****UPDATE***** Some readers have told me that they couldn’t see the entire article or thought it was just one question, but the way CocoaFab has this article set up, you have to hit the “Next” button above the text and next to the words “image 1 of 4″ BUT if you don’t want to do that, I copied the entire article below. So again, PLEASE check it out!!! THANKS!!!! :o)
ORIGINALLY POSTED FEB. 28 — Hey! I have something I want to share with you all! Yesterday (2/27/2013), I was interviewed by celebrity news and style site, Cocoa Fab! Check out my interview by clicking the image below! Thanks Cocoa Fab!! ;o))))
Oh and the article is best viewed on a desktop and you have to hit “next” at the too left to see the whole article!
Natural hair blogs have been popping up all over the net and there are a few in particular that have truly resonated with the CocoaFab team. We took a few minutes to sit down with Lauren Johnson of La Coco Bella to talk all about her blog and natural hair!
CocoaFab: What inspired you to start La Coco Bella?
Lauren: I wanted to start La Coco Bella because there were not very many natural hair resources/blog when I initially had the idea for it back in 2008. I saw need and felt I could contribute to the answer. I had already been natural for 3 years at that point and felt I gained enough knowledge, through trial and error, to be able to share what I did with my own hair. I’ve always had people stop and ask me how I took care of my natural hair so I wanted to be able to just direct people to one location—or they could opt to hear me ramble on and on about it in conversation!
Since I am a graphic designer, I created the logo, web design and everything created back in 2008 but the fear of putting myself out there to the world scared me . In March 2012, I FINALLY built up the courage and just went for it!
CF: What has been the most challenging part of being natural?
Lauren: The beginning of my journey was most challenging. I didn’t have any guidance and natural hair wasn’t popular like it is now, so I had to learn how to care for my hair through LOTS of trial and error. I had moments of frustration and wanted to give up, put a relaxer back in and call it a day, but I had to remind myself that I didn’t cut ALL my hair off for no reason! I’m a solider! Also, the early growing out phase was difficult. I big chopped and my hair went through a phase where it was too short to be long, and too long to be short! It was just awkward, I was very limited in the styles I could do so I just gelled back my edges and wore a headband. Not to mention, my hair texture changed randomly a few times! I am not sure how that happened but it made the process even more challenging because I had to constantly change the products I used. I guess that was kind of fun (laughs). It was also challenging emotionally. I was in college at Howard University and people could be very judgmental, so I had to deal with other’s opinions and comments, not that they mattered, but It took a toll on me at times, especially since it was a vulnerable time of growth and I was still learning who I was… BUT I am over all that now and I love my hair :o)
CF: What’s the most rewarding part of managing your La Coco Bella?
Lauren: Besides getting over my fear of putting myself out there, running my blog has connected me with SO many women throughout the world. I never would have thought that my voice would reach so many people internationally AND most importantly, help women feel good about themselves. I am a true advocate on embracing who God created us to be and if I can help others recognize that, then I have been a good steward. I have met so many beautiful inspiring women, discovered some excellent products and become more confident with myself. On a different note, running my blog has even been therapeutic because I lost my mother in 2009 and went through bouts of depression over the past few years. La Coco Bella has giving me perseverance, resilience and is something I really enjoy and look forward to doing. Its made life a bit easier and also connected me to other women who have suffered the same loss. I’ve had many readers share that my story has helped and inspired them as well. My blog, simply about natural hair, has become something bigger than I ever intended for it to be. That’s a reward in itself.
CF: Give us your top 3 tips on how to transition from strait to natural styles:
Lauren: I only “transitioned” for a few months (tried the weave thing) so I don’t have much to say about transitioning. I gave up and Big Chopped! The point where relaxed hair meets the natural hair is extremely weak and can contribute to a lot of breakage, which is why I gave up. So its best to either keep both textures ALL straight or blend them together with twist styles, rod sets, braids, etc. 1) Seal your ends. The ends are so important because they are the oldest parts of your hair and need a little extra TLC.I do this by applying a thick, heavy shea-based butter to the ends while damp. Since water (moisture) and oil (the butter) do not mix and oil rises, the water is “sealed” beneath the layer of oil. This is helped me retain inches of my hair! 2) Deep Condition often. I try to deep condition or do a homemade treatment at least 3 times a month. Curly hair loses moisture faster than strait hair so we must replenish and retain moisture as much as possible. Using a steamer or heat cap makes it even better! 3) Ayurvedic treatments are god sends! They are Indian herbs/plants in the form of powders and you can mix them with water and/or teas. You apply the paste to your hair like any other conditioning treatment. Doing these regularly have drastically decreased the amount of hair shed, improved the strength and elasticity of my hair and most importantly given me a healthy scalp, which is the foundation of healthy hair that GROWS!