1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Kiara Butler. I am 23 years young and I have a weakness for BACON. I am a vegetarian at heart but bacon has mind control over me. I’m currently a Master of Public Administration Candidate and a Manager of College Access Programs. I reside in the DMV area but I was born and raised in Mississippi.
2. How long have you been natural?
It will officially be 3 year in October of this year (2014).
3. Why and how did you go natural? (Did you transition? What products and styles did you use?)
I returned to natural as a complete dare by my significant other. I’m always open to trying new things with my hair and I’ve never been afraid to cut it. Over the past let’s say 7 years, I’ve cut my hair at least 4 times… but this is the first time that I didn’t use a relaxer through the process. While I had a TWA, I used Kinky Curly products but as my hair began to grow longer I had to start making changes to how often I washed my hair and what products I used.
4. Did you transition long term or do the big chop? Why?
There was no transition throughout my journey except the transition of me accepting being overweight and bald without anything to hide behind.
5. How would you describe this experience?
This experience has been an interesting one. At one point everyone was asking me why did I cut my hair and now it’s the complete opposite. It’s showed me that some people won’t accept you for you regardless of what you’re doing… so it’s best to accept yourself and not seek acceptance from any other human.
6. What was others response to your naturality?
I don’t think anyone appreciates the TWA stage. During that stage, I think that most newly naturals receive the most back lash because it’s different and because of the stereotypes that come with having a short cut. At first people were wondering why I cut my hair and if it was just a hair phase but now they see that me and this fro are here to stay.
7. Who was your biggest influence/support? How did they provide support during your natural hair transition?
I can’t really say that I was influenced by anyone during this journey because it was completely unexpected. As of today, I pretty much receive support from everyone. It feels great to know that I am changing lives by sharing my story. Just knowing that is enough support for me to keep going down the path that I’m on. Who knows where it will take me.
8. What have you learned since being natural (about yourself, your hair and other people)?
I’ve learned that this world is all about perception and you have to be willing to live outside of the box. Mainly, you have to be comfortable to live for yourself. Life is short and you can’t spend all of your time living for others’ acceptance. I’ve learned not to lower my standards or shrink myself just so that others don’t feel insecure. Instead I hope to enlighten them and help them to feel as open as I do.
9. What advice would you give to those transitioning or concerning natural?
Go for it! The only thing holding you back is you! I’m willing to give tips, advice, product reviews, and my hair regimen to anyone that needs it. Follow me on Instagram: @reallyfemale to stay up to date on my journey.