Irene caught our attention when we first started CHICNaturalistas and has been a very faithful supporter ever since then! What caught our eye was her use of bright colors and patterns for the Spring and Summer, her creative use of fabrics to make her own dress AND how she has kept up the pace with her on trend Fall fashions! Let's not forget her hair. Irene ROCKS her awesome fro or a great protective style! We can't decide which one we're more obessed with! Check out what Ms. irock had to say about her style and natural hair journey!
1. How long have you been natural? Did you transition or big chop?
I’ve been natural for a little over two years (although I am currently in the process of transitioning yet again to do my second Big Chop) I transitioned the first time for 5 months using Twist and Box Braids as my protective style before finally deciding to do the Big Chop.
2. How would you describe your hair texture?
My hair texture (if we are talking hair chart type) I would say is a 3C 4A… My hair is very manageable, it is a lot of work but I love it.. I actually envy 4C hair…. LOL
3. What is your go to style and how do you maintain it?
My go to style would definitely be a puff… I am definitely a lazy natural (reason behind my 2nd big chop). Other than that I adore a good twist out, it is just very time consuming and my twist-outs generally only last about 2 days before I have to re-twists.
4. What are your problem areas if any and how are you working to combat them?
My problem areas would be the “up keep.” Actually taking care of my hair the way that I should.. Co-washing, Deep conditioning, Learning how to make my own conditioner, hot oil treatments….. Really learning my hair became a process for me. YouTube has become my best friend, and going through certain “hair disasters” really made me realize how much love I need to put into my hair.
5. What do you love most about being natural?
Being natural has given me a different sense of self confidence. Media and Entertainment do not glorify women who have their natural hair, especially if it is short and kinky (I’d rather say kinky than the most used term of Nappy). When I first went natural (big chop) I was extremely insecure about the whole “short hair” thing I had going on.. I went out purchased a wig EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING that you can think of to prevent me from going outside with the short hair. After a while I embraced it, considering short hair-long hair, it doesn’t take away from who I am. Not to mention my husband absolutely LOVED MY CUT which made me feel even better.
6. What are your top 3 hair products?
Eco Styler Gel, Gorilla Snot Gel (which I just actually found out about and I love it) and Jojoba oil.
7. How would you describe your personal style?
I cannot think of just 1 word to describe my personal style, but I will say that I definitely do not follow trends, I do not try.. I just go as I please… I definitely like to look nice, however I am not one to look at the latest fashion magazines to see what the latest looks are… I buy what I like and wear it however it looks appealing to me.
8. What are your favorite clothing stores?
I love H&M, Forever 21 and I’ve actually been supporting an online store 10dollarmall.com they have a lot of great quality clothing for cheap (and by cheap I mean everything on their website is 10 dollars) so it is very pocket friendly and it looks good too.
9. Who are your favorite celebrity fashionistas?
I would have to say Rihanna (she just doesn’t care- and I love that about her… she is fearless in everything she wears and she wears everything well) , Folake Huntoon (Blogger- she goes by StylePantry on Instagram) and of course June Ambrose.
10. What is the most worn piece in your closet?
The most worn piece in my closet I would have to be my jean shirt or red flannel top… I wear these pieces A LOT, and the funny thing is I never really wear them on my back, normally they are tied around my waist.. You can never go wrong with a denim top or flannel shirt tied around the waist! It seems to go well with everything
11. What is your favorite Fall trend?
If I had to choose I would say a fur… FUR ANYTHING! FAUX FUR of course J Skirt, Dress, Jeans… the right fur can bring out the best in an outfit.
12. What would you say is your most prized item in your closet? Is it a vintage charm you found thrifting, or a designer splurge?
One of the most prized item is a light blue beaded small shoulder purse which was my great grandmother's… I found it in my mother’s closet and it’s been with me ever since. I hardly wear it, but when I do… I DO ;)
13. Where do you draw your style inspiration from? I would say my style inspiration definitely comes from my mother… She was definitely full of style and fashion back then and still is now.
14. Since you are obviously a ChicNaturalista what would be a bit of fashion advice for our readers?
The greatest advice I could ever give someone including things I am still working on within myself, is to just be happy…. Don’t focus so much on what societies ideas of beauty are, focus more so on how you FEEL when you get dressed in the morning… Never doubt the beauty that you have been blessed with, internal beauty shines brighter than the most expensive shoes or clothes money can ever buy. Be true to yourself and never lose yourself in someone else.