Natural Hair Crush of the Week:Karen Clarke!

NB: Song that describes your natural hair.

Corrine Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On.

NB: Finish the following statement: “Natural hair makes me feel       “ ALIVE!

NB:What are your natural hair goals? 
I honestly don’t have a hair goal, should I? I just let my hair do what it does. I keep it nourished, moisturize and give it love as I would my plants [never mind that my green peppers aren’t doing too well this season lol]

NB:What’s your transitioning story? 

My story began on July 7, 2010.  I went to the salon to get my relaxed hair trimmed. I had a Mohawk at the time and I wanted to cut the back off to create a Fohawk.  While I was in the chair, I felt discouraged and I expressed to my stylist that I wanted a Caesar cut and she responded “Why!?” while looking at me like I was crazy.  For some reason I wasn’t happy with my hair that day. As soon as I got home, I went into my closet, grabbed my clippers put a #1 guard on it and started cutting.  Once I was finished, I realized how short it really was and my heart started beating.  I was nervous and liberated at the same time.  Because I always have a hard time of letting things go, I left a tail in the back which I ended up cutting a few weeks later because I realized how ridiculous it looked – but I just couldn’t let go! Later on that day after my big chop, I went to my friend’s pool party. I was nervous about what my friends would say, but they loved it! I received compliments from men and women alike. 

When I cut my hair, I didn’t have a goal of going natural, I just knew that I wanted something different.  I appreciate how many other women felt the same way about their hair – I started seeing BC’s everywhere! After a year of allowing my hair to grow out naturally, I realize that it takes great confidence.  It’s all about self-love and being comfortable with who you really are.

I play with hair color here and there to avoid the boredom with my hair; you’re talking to a girl that changed her hairstyle every 2 weeks here, and to have a background in Cosmetology doesn’t help.  I’m enjoying this transformation with my hair. I get compliments all of time. I am honestly surprised at how many men love women with natural hair. Sometimes the journey gets rough, but I’m enjoying the ride.

NB:What is your current natural hair regimen? (What do you do to take care of your hair, ie washing, conditioning etc.) 

I generally co-wash every other day. I use a leave-in conditioner formulated with: 2 tbsp Cantu Shea Butter Conditioner, 2 tsp Aloe Vera Juice, 1tsp Jojoba Oil, and 1tsp Coconut Oil. I usually use this formula when I wear the two-strand twists. I hardly ever use shampoo to cleanse my scalp, unless I’ve been sweaty after a workout or buildup – that way my hair stays super soft and easy to manage.

NB:Describe your personal style. 

Fierce confidence, chic, fun, and colorful.

NB:What do you do for protective styling? 

I’m still getting used to wearing weave again. Since I had my BC a year ago, I’ve gotten braids twice and one sew-in. Other than that, I may do a twist-out every other week.

NB: What is your go to “clutch” hairstyle? 

My Wash n’ Go. If my hair isn’t acting right with a blowout, then I just wet it and keep it moving.  The funny thing is, when I wear my W&G, everyone thinks that I cut my hair all over again. My hair shrinks at least 5 inches when I wear my hair like that. My coils are so tight; it literally looks like I had a BC.

NB: Any thing you wish you would’ve known before going natural? 

I wish I wouldn’t have begged my mom to let me get a relaxer when I was 11. I remember how long and healthy my hair was as a child and how jacked up is was as a young adult.  I absolutely LOVE my natural hair now. Had I known that I could feel as liberated then as I am now, I would’ve put the “hair crack” down a long time ago.

NB:Anything else you would like to add? 

I love how women have embraced their natural hair. It is boldness and beauty coming together like we’ve never seen before in our community.  We are finally coming to terms with who we are. It’s okay to be natural. Let your hair grow as it pleases; just as a beautiful plant grows from its roots.

For more of Karen visit:

Karen graduated from the University of Central Florida and currently resides in Atl, Ga.


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1 Comment

  1. October 27, 2011 / 6:47 am

    She is so gorgeous and I can totally testify on the shrinkage note.It can really amaze you how your hair can eat you every time at a fierce game of HIDE AND SEEK lol.

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