*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
How would you describe your texture?
T: My hair is a mix of several textures. I recently posted about my frustrations on my tumblr actually, asking “what the @#$* is my hair type?!” Hmm, but in all seriousness it ranges from pencil eraser width curls on the sides to waves on the top. The only constant with my hair is frizziness all over! The strands themselves are fine, but my hair is extremely dense. In its natural state, my hair ends up in a “curly fro”- tons of fine curly hair packed together in the typical halo of an afro.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: I’ve been natural for 3 years and I still don’t have a set regimen for my hair. I’m always trying out new techniques and products. I used to wear my hair in wash n go’s every day and rarely protected my strands at night. As my hair got longer and bigger, this ended up resulting in a lot of dryness, tangling, and single strand knots. Now I mostly wear my hair in twist-outs. I’ll use my conditioner (Giovanni) as a leave-in and maybe use a bit of gel (I use the cheap stuff at the drugstore!) Depending on the effect I want I will do anywhere from 6–20 twists total. For whatever reason, my curls don’t tend to hold up well after day 2, so I’ll usually retwist after a shower every other night or so. I’ve also begun pressing my hair straight on occasion to change things up.
What does wash day look like for you?
T: Wash day is pretty frequent for me. I know a lot of naturals who will wear a style and just apply a little oil on their ends every night for up to a week. This doesn’t work for my hair at all! My hair gets dried out if I don’t hop in the shower and co-wash every 2–3 days at least. When I co-wash, I’ll use my Giovanni conditioner, detangle in the shower, and twist it up. I use a low-poo shampoo about once a week (currently loving Kinky Curly’s Come Clean). I just apply it to the roots so it cleanses my scalp without drying out my hair. Usually after I shampoo, I’ll do a deep treatment with whatever new product I’m trying (haven’t found a specific deep treatment to make a staple). I throw it in my hair, put a plastic cap on my head, and a wrap a towel around that. It ensures that the heat from my head stays in and lets the masque penetrate my hair.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
T: My favorite style is definitely the sock bun. You can look at tutorials on Youtube! Basically, you make a donut out of a sock and stick it on top of your ponytail which creates a nice full bun. It’s so polished and easy, I will wear it if I’m going out or even on a job interview!
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: Twist-outs on wet hair or even on a blow out and wearing it straight.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
T: The ends of my hair have been highlighted and then dyed over several times (regret that). So they’re definitely more fragile than the rest of my hair. I just tried the ApHogee 2‑step Protein Treatment and my hair loved it. Definitely will be a staple.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: Do moisturize constantly. CONSTANTLY! Also, do listen to your hair. I can’t stress enough that every texture is different, so it’s important to first and foremost base your hair decisions on what it seems to like-not necessarily what a YouTube hair guru said.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: Don’t get too hung up on hair envy! We’re all guilty of it. You’ve got to love and embrace your own texture. If you spend your entire day trying to recreate someone else’s texture/style, it’s never going to come out exactly right. No matter what I do, I’m never going to have shiny, uniform coils with minimal shrinkage. But that’s okay, I love my hair for what it is.
That having been said, my second don’t is that you shouldn’t give up and accept your hair in a style that you don’t really love. Natural hair is SO versatile. You can and will find several styles that you love. For example, I used to wear my hair in a wash n go everyday and I loved it, but once my hair got really big, it started to look too wild in a wash n go. I felt conflicted by my need to “accept” my texture- but the truth is I was not and am not comfortable rocking my hair in a fro with a 12” radius. If that makes me a bad natural, so be it. I now wear my hair in buns, twist outs, and on occasion (gasp!) straight. These are the styles that I love for me, and make me proud to be natural. Just love your hair, there is no one “right” way to do it.