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The Curl Files - feat. Kenni

Blasian Natural hair

Left: 2011 | Right: 2013 (Transitioning)


African-American and Japanese Natural Hair Journey
Left: June 2014 ("Big" Chop) | Right: June 2015

Please introduce yourself.
Hey, I'm Kenni and beautiful people, words, and moments tickle my fancy. I was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan and currently living the military life in Las Vegas, NV. I started my natural hair journey the same time I started my military career and so far it's been fun and rewarding.  

How long have you been natural?
3 years.

What made you decide to go natural?
Growing up in Okinawa my mother and step mother who are both natives didn’t really know how to do my hair. When I was in 6th grade I got my first Japanese straightening perm and from then on I would get one every 6 months or so. When I finally flew out to basic training for the Air Force I decided I wanted to let me hair grow naturally.

Did you do the big chop or did you transition?
I actually transitioned until my natural hair was about shoulder length and then I chopped off all the permed hair.

What was the hardest part of going natural in the beginning?
The hardest part was learning how to care for my hair. I was at a disadvantage because most of my life I was so used to having straight hair.

Did you care what others would think about your hair? Do you still care?
No. I did at first but then I came to realize that as long as I was happy that’s all that matters.

How did others react to your hair in the beginning? How do they react now?
My family and friends were surprised at first; some of them didn’t like it and preferred me with straight hair. Now pretty much everyone is used to it and I even get plenty of compliments.

Have you faced any struggles from being natural in school or in the work place?
Being in the military there are strict guidelines on dress and appearance, including how hair is worn in the workplace. That being said I always have my hair slicked back and wrapped in a bun. Most people don’t even know what my hair looks like unless they see me outside of work. I personally don’t like having to wear my hair back all the time but luckily for those of us with natural hair, we’re allowed to wear braids and twists as long as it follows the guidelines.

What is your current hair regime?
Currently my hair regimen is simple. I usually shampoo and deep condition once a week and co-wash every other day.

What products do you love?
I love using Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream, Tea Tree Hair and Body Shampoo, Conditioner, and Leave in Conditioner, Eco Style Olive Oil Gel (for when I do my hair for work), Aussie Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner spray, Palmer's Coconut Oil Hair Polishing Serum, Organic Coconut Oil (For deep conditioning), and Mixed Chicks straightening serum (for when I straighten my hair). 

What is/are your favorite hairstyle(s)?
Honestly, I’m still learning how to style my natural hair but because I always have to wear it pulled back for work I love just wearing my hair down.

What is your hair motto?
Take your time detangling!!! (I get frustrated and want to rush through it).

What's the best part about being natural? What is the hardest part?
The best part about being natural is how you get to experience how versatile your hair can be, the hairstyles are endless!!! The hardest part of being natural for me personally is how sometimes I get frustrated with my hair and I get the urge to just chop all my hair off.

What tips or advice would you give others that are starting their natural hair journey or thinking about starting?
For those who are thinking about going natural, DO THE RESEARCH and BE PATIENT! I dove right into going natural and once I chopped off my hair I had to experiment what products work best with my hair type. It's worth it to go natural but you have to put in the work to keep your hair healthy, not just the right products but proper diet as well. Good luck!


(See more from Kenni on Instagram: @Okennichiwa & on Tumblr: Ridethewave365)

What part of Kenni's hair journey inspired you the most?

Leopard Prep


Leopard Print Skirt

3.1 Phillip Lim Skirt

I have had this skirt for several months now, but I never really knew how to style it. Last week, I became inspired and decided to put a preppy spin on it. Overall, I love how this look came together and I am loving this color palette.

* Skirt - 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
* Sweater - Uniqlo
  Collared Shirt - Forever 21
  Shoes - Michael Kors

| * = Thrifted |

 How would you style this patterned skirt?

The Curl Files - feat. Myself

I'm excited to announce a new segment on my blog called The Curl Files. Each month I will feature two people embracing their natural hair and uncover facts about their hair journeys. To start the series off I figured I would share my hair journey with you all. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you guys find inspiration from this series.

Heat damaged natural hair
Left: February 2012 | Right: June 2012

1) Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I'm Tyler! I am the blogger behind Thrifts and Tangles!

2) How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for almost three years now.

3) What made you decide to go natural?
I went natural for several reasons. The first reason is I discovered the natural community on Youtube and became inspired to wear my hair natural. The second reason is my friends encouraged me to start wearing my hair curly. The third reason is after getting a drastic haircut, I realized how damaged my hair was and decided to lay off perms and heat.

4Did you do the big chop or did you transition?
I transitioned.

5) What was the hardest part of going natural in the beginning?
The hardest part was finding products that were right for my hair.

6) Did you care what others would think about your hair? Do you still care?
Yes, a little bit. At first, I was afraid to wear my hair outside of protective styles because it was so "noticeable," But I am not afraid anymore. Now I love wearing my hair in wash and gos. I even pick it out to make it bigger.

7) How did others react to your hair in the beginning? How do they react now?
People supported my decision in the beginning and they still do. I would say I have gotten a positive reaction overall.

natural hair journey
Left: September 2015 | Right: November 2015
8) Have you faced any struggles from being natural in school or in the work place?
No, thankfully I have not faced any struggles in school or in the workplace.

9) What is your current hair regime?
I shampoo and deep condition my hair once every two or three weeks. For styling, I wet my hair, apply Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, apply Shea Moisture's Curl Milk, then seal with Grape Seed Oil. I dry my hair with a t-shirt and once it's dry I pick it out to give it more volume. 

10) What products do you love?
I am currently loving Camille Rose Natural's Aloe Whipped Butter Gel, SheaMoisture Conditioning Curl Milk, and Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner.

11) What is/are your favorite hairstyle(s)?
My favorite hairstyles are wash and gos, side fros, and top knot buns.

12) What is your hair motto?
The bigger the better.

13) What's the best part about being natural? What is the hardest part?
The best part is the sense of community. Whenever I see a fellow natural I automatically feel a connection with them. The hardest part is keeping up with my routine and detangling!

14) What tips or advice would you give others that are starting their natural hair journey or thinking about starting?
Be patient! The journey may be difficult at first, but it is totally worth it in the end.


What part of my hair journey inspired you the most?