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Shelli // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • May 11, 2011

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.


After the big chop in 2000

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?
S:
http://www.naturallycurly.com/blog_contests/view_blog/kimcolesgrowout/1846.

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.

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hairscapadesIrvyMy HairStory « hairscapadesShelliE Recent comment authors
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A
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A

Beautiful styles!

Gisele
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Gisele

co‐signing

ghd
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ghd

I just got some hair style inspiration!!!

Alicia G
Guest
Alicia G

I love those hairstyles, hopefully she comes back and offers us hair tutorials.

Integrated Memoirs
Guest

Can we get a tutorial for picture #3??? I love that look!!!

Michelle Hubbard
Guest
Michelle Hubbard

I love the styles, health and the lovely sheen on her hair. I wonder if henna creates more sheen.

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

Yes, henna certainly creates more sheen. My texture is what ppl classify as 4b‐c, and using henna has imparted a glorious sheen to my hair. I have not noticed any curl loosening (YAY!-my hair is thin, so I need as much curl, kink, and coil as possible to create a look of fullness) and other naturals with 4b‐c hair echo my experience.

Shelli
Guest

I gotta tell you, my hair is not dull. But, the camera flash really enhances it! LOL! But yes, henna does add shine.

Sherrie
Guest
Sherrie

LOVELY, how ever many textures you have, they’re all tamed up so you’re doing something right! 😉

janelle
Guest
janelle

Great! I was waiting for this, I loved the second pic since the day I saw it on fb (thanks for the mini tutorial) you make the styles seem so easy to do. Gorgeous!

Shelli
Guest

Thank you all so much! In regard to the tutorial requests. I don’t do any videos, but I get ideas from youtube. The style in the third pic was inspired by this video: http://www.youtube.com/user/lilithedarkmoon#p/u/29/SvqeYgxoWTc Inspiration can come from many places and faces. I did NOT follow her curl “scrunching” technique though! When I saw it, I was like, “What the?!?!?” That wouldn’t end well … I’m sure it would have caused a nightmare of tangles on natural hair!! LOL! I just pushed my curls in and pinned with bobby pins (those hair pins just don’t work for me! I try… Read more »

Valencia
Guest
Valencia

You need a site or channel. Your styles are gorgeous and inspirational. Lovely, lovely hair!

Dylan
Guest
Dylan

I agree with Valencia, do you think you will get a channel? I would really like to see how you do your styles so I can try them out myself. I am a visual person so it would really help! Your hair is GORG!!!!!!!!!!!

E
Guest
E

Love the hairstyle. Totally unrelated but I believe I went to Cornell with your sister — her initials are S.G and she probably graduated in 1999, right??

Shelli
Guest

E. Yes, that’s my youngest sister Shana=). She’s natural too=).

Shelli
Guest

Dylan and Valencia, thank you! No plans for videos … yet. Maybe if I can get my boyfriend to take the video, I’ll figure out how to do some short tutorials. But, don’t expect any fancy production with music and captions and stuff!! LOL!

trackback

[…] couple of hair story “interviews.”  One was posted on CurlyNikki and the other was on Black Girl Long Hair.  However, figured I should post my story here as well to get “HairStories” […]

Irvy
Guest
Irvy

Hey, I’m in love with your hair color. I’m new to this whole natural thing. and would love to change my hair color to something close to what you have now. do you mind helping me??

hairscapades
Guest

Hi Irvy! Have you been to my website? If not, it’s http://www.hairscapades.com and you can find info about my color there. But, just to forewarn you, it’s from henna and the red streak is my grey hair with henna! You can find more info by selecting my “Henna and Me” HairStory which is in the right side navigation menu (about the middle of the page). Hope that helps and, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments there or send a message! Btw, I plan on doing a post tonight about the color option you… Read more »

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