A Hair Story: Amber Frank @luvmykynxx

I am honored to feature my friend Amber Frank's "Hair Story".
You may know her by her blog name "luvmykynxx" , or through her YouTube Channel.
 Amber was so kind to let me interview her to discuss her lovely Hair Journey.
Be sure to Comment & Subscribe
I know you will be inspired!
Visit her YouTube Channel
Or Add Her on Twitter @LuvMyKynxx

Natural Expression: How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for a total of 31 years.  I wore my hair relaxed from age 15 to 21, transitioning twice during the 6 years.
Now I feel like I'm transitioning a third time, this time from heat damage instead of chemical damage.  I haven't used heat on my hair in a year this May 2011.  My hair is twice as dense looking, much softer, and more elastic than it was before. 

Natural Expression: What made you decide to go natural?
Noticing how my new growth grew in prettier then the straight relaxed hair.  Not to mention You Tube. I started watching natural hair You Tube videos in 2003.  I never thought I could get to be this comfortable with my natural hair to the point of going heat free with no straight hair on my back.  So many Sistas were posting helpful information on there it was like a dream come true.  I always wanted to keep my hair natural but never had the courage to just say forget everyone else and do me.  Watching those videos and seeing other natural women appearing everywhere was all it took.  I grew tired of trying to look like a white girl with a bone straight flat iron.  I would wear my hair natural in between straightening but it was always in a bun, never out.  The last time I flat ironed my hair, I washed my noticed how much heat damage I had.  Straight hair isn't even as pretty as it used to be to me.  I'm not saying I will never straighten my hair again but when I do I will use the same techniques I used when my hair was flourishing and still straight.  I used to blow-dry, press and flatiron my hair.  The heat damage didn't come until I bought this 460 degree ceramic flat iron from Sally's, smh, and used it on full heat.  It got my hair so straight I omitted pressing with the pressing comb.  I strongly feel this is why my hair suffered from heat damage. Between the years 2001 and 2004 my hair was bra strap length and very healthy.  I pressed it on average of once a month, DC'd before every straightening and I used Joico, Redken, Matrix Biolage and Sabastian Cellophanes products faithfully.  My hair shined and always reverted back, no heat damage.  If I do go back to wearing my hair straight again I'm not using ceramic tools.  I'm keeping it old school with my Kizure pressing comb, flat iron, and a stove!  At the end of the day however, I am most comfortable with my hair natural.

Natural Expression: Why?
It was proof to me my hair is healthier and more beautiful without having to be chemically straightened. I was raised getting mayonnaise treatments and beer rinses.  My mom was totally against chemically treating my hair.  Growing up I got my hair blow dried and pressed with a pressing comb.  It was always long and healthy. I wanted to get back to those days
Natural Expression: How did you go natural?
I medium chopped the first time in 1994 letting my new growth grow for about 9 months before I cut off the relaxed ends.  The second time I just let it grow completely out on its own cutting the perm as it grew keeping it about shoulder length until it was completely out.   Both times I transitioned took me about 15 or 16 months total.  With my healthy hair journey transition, I'm done cutting all the heat damage out. I cut about 5 to 6 inches off over the past year with the last cut one week ago today of 2 inches, a little more in some spots.  I can finally focus on optimizing my hair health and looking forward to the length that will come as a result of it.

Natural Expression: What is your Hair Type?
My kynxx are a combination of types...I say its Just My Type :)

Natural Expression: What are your thoughts about ?
I luv my kynxx! Cannot be duplicated and meant for a chosen few.  I think that makes us very special and fortunate to have.

Natural Expression: Did going natural change you in any way?
Definitely.  It made me appreciate the beauty God intended for me to have.  I'm more confident and comfortable with knowing there will be those who are uncomfortable with my hair being nappy.  What I once adored, long straight flat ironed hair that blows away in the wind, has now been replaced with an adoration for my afro hair that loves moisture!

Natural Expression: What would you tell someone who's considering natural hair?
Don't look back.   Teach your daughters how to care for their hair naturally, even if you feel its not for you.  Don’t worry about not being able to attract a black man…they love it!  Especially mine J
Natural Expression: And why they should?
Once you see the contrast of your new growth and the relaxed hair, its not hard to see the truth.  Teaching a child to love anything about themselves builds self esteem and pride.  A woman's hair is her crown and glory as they say.  There is no better way to build a child's esteem then to teach them about how beautiful their hair is. How unique their hair is. How only people of color have this hair and that makes us very special people. Do what makes sense for you and your children and if you don't have any you can share the love of natural hair with children who are not your own.  I get so many little girls coming up to me telling me they like my hair.  It is in their nature to want to be themselves.   As adults we have to nurture that desire by teaching them how to care for their natural hair.  You don't have to be a stylist, just share what you know.  That's all I do is share what I know and I love doing it.

Natural Expression: What products are you currently using? What's your hair regimen now & your favorite hair style? 
I just give my hair what it needs.  My regimen is based on what my hair needs at the time.  I list a regimen on my blog however isnt that simple.  Building a regimen based on dates is pointless for me because my hair may not need what I have planned for it on any given day.  I assess the needs and go from there.

Cleansing: Aritha and/or Shakaiki Powder added when I Henna or do a Brahmi Amla treatment.
Co-Wash with VO5 Tea Tree Essentials Conditioner or Hello Hydrations or Suave Daily Clarifying or Avocado Shea Butter Conditioner

Deep Conditioning: Napur Henna, Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing, Extra Virgin Olive Oil conditioning mix as hot oil treatment w/essentials.

Styling: Leave In- Taliah Waajid's The Detangler, Kinky Curly Knot Today and Curling Custard, Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel, Coconut Oil, EVOO,

Favorite Style...hmmmm...I love styling.  I enjoy trying out styles and posting pics afterward!  I have always loved styling hair.  I had been braiding hair for extra cash off and on since 2001.  Now I am a natural hair stylist who loves making myself and other people look and feel beautiful.

Natural Expression: What are some of the challenges you’ve had with your natural hair?
My biggest challenge is finding protective styles that will stay cute longer than 12 days. Understanding oils cant be used on my hair all the time and are better for me to pre-poo (over night with a baggie rinsed in the morning), or use as hot oil treatments only.

Natural Expression: Have you ever regretted going natural?
The regret was for the 6 years I lyed to myself. =^)

Natural Expression: What have you learned about your hair?
 Still learning. Always learning. Will never stop learning.

Natural Expression: What mistakes have you made?
Thinking relaxed, thermally straightened hair was more beautiful then my natural kynxx.  If a product or technique I've tried didn't work for me, I don't  view that as a mistake, more like a learning process.

Where can you be found?
Facebook: Amber Frank 

Thanks again for letting me help tell the world your hair story, it's very inspirational. Continue to help spread the word, and I wish you the best in everything you do...Much love to ya sis! :-)  
-Shren, Natural Expression


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