Nearly Hair
“Nothing, is what it appears to be, when it's only with your eyes you see.”
― N'Zuri Za Austin

Afros & Artisans: It's Courtney @thinkngrowchick

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Previously posted 10/01/10. This is a re-featured post! Memory Lane

What kind of person would I be if I never gave credit where credit is due??!! Before I got caught up in this head action game of mine... before i knew what no-poo or co-wash meant... What I did know was Courtney(more like who i did know)! Anyway this "think & grow" chick really opened my eyes to the natural community and what best got me was her love to be self proclaimed! She gave me inspiration to explore the world at wits ends. I had no other choice but to interview her! Hands Down...

Tell us about you.
Well, I'm a young, vivacious 20-something Marketing student that loves to share her ideas about about Natural Hair, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and overall personal development. I'm originally from Detroit, but I currently attend school in Washington, DC.
When did you decide to throw the relaxer out (if you did)?
I decided to go natural at the tender age of 15. I had long hair all throughout my childhood with nothing more than a routine of blue magic grease and an old-fashioned pressing comb. I finally wore my mother down for a relaxer when I was 13 and boy...I thought I was the flyest girl in the 8th grade! I thought i was so fly in fact, that I would hurry home to restyle my hair with heat appliances everyday. Add that to the fact that my mom was taking me to an unlicensed hairdresser who would deliberate overlap the relaxer to get my hair "bone" straight, and you knew I was brewing a recipe for disaster. In less than a year, by bra-strap length hair had broken off to the back of my collar bone.
As a heartbroken teenager, I began to research online for ways to "grow black hair long". The first two sites I came across were Motowngirl.com and Longhaircareforum.com. Both websites were instrumental in showing me that having a relaxer was not a permanent state of being for black women. It literally never occurred to me that I didn't have to have a relaxer until I started viewing those websites. The next day, I told my mom I didn't want a relaxer, she laughed and said, "Okay, we'll see how long this last" and I've been natural every since. Once I got into the heart of my hair journey, it was less about hair length and more about just having healthy, natural hair.
What was your support system like once you went natural?
My support system was pretty much nonexistent. Natural hair websites (and there weren't many at the time) were my support system. My whole family thought I was crazy. Now everyone comes to me for advice about going natural, so it's funny how things turn around.
How would you describe your hair journey so far?
So far, I'd say it's pretty great. I feel like now I'm in that stage of exploring all of my hair's possibilities—I'm really checking out just what my natural hair can do right now. I'm also refining my hair regimen to combat some of the intense dryness and snags that I'm finding on the ends of my hair now that it's getting longer.
You seem to be such a success business wise, what advice would you give someone trying to travel in your footsteps?
Oh, wow, that is a huge compliment. Any of the limited success I've received in accomplishing my goals is because (1) because of God and (2) because I always try to keep a clear vision of what I want in life. And when I say clear, I mean crystal clear. If you asked me where I wanted to be in 10 years, I could paint the picture for you down to where I'd be living and the name of my future dog. This is not to say that everything has to turn out exactly as you plan, but if you have a consistent view of where you want to go in life, you are more likely to get there because you know which way to go and the steps you need to take to get there.
My other advice would be to research other people. That is another thing I'm very good at, I can research the mess out of an individual I admire. There is always something to learn from other people who have "made it"...no need to reinvent the wheel.
What has been one of your biggest obstacles so far in your career and how did you face it?
My biggest career challenge was definitely in school when I new I needed to change my major and university because it made the most sense personally and financially. I was incurring all sorts of debt at an expensive university in a major I had no interest in, all because I didn't want to "let others down". When I finally realized that no one could live my life for me and that I had to do what was best for my dreams and aspiration, I made the switch which was a very big deal and very scary at the time. Luckily, I had the support of my boyfriend and father, and I stuck with my decision even when I wasn't sure that I made the right one. Less than a month after making all of the changes, so many opportunities came my way that I new I had done the right thing.
When it comes to your hair, what do you find most challenging?
Hands down, it is a trip trying to keep this sucker from drying out. Sometimes I literally feel like I have the driest hair/scalp in the world. It can be frustrating sometimes because often the only solution is to simply co-wash/re-wet my hair, but lately I've been wearing my hair in two-strand twists throughout the week, so re-wetting is really easy.
As it's gotten longer, I've also notices that it's more and more difficult to keep snags and single-strand knots off the ends of my hair. I think I just need to focus more on keeping my hair stretched at this length, but we'll see.
What keeps you motivated(pertaining to life/work/or hair)?
Im most motivated by (1) a very real fear of not reaching my goals and (2) the fact that I think women need someone out there telling them they can accomplish whatever they want and showing them the steps to do. Success, like most things, starts in the mind and you would not believe how many people stop themselves from doing great things because they have a limiting mindset.
Your hair is so beautiful, but what is the most craziest remark you have has received about your hair?
"When are you going to stop rocking that curly s---?" This came from an ignorant guy in high school who, in his words, genuinely thought I was cute but was frustrated that I wouldn't wear my hair straight more often.
Any advice to the aspiring successful women out there/closing remarks?
I encourage all the women out there to sit down with a pencil (not a pen) and some paper and just start writing out everything they want out of life. Once they see that list, as crazy and random as some of the items may seem, then they should do a task everyday that is going to get them closer to what's on that paper. We have one life to live with no do-overs or overtime minutes. The time to realize your full potential is now.

Courtney "Think & Grow Chick" P.

"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work." —Peter F. Drucker
http://thinkandgrowchick.com
facebook.com/thinkandgrowchick
twitter.com/thinkngrowchick


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