Discover Brittany Basden, our newest elite contributor and creator of Kyss My Hair and Ms. Brittany Bass. This student and hair & beauty blogger from Bahamas believes, “If it makes you feel good, wear it!” She encourages women to wear their hair anyway they desire and dress in clothing that prompts the phrase, “I like the way I look”. Learn more about her story.
What is your name and where are you from?
Hello! My name is Sand I am from the beautiful island of Nassau, Bahamas. I currently live in Minnesota because I’m a college student at The College of Saint Benedict.
Tell us about your blogging and your hair journey.
Honestly, I never really thought I would start documenting my natural hair journey on my blog. Women posting photos of their hair on natural hair forums inspired me so I started posting photos of my own around December 2010 (I was about 9 months natural then), and I began to get a lot of compliments. The only reason I have as much pictures of my hair when I first went natural is because all the natural hair blogs I was reading at the time advised me to document, document, document! I loved that I had a lot of pictures that I could look at when the perm gods were whispering sweet nothings in my ear.
Anyway, fast forward to around March of this year, I asked a few naturals who were in college with me if they would get some of their natural friends to do interviews and I started posting them onto the blog. I got some good feedback and published the first article on May 5, 2012, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is the #1 message you want to convey to your fans?
I have fans? Lol. Apart of being a woman to me is being able to choose what I want to be and how I want to look. Hence, whatever one’s reason is for going natural, the number one message I want to convey to my readers is that, it was your decision. It was a choice that you freely made, so whatever you do with your hair after you go natural is also your choice. I may be making this way more serious than it has to be, but I feel like there’s way too much judging within the natural hair community. A lot of times we critique each other instead of lifting each other up.
How long have you been natural and what made up your mind to go natural?
March 2013 will make three years that I have been natural *round of applause*.
I went natural for three reasons:
- I thought natural hair was beautiful. Point. Blank. Period. I was on YouTube engaging in tomfoolery, as per usual, and I came across a few YouTube gurus (I don’t know if the phrase YouTube guru existed back then, but anyhow). I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a natural hair community, but what I saw amazed me. These women had long, natural hair, and I thought to myself, “Wait a minute, my hair kind of looks like that naturally.” I couldn’t believe that for years, people were telling me that this was ugly and I believed it!
- This prompted me to think about how I viewed myself as a woman. I considered myself to be a woman who was absolutely in love with her body and my hair is an extension of my body. It did not sit well with me that I could say that I love my body and hate my hair, which was the reason I permed it to begin with.
- Lastly, I wanted longer f’in hair. Lol. I begged my mother for a perm when I was around nine, and from then, I thought my hair should have been kissing my ankles. The Christmas before I went natural, I went to this salon, and a scissor happy stylist cut off about two inches of my hair. I was devastated (you know how we women can get sometimes when a stylist done messed up the flex). Anyway, I figured that if this natural thing didn’t work out, I could always perm my hair again. I had nothing to lose and three things to gain: pretty hair, long hair, and a little more self-esteem.
How did you do it? BC? Transition? What was your technique?
I had my last perm in March 2010 and on May 26, 2010, I went in the bathroom and cut my hair off with a paper scissors. For some people, this is a big deal. However, for me, when I make up my mind that I want to do something, Jesus, and the twelve disciples have to stop me. My permed hair was dead to me; it was like it did not exist anymore and all I did was make it official. I can’t lie, I was a little scared after I did it, but this was only because I was afraid of what people would think. I ran out and got a wig. Lol.
What do your peers and family think?
My mother was for the most part supportive of me, but she still said some slick things that made me want to go off on her. Honestly, I wanted her to tell me that I was still beautiful sometimes, but she didn’t. I did not wear my natural hair out until December of 2010, so when I showed my dad a picture of my hair, I think his mouth dropped a little. That was funny. I think for the most part people didn’t know that I was natural, but when I did wear it out people were like, “oh…I could never do that”. I love that now some of these same women are now asking me for hair advice. That makes my heart fuzzy ☺
As far as men go, I did not meet any new men after I went natural that I could consider myself seeing. I remember one guy calling me ball head becky, or something like that, but most of them were just like “um…okay”.
What are your favorite products for washing, moisturizing, and conditioning?
I have commitment issues when it comes to products. I’m not a product junkie, mainly because I’d rather spend my money on shoes and clothes (just keeping it real), but I do think about “stepping out” on some of my products (that’s mental cheating, the first sign of product junkyism). The only thing I’m ride or die for is castor oil. I put some rope twists in my hair once and it pulled out all my edges. I rubbed Castor Oil on it for a couple months and it grew back.
As far as washing and conditioning goes, I use either the Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner, or the Organix Coconut Shampoo and conditioner. For moisturizing I use my Shea Moisture conditioner as well as my water and glycerin mix, and to seal all that goodness in, I use castor oil. I’m a diy girl (or at least that’s what I like to tell myself), so I mix egg, honey, mayo, and whatever oil I have on deck to do my deep treatments.
What is your favorite hairstyle for hair growth?
My favorite hairstyle for growth is a weave. Yes, that’s right a weave. I know a lot of naturals like to ‘keep it natural’, so I recommend twisted updos/ braided updos because they are extremely practical, your ends are concealed, and there are 101 ways to style them so you won’t get bored.
What advice do you give to people transitioning?
- Don’t mind the noise in the market and do not, under any circumstances, take advice from people whose hair you’ve never seen. If you’re going to go natural, you need to surround yourself with people who support you.
- Sometimes the above is challenging and this is where the online natural hair community comes in to play. Stalk YouTube videos and natural hair blogs like your life depends on it. Get some inspiration. Find a hair twin. Repeat the next day.
- In terms hairstyles, flexi rod sets are great because you can blend your natural roots to your permed ends more easily, and you get accustomed to wearing your hair in a curly state. Braided and twisted updos are also great because nobody can tell your transitioning (so you don’t have to get those annoying remarks like “girl you need a perm”) and these can last for a while. Of course, extensions are always an option as well.
Where can we get in contact with you?
I’m all over the internet, but you can find me on my blog www.kyssmyhair.com, my youtube channel, www.youtube.com/kinkyislandgirl, and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/kyssmyhair. My e-mail is email@example.com and I’m on twitter and instagram: username – @msbrittanybass. I apologize in advance for my sometimes ratchet behavior on twitter. Lol.
Where shall we see you in the near future with your brand and blog?
You know, I want my blog and my youtube channel to be successful because I want to teach/inspire as much people as I can, but I’m a bit of a “one step at a time” person. I’m not saying that I’m not proactive, but I like to see where I’m taken, and if my blog takes me somewhere good, I’ll stay.