This interview has been pending for a long time. I first ‘met’ Carice online. She was one of ZedHair’s earliest followers on Facebook and made many helpful comments, which turned into helpful emails and then an even more helpful face-to-face dinner/meeting over a year ago to discuss natural hair in Africa and specifically South Africa and Zambia, in contrast to the United States. We were hoping to have Carice join us at the ZedHair Natural Hair Show, but the timing did not work out. In the meantime, I am really excited to be able to share this interview with someone who has helped me so much with my natural hair journey, but also with this very blog.
Where are you from?
Hueytown, Alabama, USA
Where are you currently based?
Johannesburg, South Africa
When did you decide to go natural?
My sister went natural in 2002 and I saw how long, beautiful, and thick her hair was growing. Plus I was tired of the patting-burning-scabbing cycle that I encountered with relaxing. I did the Big Chop in 2004 when I moved to a new city to start graduate school and I did another Big Chop in 2009 after I had experienced heat damage.
What has been your experience having natural hair so far?
It’s been great overall. It’s been an adventure and I’m still learning about how to care for my hair and making changes to my regimen. I’ve had setbacks (e.g. heat damage) along the way where I’ve had to cut a few inches or all of it off but I’m glad I’m natural. My hair is longer now than it ever was (bra strap length). I truly love my hair and I won’t ever relax again.
What is your hair regimen?
- Step 1. I detangle/pre-poo with coconut oil.
- Step 2. I wash my hair in sections with a no-poo shampoo.
- Step 3. I deep condition with steam (my favorite thing) and then I rinse the conditioner out with cold water.
- Step 4. Seal in moisture with leave-in-conditioner
- Step 5. Style in twists, twist-outs or wash ‘n’ gos
How did you achieve the hairstyle in these pictures?
I did twists, a twist-out and a wash ‘n’ go in these pictures.
Any future plans/dreams for your hair?
I’d like to have my hair grow to waist length all over. I’m trying to wear my hair in my stretched styles (twists, twist-outs) to reduce single strand knots and breakage so I can get past bra strap length.
Any advice to those considering going natural?
- I am a big fan of the Big Chop so go ahead and do it. I’ve done it twice and it’s so unbelievably liberating. It frees you up from this attachment to your hair and you don’t have to deal with two textures and the anxiety that goes along with them. It also gives you a chance to really learn your hair and to experiment with different styles at every length.
- You may have to be a trailblazer. My family and friends openly and frequently questioned my decision to go natural but many of them went natural after they saw how long and healthy my hair was growing.
- Realize that there will be bumps along the way. However, if you make the investment in learning your hair and remain consistent, you’ll never regret it and you will see progress.
What prompted you to start blogging?
I started blogging once I signed on to be a monthly contributor for Destiny and Shimmer magazines
What has the response been like so far?
The response to the blog and my magazine articles has been great. Readers send me questions and comments about my articles and they follow me on Twitter @CariceAnderson.
What are the plans for the future of your column in Destiny/Shimmer?
I plan on continuing to provide great hair care information geared toward black women with natural hair. I’m currently working on a series of articles about the different steps in a hair care regimen (this was actually inspired by a conversation I had with Masuka). The first installment about different types of shampoo and ingredients to look for will be in the May issue of Destiny and the June issue will be about conditioner.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
- Write about what is near and dear to your heart. For example, I am passionate about haircare so I focus my articles and blog on haircare, not so much on styling. I believe that every great hairstyle starts with healthy hair so haircare is the foundation.
- Don’t be afraid to show your personality, weaknesses, and mistakes. Show your personality in your writing because no one can say or write things quite like you or I can. Let your personality shine through in your writing. My readers relate to me even more because I have shared my mistakes and lessons learned along my hair journey. It shows people that you can make mistakes but that you can make changes and continue successfully on your natural hair journey.
- Do your research and provide accurate information. Your readers are relying on your blog to make decisions about how they treat their hair so make sure you’re giving them correct and current information.