Please introduce yourself
Hello, my name is Brittany Kirkland I am an event professional and owner of Events by Kirk, an event planning company. I have been enjoying my natural journey and my consistency and dedication to my hair has created great habits that have carried over into my business and other aspects of my life.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 2 years and 5 months (since Aug 2014)
What made you decide to go natural?
My first step in giving up the relaxer was during college about 7 years ago; I was only going to my hair stylist once a year sometimes I would stretch it to 18 months between relaxers. She told me If I can go a year without a relaxer then I don’t need one. I unintentionally transitioned then but straightened my hair constantly and was horrible about paying attention to the health of my hair so I didn’t notice any challenges or difference besides my hair became thicker and harder to straighten.
In September of 2014 I was going on a girls trip to the Dominican Republic and I am definitely a swimmer and love athletic vacations. At the time I wore my hair straight 100% of the time and I knew I wasn’t going to spend 3 hrs straightening every day. My only dilemma was, I had no clue what my hair looked like naturally or how to style it and manage it. So I figured I would take the month to figure it out; I would just be natural for the one month discover a style and a quick process to use on vacation and then it would be back to straight when I got back. Things changed within that month of educating myself through articles and YouTube, I discovered my hair was severely heat damaged. The hair I thought was long and thick and healthy was damaged and broken off. It was then I made the decision to remain natural and threw away all of my hair products and heat tools.
Did you do the big chop or did you transition?
I unknowingly transitioned from a relaxer years ago but once I went natural and realized how damaged my hair was I chopped the heat damage off.
What was the hardest part of going natural in the beginning?
My goal for my hair was to be healthy and have a natural style that I didn’t have to wet, wash and manipulate often. The hardest part was finding a process and hairstyle that worked for me. I was trying a different style just about everyday and it was a fail every time for 6 months.
Did you care what others would think about your hair? Do you still care?
I did, at the time, I worked at the Venetian | Palazzo at the time in the meeting space. It was a conservative environment and I worked I was the onsite contact for the conferences that came in. No matter how my hair looked (sometimes it looked crazy) I carried myself with confidence as if I intentionally wanted my hair to stick up all over my head.
Now it doesn’t matter to me what other people think, my hair is healthy and that’s all that matters. People aren’t criticized for eating healthy, why should people accept criticism for taking care of their hair and not submitting to heat or chemical damage. It’s the hair that I was born with, and I love it.
How did others react to your hair in the beginning? How do they react now?
Friends and family said they loved it, but I didn’t necessarily love it myself so I couldn’t tell if they were patronizing me or if they were serious. Now people I don’t know come up to me and compliment me and ask to touch and ask what I use. Being an entrepreneur has given me the strength to stay in my own lane and stick to my decisions which has been helpful in my transition process. Whether praise or criticism it doesn’t affect my opinion of what I’m doing.
Have you faced any struggles from being natural in school or in the workplace?
No, fortunately I work for myself full time now. If anything my hair aligns with who I am and my personal brand. Talking about the journey and even just wearing my hair curly gives people a little insight to who I am outside of my company.
What is your current hair regimen?
My current style is coiling! It takes me about 3 hours to coil, 1 day to dry and then an hour to take down, but it lasts 3 weeks, so I love it. I detangle, cowash, and deep condition every wash.
What products do you love?
Products I use in order on wash day:
- Coconut Oil – pre wash and detangle
- Knot Today – pre wash and detangle
- Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo – great for my itchy scalp!
- Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration – put in hair and sit under the dryer for 30 min after wash
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
- Extra virgin cold pressed organic olive oil
- Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Gel Souffle
- JBCO – scalp and ends
- Shea Moisture African Black Soap Dandruff and Dry Scalp Elixer
- Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Hold and Shine Moisture Mist – for daily refresh
Phew…. Thats alot!
What is your favorite hairstyle?
Coiled and just wearing my hair down and as picked out as possible!
What is your hair motto?
Health is all that matters!!
What’s the best part about being natural? What is the hardest part?
Seeing the progress of my hair over time has shown me that with consistency and dedication that you can make anything happen. I had no clue what the end result would look like but I stuck to my routine and my hair is the longest and healthiest it’s ever been.
What tips or advice would you give others that are starting their journey or thinking about starting?
Stick with it, don’t give up. It will be long and trying, you will doubt yourself but the end result is worth it!
What would you tell your younger self about your natural hair?
Don’t spend so much time trying to make it into something it isn’t. Focus on keeping your hair healthy and educate yourself on how to take care of it. Professional hair is not only straight hair, any type of hair can be professional.