This weeks interview is on a gorgeous woman named Geri, who also goes by the name GeraldineTheGreat, and who has been an internet natural hair guru for many years, even before the natural hair community started to strengthen in number. She has had years of experience with natural hair and the health and length of her hair is a testimony to this. Check out her Amazing blog, she has tonnes of information and knowledge http://www.geraldinethegreat.com/.
Also visit her YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/geraldinethegreat1
Let us see what she has to say:
1. What made you go Natural in the first place? And how did you go about it: big chop or transition?
My hair thinned out after a weave installation which prompted a period of self reflection. I wanted to give my hair a break from chemicals and manipulation, and eventually resume relaxing, however, through research I learned that I could explore being natural instead.
2. How long have you been Natural for and how long is your hair now? Can you describe your hair to us?
I’ve been natural for about 6 years (I’m starting to lose count :-o) and my hair is currently at waist length.
My hair is highly textured. It’s coily and curly with the curliest strands around the perimeter of my head. It’s definitely type 4. My hair loves water and any conditioner with good slip. It hates constant manipulation. I like to oblige it by hydrating it often and leaving it alone.
3. What does your hair care regimen consist of?
Many people always expect to hear more when I describe my regimen because it’s so simple, but it really is the way to go. Once a month, I deep condition, detangle and shampoo my hair. Cowashes are interspersed here and there. That’s it.
Have a look at her deep condition, detangle and shampoo routine:
4. How often do you trim your hair? How much do you trim? Do you trim it yourself or at a salon?
I trim twice a year and I trim off what’s necessary. I trim my hair, myself.
5. What are your 3 favourite hair products and why?
- Aussie Moist Conditioner for the slip during detangling sessions.
- Coconut, avocado, olive, and almond oils for their penetrative properties.
- Water for hydration.
Check out her video on all her favourite hair products:
6. Have you ever made any home-made hair products for your hair? Do you prefer it to the products in the market?
I think each type has their place. Sometimes, a treat for your hair may be a product that is commercially made- ie Aussie Moist. I love this stuff and will always purchase it if I see it. However, as a DIYer, there is satisfaction in knowing that you can maintain your hair without necessarily having to buy a particular product- but then again, home made products normally have several ingredients that you still have to purchase. It really boils down to your lifestyle and what works for it.
7. Have you ever gone through a phase of being a “product junkie” at any point during your natural hair journey?
I did, because new products are fun. I was also on a mission to find my holy grail products. I finally realized that my quest was hard on my pockets. Make whatever you have access to work for you.
8. What are your 3 favourite hairstyles? Is your hair mainly left out or in a protective style?
Way too hard to choose, but if you saw me on a random day, my hair would probably be in a bun, under a scarf somehow, or in some type of up-do. My hair is mostly protectively styled.
9. Has going natural impacted other areas of your life? Health, fitness, academics/jobs, interviews, self esteem, etc?
Absolutely. Natural hair has allowed me to consider and work towards an overall healthier lifestyle. It can be a gateway decision for you.
10. What have you found to be the most challenging things about having natural hair and maintenance?
The most challenging thing for me, has always been detangling. Because I chose to finger detangle until my hair was at mid-back length, it’s always taken hours to complete. Now that my hair is even longer, I’ve had to succumb to brushes.
11. What advice would you give ladies who have just started their natural hair journey?
Kudos to you! Get ready to grow. Explore your hair and have fun. Be open and entertain unfamiliar ideas.
12. What advice would you give anyone who is scared or nervous about big chopping or transitioning?
Do what you’re ready to do. You’ll know when you’re ready to BC, and if you decide to be a long term transitioner, there’s absolutely no judgement. Own your journey and be unapologetic about how you choose to experience it.
13. Have there been any time periods where you feel you want to perhaps relax your hair?
Honestly, I do think about it sometimes. Not because I don’t like my texture, but because I may want to try a different style one day. Personally, I feel that being natural isn’t primarily about denouncing relaxers and vowing to never relax again. Instead, it’s about exploration. Through it, you learn that relaxers are fundamentally unhealthy for your hair. With that knowledge, you can choose what you want to do. Since a lot of us were never offered the choice to be relaxed or to be natural, being natural allows us to experience the other side of the coin. If you’ve experienced both sides, then your choice won’t be based in ignorance. You’ll be aware of the risks and rewards on all sides.
14. Do you have any hair crushes or hair inspirations?
No specifics, but the entire social media natural hair community is amazing. It’s so fun being a part of it.
15. You are a natural hair inspiration through you YouTube channel and through your blogging? For how long have you been doing that for? And why did you start?
I was on YouTube when there were no black beauty YouTube channels and when natural hair wasn’t as trendy as it is today, but I never thought about personally starting my own channel until 3 years ago, when I started my blog. My YouTube page had more of a casual beginning as my focus was always on my blog, GeraldinetheGreat.com.
16. Any advice to those who may want to venture into vlogging or blogging?
Go for it. There so many unique perspectives out there to be heard. The community wouldn’t be rich if different voices weren’t being represented.
17. What is your main hair goal? And do you have any other goals within the natural hair industry?
I generally want my hair to be healthy from the roots to the tips. In the hair industry, I want to continue to inspire and help people who want to achieve healthy hair.
My next interview will be a man who knows how to look after his curls. Stay tuned, we can learn from men as well.