Maturing Naturally by Karen Whittle

     Hello everyone!  This is the maiden voyage of this my new blog, and so I would like to take some time to introduce myself, and tell you all about the direction I would like to see this blog take in the months to come.

     Of course my name is Karen Whittle.  I was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and have lived in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington since 1995, but still consider Albuquerque home.  I have a beautiful 18 year old daughter and work as an Executive Assistant.  I am very proud to say I am 48 years of age.

     I decided to transition a few years ago, and at the time thought I would continue to use heat to relax my hair as I had done in the early 90’s when I went natural previously.  I’ve never been one who liked my hair to be absolutely straight, so I would go six months between relaxers anyway.  Along the way, a Facebook friend of mine, a beautiful natural Afro-Latina from Miami, introduced me to the natural hair community on Facebook, and I made the decision to avoid heat and see what my hair looked like in its natural state.  I learned how to care for my hair, and began to try out different products to see what works best for me.  I’ve never actually big chopped, but I have sort of systematically had the relaxed hair cut off over the course of about a 1 to 1.5 years.

     As you read this blog, I hope you will join me on my journey.  I’ve nearly met my first hair growth goal, coming within half an inch of under arm length this month.  I hope you will join me on my journey, trying new products and learning as we go along.  Like many of you, coconut oil is my mainstay, although I’ve tried various products to seal my hair, as the LOC method (liquid, oil, cream) is the best way I have found to keep my hair soft and supple.  I also have a small quarter size area at the front of my head that has thinned, so I am using Jamaican Black Castor Oil to see if it will help.

     Apart from that, I would like to see this as a blog to discuss the issues women with natural hair face in the work place, particularly those of us who are typically further along in our careers, having reached mid-career status.  While some of you may have been natural throughout your career, there are many of us who are testing the waters, figuring out what the work place finds appropriate or in appropriate in regards to our hair.  I hope to feature women who are over 30 and natural as well as men who have experiences to share.  I want this space to be both enjoyable and informative, fostering a give and take that allows us all to learn from each other, bringing us all to the point where we feel Chicly Natural.

     Thank you for reading my first blog and I hope you will look forward to my next.

Karen Whittle


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