*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
C: My name is Candice. I currently reside in Cincinnati, Ohio by way of St. Louis…by way of Atlanta…by way of Arkansas. Most commonly I rep wherever I am living at the time of the question. LOL I am a RN 3 days/week and a devoted wife and fashion blogger 24/7.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
C: I have done LOTS of different things with my hair. I’ve never been one to hesitate when it comes to trying different styles (pixie cuts, weaves, fried, dyed, laid to the side) and since I have been doing my own hair since high school, achieving those styles has never been a problem. Two and a half years ago, I was going through some pre-relaxer pictures of myself and noticed how much healthier my hair looked–that is what got me curious about my curl pattern. Also, during that time, my mother was fighting cancer and was on this “natural kick”. She basically began evaluating every aspect of her life and converting to the natural form of products that she used on a daily basis. I think that was the driving force in me breaking away from perms and “going natural”.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
C: My last partial perm was January 2010. I say partial because I was wearing a sew in at the time and only permed the part of my hair that was out–which is why for months, the front of my hair was much shorter than the back after I big chopped—big mistake. LOL My original plan was to transition for a year and then big chop. What actually ended up happening was I transitioned for 6 months by wearing sew in’s and cut off my permed ends in September of 2010 because I was so anxious to see what my hair would look like. Thinking back, I often wish I had just shaved it off without transitioning to experience the freedom of doing next to nothing to my hair every morning.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
C: I don’t think that going natural has affected me as much as it has those around me. I have always been pretty experimental with my look, which has not changed; what has changed is I am described at work as “the nurse with the cool hair”. Also, I am starting to get used to people asking questions about my hair, which is pretty cool.
How would you describe your hair?
C: I have learned to pretty much let my hair do its own thing. It’s very thick with varying curl patterns. My edges tend to be very curly and the texture on the crown of my head is a pretty loose curl pattern.
What is your regimen?
C: I typically co-wash every 2–3 days with whatever cheapie conditioner is available. Right now it’s Yes to Carrots. I use apple cider vinegar to clarify about once a month in the winter and more frequently in the summer because I do a lot of playing in the pool. When I deep condition, which is about every other week in the winter and less often in the summer, it is with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. I am considering starting henna treatments because I have heard so many good things about them—I just haven’t taken that leap yet.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
C: I do a lot of protective styling when I’m not doing a photo shoot for my blog. Not necessarily for the protective aspect of it, but more for the convenience. Also, I have had a couple of patients reach out and touch my hair when it was loose—which is not ok! LOL I usually wear a high bun or a flat twist and side bun with a flower accessory. Every morning and evening before bed I use a spray bottle to spray my hair down with water, then add shea butter and castor oil to seal in moisture.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
C: My biggest mistake so far was not trimming when necessary. I think that we get so attached to our length sometimes that we don’t want to lose those few inches. I have learned to trim when my hair starts looking thin and unhealthy on the ends.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
C: Moisture, moisture, moisture! The weather here in Cincinnati is brutal in the winters. The combination of the wind and cold temps easily dries my hair out if I don’t take proper precautions. Since I have begun my conditioning and sealing routine, I have noticed my hair is much softer and healthier.
Anything else you want to add?
C: I am forever grateful for blogs like these that showcase natural hair and its variations. One thing that I have learned is that what works for one person’s hair may be detrimental to another—blogs like yours and message boards provide so much information to naturals of all textures and hair types. Thank you!