*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: My name is Aminah and I’m from the very foreign country of Kuwait (yes, all the way in the Middle East and yes, I’ve grown up there pretty much my whole life). But to be more specific my mother is African American and my father is Indonesian and Kuwaiti.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I started getting my hair relaxed at the tender age of 3, and during my teens I decided to Japanese straighten my already damaged hair. This caused it to break off and actually not even grow at all. I was scared of losing all my hair and I had no idea what my natural hair texture even looked like, so I vowed to never put chemicals on my hair ever again and started my transition.
I’ve been rocking my natural hair since 2008, around 4 years now, and I couldn’t love my curly fro more.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I predominantly have coarse 3c curls with tighter 4a curls in the back near the nape of my neck, and 3b curls at the very top of my head. To this day, I have never met anyone with thicker, denser curls than I have, which is probably why my mom started relaxing my hair so young (I don’t blame her for it).
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I try to deep condition my hair every 2 weeks, but it always ends up being once a month, if at all. I like pure coconut oil and use a brand called Parachute (but it honestly doesn’t matter, as long as it’s 100% coconut oil) mixed with any deep conditioning crème I have at the moment, ranging from brands like Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle, Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque, or I mix it with the thickest conditioner I have in my bathroom. After I’ve whipped up my mixture and detangled my dry hair using some water, a wide toothed comb and my fingers, I put a generous amount of my deep conditioner on and leave it on over night.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I wash my hair no more than twice a week at the moment. I shampoo my hair with L’Oreal Everstrong Hydrating Shampoo; I like it because it’s sulfate free, smells like rosemary and doesn’t strip my hair dry. But when I condition it’s a longer story. Right now I use Aussie Moist Conditioner coupled with Infusium 23 Repair and Renew Conditioner to help detangle my hair under the showerhead, while using a wide toothed comb. I slather on Suave Humectant Moisture Conditioner and leave it in my freshly detangled hair until the last minute of my shower. To style my hair and define my curls, I part my soaking wet hair into 4 or 5 sections and put Eco Styler Gel on each part, scrunching my curls as I go to make sure the gel is distributed evenly. Lastly, I put some coconut oil on my damp hair (concentrating on my ends) to combat the crunchiness I get from putting on too much gel. I usually let my hair air dry during summer days or I diffuse my hair dry.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: My styling routine is quite easy. The reason why I love my hair so much is that I really don’t do much with it to achieve my curly fro. Before I go to sleep I put my hair up into an extremely high ponytail at the top of my head right next to my forehead called the Pineapple, and in the morning I take it out. The curls are still the same, but it always ends up with more volume than the day before and I might add some coconut oil for shine. For more volume, I flip my hair over and use a blow dryer, and sometimes I pick the roots out for even bigger hair. I will do this every night and day until my hair is too big that it stops traffic, which is a sign that I might need to wash my hair again.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I don’t really do anything about my shrinkage because my hair has grown to the length that I’m comfortable with not doing anything to.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: My biggest problem area is the hair at the very top of my head. The curl pattern is obviously looser than the rest of my hair and so I have to put extra gel and scrunch a little more to get the curls to bounce better than they would on their own.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: 1. Coconut oil is my favorite thing ever. Not only does it smell yummy and leave my hair shiny, but I also put it on my skin and it leaves it feeling so moisturized as well. 2. When I wash my hair I always make sure to detangle my hair really well from the roots to the ends using a wide toothed comb, because at one point I had gotten a couple of dreads at my roots because I only finger combed my hair for a couple of washes thinking that was enough.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: 1. I don’t straighten my hair often because I don’t like worrying about heat damage. So far this year I’ve only straightened my hair once. 2. I never use shampoos with sulfates because I have very dry, color treated hair and I don’t want to use products on it that will make it any drier.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: I have a travel/photo blog that documents the many places I have traveled to so far in my young life, so check out my photography and follow my journey at contemporarynomad.tumblr.com … Follow me on Instagram as well @mimihim