She is from Haiti. She lives in New York. She is a blogger: Finding Paola. She is the initiator of Ansanm Nou Se Ayiti. She is a woman and she is natural….
Afro Alice was very pleased to interview Paola Mathé… Read on!
Li se moun Ayiti. L ap viv New York. Li gen yon blog: Finding Paola. Li se moun ki kreye mouvman Ansanm Nou Se Ayiti an. Se yon fanm e li gen cheve natirel.
Afro Alice te vreman pran plezi pou li fe ti pale ak Paola Mathe….. Dekouvri entevyou Paola a…
1- Tell us about you. Pale nou de wou
I’m just a dreamer. I like to take chances, and performing under pressure keeps me going. I’m passionate about too many things, and I try to remain as positive as possible. Running around barefoot through a green field sounds like what I would really enjoy right now. Life has so many beautiful things, and I want to experience a lot of them.
M se yon moun ki renmen reve. M renmen eseye, m renmen tante chans mwen e m renmen travay sou presyon. M gen pasyon pou twop bagay e m fe gwo efo pou m toujou rete pozitif. Pandan map pale la, m imajine m k ap kouri pye ate nan mitan zeb vet. Lavi plen bel bagay e m vle jwi de anpil ladan yo
2- When and why did you return natural? Kile epi kisa ki te few retounen natirel?
I was natural off and on. I had my first dramatic cut in high school. Back then, it wasn’t cool at all, and some people tried to make fun of me. Eventually, they got around it, and wrote nice things about it in my yearbook. I cut it again my junior year in college after a spring break trip. I’m way too adventurous to have relaxed hair. I decided I’d never get a relaxer again when I came back. I left my hair very short for a while.
M retire pemanant plizye fwa deja. Premye fwa m koupe cheve m ba m te nan segonde. Leu sa a, sa pat fasil pou mwen paske gen moun ki te griyen dan sou mwen. Men lem pral gradye, yo tout te ekri bon bagay sou cheve m nan kane souvni m nan. Pandanm nan dezyem ane nan kolej, apre m sot an vwayaj pandan vakans nan prentan m te rekoupel. M two renmen avanti pou m ta gen cheve pemanant. Jou sa a m te deside mwen pap met pemanant anko. Depi le sa m te kite cheve m kout pou yon bon ti tan.
3- How did people surrounding you react to the change? Koman moun bo kote w te reyaji le w koupe cheve w ?
At first, not everyone liked my cut. I’ve always wanted to look like my mom so she was the main reason I decided to cut it. She was fine with it, but I can hear whispers from other people.
Okomansman, se pat tout moun ki te renmen we koup mwen an. M te toujou vle sanble ak manman e se sak fe m te koupe cheve yo. Manman m pat gen pwoblem ak sa men anpil moun te fe chuichuichui sou sa
4- Who were your supporters? Your hairspirations? Kiyes ki te sipote w? Kiyes ki te enspirasyon w?
I think everyone eventually fell in love with the look. I still get a few bad comments, but they’re from people who don’t matter. I don’t really have any hairspirations. I like my hair just like it is. After I cut it in college, I was ok with the texture, and I was ok with the length. I just always want to feel comfortable. With comfort, there’s confidence, and that’s how I’ve been since then. The person who inspired me was my mom after I saw how beautiful she looked in a photograph when she was younger. You know whose hair I’m really loving right now? Lupita Nyong’o. I mean the woman is overall just fantastic, but she’s making me want to cut my hair again!
M panse tout moun te fini pa renmen look la. M toujou gen moun ki fe move komante sou cheve m men sa pa deranjem. M pa vreman gen moun ki te enspirem. Lem te fin koupe l pandan m te nan kolej la, ni teksti ni longe cheve m pat deranjem. M toujou vle pou m alez. Depi w alez, wap santi w byen e wap gen asirans. E se konsa m ye depi le sa a. Moun ki te enspire m se te manmanm depi le m te tonbe sou yon foto l lel te jen janl te bel ak chevel. Ou konn cheve kiyes m damou kounya la? Lupita Nyong’o. Wouy! Tifi a jis tcheke! E li fe m anvi rekoupe chevem!
5- Are you working on any project related to natural hair? Eske wap travay sou pwoje ki gen rapo ak cheve natirel?
Not really, but I’m working on many exciting things at the moment. I can hardly contain myself! You’ll find out what they are soon.
M pa vreman gen pwoje nan sans sa men map travay sou yon seri pwoje ki enteresan anpil nan moman an. Se gwo jefo map fe pou m pa pale. Antouka, n ap konnen pwoje sa yo tale konsa.
6- What is your hair regimen? Ki woutin ou gen pou cheve w?
My hair regimen is to condition a lot. I shampoo twice a month when I’m not wearing breads, and co-wash with conditioner other times. It’s important to retain moisture in the hair so I use different leave-ins and seal with natural oils. I’ve been loving Kreyol Essence’s Haitian castor oil and their Pomade Kreyol too.
Woutin mwen se pou m idrate cheve m anpil. M lave chevem ak chanpou defwa pa mwa le m pa gen alonj nan tet mwen, mwen lave yo ak rens apre sa. Li enpotan anpil pou cheve a kenbe idratasyon an se sak fe m itilize plizye losyon pou moun penyen (leave ins) epi mwen sele idratasyon an ak luil natirel. M vreman renmen luil maskreti Kreyol Essence lan ak tout Pomad Kreyol yo a.
7- What do you like most about being natural?
I love the freedom and versatility. I think it adds character to who I am. I feel stronger with my little ‘fro. I almost feel like I don’t need to say much with my hair in its natural state. It’s like what you see is what you get.
Mwen lib epi mwen vesatil. M gen plis pesonalite, m santi m gen plis jaret ak ti afro m. M santi m pa gen twop bagay pou di lem ak cheve m paske sa w we a tou di w sak egziste a.
Freedom & Versatility
8- A message to the existing, upcoming and potential natural hair community?
Become natural for you. Stay true to yourself, and love your hair. Don’t look at other people’s hair success stories, focus on your own. Every hair is different and requires different routines. Do your research and find out what works for you. You are beautiful and so is your hair. Stand tall with that afro, girl.
Retounen natirel pou tet pa w. Kle ak tet ou epi renmen cheve w. Pa gade istwa lot moun ak cheve yo, rete konsantre sou cheve pa w. Chak cheve diferan epi yo mande swen ak stil ki diferan. Fe rechech ou epi jwenn sa ki bon POUWOU. Ni wou, ni cheve w bel. Kenbe fyete w ak bel chevew!
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Paola! What a great spirit!