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Brene’ // Natural Hair Style Icon

• 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!!!

About Meosha

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

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merry
merry
10 years ago

dope, esp. the bike photo.

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

Etty
Etty
10 years ago
Reply to  merry

+1

Ogo
Ogo
10 years ago
Reply to  merry

ITA.

hassan
hassan
10 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
10 years ago

Love the pale pink lipstick! You are beautiful!!

J Kenn (SpeakingTALL)
10 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
10 years ago

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

surferin
10 years ago

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

k
k
10 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
10 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
10 years ago

The pic on the bike is beautiful.

VYOS
10 years ago

Gorgeous!

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Charisma
10 years ago

So pretty, ladybug!

Jess
Jess
10 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
10 years ago

Gorgeous women. Beautiful eyes.

nelle
nelle
10 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
10 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
10 years ago

You are stunning!

Richelle
Richelle
10 years ago

One word: Amazing!

Crystal
Crystal
10 years ago

Yay pg county is close to where I am

Leila Capri
10 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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10 years ago

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Desire Camren
10 years ago

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laura
laura
9 years ago

can’t wait till i get that :))

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8 years ago

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