HERSTORY SPOTLIGHT: GABBI'S JOURNEY TO HAIR REPAIR
Meet Gabbi! We had the pleasure of interviewing Gabbi to chat more about how she cares for her hair and what she’s learned along her natural hair journey.
Hair type: Coily, Coarse, Dry, Mostly High Porosity
Go to style(s): Twist outs, wash and go’s, buns/pigtails
How frequently do you do your hair?: Honest answer. There's the person I want to be and then there's the person I am. The person I would like to be is someone who deep conditions her hair every single week. The person I am, I probably wash my hair every other week.
What was your experience going natural?
My hair journey started out as a traumatic experience. I came home from college after not getting a perm for the entire semester so my hair was like holding on by a thread. I went to my hairstylist for a perm and somewhere in between her putting me under the dryer and actually doing the roller set, she started trimming my hair. I wasn't paying attention. When I got out of the chair my hair was by my chin. She cut all my hair off. And the perm was so bad because I hadn't been taking care of my hair. I didn't know how to take care of the perm, and now my hair was short. It slowly but surely started to all fall out. So I vowed to never go to a hairdresser again. Which I didn't for about 9 years or so.
Then I decided to figure it out on my own. I started watching some of the OGs on Youtube. I'm in my dorm room at the time mixing up mayonnaise and all kinds of crazy stuff. I was having my mom drive for miles to try and get products because it wasn't available everywhere. I had to go out of the way just so I could pay 60 dollars for a product not knowing if it would or wouldn't work. It was a lot of trial and error for the first year and a half of my journey and I got very defeated and I ended up texlaxing my hair. I probably got one or two treatments before I decided this is just costing me too much, and I was a broke, broke college student. So I cut everything off myself. My mom was like what are you doing to your gorgeous hair, cause she was from the mentality that straight hair is great hair. Re-envisioning what a beautiful black woman should look like was a whole ‘nother feat. In that process I ended up suffering through the pain of learning how to care for my hair. I tried every product you can think of. I spent crazy crazy crazy amounts of money and up to now I'm still learning things.
How has your relationship with your hair changed since going through that experience compared to when you were getting perms?
When I first cut everything off I struggled with finding myself attractive or beautiful. Now I would never ever put a perm in my hair. I do straighten my hair from time to time, probably once or twice a year. Other than that, I'm happy with it. You don't realize how much power is in your hair. It's crazy to go through that transition and get to that point where you’re like hair or not, this is what I got, this is what God gave me and I'm going to rock it.
When did you decide to buy your first Oemi product?
I bought it when it launched. There was a video of Allison, re-moisturizing her hair at night. And you see, I pay attention to detail, and I was looking at the glisten of the butter, and I knew that's what I needed. I bought two and they didn’t last long because my mother in law started using it too. You came up with something very very good and effective and I'm always going to support my black women.