“I don’t really consider myself from a place, but more so, of my mother. I grew up moving around a lot because both of my parents were in the Army and split when I was only 8 years old. I was born in Heidelberg, Germany, raised in Seattle, Washington and I became a woman in Augusta, Georgia. I just graduated college and now I’m moving to New York to continue my journey. I grew up with just my mother, my older sister, and my younger brother by my side and it wasn’t always the best of times, but they were all I needed. I would definitely say I experienced a very challenging childhood in comparison to most, but mama kept us in the church so even I could hardly tell how difficult it was because I always found the good and the God in every situation. Now, just like I have changed and developed at 22 years old, my views on religion have also. I still believe that I serve an almighty God who can bring me through anything this world brings me up against, but I practice Bohemianism. Those two facts are what makes me the ambitious woman I am today. Ultimately, I am a woman who believes in my freedom and in myself.

My addiction to short hair began my freshman year in college in 2008. It was the only hairstyle that made me not look like I was twelve years old. I sort of became a “kinky girl” on accident. It just so happened that by my junior year I had cut my hair so short that I was “natural by default.” Once my kinks started to grow, I fell in love with my coils. They were stronger, softer, and healthier all around. I figured if I wanted straight hair it was nothing a quick weave couldn’t accomplish. I didn’t ever want to sacrifice losing my curl pattern. I also loved coloring my hair which is just about limitless for a natural hair wearer as opposed to a relaxed hair wearer. That was a definite decision making factor for me. I never picked up creamy crack again.

I’ve been natural since June of 2010. My sister is my hair’s caretaker. She has nurtured my hair since I began my natural journey. We started my locs naturally and then added the kanekalon hair extensions about 4 weeks later. I started these loc extensions in May of this year, so they are fairly new. My natural hair has been blonde for a little over a year now and I have committed to wearing my hair blonde. I dye my roots every eight to 10 weeks, so wrapping my hair in the blonde extensions keeps the color of my dreads consistent all around. Another reason I wrap my dreadlocks is to protect my hair from breakage due to frequent bleaching and to make them thicker in width than my natural hair is able to achieve. Also, I can have longer locs faster without having to wait for my hair to grow out.

I take care of my hair by not handling it so much. I wash my hair every three weeks with Organix Sulfate Free Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and I condition with Organix Sulfate-Free Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner. When I re-twist I use Organic Root Stimulator Lock and Twist Gel. For daily use and hot oil treatments, I use Jamaican Mango & Lime Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil – the original one. I deep condition and do a hot oil treatment to my hair once a month. I bleach my roots every eight to 10 weeks and I use Salon Care Prism Lites Lightener Blue with Salon Care 30 Volume Creme Developer. My hair is wrapped in 613 Afro Kinky Twist Hair. I am not a fan of “overly-neat” dreads. I re-twist and wrap my hair every 10 to 12 weeks. I use an old, soft tooth brush on my edges sometimes when I need it, but I purposely refrain from using any edge taming gels or creams on my hair because I feel like your edges should be just as naturally rugged as your dreads. I apply castor oil to my nape and edges daily and to my scalp weekly.

I’ve learned that you should not take advice from every natural-haired woman. To me, my natural hair is my original hair. It is not duplicated and was specially given to me. In other words, what works best on my hair may not be so great for yours. Being natural is a lifestyle. Date your hair, make her your best friend. Create that relationship with your hair. Take some time to really find out her likes and dislikes, best styles, best regimens and things like that. If you have a hair crush – someone who’s hair you can admire – that’s okay, but find out what works best for your hair to achieve your similar goals. It always nice to have a visible goal for motivation and blogs and YouTube made a huge difference in my journey to be able to see other women’s stories. It takes a lot to open up and be honest about the good and the bad of such a challenging journey. But for those that do keep a record of their natural hair online or off, I think it will beautiful to look back at even if they didn’t feel comfortable sharing it with the world.

I think makeup is a great enhancer but I don’t have a lot of it. I’m definitely a basics kind of gal. I have a few MAC products that I acquired over time, but I do not believe that your makeup has to cost a lot of money to get the job done. My favorite feature are my eyes. I find them to be so captivating and fragile. They give away every emotion I’m feeling whether I’m trying to hide them or not and I can’t help but to love their shape. I use Sephora Collection Perfecting Cover Concealer to highlight my brows and I use Color Me Beautiful Brush On Brow Powder in Brunette to fill my brows. If I don’t apply any other makeup on a daily, my brows are a must. Oh, and I love false lashes. Other than that you can find me trying out the boldest and brightest lip colors I can find at the nearest beauty store.

For my skin, I believe in two things – olives, more olives, and cold showers. Green olives happen to be my favorite snack and a cold shower is just about the only thing that can successfully wake me up in the mornings. When I cleanse my face I start by removing my makeup completely with wintergreen rubbing alcohol and then I wash my face with a cold washcloth and Jamaican Black Soap. I do not use lotions. I use extra virgin olive oil which helps to keep my skin soft and smooth.

My philosophy on beauty and self love is this…You’re someone’s dream girl. The way you look, talk, act, walk is perfect to someone out there in this world. Always remember that. Until you find him or her be your own dream girl. Take care of yourself now the way you would if you found the person of your dreams already.

My fearlessness makes me a beautiful woman. I never imagined myself as such a powerful, fearless woman five years ago. I didn’t always have the confidence I embody today and I definitely didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur. I believe that if your ambitions don’t scare you then they aren’t the right ones. Courage and opportunity very rarely, if ever, present themselves at the same time in our minds. I was scared out of my mind when I decided to move to New York, but I wanted my ambitions to be a reality more than I was scared to pursue them. My advice to anyone else preparing to enter the ‘real world’ is to be confident in yourself. There is no limit to starting over in life. I’m not sure that everything I came to New York for will come to past, but I know what should happen will happen. As for the rest of it, I have to exercise patience, persistence, and consistency and we will see what happens together. The worst answer you can get from anywhere is ‘no’, and in your mind all you need to hear is ‘not yet.’ Work harder, work smarter, and don’t be afraid to start over. If you believe it, you can achieve it. A dream is a beautiful thing, but you get what you work for.” – Isis

Find Isis on her blog and Instagram.

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