*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: Hello BGLH community! My name is Ash and I am a Senior (whoop whoop!) at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. I am an Exercise Science/Spanish major and I bleed garnet and gold! Go Noles! I was born in Virginia but I know Jacksonville, FL as home.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’m going to be completely honest. I liked my relaxed hair. I was fortunate to not have many problems with breakage and damage like some have. It wasn’t until I moved out of my mom’s house and on to college that reality set in. I was paying around $80 a month for touch ups because of length and thickness and it was killing my pockets. I can still hear my mom saying “OK you get out in the world and you gonna see how it really works” lol!!
That statement has proven very true as I could no longer afford to get my hair done. I thought I could stretch my relaxers, but my new growth was AGGRESSIVE lol. One day in the shower the relaxed part of my hair began to pop off in clumps (see? aggressive) I big chopped and haven’t looked back since. Now I’m in love with my natural hair! On the 24th of this month will be 2 years. My last relaxer was in August of 2010 and I can’t believe it’s been that long!
How would you describe your texture?
A: I believe based on looking at others’ pictures I am a 4A. My hair is coarse, but surprisingly soft lol and very thick.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: In some of my photos you will see that I liked to experiment with twist outs, braid outs and even wash and gos in the beginning. Nowadays that has changed for me. I know this won’t get too many high-fives, but I am working towards being a straight-haired natural. I know this can be a taboo subject, but someone has to be the first brave soul. (go easy on me ladies) I just want to be as honest as possible. I deep condition and wash every 2 weeks. If my hair needs it I will deep condition 2x a week. I straighten once a month, sometimes twice, and if my hair is starting to revert a little (Thank you Florida humidity) I do bantu knots or I bun it until it needs to be washed again.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: A wash day starts by using oil (hemp) as a pre poo. I wash with DermOrganic Shampoo and deep condition for about an hour with DermOrganic Treatment Masque. I use heat protectant, blow dry on cool and straighten. I apply no additional heat until my next straightening.
Derm Organics shampoo and conditioner are my staples. They do the job and have finally cured me of the product junkie epidemic. I get them from a salon, but they are surprisingly affordable. ($12–16 but last me 1–2 months)
Tell us about your hair color?
A: My hair color is the natural color I was born with. This can sometimes make my hair naturally a little drier, but I make sure to give it the proper love and drink lots of water. I’m sorry in advance for any “color treated questions”.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: If I ever feel like I don’t want to straighten one month I absolutely love bantu knots which I do using Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream, or I bun it. Even though I LOVE the different styles all you ladies do and sometimes will try one or two myself, I like to keep it simple. Simplicity is key lol.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: It is rare for me to wear wash and gos unless I’m rushing, so usually aside from straightening, any stretched style will do, i.e.: bantu knots, twist outs and buns.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: Because I use heat I have to make sure my hair is always properly prepared before and properly repaired after. I’m pretty sure I’m 4a all over so my hair is fairly easy to work with. I have had slight heat damage in the beginning, but with proper hair care I have been able to keep my curls.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Satin pillowcase / Deep conditioning
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Not using heat protectant / Blow drying on hot temperature setting