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Bilen // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Feb 6, 2012

*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally

Introduce yourself!
B:
My name is Bilen. I’m originally from Ethiopia, but have been in the U.S. since I was 11 years old. I’ve lived all around the Midwest as well as New Orleans. I currently reside in Brooklyn, NY. I work as a freelance wardrobe stylist.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
B:
My hair has always been natural. When I was little and living in Ethiopia, my mom braided my hair on a bi-weekly basis, so I grew up with that. Once we moved to the U.S., braiding was still the main way my hair was styled. As I transitioned into college life, I started heat straightening my hair on a regular basis. The hot comb was my tool of choice! I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to the hair salon in my entire life. The braiding as well as the heat straightening all took place at home.

When and how did you transition into natural hair?
B:
Once I moved to New Orleans, a lot of my friends who worked in the hair industry convinced me to stop heat straightening my hair and to just let it be in its natural, curly state. Before this time, I had never considered my hair to be curly. I just saw it as more frizzy, so it had never occurred to me to just let it be. That was 8 years ago and I’ve just let it be since then.

In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
B:
Since my hair has always been natural, there hasn’t been much of a transition or significant effect for me. I certainly pay more attention to the overall health and condition of my hair because it has a tendency to dry out faster compared to when it used to be braided or even heat straightened. A lot of random people approach me to ask me about my hair or comment on it than before, but that’s pretty much it 🙂

How would you describe your hair?
B:
I would describe my hair as relatively soft, curly and not as thick as it may look in pictures. I just have a lot of it 🙂 My hair behaves pretty consistently from week to week. I wash it about once a week or sometimes go as long as bi-weekly, so it’ll get more volume each day that goes by.

What is your regimen?
B:
My hair regimen would best be described as minimalist. I usually wash it once a week or sometimes once every two weeks. I wet detangle using a combination of my fingers and a detangler comb. Once my hair has been fully detangled, I use DevaCurl No-Poo Shampoo and run a wide-toothed comb through my hair while the shampoo is still in my hair. I condition using DevaCurl One Condition and leave it on for about 30 minutes. I wash it out, apply a generous amount of Carol’s Daughter Tui Moisturizing Hair Oil while my hair is still wet, wrap a warm towel around my head and leave it like that for a minimum of an hour. Remove towel and that’s it…

How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
B:
I used to not put oil in my hair and it dried out very quickly. That’s definitely a mistake I’ve learned from. My sister actually asked me about it in passing when she saw how dry and brittle my hair looked and was shocked when I told her that I do not put oil in my hair. After that reaction, I decided to try it out and it has definitely been to the great benefit of the health of my hair.

What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
B:
The best thing I do for my hair is to not touch it. Having my hair braided as a young girl definitely taught me not to touch my hair because that meant messing up the braids. I’ve continued that trend as much as possible. I just don’t need to add any dirt or tangle up my hair any more than it already does by itself.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
B:
I don’t have a blog, but you can keep up with me on 16stonevintage.com.

Anything else you want to add?
B:
Nothing too great to add, but I think it’s beautiful that so many women are embarking upon their own natural hair journey. I’ve always been natural and luckily enough for me, I had the support of my family to NOT get my hair permed even when I was begging for it. I clearly remember an emphatic, “NO” coming from my mother when I asked her about getting my hair relaxed when I was in high school. Boy, am I glad for that now! There is so much diversity in our hair and it’s great that even if you don’t get the support you need among your family, you have blogs like BGLH to help you out. I know it’s been a great source of information for me 🙂

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About Meosha

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

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Sugabelly
Sugabelly
8 years ago

Oh her hair is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Isn’t Bilen lovely?

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

OMGeeez what a beauty! Yes, she is lovely!!! 🙂

I can’t wait for the time when my hair will be like your! I am also trying not to manipulate my hair too much, I lost so much hair from combing it all the time or leaving it in it’s shrunken state for too long… I’ve been carrying two-strand twists and re-twisting them when they start looking old, hopefully, this will help me retain length like her!!! 🙂

Nubiahbella
Nubiahbella
8 years ago

No word to describe how gorgeous her hair is.

I am a big lover of voluminous and well moisturized hair.:)

I also love how shiny her mane is.

She comforted me than having a minimalist hair regiment is the best way to go.

Zyaran
Zyaran
8 years ago

Her hair is freaking gorgeous, and the thickness is amazing. Keep up the good work of your hair because it is definitely loving you.

CuteKinks
8 years ago

Her hair is sooo awesome!

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
8 years ago

Nice!
Lovely!
GORGEOUS!

tiredofthebs
tiredofthebs
8 years ago

You’re hair is beautiful! I saw your picture with the comb a few months back and was like WOW, I’m so glad that you’re on BGLH.

I wanted to know how often do you moisturize and trim your hair?
And in the picture with the comb is that a 2strand twist out. Thx!!

Bilen
Bilen
8 years ago
Reply to  tiredofthebs

Tiredofthebs: Thx for the compliments!:) To answer your questions, my hair regimen is basically what I described in the question section. I honestly do not do any extra moisturizing or anything. The Carol’s Daughter oil is what I put in it and that’s it for the week or two weeks until the next washing. As for trimming, I’m really bad at that and don’t do it as often as I should. I’ll trim it myself when I see split ends, but that’s it:) Regarding the pic with the hair comb, no, it’s not a 2strand twist out. I’ve done no… Read more »

LBell
LBell
8 years ago

Score 1 for minimalism! WOOT! 🙂 I’d like to know what she does during the week. Minimalism for me in terms of my nighttime regimen has meant pulling my hair into puffs or a modified pineapple, covering it with a scarf, and going to bed. It’s required me to gain a new level of appreciation of my hair texture. I know it looks crazy to some people, but I can’t deny it’s the healthiest it’s ever been…

Bilen
Bilen
8 years ago
Reply to  LBell

Lbell: Woot, woot right back at ya:) My nighttime regimen is close to yours. I put my hair in a pineapple, but do not put a scarf on just because for me, that flattens and tangles my hair if I cover it. When I wake up, I take down the pineapple, bend over at the waist and shake my hair out and usually just walk out. Sometimes I’ll pin one side or the other back like you see in some of my pics, but that’s it! 🙂

tiredofthebs
tiredofthebs
8 years ago
Reply to  Bilen

Thx for your response!! It’s no such thing, but I think we’re hair twins, now all I need is abt 20 more inches of length. LOL and crossing fingers. Thx agn 🙂

Rahel
Rahel
8 years ago

LOVE HER HAIR…KONJO! #TEAMHABESHA

gisella francisca
8 years ago

amazing hair and cool style. Loveit! I also visited her blog and it is quite nice. 🙂

Bilen
Bilen
8 years ago

Tiredofthebs: Thx for the compliments!:) To answer your questions, my hair regimen is basically what I described in the question section. I honestly do not do any extra moisturizing or anything. The Carol’s Daughter oil is what I put in it and that’s it for the week or two weeks until the next washing. As for trimming, I’m really bad at that and don’t do it as often as I should. I’ll trim it myself when I see split ends, but that’s it:) Regarding the pic with the hair comb, no, it’s not a 2strand twist out. I’ve done no… Read more »

Alexandra
Alexandra
8 years ago

There are no other words to say but.…Beautiful!!!! ( =

Staci
Staci
8 years ago

I thought you were Erykah Badu in the pic with the hat! I love your hair 🙂

tiredofthebs
tiredofthebs
8 years ago

Thx for your response!! It’s no such thing, but I think we’re hair twins, now all I need is abt 20 more inches of length. LOL and crossing fingers. Thx agn 🙂

Sieta
8 years ago

I recognise the first pic! It’s nice to see the person behind it =)

Lovely big hair, I like your style.

Vonne
Vonne
8 years ago

Wow! The thickness of her hair is incredible. love the volume.

dudubeauty
8 years ago

What a beauty!.…all that hair, just gorg

Cathey Poindexter-Taylor
Cathey Poindexter-Taylor
8 years ago

What BEAUTIFUL hair she has!!!

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago

Your hair is AMAZING!!!

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
8 years ago

She looks like a movie star. Very glamourous.

Neesha_Cherie
Neesha_Cherie
8 years ago

Wow!! She’s beautiful! Love her style and her gorgeous head of hair! She kinda looks like a cross between Diana Ross, and the founder of Entwine Naturelle Cotoure.

PS All that hair and the discipline to not touch her it? I’m impressed!! Get it girl!!

Neesha_Cherie
Neesha_Cherie
8 years ago
Reply to  Neesha_Cherie

*not to touch it

Antoinette Stewart
8 years ago

HABESHA people are so beautiful! By far !!

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

Dream hair-BIG!

Jnappygirl
8 years ago

Her hair is very beautiful, lovely

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