*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
Our names are Lashanita and Tashanita. It’s a mixture of Swahili, “Shani” and Spanish, “Ita” meaning Marvelous Little Girl. The “La” and “Ta” just helps differentiate between the two. We’ve been all over the place. We were born in Los Angeles, California, moved to Little Rock, Arkansas for junior and high school and currently live in Daytona Beach, Florida for college. We both majored in Nursing at Bethune-Cookman University. #HAILWILDCATS
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Lashanita: I decided to go natural once I went off to college. I’d thought about it a few times in high school, but I never had the courage to actually do it! I’ve always loved big hair, wavy ponytails and curly puffs, but I never realized when I saw girls with hairstyles like that their hair was natural. I began doing my research on the web, mainly YouTube and by my junior year of college I did it! Well, we did it! I’m so happy we decided to do it together. It was a bonding experience for us and we needed each other’s support.
Tashanita: I’ve always loved BIG Hair! I can remember seeing black women with curly hair or fros and thinking to myself, “Wow! That’s so beautiful! I wish my hair could do that.” Little did I know, it could! After months of contemplation and watching tons of YouTube videos, my sis and I decided to make the change and couldn’t be happier with our decision.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
We transitioned for about 5 months. We opted to wear Kinky twists and Senegalese twists because working with two different textures proved to be quite the challenge. After hyping ourselves up we were extremely excited to BC, but when the time actually came our friends had to drag us to the salon. I didn’t realize we were so attached to our straight hair. We even posted a video online to make sure we wouldn’t back out. I’m so glad I had my sister to go along with me through the process.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
Lashanita: Going natural sparked a change in me. It’s not just hair to me, it is me. I’ve learned to embrace myself the way I was created. I’ve become more confident, sociable, self-aware, just an all around better person. I feel like I’ve grown into a more mature woman.
Tashanita: I think my natural hair gave me a little extra flair. To me, now each outfit I wear pops! Whenever my hair is in a protective style I feel average…like just another lady in the crowd. I’m serious, I love my hair! I can’t say it enough. Also, being natural gave me the opportunity to help other naturals. It seems now that I’m natural I notice other naturals everywhere! It’s like an unspoken connection!
How would you describe your hair?
Lashanita: Ummm…Let’s see. It’s thick, kinky with tight curls and coils. For the sake of the hair typing system, I’d say it’s mostly 4a with some 4b parts in the middle.
Tashanita: Definitely thick and spunky! It has a mind of its own. I’ve learned to listen to my hair and just go with the flow. Still working on a name for her though. And let’s not even get into textures. I have at least 3 different ones. The back is much looser than any other part. The front tends to hold curls better and the crown is what I call “my rough patch”. I always have to make sure to give it a bit more attention.
What is your regimen?
Actually, we don’t have much of a regimen. We’re pretty low maintenance girls. We try to co-wash our hair at least once every week or more if it’s feeling itchy, then two strand twist it up. Sometimes I wait a little longer if my twist out is still looking cute. I usually do wet twist outs using medium to large twists. Through the week, I re-twist my twist out about two times and sleep with a satin bonnet. If I’m too tired to re-twist at night, I pineapple it in about 4 puffs and just re-fluff in the morning.
As college students, we try to use inexpensive products. First off, we rarely shampoo our hair, just mostly co-wash. As for conditioner we mostly use Suave brand or anything we can get our hands on. When our hair was shorter, for twist outs our tried and true product was Worlds of Curls Curl Activator Gel. It has a soft hold and keeps your hair extra moisturized. Plus you can get a huge jar for only 5 bucks at pretty much any Beauty Supply Store. Now that my hair is longer, I notice a lot of shrinkage with World of Curls so I’ve switched to using AS I AM products. My favorites are the Twist Defining Cream and the DoubleButter Cream. www.asiamnaturally.com They work fabulous! Leaves my hair soft and shiny and I don’t get much shrinkage at all. Recently, I’ve been re-twisting at night with Pure African Shea Butter. My hair loves that stuff and keeps it fluffy. Most recently, we’ve incorporated Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and Curl Enhancing Smoothie into the mix when we want to try something different. Twist outs still turn out great!!
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
Lashanita: WATER! My hair loves water. I spritz it a little every day and if I’m not doing a twist out, I rinse it every day in the shower and make a puff. One more thing, I never comb my hair while it’s dry. I don’t want any breakage. Also, I always sleep with my satin bonnet.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
Lashanita: Actually, I think I’ve followed everything by the book or should I say YouTube lol. I’ve never flat ironed or even blow-dried my hair. I hope this color doesn’t come back to bite me in the butt…so far, so good though.
Tashanita: I’ve learned to DETANGLE! DETANGLE! DETANGLE! It’s much more manageable. My hair was short enough in the beginning to put a little conditioner in it and go. I made the mistake of trying that with longer hair and it was a MESS! Just overall, not good!! Also, I’ve learned not to be afraid to trim those ends. Your hair needs that. It will grow back. I promise.
Tell us about your hair color.
Lashanita: I went to a professional stylist to get the color done. I showed her a few photos of the color I wanted and she went to mixing, so I’m not really sure what color it is. Since I got it done, I’ve added a few more deep conditioning sessions to my routine, but nothing major. As for texture, I see a slight difference. My curls seem a tad looser in the front.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
Moisturizing it and showing it a little love and attention. I always say, “If you don’t do your hair with LOVE it won’t love you back.”
Anything else you want to add?
Love your hair in every stage it goes through. Don’t obsess over length. Just aim for healthy hair. Realize your hair is your own, perfect in every way and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!