Where do you live?
N: I am a Jersey girl, born and raised, who is a business analyst.
Why did you go natural?
N: I felt other people loved my hair more than I did. It was long and straight… but I hated it. I hated getting relaxers, blow dryers and curling irons. I hated trying to outsmart the fog and rain in an effort to not look like a troll doll when arriving at school… I usually was unsuccessful, my 10th grade class photo proves this.
After graduating high school in 1998 I found a photo in a hair magazine. The photo was of a woman with a short curly fro and I loved it. At the time i had no idea what my natural hair texture was like. While I was deciding what to do, I stopped getting touch-ups. I would wash my hair and let it air dry or sometimes roller set it. This went on for about 6 months or so, then I made an appointment. In one night, i went from having about bra-strap length hair to hair that barely reached the middle of my forehead. But what a surprise… I have naturally curly hair! I had no idea!
How would you describe your hair?
N: My hair is curly, I have thick strands. It’s sorta dense and somewhat porous.
What’s your regimen?
N: I like to keep it simple. It’s been the best and most cost effective route for me. I co-wash with Pantene (for curly hair) usually. While the conditioner is on my hair I detangle. Pat dry with a towel (never rub) then to style I usually use 3 products. First, I work a creme conditioner through my hair, usually an olive oil creme instead of a grease. Next, I finger style using Ampro Gel (the Clear Ice or Berry Ice versions). Ampro gel is the only gel I have used that does not flake or make my hair hard… I cannot see myself using any other product. When done with the gel will then throw a gloss on for extra shine. Right now I am using Fantasia Hair Polisher. All of the products I use are available at Walgreens, CVS or a Supermarket.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N: Finding the right products definitely has been trial and error. I have found some products are more drying than others. On top of that I used to lighten my hair and have definitely fried it a few times! There are way more resources now for natural hair girls than in 1998 but I managed to find my way!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N: I will tie my hair up on the nights after it has been washed to preserve the curls. I typically will co-wash once or twice a week unless there’s a special occasion. Also, really keeping my routine low maintenance and not fussing with my hair so much has allowed me to grow it longer than I ever thought possible.
Anything else you want to add?
N: I want for everyone to embrace their natural textures… I think the world would be a better place. 🙂