RMichelle has been featured as a Monday style icon before, and I noticed on Fotki that she had recently intensified her regimen. Since July 1, 2008 she’s been on a ‘no sulfate, no silicone, no mineral oil, no petroleum or drying alcohol’ regimen, and I can definitely see the difference in the shine, thickness and length of her hair!
I asked her if she’d discuss her regimen, and she agreed.
BGLH: where are you from?
RMICHELLE: Currently, I live in NY and it just recently got warm outside 😀 lol I’m so excited; I’ve been waiting for this!
BGLH: why did you make the decision to go natural, and when did you do it?
RMICHELLE: I decided to grow out my natural hair in 2007…here’s the story:
I was in college and in a different state from my beautician (for whom I used to work). So, because I worked for her, I never had to pay to get my hair done. I never relaxed my hair while I was away from home for 2 reasons; (1) I refused to pay anyone because I had grown accustomed to free services LOL and (2) I was leery about allowing someone other than my beautician relax my hair. On the rare occasions that I would visit home I would get my hair relaxed by my beautician…I was going months without touch ups. By the end of my college career I thought “why don’t I just grow out my relaxer and do a press & curl instead?” I was using my Chi to get me through the months of stretching anyway so I figured I might as well skip the chemical process altogether and if I couldn’t manage my natural hair I’d just relax again *shrug*. That’s all there is to it…turns out I can manage LOL… I don’t think it took long for my hair to grow. I was just patient and waited.
BGLH: what products/ingredients do you use?
RMICHELLE: I stick with products that don’t have petroleum, mineral oil, drying alcohols, cones or sulfates. I find that my hair maintains more moisture by avoiding those ingredients. L says~ Here is a list of RMichelle’s products (taken from her fotki page.)
cowash conditioner: nature’s gate
deep conditioner: aubrey organics
leave in: giovanni direct
moisturizer: carol’s daughter healthy hair butter
“shampoo”: dr. bronners liquid castile soap
BGLH: what mistakes have you made in your natural journey that you’ve learned from?
RMICHELLE: Waiting too long to detangle my hair!! Omgness, I was reading the details of others’ routines and a lot of people wrote that they only detangled their hair once or twice a month. Being that I loathed detangling in the beginning of my natural hair experience I thought to myself, “Yes! That’s what im gonna do too” I made the silly mistake of doing what worked for others and waited 3 weeks before detangling my hair and it took me forever and a day to get through it. Never again. I detangle once a week now lol.
BGLH: could you describe your regimen?
RMICHELLE: My routine is quite simple, this is what I do:
• Detangle hair
• Cleanse hair (castile soap or co-wash)
• Moisturize hair
• Air dry/style
I do my hair in sections no matter what I’m doing. Washing, detangling, styling etc.; I always part my hair into at least 4 sections.
BGLH: how does your hair work for your life (as a mom/student/professional/etc,etc)?
RMICHELLE: My hair does what I want it to do…yeah…I know there are a lot of naturals who insist on letting their hair do what it want but…I run thisallupinhere. As an up and coming professional I like for my hair to be neat (no funky fros for me). I like puffs, twists, buns, coils and occasional straight styles.
BGLH: where do you get style inspiration from?
RMICHELLE: I never know what to do with my hair. I get inspiration from everywhere (public, magazines, fotkis etc.); if I see it and I like it I’ll try it.
BGLH: what’s the best thing about being natural?
RMICHELLE: I’d have to say the versatility is my favorite thing.
BGLH: anything else you want to add?
RMICHELLE: Hair politics are for those who need more to do…it’s hair, enjoy it.
I always love having RMichelle on BGLH. Thanks girl!! For more of RMichelle check out her fotki page. Also, BGLH reader Jai informed me that Tyra Banks will be discussing the question “What is good hair?” on her show Tuesday, May 12. Sounds like it could be interesting…
***update @ 10:24 a.m. … also, we have a great “sunday retrospective” discussion going on about newbies’ (new naturals) reactions to the online and real world natural hair community. newbies please weigh in!***