outside Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
2. What is your hair type?
Although I don’t usually hair type, I believe that I have a combination of 4a, 4b, & 4c. Like most naturals, my sides, crown and the top front section of my hair are all different textures.
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
I actually went natural for several reasons. I received my last relaxer on December 4, 2010 and I did my Big Chop on June 1, 2011. Around that time, I didn’t know much about what it meant to “go natural”.
When I got old enough to start styling my own hair (high school-college) I started to use a lot of heat on my hair daily to achieve a certain look. Using so much heat of course led to extreme breakage and shedding to where my hair (what started between mid-back & waist length) eventually fell above my shoulders by 2010. In the effort to grow my hair back, I knew that I had to do something different.
Also in the summer of 2010 I tried using a perm rod set on my relaxed hair and once fluffed out, I fell in love with how big the hair was. Curiosity to what my hair would look like if it wasn’t relaxed came to the forefront of my mind and stayed with me. I wanted to know my true texture and to why my mother was so quick to remind me to retouch my new growth once it started to grow in. I wanted a fresh start and a new me.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
The most challenging thing for me was dealing with some of the negative backlash that I received from those closest to me once I did it. I did not tell several people about my plans to go natural, I just did it. People were used to seeing me with long relaxed hair for nearly 20 plus years of my life and in a blink of an eye, it was all gone. Although I had convinced myself already that chopping my hair off was the right thing, I felt as though it was my responsibility also to show others alike that natural hair could be beautiful. So I researched and literally studied YouTube tutorials for hours at a time to learn how to care for my natural hair and here we are.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
Recently I’ve been doing the L.O.C. Method (liquid, oil, cream). So Monday-Friday my hair is usually in about 12 plaits/braids and then Saturday-Sunday I usually wear the hair out free, making Sunday my wash day to do it all over again. When I’m not doing the LOC Method, I’m usually rocking a protective style of some sort to where I won’t have to touch it for several days.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Once I take my bonnet off, I usually touch up my edges with some hair gel and maybe spritz some water on top.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
I ALWAYS wear a satin bonnet to bed, so that’s about it. Regardless of the style I’m wearing, a bonnet usually goes over it.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
I usually never use heat until recently last month in January when I decided to get my hair professionally flat ironed for the first time in 3-1/2 years. I usually wear my hair in protective styles 80% of the time, so I wanted to do something different for my birthday this year for 2015.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
If you’re referring to braids using extensions, no, I haven’t tried that yet. Flat twists/2 strand twists/plaits, YES, all the time. Mini twists (at least 5 times a year), mini braids (once last year). I wear a lot of up dos, so I’ll combine a lot of the braiding techniques to achieve whatever look I’m going for at the time.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
In a protective-do
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
Luckily, I have not since I’ve been natural.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Like the famous architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said to describe minimalist design, “Less is more”. That quote can also be applied to the amount of products that one may use in/on their hair. The fewer products, the better and once you find a product that works, try to stick with it. Your hair and wallet will appreciate you more for it.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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