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The Natural Hair Journey of Monique Johnson-Thomas: “My hair makes me feel like ME!”


The Natural Hair Journey of Monique Johnson-Thomas: “My hair makes me feel like ME!”

This month we talked to several women about their hair journey and how their hair makes them feel. Keep reading as the lovely Monique Johnson-Thomas shares her hair story with us.

Pictures: Model’s Own How do you wear your hair?

Monique Johnson-Thomas: I wear my hair natural.

How long have you been wearing your hair this way and what made you start wearing it this way?

I began my natural journey in May, 2016 and it has definitely been a JOURNEY, filled with good and bad hair days. Seeing so many sistas walking around ROCKING their natural hair in fros, curls, twists, locs, braids etc. I thought they were GORGEOUS, so I thought I’m gonna give it a go and see how I like it. Pretty much any new cut, style or color is on a trial basis for me.

What type of relationship do you have with hair?

My relationship with my hair has been on again, off again for most of my life. There are times that I’ve kept my 2 week standing hair appointment and times when I kinda let it go and “maintained” it myself, even though my cosmetology skills are EXTREMELY limited. Oftentimes letting go of my hair appointments was a financial cost-saving decision, but this time it was different. I wanted to have what I wanted, not what a hairdresser felt was “best” for me and my hair, so I went for it alone.

How do people react to your hair choices?

I get LOTS of compliments on my natural styles. It was REALLY interesting how my job reacted though. The team I am with daily is mostly black women, they were shockingly supportive, but the leadership staff was pretty much just shocked and speechless. Many of them had complimented my relaxed tapered cuts several times. Now only 1 person complimented my “wild and free” hair (her words, not mine) and I know it wasn’t a derogatory comment because that day, my hair really was wild and free, LOL!

What’s your daily hair routine?

My daily hair routine (if you can call it a routine) is really just taking off my bonnet and seeing what we’re working with for the day. I add moisture pretty much daily or every other day, but from there I just scrunch, toss and finger through to see if it’s staying down, going up or whatever.

Who is your hair inspiration?

My hair inspiration has always been my mother. She always encouraged me from a young age to try new things, color it, cut it off or whatever. She always said, “it’s just hair it will grow back.”

What are 3 products that you use on your hair?

Since I’ve gone natural I’ve tried SEVERAL different products, but I’ve been using the KeraVeda product line (co-wash, leave-in conditioner and moisturizer) for a few months and I’m loving it so far, eco-gel and very rarely a little edge control.

How does your hair make you feel?

My hair makes me feel like ME. My hairstyle can actually alter my mood, if that makes sense. I usually want to put on some ripped jeans and my chucks when I rock my fro hawk, but I often wear it to work so I can’t, LOL!

My natural hair really makes me feel liberated. It may not seem like it, but this natural route was a HUGE risk for me, working in a “corporate” environment and I do believe my hair being unapologetically black has possibly caused some to question my professionalism. But like I said earlier, I’ve had some good days and some bad and that includes my hair.

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