As a new addition to Crossfire Nation, I’ve spent a lot of time interviewing fighters and other amazing individuals, but I realized that many of the readers didn’t know much about me. So let’s correct that right now with a proper introduction…

 I am Supermodel Sonya. The nickname? I drove buses for the city of Chicago and I was fanatical about keeping up with my hair and makeup. I also did some television appearances.

That’s right.

Yours truly drove a bus for the Chicago Transit Authority. Perhaps some of you Chicago readers rode my bus one day. I was the little woman behind that big steering wheel that liked to go fast.

Supermodel Sonya

“L” is for Lupus.

Writing and reading are both passions of mine. Hair and makeup rank third. I think that we should all strive to look our best, even sometimes when you don’t feel like it.

I don’t always feel like it. That’s right! Your girl has a disease called Lupus. I have a strange-sounding disease that makes me do some downright strange things, like wear gloves in the house, even when the weather is warm, roll around in a wheelchair because I can’t walk that well, and wear a face mask when I go outside because I’m currently on chemotherapy to treat my disease.

Those are the basics. Here is how I got started in hair care.

“I never thought my hair could grow until I realized two things; I was human and all human hair grows.”

Supermodel Sonya

This is where I started off. Not bald but all uneven and not doing well.

That may sound strange coming from anyone to have to be reminded of their humanity, but some misinformation in our communities tend to stick like glue.

One is that black hair doesn’t grow.

I resigned myself to this “fact” and wore weaves religiously. While doing this, it destroyed my own hair in the process. I was never bald, but parts of my hair had clearly suffered due to wearing weaves with glue. I found a website one day full of beautiful black women with hair down their backs! I thought I had died and went straight to hair heaven! But no, these women looked like me and had long hair. So what did they have that I didn’t? Mixed ancestry? Super-strong hair vitamins?

No.

Supermodel Sonya

Wearing my face mask while flat ironing my hair.

They were just like me. Black women grow hair like everyone else. We can have a hard time retaining length due to many factors, one being our curly hair texture. Of course, my hair was growing, but as it grew it was breaking off. So it just looked as if my hair was never growing.

I began to look into wearing hair weaves and wigs to combat this. I figured that what we call protective styling would save my hair. And boy did it!

That year I went from neck length to shoulder length. I’ve had some struggles with my hair over the years still. I had to learn what my hair liked and didn’t like. I gained and lost inches in the process. But now, my hair is longer than it has ever been in my life. Women now come up to me and accuse me of wearing a weave when I’m not. My hair is thankfully down my back and I haven’t lost much during the chemo process.

Supermodel Sonya

 

How do I maintain my hair as a sick person? It’s not easy. I don’t go out much but when I do, I wear lace front wigs. That’s the perfect solution for me as my hair rests and grows out underneath. Three times a year, I wear my hair. I straighten it to see how long it is and style it in various ways.

I’m getting married (yay) in 2017 and I haven’t decided if I’m going to style my hair for the wedding or will I just wear a lacefront wig? Choices! But that’s a blessing. To have the choice because I stopped and finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my hair.

Supermodel Sonya

This is where my hair stands today. It took time, tears, and tenacity to get where I am today. I always wanted a healthy head of hair and now I’m finally seeing results. I’m very grateful to the ladies that showed me how to take care of my hair. I started a blog nine years ago to help other women and it’s still going strong. I think it’s very important to share information with others so that they too can get the knowledge that they need.

I’m at a great place in life doing everything I’ve wanted to do and achieving goals despite so many setbacks. I am truly lucky.

Stay tuned, Crossfire Nation, in the new year for more interviews with your favorite up-and-coming fighters and other interesting people!

In the meantime, I also keep up my own hair care blog, which focuses on – you guessed it – hair care.

Good to meet you.

@supermodelsonya