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Brene’ // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jan 15, 2012

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

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Introduce yourself!
B:
My name is Brené. I live in Prince George’s County. (As Wale puts it, “DC chillin, PG chillin.”)
I’ve been told I do too much. I’m a student at Morgan State University (I’ll be graduating this May!!), I work at school part-time and I’m currently (alongside others, of course) working on a proposal to open a charter school. 

Now for my other side…I’m really an artist at heart. I model, sing, draw, paint, sew, knit, and I’m an avid shoe buyer, which I attribute to my love of art/fashion.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
B:
In a routine of getting relaxers one day I just thought, “Why am I getting a relaxer?” I love my hair as is. The chemicals are unhealthy and cost money, and I could give myself a lot more options as to the way I wear my hair if I were natural. So there it was.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
B:
I got my hair cut into layers, dyed my whole head honey blonde, and got a relaxer for my high school senior prom. Then about a month later I decided I would go natural, but without doing the big chop. (Recipe for disaster you think??)
The months to come were a little difficult. Prior to college, my aunt, a hair stylist had been “responsible” for my hair maintenance. I guess you can say I had to get to know my hair at this point. I tried my best to keep it moisturized as I was told was the best thing to do, especially considering the bleach. I wore my hair straightened most of the time. Occasionally I would do Bantu knots. I was familiar with the style because my mom used to put them in my hair as a child. After reading a little about how important it is to protect your hair, you could see my hair in a scarf most of the week.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
B:
It wasn’t so much that going natural affected me in any major way; it was the beginning of me making a conscious decision pay more attention to my body. I break out in eczema or just have an allergic reaction in a second from the wrong make-up, a lotion with too much fragrance, too much processed food, etc. I try to keep it all natural now, pun intended.

How would you describe your hair?
B:
It’s thick and curly and eats plenty of product. The hair on the crown of my head is actually a slightly different texture than the rest of my hair. It coils much tighter. My hair is pretty manageable though.

What is your regimen?
B:
Honestly, I don’t have a clear, scheduled hair regimen. I kind of pay attention and recognize my hair’s needs. Most of the time I wash it with African Black Soap. If it looks and feels depleted (or stressed from one too many flat iron sessions) before I wash it I make a mayonnaise mixture and leave it on for about 2 hours with a shower cap. Afterward, I usually put on a mixture of Jojoba and Olive oil before twisting. If I don’t condition with the mayo mix I apply a mixture of coconut, shea and olive oil after washing.

Every now and then I’ll mix apple cider vinegar and a little tea tree oil and run that thru my hair before washing. I do this when I feel there is too much build up on my hair.

How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
B:
Sometimes, when I get in the shower and I’m not getting ready to wash my hair, I will just leave it uncovered. The steam makes it soft for easier combing and gets it ready to accept whatever products/oils I’m about to put in.

What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
B:
When I was transitioning, the dye I had gotten prior may have been a mistake. Moisturizing and retaining moisture was a struggle, but gave me a chance to learn my own hair. That’s most important.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
B:
Even without combing it my hair sheds a lot. I comb with my fingers most of the time now. I use to comb my hair and I swear I pulled out enough to make a wig.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
B:
I’m currently working on a website to offer the things I make; the hair products, box purses, and other accessories. Look out for that through my tumblr page! www.breneashley.tumblr.com

Anything else you want to add?
B:
Happy Natural!!!

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About Meosha

Just another lover of natural hair and expression. - Style Icon Coordinator for BGLH

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merry
merry
8 years ago

dope, esp. the bike photo.

but i wish more of the pics were not of her straightened hair.

Etty
Etty
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

+1

Ogo
Ogo
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

ITA.

hassan
hassan
8 years ago

you are soo stinkin’ pretty and have a beautiful head of hair. great representation of “pretty girl county!” congrats on your upcoming graduation…go bears!!

Antoinette Stewart
8 years ago

Love the pale pink lipstick! You are beautiful!!

J Kenn (SpeakingTALL)
8 years ago

I’ve stopped using the comb on my hair, too. I made the decision mostly because it was so time consuming to comb it when I was in the shower. I’ve stuck with finger combing and separating the hair. For my hair, it’s much gentler and I don’t get as frustrated. I have found that I get the same benefits — nicely detangled hair.

Eboni
Eboni
8 years ago

This woman is GORGEOUS!!!!! her hair AND style are on point!!

surferin
8 years ago

she is one of the most beautiful women, i have ever seen! Love her style!

k
k
8 years ago

Oh wow…I thought she had such gorgeous facial features the first time I saw her pic from an earlier post! love your style…and of course, the hair!

SophieRain
SophieRain
8 years ago

I love the style of the bantu knots in the front and the front out… I am so going to try it! Beautiful

honeybrown1976
honeybrown1976
8 years ago

The pic on the bike is beautiful.

VYOS
8 years ago

Gorgeous!

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Charisma
8 years ago

So pretty, ladybug!

Jess
Jess
8 years ago

You have great hair, but that pink and black halter jumpsuit is the most beautiful outfit I have ever seen. Where can I buy one?.… 🙁

Vonne
Vonne
8 years ago

Gorgeous women. Beautiful eyes.

nelle
nelle
8 years ago

I think you’re stunning. I love your hair straight and coily. It’s great to see the straight styles, b/c I agree w/you- natural hair gives you options! Tell me more about the yellow bag.…

Jacqueline Dwyer
Jacqueline Dwyer
8 years ago

Undoing the damages to self starts from our minds!!! Chemicals are meant for one thing and that is to get rid of!!! I am natural, I don’t wear make-up, I don’t straighten my hair, and I feel just great about my appearance… I am not itching to look like someone or something else! I wish other women who identify as Afrikan could see and understand the damage they have done and or doing to self!!!!! LISTEN UP LADIES, YOUR BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN — WHATEVER IS GOING ON IN THE INSIDE WILL SHINE ON THE OUTSIDE… DON’T TRY TO LOOK OR BE Like… Read more »

nellboogie
nellboogie
8 years ago

You are stunning!

Richelle
Richelle
8 years ago

One word: Amazing!

Crystal
Crystal
8 years ago

Yay pg county is close to where I am

Leila Capri
8 years ago

Love this, you doing it ma ma! And you are not doing too much unless YOU feel like you are. We are a new breed of women. We can do it all!
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8 years ago

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Desire Camren
8 years ago

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laura
laura
8 years ago

can’t wait till i get that :))

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6 years ago

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