I love how Melanie’s college friends are coming together and supporting each other in the natural journey! They’re giving each other hair cuts and everything!!
M: I’m 19 years young, born in the DMV, raised in Charm City–Baltimore County to be exact! Currently I am a third year Fashion Merchandising major in the city of Brotherly Love at Philadelphia University 🙂 I’ve fallen in love with the city of Philadelphia, flaws and all
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
M: I have been going to my hair dresser since I was in the 8th grade (about 12 or 13 years old), going away to college in another state made me realize how much I depended on her and how attached to her I have become. Instead of shopping around for a new hair stylist in Philly, I decided to try getting no perms for 6 months of my freshman year. I gave up in May of 2009 because I was not as educated about natural hair as I am now. Sophomore year came and my roommate Jasmine, who was also BGLH’s first Twitter icon, introduced me to natural hair blogs (BGLH being the first) and from then on I’ve become obsessed with natural hair. Honestly without Jasmine’s encouragement, obsession with large extravagant curly bushes, and team natural attitude I don’t believe I could have made it this far.
How did you transition into natural hair?
M: My last encounter with the “creamy crack” was in May of 2009 upon completion of my first year of college. I have been transitioning for a little over a year now and still have some permed hair to get rid of in the near future. Transitioning has been such a long journey! I went from being unaware about what products to use on my hair to becoming the ultimate product junkie, well maybe not ultimate but I’m almost there!
Never once did I consider doing a big chop because of the length of my hair, but I was getting routine trims from a girl that lived in my dorm. She always cut a group of us natural/transitioning girls’ hair during what she called “the growing moon.” Boy did all of our hair grow! I also invested in a Target brand gummy multi-vitamin and fish oil pills to aid hair growth. I think that the multi-vitamin did wonders because I took two daily for about 3 months, I’m currently still analyzing results from the Fish Oil pills; they seem to be helping in other areas though, people cant help but notice how “thick” I’ve gotten, lol.
Going natural has affected me in so many great ways! I’ve just recently started reading the ingredients to products more often, I’d prefer not to use anything harmful in my hair! My college friends have also been affected; all of us girls have decided to join team natural (Rachelle, Nicole, Janai, Taryne, Briahnna, and Althea)
What’s your regimen?
M: I shampoo with Organix Teatree Mint Shampoo then rinse with apple cider vinegar. I then condition and detangle with V05 Moisture milks (Strawberries & Cream) in the shower. I make sure to condition twice each week.
I deep condition with Organics Hair Mayo and extra virgin olive oil from the kitchen, put a plastic cap on and wrap my hair while it’s still in the plastic cap under a steaming hot hair towel. I leave that on my head for 30-45 mins.
I wash my deep conditioner out and then section my hair into four sections and apply either Palmer’s Hair Milk or Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream. I then shingle my Goddess Curl Gel & Creme Brule’ cream by Curls for Target for curl definition. Although lately, I have been using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie instead and I lovvvvvve it 🙂 I air dry for about 3 hrs and then I sometimes do 10 minutess of diffusing with the blow dryer (I apply Biosilk Silk Therapy to protect my hair from heat damage) and just let the rest air dry. I only diffuse when I’m in a rush, but 85% of the time I air dry.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
M: The biggest mistake I’ve made is applying way too much oil. After getting the front of my hair bleached this summer I felt the need to put excessive amounts of oil in my hair in order to prevent breakage. Before this summer I was a virgin to any bleach or color in my hair, the most I ever did to my mane were rinses. I’ve now learned that keeping your hair moisturized does not require 1000 different types of oils at once, my skin was suffering severely.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
M: The most effective thing I do for my hair is keeping it moisturized, deep conditioned and detangled. Palmer’s Hair Milk, EVOO, Organics Hair Mayo, & Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm all take care of that for me.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M: Follow me on Twitter, @theLovegirlllll ! Dont be shy, I’ll talk to anyone. I also have a Tumblr titled “The Love Below,” ENJOY! http://lovebelow.tumblr.com/
Anything else you want to add?
M: I’ve noticed that so many African American men value straight hair and long weaves more than they should but the ones that appreciate my curls are the true keepers in my eyes 🙂 I only know one male that likes my curly hair over my straight hair, I really value the fact that he still finds me beautiful au naturale in a society that ignorantly pairs beauty with long flowing straight hair as if kinks, coils, and curls aren’t just as amazing!