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Monique // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Dec 7, 2010

Where do you live?
M
: I live in Philadelphia and work as an engineer.

Why did you go natural?
M
: I went natural in 2003 as a senior in high school.  I was very active in sports and could not deal with getting my hair pressed anymore.  Additionally, relaxers and braids were thinning my edges.  So, I cut most of it and got a texturizer at first (through the coaxing of the stylist). I hated it and cut it all off to be fully natural in 2004.  Fast forward past a lot of mistakes and several big chops to 2008, when I knew two things: #1. I wanted long hair and #2. I wanted to be natural. This led me to my fourth BC in 2008 and I started locking my hair as I thought this was the only way for me to meet my goals.  In May of 2009 I found BGLH and realized that black women with my texture can grow long hair without locks.  Sera was featured on BGLH and she was my proof of this and my inspiration.  I combed out my locks literally days after finding the site and devoted myself to growing a healthy head of hair. My full hair story is quite long to type out (think 5 years of a STRUGGLE)! I posted a summary video about it on YouTube:

Being natural allows me to live the balanced, healthy lifestyle that I like to live without having to worry about looking crazy. No longer will I postpone a workout for hair! Now I can be fit and cute!

How would you describe your hair?
M:
My hair is very coarse and kinky, there is no coil/curl pattern. It is naturally dry — which is ok.

What’s your regimen?
M:
I wash my hair once a week, steps are outlined below
Step 1#: Apply Aubrey’s Organic Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner to dry hair.  Leave on hair for at least 15 minutes.
Step #2: Rinse out conditioner and section hair into 6 sections, twisting each section and clipping it to separate it.
Step #3: Un-twist one section and apply J.R. Liggett Shampoo Bar — rub bar directly on to hair moving from root to end.  Use pads of fingers to wash roots.  Pat hair to clean.
Step #4: Apply Earthly Delight Conditioner on top of shampoo’d hair.  Saturate hair with conditioner. Separate that section into 2 sections. Take one section, finger comb to detangle, then detangle hair using Denman brush. Spritz hair with water if a section is dry.
Step #5: Re-twist section and clip away.  Repeat steps 3–5 for remaining sections.
Step #6: Rinse hair well, apply moisturizer of choice. Moisturizer = aloe vera/shea butter mix or castor oil/shea butter mix.

The entire process takes me about 45 minutes. I also apply shea butter and/or castor oil to my hair throughout the week.  I’m still searching for a product that moisturizes my hair well — without mixing 20 million things myself.  I trim my hair quarterly or as needed.

What mistakes have you made that you’ve learned from?
M
: I’ve made so many mistakes, lol.  I’ve done everything from color to going back to a relaxer, heat damage — you name it!  My top mistakes would definitely include: Heat damage, Hand-in-Hair Syndrome (HiHS) and trying to define my curls. My hair is VERY COARSE, thus a lot of heat is necessary to get it straight.  I’ve suffered from heat damage 3 times. I’ve decided to eliminate heat styling from my regimen for now. I just think it will only stifle me from reaching my goals.  Another mistake I made was having really bad HiHS — it was really bad in college. I’m much better now, but I still keep my hair pinned away to avoid it.  Finally, when the whole “natural is hot” thing started taking off, I realized that black people had CURLY hair — originally I thought everyone’s hair was cottony like mine.  When I saw “non-mixed” black women with curls I thought getting ones hair to curl was a matter of a process. I bought Kinky Curly several times, each time leading to non-curly hair, #FAIL. LOL.  It was my ignorance about our diversity that led me to think this, I’m sticking to my cottony hair now.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
M
: Exercise patience and acceptance.  I have friends that went natural after me and have longer hair than me now, I have friends that can straighten their hair and still bounce back to healthy curls, I have friends that can do wash-n-gos…and the list goes on.  I have come to realize that my hair is different from most of my friends and that it can’t do the same things, which is OK. My hair doesn’t hang down — period — and that’s OK. My hair shrinks a lot, and that’s OK too.  Accepting my hair for what it IS and not what I may want it to be has been the most healing thing in my entire journey.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M
: YES, catch me at http://sofullsista.blogspot.com.  It’s a lifestyle blog featuring healthy food, my personal style, and my hair!  I have been focused on the style portion recently, but I still have plenty of throwback videos and posts featuring styling options for short/medium length 4b hair.

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freeyourheart
9 years ago

i loved this post. a) for showing a different texture of hair b) for her answer to the best/most effective thing she does for her hair. we all need this reminder, sometimes.

http://msjanelle.blogspot.com

ElectricFeel
ElectricFeel
9 years ago

I love this part : “Exercise patience and ACCEPTANCE”

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

You and your hair are stunning !

b.
b.
9 years ago

Monique, you hair is FABULOUS and I love your responses. Thanks BGLH for featuring her; this particular spotlight strikes a chord with me. I’ll have to check out the blog. I wash my hair in a very similar way and it makes a big difference.

thelady
thelady
9 years ago

I might have to try your wash routine. I’m impressed that it only takes 45 minutes. Mine takes a minimum of an hour.

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

Great pics and very great style (hair and clothes). Were they all part of a special shoot or did you pull them together for this submission?

chandra
chandra
9 years ago

Thank you BGLH for featuring Monique and thank you Monique for sharing. Your blog is great, I just checked it out, and although no two women share the same hair texture mine is very similar to yours. I haven’t had the same exact hair story as you but an equally as rough one and just started conditioning my hair before I wash it which has made a difference. Thanks again for sharing and showing that with hard work and patience, ANY person can grown ANY hair texture long and strong. 🙂

Camille in Slovenia
9 years ago

Monique rocks! I’m a devoted fan. 🙂

I loved what she said about diversity in black hair. Truly not everyone has a hidden head full of curls just waiting to meet the right tub of product. Some of us are just kink upon kink and that’s OK!

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brendita’sBodyWorks, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: Loving our featured style icon today; amazing hair, amazing style & sweet spirit http://t.co/8RjWu1x #naturalhair […]

Jo Somebody
Jo Somebody
9 years ago

Thank you for this. I’m thinking my hair will be like yours and it will be difficult for me to accept this at first. Your hair looks great, so it gives me hope already!

I’ve got to admit, I find i very difficult not to play with my natural roots (I’m still transitioning), I just love the way they feel. Why is it so bad if I do it gently?

Anon
Anon
9 years ago

Beautiful!

anonda
anonda
9 years ago

Great profile and great sense of style!
I combed out my locs years ago too and man it was a pain in the tush!
I’m so excited to see more type 4’s talk about SIMPLE, and relatively short hair regimens. SOmetimes it’s easy to get the impression that type 4 with no curl = 4 hours of hard labor every week. I know everybody has different needs for their hair, but it’s nice to read some diverse perspectives on the care and feeding of type 4 hair.

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

I love Monique’s hair! Her blog is a great resource for me. I especially love her posts on hairstyling posts and her vegetarian cooking. I love her has a YouTube channel as well.

Monique, Sofull Sista
9 years ago

Thanks everyone — I appreciate the love!

@ Anon 2:26 — I take outfit pictures of myself regularly, so no special post, it’s just a regular part of what I do. LOL, sometimes I look ridiculous to bystanders, but I simply keep it moving 🙂

Manda
Manda
9 years ago

I loved this post and the Youtube video! Its nice to know that somebody else is going through the same struggle.

I myself have very kinky and naturally dry hair (you know the real African decent hair! lol) and its discouraging to think that it will never be loose and flowy.
But I have learned today to accept it for what it is. Thanks BGLH AND MONIQUE!

mixed beans
mixed beans
9 years ago

Monique is gorgeous and that video is so candid. I was introduced to her blog by Jc from The NaturalHaven. Lovely!! 🙂

S
S
9 years ago

Loved listening to her hair story, very candid! I read her blog from time to time, also got the link from Natural Haven. She has a great sense of style.

Libby
9 years ago

Yay, Monique! I’m already a blog fan and it’s nice to see her featured here. My hair type is very similar to Monique’s too and her blog has been an inspiration.

naturalista
naturalista
9 years ago

The PICTURES are WICKKKKKKKKKKKKKED!!!!!!!! OH MY, PICTURES DO TELL STORIES! OH THE HAIR IS WONDERFUL..

iri9109
9 years ago

check her out!…pretty natural hair, great fashion sense, and she’s smart…

MP
MP
9 years ago

She’s such a style chameleon. I love it.

MimiW
MimiW
9 years ago

Type 4 in the house!! Thanks for sharing your pics and story. We type 4’s need these mirror images to help boost are fight!

in Slovenia: I’m prying but what are you doing in Slovenia??!

ineyo
ineyo
9 years ago

Absolutely loved this post! Your hair is gorgeous Monique

obehi
9 years ago

So inspired by Monique! I had a conversation with a few Black women this week about the types of hair tutorials we are watching, especially when most of us don’t have curly hair but kinky/coily hair. Monique is FLY.

TAB
TAB
9 years ago

Love Monique’s hair, especially the cornrowed updo in the 4th pic. I too discovered her blog through Jc’s Natural Haven. Thank you for sharing your pix and hair story.

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
9 years ago

I love her style and blog!!!!

b.
b.
9 years ago

I just listened to your story vid and it’s great. I love your honesty. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Mercy
Mercy
9 years ago

I thank you so much for posting this. My hair is the exact same way and I have no idea what to do with it. I call my linen cabinet CVS because I have just about every curl defining product on the market. None has worked don my hair. Recently, I have been looking for a blog or website for 4b or 4c hair – lol. Thanks so much. I love the pics, style options and general hope.

Erin M.
Erin M.
9 years ago

Yay Monique 🙂 Love the pics!

SankofaScholar
SankofaScholar
9 years ago

Beautiful piece 🙂 I have locs currently and am thinking about combing them down. I also love that you stressed being comfortable with your own hair as it IS. which takes time and patience. Your hair is beautiful, your an inspiration. Philly girls in the house!!!

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