Happy Wednesday, everyone! Not only is it Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW), but it is also time for another "Spotlight" interview! This week's spotlight is one of my favorite natural hair queens from Instagram. Her style and curls are poppin' and it seems like she has the personality to match. It is my pleasure to introduce to you the beautiful Fedorah Bastien.
Fedorah is another one of my ultimate #HairGoals and #HairCrushWednesdays. I came across her IG when I saw the footage and pictures of NYC's "Happy FroDay" meet and greet (which I was supposed to attend and I regret that I didn't do so). I get excited every time she posts a new picture because I'm automatically drawn to her curls and her outfits, which make me light up.
I hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it! Make sure you check her out on social media so that you can witness her flawless beauty as well. Dios los bendiga (God Bless).
Introduce yourself king or queen.
My name is Fedorah, which explains the reasoning behind my @ name - Namedafterahat. I am from and currently reside in Queens, New York but my family is from Haiti.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural all my life, but I started embracing my curls 3 years ago.
What motivated you to have healthier, natural hair?
My natural hair journey actually started off as a weightloss journey. Going natural was not in my agenda at all, it was only after I reached my weightloss goal did I become motivated in changing my look and embracing my curls. My gym routine interfered with my wash & sets every Saturday because it did not last once I had a session with my trainer. So giving up my Dominican blow dry was more of a save money and save time situation because the ultimate goal was to lose weight, my hair was the least of my problems.
Describe your hair by using a song lyric.
A song lyric that describes my hair would be from Erykah Badu's "Afro (free style skit)", "Pick yo Afro daddy, 'cause it's flat on one side." This song hits home for me because I grew up never knowing my father, and during our first encounter my dad did nothing but make comments on my appearance referencing my nose ring, tattoos, and big hair. I take it as , "this is me dad, so I'll continue to pick my afro until you come around."
When did you start transitioning?
I started transitioning in the November of 2011.
What are the challenges that you've had while transitioning?
Some of the challenges that I faced while transitioning was the fear of cutting my hair and maintaining my curls during and after my workouts. Once I started wearing my hair natural during my weightloss journey I had noticed that my hair no longer curled. It was curly at the roots but the ends remained straight. My hair no longer curled and it was then I realized all the stress I had put my hair through with the years of blowing drying and flat ironing every Saturday. I delayed cutting my hair for weeks before I got the courage to go to a salon and cut off all my heat damaged hair. I was trying all these methods and routines in an effort to preserve my waist length hair but there was no way to reverse years of heat damage. I had to make a choice between long damaged hair or medium length healthy hair and once I got over my fear of scissors the rest is history.
What are some of the struggles that you are facing now being natural?
My main struggle that I face now being a natural is finding products I can stick with. I have grown very fond of the frizz and I no longer fight with my hair but I have noticed that after awhile my hair becomes immune to some of my favorites products. I don't know if this is due to build up which I use apple cider vinegar for or it could be that my hair is simply bipolar (lol) but I find myself rotating products every few months.
Were your friends and family supportive when you decided to change your lifestyle?
Initially my mother was not fond of my hair in it's natural state, she would always ask me when I was going to blow it out or would tell me when I needed to get my hair done for an event or family gathering. Eventually, she came around though and now takes all the credit for giving me curls.
What does natural hair mean to you?
My natural hair means freedom to me. Looking back, I realized how much I set myself back due to my hair and weight. Fighting my natural hair impacted my life in many ways, I would limit my fun because of my hair and weight. I wouldn't go in the pool or in the water at the beach to avoid messing up my wash and set (I'm thinking to myself really ?) At school dances, I would leave because I was afraid the humidity in the room would frizz out my hair and no boys would want to dance with me. As if it wasn't already bad enough I was overweight. This was the type of mindset I was in because it was instilled to me that curly hair was unprofessional and unattractive. This is why going natural means freedom to me, I've found myself in allowing me to be me. My hair wants to be uncooperative today ? Cool, there is nothing a high bun or baseball cap won't fix for me. Now I jump in the pool without any worries ; Natural hair has brought liberty to my life and my self-esteem.
Describe your hair regimen (in detail) and tell us your staple products.
My hair regimen is very simple, I wash and deep condition once a week followed by either diffusing or air drying. At night, I wear my satin bonnet or I keep my hair in a pineapple. When I feel my hair is on the dry side, I do a hot oil treatment with coconut oil and rinse out with apple cider vinegar. As of right now, I am using Dark and Lovely's Anti- Breakage hair line, which includes the shapoo, conditioner, and hair butter. Since we are in the winter months, I use heavier products to protect my hair from the cold. I do not believe in pounding my hair with products so I keep it very minimal - I get the best results with less product. If I do decide to diffuce my hair, I simply part my hair in four sections and finger comb no more than a nickel size amount of product to each section of my hair. After I diffuse I pick out my roots with my pick and apply some coconut oil to only my ends.
How often do you trim your ends?
I trim my ends every 6 months at Devachan located in Soho, New York. Devachan is a curly hair salon specializing it cutting curly hair so I just them with my hair. Right now I am on a mission to retain length so I do not trim my hair as often. Instead, I treat my ends with mashed avocado and it helps with both preventing and sealing split ends.
What is your one FAVORITE product that you CANNOT live without?
My one favorite product that I can't live without is Miss Jessie's pillow soft curls. Although, I rotate products alot this is the one product that has never failed me with diffusing. It's super light and works wonders in the summer time.
Who inspires you during your natural hair journey and who have you inspired?
During my natural hair journey, I looked to Taren Guy for insipiration. She gave me my wings to fly with her great tutorials, which allowed me to experiment and find products and routines that worked for me. Most recently an old manager of mine had reached out to me thanking me for inspiring her to embrace her curls and she is now a loyal customer to Devachan as well. It's an amazing feeling to think hair brings people together because for too long it's divided people apart.
If your hair had a name, what would it be and why?
If my hair had a name it would be called Transformer aka Megatron because no matter what I do or whether or not I repeat the same method or use the same products, my hair comes out different EVERY single time.
Where can we follow you and your journey on social media?
You may follow me on Twitter : namedafterahat and the same name for Instagram.
Any words of wisdom for those who are struggling with being natural or transitioning and/or those who are considering transitioning?
For all those either struggling, transitioning, or considering to transition the best advice I can give is to be paitent with your hair. Do not fall victim to becoming a product junkie or investing in pills. My hair grows best when I simply wash and deep condition and I leave my hair alone. Do not compare your hair to others and simply experiment to see what products and routines work for you. Going natural should not be complicated or too time consuming. Stay natural : )