*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
A: Hi! My name is Ashley Small. I’m originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but after being here for 9 years I’m now a Houstonian and loving it! I’m a Digital PR Strategist and I own Medley Incorporated, The Brand Development Company.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
A: I’d wanted to since I was in high school, but never had the courage to. When I went off to college, it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I can’t point to exactly what inspired me to do it but I knew that putting so much heat on it, matched with chemicals, wasn’t how our hair was intended to be treated. I even got to a point that I felt like I looked ridiculous with a texture that was other than my own…that’s when I knew it was time to do the big chop. I’ve been natural now for 6 years.
How would you describe your texture?
A: Honestly, my knowledge of hair type is not very extensive. Perhaps because I feel that it can be divisive at times. My hair is thick. Some might call it coarse. It’s mine, and I love it;).
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
A: I get my hair washed, deep conditioned, trimmed and styled every 4–6 weeks at Natural Resources Salon. In between appointments, I wash it at home and usually wear it blown out or curly in a variety of updo’s. In Houston, updo’s are perfect for the weather and easy to pull off when you’re on the go. I don’t use a large variety of products, but my consistent go-to one for daily hydration is the Conditioning Crème by Earth’s Nectar.
What does wash day look like for you?
A: I wash and condition with Earth’s Nectar Mint Leaves & Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner. Then detangle using a Denman brush and Africa’s Best Detangling Moisturizing Lotion for Kids. Sometimes I’ll blow it out with my Deep Brilliance Blow dryer made by Chi or two strand twist it and let it air dry. Ultimately, I end up pinning it up and creating some type of updo.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
A: My favorite go to style would be a pompadour in the front and one braid or two strand twists pinned up or held together by the Conair Upzing Clip. It’s been a lifesaver on busy days!
How do you combat shrinkage?
A: I’ve noticed that if I section my hair off into about 8–10 two strand twists and sit under the dryer until it’s partially dry, I get a pretty nice-sized fro.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
A: I’ve always had an unhealthy addiction to color. I’ve had to cut up to 5 inches off at time (on multiple occasions) due to hair color damage. That’s been my biggest challenge in maintaining healthy hair and growing it out. So I deep condition quite a bit.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
A: Do experiment with products intended for children. Believe it or not, practically the entire line of Africa’s Best Kids Organic line works miracles on my hair. Do give it a lot of TLC. Wash and go’s don’t work for me. When I wash my hair at home, I put on a good movie, lay out all my tools and products and plan a night in to give my hair some attention.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
A: Don’t go to sleep with it wet (without detangling it). I learned this the hard way. Use heavy product consistently. My hair started locking one time. It was a nightmare!