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Nzingha // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jul 13, 2010

“It’s funny how something as simple as your hair can really affect your self. It’s all connected y’all!”

Where do you live?
N:
I live in Dallas, TX and I work in youth development. I rep Texas, with a lot of California love sprinkled in there.

Why did you go natural?
N:
I went back and forth for about 5 years. I would let my hair grow out thinking I would cut the relaxed ends off once it was long enough and then I would get frustrated with the half permed /half natural phase and just relax it. Not so much patience with my hair then. Then, after going through a bit of life’s rough spots, which led to an abundance of self revelations, I decided I needed to let go of all the extra and get back to my natural state, both inside and out. So, in May 2007, I walked into a random hair salon in Oakland, CA and let 19 inches of relaxed hair go. Talk about shock.

Having longer hair my whole life, the first thing that I had to do was learn how to own my new hair. I was so uncomfortable at the very beginning. I was living in San Francisco at the time and it was one of the best places I could be during that process because there are so many beautiful sistas rockin’ their natural in so many beautiful ways. Being from the South, I didn’t grow up seeing that and so it was encouraging/uplifting/empowering. It’s funny how something as simple as your hair can really affect your self. It’s all connected y’all!

What’s your regimen?
N:
Ha. As I’m sure we all know, finding the right regimen is one thing this week and another thing the next. Right now it’s about 100 degrees in TX on any given day so my hair gets extremely dry. I tend to rock the double strand twist most of the time. I wash with KeraCare Hydrating Shampoo and deep condition with Nexxus Humecress Conditioner or Oyin Handmade’s Honey-Hemp Condition. Then I put in Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner.

When I start twisting, I use Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme. This lasts about 2 weeks, then I take my twists out, rock that for another week and then wash and start over again. I moisturize daily with Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries (LOVE this stuff!!) and Miss jessie’s Baby Buttercreme.

When I want to wear my hair free flowing, I do the same shampoo and conditioner and then use a product called SET (this is like hair crack for me, seriously.) When I wear my hair out I wash every 4–5 days.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N:
Not really knowing my hair and not having a relationship with it. My hair is a pretty even mix of my dad’s Pakistani genes and my mom’s African genes and it’s finicky. I’d been reading a lot about oils for your hair and I decided to start adding it to my regimen, different mixes of coconut, jojoba, almond, extra virgin olive oil, along with shea butter, etd. When I trimmed my ends, I lost about an inch and a half of hair, which is not usually the case.

Having done all this stuff to my hair, I didn’t get it. So, I started paying more attention and I found that my hair doesn’t really like a lot of oil. It wasn’t penetrating my hair nor was it really sealing in moisture. It was just sitting on my hair until it rubbed off on something and then I was left with dry hair and split ends. Now what my hair reeeeeeally likes is water. So now I do a hot oil treatment about once a month and then I make sure to use water-based moisturizers that have just a little bit of oil in them.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N:
Letting it tell me what it wants instead of trying to tell it what I want 😉

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N:
Yes, but unfortunately its not about hair, just random comings and goings: http://nkijsa.blogspot.com/

Anything else you want to add?
N:
For anyone thinking about going natural but not sure, JUST DO IT! You’ll be glad you did. And you can always relax it again if you really want too. Peace.

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cassadie
10 years ago

love that last shot! super cute! and I had the same experience with learning that oils just weren’t for me (even though everyone else swears by them!)

Dawn
Dawn
10 years ago

VERY GOOD read! So fun! Oils work for me, but it is great that you said it does not work for you. Sometimes we follow too many suggestions to the T only to find out it can be the demise to our hair. Everyone says spraying water is awesome for your hair, but that did not work out for me for some strange reason — why? Don’t even care, cuz it did not work… I implemented water in another fashion, and I moved on. It is not rocket surgery 🙂 Anyway — your hur looks purdy, healthy and sprangy! NICE! 19 inches!?!?!? Wow!… Read more »

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephanie Marsh. Stephanie Marsh said: RT @bglhonline: The lovely Nzingha, repping Texas http://bglhonline.com/2010/07/nzingha/ #naturalhair*yay DFW natural* […]

Shones
10 years ago

I third the sentiment regarding oil. I tried to love it, because I saw how many people do well with the various natural oils (jojoba, olive, grape seed, coconut). I do just so-so with coconut oil. I fare much better with butters, water-based products, and moisturizing leave-ins.

Shones
10 years ago

Oh! I forgot to say, Nzingha, that last pic is so cute. Your hair looks so fluffy and lively. It’s fabu! I grew up in TX. Hook ’em Horns.

Brandi
10 years ago

I don’t like loads of oil in my hair…it irritates my skin and makes me feel like my hair needs a wash…weird, I know. I am learning super slowly what my hair wants, so far it responds better to a healthy dose of conditioner more so than oil.

Allison
10 years ago

Loving this! I think the best think about being a natural gyal is the connection we feel to our hair, caring for it, nourishing it, loving it–and that can’t help but bleed into ourselves. I’m not sure if other folks feel this. It’s all connected ya’ll! Amen!

lina40
10 years ago

loving all the hair pics! Yes, I too have a finicky love-hate relationship with oils… certain ones work and others dont. Butters, on the other hand, never seem to fail me. And applying butters to damp hair is becoming more and more of a requirement now than ever before. Blessings! I enjoyed this profile 🙂

Jada07
Jada07
10 years ago

Love your hair! I think we are hair twins.:-) So of course I looked up SET (being the PJ that I am!) and found the site but could not find any info on the ingredients. Would you mind telling us what the ingredients are?

thelady
thelady
10 years ago

love your hair, part of going natural is learning that we all have different hair and finding what works for you

Bianca
Bianca
10 years ago

OMGGG she is my hair twin!

nzingha
nzingha
10 years ago

thank you everyone for your kind words! it has been, and continues to be, a beautiful and fun journey! jada07: SET is the best styling product i’ve used so far for wearing my hair down and free flowing. (see the first pic on the beach. i had just washed my hair and put the SET in it the day before.) it’s a setting lotion in a foam form that saturates my hair with moisture, makes my curls extra juicy lookin’ and doesn’t cause as much shrinkage. (i loose about half my length to shrinkage with most products.) the best part… Read more »

Dee
Dee
10 years ago

Hey there-
I live in Dallas too!!! lol.
Anyways- Your hair looks super nice! luv it! It looks so moisturized and shiny.…
I will definitely try and keep my hair protectives styles…
Keep it up

LBell
LBell
10 years ago

Here’s the Web site for the SET line of products:

http://www.hairplayproducts.com/

It seems it’s only available through the one hair salon. And like most salon products, it’s not cheap…

Nzingha, which version of SET do you use: light, medium, or extra?

nzingha
nzingha
10 years ago

yes, it’s only available there because it was acutally made by the owner of hairplay, fritz. he’s goooood. and he deals specifically with natural hair. i saturate with the medium and then do a quick gloss over with the extra. my hair can get BIG. and yes, it’s not cheap, $19.50/bottle i believe, but for me it’s worth it if i can afford the luxury because nothing does me better. so far. when i can’t afford to buy that, i use the honey hemp conditioner by oyinhandmade. it won’t hold my hair like i like, but it super moisturizing, makes my… Read more »

Kasandra
Kasandra
10 years ago

LOVE heer fro in the pictures!

Dana
Dana
10 years ago

do you use the SET with a leave in underneath?

nzingha
nzingha
10 years ago

hi dana! if i feel i need the extra moisture, then i do. but my hair doesn’t feel slighted if i don’t 😉

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