Where do you live?
S: I’m From Fresno, CA. I’m a testing center administrator and I’m applying to grad school next year!
Why did you go natural?
S: I’ve always had natural hair. I’ve never had a relaxer and I’ve never really wanted one. I get so many compliments on my natural hair, and so many MORE inquiries, mostly from black women. My mother wears her hair natural as well, so she just fixed my hair like she did hers when I was growing up. As an adult, I prefer it that way, so I’ve kept it.
What’s your regimen?
S: I just recently cut my large fro off.
days or so. I’d use old fashioned hair grease on my hair. You know the one… the green one, lol. Although it’s heavy and has petroleum in it, it worked VERY well in softening my hair, especially when it was still wet
from being washed. I’d also use Olive Oil hair lotion with the other product as well.
I plaited it every night, no exceptions (unless I was dog tired) and combed it out in the morning. It takes about 2 days for my hair to stretch to it’s full length after washing it, but I’d never blow dry it to get it straighter sooner, because it would leave my ends very dry and I just didn’t like how it left my hair feeling. Then every couple days, depending on how my hair was feeling, I’d oil it up with the green grease and that’s about it.
My new, shorter hair does not stretch, so it’s always in its shrunken state. So I wash it every week or so, use a leave in conditioner, and some green grease just on the day I wash it. I just wrap it at night, and every morning I use Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner. It works VERY well. That’s all I use now!
How do you retain length?
S: When I had length it was easy to retain. Just make sure you moisturize your hair well, without using too many products to weigh down the hair, and make sure to trim it when you start to feel the ends get a little rough. People think that trimming the hair is shortening it, but hair grows quickly, and it will grow back longer then when you cut if you take proper care of it.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
S: I used to wash my hair and blowdry it the same day to stretch it out. When I did that my hair would be so dry and damaged feeling. I hated the way it felt but I didn’t want to be walking around with “kinky hair”. This was in high school where I was the only person with natural hair, so I didn’t want to draw too much attention to myself. Now I NEVER blow dry my hair, and it ALWAYS feels soft and healthy. And I’ve learned to style it in it’s different stages of shrinkage and stretch.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
S: The most effective thing I do for my hair is let it air dry. I feel that’s the best method for natural hair, even more than dryer drying, which applies heat that is way too intense and strips hair of moisture, requiring the use of more products.
Anything else you want to add?
S: Learning to work with natural hair is the biggest lesson, especially coming from processed hair. But once you know what to do and you learn what products work best for your hair type, wearing your hair natural will be a wonderful experience. We were born with this hair; embracing it is embracing yourself. It’s an indescribable feeling.