Tell us your name and where you are from?
Hi there, Chop here. From Jacksonville, Florida
How long have you been natural?
Oooh let’s see, I have been natural for about 13 years now
What do you do? Is there a resistance or compatibility with your hair in your field of work?
I am an emcee and a teacher, and have definitely had different reactions to my hair on both sides of what I do. When I was teaching school full time I was constantly asked to “tame” my hair as if it were some wild forest friend. I would often rebel and seem to offend my fellow co-workers. Feeling as if one of the greatest lessons I could teach my students was self-confidence, I soon decided it was time to spread truth and no longer feed the babies public school system lies. Now I am an emcee, so being all of me is a plus.
Describe your hair.
If I had to describe my hair I would first describe her as a woman, an earthen wordily type. She doesn’t take kindly to fine combs or strangers fingers and prefers to do what she chooses on any given day. If neglected, she will lock it up and shut it down, but if stroked and loved on, she will follow a strong hand.
What is your hair regimen?
My regimen is to wash, condition, grease, comb/brush, and style about twice a month. I usually use some sort of organic or natural shampoo, no particular kind, whatever the health food store has (It’s a plus if it’s some sort of jojoba oil shampoo). I finish the wash with a leave in conditioner, which for the past year has been Beautiful Curls by Alaffia. After combing the leave in thru, with one of those big tooth comb/brushes, I get it in with a good ol fashion scalp greasing. As of late, I have been using my own olive/coconut oil scalp elixir. After that, I usually two strand twist it up using Carol’s Daughters Mimosa Hair Honey. Then, whenever I fix my mind to do something fancy with my hair, I untwist and make something up.
Your best hair advice?
My best hair advice, pay attention to your hair just as much as you would pay attention to your favorite possession.
Ultimate hair crush
My OG hair crush is Chaka Khan, circa Rufus days.
What is the strangest comment, request or hair story?
Humm, the strangest hair story or comment, well gosh there are always so many things said, genuine things and just plain ignorant things, but there was this once…So I have experienced the ,”How do you get your hair to do that?”, question ever since I went natural 13 years ago, and usually I would respond simply by saying, “I wash and comb it.” But this one time when a drunkard decided to yell at me and my afro through the downtown streets, “How do you get your hair to do that,” I yelled back, “I’m Black, that’s how!”. It was liberating to finally give the simplest and truest response I could.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Colorful and classic.
What advice would you give to people who might be afraid to show their true fashion sense or natural hair for fear of being judged by others?
Every answer to every question can be found within once we turn our focus on ourselves, so if you seek freedom let go of the self-inflicted shackles of outside opinions.
What would you say to others who judge individuals negatively for their personal fashion style?
Be impeccable with your word, no need to busy yourself with judgments of others creativity when there are so many ways to express yourself.
When it comes to your style who, what or where does your inspiration come from?
My style comes from my appreciation for the beauty and color I see in my Mom and Grandma.
If you could name one person from the past whose closet you would love to raid, who would it be?
I would love to raid Nina Simone’s closet. (of course I would have to go back in time for that)
Favorite stores and places to shop for vintage or thrift
Well I always find thrift stores wherever I visit, like No Relation Vintage in NY, Search and Destroy in San Fran, Buffalo Exchange in LA (oddly enough I haven’t shopped at the one in NY yet) but my trusty hometown
(Jacksonville, Florida) spots would have to be Clothing Warehouse and The Thrift Store.
Current music playlist and favorite book
Not sure if I have a full on playlist of current listening pleasures, but I will say my homie Blu’s newest album, Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, and tunes from Blossom Dearie, Fela Kuti, Boom Clap Bachelors, The Roots, Devendra Banhart, St. Vincent, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Ravi Sahnkar, Michael Franks, Jay Dee, Alice Coltrane and the recorded wisdom of Dick Gregory are all in rotation. As far as a favorite book, well there would have to be a tie between Octavia Butler’s, The Parable of the Sower and Toni Morrison’s, The Bluest Eye.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Go to restaurant and dish you would not want to live without
Pure Food and Wine in NYC, is the most amazing restaurant ever, and I would not want to live without thai coconuts…a coconut does not actually qualify as a dish, but you can make a meal of one!
Most embarrassing moment
A couple winters ago when I was visiting NY, as I confidently strolled down the street eyeing a well-dressed cutie, I begin to speed up my pace to catch his eye. As I approached the fella and briskly passed him, we exchanged appreciative glances. As I continued my walk, and peered in the nearest reflective store window, I realized that my darling little dress was tucked into my tights, no wonder his glance came with a smirk.
What is your favorite life lesson?
Be here now
Do you have a blog/website?
Please give my tunes a listen and keep a readily available ear to the wind for my coming release, Too Morrow, the EP.
Advice: In my opinion, doubt is the number one killer of women, never let the fears of what you ought be foreshadow what you can be.
What makes you an Urban Bush Babe?
I am an Urban Bush Babe because I am a modern day roots woman.