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Geri // Multi-Texture Style Icon

Avatar • Jun 19, 2012

Introduce yourself!
G:
Hello! My name is Geri. I’m a Naija American aspiring healthcare professional, makeup artist, and newbie blogger. You might recognize my article, What Does it Mean to Look African. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, but I currently live and work in NYC.

Why did you make the decision to go natural?
G:
I decided to forgo relaxing my hair, after two successive punches. First punch: A sew-in weave that was left in too long, thinned out and severely weakened my hair. TKO: I allowed a stylist to rake through three months’ worth of new growth, which subsequently, broke off a lot of my hair. For some time, the memory of the ever growing clump of shed and broken hair, discarded in her trashcan, haunted me.

Through this journey, I’ve come to recognize the nonexistent and disconnected relationship I once had with my hair. While I was relaxed, I’d been so accustomed to allowing others to care for it, that my own head of hair became alien to me. The stylist du jour claimed real possession of it, and I dutifully kept to her appointments and adhered to her advice. I trusted her completely, and questioned little. I was almost afraid of my hair, or perhaps, I was just incredibly estranged from it. I can identify that former disassociation I used to have with my hair today, because of the ownership and dare I say, the oneness I now have with it. There is something intimately amazing about noting an errant strand of my hair, on the floor for example, and being able to know the exact region on my head where it came from. I understand my hair so well today, that it is perplexing, just how deeply unaware I used to be.

How would you describe your texture?
G:
I don’t personally adhere to hair typing, because I find it to be limiting. However, I appreciate the basic benefits it provides. At a quick glance, my hair has a myriad of 4a/b/c curls. More importantly, my hair is densely made up of fine to thick strands. It takes a while for water to soak through my hair, but on the other hand, my hair dries pretty quickly.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
G:
Over the course of one month, especially since this year, I’ve been experimenting with wearing my hair out more often. I alternate between braid outs, updos, or head ties (scarves or turbans). During the colder months, I typically wear wigs or braids. I’m a low manipulator, so whenever I do my styles, I forecast for the upcoming week, and then I try to keep the styles in for that amount of time. I switch into the next style for the new week, over the weekend.

What does wash day look like for you?
G:
My wash day literally, takes up the entire day. I only wash my hair once a month, so by this time, my hair is matted and tangled. This is the only time I employ the use of a brush, and it takes me hours to detangle my entire head. I like to use a spray mixture of a penetrating oil (coconut, avocado, or olive), water, and a light conditioner, like Vo5 Moisture Milk. After I completely remove all my shed hair, I deep condition with mashed avocados or any thick cholesterol treatment. Finally, I rinse my hair, and I shampoo it if it is necessary.

Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
G:
My favorite quick hairstyle, technically, isn’t a hairstyle. If I don’t have a lot of time to do my hair, I will usually tuck it under a cute scarf.

How do you combat shrinkage?
G:
Combat shrinkage? No, I embrace it. I even won the fun shrinkage contest BGLH held last year.

I view shrinkage as an integral characteristic to all curly hair. It goes hand in hand with our hair textures- your hair is curly, therefore, it shrinks. I generally, welcome shrinkage in my hair, because it gives me volume, and also it means that my hair is hydrated.

What are 2 do’s for your texture?
G:
I work out at least 4 days a week, I drink tons of water, and I try to eat well. I believe optimizing healthy practices, optimizes hair growth.

For braid outs, I use a creamy wax to smooth out my ends, and then I wrap them around a small perm rod. My hair is plagued with SSKs, so the wax stretches out my ends, minimizing SSKs, and the cold rod gives the ends of my hair a uniform curl- without it, my ends would look frayed and spikey.

What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
G:
I rarely do twist outs because they often leave my roots in a mesh of tangles. I also refrain from unnecessary manipulation from tools, like combs and brushes. Most of my hairstyles are done without their aid, because I’ve found out that my hair fares better, (less mid strand splits and breakage), when I seriously minimize their use.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
G:
After much prodding, ahem, encouragement, from friends and strangers, lol, I’ve taken the leap into the blogging world. You can find me at geraldinethegreat.blogspot.com. :o)

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Bitty Boss
Bitty Boss
8 years ago

Hello hair twin!!!!!!! Your hair is gorgeous!

Nana
Nana
8 years ago

She’s got the beauty gap too! Nkem, you’re gorgeoussss.
Naija gals unite!

Kenny
8 years ago
Reply to  Nana

She’s pretty, Naija gal rocks for life!

herlucidsKy
8 years ago

Beautiful hair just beautiful!!

nolamocha
nolamocha
8 years ago

Her hair is gorgeous!!!! Absolutely love it!

nolamocha
nolamocha
8 years ago

Shout out to my fellow naija gal! Lol

Nibi
8 years ago

Beeeeeeautiful!

Treacle234
Treacle234
8 years ago

What is Najia American?

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago
Reply to  Treacle234

Najia is a term used for Nigeria by Nigerians. So, Najia American = Nigerian American.

Nne
Nne
8 years ago
Reply to  Treacle234

Naija-American means Nigerian American.

Trea_tu
Trea_tu
8 years ago

She has lovely head of hair but she stated she workouts 4 or more times a week and only washes her hair once a month? I’m sorry, all that sweat & product build-up is a funky habit!

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  Trea_tu

Yeah it definitely seem so to me. Maybe if she didn’t work out I could let it fly washing your hair once a month, because she really didn’t mention that she uses product in hair, besides the oil. Maybe she rinses after work outs or once a week it is still a method of cleaning.

ladyluo
ladyluo
8 years ago
Reply to  Trea_tu

Or maybe her scalp does not sweat any or very little. When I started working out I thought I would have to wash my hair several times a week but once I discovered that my scalp barely sweats, if at all, I didn’t have to change my regimen.

Mia_P
Mia_P
8 years ago
Reply to  ladyluo

Sometimes we may think out hair does not stink but it does, have someone smell your hair just before wash day and you will see. I am sure your hair stinks esp if you do not clean it often. Washing your hair once a month is an unacceptable habit. A vagrant stinks and they don’t do anything besides sleep and hunt for food. We all have a body odor, even if we do not sweat. During the winter, go 10 days without showering and you tell me if you don’t stink I’m sure you don’t sweat during winter.

ladyluo
ladyluo
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

unacceptable habit? Who died and made you queen of what is acceptable or unacceptable? She is not the first natural that only washes their hair once a month. I definitely couldn’t do it but it is not my hair. If your hair reeks, it does not mean that someone else’s hair reeks. Many INDIVIDUAL factors go into it. I would think she is not walking around with hair that reeks.

Mia_P
Mia_P
8 years ago
Reply to  ladyluo

Washing your hair once a month is an unacceptable habit just like it is unacceptable to not brush your teeth daily, take a shower or bath, wear clean clothes etc,

tigerlily
tigerlily
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

I have to agree with ladyluo. So what she washes her hair once a month. Big whoop. Does her washing her hair once a month affect you that much to point you claim it’s unacceptable? It’s unacceptable to YOU Mia_P. Different things work for different people. Peoples’ body works differently than others. I mean I wash only twice a month while working out 6 days a week.I thought it to be unfair for you to say that her hair regimen is unacceptable. Although your comment was ignorant, you are most definitively entitled to it.

dhelialovelybreadwinner
dhelialovelybreadwinner
8 years ago
Reply to  ladyluo

Many women walk around with funky smelling weaves and especially braids. I cannot tell you how many times I have smelled women indirectly,(via public transportation, being on an elevator)whose braids have an awful scent. When your hair in unclean it lets off a scent, you may not notice it but others sure will. So yes, it is possible that she is walking around with hair that reeks.

khiugi
khiugi
5 years ago

Yeah I know what you mean. When my hair is in braids I still wash it. Some people don’t think you can, but it works for me

Nana
Nana
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Wow. You’re really unnecessarily insulting and condescending. You do realize that washing hair weekly/daily is a recent invention used to sell SLS products and is actually bad for your scalp and hair health in the long run?

Really… just the nerve of you to imply she wouldn’t know if her hair smelled or not. It’s not she that’s practicing unacceptable behavior here, hon.

EG
EG
8 years ago
Reply to  Nana

Washing your hair frequently is not bad for your hair or scalp, what you wash your hair with is the problem.
That said, yes some naturals do have a once a month wash routine, Cipriana and Longhairdontcare come to mind and they both have hai to their hip.

Nana
Nana
8 years ago
Reply to  EG

Clarifying:

I was saying washing your hair daily/weekly is a marketing plot, which can result in raw scalps and damaged hair because of the SLS in products.

Mia_P
Mia_P
8 years ago
Reply to  Nana

You talk rubbish. If washing your hair frequently is a marketing plot, then taking a shower once or twice a day is a marketing plot to sell soap or shower gel? Wearing clean clothes daily is a marketing plot to sell clothes or laundry detergent? Brushing your teeth daily is a marketing plot to sell toothpaste? I could go on and on. Washing your hair once a month is unacceptable so is smelling like a vagrant or homeless person.

BeautyIAM
BeautyIAM
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Mia_P, with all due respect…please sit down.

Do you really think what you just said is beneficial? I don’t know why you feel the need to give advice in such a disrespectful way.

I work out and I do not wash my hair too often. However, I don’t wait until a month to wash my hair.

Let people do what they want to do with their hair instead of being judgmental and condescending. What is unacceptable is you thinking YOU know whats best for someone else.

Mia_P
Mia_P
8 years ago
Reply to  BeautyIAM

Standards are set for a reason. It is unhygienic not to cleanse your hair often. Not because some things does not smell means it’s clean. Even Kimmaytube disagrees with the process of washing your hair once a month. It is uncoth to walk around with unclean hair. End of story. EVERYONE quit trying to convince me otherwise.

BeautyIAM
BeautyIAM
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Excuse me? LOL. So did you write these standards? Because last time I checked, THERE WERE NO STANDARDS WRITTEN DOWN IN STONE HOW TO BE A PROPER NATURAL. I like Kimmaytube and have used some of her tips, but she did not write a book about how to be natural, just like you did not write a book. It sounds like you are misquoting her. Look, if you feel like that is not how YOU want to take care of your hair, fine. But to come on here and tell people what they should be doing with their hair…when you… Read more »

Nana
Nana
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

You didn’t read my comment to the best of your ability. So I won’t take the time to educate you about contemporary hygienic routines and how a business works.

I’m going to continue washing my hair once a month. Cry about it in a corner why don’t you?

Mia_P
Mia_P
8 years ago
Reply to  Nana

I’m glad you realized your comment about daily/weekly washing being a marketing tool was rubbish. Kudos to you! Have a nice life.

Nana
Nana
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Lol I did? Pretty sure I realized you’re an asshole and that’s all.

CC_akua
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Wow…this has taken a turn to the worst. Well regardless of what she does, her hair is gorgeous. So if she’s happy with her routine, let’s all just go about our business. Stay blessed

Renee
Renee
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Hair will stay healthier without “shampooing it to death”. This is a leading factor of hair breakage from dryness and protien depletion..the less you shampoo, the better. Leaving your hair alone gives the scalp a chance to normalize and even moisturize itself. If you feel like it has a smell or too sweaty…use an antiseptic spray on the scalp, towel it out and you’ll be good to go !! Seabreeze is a good product to use! This suggestion is coming from a cosmetologist with 40+ years in the industry! I have waist length hair.

kitty
kitty
8 years ago
Reply to  Mia_P

Mia, you do sweat during the winter…and she could co-wash weekly but only shampoo once a month…trust and believe I have similar hair to hers if not the same and mine is shorter and it tangles up easily..not fun at all!!!

Lele
Lele
8 years ago
Reply to  Trea_tu

Maybe she rinses in between? I only wash my hair 3 times per month, and I work out 3–4 times per week. My hair doesn’t stink or have build up because I don’t use a lot of heavy products anymore, and plus lightly rinsing helps (sometimes in the summer, I use highly diluted vinegar).

merry
merry
8 years ago
Reply to  Trea_tu

i workout about five days a week but not every workout leaves me in a sweaty mess.

running does, but lifting weights does not.

i don’t think you need to wash your each time you exercise.

i’m sure she doesn’t stink. lol. that sorta rude.

Rebe
Rebe
8 years ago
Reply to  merry

I agree. That was really rude…
Anyway I love her hair.

Olamide
Olamide
8 years ago

Naija means nigerian. Geri you and ur hair are gorgeous girl!! Also naija and an aspiring health professional!

merry
merry
8 years ago

she’s beautiful.

Cayce
Cayce
8 years ago

Love it!! She is gorgeous and so is her lovely hair!

Geri Keenan
Geri Keenan
8 years ago

Hi Geri
My name is also Geri
Thank you
for all the info!

African Mami
8 years ago

my sista! gorgeous hair, BUT you only wash your hair once a month?!

Maureen
Maureen
8 years ago
Reply to  African Mami

If it works for her. That’s the most important.

African Mami
8 years ago
Reply to  Maureen

@ Maureen

Abeg!

Nana
Nana
8 years ago
Reply to  African Mami

Haha, I also only wash my hair once a month. I keep my scalp clean and my ends moisturizing by daily scalp massaging. It moves the sebum onto my strands and leaves it pretty soft and kept!

Whenever my scalp is feeling a bit dry and raw I just rub softly with the pads of my fingers. Within in a couple of minutes it’s soft again.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
8 years ago
Reply to  African Mami

I have a feeling that washing only once per month is one of the reasons her hair is so long and healthy looking. It obviously works for her.

maralondon
maralondon
8 years ago

Beautiful hair. I would like to know if you rinse your hair between shampoos since you work out 4 times a week.

Oma
Oma
8 years ago

Hello fellow Naija! I’m Igbo too. Love ur hair a lot! And u r soooo beautiful 🙂

maegan
maegan
8 years ago

Her hair is beautiful but I personally can’t go a week without washing my hair at least once; I can’t picture a whole month!

prettyparticular
prettyparticular
8 years ago

Beautiful girl, beautiful hair, beautiful writer…

JulesB
JulesB
8 years ago

Your hair is so awesome thick I love it.

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
8 years ago

Really gorgeous, thick hair. Love it!

NikNak
NikNak
8 years ago

I love the texture. That photo from the back is awesome. It’s indescribable. So pretty. I’m about to get some weave this texture.

serita
serita
8 years ago

Nice head of hair!!! Love it so much!! I want hair like that so bad!!! 🙂

I, too, wash my hair once a month. Nothing wrong with that. Can’t knock her routine, to each its own. With all that hair, u think she would wash it weekly? Seriously?! She states that it takes her all day to pamper her hair.

nelle
nelle
8 years ago

beautiful, especially the photo w/the blue hair wrap.

nelle
nelle
8 years ago

about washing her hair monthly, i read it and i remembered reading on bglh about a mom who mentioned washing her daughter’s hair monthly, or aft. several wks. Here it is.

http://bglh-marketplace.com/2010/01/mom-grows-out-daughters-kinky-natural-hair-to-waist-length/2/

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  nelle

I actually read it it never mention in that article that she washes her hair monthly It does mention she keeps her hair braids for a month and cleans them using a rag but doesn’t mention whether that done monthly or not.

do you have another link?

nelle
nelle
8 years ago
Reply to  hyspin

No, no other link necessary. I think we are just interpreting the article differently. She said in 2010 “If she’s rocking 8 or more braids that can be styled different ways, I’ll leave it up for up to a month, cleaning her scalp with a wet rag and cleaning her braids from top to bottom with a wet rag, sometimes I’ll wash her hair while in the braids if it gets to dirty.” I said in 2012 “…i remembered reading on bglh about a mom who mentioned washing her daughter’s hair monthly, or aft. several wks…” I’m proud my memory was… Read more »

Amor
Amor
8 years ago

I don’t comment often, but she sounds like my hair twin lol

againstsnobbery
againstsnobbery
8 years ago

Kedu to all my Igbo sisters! 🙂

Kiloshele to all my Yoruba sisters!

I am not a Naija gal but know many,.can you tell? 🙂

I must say i really enjoyed this interview especially this line of the interview:

I can identify that former disassociation I used to have with my hair today, because of the ownership and dare I say, the oneness I now have with it.”

I don’t understand all the fuss about washing 1x a month? Let’s not get snobbish now like we never did that when we were relaxed! LOL

Lita
Lita
8 years ago

+1 I’m looking forward to hearing from the relaxed heads who used to wash their hair every day!

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  Lita

I used to wash my hair weekly when I was temporarily relaxed, does that count? :). I don’t know much people in the black community who wash their head everyday, whether, relaxed, natural, fake or bald.

Lita
Lita
8 years ago
Reply to  hyspin

what’s a temporary relaxer?

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago
Reply to  Lita

Oops, I just meant only stuck with the relaxer for short period of time before I stop.

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago

It not really the once a month thing being a much of an issues as washing your hair once a month while working out 4 times a week is where the issue arises. Yes some people can’t go a day with washing while others can go weeks, but when you put in regular proper works outs (so where you sweat) then that dynamic will change do to the salt build up which I doubt will be good for your hair or scalp and the increased smell developed from perspiration and bacteria growth. It just very hard to see that not… Read more »

Mocha
Mocha
8 years ago

I wnt to Know how you style ur hai without using a comb

tinabobina
tinabobina
8 years ago
Reply to  Mocha

Finger comb/detangle…I do the same because my hair curses me out when I use combs.

Geri
8 years ago

Hey Guys!

I see there has been some debate about monthly hair washing. To clarify, when I mentioned that I washed once a month, it meant that the entire process of deep conditioning, detangling, and shampooing (if necessary), is done once a month. Furthermore, whenever any products are applied to my hair, I do not apply them close to my roots. This also minimizes buildup. However, I cowash whenever I get the urge to do so.

Thanks for all the kind comments ya’ll. They go a long way. If you have further questions, please visit geraldinethegreat.blogspot.com :O)

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago

What a pretty lady with lovely hair!

Her hair looks so much like mine–maybe it’s ’cause we’re both Naija American. Haha

She also has a gap in her smile like myself, my mother and my grandmother.

I’ll be following her blog.

Landry
Landry
8 years ago

Gorgeous!!!! I am SO INSPIRED–:)

df
df
8 years ago

EWO! LOOK AT THIS NAIJA BABE! <3
Gorgeous head of hair too 🙂

df
df
8 years ago

there are some rude mofo’s on here who feel they have to be right about everything…

Fairn
8 years ago

You and your hair are GORGEOUS! #envy

tinabobina
tinabobina
8 years ago

You are gorgeous…

(of course, the hair too.)

layray
layray
8 years ago

Beautiful! Rep Naija!!

earthichick
earthichick
8 years ago

I can’t wait til the day NIgerian in Nigeria embrace natural hair. Go 9ja!

Natural Oils for Hair
8 years ago
Reply to  earthichick

Girl, a lot of Naija babes are natural. I was stunned to discover it. Last time I went home, everybody acted like I was possessed because I’d stopped relaxing but now not so much. It’s slow but it’s happening. Check out naturalnigerian on facebook. 🙂

Ada
Ada
8 years ago

Also look for Leave In The Kinks, The Kinky Apothecary, O’Naturals, Screwy Hair Butter. Plenty plenty naturals for Naij now!

Geri your hair is amazing and I can’t get over the rudeness of some of the people on here. What the frick!

KTG
KTG
8 years ago

Please please please tell me the color and brand of that pale orange lipstick you are wearing. We are the same complexion and I want to try it. You are beautiful!

Jenny
Jenny
8 years ago

L..O..L, come on sistas, cant we get along.…we argue over the washing of our hair and all of these hair care methods??? really?? lets all think back to when we were little girls..dont know about yall, but I could have sworn my mom washed my hair once a month (unless I got sand in my hair, and then I got more than my hair washed! 🙂 Im all for the oils and deep conditioners, but I dont remember all this drama growing up. All I remember was dish detergent…yea I said it…to wash my hair.…letting it air dry for a few… Read more »

Natural Oils for Hair
8 years ago

Wetin dey happen, my sister. That’s some hair. My heart kips a beat every time I see another Naija babe gon natural. 🙂

Mira
8 years ago

Hair + Face =Gorgeous!!

mlank64
mlank64
7 years ago

Naija babes? First time I heard that term. One thing is clear…this women is BEAUTIFUL!!!

mlank64
mlank64
7 years ago

Ok, I googled and you are nigerian. Please excuse my ignorance. Your hair is so beautiful. I love the way you write. I feel the same on how I was so disconnected from my hair for years. So, perfectly worded because it spoke to my own situation on how I felt about my hair until I became natural.

jenny
jenny
7 years ago

Geez women with natural hair have become too obsessed with this whole hair type bs along with the “I want her hair” crap. why does it matter anyway? Thank you Geri! Embracing ones hair no matter what the texture should be a priority. I agree fully, it is limited. And what’s wrong with shrinkage? Is that not the way the hair naturally grows. So we stretch to achieve length not to be creative but out of hunger and lust for longer hair? HMMM

You are beautiful!!!
Love love love

LBell
LBell
7 years ago

“Through this journey, I’ve come to recognize the nonexistent and disconnected relationship I once had with my hair.…” This (brilliant!) paragraph highlights the exact reason why I went natural as well as why I stay natural. That I could spend the first 30 years of my life being so disconnected from my real hair except for the very basics…and give literally anybody with a beauty license authority over my hair and just accept their recommendations and advice without questioning it…it feels like a long time ago in a country far, far away. Today I can no more imagine being that separated from… Read more »

GHANAIAN HERITAGE
GHANAIAN HERITAGE
7 years ago

when i see these girls with long kinky hair i see where i went wrong with my kinky hair. WAY too much styling, wanting edges to lay down, when my hair is not really meant to go into a pony tail, it is meant to be free and in twists or twist outs.love this girls hair. and she is pretty with lovely skin in general long or short hair.

abi
abi
7 years ago

representin nigeria!!!and all the beautiful girls init!!! brap brap

trackback

[…] Style Icon GeriOkay, so I know you’re thinking “Duh, of course every natural knows braid outs and twist outs are the go to “out” hair styles.  I want to focus on how you maintain the style rather than creating the style. I have found that the way you care for the style can mean the difference between stretched, bouncy hair or  knots galore by the end of the week. When wearing either style (I personally wear braid out more often than twist outs) it is important to think of ways to minimize daily manipulation.  For me this means that… Read more »

Nkechi
Nkechi
7 years ago

Yay! Finally! Someone with similar hair to mine AND she’s a fellow Naija-American!
While my hair is mostly medium to fine strands of hair, I do find many random thick strands in my hair…I’m still experimenting with my hair (after being 2 years natural) and now I think in getting the hang of things. But I’ll try your advice on washing once a month and the usage of hair tools when it’s unnecessary…YAAAAAY I’m so happy I found this! 😀

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