A: My name is Asha and I’m 20 years old. I’m from England but I moved to Trinidad and Tobago when I was 12. Since then, I’ve become a bit of a traveler: last year I moved to Spain to learn Spanish and this year I’ve moved to the Netherlands for university.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: It was one of the most random decisions I’ve ever made to be honest. My last relaxer was July 30, 2009. I had cut my hair really short about 5 months prior and I was looking at weave/extension videos because I missed my (slightly) longer hair. It may be of value to mention that I had cut my hair due to damage.
I came across a racist comment online saying that black women couldn’t grow their hair and had to buy fake-looking hair. Then I saw a rebuttal comment saying, ‘Black women can grow their natural afro textured hair really long. Look at Rustic Beauty.’
At the time, I had no idea who that was so I searched for her and was surprised to find a happy lady with my hair texture! And the fact that it was so long was remarkable. I watched all of her videos and instantaneously started my transition.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I would generally say 4b due to its high porosity and how brittle it is. That said there are (as there typically are with women of colour) a lot of different textures on my head. In the front it’s a z‑shape and it’s the wiriest, in the middle it’s a slightly looser s‑shape, which takes in moisture a little more easily- this is more 4a. Then there’s more 4b and right at the back there’s a tiny patch of 3c.
This isn’t me, this is my brother before he got dreadlocks! 😀 Impressive eh? I don’t ever comb my hair when it’s dry, so I’ve never seen my hair like this.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: Wow, what a question. When I go to Trinidad to visit friends and family I usually want a low-manipulation hairstyle so that I can party a lot without worrying too much about my hair. On such occasions I wear my hair in twists or loose twists.
To do these I first wash my hair (in sections) and condition it (in sections. At the end of the cleansing and conditioning period, my hair is usually in big plaits, which have been finger detangled in the shower. Over the course of the next few days, I begin to loosen the aforementioned plaits and twist my hair using Shea butter and water (if needed).
All about my loose twists and the styles I wear them in:
How I do my loose twists
About 5 days later I finish my hair. Then I have a strict moisture regimen. I usually start the moisture regimen the following week because the ends are tucked away in buns most of the time so they don’t tend to be dry.
1) I dampen my hair with water.
2) I add aloe vera juice.
3) I add Kinky Curly Knot Today.
4) I seal with extra virgin olive oil (coconut oil stinks to high heavens and I don’t wash this out).
5) I roll my hair into 4 Bantu knots and I go to sleep.
I do this every other night while my hair’s in twists. I wash my hair depending on how it feels. I do this in 4 big plaits WITHOUT taking out the twists.
How I moisturise and stretch my loose twists:
If it’s not in small twists I’ll wear it in medium-sized twists and follow the same moisturizing regimen. I style these twists in different ways and at the weekend I’ll loosen the twists for textured buns or I might even wear my hair out. Depending on how it feels, I’ll wash or co-wash and re-do the twists.
Shampoo – Shea Moisture
Deep Conditioner – Curls Hair Tea Conditioner
Cheap Conditioner – Tressemé Split Remedy
Moisture – Aloe vera juice, extra virgin olive oil and Kinky Curly Knot Today
Butter – Shea butter
**I tend to steer clear of heat styling.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style?
A: If my hair’s in loose twists, I’ll put it in a bun with a pretty headband at the front. If it’s loose and knotty, I’ll do this rolled Mohican (Mohawk) as inspired by NikkiMae.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: For me, shrinkage isn’t something to be combatted. To avoid knotting, I never wet my hair and leave it loose so that means no wash-n-go’s or kinky curly styles. I always stretch my hair after washing by letting it dry in twists. When I want it to look longer, I put it in Bantu knots.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: 1. Moisturise and seal!
2. Stretch after washing.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: 1. Leave your hair for ages without detangling it.
2. Use a comb. Period.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: My Facebook page is called Naturally High. We make personalized regimens for any hair texture based on your current abilities and schedules. My YouTube channel is ashababe56.