*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: My name is Asherah and I am from Barbados, but currently living and working in Jamaica.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: Well I had started an internship at the hospital back home in Barbados, and rarely had time to go to a stylist to have my then-relaxed hair done. Also as a relaxed head I never did anything with it myself. I relied on a stylist to wash, treat, rollerset etc. So I got a weave, and that was that. Occasionally I would return to the stylist and get a new weave. So I didn’t relax my hair for about 6 months.
Then I moved back to Jamaica in Jan 2011 for work and was assigned to a hospital in a rural area. So now I was without my usual stylist and unknowledgeable as to how to care for my hair. So I got it braided and I wore braids back to back for another 6 months. During this time I discovered the hair boards, and a whole new world was opened to me. I learned how to care for my hair — deep conditioning, moisturizing and sealing, ayurveda, protective styling etc. And I dove headfirst into my healthy hair journey.
So in October 2011, while struggling to deal with the tangled relaxed ends at 2am, I wondered exactly why I was holding onto them (looking very thin and pathetic next to my new growth). I couldn’t come up with a good reason, so I picked up the scissors and chopped them off. It felt so good be 100% natural and I haven’t looked back since. I have been fully natural since October 2011.
How would you describe your texture?
A: My hair is a 4a/b mix. I have very fine strands at my nape, which are susceptible to breakage and must be babied. And at the front of my head including my crown I have thick, coarse strands — this area is also very, very dense.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I have learned to master 2 strand flat twists, cornrows, two strand twists and flexi rod sets since beginning this hair journey. In terms of styling, I am on an updo kick. I love them! It allows me to keep my ends hidden for 2 weeks at a time.
I always start with clean, freshly washed wet hair. I first oil my scalp with castor oil and I apply Silk Dreams Silky Soft Leave-in Cream to the length of my hair. Then I moisturize with Qhemet Biologics’ Amla & Olive Heavy Cream and add a little bit of their Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter to seal. Finally I use just a dab of Ecostyler Gel for added hold. I then go on to style my updo (which usually consists of flats twists and two strand twists pinned up) or do two strand twists alone.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: If I decide to do updos for the month, wash day is 2x for the month. If I do two-strand twists I wash weekly. Once a month I clarify with bentonite clay, deep condition with a rhassoul clay treatment (rhassoul clay + marshmallow root/burdock root tea/aloe vera juice/coconut oil). The other wash days I usually do a mild protein DC on dry hair with Aubrey Organics GPB, then shampoo (applied to scalp only) with Creme of Nature (green bottle). Do a tea rinse with black tea and that is followed usually by an ayurvedic DC — amla/brahmi mix.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: Well my hair is usually in an updo these days, so I never have an issue with having enough time for styling.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: To be honest when I do styles, shrinkage is never a factor. I actually don’t mind it because it keeps my hair off my shoulders (preventing friction and breakage). Plus I style my hair wet, so it definitely shrinks as it dries.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: The hair at my nape cannot handle friction on clothing etc. So I usually try to pin up the hair at the back.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: 1. Handle with care — Be gentle when detangling, try to use a product with LOTS of slip. 2. Low manipulation is key for the fine strands at my nape, so I always try to keep that in mind.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: 1. Wash and goes = Knot/tangle city. 2. Sleeping on cotton pillowcases — dries my hair out terribly.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: You can find me on tumblr…fortheloveofmyfro.tumblr.com. I just started a blog of the same moniker — fortheloveofmyfro.blogspot.com and I’m also on Instagram.