My name is CJ Lopez and I was born and raised in Southern California. I was in my junior year of high school when I decided to transition from my chemically altered hair to natural hair. I made that decision with the help of my mom because my hair was ruined and I wanted to do something positive about the situation in order to get my hair in a better place.
It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I decided that it was time to stop hiding my hair from underneath extensions and to let my natural hair breathe and shine. I am very blessed and thankful to say that my family and friends were extremely supportive of my choice to be natural and free.
My mom actually tried to get me to let go of the extensions years after I was natural. She told me how beautiful my hair would be if I just let my hair loose and free but I wasn’t confident enough within myself to believe her. Thankfully a year later my mind changed and I haven’t looked back since.
I made the choice to transition instead of doing the big chop because I felt that cutting a great deal of my hair off was just not for. I’m thankful that I stuck with that decision.
Being that I’m a little under a year of having locs, I really do not use products like I once did when I was a loose natural. If I had to pick a favorite product out of the very few items that I use now I would probably have to say castor oil. There are a few things in my regimen now that I could replace and not think twice about but castor oil has been the best product that I can have for my scalp because it only takes a little to keep my scalp oiled. My hair and scalp love it.
There are two ways that I keep my hair moisturized. The first way that I like to keep my hair moisturized is by using a water and oil mixture that I make myself. I use this mixture as often as I feel my hair needs it. As of right now, since we’re in the middle of the winter, I usually use my moisturizer every two to three days.
The second way I moisturize my hair is by staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. I’ve learned over the years that no matter how much moisturizer I spray on my hair, if my body is dehydrated then my hair will be to.
As of right now I try to keep my hair regimen as simple as I can have it. On average I’ll cleanse my hair with a lavender castile soap and/or a moisturizing shampoo that I watered down. After the wash I spray a liquid leave in conditioner on my hair and I allow my hair to dry almost completely. Once my hair is ninety-five percent dry I oil my scalp with castor oil and I’m all set for the week. I usually do this once a week but if I feel like my hair can skip the next week’s wash then I’ll just oil my scalp on week number two.
As far as retightening goes, I go somewhere between eight to ten weeks without retightening. I tried to not retighten my locs at all and my locs did not like that so I had to change a few things to make sure that my locs would stay healthy.
When speaking for myself, the freedom of my natural hair for me is not a fad but is a lifestyle. There is so much that I’ve learned about myself during the time that I transitioned from chemically altered hair and when I stopped hiding my hair from underneath extensions. I honestly never felt more beautiful or confident as I feel now with my own natural and healthy hair and there’s no way that I want to go backwards to altering my hair to look like something that it isn’t meant to look like.
I like to say that I inspire myself to continue to stay natural but my biggest inspirations to continue on my journey are my children. As my children grow up I want them to grow up watching their mom love and embrace her true self from the top of her head to the soles of her feet, because in doing so it’ll inspire them to love and accept themselves as they are as well.
If I could inspire someone to embrace their natural hair, I would tell them to take their journey to accepting and embracing their hair one day at a time and to not compare their hair or hair experience(s) with anyone else because our hair and walks of life are all
different. I would also tell them to try their best to not obsess over their hair too much and to allow themselves to enjoy their time with learning their hair.
Connect with me!
You can find me on Instagram at cj_lopez16 and on Youtube.