Hair Feature — Mercedes N. Kirkland-Doyle
DC Professional Mercedes N. Kirkland-Doyle shares with us how she remains confident in her profession regardless of her hair’s length or texture. Read on for confidence tips, styling techniques and photos in today’s Flor Bella hair feature.
What is your name and where are you from? Mercedes N. Kirkland-Doyle.
When did you go Natural? Did you transition or did you big chop? I went natural February 10, 2014 while on a one week detail in Jackson, MS. I [spontaneously] did the big chop and shocked my family and friends.
What prompted you to go natural? My mother and sister-in-law are both natural and I was curious to know if I could “pull it off”. I wanted to know what my natural hair looked like and in all honesty I could see my hair getting thinner and thinner with every relaxer.
What is your favorite thing about being natural? I love my waves and curls! Don’t judge me, but I love that all of the men I meet, of all ethnicities, prefer natural hair over relaxed hair. As a Diversity Specialist, being valued for your differences and uniqueness is a critical element for me.
What is your least favorite thing about being natural? I hate how much time it takes to do my hair and I hate how beauticians capitalize off of Naturalistas by charging them almost double of what they would charge someone with various chemicals in their hair. It’s highway robbery. This is why I dislike the amount of time I now put into my hair. I won’t pay the ridiculous DC prices they charge here…and I was once the lady who had a hair appointment every Wednesday at 4pm.
Did you receive any criticism regarding going natural? I am not the type of person who would allow any negative feedback or criticism, especially on a personal decision that only affects me. I don’t look like I’m receptive to personal opinions about my appearance. I do look like a confident professional who makes calculated decisions.
What is your routine? (To include nighttime regimen): I re-twist my hair, spray Argan oil on it and put on my Flor Bella custom bonnet. Now that I have a longer length, I can simply spray my hair with oil and put on my bonnet and wear and twist out for one week without retesting the hair. Usually I re-twist it because it stretches my hair and I’m all about length.
Has your journey inspired your friends or family to go natural? If so, How? I have one friend who went natural, but her journey differs from mine as she wears various sew-ins.
How has being natural shaped your self-esteem? I’ve always been confident, but truly into my duby wraps. I had really long hair and prided myself on that. Going from my TWA to shoulder length phase, within one year, has shown how true beauty has nothing to do with one’so external attributes. My smile, eyes & loud personality is what holds my beauty, not relaxed hair or my curly hair. I see myself as so much more than what I once did. I’m a complete package.
How do you respond when strangers ask to touch your hair? Again, I don’t look like that type that would tolerate that. The scholars and professionals I surround myself with know better. I do ask my friends to grease and massage my scalp more often now. I mainly get compliments from other ethnicities who find my hair “cool” or “awesome”. My Junior League sisters always have plenty of questions!!
Knowing what you know now, is there anything about being natural that you wished you’d know before you started your journey? The amount of time needed for maintenance would have been helpful. While I’m natural…I still don’t just wake up like this!
Who are your favorite Bloggers/vloggers? Tiffany Nichols; ULoveMegz; Mahogany Curls.
What are your favorite products? I love Miss Jessie’s products; Paul Mitchell; and Tresemè.
Your go to hair style is____? Two strand flat twists (front-down to the front, back-straight down) and then blow dried to stretch my hair in the morning.
Who are you hair crushes? There are ladies locally whom I admire because they [too] are successful and maintain professional appearances while being a beautiful natural.
Where can you be found on social media? Instagram: @BIGBODYbenz_83. On there, I showcase a few of my bikini body building and workout regimes as well as my previous makeup artistry work. You can always find me on my website www.eyecandiiboutique.com where I am booked to “enhance natural beauty” and/or provide my custom “I Define Sexy” or “Naturally Sexy” tees.
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