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Sondi // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Aug 26, 2010

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.

It was probably a good 10 inches or so all around my head, like a halo. When it was long my regimen was very different than it is now with short hair. I’d wash it every 10
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.

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Shones
10 years ago

What a lovely gal. Your hair is so plush! Um, I must admit, this could convert me to grease *blushing sheepishly*

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
10 years ago

That last pic is soooo Billie Holiday
I LOVE IT!

FurryCoconut
FurryCoconut
10 years ago

could there be a tutorial on the first style?

Sue
Sue
10 years ago

I am not surprised that she can maintain healthy hair by using “grease”. Since she does not blowdry the hair when wet, it does not lose its moisture and all the grease does is seal this in. She also seems to treat the hair gently which obviously helps. I’m still glad that we now have access to all these natural oils and butters. Some petroleum based products may work for some while causing itchy scalp in others. I have had this experience and I’m sure others can relate.I think one advantage of using natural butters/oils is that you limit the… Read more »

At.Ease
At.Ease
9 years ago
Reply to  Sue

Mmhmm!

gigi
10 years ago

WOOO WHoo Go Shondi. I’m from Fresno too.

I love letting my hair air dry. I feel like it stays healthy like that.

TashaB
10 years ago

Yes, I’m interested in a tutorial for the first style too!

BrownSugahChild
10 years ago

I love the first pic too!!!! Green grease? are you referring to Ultra Sheen? if so i’m guilty of using this old school product myself especially when i’m in a rush to get out the door and i don’t have time to wash, dc, and detangle!!! ultra sheen (green grease), or blue majic, a good hair brush, head band and my lovely fingers to achieve the ultimate afro puff, and VOILA! out the door!!!!
BTW you are so beautiful!!!!! i’m lovin the short do on you!!

MP
MP
10 years ago

While everyone wants a tutorial on the first style, I want one on the second! Or at least more photos of the second ;D

BF
BF
10 years ago

I looooove the second style! Please do a tutorial! Thanks!

lee
lee
10 years ago

I live close to Fresno! Can you recommend any salons for a trim or cut? My hair is very damaged. Thanks!

Andrea T
Andrea T
10 years ago

Why is everyone surprised that some people have nice hair from using old school products? I hope you do address it. My mom used ultra sheen on us and I used it for years and years and had good results(hair was long and thick and like she said, flattened/straightened out nicely after a couple of days post wash and application). I get that nowadays there is a big emphasis on natural oils, and they can be nice, but it’s not like no one had long and healthy hair using the old stuff. Everyone is different…so why is everyone so surprised?… Read more »

v.c.
v.c.
10 years ago

@ Andrea- I agree with you completely. Why is it surprising? I’m all for the natural-oils and natural hair products, don’t get me wrong, but I’m getting tired of people acting like your hair is going to fall out if you use products that have things like petroleum, mineral oil, etc. in the product, as if its the shocker of the century that people can have healthy hair and maintain it from basically the “bad” products. I think everyone focuses so much on being against the “old fashioned” products that they forget that everyone is different, not all of us… Read more »

At.Ease
At.Ease
9 years ago
Reply to  v.c.

I think maybe some people forget that there was healthy natural hair before blogs,forums, and YouTube. While natural hair IS gaining popularity people shouldn’t act like it’s never been done before haha. “Traditional” methods like threading and cornrows etc, with little manipulation prob led to good growth, that what gave me long hair when I was a child (before relaxer damage *sigh*). Lol people shouldn’t tell you with that much authority what will happen to your hair when using a certain product. I think it might be an obsession or something that will probably peter off. From what I have been… Read more »

Ivy
Ivy
10 years ago

v.c. and Andrea, I totally agree!

My husband looks at me like I’m crazy because I put COOKING OIL (yes, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, etc…all of those are cooking oils) on my head. And I feel like a fool sometimes, especially when I’m waiting for their “wonder powers” to activate, and my hair feels not so especially different from before the application.

I have some good ole’ green grease! I’m going back to that after I take out my weave!

At.Ease
At.Ease
9 years ago
Reply to  Ivy

I have never heard of shea butter as a cooking oil. My mum always said they used it for soap and skin growing up. That’s interesting. And coconut oil or any oil for that matter doesn’t give results to everyone. People are saying jojoba oil is chemically similar to sebum but even then I bet the results aren’t the same all across the board. Everyone just need to do what works best for them…

BrownSugahChild
10 years ago

Thanks ladies i don’t feel so bad about my ultra sheen, Liv, blue majic and royal crown anymore!!!! LMAO!!!
It’s a recession and i can’t always get to Sephora for my Ojon and CD!!!

Ericka
Ericka
10 years ago

I really want to than you ladies and Shondi for their insight. This is my 2nd time doing a b/c and going natural July 2010. The first time May 2008, I was so frustrated about the money that I was spending ( not having done research prior to my b/c on products) that didnt work that I permed a year later. This time I did/doing research and still was feeling frustrated from the overload of information on all the things that I should not use, but then looking at the cost of all the things that were “better,more natural” for… Read more »

Andrea T
Andrea T
10 years ago

Ivy and v.c., thanks for the co-sign. I’ll also add that my mom combed our hair twice every day…once to do it before school and again (and it would be brushed as well) to braid it for us to go to bed. Again, this idea that only one thing can work (never combing your hair, never shampooing your hair, never using hair grease, wrapping it in saran wrap or bags for hours) is really ridiculous. we are such a diverse people and even if my hair looks like yours it may not respond like yours to different products. I hate… Read more »

At.Ease
At.Ease
9 years ago
Reply to  Andrea T

+1

At.Ease
At.Ease
9 years ago
Reply to  Andrea T

People just need facts about hair and the confidence that they should do what works best for them. I thought this article was good because she looks at one so called “bad” ingredient and compares it to the “miracle” natural ingredient and uses science to demonstrate that both work well depending on what you want:

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/mineral-oil-versus-coconut-oil-which-is-better

P.S. Not going to lie though I like that many “natural” ingredients can be more environmentally friendly. That’s just me.

Mesh
Mesh
10 years ago

@Erica- I have Sta-Sof-Fro. That is a great product. For me it works better than the vegetable glycerin mixes from Youtube. I do agree with everybody about spending to much time and money on “all natural products.” I’m learning that oils and shea butter does nothing for me, so I’m going to try the old school grease when those containers are empty. I still use sulfate shampoo because that works for me. Hecks, I like the Organic Root Stimulator line… (i’m rambling)… But yeah, I hate to spend $200 on products just because it’s natural. I rather spend $8 on… Read more »

Ericka
Ericka
10 years ago

Andrea what a great analogy about the trade off’s, so very true. Ive actually started to think that natural hair just could not be this hard to maintain. I remember for a while I was carrying a waterbottle to work with water, olive oil and a little Suave conditioner to “spritz” my dry as ever hair during the day. I found that even though alot of naturals say that water is there best friend, when I did it after it dried my hair was super dry and brittle. That regimen just does not work for me. Again a few squirts… Read more »

At.Ease
At.Ease
9 years ago
Reply to  Ericka

In my experience it water is good, but it doesn’t matter how much water I use my hair will still be dry unless I seal in the water with some sort of heavier product (shea, coconut, Dax, etc).

MonikaB
MonikaB
10 years ago

Very good post and thanks, Sondi, for sharing your beautiful hair styles and your style tips. Props to your mother for encouraging you to be your natural self!

Even with the push for additive-free products, I still use the ‘green grease’/Ultra Sheen: it makes my hair softer after I’ve shampooed and conditioned. I’d prefer to use the ‘real green grease’: QUEEN. I’ve been told that I’m ‘Old School’ for even asking for it in stores that no longer carry it.

Sondi
Sondi
10 years ago

Hey guys! Thank you so much for reading my interview! And thanks even more for the great comments! I appreciate all of them, and I’m glad there’s lots of beautiful black women out there who support each other and give one another tips!

Thank you again!

Saundra

Meggy
Meggy
10 years ago

Hi Sondi, do have a website or blog?

Sondi
Sondi
10 years ago

@Meggy: No I don’t. Do you think I should? I never thought about it! I just have Facebook.

Meggy
Meggy
10 years ago

Hi thanks for your reply. Well ur routine seems real simple, and i really dont wanna make a lot of fuss with my hair either. So i was wondering if u had a blog or website so i could review ur routine more closely and copy it :-).

Farisa
Farisa
10 years ago

Sondi can u please please make a Fotki Album? I just love ur hair, and how simple ur hair routine is. I dont wanna become a product junki and i just love how simple ur routine is.

Sondi
Sondi
10 years ago

@ Farisa. I don’t really want to make an album, but I can answer any questions you may have about your hair.

Just in case you were wondering tho, I have 4b hair. But since I’ve always had natural hair, I just know how to work with it easily.

But definitely if you have any questions, just ask. And I’ll think about making an album, but I’m applying to grad sdchool and I have 2 jobs, so I don’t really have time right now. Lol. Hope to hear from you soon!

Farisa
Farisa
10 years ago

Ok thanks for ur reply. Should i ask my questions on this blog or do u have an email adress i can send my questions to?

Sondi
Sondi
10 years ago

Oh yeah. You can email me at: taikochk21@yahoo.com That’s my email address. I’ll respond to any questions you may have there. i look forward to hearing from you soon! Happy hair days!

trackback
8 years ago

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