Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Robert but my friends call me RJ. I was born in New Orleans but grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and I’m currently a graduate student in Pittsburgh.
How would you describe your hair in 7 words?
A constantly evolving, temperamental form of self-expression.
When did you start growing your hair out and how have people in your life reacted?
One year ago I moved to Pittsburgh and had lots of time on my hands. I had always wanted to grow my hair out just to see what it would look like, so I figured it was now or never. People’s reactions have been very positive. Surprisingly, I get a lot of complements – even from strangers. I even have my mom going natural. Her big chop was just a couple of months ago!
I like your current style! How do you maintain it?
I seem to have this uncontrollable, unconscious desire to twist my hair. Whenever my hands are idle, they find their way into my hair and they just start twisting away, so by the time I’m ready for bed my hair is covered in twists! I’ve found that the twists act like curlers, though, so when I wake up in the morning I thoroughly wet my hair and pull apart many of the twists. I then apply a leave-in conditioner and a little styling gel, then shake my hair out until the product is evenly distributed. I also deep condition once a week (usually on Sunday). Deep conditioning is extremely important and I cannot say enough about this mayo conditioner I found on You Tube by Naptural85 (http://youtu.be/aSa_F2jyiyM). It is PHENOMENAL! My curls are singing after a treatment.
Do you have any favorite products or tools that you would recommend to other mane men out there?
I love the Kinky Curly products (Come Clean, Knot Today & Curling Custard). They’re literally all I use. I’ve tried other products, but my hair doesn’t respond nearly as well.
Anything else you would like to share?
Ever since I started growing out my hair, I’ve taken lots pictures of my progress. I’m really glad I did that because now I have this photo journal that charts my hair growth from last year to today. I suggest that anyone growing out their hair do this so that they can also track their progress. It’s very motivating!
A big congrats to your mom RJ and thanks for the tips!