*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: My name is Elise. I’m from Washington, D.C. ( Go Howard University! ) I am the Store Manager & Buyer for a vintage clothing boutique.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
A: My mother has been natural most of my life, so she definitely was the initial inspiration. I always admired her luscious short curls and was curious to see what my natural hair would look like. My senior year of high school I started making the transition, but I still was pressing my hair on a daily basis. Once I began my freshman year at Howard University, enough was enough! I was ready to see my curly coif in its unruly state. Living back in Washington, D.C. and being around so many beautiful natural women at Howard was definitely the catalyst for my lifetime natural hair choice.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
A: Going natural has been one of the best decisions of my life. Not only has it allowed me to embrace my natural beauty, but it also has been the platform for many wonderful opportunities. I was featured in a Ford Fiesta car commercial in 2010. My personal style and natural hair allowed me to bring something unique to the campaign. One of the best moments that transpired from the campaign was when a man stopped me on the street and told me his 7 year old daughter saw me in the commercial and decided she wanted her hair to be natural. How amazing! Along with the car campaign, I have been fortunate to be featured in numerous blog features because of my natural ‘do.
How would you describe your hair?
A: I say this humbly, I am IN LOVE with my hair! It’s thick and uber soft. It definitely feels like a giant cotton ball. My natural curls are very tight and defined, so I have enjoyed training my hair with twist outs. It allows my coils to have great bounce and movement. Luckily, the wind is my hair’s best friend. The windier it is, the more vivacious my locks look.
What is your regimen?
A: I take the minimalist approach to my hair products. Grape Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and avocados, are my go to products. My usual rule of thumb is if I can’t eat it, I don’t want to put it in my hair. Although, I have discovered two really wonderful lines of products called Jane Carter Solution and SheaRadiance. All the ingredients are natural. I love to use the Nourish & Shine balm (Jane Carter Solution) on my ends when they are feeling dry. It’s also really great for skin and nails, how cool! I normally wash my hair with shampoo every two weeks to help retain moisture, but I do condition it at least once a week. After washing and conditioning, I blow my hair out with a paddle brush and massage a dollop of coconut oil into my hair and scalp. I then two strand twist my hair with SheaRadiance Hair Milk. It’s lightweight, conditioning, and smells so yummy! I wrap my hair in a silk scarf every night and then untwist my locks in the morning. I pull them apart to create volume and let the wind do the rest.
Tell us about your hair color?
A: For many years I was addicted to color. Shade of choice? BLONDE. I would always pick up a box from my local pharmacy and 45 minutes later I was a brand new blonde. Continuously dying my hair blonde eventually fried the life out of my hair. My ends became very brittle and looked like hay. It was so bad, I had to cut my fro off and start over bald. I went a year without re-dying my hair until I recently went rouge. I don’t have a specific brand that I use, but I have found that hair dye made for Caucasian texture takes better to my hair. I’m currently enjoying my deep auburn locks, but I doubt I will dye my locks blonde again.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
A: Allowing my emotions to govern what I do with my hair resulted in some of the biggest mistakes I would make. I’d have a rough day a work, feel stressed out, or even just bored and decide to make a drastic change to my tresses. I lost it one day and got a perm, a week later I cut it all off and went bald. I’ve chopped it, dyed it, fried it, and everything in between. The worst is when I decided I was sick of having jet black hair and dyed it blonde. My end result, green.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
A: The best thing I do for my hair is to live a natural/holistic lifestyle. This means I consume mostly organic foods, incorporate a plethora of raw foods and herbs in my diet, and I don’t eat meat…although I do dabble in seafood from time to time. I also make sure I get my water in take. Overall health and hair care starts from within. Everything you put in your body will directly affect how your body functions and appears. I’m a firm believer that my diet choice has allowed my hair to continue to grow thick, healthy, and strong.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: My natural hair has also helped my business. I work as Store Manager & Buyer for vintage clothing boutique, It’s Vintage Darling, located in Washington, D.C. My hair is always a great conversation starter in the shop. I definitely believe it makes me more approachable and welcoming to customers. People always want to chat about and touch my curls. You can find out more information about me and the shop at http://www.itsvintagedarlingdc.com.
Anything else you want to add?
A: I want people to know that natural hair is not a fad, it’s the hair you were blessed to be born with. Embrace it!