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Erin // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Aug 18, 2011

Where do you live?
E:
I live in Chicago, IL; reppin the Uptown/Lakeview neighborhood (although I spent my first 11 years of life reppin Hyde Park), and the country of Belize (my mommy is Belizean), and of course, the US of A! I am a freelance model (still seeking an agency), and I am a college student at Truman College, and Wright College. I’m in my second semester.

Why did you go natural?
E:
I’ve been natural all of my life (except for one incident when I was 11, but the relaxer did NOT take for some reason, and after all that burning… ugh, I never did it again.), but for a few years (from about 12–16 years old) I would get my hair blow dried/flat ironed monthly at a salon, or I’d straighten it at home. After a while, I just stopped straightening my hair so often, and last year, I stopped doing it at all, after I realized that my ends were still heat damaged and not curling back up.

How did you transition into natural hair?
E:
There wasn’t really much of a transition, more of an impulsive thing. My ends were flat and stringy. Then I went through a bad breakup and I felt like I needed a drastic change. I went into the bathroom, snatched up the scissors and cut off all of my hair. Pretty dramatic, I know, but it was like shedding an old skin and growing into a new one. With that came a new mindset, and a new way that I viewed myself.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
E:
I feel like I’m more in touch with myself and my culture, and above all, I feel way more mature. Before, when my hair was straightened, I was going for the ‘punk’ look: dead straight hair, funky colors, wacky cuts; hey, I was a teenager! But now I’m a bit older and I feel like the look I had before doesn’t fit who I am now. I still think my old hair was super cute, I loved having a mohawk, and I miss having hot pink/red hair (I did it before Rihanna!), but I love my longer natural hair that I have now.

How would you describe your hair?
E:
In one word: interesting. My hair is very thick, and I have a bunch of textures; the back of my head has loosely curled 3C texture, the sides are what I think is a 4A, and the middle is where I say I keep my patch of Africa, that’s where my kinkiest hair is, at a 4B texture. So… my hair keeps me busy. I’m always trying to make it all look uniform, when the textures, to me at least, are clearly not uniform. I’m either trying to make the rest of my hair as nappy as the middle, or I’m braiding the middle the tightest and smallest to stretch it out so it can look more like the back or the sides. Usually I just don’t care, and I let my hair do whatever it wants to do.

What is a brief description of your regimen?
E:
If I’m co-washing, I use Giovanni 50:50, if I’m trying to really cleanse my hair, I use the Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap, or the Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo (it’s soooooo moisturizing, I use it when I run out of conditioner or if I just wanna give my hair a light washing and not a deep cleansing). If I’m letting my hair stay in an afro, I throw in a little Deep Treatment Masque, then Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothie, some argan oil, and some castor oil to seal. If I’m twisting or braiding (as I do often nowadays), it’s the same process, except that I also sometimes use a little Pink Lotion to coat the braids. I am also a notorious product junkie, so if I’m not following my routine, I’m trying new stuff in my head.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
E:
Using heat! I used heat protectants, but even that can’t save you from getting damage eventually. So, I stopped using heat. I have way less split ends, no silly stringy ends, I’m gaining length, and my hair is gorgeous and thick. If I can help it, I would never use a flat iron in my head again. I’d rather throw on a wig and get some crazy straight hair that way, and leave my poor poof alone, and let it grow grow grow.

Secondly, dyeing my hair! My hair has been bleached, dyed, fried, and dyed over and over again. My hair has been literally EVERY color, from silver-grey, to blonde, to purple, pea soup green (the Bears were in the Superbowl, I dyed my hair blue and orange, but then they lost and I washed my hair and the colors mixed and turned green). The bleach and dye ended up loosening my texture, but also making my hair crunchy and dry. No bueno. Although I loved my pink hair, I don’t think I’ll be touching bleach or dye for a long, long time. At least, not until I reach my goal of my hair being waist length!

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
E:
The best thing has to be putting it in braids, and keeping it wet, then coated in my favorite moisturizer. I love my Coolio braids (HAHA), as I call them. It keeps my hair from tangling, and keeps me from having to gently detangle for hours.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
E:
Oh goodness yes! I’m all over the internets…
www.youtube.com/KnottyKinky; I just started doing hair tutorials and reviews. I’m learning, so excuse the awkwardness/ mistakes.
www.facebook.com/InkaMichelle; my FB fanpage/modeling page
http://www.formspring.me/InkaMichelle; you can ask me questions.
www.twitter.com/Inka; of course, the Twitter.
http://bglhforum.com/profile/ErinWright < the BGLH forum, of course!
KnottyKinky.blogspot.com «< it’s new, and I will start posting stuff soon 🙂

Anything else you want to add?
E:
Just to love what grows out of your head, just like you love the rest of your body. You’ve only got one body, so take care of it. And your hair is what it is, and you have to learn to see its beauty even if no one else does. It’s on YOUR head, all that matters is that you love it and take care of it!

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eileen
Guest

I have this gorgeous goddess as a friend on here and i must say beautiful personality,hair is AWESOME hun 🙂

eSPy
Guest
eSPy

HOW NICE!

She is beautiful…

BUT I need to know where she got those feather earrings from ASAP!! 😉

Ain't I an African
Guest
Ain't I an African

My hair is very thick, and I have a bunch of textures; the back of my head has loosely curled 3C texture, the sides are what I think is a 4A, and the middle is where I say I keep my patch of Africa, that’s where my kinkiest hair is, at a 4B texture.” Lovely woman, lovely hair but Africa is so much more diverse than you think, darling!! All textures of hair exist in Africa’s almost 1 billion population 🙂

N
Guest
N

Yes, I was just thinking the exact same thing. I’m Southern African and somehow have 3b hair, my cousins, anything from 2’s to 4b’s.…Anyhoo…

Erin
Guest

Well, I said “MY patch” for a reason, lol. I totally get that Africa’s got every texture, but my texture just so happens to be a lot kinkier in one spot, and I attribute that to MY African ancestors, who more than likely passed this feature onto me. So, therefore, it’s my patch of Africa. ;]

My Husband's African
Guest
My Husband's African

I actually laughed at her saying it was the patch of Africa (but knew that someone would get upset). I laughed because my husband is from Africa, and my daughter has a patch of hair in the back that he calls her African hair.

CreoleAphrodite
Guest
CreoleAphrodite

lol yea my husband is African too, and he jokes about it as well..i dont think she meant anything by it..

nubiahbella
Guest
nubiahbella

@Ain’t I an African, you took the words out of my mouth.

I found very interesting that some (a lot) Black people outside Africa, always attribute looser hair, lighter skin etc… to non African ancestors…

nubiahbella
Guest
nubiahbella

oops, I meant ” I find”.

Moreniqua
Guest
Moreniqua

That’s because whites and Arabs had to copulate with many Africans in the past for that to have happened. Not putting anyone down, just citing facts. Also, have you ever noticed that in the USA, there aren’t exactly a PLETHORA of Black history or hair dedicated mediums so what we learn about ALL the VARIOUS parts of Africa falls on us and GENERALLY, we have learned (and been taught) that “kinky” hair comes from black people aka Africa. Understand?? Further more, there has been a lot of miscegnation in Africa so I wouldn’t necessarily say that curly hair is “natural”… Read more »

Zyaran
Guest
Zyaran

Such beautiful hair, and wow you some amazing clear skin..

N
Guest
N

Patch of Africa”. Ya ne ponemayo.

Gatz
Guest
Gatz

+1…

BelizeanBornBeauty
Guest
BelizeanBornBeauty

Beautiful hair! I wish there were more natural Belizeans like us, one day…YAY BELIZE!

Gatz
Guest
Gatz

African stereotypes..SMH. My mom has 3a hair, so do all my aunts and siblings.. And we are from Kenya, East AFRICA. Enough with the stereotypes… Africa is really diverse. One country alone has people of different complexions, sizes and hair types!!

Erin
Guest

I understand that there are many different textures of African hair, based on what part of Africa you’re from. My ancestors, however, were not from Kenya, East Africa. As far as I know we’re from Cameroon and/or Nigeria, so perhaps my texture is more similar to those from Cameroon and not from Kenya. *Kanye shrug*

I still stand by my statement; that’s my ‘patch of Africa’, it’s not something derogatory, it’s something that I’m proud of, that my ancestors left me, as a reminder of where I come from.

Gatz
Guest
Gatz

Ok, Erin..Whatever you say… *Kanye shrug*:D

N
Guest
N

Oh dear Gatz, you and me are »>HERE«< !!

Moreniqua
Guest
Moreniqua

Wow why are you jumping on her? UM is this not a haircare forum about natural hair and loving the natural hair that many people get (a lot of times curly and kinky) from African ancestors? Amd come on, we ALL know that Africa has had its share of miscegenistic influences that resulted in diverse hair types but damn, CALM DOWN. Besides, the only Africans in America that I have EVER seen with loose or curly hair, came from Ethiopia.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

good for you for standing by your statement…Kanye shrug..lol…its the best…free country

Gia
Guest
Gia

Wow. I must agree with the above comment, the only silkier texture of hair i’ve seen is on Ethiopians, Ericheans and Somalians. Natural pure African hair is coarse. And thats okay. The result of colonialization and racial mixing attributes for the silkier hair textures. People never cease to amaze me. Learn your history before jumping down someones throat. FYI nappy hair is beautiful, embrace it and embrace your true African roots.

proudbelizean
Guest
proudbelizean

love to see a fellow natural belizean!!!! rock on!!!

CoilyRob
Guest
CoilyRob

Beautiful hair and a very nice interview.

Bee
Guest
Bee

Patch of Africa? Wow, just cos it’s the coarsest part of your hair it must be “African”. Ngwanyana yo o bua masepa. From that I can see that you clearly don’t know of the diversity in Africa. Shame shame shame.

Erin
Guest

Lol, there’s no shame felt over here. The shame is on you, I’m proud of my African roots (quite literally), and I understand that my hair reflects MY African roots, and how MY ancestors were, not yours. Your ancestors might have had wavy glossy locks, but mine more than likely didn’t. I’m not repping YOUR ancestors, I’m repping and respecting mine.

Heather
Guest
Heather

Ignore them Erin. Us readers who aren’t totally self righteous understood what you were getting at. Moisturize that patch and love like the rest of the textures on your head. Your ancestors, your hair, your classification of it. People just wanted to throw in their unneeded two cents

laela
Guest
laela

Very pretty! Sending a wave (always nice to see sisters in Lakeview).

Chenoa
Guest

I use to admire your hair & style when I was younger on myspace lol All the color combinations were so awesome 🙂 I also went to Lane tech for a short time period lol The school was way too huge for me.

Get Likes on facebook
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Heather
Guest
Heather

I just wanted to see how many people were going to jump on that “I’m or my so and so’s African and we have this and this texture hair” high horse and beat the girl up for her “African patch” comment. She obviously didn’t mean it the way they DECIDED to take it. There is that rampant self righteousness that is running wild through this community. They just wanted to have something negative to say.

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