A Natural Natural Redhead

When I discovered that this fellow Bay Area Natural’s natural hair color was red, I knew I just had to feature her.  At first I was a skeptic: “send me a picture from when you were little.” She did.  And here you have it, Nicole– a true natural redhead with a head full of gorgeous natural curls! Read on for the interview!



C: Tell me about your curly hairstory.

N: Well, I always remember getting relaxers. My mom attended cosmetology school so she applied my relaxers and kept my hair healthy…as healthy as you can keep relaxed hair. My hair was always long, but during my last year of college I noticed that my hair started thinning at the crown. My mom encouraged me to see my dermatologist and my doctor said that it was bubble hair and she suggested that I stop putting chemicals in my hair until the spot grew out. Well, my hair was in the middle of my back and the patch of hair where the hair broke off was about 1/2 an inch long. I looked at my doctor like she was crazy! No more relaxers?! After pouting for a few days I started doing some research on going natural. That was November 2006 and I really didn’t know where to begin so after 3 frustrating months of trying to blend my new growth and my relaxed hair and my patch of confused hair I decided to chop it all off. My mom and I experimented with every and any product out there and I learned to love my TWA. But then one day my TWA wasn’t so TW anymore and a friend suggested getting my hair pressed. VOILA! Straight hair without the chemicals!! Hallelujah! There is a huge natural hair scene in Atlanta, but most women I know get their hair pressed. I started pressing my hair in 2008 and I didn’t stop until I moved from Atlanta to the Bay area almost 5 months ago and couldn’t find a stylist. I feel like I’m back at square one, reading the natural hair blogs, buying products and praying that they will work and dealing with 2 different textures (my curls and my heat damaged ends). I’m falling in love with my natural curls all over again. I will probably give my mom the honor of doing BC #2 whenever I go back to Atlanta.
C: When and how did your “learn” how to do your hair?

N: I was forced to learn how to do my own hair in October 2010 because I couldn’t find a stylist in the Bay area that could press my hair without burning it and leaving me bald. My mom tried to explain styling techniques over the phone and I was confused so I watched YouTube for hours on end and learned how to flat twist. Natural hair care blogs have really saved my hair!

C: What’s your current regimen and what products do you use now?

N: Oh, where should I begin! I wash and deep condition my hair every Sunday then I do flat twists and wear a twist out during the week. I usually have to re-twist my hair every other night because my straight ends like to do their own thing. I sleep with a bonnet or satin pillowcase to avoid spit ends.

Pre-wash oil treatment: jojoba, olive, grape seed oil

Shampoo: Chagrin Valley shampoo bars (butter bar & ayurvedic bar) or Giovanni Smooth as Silk

Conditioner: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle & Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose

Deep condition: Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning treatment

Leave in: Paul Mitchell The Conditioner & Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner

Style: Curl Soufflé & Komaza Coconut Curl Pudding

Moisturizer: Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Buttercream & Komaza Coconut Curl Hair Lotion

C: Any tips/tricks/techniques you’d like to share?

N: Tip–If you can, find a curl friend or a blogger with a hair texture similar to your own because it really helps. I think you (Cassadie) and I have similar curl patterns and I’ve found that products that you like typically work for my hair. So you’ve saved me some money and have helped me to find some products that really work with my curls.

C: Can you share a curly anecdote or memory with us?*

N: I have one favorite curly memory that comes to mind. When I did my 1st BC my then 3 year old brother said “your hair! What did you do?!” My mom said “what’s wrong? You don’t like your sister’s new hair?” and he said “It’s fine. I like it. I love her.” I wasn’t a cry baby until he arrived (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and that memory makes me smile and cry every time.

C: Redheads are pretty rare, black redheads are even rarer.  What was it like growing up as a redhead?  And what’s it like now?

N: I actually didn’t realize how different I looked until I moved from Massachusetts to Georgia when I was 7 years old. I am the only redhead in my family (that I know of) and I thought it was odd that people asked questions about my hair color, but as a child I didn’t think much of it. My balding Grandfather would tell people “she got it from me! Her hair is just like mine”. When I moved to Georgia the kids at school would say “both of your parents aren’t black because black people don’t have red hair” or “how do you know that you weren’t adopted?” And those were harsh things to hear as a child. My mom told me that she prayed to God for a healthy baby with a unique feature and she was blessed with a healthy, redhead. Now that I’m older people assume that I dye my hair so they just ask “what color do you use?” It used to be annoying, but I’m used to it. I’ve noticed that my hair is much brighter now that I am natural so when I see pictures of my hair sometimes even I am shocked at how bright it is.

C: If you could use three words to describe your hair, what would they be?

N: Coily, red, amazing!

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24 Comments

  1. i went to JHS with a few black kids with red hair. it’s awesome.

  2. My mother and two of my aunts are natural red heads, as are two of my cousins.

  3. Beautiful girl and beautiful hair. & I looove her natural hair color!

  4. My hair is not quite as rich and even in color as her’s but I have this funky brown/red/orange hair color, especially in the summer. Folks always ask me if I put a rinse on my hair. I don’t like my hair color and I sometimes color it chocolate brown just to make it even, but her’s is absolutely beautiful!

    • I just dyed my hair red this weekend…I wish I had red hair! The colorist purposely put 3 different tones of the same color in my head as she likes multi-dimensional hair. She says one big block of color doesn’t look natural… Too bad you dislike your color though :( I want red haaaaaaaaaaaaair!!

  5. My hair is naturally dark brown but in the summer it slightly fades. I absolutely love her hair color!

  6. Thank you, Cassadie! This looks amazing!

  7. BEAUTIFUL you and your hair!

  8. That is the color my hair used to be when I was 3. It started to get darker as I got older and now you really only see some red, sandy brown and some blond(I am getting gray too) in the summer. But I want that color back so bad-I would love to find that color to put on my hair I have freckles too.

  9. Wow! Her red hair is gorgeous.

  10. very beautiful sister

  11. I love her hair colour!
    Beautifully unique indeed!
    I’m trying to get my hair redder with henna, but it looks more purple than red :p lol

    http://amartianslove.wordpress.com/

  12. Beautiful girl!!! I thank God for the blessing! I asked for a gift, a unique package and He exceeded my expectations!!! You are not only beautiful on the outside, you are beautiful on the inside…

    Love you always,

    Mom

  13. What a great interview! I was so happy to find someone with my hair color and freckles that has also gone natural. I have an identical twin sister that has been natural for over a year now, I will have to tell her about this site for support and information. Thank you :-)

  14. When I was a kid I knew a boy who had dark coco colored skin (pretty dark…like 50 Cent (just as an example). Let me tell you, that boy had RED hair. Kinky, natural, carrot top red hair! No joke! We didn’t go to school together but I can only imagine what middle school was like for him. Wonder what he’s up to these days? I wonder if he’s embraced it or if he colors it? He’d have to dye color his eye brow, eye lash, and any facial hair he’s grown since we were kids. He is a true testament to how inter-related we are in this country. Glad we’re moving toward a time where inter-racial relationships are accepted and little mixed race children are, not only becoming the norm, but are created out of love instead of force and as a means of initmnidation by slave owners.

  15. Hi, my name is June and I as well have natural red hair as well. My hair has always been bright and red. Red eyebrows and red hair eyelashes. I use to hide it, because I use to constantly get teased because of it. Now I definitely wear it out. People are now are fascinated by the color. I’m not biracial, both of my parents are black nor am I an albino. I notice the more I process my hair, the darker it gets but it always grows in lighter. What should I do to maintain my hair. It is relax.

    • Hi June! Welcome to NaturalSelection! Thats really awesome about your natural hair! Such a beautiful and unique trait!!

      As for why the color changes, I would guess that the chemical process might also affect the delicate bonds of your natural hair color….this is just a guess…but let me ask around to see what we can come up with!

      • Hey, thanks. I really want to maintain my red hair. So I’m considering to go natural.

        • Hi June. I noticed that when I relaxed my hair, it turned a little darker too. I did kind of like the color, though. I noticed the hair around my temples would come in lighter – sometimes in several different shades. I’m natural now and I love it. Although my hair was fierce and could always take a beating (like leaving relaxers in for and hour+ at a time because of it’s resistance) , my hair is stronger and healthier than ever. I think you should at least try going natural. If you really don’t like it, worst case, you have a new healthy head of hair that you can re-relax. Good luck my red sister! :)

  16. Im terribly late lol. But I am the proud mom of a natural red head daughter. I would love some of our feed back, shes 6 and well hair color attention is at an all time high. How do we cope, I cant imagine what its like for her, but I do know she hates it. Not her hair color but the attention and questions. You all have the same color and I just figured It would be nice to reach out to someone that has this particular commonality with my hunni bunn…

  17. Hi, I’m also a natural redhead. 4 out of 5 of us in my family are. Both parents are black and neither have red hair! I’m not exactly sure where it came from. I know a couple of people in my family had sandy hair or hair that would turn dark, but not any bright copper-heads like us. I hardly ever see any natural redheads – even when I search the internet for pics or forums, I hardly ever see anything regarding redheads of color! So, I get amused (like everybody else) when I see another natural redhead and want to ask all those funny questions! lol! I have been natural on and off for about 15 years, but have not looked back at a relaxer in 3 years! Of course when I was in elementary school, I caught hell but as I grew up, everyone wanted it! I love my natural – natural red hair and I wouldn’t change it for anything!

  18. I know this is two year’s later, but I am just now seeing this article. I am an African American natural redhead. It’s so great to hear her story and the things she went through as a child. I too went through a phase, when I was younger, where I just did not realize what was so special about my hair. I hated when people would single me out for my red hair. However, as I got older I began to realize how it was a blessing from God.

    So no, there aren’t many redhead’s and there definitely aren’t many African American Redheads. But I am so glad that god saw fit to bless me to be one of them. Not sure what his exact plan for my life is yet, but I know that this hair he has given me has a purpose.

  19. I have the same shade of red hair that you do. I love it its so unique and it has taken me a while to embrace it. But I have a question, Is your hair super dry like mine?

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