*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
V: My name is Vontreesa. Most people simply call me “Von” and I am definitely growing to be known as “KissMyKinks”! I currently live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Home of the National Champions (football). Roll Tide!! I’m reppin’ the small town Eufaula, Alabama, which is my hometown. I attend The University of Alabama where I am a full time nursing student. I am a part-time hair stylist and I spend a lot of my time blogging about natural hair, fashion, and beauty! I enjoy photography and I also design my own jewelry!
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
V: When I was relaxed I was never fond of my hair. It was thin and lifeless. My mom is a cosmetologist so she maintained my hair all my life. Once I was a senior in high school I decided it was time for me to try something new and I immediately stopped getting perms. I definitely didn’t have a plan, I just knew I hated perms. Also, I must admit I was very nervous about rocking an afro, but my boyfriend encouraged me to embrace my roots. He is responsible for me realizing that natural hair is beautiful!!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
V: I started my transition in May 2010 and I big chopped on November 13, 2010. So I transitioned for about six months. During my transition I wore micro braids the first full 3 months, then I wore sew-ins for 2 months, and the last month I wore braidouts and rod sets. Eventually, I grew frustrated with the stringy ends and chopped it all off by myself!
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
V: Hmm, I could go on and on, but going natural certainly boosted my confidence level. I have learned to accept all stares and long faces as compliments! My style is now more original because I have a better sense of self. My natural journey made me more aware of not only the things I do to my hair, but also the things I do to my body. I try to be a healthier person all around. I take vitamins, drink water more regularly, and I strive to workout routinely to gain control over my lifestyle.
How would you describe your hair?
V: My hair is very coarse and thick. I have a loose curl pattern in the front and crown of my head. The sides and the back nape areas are tight and coily! I would say that my hair is extremely stubborn as far as behavior goes. It stays manageable as long as I keep it tamed and stretched out.
What is your regimen?
V: I shampoo my hair every two weeks using Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo and I use TRESemme’s Luxurious Moisture Conditioner as my rinse out conditioner. I co-wash every week using some sort of cheap conditioner. Some of my favorite conditioners include: Hello Hydration, Suave Almond and Shea Butter, Vo5 and Giovanni Smooth as Silk. I also try to deep condition at least once a month! When I deep condition I usually just mix up some conditioner and essential oils. Oh yeah, coconut oil is my favorite oil! Now that my hair is longer, it is a must that I wash in sections/twists. After washing, I apply Kinky Curly Knot Today to detangle. Finally, I use Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Jane Carter’s Nourish and Shine for twistouts and braidouts. Eco Styler gel is my favorite gel for puffs and slicking my edges.
Tell us about your hair color?
V: My hair color is the result of bleaching my hair to have highlights. I colored my hair only a month after big chopping and that’s one thing I am not proud of. I wish I would have waited until I was more familiar with my natural hair first. I went to a professional stylist who happens to be my mom because I knew she would handle my hair with great care. She used Clairol Kaleidocolors Neutral Powder. Unfortunately I cannot remember which volume of developer she used. The end result was honey blonde highlights.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair, especially now that you have color?
V: The color didn’t change my texture, but after coloring my hair I’ve had to condition my hair much more frequently. That’s why I deep condition as much as possible and co-wash every week to ensure that my hair is moisturized. I wear twists a lot and I wear beanies and scarves in attempt to keep my ends protected. I believe frequent trims also help me to retain length and moisture. Whenever my ends look raggedy, I trim them.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
V: I’ve learned to not be lazy and do whatever it takes to keep my hair healthy. The coloring too soon taught me to take extra care of color treated hair because it DOES break off! The most important thing is to accept my hair texture. Try not to use every product I see and stick with what works best for me!
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
V: I think drinking a lot of water is the most effective thing!
Anything else you want to add?
V: To all the ladies transitioning, stay encouraged and know that this may very well be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Be bold in everything you do! Natural hair is beautiful regardless; all we have to do is ROCK IT!!!!