*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: Hello everyone. My name is Atiya and I am from Atlanta, by way of New York, Canada, and the West Indies. I am a 21 year old college student studying Public Relations and Mass Media.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: The foremost reason why I went natural was for the health of my hair in the long run. I have always loved the look and diversity of natural hair whether kinky, curly, twisted or in braids, and how healthy natural hair can look when straightened. Looking like the best ME in my most raw and natural state was definitely a factor as well. I also knew the potential of my natural hair when looking back at pictures of myself as a child with thick beautiful natural hair. Secretly, I always knew that natural hair would come easily to me, eventually.
I was fully natural until my first day of high school, when I got my first and only relaxer, then I transitioned back to natural my freshman year of college. I have been fully natural for one year and eight months and I transitioned for 10 and a half months.
How would you describe your texture?
A: I don’t follow the hair typing system and I’m not too knowledgeable about it, but I will say that my hair is definitely kinky curly coily. I have looser curls at the very back and crown. My sides and temple are coiled very tightly, and the front and middle of my hair is generally kinky curly. My hair listens to its mother most of the time. With the exception of slicked back styles, my hair does what I want it to do, with the given wild and free factor. My hair is very thick and dense so bobby pins become my saving grace when styling or creating a desired shape.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I wear braidouts 90 percent of the time whenever my hair is not in a protective style with added hair. I also wear buns, puffs, updos, mini twists, and individual box braids. My protective styles with added hair include Senegalese twists, yarn braids/genie locs, and Solange/Poetic Justice braids. Over the course of the month my hair is worn out and free in a braidout style. I do not wear wash n gos because of possible tangles, single strand knots, shrinkage, dryness, and the overall look. As my hair grows longer I will try wearing wash n gos. I do not wear puffs and buns too often for fear of thinning and breaking my edges and also because of the subsequent detangling process. I prefer braidouts because of the maintenance, appearance, and easy detangling.
As far as products, I am a product junkie looking for a way out so here goes: I use shea butter, coconut oil, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque, Ecostyler olive oil gel, and Giovanni’s leave-in conditioner to style my hair.
The different products I may use on wash day are Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Shampoo, Shea Moisture Black Soap Shampoo, an apple cider vinegar shampoo bar, or Wen shampoo, and Yes to Carrots Conditioner, Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner, any Aubrey Organics Conditioner, Organic Root Stimulator Deep Penetration Conditioner, Aussie Moist Detangling Conditioner, and Burt’s Bees Volumizing Conditioner.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: Right before I wash my hair, I try to detangle and stretch my hair as much as possible to avoid knots and tangles. I wash my hair in two major sections by rubbing my scalp with my fingertips. Next I thoroughly condition my hair then detangle it into about sixteen braids to keep it stretched and tangle-free. Depending on the necessity and time passed, I also deep condition my hair then add a leave-in.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: My favorite hairstyle when I’m in a hurry is the slicked back puff, or the bun. Buns and puffs work as well when I am feeling lazy or want to stretch my hair even more. Also I always sleep with a satin bonnet, silk scarves, or silk pillowcases.
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I combat shrinkage by keeping my hair moisturized, wearing braid outs and twists outs, and more importantly braiding or twisting my hair into big sections when I go to sleep.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: Some of my problem areas are my edges, temples, and the top left portion of my hair, which is shorter than the rest of my hair. My edges and temples tend to get the driest and require more product or manipulation to get the look I desire.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Two do’s for my hair are moisture, moisture, moisture and protecting and stretching my hair at night.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Two do’s for my hair are over-manipulation and doing my hair when it is dry or when I am angry.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
A: I’m a social media enthusiast so you can find me on:
Pinterest: Atiya E