Where do you live?
N: I currently live in Manhattan, New York. I rep New Rochelle NY, which is like 30 minutes from NYC. I’m a sophomore at the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College.
Why did you go natural?
N: My mom has been natural for many years and heavily influenced my decision to go natural. I had pretty decent hair length while my hair was permed, but I was afraid my hair would eventually become scraggly and thin. I had always wanted really long hair, like past bra strap length, and it seemed like the best way to achieve that would be to cut out the chemicals.
My sophomore year of high school (I’m approaching my 4 years anniversary, yay!) I stopped using the creamy crack. I just went cold turkey. For a few months I did a wash and go sort of wavy look, and when my roots began to get too thick, I just rocked twists until I was ready to chop off the permed ends.
Going natural has been one of the best decisions in my life. By the end of high school I became known as that chick with “the hair.” No one else was really rocking natural hair, or if they were it was always pressed or in braids. I pretty much thrive on twist outs lol.
It’s funny when I first went natural I got a mixture of negative and positive comments. Now I can’t remember the last time someone said anything negative to me about my hair. All I can hope is that going natural hasn’t only improved my confidence, but also the female black community. I want black girls to see me and feel like hey, I could wear my hair natural too.
What’s your regimen?
N: Oh man, regimen. I never really had a regimen but since looking at this blog I’m trying to start one. For the past two months and hopefully deep into the future, I’ve been washing my hair about every two weeks with Shea Moisture ( you can find this at Target!) shampoo. Generally after every wash I condition with whatever conditioner I have around, which is often Kinky Curly.
Once a month I deep condition; I usually just wear a shower cap and let the conditioner soak in for an hour or two. I used to twist my hair religiously every night before bed, and wear it out in the morning, but now I twist it a few times (like 2 to 3) a week. Right now I’m using Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Souffle or their style milk. If I run out of that I twist with avocado oil or jojoba oil or whatever is around really. My hair seems to twist out no matter what I use, I guess because it’s so used to it, lol.
How do you retain length?
N: I’m not even sure. I guess keeping my hair moisturized helps it to grow. I have never really had a problem obtaining length, but right now I’m really trying to focus on making my hair more healthy.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N: I’m still trying to recover from my trimming problems. No one really told me that trimming is still important when you’re natural, so it took me like 2 years to realize I needed to trim my hair, lol. I’m still trying to trim more regularly to cut down on split ends and single stranded knots and get rid of scragglies. My hair seems to grow fast and my every-six-months occasional trim really isn’t cutting it anymore. Also not using products that cause so much build up is an important lesson I have learned.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N: I think my hair loves to be twisted. I’ve read that some people think that leaving your hair alone can be better. My hair is so extremely dense and quick to dry out, that twisting is the best way to infuse moisture into it. Since I really don’t have the time, at the moment, to wash my hair more frequently, I think my hair needs to be twisted to help with necessary shedding.