*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
N: My name is Nikisha. I’ve been living in Brooklyn since age 3, but I was born in Toronto, Canada. I’m a teacher and co-founder of the online publication UrbanBushBabes.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
N: I got tired of conforming to fit in. I finally embraced what God gave me and stopped living for others.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
N: My hair was natural until I was in the 8th grade, that’s when I relaxed it. After that first time I kept it straight with blow driers, hot combs, flat irons, curling irons, clothing irons…lol, yes the iron you use for clothes. I was almost a senior in college when I finally stopped straightening it. I had to cut it to about chin length and kept cutting it little by little until all the damage was gone and I got my curls back.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
N: For one, I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I have more freedom as far as swimming, working out, I don’t have to hide from the rain like I did when my hair was straight.
How would you describe your hair?
N: I have 3c hair type. Pen sized tight spiral curls that are fine. My hair without any product has a natural frizz and gets bigger as the days go on after wash day. The dirtier my hair, the bigger and better it is!
What is your regimen?
N: I wash my hair once a week. I start with wetting my hair and applying a deep conditioner like Camille Rose Algae Deep Conditioning Mask and leave it on for 30–60 minutes under a gel heating cap. Then I finger detangle in 2 sections, rinse out and put 2 big twists in my hair and shampoo with Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo. I rinse out and apply a conditioner like Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner, finger detangle some more and then comb with my wide tooth Jilbere comb. I rinse, then I semi dry my hair with an old t‑shirt. I apply a small amount of leave in like Giovanni’s Direct Leave-in or Camille Rose Moisture Butter. I seal with Treasured Locks African Argan Elixer. I also do apple cider vinegar rinses once a month. When I wear protective styles I seal with Belle Butter’s Double Agent Butter.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
N: Drinking lots of water and juicing everyday does a lot. I believe true healthy hair starts from within. I also use products that are pretty much all natural in ingredients. The deep conditioning once a week adds lots of moisture for me. A good leave in with water as a first ingredient and then sealing with an oil as my last step has saved my hair’s life! I spritz with water when my hair feels dry and reapply some oil on the ends. Protective styles such as buns and two strand twists have also helped me achieve length.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
N: I don’t mess with heat and I don’t bleach or dye my hair anymore. I don’t pull my hair back in tight ponytails; all of those things have contributed to thinning, breakage, and loss of my natural curl pattern.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
N: My diet is the most effective (lots of water, juicing, healthy eating) as well as switching to products that have all natural ingredients. Sealing with an oil is the best too!
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
N: I have a website with my bestie Cipriana called UrbanBushBabes. You can find me on urbanbushbabes.com or on our YouTube channel, Facebook, and Twitter under urbanbushbabes.
Anything else you want to add?
N: God doesn’t make mistakes, you are who you are and you look how you look for a purpose. Embrace it and enjoy the journey! Thank you Leila, and to all the beautiful women that contribute to this amazing site. Inspiration is powerful so keep inspiring!