What is your name?
Where do you live?
Currently, I reside in Paris, France.
What is your occupation?
What is your educational background?
Licence in Civil Law (LL.L.) and Bachelors of Laws (LL.B.) obtained at University of Ottawa; LL.M. candidate in international law, Universite Paris Descartes
How long have you been natural?
Why did you decide to “go” natural?
I just loved the natural hair look. Sometime in 2006, I was at the hair salon. While under the dryer, I was looking at hair magazines. While most styles were done with relaxed hair, one hairstyle caught my attention: it was beautiful, curly black hair, well-defined. I asked my hairdresser how I could achieve the look, but she said that it was not possible with my hair type—and, plus, I would have to stop perming. I was disappointed. I had been perming my hair since I was 10 years old; I couldn’t imagine anything else! Another time at the salon, I noticed that my hairdresser was selling curly black ponytails that resembled the look I liked so much in that magazine. I bought one and was able to pull off a cute curly ponytail hairstyle. The only problem was that I could not let my hair out and achieve a complete curly look because my own hair was relaxed. In 2007, I decided to stop perming and start my natural hair journey. I never looked back!
What is your go-to natural hairstyle?
It depends. One week, it can just be a simple wash-and-go (using flaxseed gel), which can last about 3 days for me. Another week, it can just be a twist-out.
Have you ever experienced any challenges in the workplace due to your natural hair?
Thankfully, no. Any barrier to not wear my natural hair was self-owned. Back then, I thought that it didn’t look professional enough for a lawyer to wear an afro look. Over time, I just realized that there was nothing wrong with my afro or my twist out—and it certainly didn’t make me less professional!
What do you love most about your natural hair?
The versatility! The shape of my curls, the different hairstyles I can achieve—just everything! When I was perming, my hair was flat and had no body. Now, it is full of curls and life!
What have you found to be most challenging about being natural?
The maintenance. Admittedly, it is time-consuming. Keeping my hair moisturized during the winter months takes time and patience.
How do you maintain your “work-hair-life” balance?
I try to keep it simple during the week. Before going to bed, I spritz my hair with some water and aloe juice. I put it in a bun and put on a satin bonnet—this keeps my hair fresh for about 3 days. I repeat this process midweek.
What words of encouragement would you offer to someone who is considering going natural, but may have reservations due to their profession?
Your hair is your crown, it was beautifully and uniquely designed by God. Perceptions do not define who you are—what people think of you or your hair is irrelevant and has no bearing on your professional skills. As for maintenance, keep it simple and moisturized, and try something fun during the weekend.