Jamaican Naturalista: Ethnic Iceta BawnNatural
It’s that time again when I feature another irie diva who’s on her own natural journey. Iceta is a dear friend of mine that I went to college with and we’ve remained friends over the years. I’ve always loved her locs and looky, now she’s a free form naturalista! Since this story was posted, Iceta has since moved back to Jamaica and moved websites. I’ve updated the links.) Check out her story…
How long have you been natural? Did you transition or big chop?
I have been natural since 2007. I got up one morning and did a big chop before I went to my classes. Loc’d it for awhile and then did another big chop and now a few months ago. I am in love all over again *bats eyes*
What has your journey been like so far? Has it changed you, your style, your personality in any way?
Oh Lord, my journey has been up and down. With locs, I had immense length and I had a wide array of styles I could experiment with, I did various colours etc. My down came in two folds, I moved from Jamaica to the British Virgin Islands and dilemma one came, on the lovely islands of the BVI they use desalinated water and that’s when my hair started to shed, severely. I then got pregnant and after my Little Moon Glow was born my hair line was all but gone. Cutting off my locks and going natural has changed me a lot this time around because now I am trying to set an example for my little one, and cutting my hair came right in the nick of time in getting back my ‘swag” after the baby…tehehe. I love doing these funky colours and styles, they are so me. My hair now speaks for me which allows me to see much more.
How did friends and family react to your decision to go natural and what types of hair comments do you get these days?
My entire immediate family has locs or natural hair, for quite some time now, my mom, dad and younger sister has locs, my youngest sister natural hair, and my lil’ bro is the natty head bwoy. Most of my friends were speechless to see me without my locs. I got a lot of “what in Gods name were you thinking” and they all expect I will re-loc my hair….and my husband still has not said ‘a Jesus ting’ *rolls eyes*. I get mostly positive comments, persons seems to love the colour, and other natural hair divas want to know how I get my defined curls (twist outs or bantu knots). There are the selected few who make ignorant comments, I just pray for them and respond by saying, I will bring roses to your bedsides when the chemicals on your head burn through your brain.
Do you think there’s still an “unpretty” stigma attached to natural hair? In your work environment have you ever come across any kind of discrimination towards your hair?
Unfortunately there is. It’s so funny that just today a gentleman walked up to me and asked why I cut my hair off and if I feel I am too old now to look attractive, kmt! Needless to say my mouth flew open, I had to tell myself to me kind. Before that I would have said “no man everybody thinks natural hair is pretty” but nope, boy was I wrong. In my work environ my fellow employees are not so polite especially on my bad hair days or my 6th and 7th day hair, which I lurves, however our charter guests are highly entertained by the texture, the look and feel. I get bombarded with aha moment questions.
What is a typical wash day like for you?
The typical wash day for me is usually on a Sunday or Tuesday night, once a week sometimes two depending on the amount of hair gel I use *palm to face* I only co-wash, (conditioner wash) which I recently started to do. I have coarse 4A and 4B hair and it’s always extra dry, so I use a VO5 Moisture Milk conditioner. I leave my hair wet and use a leave-in shea butter conditioner, section my hair in 6 and use my own concoction of a oil spritzer, (jojoba oil, olive oil, carrot oil and vanilla/lavender essence for smell with water) to oil the roots and let it air dry. If I plan to style after washing my hair then I leave it wet do some bantu knots and less often I will do a twist out, twist outs take too long and my daughter is quite demanding. I never style my hair when it’s dry or I’ll get serious breakage and a bad headache from pulling at my scalp.
What’s your regimen? How do you style your hair over the course of a week?
Every morning I use my oil spritzer or leave in conditioner, it literally wakes up my hair and me. I put some coconut hair oil or wheat germ oil on my fingers and tease the curls to get them nice and froofy, then after about 5-6 days I have to draw for my eco olive oil styling gel and dab some on the edges. I use a stocking waist, YES I said it, that I cut from an old work stocking, to pull my hair into a high top fro bun. Another style I do is a faux hawk using some comb clips or pins to pin the sides of my hair. Even a simple head band over my hair works wonders. I also have my weight in hair accessories I have either bought or made *blushes*
Any favorite products? How do you find product availability in BVI?
My fave fave fave products is the VO5 Milk Moisture Conditioner, I have recently fell in love with that. Coconut oil and Cantu Shea Butter and of course my concoction of oils. I find products in Jamaica much much easier to get for sure than the BVI, recently had to buy the last 3 VO5 conditioners I saw as who knows when I will get again. Castor oil and coconut oil are rare and expensive *humps*
Any advice to those out there who are thinking of becoming natural?
Definitely do it!!! Jump!!! RUN to it, don’t walk! Do the big chop or the slow transition and embrace your natural you. You will be amazed to see what’s under your straightened hair. It’s not as hard as you think and its loads of fun. There is wide, natural community out there and it feels tremendous to be a part of such a unique mixture of people, whom I consider to be trendsetters and individuals.
Any other thoughts? And where on the web can we find you?
You can visit my website, Bawn Natural, where I talk about my hair, family and the BVI, (she now lives in Jamaica) follow me on twitter @bawnnatural and like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/bawnnatural.