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Rachel // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jun 21, 2010

Where do you live?
R:
I’m from Louisville, KY. I’m a student at the University of Louisville majoring in Communication and minoring in Pan-African Studies. I hope to one day write for a newspaper/magazine about issues involving racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender. I also want to work as a communication director at a community center for kids in underprivileged neighborhoods.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
R:
I chose to go natural because I missed the bigness of my hair. I was natural most of my life but chose to get a relaxer five years ago during my first year of school. I was the only girl in my dorm who was natural and the rest of the chicas didn’t understand that. So I caved and got a relaxer. Over time, my hair got shorter and shorter and flatter and flatter. 🙂

So in November 2008 I stopped getting relaxers. It’s been a great journey ever since. I transitioned wearing styles that resembled natural texture. I wore braid-outs, twist-outs, and rod sets. During the process I only straightened my hair for trimming.

Going natural was very empowering for me. I feel free now. I feel authentic. And I have also come to terms with my whole self. I am ok with who I am and the way I am, how I look. In fact I feel like my natural hair is the icing on the cake of my style. It’s my trademark now. Everyone who knows me always recognizes my hair first. I love that.

What’s your regimen?
R:
My regimen now is pretty much the same as the regimen I used while transitioning–because we all know that you should treat your hair as if it’s already completely natural while transitioning. During the winter I co-wash every two weeks and shampoo once a month. During the summer months, depending on how much I swim, I alternate between shampooing and co-washing once a week.

I use Herbal Essence Hello Hydration to wash and Oyin Honey Hemp conditioner as a deep conditioner before I wash. I always add extra virgin coconut oil to my deep conditioners and let them sit on my hair for up to an hour. After that I wash my hair. Then I put conditioner on it again and detangle, rinse, spray with Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla leave-in and twist or braid in sections adding Kinky Curly to each and shea butter on the ends. I usually try to keep my hair in the braids or twists all week and take them out on the weekends.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
R:
Protective styling is the most effect thing I do for my hair because my ends get so dry. For a while I wondered why my ends kept drying out. After I started doing protective styles, that wasn’t a problem for me.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
R:
You can find me on Facebook!! Rachel Neirene.

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Élida, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: style icon today is rachel, from louisville kentucky 🙂 http://bglhonline.com/2010/06/rachel/ #naturalhair […]

Kasandra
Kasandra
10 years ago

love her hair & style!

LaNeshe
10 years ago

I love her comment about missing the “bigness” of her hair. When I look at pics when I had my relaxer my hair is so FLAT. I don’t know how I ever liked that lol

Cam
Cam
10 years ago

A true inspiration! Your hair looks great, hoping mine will get that big.

Rachel Neirene
Rachel Neirene
10 years ago

Thanks so much for all the encouragement!!! @laNeshe–I do the same thing…and it makes me so mad that I used to care about what others thought of me…
Cam–it will!! just keep taking care of it and wear protective styles!! During the summer months your hair grows a lot…so just take care of it and see how much it grows!!!

Z
Z
10 years ago

i love your hair rachel! so fabulous 🙂
what kind of protective styles did you do when your hair was shorter?
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