Where do you live?
A: I’m located in the Mid-Atlantic region, specifically what we call the DMV-DC/MD/VA, but I rep the South all day long. That’s home. I’m a professor of English and Women’s Studies. I’m also a seasoned natural hair stylist and president of Entwine Couture Beauty, LLC my new company where we market hair care and styling products to the natural hair fashionista.
Why did you go natural?
A: I decided to go natural as a part of my quest to learn to love myself exactly the way God created me. I did the big chop a little over 17 years ago. It really has been a journey of huge proportions since I did it before it was even popular or cool. I actually lost male friends over my choice. It’s good that I’m naturally confident and don’t mind standing on my own.
I’ve learned many lessons about hair care through research and trial and error and I’m extremely sensitive to people’s self-esteem and identity issues regarding their hair. I’m a natural hair enthusiast. However, I’m not of the tree hugging variety although I am an ardent fan of the Earth and live a lifestyle that respects it. My hair is not an overt political statement either. I hate confinement. So I do not confine my hair. I wear it wet and coily, or flat-twisted, or two-strand twisted, or cornrowed, or twisted out, all depending on how I feel on a given day and the demands of that day.
What’s your regimen?
A: I use my own products for styling, Entwine Naturalle Couture. I created Entwine for many reasons. When I went natural in the early 1990s, there were very few hair care and styling options for women choosing to wear their hair naturally. Among the many conditioners, gels, pomades, and moisturizers with natural ingredients or with man-made technology, many would work fairly well for twist styling for a while, but most didn’t work as well to support the broad range of styles I enjoyed creating for myself and my clients.
I use ‘The Manipulator’ Creme Jelle Styler for my two-strand twists and my Creme de la Mold on my edges and to base my braids and flat twists. The Exotique Butter Crème Hydrator is my moisturizer of choice. For my conditioner, I use one of our conditioners that has not yet been released, and I use a daily oil regimen from an upcoming line of specialized hair oils. I’m always testing my own products on my hair and on the clients I service.
How do you retain length?
A: I do absolutely nothing that my hair doesn’t want to do. My growth and length are 50% genetic and 50% special attention to cleansing, conditioning, and protective styling. My hair tells me what it needs and wants to do, and I follow suit.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
A: Although I love color, I’ve learned that it’s not my friend. It requires a lot more moisture and attention than for which I sometimes have time. Also, I’ve learned that leaving any style in too long is absolutely not a good thing.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
A: I don’t comb it daily. In fact, I only use a comb for detangling and primarily keep my hair in protective styles.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: I can be found daily on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/entwinecouture giving naturalistas advice, support and insight on how to care for and style their natural hair. On the page, I am the ”Naturalle Hair Professor” helping women through their natural hair journey. I can also be found on YouTube on the Entwine Couture Channel where I have several styling and care videos and of course, you can visit our website at www.entwinecouture.com.