*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
H: My name is Helecia. I’m from Houston, Texas [H‑Town].
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
H: I really had no desire to wear my hair natural until my sister introduced me to it. I have always been a fan of rocking new styles and trying different things with my hair. I was open to just about anything when it came to hair. My sister would constantly talk to me about natural hair, make me watch videos, show me pictures and urge me to transition. I gave in and went for it!
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
H: I big chopped. For me, there was no other way. I didn’t have the patience to transition. As soon as that six weeks passed, I itched for my creamy crack. My hair all of a sudden seemed dry and unmanageable. I ended up getting a sew in, but that only lasted for about two months. I was done! The day after I took my weave out, I told my sister I was coming over so she could cut my hair. That didn’t work out so well either. She cut it alright, and I cried. It was terrible. I called myself trying to be Rihanna and keep my hair long and permed in the front but short and kinky everywhere else. After that tragedy, I notified one of my friends and asked her to just help. The next day, she shaved my head with clippers. All I remember her saying is, “Please don’t cry, LeLe!” I had shed enough tears in one weekend already. After that big chop, a shampoo, conditioning, and color I was good to go. Truth is, I really loved being bald head!
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
H: Having natural hair has opened up so many opportunities for me. It almost seems as if I hopped on the bandwagon right before it took off. I have always loved to interact with and meet new people. Natural hair has done that for me. I would have never expected that natural hair would be such a huge trend that continues to last. Natural hair has also built my confidence. I didn’t expect for so many people to react negatively to it when I first cut it. My relaxed hair matters more to other people than it did to me. I had to learn to deal with the negative comments, which made me a stronger person.
How would you describe your hair?
H: My hair is beyond thick. It has always been thick and I am tender headed. Even my mother had issues with my hair as a child. I got my first relaxer at the age of five. My hair has always been strong. I could color, relax and apply heat daily and it wouldn’t break, thin out or stop growing. When it comes to classifying my hair into a “TYPE”, I would just say it is somewhere in the range of type 4. The back of my hair is tightly curled, the middle is loosely curled and the sides and front are wavy. Some parts of my hair are even fairly straight. There is no consistent curl pattern. I can say that my hair behaves very well, but it has been trained. I have forced it to do what I want it to do. Through trial and error I figured out what worked for my hair and what didn’t.
What is your regimen?
H: My natural hair regimen is fairly simple. I wash once a week with with Chargin Valley Shampoo bars, and deep condition afterwards. I usually use Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner or Hairveda 24.7 Moisturizing Conditioner. I detangle while my conditioner is still in my hair. I rinse out the conditioner and apply a leave in. At the moment my favorite leave in is Kinky Curly Knot Today, but I also love Oyin Handmade Honey Dew. After that process I style, usually doing a twist out, and apply a butter as I go. I have over 15 butters that I use. There is a “Products, Products, Products” video that will cover that through. From that point on, every night I retwist my hair and untwist it the next morning.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
H: There is really no trick to retaining length. I simply take care of my hair. When I first big chopped my hair was super dry. On a daily basis I would apply oil directly to the strands of my hair. After a couple of months the dryness stopped and I didn’t need to apply oil daily. Now I usually apply one product a week. I rarely remoisturize because my hair doesn’t really need it.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
H: The only mistakes I have encountered are usage of certain products. I have figured out what products work for me and which ones don’t. For example, olive oil is the worst oil for my hair. It does not soak into my strands, instead it just sits on top of my hair.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
H: This kinky bush needs to be twisted on a nightly basis. That has pretty much ensured me that everyday will be a good hair day. When ever I venture out from that routine my hair reacts negatively or just doesn’t last.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
H: Currently I can be contacted through my Facebook Fan page and my YouTube channel. I am interested in starting a blog, but it’s solely dependent on what the people want. So I wonder what the viewers want?