Where do you live?
S: New Jersey, born and raised. I’m a Claims Manager for a Property and Casualty Insurer.
Why did you go natural?
S: It was a combo of two things. One, I very rarely wore my hair straight as I worked out a lot and sweat tons. Two, although I rarely wore my hair straight, every now and again I would go to this Domican spot to get it straightened. I only relaxed my hair twice a year in my relaxed days. So, this time I went to the Dominican spot and it had probably been close to 6 months since I had had my last relaxer. The woman refused to do my hair without relaxing it and pulled the relaxer through the entire length of my hair. After that, my hair started to break off badly. So, that was it for me. Didn’t make sense to continue getting relaxers when I rarely wore my hair straight and the breakage made the big chop decision 6 months later easy. This was 11 years ago.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
S: It hasn’t really affected me other than making it less of a hassle to deal with my hair. I do think my going natural influenced both my sister and mother to do so as well as a few women at work too. I feel really good about helping others embrace their curls and kinks =).
How would you describe your hair?
S: I think my strands are fine and I have medium density. I actually think my hair used to be a lot denser, but as I’ve aged, it’s become of a normal density. Like most, I have several different curl patterns. However, they’ve all been loosened by henna (thanks to the fine nature of my strands, I’m sure). The nape hair is almost straight, the hair at the crown of my head is the coarsest and curliest, the hair on my left side is smooth and curly and the hair on the right side is more wavy. That’s why the twist and curl (TnC) has become my staple style.
What’s your regimen?
S: Currently, I wash or co-wash on a weekly basis with either DevaCare No or Low-Poo or Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, respectively. I sometimes pre-poo, usually with Vatika oil. However, the last two times I’ve used this Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream and I am loving it! I deep condition every time I wash, lately with Miss Jessie’s Weekly Deep Treatment or Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner. I then apply a leave-in, which is usually either DevaCare One Conditioner or the Kimmaytube leave-in (exact recipe except I use JBCO instead of regular castor oil). Then, I’ll do a TnC.
Lately, my styler of choice has been WonderCurl’s Butter Than Love. I’ve been keeping my hair in protective styles since February as I’m participating in the Kim Cole’s Grow Out Challenge. So, once my TnC dries, I’ll put my hair up in some type of protective style. I bore easily, so I experiment with a lot of different styles. I also henna on a regular basis, at least once a month. However, I’ve begun to only do my roots with full strength henna to keep my curls from loosening any further. Finally, I also resumed exercising regularly in January, eating well, getting plenty of water and taking a multi-vitamin and biotin.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
S: I was using amla in my henna for a while in an effort to prevent curl loosening. My scalp was constantly itching when I used it, but I continued adding it to my bi-weekly henna routine for 2–3 months last year. I’m pretty sure the irritation resulted in an excessive amount of hair shed, which also contributed to loss of density. So, what I’ve learned this late in the stage in the game is to pay attention to my scalp and not use anything that irritates it, regardless of the purported benefits.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
S: I don’t think I can narrow that down to one thing, so I’m going to cheat. I’d say the most effective things I do are deep condition every time I wash, and moisturize and seal with a leave-in conditioner and oil/cream/butter, respectively.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Anything else you want to add?
S: I am constantly awed and inspired by the beauty of all the natural hair that I see out in the world and online. We and our hair are truly beautiful. The variety in shape, size, length, curl pattern, color, etc. makes us all the more gorgeous. That being said, love your hair, no matter how it comes out of your head because it is beautiful. Know that there is someone out there admiring and coveting your hair as much as you are admiring and coveting theirs.