*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
Y: Well hello there, my name is Yanilsa, but much better known as Yani. I’m currently living in New Jersey, but I’m repping Orlando, Florida all day! 😀 I’m a Socio-Therapist and am also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
Y: I made the decision to go natural because my hair was completely damaged from cheap gel, not combing my hair for days, taking days to wash my hair after going swimming, and cheap hair dyes.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
Y: Well I cut my hair about five years ago and knew that it was time to take much better care of it. I let my mother experiment on my hair with different perms and herbal treatments (which until this day I don’t believe were herbal or organic at all!). My hair just felt and looked mistreated, so I had to do something about it. I didn’t really ease into going natural I just cut most of my hair off to about an inch and a half. I needed to start off completely new.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
Y: Going natural has affected me in so many ways and those around me as well. I’ve been able to meet and interact with so many people whom have “gone natural” or are “trying to go natural”. I’ve learned so many things about myself; patience, dedication, hope and creativity. Going natural is hard and requires one to push against the current flow of society. Not everyone can do it, nor can they break free from the chokehold the media has around them.
How would you describe your hair?
Y: Some background information about my hair before I answer this question. Prior to me cutting most of my hair off it was slightly wavy. Then once my hair reached about 3 inches it started getting SUPER curly. I was completely shocked and scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen from there. No one in my family has super curly hair the way mine was starting to grow. I looked like a “Chia Pet” at first and I didn’t know what to do with it at all. My hair is also EXTREMELY thin and soft. I now have medium curls closer to my scalp and tighter curls towards the ends. It’s very bouncy and easy to manage.
What is your regimen?
Y: I think I have finally found the best way to style my hair lol. Took me long enough! I wash my hair every three days with TRESemmé shampoo and conditioner (really cheap and super awesome). I shampoo it twice and keep the conditioner in for about 6–10 minutes (in the meantime I sing or dance in the shower haha!) I slightly rinse out the conditioner, but I like to leave some of it in my hair. I then pat dry my hair with a really soft towel. While it’s still damp I apply a generous amount of Mixed Chicks Leave-in-Conditioner. I try to always let my hair completely air dry afterwards, but if I’m running out of time I’ll turn my head upside down and blow dry my hair while simultaneously running my hands through it to help the fluffy magic happen. Once it’s all dry I use either IC HairPolisher with Olive Oil Moisturizing Shine Serum or Smooth ‘N Shine Instant Repair Hair Polisher to keep it looking shiny and glossy.
At night I wrap my hair with a bandanna (I’ve heard du-rags can do the job as well). In the morning I wet my hair a bit and add some more Mixed Chicks Leave-in-Conditioner, shake it up a bit and I’m good to go.
Tell us about your hair color?
Y: I used to color my hair at home with Clairol Textures & Tones Hair Color. I’ve tried Honey Blonde, Light Brown, Dark Brown, Burgundy and Black. The color I have now is just a random mixture of all these colors.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
Y: The length of my hair has been such a struggle. I’ve been trying to get my hair to grow faster, but I’ve had no such luck. The Mixed Chicks conditioner helps keep the moisture in my hair.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
Y: I’ve made quite a number of stupid mistakes such as leaving gel in my hair for days, using cheap perms and relaxers, not washing my hair after swimming in the pool and leaving in scrunchies with metal ends that break my hair.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
Y: Twice a month I try to go to the salon and get a deep conditioner treatment. It helps keep my hair strong, moisturized and healthy.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Anything else you want to add?
Y: Going natural is one of the best things I’ve done for myself. I absolutely love my hair and know that anything you set your mind to you can achieve. Believing in oneself is the first step and everything else from then on is a piece of cake. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll do my very best to help in any way I can. 😀