By Oreadea Treadwell | Sunday, September 10, 2023 | 6:00 PM ET
This article was originally published in the May/June 2023 print issue of Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine and Media.
It was a sunny day and we had time to delve into a good conversation. Ms. Dugas was so personable and down to earth. There was chit-chat and a few laughs. After having a great conversation it was extremely easy to move right into the interview.
OT: Congratulations on your accomplishments with being in the Guinness Book Of World Records for the world’s largest afro on a female.
AD: Thank you.
OT: Tell me a little bit about who Aevin Dugas is?
AD: Outspoken, but I know when to hold my tongue. People see me and they see big hair and big glasses. Although, I don’t always like to be seen or heard. Sometimes, I like to sit and just listen. I like to learn. I am very kind, but not to be run over. I have a bigger heart than what people think.
Since the age of 21, I have worked with people with developmental disabilities. Most people don't know this about me. I am very patient. I am also very giving, loving, and realistic. I do take up for myself, as well as anyone else.
I am a believer in standing up for what is right. Not long ago while going through some materials from a high school retreat; some students wrote about me as someone who stands up for what's right. I didn't realize they had done that.
To sum it up, I am a little bit of everything.
OT: How many Guinness Book of World Records have you set, and how did you feel?
AD: Three records. First in 2011, again in 2021 and the new measurements will be published in 2024. The first time I broke the record was the first time that it was ever done. The first time, I was excited. Unfortunately, so many people were not kind. Mean words were said. Some felt that I won for various reasons. The second time was more exciting. People saw that I went against someone and I won fair and square. The third time was exciting as well. Getting into the Guinness Book Of World Records afforded me an avenue to reach more people and little girls. It meant kids and little girls can see someone who looks like them.
Additionally, at the beginning of 2022, I lost a cousin and my grandmother. 2022 was a hard year. Each time was different for different reasons. Before the loss of my loved ones, I was speaking with them regularly. The third time, It was really special when I was informed of my breaking the record, because I did it for them. I am not going to do this forever. There are reasons why I do it.
OT: What do you love about being natural?
AD: Versatility, versatility versatility - I can go from A-to-Z with my natural hair. There are so many styles I can do with it. I don't do as many styles as when I first went natural. When I first went natural, I would do all types of styles. People would always ask, “How did you get your hair like that?” Often, my sister would help me. She would do the back and I would do the front. I am older and don't change my style as often.
About 24 years ago, I became natural and was always answering questions. At one time, I had a website dedicated to natural hair. I also like to represent those who are on the fence about going natural. Yes, I like to help provide information. A lot of times, ladies will tell me they are going to go natural. We will see each other at another time, and they actually went natural. That makes me happy. That's really number one for me. I am not against perms and alternative ways of styling your hair. For me, I asked myself, why am I permanently straightening my hair with chemicals. I can just get my grandma to press it. The first time I got my hair pressed, after I went natural, my grandma pressed it while sitting at the stove.
OT: What is your regimen?
AD: It is pretty simple - hot oil treatments at least every other week. I put on a plastic cap alone or under a head wrap. When I am ready, shampoo it a couple of times, followed by conditioner. If I want an extra, then go in with a deep conditioner. To give a little extra to my hair, before pressing, I deep condition it. It's not an all-day thing for me. Styling moose helps my hair to dry. A bonus is to use conditioner, water, and a little bit of olive oil. Shake it up in a spray bottle and spray it on your hair as a refresher. I would redo my afro puffs with it.
OT: If your hair had its own song what would be the title and genre of music?
AD: There would be a mix of genres like Outkast, Marvin Gaye, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gwen Stefani, and Jamiroquai. These are all the artists whose music goes to my soul. It is the type of music that would represent me the best.
People may think that I just like a certain thing, but no, I like a lot of different things.bit of classical. I took ballet when I was young. The title of the song will be - Aphrodisiac. It is not what you would first think. It is different feelings and grooves through music.
OT: What would you say to the little girl Aevin about her hair?
AD: I would tell little Aevin that her hair is absolutely perfect. Every kink and every coil is perfect. God would not have made it that way if it was not perfect. There are so many other things little Aevin could worry about. The last thing should be your hair, and how it naturally grows from your head. Your hair is absolutely perfect. Don't change a thing, but, style whenever you feel like it.
OT: What do you say to women and little girls about their relationship with their hair?
AD: Definitely have a healthy relationship with your hair. Love your hair in its natural form. If your confidence comes in a pack at the store (meaning bundles) you can't walk out of the house unless there are bundles, there is a problem. Don't say, “I just don’t like to do my hair.” Sometimes, I hear this and I think no, you have a problem with your hair, not your hairstyle. There is a difference. Learn to have a healthy relationship with your hair. Don't abuse your hair.
Years ago, I wrote a letter to my hair. When you think about the things we do to our hair. If hair were a person, it would not survive. Burning it, putting chemicals in it, breaking it off with certain styles. Certain natural styles will break my hair off if I did them. Don't go back to those styles. Styles that pull on your edges can cause traction alopecia. Learn to have a healthy relationship with your hair. I hope you know, your hair is beautiful.
If you use a perm that is your choice. I just hope that the natural way your texture grows is not something you want to hide. Enjoy and love every length. Watch how you abuse your hair. It's not always guaranteed to grow back.
OT: Where can people find you?
OT: Do you have any final words?
AD: I just want everybody to be happy with who they are. You're not going to be totally in love with everything about yourself. Your hair is one less thing you need to worry about. The natural texture of your hair is one less thing. I am trying to help people not to see natural hair as so tedious.
All of the things to do and not to do are overrated. If something works for you, keep going. Don't feel like you have to follow everything to be natural. You will buy things and do things that you don't need. You may sacrifice your hair. If butter works for your hair, use it.
About Aevin Dugas
Aevin Dugas, also known as the Guinness World Record Holder of the Largest Female Afro, is the creator and founder of Chemhairstry Hair Care. As an international influencer and rising entrepreneur, Aevin found self-love through her journey and passion for natural hair while sharing tips and hair care regimens online to her followers with her lighthearted, at-home treatments and tutorials.
As she now navigates bringing cruelty free, organic hair care products to your home, Aevin is on a mission to share her products with the world, for all textures while promoting self love, motivation and confidence...one strand at a time.
Oreadea Treadwell, author, poet, and entrepreneur, is the CEO and owner of When It's Natural, LLC .
Oreada is a contributing writer for Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine and Media.