*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
How would you describe your texture?
J: If I had to pick a hair type, I would say my hair is a 4a/3c hybrid with a bit of 4b in the back. The back of my head boasts the tightest coils while the front has looser, more defined curls. I have a ton of hair, so it is really thick but the actual strands are fine. Because my hair is so soft, I feel like that makes it more prone to frizziness and it succumbs to any kind of heat without much resistance. My hair also takes an eternity and a half to air dry.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
J: I am constantly changing my hairstyles. My favorite style has to be my double-strand twists because the styling options are endless. If I take the time to throw some twists into my hair, I usually rock them for about a month before I reach my threshold of frizz. Sometimes I put my twists in flexi-rods and wear them curly. Sometimes I arrange them into a funky up-do. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll pull them back into a ponytail or wear them straight down. At night, I can just moisturize and seal my ends and keep it moving.
Unfortunately my patience with installing twists is thin, so my hair is usually out and free. I love over-sized fluffy buns. They keep my hair out of my face and off of my neck, which is especially great on hot days and also keeps the amount of time I spend with my hands in my hair down A TON. Lately I’ve been in love with my twist-outs and bantu-knot outs. I’m not much of a braid-out girl unless it’s done with about 6–8 medium sized cornrows.
As far as my hair product arsenal, these are my current favs: Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk (prep for twist-outs), Kinky-Curly Knot Today (leave-in conditioner), Oyin Handmade Hair Dew (moisturizing), Shea Radiance Hair Butter and coconut oil (sealing). I can always depend on them when I need to be sure my hair will be looking just right.
What does wash day look like for you?
J: I really try to have a wash day every week. I had to designate Sunday as the day for it all to go down to keep me on track. I don’t have a million steps or products in my wash regimen—it’s pretty straight forward. Before I pick up any products, I take a couple minutes to rinse my hair and make sure it is fully saturated with water.
Shampoo: Sectioning my hair is a must! I do about 4–6 sections, depending on how big the job is looking that week. I use a clarifying shampoo once a month to make sure I’m really getting all of the gunk out of my hair. Right now my favorite shampoo is Beautiful Textures Moisturizing Shampoo. It is gentle enough that it does not dry out my hair, but still leaves my hair feeling clean.
Condition/Detangle: I like to condition and detangle with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (or Long-Term Relationship if I need a bit of protein) with the help of my trusty shower comb. I will admit that sometimes I skip this step and head right to the deep conditioning step. Hey—I’m a busy girl!
Deep Condition: Sometimes I’ll detangle while my deep conditioner is in my hair and I never bother to deep condition longer than 30 minutes. I love ORS Replenishing Conditioner. I’ll go to my Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque when my hair needs real therapy and on really rough weeks, since the masque doubles as a leave-in, I won’t rinse it out.
Once all of this is done, I dry my hair with an old cotton t‑shirt, apply my leave-in (usually Kinky-Curly Knot Today) and go for another short round of detangling. What happens next varies on what style I’m prepping for or how sore my arms are by now after working with my hair for so long. On a low maintenance day, I apply a moisturizer or styling product like Shea Moisture’s Curl & Style Milk, seal with my Shea Radiance Hair Butter and put my hair in several big twists for a fluffy twist-out the next day.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
J: As of late, twist-outs and topknot buns have been my go-to styles. I am far from a morning person and I’ve mastered both of these hairstyles enough that they don’t take much thought to do when I’m getting ready for the day.
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: I let my hair air dry in twists and that helps reduce how much my hair coils up. If I have time, when my twists are almost dry I will re-twist each twist to stretch out whatever shrinkage has already happened during the first bit of drying. Bantu-knots are also great for eliminating any unwanted shrinkage. Other than that, I’ve learned to just embrace the curls!
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
J: I have to be mindful of how tight I pull my hair because the hair around my edges is very fine. There have been a couple times when I’ve noticed slight breakage, especially in the back from gathering ponytails and puffs too tight. I’ve learned how to perfect a sleek look without pulling my hair too tightly.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: One: Doing my hair in sections changed my life. I don’t know what I was trying to get done before but a few years ago, a friend suggested that to me and I saw the light. Two: I have to be very gentle with my hair. Although it is thick, I have fine strands and there are times when I can just hear every strand popping because I’m being too rough.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: One: No-poo regimens don’t work for me. I have to use shampoo or else I get ridiculous build-up and my strands are visibly weighed down. My hair starts to look dull without a good shampoo from time to time. Two: Wash and go’s are a no-go for me. Tangles and knots GALORE. It isn’t worth the work I have to deal with later. Plus, I’m not a fan of how my hair frames my face after it air dries freely.