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Living Naturally: Summyr Sheppard

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With all this Greek Talk we’ve been undergoing today, TGC will be celebrating individuals of the Greek community in our features today. Our Living Naturally feature is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is a full-time college student and has also began her modeling career. On top of her being drop-dead-gorgeous, we are in love with her thick tresses! Check out what she had to say during her interview with Goddess Isis:

How long have you been “natural”? I have been natural since the day I was born.

What does being natural mean for you?
Being natural to me is an expression of my true self. It means being bold and organic.

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What are your daily hair care products? On a daily basis, I’m probably using a hydration spray, eco-styler gel, and a little organic coconut oil as a refresher to my current style. I use these products because they give my hair hydration throughout the day.

What are your daily hair care regimens? My hair care regimen on a wash day would be:

1. Shampoo with mixed chicks color safe shampoo and I only scrub it into my scalp (only shampoo once every two weeks) and rinse with warm water.
2. I use a deep conditioner and then sit with a heat cap or plastic bag for about an hour or overnight if I have the time to do so. Then rinse it out with cold water.
3. I then blot my hair with a t-shirt.
4. After that, I spray my hair with hydration spray and then split my hair into two sections while distributing about a quarter size of a leave in conditioner.
5. After that I split my hair into four sections and distribute a quarter size of a curling crème (styling product) throughout my hair.
6. Then I put a quarter size amount of eco-styler gel on each side of my hair for an extra hold (it doesn’t end up hard or crunchy feeling; a little goes a long way).
7. Lastly, I add just a little bit of coconut oil to lock in all of that moisture.

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Are there any hair care products you can’t live without? I have tried so many things over the years much like most naturalistas, but I’ve discovered I absolutely can NOT live without a good conditioner (Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner ), Kinky Curly’s “Knot Today”, Obia’s Curling Crème, and eco-styler gel.

Do you feel like wearing your hair in it’s natural state has effected your modeling career? Yes it has, in a sense it has put me in a certain parameter of modeling. I only tend to get jobs that are geared towards natural hair advertisements targeted for people of ethnic backgrounds when I wear my hair in its natural state. When I wear my hair straight I tend to get more opportunities from a more Caucasian audience.

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How long have you been modeling? Is this a future career goal for you? I did some modeling when I was five and six with Atlanta’s Young Faces. I picked my modeling back up at about age 13, when I knew for sure that I had a real interest in it. I hope to make a career out of modeling because I feel most alive and fulfilled in front of the camera.

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Do you feel that your natural hair affects the way you are accepted in society? I don’t think my hair has affected my acceptance in society. In fact, it is more like a conversation starter among an array of people. Natural hair has become an epidemic and I love it!

Do you ever feel judged by others because you choose to wear your hair in it’s natural state? No, I don’t feel judged by others because I’m confident in my natural state.

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What is your favorite feature of your hair? My favorite feature is the versatility of my hair.

Why did you choose to stay natural? I chose to stay natural because it is a constant reminder of what God has blessed me with.

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What is your favorite protective style? A high bun!

Do you have any specific hair growth regimens? I stay away from heat as much as possible and I keep my hair consistently hydrated.

Did you have to ‘learn any lessons’ with your hair during your natural hair journey? Yes, although I’ve been natural my whole life; I have still gone through trials with my tresses. There was a time when I was getting my hair straightened a lot and constantly going back over it with the flat iron with even the slightest notion of frizz. I completely damaged my curl pattern and had to get it cut up to my neck in a bob.

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What advice would you give to women just beginning or trying to maintain their natural hair journey? Take time to learn YOUR hair. Find what products work for you and stick with that. Also, don’t focus on length so much. Healthy hair has no choice, but to grow.

Take a look at this great, no heat hair tutorial video that Summyr was featured in:

That last line is powerful isn’t it? That may be the best piece of natural hair advice given on TGC to date. So often we get caught up in focusing on the length of our hair instead of really wanting it just to be healthy for the sake of being healthy. [To Summyr] It’s apparent to us that you will and have been successful in your modeling career. We can’t wait to see more of you and we hope that when we do, that gorgeous thick hair is a part of the masterpiece! Skee-Wee! Peace Queen.

-Isis.

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