Tell us your name and where you are from?
Kia Chenelle and I am from Baltimore, Md. Currently living in Bedstuy Brooklyn.
What do you do? Is there a resistance or compatibility with your hair in your field of work?
I am a photographer. Luckily, I work freelance so there is no resistance to my hair being natural. Before I decided to step out on my own I worked for a government agency and was told by many colleagues that I would have to cut my locs and change my style if I wanted to move up in the agency. When I decided that my locs had run their course, I shaved my head bald. I had 3 promotions in my government career with no complaints with any hairstyle!
I’ve been natural since 2001. I decided to stop damaging my hair right before my senior year of high school. After high school I loc’d my hair and in 2006 I shaved my head and have been wearing it short ever since. It is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Describe your hair.
Right now, my hair is cut intoa bush/fade style. It’s weird but cute. It’s shorter on the sides and back but longer on the top. If I’m not wearing a tiny bush, it’s cut very close.
What is your hair regimen?
I wash my hair at least 2x’s a week. I don’t shy away from water. I think my hair likes a good wash. With this I also do a shea butter deep conditioning mask for 15-30 min. My hair can get really dry so I need this. After that is done, I add a little coconut or olive oil and go. On a daily basis, I rub a little oil in, rub my hands thru and hit the streets. Easy! During the colder months I tend to wrap my hair a lot. Turbans are best friend.
What is your best hair advice?
Don’t be afraid of water. Ourbody needs it. Including our hair! Also it’s ok to try different styles. Your hair doesn’t define you. It’s just another part of you that likes a little change too.
When I was younger, it was Lauryn Hill (hence the loc’s),.Then it was Alek Wek (hence the bald head). Now I am in love with Solange and Janelle Monae.
What is the strangest comment, request or hair story?
I used to be a print model and my last ad campaign was for a lace front wig company. Needless to say, the photos are in your local beauty supply stores and I look crazy with a long wig on! The only reason people know that it’s me is because it’s a before and after shot of me with a bald head and then with hair down my back. Ridiculous.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
My style ranges from day to day. Sometimes I can find myself looking like a chic New Yorker, all black everything by some designer who could care less about me. And then there are times that I throw on my best vintage pieces. Or sometimes I throw it ALL on. Layering is my best discovery. I enjoy mixing prints and patterns. It’s my definition of true style.
What advice would you give to people who might be afraid to show their true fashion for fear of being judged by others?
It’s simple. People will judgeyou if you look just like them and people will judge you if you don’t. Since we will all be judged for something, it might as well be for being you. Wear what you want. People will judge regardless.
What would you say to others who judge individuals negatively for their personal fashion style?
Get a life.
When it comes to your style who, what or where does your inspiration come from?
Like I said earlier, I am a big fan of Solange Knowles. That chic knows how to mix and match without looking ridiculous. You can totally tell she has fun with it.
If you could name one person from the past or present whose closet you would love to raid, who would it be?
Tina Turner!!! Fringe, sequins, shingles and all that fancy stuff. I would have given anything to play in her closet for a day. After that she would have probably asked me to be a backupdancer for her. A girl can dream!
I’m an urban babe with a bush. Literally. And I am proud of it!